Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

* Nec duri libet ufque minas perferre

“ magiftri, ..Cæteraque ingenio non subeunda

so meo.” Where, in Mr. Warton's ideas, catera fignifies flogging. But Dr. Johnson having noted that it fignifies something else besides threats, interprets it into something more, i. e. more severe, namely, punishment. But he seems to be in doubt whether that punishment was whipping or banishment; and with reason, for cætera may signify something more, i.e. something over and besides threats, and yet something else besides either whipping or rustication. The most natural interpretation of the second line seems to be, that those college-exercises known by the name of impositions (oftentimes prescribed as punishments) did not suit Milton's genius, being indeed even within our memory calculated' rather for the drudgery of an industrious plodder than suited to the genius of a youth of parts and spirit. Wonderful must be that genius which has a taste for being flogged or banished !

known

“ It seems plain,” says the new narrative, “ from his own verses to Diodati, " that he had incurred rustication, a tem< porary disinifsion into the country, with “perhaps the loss of a term.” · Milton was admitted of Christ's College, February 12, 1624-5. He took his bachelor's degree in 1628, so that svithout a perbaps he loft no term. In

new narra

every college there is or should be a register, in which are entered all orders' for expulsion and rustication of delinquents. This is necessary for the justification of the master and fellows against whom appeals and complaints are often lodged by the sufferers, either before the visitor or in Westminster-Hall. We have been informed, from the best authority, that there is an entry in the register of this very college, importing, that a candidate for a fellowship *, being rejected by the society, was, upon calling in the visitor t, established in his right, not without some fevere expressions inserted

* The late Dr. Hutton, Archbishop of Can. terbury. * Bishop Sherlock, then Vice-chancellor. , D2 .

in

in the sentence, which the visitor, upon špplication, refused to expunge. · If therefore the Registers of Christ's College are filent with respect to the expulsion of John Milton, it is not plain that he was either expelled or rusticated, not to mention that the terms, vetiti laris et exilium, may refer to twenty causes besides that assigned by the new Biographer. If Milton's return to college was voluntary, it would be invidious to afcribe his absence to compulsion, unless you will suppose that the prohibition was the effect of his father's æconomy, which is by far most likely to have been the case.

Milton however was certainly out of humour with the universities (except perhaps with a few of his ingenious and judicious friends in them); and Dr. Johni, s. fon gives us our choice of two causes of it, the injudicious severity of his governors,'s and Milton's captious perverseness *...

per.

Had Milton left us nothing upon the subject but rude and indiscriminate abuse of the universities, Dr. Johnson's alter-, native in assisting us to account for it had been liberal and gracious. But the single letter of Milton to Hartlib fhews that his objections were of another fort, and took their rise neither from any resentment against his governors for their severity, nor from any perverseness of his own temper. So far from blaming their severity, he reproves the idle vacancies

. : * Life, p. 10. ... D 3

given

« VorigeDoorgaan »