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that he might have been So not long before.
the Colour of his Eyes inclin'd to Blue, not
Deep; and though Sightless, they were as he
says Himself, Clear to Outward View of
Blemifi or of Spot; he was Told So, and *tis
Certain the Gutta Serena (which was His
Case) does not appear to Common Eyes, and
at a little Distance; but Blindness, even of
That Kind is Visible, in the Colour, Motion,
and Look of the Eye which has tlie sad Un
happiness of being Extinguished by it. 'tis
Wonderfully Exprest in the Picture from
Whence this Print was made, as well as the
Sett of the Mouth, and the rest of the Air.
I have Imitated it as well as I could in a
Way of Working which I Never Practic'd
but on a Few Plates, and Those in my Youth,
except an Attempt on One or Two near 20
Years ago. the Laurel is not in the Picture,
the two Lines under h are my Reason for
putting it There, not what Otherwise would
have been Imagin'd. All the World has
given it him long since.
One that had Often seen him, told me he us'd to come to a House where He Liv'd, and he has also Met him in the Street, Led by Millington, the same who was ib Famous an Auctioneer of Books about the time of the Revolution, and Since. This Man was then a Seller of Old Books in Little Britain^ and Milton lodg'd at his house. This was 3 or 4 Years before he Dy'd. he then wore no A 3 Sword Sword that My Informer remembers, though Probably he did, at least 'twas his Custom not long before to wear one with a Small Silver-Hilt, and in Cold Weather a Grey Camblet Coat. his Band was Usually not of the Sort as That in the Print I have given, That is, as my Original is, but like What are in the Common Prints of him, the Band usually wore at That time; to have a more Exact Idea of his Figure, let it be remembred that the Fashion of the Coat Then was not Much Unlike what the Quakers Wear Now.
I have heard many Years Since that he Us'd to Sit in a Grey Coarse Cloath Coat at the Door of his House, near Bun-hill Fields Without Moor-gate, in Warm Sunny Weather to Enjoy the Fresh Air, and So, as well as in his Room, receiv'd the Visits of People of Distinguished Parts, as well as Quality. and very Lately I had the Good Fortune to have Another Picture of him from an Ancient Clergy-man in Dorsetjhire, Dr. Wright; He found him in a Small House, he thinks but One Room on a Floor; in That, up One pair of Stairs, which was hung with a Rusty Green, he found 'John Milton, Sitting in an Elbow Chair, Black Cloaths, and Neat enough, Pale, but not Cadaverous, his Hands and Fingers Gouty, and with Chalk Stones. among Other Discourse He exprest Himself to This Purpose; that was he Free from
the the Pain This gave him, his Blindness would be Tolerable.
Sufficient Care had not been taken of This Body, he had a Partiality for his Mind; but All that Temperance, Chastity, and every Wholesom Vertue could do, was done j Nor did he forbear Sometimes to Walk and Use Exercise, as himself says, Eleg. I. 50. VII. 51. and in a Passage in his Apol. for SmecJymnuus which will be Quoted Anon on Another Occasion. but This was not Enough to Support him Under that Intense Study and Application which he took to be his Portion in This Life. He lov'd the Country, but was little There. nor do we hear any thing of his Riding, Hunting, Dancing, &c. When he was Young he learnt to Fence, probably as a Gentlemanly Accomplishment, and that he might be Able to do Himself Right in Case of an Affront, which he wanted not Courage .nor Will for, as Himself intimates, though it does not appear he ever made This Use of his Skill. after he was Blind he us'd a Swing for Exercise.
Musick he Lov'd Extreamly, and Understood Well. 'tis said he Compos'd, though nothing of That has been brought,down to Us. he diverted Himself with Performing, which they say he did Well on the Organ and Bas-Viol. and This was a great Relief to him after he had lost his Sight.
in relation to his Love of Musiek, and the
This little Hint puts me in Mind to Con-
but he was Mistaken, as appears by three
and five Italian Sonnets, and a Canzona that seem to be for the same Lady. He was not Insensible of Beauty; See his First Latin EIegy. but let it be remember'd This was when he was a Young Man. We hear nothing of This After his return from Italy.
When he was a Youth he Sometimes read Romances; and, as Good Minds Naturally
will, turn'd All to his Advantage So
that even "Those Books, which to Many Others have been the Fuel of Wantonness, and Loose Living, I cannot think how, Unless by Divine Indulgence, provd to Me so many Incitements, as you have heard, to the Love and steadfajt Observation of That Vertue which abhors the Society of Bordelloes. Apol.for SmecJymnuus.
in This Spring of Life he also Sometimes saw a Play, and visited Publick Walks, and Such Kind of Diversions. He was a Chearfull Companion; but no Joker: his Conversation was Lively, but with Dignity. and as he was whilst Young, he Continu'd to be in his more Advanc'd Age. in a Latin Letter (his 21st, in the Year 1656) he thus Writes to Em eric Bigot.
It was extreamly Grate/lull to Me that you thought Me Worthy to be visited preferably to Others when you came into England, and 'tis fill more gratefull that you No^o Salute me with Letters: for you came to me perhaps only led by the Opinion of the World, but your Returning by Letter is the result of your Own J'udgment,