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against him by the Jesuits, for the liberty of his conversations on religion. He had sense enough to judge that there was no danger, and therefore kept on his way, and acted as before, neither obtruding nor shunning controversy. He had perhaps given some offence by visiting Galileo, then a prisoner in the Inquisition for philosophical heresy; and at Naples he was told by Manso, that, by his declarations on religious questions, he had excluded himself from some distinctions which he should otherwise have paid him. But such conduct, though it did not please, was yet sufficiently safe ; and Milton staid two months more at Rome, and went on to Florence without molestation.
From Florence he visited Lucca. He afterwards went to Venice; and, having sent away a collection of musick and other books, travelled to Geneva, which he probably considered as the metropolis of orthodoxy.
Here he reposed as in a congenial element, and became acquainted with John Diodati and Frederick Spanheim, two learned professors of Divinity. From Geneva he passed through France; and came home, after an absence of a year and three months.
At his return he heard of the death of his friend Charles Diodati; a man whom it is reasonable to suppose of great merit, since he was thought by Milton worthy of a poem, intituled Epitaphium Damonis, written with the common but childish imitation of pastoral life.
He now hired a lodging at the house of one Russel, a taylor in St. Bride's Church-yard, and undertook the education of John and Edward Philips, his fifter's fons. Finding his roomis too little, he took a house and garden in Aldersgate-street *, which was not then so much out of the world as it is now; and chose his dwelling at the upper end of a passage, that he might avoid the noise of the street. Here he received more boys, to be boarded and instructed.
Let not our venetation for Milton forbid us to look with some degree of merriment on great promises and small performance, on the man who hastens home, because his countrymen ate contending for their liberty, and, when he reaches the scene of action, vapours away his patriotism in a private boarding-school. This is the period of his life from which all his biographers seem inclined to shrink. They are unwilling that Milton should be degraded to a school-master ; but, since it cannot be denied that he taught boys, one finds out that he taught for nothing, and another that his motive was only zeal for the propagation of learning and virtue; and all tell what they do not know to be true, only to excuse an act which no wise man will consider as in itself disgraceful. His father was alive ; his allowance was not ample; and he supplied its deficiencies by an honest and useful employment.
* This is inaccurately expressed: Philips, and Dr. Newton after him, say a garden-house, i. e. a house situate in a garden, and of which there were, especially in the north Tuburbs of London, very many, if not few elfe. The term is technical, and frequently occurs in the Athen. and Fast. Oxon. The meaning thereof may be colle&ted from the article Thomas Farnaby, the famous schoolmaster, of whom the author says, that he taught in Goldsmith's Rents, in Cripplegate-parish, behind Redcross-street, where were large gardens and handsome houses. Milton's house in Jewin-street was also a garden-honte, as were indeed moft of bis dwellings after his settlement in London. H.
It is told, that in the art of education he performed wonders; and a formidable lift is given of the authors, Greek and Latin, that were read in Aldersgatestreet by youth between ten and fifteen or sixteen years of age. Those who tell or receive these stories Thould consider, that nobody can be taught faster than he can learn. The speed of the horseman must be limited by the power of the horse. Every man, that has ever undertaken to instruct others, can tell what slow advances he has been able to make, and how much patience it requires to recall vagrant inattention, to stimulate Nuggish indifference, and to rectify absurd misapprehension.
The purpose of Milton, as it seems, was to teach something more solid than the common literature of Schools, by reading those authors that treat of phyfical subjects; such as the Georgick, and astronomie cal treatises of the ancients. This was a scheme of improvement which seems to have busied many litesary projectors of that age. Cowley, who had more means than Milton of knowing what was wanting to the embellishments of life, formed the same plan of education in his imaginary College.
But the truth is, that the knowledge of external nature, and the sciences which that knowledge requires or includes, are not the great or the frequent business of the human mind. Whether we provide for action or conversation, whether we wish to be useful or pleasing, the first requisite is the religious and moral knowledge of right and wrong; the next is an acquaintance with the history of mankind, Vol. IX.
and with those examples which may be said to ema body truth, and prove by events the reasonableness of opinionsa Prudence and Justice are virtues and excellencies of all times and of all places; we are perpetually moralists, but we are geometricians only by chance. Our intercourse with intellectual nature is necessary; our speculations upon matter are voluntary, and at leisure. Physiological learning is of such rare emergence, that one may know another half his life, without being able to estimate his skill in hydrostaticks or astronomy; but his moral and prudential character immediately appears.
Those authors, therefore, are to be read at schools that supply most axioms of prudence, most principles of moral truth, and most materials for converfation ; and these purposes are best served by poets, orators, and historians.
Let me not be censured for this digression as pedantick or paradoxical: for, if I hare Milton against me, I have Socrates on my side. It was his labour to turn philofophy from the study of nature to fpeculations upon life ; but the innovators whom I oppose are turning off attention from life to nature. They seem to think, that we are placed here to watch the growth of plants, or the motions of the stars. Socrates was rather of opinion, that what we had to learn was, how to do good, and avoid evil. * "Ότι τοι εν μεγάροισι κακό αγαθόντε τέτυκλαι.
of institutions we may judge by their effects. From this wonder-working academy, I do not know, that there ever proceeded any man very eminent for knowledge : its only genuine product, I believe,
is a finall History of Poetry, written in Latin by his nephew Philips, of which perhaps none of my readers has ever heard *.
That in his school, as in every thing else which he undertook, he laboured with great diligence, there is no reason for doubting. One part of his method deserves general imitation. He was careful to instruct his scholars in religion. Every Sunday was spent upon theology; of which he dictated a short system, gathered from thie writers that were then fashionable in the Dutch üniversities.
Hé set his pupils an example of hard study and spare diet; only now and thert he allowed himself to pass a day of festivity and indulgence with some gay gentlemen of Gray's Inn.
He now began to engage in the controversies of the times, and lent liis breath to blow the flames of contention. In 1641 he published a treatise of Reformation, in two books, against the Established Church ;-being willing to help the Puritans, who were; lie says, inferior to the Prelates in learning.. " • Hall, bishop of Norwich, had published an Humble Remonftrance, in defence of Epifcopacy; to which, in 1641, five ministers nie, of whose names the first leta ters made the celebrated word Sizećiymnuus; gave their Answer. Of this Answer à Confutation was
* “ We may be sure at least, that Dr. Jolinfon lund never seen * the book he speaks of; for it is entirely composed in English, “ though its title begins with two Latin words, ' Theatrum Pue"tarum; or, a compleat Collection of the Poets, &c:' a circum“ stance that probably milled the biographer of Milton.” Eva Topean Magazine, June 1787, p. 398. R.
+ Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Yourg, Mate thew Newcomen, William Spurftow. R.