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There is another presumption against this anecdote. Warton observes, that Wood, who, according to him, com-piled his account of Milton from Aubrey's manuscript, has omitted fome circumstances, particularly this of his fla-gellation. Aubrey pretends he had his.
information from Milton's own mouth, · or from his relations after his death ; at
least so he told Wood, who could not be fupposed to omit this circumstance from any good-will he bore to Milton's memory. We may then reasonably suspect that Wood did not believe it, and that he was convinced Aubrey was misinformed; and suppose the story should be one of whipping young unlucky acadeinics was, to hoist them upon the college buttery hatch, where the discipline was inflicted by the butler.
of those which Aubrey had from Milton's own mouth, Milton would hardly give hiin an account of the punishment, without fignifying what was the fault.
Dr. Johnson says, “Milton was the “ last student in either university that suf“fered this corporal correction.” Now Mr. Warton tells us, that “the whip was € an instrument of academical correc“ tion, not entirely laid aside in the old “ age of Dr. Bathurst * ; but Bathurst survived Milton thirty years, and the time of Milton's admiffion above eighty. If Milton therefore was the last fufferer by this illiberal punishment in Cambridge, that university got the start of Oxford * in civilisation by at leaft fifty or fixty years; which is more honour, we believe, than Dr. Johnson defired Mr. Warton should confer upon it.
* Life of Bathurst, p. 202.
Mr. Warton says, “ This” (meaning the whipping-bout] “explains more “ fully a passage in one of Milton's
« elegies :
* “ In the public statutes of Oxford, the in“ junction of inflicting corporal punishment on “ boys under fixteen remains unrepealed, and “ in force at this day; but the execution of this “ law, so repugnant to every liberal and decent “ idea, has been long abolished. Yet this code “c of statutes was compiled no longer ago than " the year 1635. It was, however, no uncom6 mon practice at a college in Oxford, where the
foundation-scholars are elected very young, “ actually to punish with the rod as far down as " the beginning of the present century."
Gent. Mag. 1779, p. 493
“ Nec duri libet usque minas perferre
" magiftri, “ Cæteraque ingenio non fubeunda
meo.”. Where, in Mr. Warton's ideas, cætera fignifies flogging. But Dr. Johnson haring noted that it signifies 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 whip-ping 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 naine 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 !
“ It seems plain,” says the new narrative, “ from his own verses to Diodati, " that he had incurred rufication, a tem“ porary disinisfion into the country, with “ perhaps the loss of a term.”
Milton was admitted of Christ's Col. lege, February 12, 1624 5. He took his bachelor's degree in 1628, so that without a perhaps he loft no term. In