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silence and put to shame a pretence, by which modern Republicanism hoped to profit, of his being her auxiliary. To him “ sight more detestable,” than the object of her hopes could not possibly be presented. The designs of the crafty sensualist, and of the besotted ungrateful atheist, it was his constant endeavour, not to promote, but to overthrow. “ It must gratify every Christian to reflect,” Mr. Hayley observes, “ that the man of our country most eminent for energy of mind, for intenseness of application, and for frankness and intrepidity in asserting whatever he believed to be the cause of truth, was so confirmedly devoted to Christianity, that he seems to have made the Bible, not only the rule of his conduct, but the prime director of his genius.” Yes, he says of himself, I am “ y among the free and ingenuous sort of such as evidently were born for study, and love learning for itself, not for lucre, or any other end but the service of God and truth, and perhaps that lasting fame and perpetuity of praise, which God and good men have consented shall be the reward of those, whose published labours advance the good of mankind."
: The classical books, in which he is represented to have most delighted, were Homer, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Euripides. The first he could almost entirely repeat. Of the last he is said to have been a reader, not only with the taste of a poet, but
* In his Areopagitica.
with the ” minuteness of a Greek critick. His Euripides, in two volumes, Paul Stephens's quarto edition of 1602, with many marginal emendations in his own hand, has become the property of Mr. Cradock of Gumley in Leicestershire. Of these notes some have been adopted by Joshua Barnes, and some have been lately printed by Mr. Jodrell. In the first volume) page the first, is the name of John Milton, with the price of the book at 12s. 6d., and the date of the year 1634. I have to notice the existence of another tredí sure, bearing also the same date, the price 38., and the name of John Milton, written by himself on the blank page opposite the title; his copy of Lycophron, with his own marginal observations. Of this remarkable curiosity I received my information from Mr. Walker, by whom it had been a inspected in the library of lord Charlemont. From Milton himself we learn, that “the divine volumes of Plato and his equall Xenophon” were principal objects of his regard; and that he preferred Sallust to all the Roi man historians. Demosthenes has been supposed, by lord Monboddo and Mr. Hayley, to have been studied by him minutely and successfully. .iii
On contemporary authors Milton has bestowed
See Warton's 2d edit. of the Smaller Poems, p. 568. And Jodrell's Illustrations of Euripides, 1781, pp. 34. 336.
a My friend, the late Rev. Mr. Meen, was favoured with the use of this volume. And it was hoped, that his excellent version of Lycophron, accompanied with his own acute remarks, as well as Milton's marginal observations, on this author, would have been presented to the publick. But he is no more.'
little praise. He has condescended more than once, as bishop Newton has observed, to applaud Selden. But I cannot agree with the learned prelate, that Milton seems disposed to censure rather than commend the rest. He has extolled, in his Areopagitica, the mèrits of lord Brooke, who had lately fallen in the service of the Parliament, and had written a treatise against the English episcopacy, and against the danger of Sects and Schisms, in terms of superabundant eulogy. He has also spoken of John Cameron, a learned divine and commentator, in terms of high respect; calling him “ba late writer, much applauded, an ingenious writer, and in high esteem.” And of Hartlib's literary character the Treatise of Education speaks largely. Hartlib also must be placed among Milton's “ familiar learned. acquaintance," as Aubrey calls Andrew Marvell, Cyriack Skinner, and Dr. Paget. And to these perhaps might be added Rouse and Vane. It is to be wondered that Milton, who has affectionately recorded the good qualities of many friends, should have omitted to grace his pages with a tribute of respect to the name of Henry More, the celebrated Platonist, his fellow-collegian; by whom Mr. Warton supposes him to have been led to the study of the divine philosophy, and of whose poetry, I am satisfied, he was an attentive reader. But one friend yet remains to be noticed, who had been the pupil of Milton, to whom he ap
... b In his Tetrachordon.
pears to have rendered essential service, and of whom he presents a very estimable character. This person was Richard Heath, of Christ College, Cambridge, whom the biographers of Milton have overpassed. He was a man of great learning, accomplished in the Eastern tongues, and serviceable to bishop Walton in his immortal work, the London Polyglot Bible. He became a non-conformist in 1662, and died some years before Milton.
The political principles of Milton were those of a thorough republican; which have been ascribed, by Dr. Johnson, to a native violence of temper, and to a hatred of all whom he was required to obey. The frequent asperity of this eminent biographer towards Milton, has been repeatedly noticed, by Mr. Hayley, with reprehension and regret; and, in the following instance, with eloquence, dignity, and instruction.
. “ There can hardly be any contemplation more painful, than to dwell on the virulent excesses of eminent and good men; yet the utility of such contemplation may be equal to its pain. What mildness and candour should it not instil into ordinary mortals to observe, that even genius and virtue weaken their title to respect, in proportion as they recede from that evangelical charity, which should influence every man in his judgement of another.
• See his Epist. Famil. Ep. xiii. Richardo Hetho. Dat. Westmon. Dec. 13, 1652.
* Memoirs of Bishop Walton, &c. 1821, p. 268
The strength and the acuteness of sensation, which partly constitute genius, have a great tendency to produce virulence, if the mind is not perpetually on its guard against that subtle, insinuating, and corrosive passion, hatred against all whose opinions are opposite to our own. Johnson professed, in one of his letters, to love a good hater; and, in the Latin correspondence of Milton, there are words that imply a similarity of sentiment; they both thought there might be a sanctified bitterness, to use an expression of Milton, towards political and religious opponents ; yet surely these two devout men were both wrong, and both in some degree unchristian in this principle. To what singular iniquities of judgement such a principle may lead, we might, perhaps, have had a most striking, and a double proof, had it been possible for these two energetick writers to exhibit alternately a portrait of each other. Milton, adorned with every graceful endowment, highly and holily accomplished as he was, appears, in the dark colouring of Johnson, a most unamiable being; but could he revisit earth in his mortal character, with a wish to retaliate, what a picture might be drawn, by that sublime and offended genius, of the great moralist, who has treated him with such excess of asperity. The passions are powerful colourists, and marvellous adepts in the art of exaggeration ; but the portraits executed by Love (famous as he is for overcharging them) are infinitely more faithful to nature, than gloomy sketches from the heavy hand of Hatred; a passion not to be trusted or indulged