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just occasion of complaint. The assassination of Cardinal Borromeo having been contrived by only one religious of the Frères Humiliez, about twenty years ago, all the Order was abolished by Pope Pius V.; following the resolution of the assembly of Cardinals, in spite of every entreaty of the King of Spain to the contrary. Our judgment is not so severe. If they say that there is no comparison between their Order and the Order of the Humiliez, theirs being much greater, we will tell them that there is less comparison between a cardinal and the greatest king in the world, more highly exalted above a cardinal than is their Order above the smallest. They are guilty of your attempted) murder by means of their teaching.
“We implore you most humbly that as you have been pleased with the arrêt, justly given, and then necessary to deter such traitors from conspiring against you, it would also please you to preserve and keep alive the remembrance of the danger in which we then were of losing the life of our common father, the life which is dearer to us than our own; and we should think ourselves deserving the shameful reproach of want of fidelity and ingratitude if we had not a perpetual care of it, since you have rendered us ours, our repose and our property. The memory of what is past should teach us the precaution of not living without foresight, only to be buried in the abysm of a second wreck. We cannot omit a special entreaty for compassion on the university.
“ These are the very humble remonstrances and summary reasons which have restrained us from publishing the letters, fearing lest we should be justly reproached with having proceeded too easily in giving them effect.”
These earnest premonitions were not without reason, as the assassination of the king too clearly proved. We too had our forebodings when Jesuits were admitted as educators into England. How and with what effect they have been educating, most people can tell. A few months ago a proposal was made in Parliament to legalize this notorious company; and now, without needing such formality, the Jesuits expelled from Germany have been flocking into England. Already their colleges were established in some parts of the country: now are planted thick. What results, religious, moral, social, and political, will be consequent on all this may be easily conjectured, and will too soon be known; but, in a crisis scarcely less important, to borrow the language of the old Parliament of Paris, “ The memory of what is past should teach us the precaution of not living without foresight."
W. H. R.
MILTON'S ANCESTRY AND BIRTH-PLACE. Much labour has been expended of late years, since the arrangement and opening to national use of our national records, in deciding upon Milton's ancestry and the place to which the family belonged. The name itself (even if we exclude from consideration the parallel forms of Mitton and Middleton, which appear occasionally identical with it) belongs to about twenty English villages, scattered widely over the soil ; and it is likely that, in those ages when surnames were formed and
crystallized from a man's business, or appearance, or local habitation, every one of these twenty village Miltons may have given birth to a family designated from it. But the early evidence and the first known facts, in case of the poet, point to Oxfordshire and the neighbouring counties as the true source of his family. The links of direct evidence appear to have been satisfactorily established since Mr. Masson printed his opening chapter ; * and, in agreement with the conclusions first ascertained by the distinguished antiquarian Hunter, he now satisfacto. rily discovers the great-grandfather in one Henry Milton, of Stanton St. John's, close to Forest Hill, both being little villages on the edge of the old forest of Shotover, familiar to all Oxford students. Henry Milton is known only by his Will :-
“In the name of God, Amen: the 21st day of November, Anno Domini, 1558, I, Henri Mylton, of Stanton St. John's, sick of body but perfect of mind, do make my last Will and Testament in manner and form following: First, I bequeathe my soul to God, to our Lady Saint Mary, and to all the holy company of heaven, and my body to be buried in the churchyard of Stanton: I give to Isabell, my daughter, a bullock, and half a quarter of barley, and Richard, my son, shall keep the said bullock until he be three years old: Item, I give to Rowland Mylton and Alice Mylton, each of them, half a quarter of barley: I give to Agnes Mylton, my wife, a gelding, a grey mare, and two kye, and all my household stuff, whom I make my executrix."
We think this document worth transcribing, as a little genuine picture of a substantial husbandman's or yeoman's life six years before the birth of Shakespeare. Henry, like his son Richard, and like Shakespeare's own immediate ancestors, we see, was a sturdy adherent of the old faith, the hold of which was of course stronger in villages than in towns. Richard, as Mr. Masson conjectures, was probably an independent man -hence the dying yeoman's general bequest to his wife. And so, “sick of body, but perfect of mind," seemingly at peace towards men and with a manly faith in the future, Henry Milton, after this brief glimpse, passes from our eyes, leaving an impression that, if not in the world's sense, yet in a truer estimate, his illustrious great-grandson was justified in describing himself as “sprung from an honourable stock"-genere honesto--of wholesome English blood.
“Richard my son," to whom the bullock was given in trust, seems to have followed his father's steps. But we can only imperfectly trace that by marriage with a widow he may have improved his fortunes and raised his position, sending his son John, the poet's father, to the great university which lay in its ancient Gothic beauty, spires and pinnacles (a tower or two perhaps now lost, but the great mass of the library, the noble Radcliffe dome, Wren's graceful gatehouse, yet unbuilt) below Shotover ; although in what position John entered Christ Church is not ascertained. Here, however, probably occurred that great change which must have divided thousands of families during the first half of Elizabeth's reign. John passed from the old religion to the new, was cast off
• The Life of John Milton, narrated in connection with the Political, Eccle. siastical History of his time, by David Masson, MA,
by his father, and between 1585 and 1590 came as a young man to Lon. don. There he fixed himself in the then respectable profession of a “scri. vener," or sworn draughtsman of legal documents; an employment with which business, much resembling that of an attorney in our days, was naturally united. The proud honesty which seems to have stamped the race was continued in John Milton; vir integerrimus, says his son, whose witness we need not suspect; he prospered greatly, and living till 1646–7, saw the first splendid dawn of the glory by which his own name was to be immortalized.
The “Spread Eagle,” in Bread Street, near Cheapside, (for in those days every house of business had its sign,) Milton's birth-place, disappeared in the Great Fire. But Mr. Masson has contrived to give us a vivid picture of the locality as it may have looked in 1608:
" This house was as much in the heart of the London of that day as the houses on the same site are in the heart of the London of this. The only difference is, that, whereas the population of London now exceeds two millions, it was then, perhaps, not more than two hundred thousand souls. The future poet, then, was not only a Londoner, like his predecessors Chaucer and Spenser, but a Londoner of the innermost circle, a child of the very heart of Cockaigne...... If, though it is above our meagre science to say how much of the form of Shakespeare's genius depended on his having been born and bred amid the circumstances of a Warwickshire village, we still follow the boy in his wanderings by the banks of the Avon, hardly the less is it necessary to remember that England's next great poet was born in the middle of old London, and that the sights and sounds amid which his childhood was nurtured were those of crowded street-life.”
If Mr. Masson's plan includes (as we hold every poet's life should include) a critical examination of Milton's place in poetry, he will doubtless work out the suggestion conveyed by the last words of this passage. Meanwhile, it may be noticed that the three great poets whom he has specified as Londoners, not only stand in a direct relation of poetical descent to each other, -Milton avowedly looking up to Spenser, much as Spenser looked up to Chaucer,-but that they are all united by one characteristic. Compared with poets like Shakespeare, or Burns, or Wordsworth, they are distinctively learned poets. In Chaucer's case this is disguised from our first impression by the lapse of centuries, giving to much that is really court-culture and literary expedient the air of freshness and naïveté in our later eyes. But no one will question it in the case of Spenser and Milton; nay, we occasionally feel the literary element almost too predominant. Of course, other circumstances than those of education within the “great city" may have occasioned, or deepened, this characteristic; for who can pretend to analyse the subtile constituents of genius? Yet it is not improbable that a common cause may be here at work. At any rate, none of these three great men seem to us to have been initiated in the deepest mysteries of Nature. The mountain exultation of Scott, the ethereal ecstasy of Shelley, the deep reverie of Wordsworth
"The visions of the hills, And souls of lonely places,”
do not meet us in their verse. Familiar with her beauty and her wealth, they are not quite at home with Nature in her wildness. They have, indeed, learned her lessons well : yet there is something about them all which reveals that they had not the happiness of being free of her secrets from the cradle; they are children brought into the country, not born in it.
However these things may be, it is certain that Milton's father held a place in his son's development very unusual among the fathers of poets. His mother's very surname has been long disputed, and all Mr. Masson's diligence cannot decide positively between the rival claims of Caston and Bradshaw. She is indeed mentioned with warm praise by her son. But the father, whose musical powers are not yet wholly forgotten, appears to have perceived from the first how gifted a child had been born into his house, and trained him with care as great and appliances as liberal as can have fallen to the share of the best-born children of his day. We do not know when Richard Milton, the disinheriting grandfather of Stanton St. John's, who seems to have stood out in his sturdy Roman Catholicism “recusancy" to the last, may have died; but if he were still alive about 1620, at eighty or so, what a singular contrast, in cultivation and position and sentiment, between him and his bright-haired girl-grandson at St. Paul's !-Quarterly Review.
CHAPTERS FROM THE HISTORY OF SPAIN.
11.-THE ARABS. LEAVING the Spanish Christians in their mountain fastnesses, let us now turn for & short time to that wonderful people who under the standard of Mahomet had carried successfully into Western Europe a new civilization, and seemed on the point of imposing the faith of the Koran on the whole Iberian peninsula.
At the time of the accession of Ferdinand and Isabella, the kingdom of Granada was the only part of Spain left to the infidels ; there the most remarkable traces of their culture are yet to be found, and therefore a brief description of the country may not be deemed out of place. The territory within the limits of which the Moors lived under the rule of Muley Aben Hassan was situate in the southern part of Spain, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, and defended on the land side by lofty and rugged mountains, sheltering deep, rich, and verdant valleys, where the sterility of the surrounding heights was repaid by the greatest fertility. The city of Granada lay in the centre of the kingdom, sheltered as it were in the lap of the Sierra Nevada, or chain of snowy mountains. It covered two lofty hills, and a deep valley that divides them, through which flows the River Darro. One of these hills was crowned by the royal palace and fortress of the Alhambra, capable of containing forty thousand men within its walls and towers. There is a Moorish tradition that the king who built this mighty pile was skilled in the occult sciences, and furnished himself with gold and silver for the purpose by means of alchemy. Certainly never was there an edifice reared in a superior style of barbaric magnificence; and the stranger who even at the present day wanders among its silent and deserted courts and ruined halls, gazes with astonishment at its gilded and fretted domes, and luxurious decorations, still retaining their brilliancy and beauty, in defiance of the ravages of time.*
M. Alex. de Laborde, who visited Spain about the beginning of the present century, thus describes the Alhambra : “The external appearance of this palace is merely that of an old castle. It is built with large square pieces of freestone, and surrounded with strong walls flanked with large towers and bastions. We enter by a door made in a large square tower, formerly called the judgment-gate; it terminates in a point, over which is a key cut out in the marble, and a little higher a hand, meant as symbols by the Moors to signify that the enemy would take that palace when that hand took the key.
“ The first court is oblong, paved with white marble, and surrounded by a portico, the arches of which are supported by marble columns; the walls and vaults of this portico are covered with festoons, Mosaic and arabesque ornaments, painted and gilt, with stucco carving, very curiously done, interspersed with a great number of cartouches, filled with inscriptions, which are almost all of them passages from the Koran. In the middle of the court there is a long basin full of running water, deep enough to swim in, which was used as a bath by the persons attached to the service of the palace of the Moorish kings. It is bor. dered on every side with flower beds and orange walks.
“The court of the lions forms likewise an oblong area, one hundred feet by fifty. It is surrounded by a gallery supported by columns of white marble grouped two and two, and three and three, and of a singular taste, but carried up with wonderful lightness and grace. The walls are adorned with arabesque ornaments in stucco, painting, and gilding, finely executed. Two very elegant cupolas, from fifteen to sixteen feet every way, project in the interior at the two extremities of the area, over which are jets of water. There is a very large basin in the middle of the court, and over the middle of it a superb alabaster cupola, of six feet diameter; this is said to have been copied from the brazen sea of Solomon. It is borne by twelve marble lions, and has a smaller cupola over it, from the centre of which water gushed and ran over from one cistern to another till it fell into the large basin, forming several cascades, the last of which was increased by the sheets of clear water constantly pouring from the mouths of the lions.
“There is a multiplicity of apartments within ; the audience-halls, the apartments of the royal family, the king's baths, those of the queen, and those of their children; a music-room, the queen's dressing-room, and a variety of others. All the chambers have alcoves cooled by fountains, near which the beds are placed on tiled estrades. The music-room has four galleries, and an alabaster basin. In the queen's room there is a marble vessel, the tablet of which is pierced with an infinite number of
* Washington Irving: “Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada," chap. i.