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favourable to literary attention. Here he gave the example to his young students of close application with abstinent diet; and the only peculiar indulgence, which he allowed himself, was that of a day of temperate festivity once in three weeks or a month. This day, which his nephew, adopting his uncle's college expression, calls “ a gaudy day,”" was allotted to the society of some young and gay friends. Of these, Philips names Mr. Alphry and Mr. Millar, and remarks that " they were the beaux of those times; but that they were nothing near so bad as those now a days.” The gay men of the puritan age were indeed mere babies in excess to the revellers of the succeeding one; when the profligacy of a shameless court, propagated rapidly and strongly through the country, had nearly driven modesty and temperance from Britain.
Abstinence in diet was one of Milton's favourite virtues; which he practised invariably through life, and availed himself of every opportunity to recommend in his writings. In his second beautiful elegy to his
in the northern suburbs. Our author's house in Petty France was a garden-house.
Philips's Life of Milton, xxi.-A gaudy day at Cambridge is a day on wbich the commons are increased.
friend, Deodati, he admits of the use of wine and good cheer to the lyric and the elegiac poet; but to the lofty and ambitious epic, who requires the higher and more continued exertion of the more comprehensive intellect, he will allow only the diet of Pythago
I will give the whole passage to which I refer; and I persuade myself that the reader will not regard it as too long in consequence not only of its own beauty, but of that of the translation with which the kindness of my friend, the Rev. Francis Wrangham, has enabled me to accompany it; a translation, which unites the rare qualities of fidelity and elegance, of concise yet ornamented diction.
Quid quereris refugam vino dapibusq; poesin?
Carmen amat Bacchum, carmina Bacchus amat.
Atq; hederam Jauro præposuisse suæ.
Mista Thyoneo turba novena choro.
Non illic epulæ, non sata vitis erat.
Cantavit brevibus Teïa Musa modis?
Et redolet sumptum pagina quæq; merum;
Et volat Eleo pulvere fuscus eques.
Dulce canit Glyceram, flavicomamq; Chloen.
Mentis alit vires, ingeniumq; fovet.
Massica fecundam despumant pocula venam,
Fundis et ex ipso condita metra cado. Addimus his artes, fusumque per intima Phæbum
Corda; favent uni Bacchus, Apollo, Ceres. Scilicet haud mirum, tam dulcia carmina per te,
Numine composito, tres peperisse Deos. Nunc quoque Thressa tibi cælato barbitos auro
Insonat argutâ molliter icta manu: Auditurque chelys suspensa tapetia circum,
Virgineos tremulâ quæ regat arte pedes. Illa tuas saltem teneant spectacula Musas,
Et revocent, quantum crapula pellit iners.
Implet odoratos festa chorea tholos,
Quale repentinus permeat ossa calor;
Irruet in totos lapsa Thalia sinus.
Et vocat ad numeros quemlibet illa suos.
Et cum purpureâ matre tenellus Amor.
Sæpius et veteri commaduisse mero.
Heroasque pios, semideosque duces;
Nunc latrata fero regna profunda cane;
Vivat, et innocuos præbeat herba cibos: Stet prope fagineo pellucida lympha catillo,
Sobriaque è puro pocula fonte bibat.
Et rigidi mores, et sine labe manus.
Surgis, ad infensos augur iture Deos.
Lumina Tiresian, Ogygiumque Linon;
Et lare devoto profugum Calchanta, senemque
Orpheon,o edomitis sola per antra feris.
Dulichium vexit per freta longa virum;
Et vada fæmineis insidiosa sonis;
Dicitur umbrarum detinuisse greges.
Spirat et occultum pectus et ora Jovem,
Then why of wine's enfeebling cup complain?
• Milton and Virgil disagree on the subject of Orpheus's. age.
Spreto Ciconum quo munere matres
Georg. lib. iv. 522.
But each poet had a view perhaps in this instance, to his own particular purpose. Milton wished to insinuate that his diet had a tendency to promote longevity; and Virgil was aware that he could not with any probability make the women of Thrace so outrageous with an old man for his neglect of them as to tear him to pieces.
Whether o'erwhelm'd the groaning axle lie,
But he, whose verse records the battle's roar,