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trary in astronomy, than pleased the Dominican and Franciscan friars.
Having spent two months more in Florence, and visited Lucca, Bononia, and Ferrara, he arrived in safety at Venice. Here he spent one month; and shipping off all the books which he had collected in his travels, he came through Verona, Milan, crossed the Alps, and proceeded by the lake Leman to Geneva. In this city he contracted an intimate acquaintance with GIOVANNI DIODATI, a noted professor of divinity, and became well known to several other eminent men; particularly to the celebrated critic and antiquary, EZEKIEL SPANHEMIUS, to whom he wrote the seventeenth of his familiar letters. So leaving Geneva, and passing again through France, after one year and three months' travels, he returned safely to England, arriving at home about the time that king CHARLES the FIRST made his second expedition against the Scotch.
The reader will have observed the proofs of the high-minded Protestant, which have been briefly stated, in the conduct of this noble youth—for he was scarcely more, being now only thirtytwo years of age ;-and if the reader is well acquainted with the state of society at that time, as regarded the Established Church of England, when Laud* was persecuting the Puritans with
*“ Laud's superstition," says Mr. Wilson, Appendix, 517,
such relentless and unheard of cruelties, for daring to refuse worshipping the golden image of episcopacy which the king had set up;—if he is acquainted, too, with the numerous instances in which this Arminian prelate sympathised with Popery; and how fast the Church of England was going back towards Rome, both in her ceremonies and the new exposition of her articles;-if he know, also, how tyrannical were the decisions of the star-chamber and high-commission courts, in reference to any thing which approached to the assertion of either civil or religious liberty, he will then form some conception of the danger into which MILTON voluntarily ran, by returning at such a time to his beloved native country;
“ however offensive to common sense, was tolerable, when named with his cruelties. These chill the blood with horror. No man, possessed of the common sympathies of human nature, can read the sufferings of Prynne, Lilburn, Burton, Bastwick, and Leighton, without being satisfied that the monster's heart was steeled against every feeling of humanity. These severities occasioned numbers to leave the kingdom, until the king ordered that none should depart without the permission of this miscreant." This witness is true; and to this I add, what proved to be the most marvellous providence, that Laud prevented Oliver Cromwell, John Hampden, and other patriots from going to America, to which they had made up their minds, and had actually embarked, in order to transport themselves, but an order of council prevented them. The excellent Dr. Owen, too, would have gone, but for the same prevention.
indicating a spirit similar to that displayed by the brave men who perished at Thermopylæ and Marathon; or, like the few noble citizens of Calais, who devoted themselves to perish, in order to save their fellows from destruction! This was indeed to manifest the true Protestant, and the true patriot. Courage and philanthrophy indeed! which nothing short of “ being valiant for the truth,” even when fallen to the earth, and trampled beneath the feet of contemptuous men, could sustain: which the votaries of high church, with their half papistical dogmas, flitting in the sun of courtly prosperity, could no more have displayed, than they could have emulated his powerful intellect; to have even attempted which, would only have manifested their folly, and exposed themselves in their spleen to the fate of Esop's “Proud Frogs.”
Arriving in London, as soon as he had received the congratulations of his friends and acquaintances, he hired a handsome lodging in St. Bride's Court, Fleet Street, at the house of Mr. Russel, a tailor, which might be an asylum for himself, and a safe depository for his library, in those uncertain and troublesome times. He soon after removed to Aldersgate-street, at the end of the passage, where he also commenced his work of tuition.* Whilst absent from England, his dearest friend and school-fellow, CHARLES DIODATI,
* Toland is very angry that some persons, mean tutors in a university,” in order to reproach Milton, had called him a schoolmaster. Not to interrupt the course of my narrative, I throw the vindication of Milton, by his biographer, into a note :-“But to return to his lodgings, where we had left him. There, both to be used in the reading of the best authors, and to discharge his duty to his sister's sons, that were partly committed to his tuition, he undertook the care of their education, and instructed them in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and other oriental dialects : likewise in several parts of
had been removed by death; and for a long time he continued inconsolable on that account. This
the mathematics, in cosmography, history, and some modern languages, as French and Italian. Some gentlemen of his intimate friends, and to whom he could deny nothing, prevailed on him to impart the same benefits of learning to their sons; especially since the trouble (of teaching the Latin) was no more with many than with few. He that well knew the greatest persons in all ages to have been delighted with teaching others the principles of knowledge and virtue, easily complied; nor was his success unanswerable to the opinion which is generally entertained of his capacity. And not content to acquaint his disciples with those books that are commonly used in the schools, whereof several, no doubt, are excellent in their kind, though others are as trivial or impertinent, he made them, likewise, read in Latin the ancient authors concerning husbandry; as Cato, Varro, Columella, and Palladius; also Cornelius Celsus the physician; Pliny's Natural History; the architecture of Vitruvius; the stratagems of Frontinus ; and the philosophical poets, Lucretius and Manilius. To the usual Greek books, as Homer and Hesiod, he added Aratus, Dionysius Perigetes, Oppian, Quintus Calaber, Appolonius Rhodius, Plutarch, Xenophon, Ælian's Tactics, and the stratagems of Polyanus. It was this greatest sign of a good man in him, and the highest obligations he could lay upon his friends, without any sordid or mercenary purposes, that gave occasion to his adversaries with opprobiously terming him a schoolmaster,” &c. &c. It is humorous to find his high church, pamphleteering university opponents, fixing upon such a charge as a matter of reproach! One amuses oneself in thinking, how many there might have probably been of these “jolly, plump, well-fed city dogs," whose“ master fed them well, and brought the food himself, only on condition of their