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proudest trophies of her glory; and will be held up for ever as examples,

"Englishman may learn

that every
to do his duty."

JOHN MILTON.

THIS great poet, in many respects the successful rival of Homer and Virgil, was the son of a scrivener in Bread Street, London, where he was born, December 9, 1608. He was trained up with great care in virtue and piety from his infancy by his parents, who had a private tutor at home to instruct him in the first rudiments of learning; but he was put afterwards by them under the care of Mr. Alexander Gill, master of St. Paul's school. Here he applied with so much industry to his

learning, that he considerably impaired his constitution; but he made an extraordinary progress, and gave some early specimens of an admirable genius for poetry. At the age of seventeen he was admitted Sizar of Christ's College, in Cambridge, under the tuition of Mr. William Chappel. He neglected no part of academical learning; but his chief delight was in exercising and improving his poetical talents. His juvenile poems might serve as a sufficient proof of this assertion; but it gives a further satisfaction to hear him declare it particularly in this manner: "I had my time", says he, "as others have, who have good learning bestowed upon them, to be sent to those places where the opinion was it might be soonest attained, and as the manner is, was not unstudied in those

authors which are most commended: whereof some were grave orators and historians, whose matter methought I loved indeed; but as my age then was I understood them. Others were the smooth elegiac poets, whereof the schools are not scarce, whom both for the pleasing sound of their numerous writings, which in imitation I found not easy, and most agrecable to nature's part in me; and for their matter, which what it is there be few who know not, I was so allured to read, that no recreation came to be better welcomed."

In 1628, he took his degree of bachelor of arts, the exercise for which he performed with great applause. It was the design of his father that he should enter into holy orders, and he had no other intention himself till af

ter this time, when his ardent love of
the muses induced him to dedicate his
future life and labours entirely to the
service of poesy. One of his friends.
having written him a long letter, pres-
sing him to enter into the sacred mi-
nistry, he replied in an epistle equally
long, modestly excusing himself, on
account of the great weight of the
office, and his devotedness to a se-
dentary life.
This letter contains a
neat sonnet, which, as affording a cor-
rect picture of his person and mind at
that period, we shall transcribe:

How soon bath time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolne on his wing my three-and-twentieth yeare!
My hasting days fly on with full careere,
But my late spring no bud or blossom sheweth.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
That I to manhood am arriv'd so neare,
And inward ripeness doth much lesse appear,
That some more tymely happie spirit indu'th;

Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow;
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
Towards which tyme leads me, and the will of
heav'n ;

All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-master's eye.

Hence it is evident that modesty and diffidence were the leading features of his mind; and with respect to his person, we learn from it that he was exceedingly handsome. The last particular is confirmed by the various pictures of him, which are extant; and it is asserted also, that when at Cambridge, he generally passed by the appellation of the Lady of Christ's College. But his mental endowments and virtues were infinitely superior to the elegance ofhis person.

In 1632, he took the degree of master of arts, and having spent as much

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