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terval till seven o'clock in private meditation. From seven till twelve, he either listened while some author was read to him, or dictated as some friendly hand supplied him with its pen. At twelve commenced his hour of exercise which, before his blindness, was commonly passed in walking, and afterwards, for the most part, in the swing. His early and frugal dinner succeeded; and when it was finished he resigned himself to the recreation of music, by which he found his mind at once gratified and restored. Of music he was particularly fond, and both with its science and its practice he was more
"In relation to his love of music," says Richardson, "and the effect it had upon his mind, I remember a story I had from a friend, I was happy in for many years; and who loved to talk of Milton, as he often did. Milton hearing a lady sing finely,
Now will I swear,' says he, ears were now eyes to him."
In his Tractate on Education, as we have seen, Milton advises, for the students, this recreation of music after meals, as peculiarly salutary to the mind: and Mr. Hayley reminds me that the same indulgence has been recommended by Sir William Jones, from his own experience, as favourable to mental exertion, and producing the good effects without any of the disadvantages of sleep.
I feel gratified by any opportunity of bringing forward the name of the great and admirable SIR WILLIAM JONES; whose life, like that of Milton, was one continued and ardent struggle for the acquisition of knowledge; and who sought to advance all his species to that perfection, after which he himself was perpetually straining.
this lady is handsome.' His Rich. Remarks on Milton, p. vi.
than superficially acquainted. He could compose, as Richardson says that it was reported; and with his voice, which was delicately sweet and tuneable, he would frequently accom pany the instruments, on which he played, the bass viol, or the organ. His musical taste had, beyond question, been fostered by his father; and the great author's love of this delightful art is discovered in every part of his writings, where its intimation can in any way be made compatible with his subject.
From his music he returned, with fresh vigour, to the exercise of his intellect, to his books or his composition. At six he ad mitted the visits of his friends: he took his abstemious supper at eight; and at nine, having smoked a pipe and drunk a glass of water, he retired, as we have before observed, to his repose.
It is not pretended that this precise and uniform distribution of the day could at all times be maintained without interruption. When he was in office, many of his four and twenty hours were unquestionably engaged by business; and, as a table was allowed to him by government for the entertainment of
"He (Milton) had a delicate tuneable voice," says an excellent ear, could play on the organ," &c. Fasti Oxon.
learned foreigners, the scheme of life, which we have noticed, could, at this juncture, have been very imperfectly followed. During the fourteen years, which intervened between his dismission from office and his death, the arrangement of his time would experience little disturbance; though his solitude was far from complete, and he was still followed by the attentions of the world.
When he was, in a great degree, deserted by his thankless countrymen, he continued to be gratified with the notices of illustrious strangers; to whom, on their visits to our island, he still formed the principal object of curiosity and regard." Under the usurpation of Cromwell, many had been allured from the continent by the sole wish of seeing the
"Several of these visits of persons, eminent for their talents or their quality, he is said to have received, as he was sitting before his door, in a grey coat of coarse cloth, in warm sultry weather to enjoy the fresh air: and Richardson, who relates this circumstance, proceeds to tell us." And very lately I had the good fortune to have another picture of him from an ancient clergyman in Dorsetshire, Dr. Wright. He found him in a small house, he thinks but one room on a floor; in that, up one pair of stairs, which was hung with rusty green, he found John Milton, sitting in an elbow chair, black cloaths, and neat enough, pale but not cadaverous, his hands and fingers gouty, and with chalk stones. Among other discourse he expressed himself to this purpose, that was he free from the pain this gave him, his blindness would be tolerable." Richard. Remarks, &c. p. iv.
two extraordinary, but unequal and dissi milar characters who held, with so much ability and effect, the sceptre and the Britain; and some, as Wood assures us, had visited, with a feeling almost of religious veneration, the house in Bread Street, which had been hallowed as it were, by the birth of the renowned literary defender of the republic.*
Of this great man the manners are universally allowed to have been affable and graceful, the conversation, chearful, instructive and engaging. In his whole deportment, however, there was visible a certain dignity of mind; and a something of conscious superiority, which could not, at all times, be suppressed or wholly withdrawn from observation. His temper was grave, without any taint of melancholy: sanguine
x Fasti Oxon. p. 266.
His youngest daughter, Deborah, (Mrs. Clark,) when speaking of him, many years after his death, to the numerous enquirers, whom his fame brought to her, affirmed that "he was delightful company; the life of the conversation, not only on account of his flow of subject but of his unaffected cheerfulness and civility."* Francis Junius, the author of De Picturâ Veterum, says, as we have already noticed,+ that Milton, with whom he was intimate, was affable and polite; and N.Heinsius mentions the general report of his being a man of a mild and courteous disposition. "Virum esse miti comique ingenio, aiunt." ‡
and bold in the conception of his purposes, impetuous yet persevering in their execution. Ardent in kindness and vehement in resentment, he was inflexible only in the former; and his friendships were permanent while his enmities were transitory. Of the facility and the heartiness with which he could forgive, his conduct to the Powells exhibits a memorable instance; and no circumstance of his life can be adduced to convict him of that severity and moroseness of which he has been rashly or maliciously accused. The brutal ferocity of his political assailants offers a full justification of the means which he employed in his defence; and if his weapons were more sharp or were wielded by a more vigorous arm, their's were aimed with all the deadliness and were infected with all the venom which their inferior powers could supply. In a contest with the insolent Salmasius, with the dastardly and scurrilous Du Moulin, the common war of polemics "seemed but a civil game," and the man who, involved in it, could content himself with the arms of the legitimate controversy of the present day, might well be regarded as not less ignorant of his opponents, than wanting to himself and to his cause.
In his domestic intercourse, Milton has