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An, Ætat. 12.


But JOHN, the subject of the prech sent essay, was the favorite of his faTis ther's hopes; who, to cultivate the

great genius which early display'd ic

self, was at the expense of a domestic is Tutor: whose care and capacity his PuY

pil hath gratefully celebrated in an excellent Latin Elegy; the fourth in

the present collection. At ei his initiation He is said to u have apply'd himself to Letters with

such indefatigable industry, that he rarely was prevaild with to quit his studies before mid-night: which not only made him frequently subject to severe pains in his head; but likewise occasion'd that weakness in his eyes, which terminated in a total privation of sight. From a domestic education He was remov'd to St. Paul's School, to complete his acquaintance with the Classics under the care of Dr. Gill: and after a short stay there, was transplanted to Christ's College in


A 4

An. Ætat.15.

Cambridge, where He di

stinguish'd himself in all kinds of Academical Exercises. Of this Society He continued a Member 'till He commenc'd Master of Arts : and then leaving the University, He return'd to his father; who had quitted the town, and liv'd at Horton in

Buckinghamshire ; where An. Ætat. 23.

He pursu'd his studies with unparalleld assiduity and success.

After some years spent in this ftudious retirement, his mother dy'd: and then He prevail'd with his father to gratify an inclination He had long entertain’d of seeing foreign countries. Sir Henry Wotton, at that time Pro

voft of Eaton College, gave

him a letter of advice for the direction of his travels: but by not observing * an excellent Maxim in it, He incur'd great danger by di* I pensieri stretti, ed il viso sciolto.


An. Ætat. 30.

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fputing against the superstition of the Church of Rome, within the verge of the Vatican. Having employ'd his curiosity about * two years in France and Italy, on the news of a civil war breaking out in England, He return'd; without taking a survey of Greece and Sicily, as at his setting out the scheme was projected. * At Paris the Lord Viscount Scudamore, Ambassador from King Charles I. at the Court of France, introduc'd him to the acquaintance of Grotius; who at that time was honor'd with the same character there by Christina Queen of Sweden. In Rome, Genoa, Florence, and other cities of Italy, He contracted a familiarity with those who were of highest reputation for wit and learning: se

* Et jam bis viridi surgebat culmus aristå,
Et totidem flavas numerabant horrea meses,
Nec dum aderat Thyrsis : paftorem scilicet illum
Dulcis amor Muse Thusca retinebat in urbe.

Epitaph. Dam. Defensio Secunda. Pag. 96. Fol,


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veral of whom gave him very obliging testimonies of their friendship, , and esteem, which are printed before his Latin Poems. The first of them was written by Manso Marquis of Villa, a great patron of Taso, by whom he is celebrated in his * Poem on the Conquest of Jerusalem. It is highly probable that to his conversation with this noble Neapolitan we owe the firft design which MILTON ceiv'd of writing an Epic Poem: and it appears by fome latin verses address’d to the Marquis with the title of Mansus, that He intended to fix on King Arthur for his heroe : but Arthur was reserv'd to another deftiny! Returning from his travels He

found England on the 4n. Ætat, 32.

point of being involv'd in blood and confusion. It seems wonder

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* Fra Cavalier' magnanimi, e cortesi, Refplende il Manso. ---

Lib, 20.


ful that one of so warm, and daring a spirit, as his certainly was, shou'd be restrain’d from the camp in those unnatural commotions. I suppose we may impute it wholly to the great deference He paid to paternal authority, that He retir’d to lodgings provided for him in the city: which being commodious for the reception of his sister's sons, and some other young Gentlemen, He undertook their education; and is said to have form’d them on the same plan which He afterwards publish'd, in a short tractate inscrib'd to his friend Mr. Hartlib.

In this philosophical course He continued without a wife to the year 1643 ; when He marry'd

An, Ætat. 95. Mary the Daughter of Richard Powell of Forest-bill in Oxfordfhire: a Gentleman of estate and reputation in that county; and of principles so very opposite to his Son-in-Law,


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