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thows also his Exactness and Care, without Which That Eagerness to have Done is a Vice.
Temperance was with Him a Favourite Vertue; See Parad. Loft V. 5. XI. 472, 515, 530,
&c. and when he was Young (21) he Writes Finely on this Subject to his Friend Diodatus Eleg. vi. Here, after he had been Praising several of the Ancient Poets on Account of This Vertue, he fays,
Diis etenim Sacer, &c. Such Bards belong to Heav’n, by Heav'nare Bleft, They breathe Great Jove who dwells within their
Breaft. Milton was not Nice, but took what was Set before him. All kinds of Strong Liquors he Hated. Let Those Ask Help from Them who want such Assistance. His Muse needed them not.
His Celestial Patroness deign'd her Nightly Visitation Unimplor'd, and Dictated to him Slumb’ring, or Inspired Easy his Unpremeditated Verse
. as Parad. Loft And he Slept but because he Must. He set out in Life with a Disregard to Riches, or Advancement in the World. the Enriching and Adorning of his Mind; the Acquiring, Accumulating and Storing Up Great, Lovely, andUsefull Ideas,and that not for Himself Only, but for the Publick Good, was His Scheme, the Business He Conceiv'd was Appointed for Him in This Life; That he in Fact Executed This Project with Great Fervour will
be seen in its Place. Here I shall give you
which Poor and Low-pitch'd Defres, if they do but mix with those other Heavenly Intentions that draw a Man to this Study, it is justly expected that they
should bring forth a Base-born Ijue of Divinity, (That is the Subject he is upon in particular) like that of those imperfect and Putrid Creatures that receive a Crawling Life from two Most Unlike Procreants, the Sun and Mudd. and not only in these his Younger Years, but all his Life after, he shew'd he bore a Generous Mind above the Peasantly Regard of Wages and Hire. if he had Recompences of That kind for his Ser
vices to the Publick, they were not the End he propos'd in Serving, for he was a Cone temner of Filthy Lucre. For This, (faith he in his A pology for Smettymnuus) I cannot cmit without Ingratitude to that Providence Above, who hath ever bred me up in Plenty, although my Life hath not been Unexpenfive in Learning and Voyaging About ; so long as it fhall Please Him to lend me what he bath Hitherto thought good, which is enough to serve me in all Honest and Liberal Occasions, and Somthing Over befides, I were unthankful to that higheft Bounty, if I should make my self so Poor as to follicit Needily any such kind of Rich Hopes as this Fortune-teller dreams of. It is to be Noted he was Yet Unmarried.
His Early Application to Study, and Success in it, Himself gives Us an Account of in his Introductory Discourse to his Second Book of the Razlon of Church Government, after having Petition'd to the Gentler Sort that it might not be Envy to him, Venturing to Divulge Unusual things of Himself, he says, After I had from my First Years, by the Ceaseless Diligence and Care of my Father (whom God Recompence) been Exercis’d to the Tongues, and Some Sciences, as my Age would
suffer, by Sundry Masters and Teachers both at Home and at the Schools
, it was found that whether Ought was Impos'd me by Them that had the Overlooking, or betaken to of my Own Choice in English, or other Tongue, Profing or Verfing, but Chiefly This Latter, the
Style by certain Vital Signs it had, was likely to Live. Much to the fame Purpose he says in his Apology for Smečtymnuus, Sect. 6. — For This good hap I had from a Carefull Education, to be Inur'd and Season'd Betimes with the Best and Elegantest Authors of the Learned Tongues, and thereto brought
an Ear that could measure a just Cadence, and Scan without Articulating ; rather Nice and Humorous in what was Tolerable than Patient to read every Drawling Versifier.
He Acquir'd Betimes an Uncommon Stock of Learning, and all Those Languages in which the Variety and Sublimity of Humane Knowledge is Treasur'd up for Those who can Unlock the Cabinet, and know how to Judge, and make Use of what they find. He understood French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Greek and Hebrew; their Prose, and Poetick Dialects, for in all Languages These are Different. His Own Tongue, as Us’d by Him is Poetick English, 'tis Enrich'd and Strengthen’d with Attick and Roman Spoils, in Words, Phrases, and Idiom; nor has he Forgot to Restore Some Beauties which had been Long Neglected; So that His English is Worthy to be Learnt,and has been Endeavour'd to be Imitated, but His is Still his Own. Nor had he only Learnt these Languages So as to Construe them, and as a Scholar, but as a Master; and such a One as perceiv'd the Force, the Beauty, and Extent of a Word or Phrase, so as to take from Thence Ideas which Lexicographers and Grammarians are often Strangers to; his Latin in Particular is on all hands Allow'd to be like That of the Augustan Age: and So remarkable was he for his Knowledge in the Italian Tongue that the Crusca (an Academy Set up for the Reducing, and keeping the Florentine Language to its First Purity) made no Scruple to Consult Him, Whom they had receiv'd an Academician, on Difficult and Controverted Points. and indeed he had most Diligently read All their Ancient as well as their Modern Classick Poets, Historians, and Orators. See Francini's fine Panegyrick Ode in Honour of Milton Prefix'd to the Juvenile Latin Poems, and Milton's Own Letter to Buonmatteo, the 8th of his Latin Epistles. ’twas Written from Florence, in 1638. I will give a small Part of it.----for my Part I can Jay that my Lips are not only Moisten'd with those two Languages [Greek and Latin) but As much as my Age Allow'd, bave drank as Large Cups of it as any One; Yet notwithstanding I come with Joy and Delight to your Dante and Petrarch: nor bas even Attic Athens itself fo beld me upon the Shoar of ber clear Ilyfius, nor That Dear Old Rome upon the Banks of Tyber, but that I often love to Visit your Arno; and the Hills of Fesole. See also his Latin Letter to his Father.