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Sword that My Informer remembers, though Probably he did, at least 'twas his Custom not long before to wear one with a Small Silver-Hilt, and in Cold Weather a Grey Camblet Coat. his Band was Usually not of the Sort as That in the Print I have given, That is, as my Original is, but like What are in the Common Prints of him, the Band usually wore at That time; to have a more Exact Idea of his Figure, let it be remembred that the Fashion of the Coat Then was not Much Unlike what the Quakers Wear Now.
I have heard many Years Since that he Us’d to Sit in a Grey Coarse Cloath Coat at the Door of his House, near Bun-bill Fields Without Moor-gate, in Warm Sunny Weather to Enjoy the Fresh Air, and So, as well as in his Room, receiv'd the Visits of People of Distinguish'd Parts, as well as Quality. and very Lately I had the Good Fortune to have Another Picture of him from an Ancient Clergy-man in Dorsetsbire, 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 a 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 exprest Himself to This Purpose; that was he Free from
the Pain This gave him, his Blindness would be Tolerable.
Sufficient Care had not been taken of This Body, he had a Partiality for his Mind; but All that Temperance, Chastity, and every Wholesom Vertue could do, was done ; Nor did he forbear Sometimes to Walk and Use Exercise, as himself says, Eleg. I. 50. VII. 51. and in a Passage in his Apol. for Smettymnuus which will be Quoted Anon on Another Occasion. but This was not Enough to Support him Under that Intense Study and Application which he took to be his Portion in This Life. He lov'd the Country, but was little There. nor do we hear any thing of his Riding, Hunting, Dancing, &c. When he was Young he learnt to Fence, probably as a Gentlemanly Accomplishment, and that he might be Able to do Himself Right in Case of an Affront, which he wanted not Courage nor Will for, as Himself intimates, though it does not appear he ever made This Use of his Skill. after he was Blind he us'd a Swing for Exercise.
Musick he Lov'd Extreamly, and Understood Well. 'tis said he Compos’d, though nothing of That has been brought down to Us. he diverted Himself with Performing, which they say he did Well on the Organ and Bas-Viol. and This was a great Relief to him after he had lost his Sight.
in relation to his Love of Musick, and the
This little Hint puts me in Mind to Con-
written when he was about 19) he fell in
but he was Mistaken, as appears by three
and five Italian Sonnets, and a Canzona that seem to be for the same Lady. He was not Insensible of Beauty ; See his First Latin Elegy. but let it be remember'd This was when he was a Young Man. We hear nothing of This After his return from Italy.
When he was a Youth he Sometimes read Romances; and, as Good Minds Naturally will, turn'd All to his Advantage SO that even Those Books, which to Many Others have been the Fuel of Wantonness, and Loose Living, I cannot think how, Unless by Divine Indulgence, prov’d to Me so many Incitements
, as you have beard, to the Love and feadfast Observation of That Vertue which abhors the Society of Bordelloes. Apol
. for Smečtymnuus. in This Spring of Life he also Sometimes saw a Play, and visited Publick Walks, and Such Kind of Diversions. He was a Chearfull Companion; but no Joker : his Converfation was Lively, but with Dignity. and as he was whilst Young, he Continu'd to be in his more Advanc'd Age. in a Latin Letter (his 2 ist, in the Year 1656) he thus Writes to Emeric Bigot. It was extreamly Gratefull to Me that
you thought Me Worthy to be visited preferably to Others when you came into England, and’tis Atill more gratefull that you Nou Salute me with Letters : for you came to me perhaps only led ty the Opinion of the World, bilt your Returning by Letter is the result of your Own fudgmeizt,
or at least Benevolence. of which I find that I bave great reason to Congratulate my Self; for Many that have been very Conhderable in their Writings, have had nothing but wkat was Low and Vulgar in their Private Conversation. for Me, if I can obtain, that having Written somthing perhaps Tolerable, I may not appear to be Unequal in my Mind and Manners, I mall add a Weight to iny Writings, and fall gain still more Honour and Praise from Them, (if indeed they do Deserve Any) when it shall be seen that it has been drawn, not more from the Most Celebrated Authors, than, Pure, and Sincere from the Intimate Sense of my Own Mind, and very Soul.
He had a Competent Knowledge in the Mathematicks; but doubtless he never design'd to persue That Science through All its Branches, nor to their Utmost Extent.
Whatever he Undertook was Dispatch'd as foon as possible. He was Always in Hast. Cosa Fatta Capo hà is an old Florentine Proverb. a thing Done has a Head; the Finishing Stroke is the principal One, the Work is Nothing without it. For Me, (says he in a Letter to Diodatus, Ep. 6. 1637) Such is the Impetuosity of My Temper, that no Delay, no Quiet, no Different Care and Tisought of Almoft Any thing Elli, can plop me 'till I come to my Journey's End, and finish the Present Study to the Utmost I am Able. This Last Clause