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moderate stature, not particularly slender, and fo far endued with strength and spirit, that as he always
nisi immanis ac barbarus fecisset, formam mihi aç çæcitatem objectat.
Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum. Nunquam exiftimabam quidem fore, ut de forma, cum Cyclope certamen mihi effet ; verum ftatim fe revocat. « Quanquam nec ingens, quo nihil eft exilius exsanguius contractius.” Tametli virum nihil attinet de forma dicere, tandem quando hic quoque est unde gratias Deo agam et mendaces redarguam ne quis (quod Hispanorum vulgus de hereticis, quos vocant, plus nimio facerdotibus fuis credulum opinatur) me forte cynocephalum quempiam aut rhinocerota effe putet, dicam. Deformis quidem a nemine quod fciam, qui modo me vidit sum unquam habitas ; formosus necne minus laboro; ftatura fateor non fum procera ; sed quæ, mediocri tamen quam parvæ proprior fit; fed quid fi parva, qua et fummi fæpe tum pace tum bello viri fuere, quanquam parva cur dicitur, quæ ad virtutem fatis magna eft ? Sed neque exilis admodum eo fane animo iifque viribus ut cum ætas vitæque ratio fic ferebat, nec ferrum tractare, nec ftringere quotidiano ufu exercitatus nescirem ; eo accinctus ut plerumque eram cuivis vel multo robuftiori exæquatum me putabam, fecurus quid mihi quis injuriæ vir viro inferre poffet. Idem hodie animus, eædem vires, oculi non iidem ; ita tamen extrinfecus illæsi, ita fine nube clari ac lucidi, ut eorum qui acutiffimum cernunt; in hac folum parte, memet invito, simulator sum. In vultu quo “ nihil ex
sanguius” effe dixit, is manet etiamnum color exsangui et pallenti pianè contrarius, ut quadragenario major vix fit cui non denis prope annis videar natu minor ; neque corpore contracto
In his ego fi ulla ex parte mentior multis millibus popularium meorum qui de facie me norunt, exteris etiam non paucis, ridiculus meritò fim : fin ifte in re minimè necessariâ tam impudenter gratuito mendax comperietur poteritis de reliquo eandem conjecturam facere.' Atque haec de forma mea vel coactus.
wore a sword, he wanted not, in his healthy season of life, either skill or courage to use it; having practised fencing with great assiduity, he considered himself as a match for any antagonist, however superior to him in muscular force; his countenance the fays) was so far from being bloodless, that when turned of forty he was generally allowed to have the appearance of being ten years younger ;, even his
eyes (he adds) though utterly deprived of fight, did not betray their imperfection, but on the contrary appeared as fpeckless and as lucid as if his powers of vision had been peculiarly acute—“ In “ this article alone” (says Milton) “ and much “ against my will, I am an hypocrite."
Such is the interesting portrait, which this great writer has left us of himself. Those who had the happiness of knowing him personally; speak in the highest terms even of his personal endow, ments, and feem to have regarded him as a model of manly grace and dignity in his figure and de portment.
“ His harmonical and ingenious foul" (says Au. brey) “ dwelt in a beautiful and well proportioned 56 body.”
« In toto nusquam corpore menda fuit."
His hair was a light brown, his eyes dark grey, and his complexion so fair, that at college, according to his own expression, he was styled “ The Lady,” an appellation which he could not relish; but he consoled himself under absurd raillery on the delicacy
of his person, by recollecting that similar raillery had been lavished on those manly and eminent cha. racters of the ancient world, Demofthenes and Hortenfius. His general appearance approached not in any degree to effeminacy. “ His deportment” (says Anthony Wood) “ was affable, and his gait “ erect and manly, bespeaking courage and uncc dauntedness.” Richardson, whó laboured with affectionate enthusiasm to acquire and communicate all possible information concerning the person and manners of Milton, has left the two following fketches of his figure at an advanced period of life.
“ An ancient clergyman of Dorsetshire (Dr. Wright) found John Milton in a small chamber hung with rusty green, fitting in an elbow chair, and dressed neatly in black, pale but not cadave. rous, his hands and fingers gouty and with chalk stones.'
“ He used also to fit, in a grey coarse cloth coat, at the door of his house near Bunhill-fields, in warm sunny weather, to enjoy the fresh air, and so, as well as in his room, received the visits of people of dif. tinguished parts as well as quality.” It is probable, that Milton, in his youth, was, in some measure, indebted to the engaging graces of his person for that early introduction into the politest society, both in England and abroad, which improved the natural sweetness of his character (so visible in all his genuine portraits) and led him to unite with
profound erudition, and with the sublimest talents, an endearing and cheerful delicacy of manners, very
farely attained by men, whose application to study is continual and intense.
The enemies of Milton indeed (and his late biographer I must reluctantly include under that defcription) have laboured to fix upon him a fictitious and most unamiable character of austerity and harshness. What we know (says Johnson) of Milton's 66 character in domestic relations is, that he was “ severe and arbitrary. His family consisted of
women, and there appears in his books fome" thing like a Turkish contempt of females, as sub
ordinate and inferior beings; that his own daugh36 ters might not break the ranks, he suffered them 66 to be depressed by a mean and penurious educati$6 on. He thought woman made only for obedience, 6 and man for rebellion.” This is assuredly the intemperate language of hatred, and very far from being consonant to truth.
As it was thought a sufficient defence of Sophocles; when he was barbarously accused of mental imbecility by his unnatural children, to read a portion of his recent dramatic works, so, I am confident, the citation of a few verses from our English bard may be enough to clear him from a charge equally groundlefs, and almost as ungenerous.
No impartial reader of genuine sensibility will deem it possible, that the poet could have entertain ed a Turkish contempt of females, who has thus 'delineated woman :
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Authority and reafon on her wait,
A description so complete could arise only from such exquisite feelings in the poet, as insured to every deserving female his tenderest regard. This argument might be still more enforced by a passage in the speech of Raphael ; but the preceding verses are, I truft, fufficient to counteract the uncandid attempt of the acrimonious biographer to prejudice the faireft part of the creation against a poet, who has surpassed his peers in delineating their charms, whose poetry, a more enchanting mirror than the lake that he describes in Paradise, represents their mental united to their personal graces, and exhibits in perfection all the loveliness of woman.
As to Milton's depressing his daughters by a mean and penurious education, it is a calumny resting only on a report, that he would not allow them the advantage of learning to write. This is evidently false, fince Aubrey, who was personally acquainted with the poet, and who had probably consulted his widow in regard to many particulars of his life, expressly affirms, that his youngest daughter was his amanuensis; a circumstance of which my friend Romney has happily availed himself to decorate the folio edition of this life with a production of his pencil. The youngest daughter of Mil. ton had the most frequent opportunities of know