« EdellinenJatka »
And his method of education was as much above the pedantry and jargon of the common schools, as his genius was superior to that of a common schoolmaster. One of his nephews has given us an account of the many authors both Latin and Greek, which (besides those usually read in the schools) thro his excellent judgment and way of teaching were run over within no greater compass of time, than from ten to fifteen or sixteen years of age. Of the Latin the four authors concerning husbandry, Cato, Varro, Columella, and Palladius, Cornelius Celsus the physician, a great part of Pliny's Natural History, the Architecture of Vitruvius, the Stratagems of Frontinys, and the philosophical poets Lucretius and Manilius. Of the Greek Hefiod, Aratus's Phæno. mena and Diofemeia, Dionysius Afer de fitu orbis, Oppian's Cynegetics and Halicutics, Quintus Cala ber's poem of the Trojan war continued from Homer, Apollonius Rhodius's Argonautics, and in profe Plutarch's Placita philosophorum, and of the educa tion of children, Xenophon’s Cyropædia and Anabasis, Ælian's Tactics, and the Stratagems of Por lyænus. Nor did this application to the Greek and Latin tongues hinder the attaining to the chief oriental languages, the Hebrew, Chaldee and Syriac, fo far as to go thro' the Pentateuch or five books of Moses in Hebrew, to make a good entrance into the Targum or Chaldee paraphrase, and to under, stand several chapters of St. Matthew in the Syriac Testament; besides the modern languages, Italian and French, and a competent knowledge of the mathematics and astronomy. The Sunday's exercise for his pupils was for the most part to read a chapter
of the Greek Teftament, and to hear his learned exposition of it. The next work after this was to write from his dictation some part of a system of divinity, which he had collected from the ableft divines, who had written upon that subject. Such were his academic institutions; and thus by teaching others he in some measure inlarged his own knowledge, and having the reading of so many
authors as it were by proxy, he might possibly have preserved his fight, if he had not morcover been perpetually busied in reading or writing fomething himself. It was certainly a very recluse and studious life, that both he and his pupils led; but the young men of that age were of a different turn from those of the present ; and he himself gave an example to those under him of hard ftudy and spare diet; only now and then, once in three weeks or a month, he made a gawdy day with fome young gentlemen of his acquaintance, the chief of whom, fays Mr. Philips, were Mr. Alphry and Mr. Miller, both of Gray's-Inn, and two of the greatest beaus of those times.
But he was not so fond of this academical life, as to be an indifferent spectator of what was acted upon the public stage of the world. The nation was now in a great ferment in 1641, and the clamor run high against the bishops, when he joined loudly in the cry, to help the puritan ministers, (as he says himself in his second Defense) they being inferior to the bishops in learning and eloquence; and published his two books, Of Reformation in England, written to a friend. About the same time certain ministers having published a treatise against episcopacy,
in answer to the Humble Remonstrance of Dr. Je-
he married; and indeed his family was now growing so numerous, that it wanted a mistress at the head of
it. His father, who had lived with his younger fon at Reading, was, upon the taking of that place by the forces under the Earl of Essex, necessitated to come and live in London with this his elder son, with whom he continued in tranquillity and devotion to his dying day. Some addition too was to be made to the number of his pupils. But before his father or his new pupils were come, he took a journey in the Whitsuntide vacation, and after a month's absence returned with a wife, Mary the eldest daughter of Mr. Richard Powell, of Foresthill near Shotover in Oxfordshire, a justice of the
peace, and a gentleman of good repute and figure in that country. But she had not cohabited with her husband above a month, before she was earnestly solicited by her relations to come and spend the remaining part of the summer with them in the country. If it was not at her instigation that her friends made this request, yet at least it was agreeable to her inclination; and she obtained her husband's consent upon a promise of returning at Michaelmas. And in the mean while his studies went on very vigoroully; and his chief diversion, after the business of the day, was now and then in an evening to visit the Lady Margaret Lee, daughter of the Earl of Marlborough, Lord High Treasurer of England, and President of the Privy Council to King James I. This Lady, being a woman of excellent wit and understanding, had a particular honor for our author, and took great delight in his conversation ; as likewise did her husband' Captain Hobson, a very accomplished gentleman. And what a regard Milton again had for her, he has left upon
record in a sonnet to her praise, extant among his other poems.
Michaelmas was now come, but he heard nothing of his wife's return. He wrote to her, but received no answer. He wrote again letter after letter, but received no answer to any of them. He then difpatched a messenger with a letter, desiring her to return; but she positively refused, and dismiffed the meffenger with contempt. Whether it was, that fhe had conceived any dislike to her husband's perfon or humor ; or whether the could not conform to his retired and philofophical manner of life, having been accustomed to a house of much gaiety and company; or whether being of a family strongly attached to the royal cause, the could not bear her husband's republican principles; or whether the was overpersuaded by her relations, who possibly might repent of having matched the eldest daughter of the family to a man so distinguished for taking the con trary party, the King's head-quarters being in their neighbourhood at Oxford, and his Majesty having now some fairer profpect of success; whether any or all of these were the reasons of this extraordinary behaviour; however it was, it fo highly incensed her husband, that he thought it would be difhonorable ever to receive her again after such a repulse, and he determined to repudiate her as the had in effect repudiated him, and to consider her no longer as his wife. And to fortify this his refolution, and at the fame time to justify it to the world, he wrote the Doctrin and Disciplin of Divorce, wherein he endevors to prove, that indisposition, unfitness, or contrariety of mind, proceeding from any