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He had likewise a daughter Anne, whom he married with a considerable fortune to Edward Philips, who came from Shrewsbury, and rose in the Crownoffice to be secondary: by him she had two sons, John and Edward, who were educated, by the poet, and from whom is derived the only authentick account of his domestick manners.
John, the poet, was born in his father's house, at «the Spread-Eagle in Bread-street, Dec. 9, 1608, between fix and seven in the morning. His father appears to have been very solicitous about his education ; for he was in, structed at first by private tuition under the care of Thomas Young, who was. afterwards, chaplain to the English mer
chants at Hamburgh; and of whom we have reason to think well, since his scholar confidered hiin as worthy of an epistolary Elegy.
He was then sent to St. Paul's School, under the care of Mr. Gill; and removed, in the beginning of his fixteenth year, to Christ's College in Cambridge, where he entered a fizer, Feb. 12, 1624.
IC "He was at this time eminently skilled in the Latin tongue; and lie himself, by annexing the dates to his first compositions, a boast of which the learned Politian had given him an example, seems to commend the earliness of his own proficiency to the notice of posterity. But the products of his vernid 29
fertility' have been surpassed by many, and particularly by' his contemporary Cowley. Of the powers of the mind it is difficult to form an estimate : many have excelled Milton in their first efsays, who never rose to works like Paradise Loft.
At fifteen, a date which he uses till he is fixteen, he translated or versified two 'Psalms, 114 and 136, which he thought worthy of the publick eye; but they raise no great expectations : they would in any numerous school have ob. tained praise, but not excited wonder.
Many of his Elegies, appear to have been written in his cighteenth year,' by which it appears that he had then read the Roman authors with very nice discernment. I once heard Mr. Hampton, the translator of Polybius, reinark what I think is true, that Milton was the first Englishman who, after the revival of letters, wrote Latin yerses with classick elegance. If any exceptions can be made, they are very few : Haddon and Ascham, the pride of Elizabeth's reign, however they may have succeeded in prose, no sooner attempt verses than they provoke derifion. If wc produced any thing worthy of notice before the elegies of Milton, it was perhaps Alablajter's Roxana.
Of the exercises which the rules of the University required, some were published by him in his maturer years. They. had beenundoubtedly applauded; forthey b 4
were such as few can perform: yet there is reason to suspect'that he was regarded in his college with no great fondness. That he obtained no fellowfhip is certain; but the unkindness with which he was treated was not merely negative. I am ashamed to relate what I fear is true, that Milton was the last student in either university that suffered the publick indignity of corporal correction.
It was, in the violence of controverfial hoftility, objected to him, that he was expelled : this he fteadily denies, and it was apparently not true ; but it fçems plain from his own verses to Dicdati, that he had incurred Rustication ; a temporary dismiffion into the country, with perhaps the loss of a term: