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chants at Hamburgh; and of whom we have reason to think well, fince his fcholar confidered him as worthy of an epiftolary Elegy.

He was then fent to St. Paul's School, under the care of Mr. Gill; and removed, in the beginning of his fixteenth year, to Chrift's College in Cambridge, where he entered a fizer, Feb. 12, 1624. T

He was at this time eminently skilled in the Latin tongue; and he himself, by annexing the dates to his firft compofitions, a boaft of which the learned Politian had given him an example, feems to commend the earlinefs of his own proficiency to the notice of pofterity. But the products of his vernil


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fertility have been furpaffed by many, and particularly by his contemporary Cowley. Of the powers of the mind it is difficult to form an eftimate: many have excelled Milton in their firft effays, who never rofe to works like Paradife Loft

At fifteen, a date which he uses till he is fixteen, he tranflated or verfified two Pfalms, 114 and 136, which he thought worthy of the publick eye; but they raife no great expectations: they would in any numerous fchool have ob tained praise, but not excited wonder.

Many of his Elegies appear to have been written in his eighteenth year,' by which it appears that he had then read the Roman authors with very nice difcern


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ment. I once heard Mr. Hampton, the tranflator of Polybius, remark what I think is true, that Milton was the firft Englishman who, after the revival of letters, wrote Latin verfes with claffick elegance. If any exceptions can be made, they are very few: Haddon and Afcham, the pride of Elizabeth's reign, however they may have fucceeded in profe, no fooner attempt verfes than they provoke derifion. If we produced any thing worthy of notice before the elegies of Milton, it was perhaps Alablafter's Roxana.

Of the exercifes which the rules, of the Univerfity required, fome were publifhed by him in his maturer years. They had been undoubtedly applauded; for they,

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were fuch as few can perform: yet there is reason to fufpect that he was regarded in his college with no great fondness. That he obtained no fellowship is certain; but the unkindness with which he was treated was not merely negative. I am afhamed to relate what I fear is true, that Milton was the laft ftudent in either univerfity that fuffered the publick indignity of corporal correction.

It was, in the violence of controver fial hoftility, objected to him, that he was expelled this he fteadily denies, and it was apparently not true; but it feems plain from his own verfes to Dicdati, that he had incurred Rufication; a temporary difmiffion. into the country, with perhaps the loss of a term:

Jam nec arundiferum mihi cura revifere Camum,

Nec dudum vetiti me laris angit amor;


Nec duri libet ufque minas perferre magiftri,
Cæteraque ingenio non fubeunda meo.

I cannot find any meaning but, this, which even kindness and reverence can give to the term, vetiti laris," a habi"tation from which he is excluded;" or how exile can be otherwife interpreted. He declares yet more, that he is weary of enduring the threats of a rigorous mafter, and fomething elfe, which a temper like bis cannot undergo. What was more than threat was evidently punishment. This poem, which mentions his exile, proves likewife that it was not perpetual; for it concludes with a refolution of returning fome time to Cambridge.

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