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religious preacher,” and a bold, energetic man. halls of many of the city companies were within the precincts of his parish, and he had sufficient influence with the livery-men to induce them to change the day for their banquets from Monday to Tuesday, so as to avoid the profanation of the Sabbath by the work of preparation. In the early period of his ministry, preaching the open-air sermon at Paul's Cross, he took occasion to denounce some acts of civic injustice, and was called a greenhead for his pains. In after years, when preaching before the Lord Mayor, he reverted to the old grievance, saying, that “a greyhead should now repeat what a greenhead had said before." He was not only a very able preacher but an indefatigable pastor, labouring with great assiduity in his own parish ; saying, that it was “more comfortable to him to win one of his parishioners than twenty others.” It is of special interest, in connection with this biography, to note that the good man took a deep interest in the young of his flock, and had a remarkable gift for attracting and interesting them. He became the minister of Allhallows in the year 1610, John Milton being then two years old, and remained so till his death, in 1626,* when the youthful poet had

Mr. Masson, to whose indefatigable researches into the early life and ancestry of Milton we are indebted for these particulars, gives us the following quaint inscription from Mr. Stock’s tombstone, placed in the church by his parishioners two years after his death.

“Thy lifeless trunke (O Reverend Stocke),
Like Aaron's rod, sprouts out again;
And, after two full winters past,
Yields blossoms and ripe fruits amain.
“For why? This work of piety,

Performed by some of thy flocke,
To thy dead corpse and sacred urne,
Is but the fruite of this old Stocke."

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been a year at Cambridge. We may fairly assume that the devoted pastor would be a frequent visitor at the house of his wealthy neighbour, the puritan scrivener of Bread Street, and that he would sometimes bring there “his most intimate friend,” Gataker, minister of Rotherhithe, who was deservedly regarded as one of the most learned, able, and devout of the puritan clergy. Here they would meet Lowndes, Lane, Wilbye, Ford, Orlando Gibbons, and other poets and musicians of the day. From the one class of guests, the boy would acquire those literary tastes, and that musical and artistic culture,—from the other, the stern, puritanic virtue and piety,—which were so wonderfully combined in his character.

John Milton seems to have given very early indications of his genius. At the age of ten he had already begun to write poetry; and his father, as though with a presentiment of the future greatness of his son, had his portrait painted by Cornelius Jansen, the most eminent artist of his day. This portrait, which still exists,* shows a child with a simple and pleasing, though somewhat serious expression of face, fine full expressive eyes, auburn hair, a large, compact, wellshaped head, and clear fair complexion. He is dressed, with puritanical primness and precision, in the singularly ungraceful costume of the period. His first tutor was Thomas Young, a Scotchman, and a prominent Presbyterian minister. How the tutor and pupil came together again in after years, in connection with the Smectymnuus Controversy, will be found recorded in the proper place. He always spoke of his tutor with

In the possession of Edgar Disney, Esq., of the Hyde, Ingatestone, Essex.

† Page 65.

affectionate respect, and kept up a correspondence with him till his death. Under the tutorship of Young he made great progress. He himself tells us, that at twelve years of age his appetite for knowledge was so voracious that he hardly ever left his studies or went to bed before midnight. Aubrey, who probably derived his information from Milton's younger brother, Christopher, confirms this, and adds, that “his father ordered the maid to sit up for him.” We have no precise indication of the age at which Young ceased to be tutor to the boy-poet: it was certainly prior to the year 1623, when, at the age of fifteen, Milton entered St. Paul's school, of which Mr. Gill was then headmaster, and his son, Alexander, usher. Here he perfected his knowledge of Latin, and made considerable progress in Greek, Hebrew, French, and Italian. It was, too, at this early age, that he made his first permanent contribution to our literature. His paraphrases of the hundred and fourteenth, and hundred and thirty-sixth Psalms, were composed at this time. The latter of these, beginning

“Let us, with a gladsome mind,

Praise the Lord, for He is kind," holds its place in our selections of hymns, and is deservedly a favourite in all our congregations. Some of the couplets, which are omitted from our hymnbooks, possess great vigour and picturesque beauty; for instance, the following :

“He caused the golden-tressed sun
All the day long his course to run.
He, with thunder-clasping hand,
Smote the first-born of Egypt's land.
And in despite of Pharaoh fell,
He brought from thence His Israel.
The ruddy waves He cleft in twain,
Of the Erythrean main.

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The floods stood still like walls of glass,
While the Hebrew bands did pass :
But full soon they did devour

The tawny king, with all his power.” Epithets such as these need not sue in forma pauperis, or plead the youth of their author, in abatement of sentence upon them. They may stand upon their own merit, and claim a favourable verdict.

After remaining at St. Paul's school for two years, — where he made the acquaintance of Carlo Diodati, which ripened into a warm and lasting affection,-he, in his seventeenth year, commenced his university career at Christ College, Cambridge, where he was admitted February 12th, 1624-5. The master was Dr. Thomas Bainbrigge; and Joseph Meade,—the wellknown commentator on the Apocalypse, -one of the senior fellows. Johnson's statement, that “there is reason to suspect that he was regarded in his college with no great fondness," is supported by evidence; but the malicious glee with which he asserts that Milton “suffered the public indignity of corporal correction," overshoots the mark. There is the strongest possible negative evidence against it; and the statement rests solely on the authority of that credulous gossip—Aubrey: “roving and maggotie-headed,” as Wood describes him, and abounding in “folliries and misinformations." That he found himself ill at ease in the university, is probable enough. Gibbon, Wordsworth, and many more of our foremost men had similar experience. Unpopularity and disfavour, it should be remembered, may arise from the unworthiness either of the constituency or of the candidate. That “no man is a hero to his valet,” has passed into a proverb: on which Carlyle remarks, “so much the

worse for the valet;" and argues, that the fault lies not in the hero's want of heroism, but in the valet's want of appreciation. We can only see in proportion to our faculty of vision. The apostle, speaking on behalf of the Church, explains upon this principle its non-recognition by the world, saying, “The world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” And our Lord teaches the same truth, when He forewarns His disciples,—“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." Unpopularity, then, is no proof of demerit. Under certain circumstances, it may be the very reverse. When we remember what Milton was, and what the authorities in Church and State then were, can we wonder that he was regarded with disfavour? How could a pure, ethereal, fearless soul like his, with its scorn of sensuality, superstition, and conventionalisms, be expected to find favour or peace in the society of the university men of that day!

The history of his residence at Cambridge is obscure. In his college exercises, published for the first time in English by Mr. Masson, he speaks of the bitter hostility with which many of his fellow collegians regarded him, and intimates that, whilst he was decidedly unpopular with the great majority, there were some who wished him well, and were his fast friends. He assigns as one cause of these "private grudges," on the part of his associates, that he followed “ different studies, or different methods in the same studies ; and admits that he may “have spoken in a manner a little too biting, and mixed with too much vinegar.” Again, referring to the fact that he was called “The

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