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fifty guineas. She had seven fons and three daughters; but none of them had any chil. dren, except her son Caleb and her daughter Elizabeth. Caleb went to Fort St. George in the East Indies, and had two sons, of whom nothing is now known. Elizabeth married Thomas Foster, a weaver in Spitalfields, and had seven children, who'all died. She kept a petty grocer's or chandler's shop, first at Holloway, and afterwards in Cocklane near Shoreditch Church. She knew little of her grandfather, and that littlewa snot good. She told of his harshness to his daughters, and his refusal to have them taught to write ; and, in opposition to other accounts, represented him as delicate, though temperate, in his diet,
In 1750, April 5, Comus was played for her benefit. She had so little acquaintance with diversion or gaiety, that she did not know what was intended when a benefit was offered her. The profits of the night were only one hundred and thirty pounds, though Dr. Newton brought a large contribution ; and twenty pounds were given by Tonson, a man who is to be praised as often as he is
named. Of this sum one hundred pounds was placed in the stocks, after some debate between her and her husband in whose name it should be entered ; and the rest augmented their little stock, with which they removed to Islington. This was the greatest benefaction that Paradise Lost ever procured the author's descendents ; and to this he who has now attempted to relate his Life, had the honour of contributing a Prologue.
IN the examination of Milton's poetical works, I shall pay so much regard to time as to begin with his juvenile productions." For his early pieces he feeins to have had a degree of fondness not very laudable : what he has once written he resolves to preservė, and gives to the publick an unfinished poem, which he broke off because he was nothing satisfied with what he had done, supposing his readers less nice than himself. These preludes to his future-labours are in Italian, Latin, and English. Of the Italian I cannot pretend to speak as a critick ; but I have heard them commended by a man well qualified to decide their merit. The Latin pieces are lusciously elegant; but the delight which they afford is rather by the exquisite imitation of the ancient writers, by the purity of the diction, and the harmony of the numbers, than by any power of invention, or vigour of sentiment. They are not all of equal value; the elegies excell the odes; and some of the exercises on Gunpowder Treason might have been spared.
The English poems, though they make no promises of Paradise Loft, have this evidence of genius, chat they have a cast original and uuborrowed, But their peculiarity is not excellence :: if they differ from verses of others, they differ for the worse ; for they are too often distinguished by repulsive harshnefs; the combinations of words are new, but they are not pleasing; the rhymes and epithets seem to bc laboriously fought, and · violently applied.
That in the early parts of his life he wrote with much care appears from his manuscripts, happily preserved at Cambridge, in which many of his smaller works are found as they were first written, with the subsequent corrections. Such reliques shew how excellence is required; what we hope ever to do with case, we may learn first to do with diligence.
Those who adınire the beauties of this great poet, fometimes force their own judgement into falfe approbation of his little pieces, and prevail upon themselves to think
that admirable which is only fingular. All that short compofitions can commonly attain is neatness and elegance. Milton never learned the art of doing little things with grace ; he overlooked the milder excellence of suavity and softness; he was a Lion that had no skill in dandling the Kid,
One of the poems on which much praise has been bestowed is Lycidas ; of which the diction is harsh, the rhymes uncertain, and the numbers unpleasing. What beauty there is, we niust therefore seek in the sentiments and images. It is not to be considered as the effusion of real passion; for passion runs not after remote allusions and obscure opinions. Passion plucks no berries from the myrtle and ivy, nor calls upon Arethuse and Mincius, nor tells of rough fatyrs and fauns with cloven beel. Where there is leisure for fiction there is little grief.
In this poem there is no nature, for there is no truth; there is no art, for there is nothing new. Its form is that of a pastoral, easy, vulgar, and therefore disgusting : whatever images it can supply, are long ago ex