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of the smaller pieces from the end of the Book of Elegies, and combining them with two or three scraps of Latin verse from the prose-pamphlets, so as to constitute a third brief Book, called EPIGRAMMATUM LIBER, or BOOK OF EPIGRAMS. But, though the few pieces thus thrown together are of the nature of Epigrams, and some of them like Martial's Epigrams, the liberty seems unwarrantable. Milton made the distinction into ELEGIES and SYLVÆ suffice, and we must do the same. Keeping, therefore, that division, but observing, as far as possible, the chronological order of the pieces within each set, we proceed to introduce the Latin Poems severally.
ELEGIA PRIMA :
Ad Carolum Diodatum.
(Editions of 1645 and 1673.)
The person addressed in this Elegy was Charles Diodati, the dearest and most intimate friend of Milton in his boyhood, and through his youth and early manhood, and for whose memory he entertained a singular affection in still later life, after he had lost him by death. This is not the only recognition of this interesting person in Milton's remaining writings. Another of the Elegies is addressed to him; two of the Latin Familiar Epistles are addressed to him; he is Milton's confidant in the third of the Italian Sonnets; and he is the subject of the long Latin poem entitled Epitaphium Damonis. He will, therefore, be mentioned again in the course of these Introductions. At present we shall trace what is known of him as far as to the date of this Elegy, i.e. to the year 1626.
The family of Diodati (pronounce it Diodăti) was Italian, belonging originally to Lucca in the Tuscan States, but driven thence, apparently, on account of the Protestant opinions of its .members. Of two brothers of the family, thus exiled from Italy by their Protestantism, one, named Giovanni Diodati, born in 1576, had become very eminent in Geneva, as a scholar and theo logian, and was Professor of Hebrew and one of the ministers of
that city. He was the author of various Calvinistic writings, much esteemed in their day by foreign Protestants and by the Puritans of England; he took a leading part in the famous Synod of Dort in 1618-19; and he would be yet remembered, if for nothing else, at all events for his Italian Version of the Scriptures, published in 1607, and known as "Diodati's Version." Altogether this Giovanni (or Jean) Diodati was an Italian-Genevese divine of so much consequence, from his appointment at a very early age to the Hebrew Professorship by Beza's recommendation, on to his Ceath in 1649, that he retains a place to this day even in English Biographical Dictionaries. It is not there noted that he was the uncle of Milton's bosom-friend. Such, however, was the fact. For an elder brother of his, named Theodore Diodati, born in 1574, and educated for the medical profession, had made England his home, and, having married an English lady of some means, acquired a good practice and some celebrity as a physician. He is heard of (in Fuller's Worthies: Middlesex) as living, about the year 1609, near Brentford, in professional attendance on Prince Henry and the Princess Elizabeth, and as then performing an extraordinary cure, by immensely copious blood-letting, on one Tristram, a gardener; and there is a letter of his own describing this cure long afterwards, printed at the end of Hakewill's Apology, published in 1630. His more distinct career in the English medical world, however, may be dated from Jan. 1616-17, when he was admitted a Licentiate of the London College of Physicians, apparently on the faith of his having taken the regular degree of Doctor of Medicine at Leyden, Oct. 5, 1615 (Munk's Roll of the Royal College of Physicians, I. 160). From that time he scems to have resided in London, in the parish of Little St. Bartholomew, near Bartholomew's Hospital; which was certainly his place of residence at last. His practice was much among persons of rank, and took him sometimes into the country. I have seen a memorial of his in French in the State Paper Office, not dated, but probably of earlier date than 1624, applying to the King for the post of Physician to the Tower, and referring, for evidence of his fitness, to "Monsieur de Mayerne," the royal physician, afterwards Sir Theodore Mayerne. I have also ascertained that among his patients were Sir Robert Harley, K.B.,
afterwards member of the Long Parliament, and his wife Lady Brilliana Harley, sister of Lord Conway, and that he occasionally visited the Harleys professionally at their seat of Brampton-Bryan in Herefordshire. Nay, in the Ayscough MSS. in the British Museum, among memoranda of old physicians and medical practice, there is a document of sixteen pages, in a neat hand, containing copies of 173 favourite receipts or prescriptions of Dr. Diodati, some of them interesting as showing the extreme compositeness and whimsicality of the drugs of those days. Prescribing these and other drugs, and much respected in his profession, Dr. Diodati, whose foreign name was corrupted by his less educated or more slovenly neighbours into Deodate, Dyodat, and what not, lived on to a good old age. He was buried Feb. 12, 1650-1, in the church of Little St. Bartholomew.
Of two sons of this naturalized London physician, by his English wife, one was called Charles and the other Theodore. Milton knew both, but Charles was his especial friend. He was almost exactly of Milton's own age, or but a little older. He had been sent at a very early age to St. Paul's School, probably on account of its nearness to his father's house, and it was there that Milton had become acquainted with him. He was probably somewhat in advance of Milton in the classes, for he left school for Trinity College, Oxford, in Feb. 1621-2, three years before Milton left the same school for Cambridge. The separation was no interruption of their friendship. The young Oxonian and the young Cantab corresponded with each other, and in the University vacations they were much together in London, or in excursions in its neighbourhood. Probably because Diodati was destined for his father's profession of medicine, and was preparing for it, we do not hear much of his career at Oxford; but he was well liked in his college there, and there is a copy of Latin Alcaics by him in a volume of Oxford Verses put forth in 1624 on the death of the great scholar Camden. He seems, however, to have been fond of writing his letters in Greek; and two Greek letters of his to Milton have been strangely preserved, and are now in the British Museum. The first is headed Θεόδοτος Μίλτωνι Evopaivεola ("Diodati to Milton, to cheer up "), and is in a very sprightly vein, as follows:-"The present disposition of the
"weather appears to be too jealous for what we agreed upon
lately at parting, being now for two whole days stormy and "unsettled; but, for all that, so much do I long for your society "that I am now dreaming of, and all but prophesying, fine "weather, and calm, and everything golden, for to-morrow, that "we may regale each other with the discourses of philosophers "and learned men. Wherefore I resolved to write to you, for "the purpose of inviting you forth and putting courage into you, "being afraid that, in despair of sunshine and pleasantness, you 'may be turning your mind to something else. For the present, then, take courage, my friend, and abide by what I have arranged for both, and put on a festive frame of mind and one gayer than usual.
For to-morrow all will go well, and air, and
sun, and river, and trees, and birds, and men, will make holiday "with us, and laugh with us, and, be it said without offence, dance "with us. Only you be ready, either to start when I call for
you, or, without being called, to come to me longing for you. Αὐτομάτος δὲ οὗ ἦλθε βοὴν ἀγαθὸς Μενέλαος [Iliad, II. 408 : Came "of his own accord then the bold-in-the-din Menelaus]. Fare"well." The letter is not dated, but was evidently written in some vacation-time when both the friends were in London: the long vacation of 1625 is as likely as any. On the 10th of December in that year Diodati took his B.A. degree; and soon after that, though his connexion with Oxford was not at an end, he went into Cheshire, either on a visit of pleasure, or possibly on some business relating to his intended profession of medicine. It was from this part of England, apparently, and in the summer of 1626, that he sent his second Greek letter to Milton. It is headed →εODOTOS MIXTWv xaipei ("Diodati to Milton greeting "), and runs as follows:- "I have no fault to find with my present mode of life, 6: except this one, that I lack some kindred spirit to converse with, "and long for such a one. Otherwise all passes pleasantly here in "the country; for what else is wanting when the days are long, "the scenery blooming with flowers and waving and teeming "with leaves, on every branch a nightingale or goldfinch or other "bird delighting with its songs and warblings, most varied walks,
a table neither scant nor overloaded, and sleep undisturbed. If "I had a good companion, I mean an educated one that would
"care for these things, I should be happier than the King of the "Persians. But something is always wanting in human affairs, "and there is need of moderation. But thou, wondrous youth, "why dost thou despise the gifts of nature; why dost thou per"sist inexcusably in tying thyself night and day to books and "studies? Live, laugh, enjoy youth and the present; and give over wearing yourself out with reading about the libations, and leisures, and indolences of the sages of old. I, in all things else your inferior, both think myself and am superior to you in this, "that I know a measure in my labours. Farewell, and be merry, "but not like Sardanapalus."
It is not solely because these letters throw light upon the character of Diodati and on his regard for Milton that they have been quoted here. It seems to me quite possible that in the second of these two missives we have that very letter of Diodati o which Milton's Latin Elegy now under consideration is an avowed reply. It is, at all events, a reply to some letter of Diodati's sent from near Chester, and which reached Milton in London. The interest of Milton's Elegy in reply is, to a large extent, autobiographical :-Milton writes that he is not so wholly given up to books and studies as Diodati supposes, but is having a pleasant time of it in London, happy among his books certainly, but with other enjoyments. Are there not the theatres, for example? And, earlier in the day, are there not the parks and public gardens, where one may walk, and see troops of beauties pass by-London's choicest fair ones, beating the fairest of all other lands and of all other times-with perhaps, in some group, one beauty so supremely ravishing that her form and her glance can never be forgotten? Most of the Elegy is in this strain; but there is one passage of particular moment to the commentators. It is that beginning line 9 and ending line 24. Milton is supposed to refer here (and the supposition seems inevitable) to a fact in his life of which there is other evidence-viz. a quarrel he had, in his undergraduateship, with the authorities of Christ's College, Cambridge, and his temporary retirement or rustication from the College in consequence. It is positively known that Milton, while he was an undergraduate at Christ's, had some disagreement with the tutor under whose charge he had been put at