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the Church of Rome, within the verge of the Vatican. Having employ'd his curiofity about * two years in France and Italy, on the news of a civil war breaking out in England he return'd, without taking a survey of Greece and sicily, as at his setting out the scheme was projected. † At Paris the Lord Viscount Scudemore, Ambaffador from King Charles I. at the Court of France, introduc'd him to the acquaintance of Grotius; who at that time was honor'd with the same character there by Christina Queen of Sweden. In Rome, Genoa, Florence , and other cities of Italy, he contracted a familiarity with those who were of highest reputation for wit & learning: several of whom gave him very obliging testimonies of their friendship, and esteem, which are printed before his Latin Poems. The first of them was written by Manso Marquis of Villa, a great patron of Taffa, by whom he is celebrated in his poem on the Conquest of Jerufalem. It is highly probable that to his conversation with this noble Neapolitan we owe the first design which MILTON conceiv'd of writing an Epic Poem: and it appears by fome Latin verses address’d to the Marquis with the title of Mansus, that he intended to fix on King Arthur for his Heroe: but Arthur was reserv'd to another destiny !
Returning from his travels be found England on the point of being involv'd An. Ætat. 32. in blood and confusion. It seems wonderful that one of so warm , and daring a spirit, as he certainly was, thou'd be restrain'd from the field in those unnatural commotions. I suppose we may
impute * Et jam bis viridi surgebat sulmus aristâ,
Et totidem flavas numerabant horrea meses,
Rifplende il Manso,
impute it wholly to the great deference he paid ta paternal authority, that he retir’d to lodgings provided for him in the City: which being commodious for the reception of his Sister's Sons, and some other young Gentlemen, he undertook their education : and is said to have form’d them on the same plap which he afterwards publish'd, in a short tractate ing fcrib'd to his friend Mr. Hartlib. In this philosophical course he continued without a
wife to the year 1643 ; when he marAn. Ætat. 35. ry'd Mary the Daughter of Richard
Powell of Foreft-hill in Oxford/bire : a Gentleman of eitate and reputation in that County; and of principles to very oppofite to his Son-in-Law, that the marriage is more to be wonder'd at, than the separation which ensu'd, in little more than a month after she had cohabited with him in London. Her desertion provok'd him both to write several treatises concerning the doctrine, and discipline of divorce; and also to make his addresses to a young Lady of great wit and beauty : but before he had ingag'd her affections to conclude the marriage-treaty, in a visit at one of his Relations he found his Wite prostrate before him, imploring forgiveness, & reconciliation, It is not to be doubted but an interview of that nature, so little expected, inuft wonderfully affect him; and perhaps the impressions it made on his imagination contributed much to the painting of that pathetic scene in * PARADISE Lost, in which Eve addresseth herself to Adam for pardon, and peace. AE the intercession of his friends who were present, after a short reluctance he generously sacrific'd all his resentment to her tears.
Soon his heart relented Tow'rds her, his life to late, and sole delight; Now, at his feet submisive in distress!
* Book X, vet. 909.