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life, after he had lost him by death. He will 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 Diodati) 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 theologian, 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." 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, first at Brentford, and afterwards in London, where he resided in the parish of Little St. Bartholomew, not far from St. Paul's and Milton's native Bread Street. Of two sons of this naturalized London physician, by his English wife, one was called Charles and the other John. 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, 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. In the second of these he writes from some place in the country, saying he is leading a most pleasant life on the whole, though he rather misses intellectual companionship, and he advises Milton not to "tie himself night and day to his books," but to take some relaxation. "I in all things else your inferior," he concludes, "am superior to you in this, that I know a measure in my labours.
It seems possible that in this Greek missive, now in the British Museum, we have that very letter of Diodati to which Milton's Latin Elegy 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; and 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 the time of his first admission: viz. William Chappell, afterwards Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, and Bishop of Cloyne and Ross; and it is farther known that, in consequence of this disagreement-in the course of which Dr. Thomas Bainbrigge, the Master of the College, may have been called in, or may have interfered-Milton was transferred from the tutorship of Chappell to that of another of the Fellows of the College: viz. Nathaniel Tovey, afterwards parson of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. The probable date of this incident was the Lent or Easter term of Milton's second academic year, i.e. of the year 1625-6. The present Elegy was probably written during Milton's absence or rustication from College that summer; and in the passage indicated he speaks of this absence or rustication (exilium is the word he uses) as not such a bad thing after all. Nevertheless, as he says in the end of the Elegy, it is arranged that he shall return to Cambridge. Actually, as we know, he did return, to finish his undergraduate course, under Tovey's tutorship. His temporary absence, we also know, counted for nothing against him; for he did not lose a term, but took his B. A. degree at exactly the proper time.
Anno ætatis 17.
In obitum Præconis Academici Cantabrigiensis.
Richard Ridding, M. A. of St. John's College, was Senior Esquire Bedel of the University when Milton went to Cambridge. Through two University sessions Milton had been familiar with his venerable figure; but about the beginning of Milton's third University session (1626-7) Ridding died. I have not ascertained the exact day, but the probate of his will is dated Nov. 8, 1626. The death of a University personage so conspicuous naturally gave occasion for versifying; and Milton's Elegy was one of the results. It ought to be noted that Milton's own dating of the Elegy "Anno ætatis 17" is either wrong by a year, or must be translated laxly as meaning at seventeen years of age."
Anno ætatis 17.
In obitum Prasulis Wintoniensis.
On the 21st of September 1626, just before the beginning of Milton's third academic year at Cambridge, there died, at Winchester House, Southwark, the learned and eloquent Dr. Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, at the age of seventy-one. Milton's ecclesiastical opinions in his later life led him to be rather critical in his estimate of this famous Bishop, and indeed of Bishops generally; but in his Cambridge undergraduateship his anti-prelatic feelings were less pronounced, and he willingly joined in the chorus of regret over the loss of one of the brightest intellects in the English Church. The reader ought to note the historical allusions which the Elegy contains. The year of Bishop Andrewes's death had been one of great mortality by the Plague in England and of the deaths of several men of note abroad.
Anno ætatis 18.
Ad Thomam Junium, præceptorem suum, apud mercatores Anglicos
Thomas Young, Milton's first preceptor, was a Scotchman. He was born at Luncarty in Perthshire in or about 1588, was educated at the University of St Andrews, and took his M. A. degree there. Perhaps because the accession of James to the English throne in 1603 had opened up for many Scots prospects of a better livelihood in England than their own country afforded, Young had migrated thither while still a young man; and there are indistinct traces of him in the capacity of curate or assistant to Puritan parish-ministers in London and its neighbourhood before 1618. He seems, however, to have employed himself chiefly in teaching; and, in the course of that employment, it was his good fortune to happen upon one pupil who was to be immortal. It is just possible that Milton had been boarded under Young's charge somewhere near London before he went to St. Paul's School; but it is more likely that Young had only been his first domestic preceptor, and continued to be his private preceptor while he was at St. Paul's School, adding to the education which he was receiving publicly from Mr. Alexander Gill, the head-master of the School, and his son and assistant, Mr. Alexander Gill the younger. In that case, however, Young's tutorship of Milton did not extend over the whole period of his training under the two Gills. Milton, so far as is known, went to St. Paul's School in 1620, when he was eleven years of age, and he remained there till the winter or spring of 1624-5, when he left for Cambridge at the age of sixteen. But Young had left England for his chaplaincy to the English merchants at Hamburg at least as early as 1622. He was then a married man, with children, and matters had not been so prosperous with him in England but that a foreign chaplaincy was acceptable.
Milton, it appears, had cherished a warm recollection of Young in his exile, and occasional communications had passed between them. The first of Milton's Latin Familiar Epistles is addressed to Young (Thoma Junio, præceptori suo). It is dated “London, March 26, 1625," and was written, therefore, after Milton had been admitted at Christ's College, Cambridge, but before his residence at Cambridge had fairly commenced. It is expressed in terms of the most ardent affection and gratitude, with apologies for having been remiss in his correspondence, and especially for having allowed three years to elapse since his last letter; and there is an acknowledgment also of the gift of a Hebrew Bible which Young had sent to him. Two years more had passed since that Epistle was written, and Milton had again been remiss. The present Elegy is his atonement. He has been moved to write it by ominous news from the Continent. The great Continental war, known afterwards as The Thirty Years' War, was then in its second stage, when Christian IV. of Denmark was the leader of the Protestant Alliance against the Imperialists under Tilly and Wallenstein. Saxony, to which Hamburg was attached, was inextricably involved; and actually, while Milton wrote, the rumour was that the Imperialist soldiery were all round Hamburg and threatening it with siege. What might befall poor Young and his family? On this cause of alarm
Milton dilates, not without a touch of anger at the stupidity and cold-heartedness of Britain, which had driven such a man as Young abroad for bare subsistence, to live poorly and obscurely amid strangers, when he might have been a noted minister of the Gospel at home. But he bids Young take God will protect him through all the dangers of war; nay more (and with this prediction the Elegy closes), better times are in store for him, and he will not remain much longer in exile.
Milton's prediction was very speedily fulfilled. Not many months after Young had received the Elegy, he returned to England; and on the 27th of March 1628, being then about forty years of age, he was inducted into the united Vicarages of St. Peter and St. Mary in Stowmarket, Suffolk. He had not been four months in his Vicarage at the date of a second letter to him from Milton, preserved among the Latin Familiar Epistles. It is dated "Cambridge, July 21, 1628," and shows that Milton and he must again have come together since his return to England. Young had invited Milton to come and see him at Stowmarket, and Milton accepts the invitation and promises to come soon. Accordingly, the tradition at Stowmarket is that Milton was a frequent visitor to Young during his incumbency.
Young's incumbency at Stowmarket lasted all the rest of his life. But he was destined to a wider celebrity than attached merely to that incumbency. As he was of strict Puritan principles, it is difficult to imagine how he contrived to tide through the time of the Laudian supremacy in the Church and State (1628-1640), during which Laud and his subordinate diocesans were so zealous in calling to account parish ministers of too Calvinistic doctrine, or too Puritanical in their dislike of vestments and ceremonies. Luck or prudence did carry him through, however; so that, at the close of Laud's supremacy, and the beginning of a new era for England with the Long Parliament (Nov. 1640), he was still Vicar of Stowmarket. During the two preceding years he had been sympathising with his fellow-countrymen, the Scots, in their Covenant, and their struggles against Laud and Charles; and in 1639 he had published a treatise in Latin entitled Dies Dominica, and consisting of a defence of the Puritan idea of the Sabbath-day and its proper observance. After the meeting of the Long Parliament, he is found coming decidedly to the front among the advocates of a radical Church Reform. In conjunction with four other parish ministers of noted Puritan principles-viz. Stephen Marshal, Edmund Calamy, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow--he wrote the famous Smectymnuan Pamphlet, or Treatise by SMECTYMNUUS (a grotesque fancy-name composed of the initials of the five writers), in reply to Bishop Joseph Hall's defences of Episcopacy and of the English Liturgy. Of this Smectymnuan treatise, which was published in 1641, and was the first loud manifesto of Anti-Episcopal opinions within the Church itself, Young, it is now known, was the principal author. As Hall replied, and the Smectymnuans replied again, the controversy prolonged itself through a series of pamphlets, all now regarded as belonging to the Smectymnuan set, and two of which ("Animadversions on the Remonstrant's Defence against Smectymnuus," and "An Apology against a Pamphlet called a Modest Confutation of the Animadversions") were from Milton's own pen. He had been in Young's confidence from the beginning of the controversy, and thought it right at last to plunge in personally to the rescue of Young and his brother Smectymnuans.
It is doubtful whether the cordial intimacy between Milton and Young which this co-operation indicates lasted much beyond those years, 1641-42, when the
Smectymnuan controversy raged. Milton's subsequent Divorce Speculations, and his rupture with the Presbyterians, may have interfered with their intimacy, though not with their mutual regard. For Young was one of the divines of the Westminster Assembly, and went wholly with the great majority of that body in their aims towards the establishment in England of a strict Presbyterian system like that of Scotland. By this time he was so conspicuous a person that the Scots remembered he was their countryman, and would fain have induced him to return to Scotland by the offer of some suitable post. But England could outbid Scotland for him, and retained him to the end. In 1644, when the University of Cambridge was visited by Parliamentary authority and refractory Heads of Houses and Fellows were turned out, and their places filled with new men, Young was appointed to the Mastership of Jesus College, in place of the ultra-Royalist and Laudian Dr. Richard Sterne. On the 12th of April in that year he was incorporated in the University ad eundem,i.e. to the same degree of M. A. which he had taken at St. Andrews nearly forty years before. On the 28th of February 1644-5 he preached a Fast-day Sermon before the House of Commons, which was published under the title of Hope's Encouragement. He lived for ten years longer, holding his Mastership of Jesus College in conjunction with his Vicarship of Stowmarket, and honoured as D.D. and otherwise. He died in 1655 at Stowmarket, at the age of about sixty-seven, and was there buried. A portrait of him, which was kept in the Vicarage, is still extant; and a print from it, after a photograph, is prefixed to Biographical Notices of Thomas Young, S. T.D., Vicar of Stowmarket, Suffolk," privately printed in 1870 by Mr. David Laing, of Edinburgh. It exhibits, through the blur of age that had come over the original, a really powerful, calm, and well-featured face.
Anno ætatis 20.
In Adventum Veris.
This Eleg, may be referred to the early part of 1629, when Milton had just taken his B.A. degree at Cambridge. Bachelor-like, he exults in the arrival of Spring, hailing the glad season of Nature's renewal in a poem which may be described as a laborious Latin amplification of the sentiment of Tennyson's lines :
"In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish'd dove;
In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love."
Ad Carolum Diodatum, ruri commorantem.
The life of Diodati, and the history of Milton's friendship with him, as far as to the year 1626, have been sketched in the Introduction to the Elegia Prima. Three years had elapsed since then, and the two friends had been pursuing their separate courses-Diodati with the medical profession in prospect, but retaining his connexion with Oxford, where he graduated M.A. in July