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Sienna to Rome, where he stayed much about the fame time that he had continued at Florence, feast. ing both his eyes and his mind, and delighted with the fine paintings, and sculptures, and other rarities and antiquities of the city, as well as with the conversation of several learned and ingenious men, and particularly of Lucas Holstenius, keeper of the Vatican library, who received him with the greatest humanity, and showed him all the Greek authors, whether in print or in manuscript, which had passed thro' his correction; and also presented him to Cardinal Barberini, who at an entertainment of music, performed at his own expense, waited for him at the door, and taking him by the hand brought him into the assembly. The next morning he waited upon
the Cardinal to return him thanks for his civilities, and by the means of Holstenius was again introduced to his Eminence, and spent some time in conversation with him. It seems that Holstenius had studied three years at Oxford, and this might dispose him to be more friendly to the English, but he took a particular liking and affection to Milton; and Milton, to thank him for all his favors, wrote to him afterwards from Florence the ninth of his familiar epistles. At Rome too Selvaggi made a Latin distich in honor of Milton, and Salfilli a Latin tetraftich, celebrating him for his Greek and Latin and Italian poetry; and he in return presented to Salfilli in his fickness those fine Scazons, or lambic verses having a spondee in the last foot, which are inserted among his juvenile poems.
From Rome he went to Naples, in company with à certain hermit; and by his means was introduced
to the acquaintance of Giovanni Baptifta Manso, Marquis of Villa, a Neapolitan nobleman, of fingular merit and virtue, to whom Taffo addresses his dialogue of friendship, and whom he mentions likewise in his Gierusalemme Liberata with great honor. This nobleman was particularly civil to Milton, frequently visited him at his lodgings, and went with him to show him the Viceroy's palace, and whatever was curious or worth notice in the city : and moreover he honored him fo far as to make a Latin distich in his praise, which is printed before our author's Latin poems, as is likewise the other of Selvaggi, and the Latin tetrastich of Salfilli together with the Italian ode and the Latin eulogium before mentioned. We may suppose that Milton was not a little pleased with the honors conferred upon him by so many persons of distinction, and especially by one of such quality and eminence as the Marquis of Villa; and as a testimony of his gratitude he presented to the Marquis at his departure from Naples his eclogue intitled Mansus, which is well worth reading among his Latin poems. So that it may be reckoned a peculiar felicity of the Marquis of Villa's life, to have been celebrated both by Taffo and Milton, the one the greatest modern poet of his own, and the other the greatest of foreign nations.
Having seen the finest parts of Italy, Milton was now thinking of passing over into Sicily and Greece, when he was diverted from his purpose by the news from England, that things were tending to a civil war between the King and Parlament; for he thought it unworthy of himself to be taking his pleasure abroad, while his countrymen were contend
ing for liberty at home. He resolved therefore to return by the way of Rome, tho' he was advised to the contrary by the merchants, who had received in
telligence from their correspondents, that the English | Jesuits there were forming plots against him, in case
he should return thither, by reason of the dom which he had used in all his discourses of re, ligion. For he had by no means observed the rule, recommended to him by Sir Henry Wotton, of keeping his thoughts close and his countenance open : He had visited Galileo, a prisoner to the Inquisition, for asserting the motion of the earth, and thinking otherwise in astronomy than the Dominicans and Franciscans thought: And tho' the Marquis of Villa had shown him fuch distinguishing marks of favor at Naples, yet he told him at his departure that he would have shown him much greater, if he had been more reserved in matters of religion. But he had a soul above diffimulation and disguise; he was neither afraid, nor ashamed to vindicate the truth; and if any man had, he had in him the spirit of an old martyr. He was so prudent indeed, that he would not of his own accord begin any discourse of religion; but at the same time he was so honest, that if he was questioned at all about his faith, he would not diffemble his sentiments, whatever was the confequence. And with this resolution he went to Rome the second time, and stayed there two months more, neither concealing his name, nor declining openly to defend the truth, if any thought proper to attack him: and yet, God's good providence protecting him, he came fafe to his kind friends at Florence, where he was received with as much
joy and affection, as if he had returned into his own country,
Here likewise he stayed two months, 'as he had done before, excepting only an excursion of a few days to Lucca : and then crossing the Apennine, and passing thro' Bologna and Ferrara, he came to Venice, in which city he spent a month; and having shipped off the books, which he had collected in his travels, and particularly a chest or two of choice music books of the best masters florishing about that time in Italy, he took his course thro’ Verona, Milan, and along the lake Leman to Geneva. In this city he tarried some time, meeting here with people of his own principles, and contracted an intimate friendship with Giovanni Deodati, the most learned professor of divinity, whose annotations upon the Bible are published in English. And from thence returning thro' France, the same way that he had gone before, he arrived safe in England, after a peregrination of one year and about three months, having seen more, and learned more, and conversed with more famous men, and made more real improvements, than most others in double the time.
His first business after his return was to pay his duty to his father, and to visit his other friends; but this pleasure was much diminished by the loss of his dear friend and schoolfellow Charles Deodati in his absence. While he was abroad, he heard it reported that he was dead; and upon his coming home he found it but too true, and lamented his death in an excellent Latin eclogue intitled Epitaphium Damonis. This Deodati had a father originally of Lucca, but his mother was English, and he was born and bred
in England, and studied physic, and was an admirable scholar, and no less remarkable for his fobriety and other virtues than for his great learning and ingenuity. One or two of Milton's familiar epistles are addressed to him; and Mr. Toland says, that he had in his hands two Greek letters of Deodati to Milton, very handsomely written. It
be right for scholars now and then to exercise themselves in Greek and Latin; but we have much more frequent occasion to write letters in our own native language, and in that therefore we should principally endevor to excel.
Milton, soon after his return, had taken a lodging at one Russel's, a taylor, in St. Bride's Churchyard; but he continued not long there, having not sufficient room for his library and furniture ; and therefore determined to take a house, and accordingly took a handsome garden-house in Aldersgate-street, situated at the end of an entry, which was the more agreeable to a studious man for its privacy and freedom from noise and disturbance. And in this house he continued several years, and his fifter's two sons were put to board with him, first the younger and afterwards the elder: and some other of his intimate friends requested of him the same favor for their fons, especially since there was little more trouble in instructing half a dozen than two or three: and he, who could not easily deny any thing to his friends, and who knew that the greatest men in all ages
had delighted in teaching others the principles of knowledge and virtue, undertook the office, not out of any fordid and mercenary views, but merely from a benevolent disposition, and a desire to do good.