Milton - PR3550 D77 1777 M2

432 THE LIFE ®E MILTON, bed before midnight ; but afterwards finding it to be the ruin of his eyes, and looking on this cuftom as very pernicious to health at any time, he ufed to go to reit early, feldom latter than nine, and would be {lifting in the fummer at four, and in the winter at five in the morning ; but if he was not difpofed to rife at his uflial hours, he did not lie fleeping, but had fume body or other by his bed fide to read to him. At his firit rifing he had ufually a chapter read to him out of the Hebrew Bible, and he commonly ftudied all the morning till twelve, then ufed fume exercife for an hour, afterwards dined, and after din- ner played on the organ, and either lung himfelf or made his wife Ping, who (he faid) had a good voice but no ear ; and then he went up to Rudy again till fix, when his friends came to vifit him and fat with him perhaps 'till eight ; then he went down to fupper, which was ufually olives or fome light thing ; and after fupper he frnoked his pipe, and drank a glafs of water, and went to bed. He loved the country, and commends it, as poets ufually do ; but after his return from his travels, he was very little there, except during the time of the plague in London. The civil war might at firft detain him in town ; and the pleafures of the country were in a great meafure loft to him, as they depend moftly upon fight, whereas a blind man wanteth company and con- verfation, which is to be had better in populous cities. But he was led out fometimes for the benefit of the frefh air, and in warm funny weather he ufed to fit at the door of his houfe near Bunhill Fields, and there as well as in the houfe received the vifits of perfons of quality and diflinflion ; for he was no lefs viiited to the laft both by his own countrymen and foreigners, than he had been in his floriihing condition before the Reftoration. Some objeEtions indeed have been made to his temper ; and I remember there was a tradition in the univerfity of Cambridge, that he and Mr. King (whofe death he laments in his Lycidas) were competitors for a fellowfhip, and when they were both equal in point of learning, Mr. King was preferred by the college for his charader of