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eccentric, it might naturally be expected that the personal manners and appearance would offer some indications; and, accordingly, the few particulars of the kind which have been handed down to us by tradition, or which may be deduced from her portrait, are of this description. In her
she was tall, upright, and dignified, and, if we may judge from her picture at Knowle, with features more indicative of decision and intellectual acuteness than of feminine sweetness and reserve. In her manners and dress it is probable that she rather cherished than shunned peculiarity, for bishop Rainbow has told us, that she was “ of a humour pleasing to all, yet like to none; her dress not disliked by any, yet imitated by none." This latter appears to have been after her second widowhood, and when she resided in the North, generally of
Yet these singularities, though somewhat affected, perhaps, are but as dust in the balance, when weighed against what has been uniformly affirmed of this excellent woman, that her charities were almost boundless.
I have thus closed a biographical and historical sketch of the House of Clifford from its first establishment in Craven to its extinction in the same
district, a period of four hundred years, during which we have seen it not only implicated in events of the first national importance, but presenting us, in the history of its own members, with traits of character and vicissitudes of fortune of the most interesting and singular description. It has furnished us, in fact, with many striking features of the manners and customs of our forefathers, and with many extraordinary details of incident and adventure; and, above all, with many moral and prudential lessons, forming altogether a picture alike calculated to gratify the imagination and to improve the heart,
Immortal friends! well pleased on high
One of the most pleasing, and, at the same time, most interesting circumstances in the early life of Milton, and during the period of his travels on the continent, is his interview with the celebrated Galileo. “ There it was,” he says, speaking of Italy in his speech for unlicensed printing, “ that I found and visited the famous Galileo, grown old, a prisoner to the inquisition, for thinking in astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licensers thought t."
It is probable that the attention of our immortal countryman had been peculiarly directed to this illustrious victim of bigotry and superstition, by the compassionate sympathy of Hugo Grotius, who,
* With slight alteration. † Prose Works, vol. i. p. 313.
during the very month in which the poet was introduced to him by lord Scudamore, then our ambassador at the court of Paris, thus mentions Galileo in a letter to his friend Vossius.
Senex is," says he, “optime de universo meritus, morbo fractus, insuper et animi ægritudine, haud multum nobis vitæ suæ promittit ; quare prudentiæ erit arripere tempus, dum tanto doctore uti licet *."
6 This old man, to whom the universe is so deeply indebted, worn out with maladies, and still more with anguish of mind, gives us little reason to hope, that his life can be long; common prudence, therefore, suggests to us to make the utmost of the time, while we can yet avail ourselves of such an instructor f."
Little could be wanting to induce Milton to visit, and, with reverential awe, to offer an unfeigned homage to this truly memorable sufferer in the cause of science. Shortly, therefore, after reaching Florence, he sought out his abode, and found him at his seat near Arcetri, in Tuscany. Galileo in 1639, the period of Milton's visit, was seventy-five years of age; he had been twice imprisoned by the Inquisition at Rome, for the supposed heresy of his
* Grotii Epist. 964. † Hayley's Life of Milton, 4to. p. 37.
philosophical opinions in defending the system of Copernicus, and his last liberation in December 1633, after a confinement of nearly two years, was on the express condition of not departing, for the residue of his life, from the duchy of Tuscany.
Let us now place before our eyes the picture which tradition has left us of this great and muchinjured character, when, at the close of a life of persecution, when “fallen on evil days and evil tongues,” the youthful Milton stood before him.Not only was he suffering from the natural pressure of advancing years, but he was infirm from sickness, and had, a very short time before Milton was admitted to his presence, become totally blind, from a too intense application to his telescope, and consequent exposure to the night air. Yet this, the greatest calamity which could have befallen a person thus engaged, he bore with christian fortitude, with the piety, indeed, of a saint, and the resignation of a philosopher. He permitted it not, in fact, either to break the vigour of his spirit, or to interrupt the course of his studies, supplying, in a great measure, the defect by constant ineditation, and the use of an amanuensis. Nor, though the first astronomer and mathematician of any age or