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of Lorenzo de' Medici; two volumes of Canterbury Tales by Harriet and Sophia Lee, very amusing, of which Lothaire, the Ghost Story, is the best. Reynolds' Works; Cowpers translation of the Odyssey, the twelve last books with Jane, and the twelve first of the Iliad; and concluded Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and the five supplementary Cantos.

1799.

January. Began Montesquieu, L'Esprit des Loix.

23. Read Lewis's Castle Spectre, a new play. Continued Montesquieu. Began Smollett's Count Fathom.

24, 25. Finished Count Fathom. Continued Montesquieu.

26 to 28. Continued Montesquieu to the end of

book x.

29. Began Aristophanes, in Bergler's edition, 1760, and read the Plutus.

30. Began Milton's Prose Works, in the edition of 1753. Read his Life, by Birch, prefixed : and of Reformation in England, in two books; and of Prelatical Episcopacy, both against the junction of Church and State.

31. Began the Clouds of Aristophanes.

February 1. Finished the Clouds. Read the Areopagitica of Milton, with Jane-a noble defence of the press, with much true eloquence in it.

2. Read Milton's Reason of Church Government urged against Prelacy, in two books. In the intro

duction to the second book is that noble passage where he speaks of the great poetical works on which his mind sometimes mused.

Feb. 4. Read cursorily Milton's Animadversions upon the Remonstrant's Defence, and the Apology of Smectymnus. In the Apology are some interesting passages respecting his studies and habits of life.

5. Began the Frogs of Aristophanes.

6. Finished the Frogs. There is much humour in the conversation between Bacchus and Xanthias ; and the styles of Æschylus and Euripides are skilfully caricatured. Read the first book of Milton's Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce.

7. Began the Knights of Aristophanes. Finished the History of the American Revolution, by David Ramsey, M.D., of South Carolina, with Jane; a perspicuous and apparently accurate account of that great event.

8. Finished the Knights.

9. Began the Acharnians of Aristophanes. Began Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo de' Medici, with Jane.

10. Finished the Acharnians.

11. Began the Wasps of Aristophanes. Finished the second book of Milton's Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce.

12. Finished the Wasps. This comedy is imitated by Racine in his Plaideurs. Read the Judg. ment of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce, by Milton. Martin Bucer was one of the Reformers

highly esteemed for his knowledge in the Scriptures. He was driven from Strasburgh by the persecution in Germany, and was afterwards two years a Professor of Divinity in Cambridge, under the patronage of Edward VI., in which situation he died in 1551.

Feb. 13. Began the Birds of Aristophanes.

14. Finished the Birds. This comedy is full of humour, and has many fine poetical passages.

15. Read the Peace of Aristophanes.

16. Read the Ecclesiazusæ of Aristophanes.-Finished Milton's Tetrachordon, which I read cursorily.

17. Read Milton's Colasterion, in reply to an Answer to his Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. At the conclusion of this most caustic reply he says to his antagonist, “Since my fate extorts from me a talent of sport, which I had thought to hide in a napkin, he shall be my Batrachomuomachia, my Bavius, my Colandrino, the common adagy of ignorance and overweening. Nay, perhaps, as the provocation may be, I may be driven to cut up this gliding prose into a rough sotadic, that shall rhyme him into such a condition, as, instead of judging good books to be burnt by the executioner, he shall be readier to be his own hangman. Thus much to this nuisance."

Read Milton's Tenure of Kings and Magistrates; a justification of punishing tyrants with death, on occasion of Charles the First's execution ; in a more flowing style than •Milton's prose commonly seems

to be in, and very able. Read the Thesmophoriazusæ of Aristophanes; and the Observations upon the Articles of Peace with the Irish Rebels; on the Letter of Ormond to Colonel Jones; and the Representation of the Presbytery at Belfast, by Milton.

Feb. 19. Began Milton's Eiconoclastes.

20. Finished the Eiconoclastes, and read Milton's Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes.

21. Read Milton's Considerations touching the likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church, &c. Milton proves that a settled provision for the clergy is not enjoined by our religion ; but fails in shewing it not to be expedient. It seems likely that ignorance or barbarism might be the final result of this plan, which would admit mechanics to be preachers. Read Milton's Letter to a Friend, concerning the Ruptures of the Commonwealth (posthumous); the Present Means and brief Delineation of a Free Commonwealth, (addressed to General Monk, and posthumous); and The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth. Milton's plan is that there should be a general council of the nation, and ordinary assemblies in the chief towns of each county. He would have the grand or general council perpetual when once elected, at least, till affairs became quieter; though he indeed argues as if it would always be better so. The assemblies would send up deputies to the council, and a majority of them agree or reject any measure;

but the assemblies seem chiefly calculated for the government of the several counties. This seems a rude sketch, which perhaps could not be filled up in the present or any past condition of this country. Read Milton's Notes on Dr. Griffith's Sermon,acute and severe. They conclude the first volume, excepting a grammatical work called Accedence Communis Grammar, for learners of the Latin Language.

Feb. 22. Concluded the Lysistrata, the last of Aristophanes' comedies, and perhaps the least amusing, as the Birds is most. This edition, called Bergler's, contains his notes on all the plays, and his translation of eight. It was published by the care of Petrus Burmannus Secundus, Lugduni Batavorum, 1760. In Burman's preface are some memoirs of Stephen Bergler, who is said to have gone to Constantinople and turned Mahommedan. The notes are monly very satisfactory, and not too oppressive to the text.

Resumed Montesquieu, L'Esprit des Loix, Book xi. He makes an excellent distinction between the ancient heroic monarchies and the modern monarchies of Europe. The former united the executive and judiciary powers in the monarch, the latter unite in him the executive and legislative. The excellence of the modern over the ancient governments of this kind appear in their superior stability and length of continuance.

24. Read to the end of Book xiii. of Montesquieu.

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