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of a marriage unhappy for her, consisted apparently, according to Milton, not in her power to cut the knot, but in the likelihood that her husband, finding the marriage unhappy also for him, would desire for his own sake to cut the knot, or might be driven by her management to that extremity. In short, we have here, as another consequence of Milton's unfortunate marriage, the beginning of that peculiarly stern form of the notion of woman's natural and essential inferiority to man which ran with visible effects through his whole subsequent life. If not his ideal of woman, at least his estimate of what was to be expected from actual women, and what was on the average to be accorded to them, had been permanently lowered by a bad first experience.
All this while, what of the poor girl whose hard fate it was to occasion this experience in the life of a man too grandly and sternly her superior? One is bound to think also of her, and to remember, in so thinking, how young she was at the time when her offended husband first theorized his feeling of her defects, and published his theorizings, with her image and memory, though not with her name, involved in them, to the talkative world. She had not been seventeen years and a half old when she had married Milton ; she was of exactly that age when she left him, and the first edition of his Divorce Treatise was ready; she was just eighteen when the second and fuller edition appeared. Surely, but for that fatal visit, back to Forest Hill, contrived by her or her relatives, maver's would have righted themselves. As it was, things could not be worse. Restored to her father's house at Forest Hill, amid her unmarried brothers and sisters, and all the familiar objects from which she had parted so recently on going to London, the young bride had, doubtless, her little pamphlets to publish in that narrow but sympathising circle. In particular, her grievances would be poured into the confiding ears of her mother. That lady, as we can see, at once takes the lead in the case. Never with her will shall her daughter go back to that dreadful man in Aldersgate Street! Mr. Powell acquiesces; brothers and sisters acquiesce; Oxford Royalism near at hand acquiesces, so far as it is consulted ; the bride herself acquiesces, happy enough again in the routine of home, or perhaps beginning to join bashfully again in such gaieties of officers' balls, and the like, as the proximity of the King's quarters to Forest Hill made inevitable. And is not the King's cause on the whole prospering, and is not that in itself another reason for being at least in no hurry to make it up with Milton? What if it never be made up
with him? It is some time since his letters to Forest Hill by the carrier ceased entirely, and since the foot-messenger he sent down expressly all the way from London with his final letter was met at the gate by Mrs. Powell and told her mind in terms which were doubtless duly reported. And now, they hear, he is going about London as usual, and visiting at Lady Margaret Ley's, and giving his own version of his marriage story, and even printing Tracts in favour of Divorce ! People generally, they say, are not agreeing with him on that subject; but there is at least one respectable English family that is tempted to agree with him and to wish him all success!
HISTORY :-THE YEAR OF MARston Moor: Civil War, Long
PARLIAMENT, AND WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY
BIOGRAPIIY:-MILTON AMONG THE SECTARIES : His SECOND
DIVORCE PAMPHLET, TRACT ON EDUCATION, AREOPAGITICA