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was disliked by the Italians, for the severity of his and there his third child, a son was born, and manners, and for the freedom of his discourses named John, who through the ill usage or bad against popery. And in others of his letters to constitution of the nurse died an infant. His own Vosssius and to J. Fr. Gronovius from Holland,' health was too greatly impaired; and for the beHeinsius mentions how angry Salmasius was with nefit of the air, he removed from his apartment in him for commending Milton's book, and says that Scotland-Yard to a house in Petty-France WestGraswinkelius had written something against Mil-minster, which was next door to Lord Scudaton, which was to have been printed by Elzever, more's, and opened into St. James' Park; and but it was suppressed by public authority. o he remained eight years, from the year 1652 The first reply that appeared was published in till within a few weeks of the King's restoration. 1651, and entitled an Apology for the king and In this house he had not been settled long, before people, &c. Apologia pro rege et populo Angli- his first wife died in child-bed; and his condition cano contra Johannis Polipragmatici (alias Mil-" requiring some care and attendance, he was easily toni Angli) Defensionem destructivam regis et induced after a proper interval of time to marry a populi Anglicani. It is not known, who was the second, who was Catharine, daughter of Captain author of this piece. Some attribute it to one Ja- Woodcock, of Hackney; and she too died in childnus, a lawyer of Gray's Inn, and others to Dr. bed within a year after their marriage, and her John Bramhall, who was then Bishop of Derry, child, who was a daughter, died in a month after and was made Primate of Ireland after the restora- her; and her husband has done honour to her tion: but it is utterly improbable, that so mean a memory in one of his sonnets. performance, written in such barbarous Latin, and Two or three years before this second marriage so full of solecisins, should come from the hands he had totally lost his sight. And his enemies of a prelate of such distinguished abilitics and triumphed in his blindness, and imputed it as a learning. But whoever was the author of it, Mil-"judgment upon him for writing against the King: ton did not think it worth his while to animadvert, but his sight had been decaying several years beupon it himself, but employed the younger of his fore, through his close application to study, and nephews to answer it; but he supervised and cor- the frequent head-aches to which he had been rected the answer so much before it went to the sulject from his childhood, and his continual tampress, that it may in a manner be called his own.' pering with physic, which perhaps was more perIt came forth in 1652 under this title, Johannis nicious than all the rest: and he himself has inPhilippi Angli Responsio ad Apologiam anony- formed us in his second Defence, that when he mi cujusdam tenebrionis pro rege et populo An- was appointed by authority to write his Defence glicano infantissimam; and it is printed with of the people against Salmasius, he had almost Milton's works; and throughout the whole Mr. lost the sight of one eye, and the physicians dePhilips treats Bishop Bramhall with great severity clared to him, that if he undertook that work, he as the author of the Apology, thinking probably would also lose the sight of the other: but he was that so considerable an adversary would make the nothing discouraged, and chose rather to lose both answer more considerable. his eyes than desert what he thought his duty. It Sir Robert Filmer likewise published some ani-, was the sight of his left eye that he lost first: and madversions upon Milton's Defence of the o, at the desire of his friend Leonard Philaras, the in a piece printed in 1652, and entitled Observa-Duke of Parma's minister at Paris, he sent him a tions concerning the original of government, upon particular account of his case, and of the manner Mr. Hobbes' Leviathan, Mr. Milton against Sal-of his growing blind, for him to consult Thevenot masius, and Hugo Grotius de Jure belli: but I do the physician, who was reckoned famous in cases not find that Milton or any of his friends took any of the eyes. The letter is the fifteenth of his faminotice of it; but Milton's quarrel was afterwards liar epistles, is dated September 28th, 1654; and sufficiently avenged by Mr. Locke, who wrote is thus translated by Mr. Richardson. against Sir Robert Filmer's principles of government, more I suppose in condescension to the pre- “Since you advise me not to fling away all judices of the age, than out of any regard to the hopes of recovering my sight, for that you have a weight or importance of Filmer's arguments. friend at Paris, Theyenot the physician, particuIt is probable that Milton, when he was first larly famous for the eyes, whom you ofler to conmade Latin Secretary, removed from his house in sult in my behalf if you receive from me an account High Holborn to be nearer Whitehall; and for by which he may judge of the causes and sympsome time he had lodgings at one Thomson's, next toms of my disease, I will do what you advice me door to the Bull-head tavern at Charing Cross to, that I may not seem to refuse any assistance opening into Spring-garden, till the apartment, that is offered, perhaps from God. appointed for him in Scotland-Yard, could be got “I think it is about ten years, more or less, since ready for his reception. He then removed thither; I began to perceive that my eye-sight grew weak and dim, and at the same time my spleen and bowels to be oppressed and troubled with flatus; and in the morning when I began to read, according to custom, my eyes grew painful immediately, and to refuse reading, but were refreshed aster a moderate exercise of the body. A certain iris began to surround the light of the candle if I looked at it; soon after which, on the left part of the left eye (for that was some years sooner clouded) a mist arose which hid every thing on that side; and looking forward if I shut my right eye, objects appeared smaller. My other eye also, for these last three years, failing by degrees, some months before all sight was abolished, things which I looked upon seemed to swim to the right and left; certain inverate vapours seem to possess my forehead and temples, which after meat especially, quite to evening, generally, urge and depress my eyes with a sleepy heaviness. Nor would I omit that whilst there was as yet some remainder of sight, I no sooner lay down in my bed, and turned on my side, but a copious light dazzled out of my shut
immoderately addicted to women, hasty, ambitious, full of himself and his own performances, and satirical upon all others. He was however esteemed one of the most eminent preachers of that age among the Protestants; but as Monsieur Bayle observes, his chief talent must have consisted in the gracefulness of his delivery, or in those sallies of imagination and quaint turns and allusions, whereof his sermons are full; for they retain not those charms in reading, which they were said to have formerly in the pulpit. Against this man, therefore, as the reputed author of Regii sanguinis Clamor, &c., Milton published by authority his Second Defence of the people of England, Defen'sio Secunda pro populo Anglicano, in 1654, and treats Morus with such severity as nothing could. have excused, if he had not been provoked to it by so much abuse poured upon himself. There is one piece of his wit, which had been published before in the newspapers at London, a distich upon Morus for getting Pontia the maid-servant of his friend Salmasius with child.
eyes; and as my sight diminished every day, colours gradually more obscure flashed out with vehemence; but now that the lucid is in a manner Upon this Morus published his Fides Publica in wholly extinct, a direct blackness, or else spotted, answer to Milton, in which he inserted several and, as it were, woven with ash-colour, is used to testimonies of his orthodoxy and morals, signed by pour itself in. Nevertheless the constant and the consistories, academies, synods, and magissettled darkness that is before me as well by night trates of the places where he had lived; and disownas by day, seems nearer to the whitish than the ed his being the author of the book imputed to blackish; and the eye rolling itself a little, seems him, and appealed to two gentlemen of great credit to admit I know not what little smallness of light with the Parliament party, who knew the real as through a clink.” author. This brought Du Moulin, who was then in England, into great danger; but the governBut it does not appear what answer he received; ment suffered him to escape with impunity, rather we may presume, none that administered any re- than they would publicly contradict the great palief. His blindness however did not disable him tron of their cause. For he still persisted in his entirely from performing the business of his office, accusation, and endeavoured to make it good in An assistant was allowed him, and his salary as his Defence of himself, Autoris pro se Defensio, secretary still continued to him. which was published in 1655, wherein he opposed And there was farther occasion for his service to the testimonies in favour of Morus other testibesides dictating of letters. For the controversy monies against him; and Morus replied no more. with Salmasius did not die with him, and there After this controversy was ended, he was at was published at the Hague, in 1652, a book en-leisure again to pursue his own private studies, titled the Cry of the King's Blood, &c., Regiisan- which were the History of England before menguinis Clamor ad caelum adversus Parricidas An-stioned, and a new Thesaurus of the Latin tongue, glicanos. The true author of this book was Peter intended as an improvement upon that by Robert du Moulin, the younger, who was asterwards pre-Stephens; a work which he had been long colbendary of Canterbury: and he transmitted his lecting from the best and purest Latin authors, papers to Salmasius; and Salmasius intrusted and continued at times almost to his dying day: them to the care of Alexander Morus, a French but his papers were left so confused and imperminister; and Morus published them with a dedi- fect, that they could not be fitted for the press, cation to King Charles II, in the name of Adrian though great use was made of them by the comUlac, the printer, from whence he came to be re-pilers of the Cambridge Dictionary, printed in puted the author of the whole. This Morus was io93. These papers are said to have consisted the son of a learned Scotsman, who was president of three large volumes in folio; and it is a great of the college, which the Protestants had formerly pity that they are lost, and no account is given at Castres in Languedoc; and he is said to have what is become of the manuscript. It is commonly been a man of a most haughty disposition, and said too that at this time he began his famous
Galliex concubitu gravidam te, Pontia, Mori
poem of Paradise Lost; and it is certain, that he was glad to be released from those controversies,
his blindness, proceeded slower in business, and had not yet put the articles of the treaty into Latin.
which detained him so long from following things. Upon which the ambassador was greatly surprised,
more agreeable to his natural genius and inclination, though he was far from ever repenting of his writings in defence of liberty, but gloried in them to the last. The only interruption now of his private studies was the business of his office. In 1655, there was published in Latin a writing in the name of the Lord Protector, setting forth the reasons of the war with Spain; and this piece is rightly adjudged to our author, both on account of the peculiar elegance of the style, and because it was his province to write such things as Latin secretary; and it is printed among his other prose works in the last edition. And for the same reasons I am inclined to think, that the famous Latin verses to Christina, Queen of Sweden, in the name of Cromwell, were made by our author rather than Andrew Marvel. In those days they had admirable intelligence in the secretary's office; and Mr. Philips relates a memorable instance or two upon his own knowledge. The Dutch were sending a plenipotentiary to England to treat of peace; but the emissaries of the government had the art to procure a copy of his instructions in Holland, which were delivered by Milton to his kinsman, who was then with him, to translate them for the use of the Council, before the said plenipotentiary had taken shipping for England; and an answer to all that he had in charge was prepared, and lay ready for him before he made his public entry into London. Another time a person came to London with a very sumptuous train, pretending himself an agent from the Prince of Conde, who was then in arms against Cardinal Mazarine: but the government suspecting him, set their instruments to work so successfully, that in a few days they received intelligence from Paris, that he was a spy employed by Charles II.: whereupon the very next morning Milton's kinsman was sent to him with an order of Council, commanding him to depart the kingdom within three days, or expect the punishment of a spy. This kinsman was in all probability Mr. Philips or his brother, who were Milton's nephews, and lived very much with him, and one or both of them were assistant to him in his office. His blindness no doubt was a great hindrance and inconvenience to him in his business, though sometimes a political use might be made of it; as men's natural infirmities are often pleaded in excuse for not doing what they have no great inclination to do. Thus when Cromwell, as we may collect from Whitlock, for some reasons delayed artfully to sign the treaty concluded with Sweden, and the Swedish ambassador made frequent complaints of it, it was ex
that things of such consequence should be entrusted to a blind man, for he must necessarily employ an amanuensis, and that amanuensis might divulge the articles; and said that it was very wonderful, that there should be only one man in England who could write Latin, and he a blind one. But his blindness had not diminished, but rather increased the vigour of his mind; and his state-letters will remain as authentic memorials of those times, to be admired equally by critics and politicians; and those particularly about the sufferings of the poor Protestants in Piedmont, who can read without sensible emotion? This was a subject he had very much at heart, as he was an utter enemy to all sorts of persecution; and among his sonnets there is a most excellent one upon the same occasion. But Oliver Cromwell being dead, and the government weak and unsettled in the hands of Richard and the Parliament, he thought it a seasonable time to offer his advice again to the public; and in 1659 published a Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical causes; and another tract entitled Considerations touching the likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church; both addressed to the Parliament of the commonwealth of England. And after the parliament was dissolved, he wrote a letter to some statesman, with whom he had a serious discourse the night before, concerning the ruptures of the commonwealth; and another, as it is supposed, to General Monk, being a brief delineation of a free commonwealth, easy to be put in practice, and without delay. These two pieces were communicated in manuscript to Mr. Toland by a friend who a little after Milton's death had them from his nephew; and Mr. Toland gave them to be printed in the edition of our author's prose-works in 1698. But Milton, still finding that affairs were every day tending more and more to the subversion of the commonwealth, and the restoration of the royal family, published his Ready and Easy Way to establish a Free Commonwealth, and the excellence thereof, compared with the inconveniences and dangers of readmitting kingship in this nation. We are informed by Mr. Wood that he published this piece in February 1659-60; and after this he published Brief Notes upon a late Sermon, entitled, The Fear of God and the King, preached by Dr. Matthew Griffith at Mercer's Chapel, March 25, 1660: so bold and resolute was he in declaring his sentiments to the last, thinking that his voice was the voice of expiring liberty. A little before the King's landing, he was discharged from his office of Latin Secretary, and was he had lived eight years with great reputation, and had been visited by all foreigners of note, who could not go out of the country without seeing a man who did so much honour to it by his writings, and whose name was as well known and as famous abroad as in his own nation; and by several persons of quality of both sexes, particularly the pious and virtuous Lady Ranelagh, whose son for some time he instructed, the same who was paymaster of the forces in King William's time; and by many learned and ingenious friends and acquaintance, particularly Andrew Marvel, and young Laurence, son to the President of Oliver's Council, to whom he has inscribed one of his sonnets, and Marchamont Needham, the writer of Politicus, and above all, Cyriac Skinner, whom he has honoured with two sonnets. But now it was not safe for him to appear any longer in public, so that by the advice of some who wished him well and were concerned for his preservation, he fled for shelter to a friend's house in Bartholomew Close, near West Smithfield, where he lay concealed till the worst of the storm was blown over. The first notice that we find taken of him was on Saturday the 16th of June, 1660, when it was ordered by the House of Commons, that his Majesty should be humbly moved to issue his proclamation for the calling in of Milton's two books, his Defence of the People, and Iconoclastes, and also Goodwyn's book entitled the Obstructors of Justice, written in justification of the murder of the late king, and to order them to be burnt by the hands of the common hangman. At the same time it was ordered that the Attorney General should proceed by way of indictment or information against Milton and Goodwyn in respect of their books, and that they themselves should be sent for in custody of the Serjeant-atarms attending the House. On Wednesday, June 27th, an order of Council was made agreeable to the order of the House of Commons for a proclamation against Milton's and Goodwyn's books; and the proclamation was issued the 13th of August following, wherein it was said that the authors had fled or did abscond: and on Monday, August 27th, Milton's and Goodwyn's books were burnt, according to the proclamation, at the Old Bailey, by the hands of the common hangman. On Wednesday, August 29th, the act of indemnity was passed, which proved more favourable to Milton than could well have been expected; for though John Goodwyn Clerk was excepted among the twenty persons who were to have penalties inflicted upon them, not extending to life, yet Milton was not excepted at all, and consequently was included in the general pardon. We find indeed that afterwards he was in custody of the Serjeantat-arms; but the time when he was taken into custody is not certain. He was not in custody on
cused to him, because Mr. Milton, on account of forced to leave his house in Petty France, where
the 12th of September, for that day a list of the
prisoners in custody of the Serjeant-at-arms was read in the House, and Milton is not among chem; and on the 13th of September the House adjourned to the 6th of November. It is most probable, therefore, that after the act or indemnity was passed, and after the House had adjourned, he came out of his concealment, and was afterwards taken into custody of the Serjeant-at-arms by virtue of the former order of the House of Commons, but we can not find that he was prosecuted by the Attorney General, nor was he continued in custody very long: for on Saturday the 15th of December, 1650, it was ordered by the House of Commons, that Mr. Milton now in custody of the Serjeantat-arms, should be forthwith released, paying his fees; and on Monday the 17th of December, a complaint being made that the Serjeant-at-arms had demanded excessive fees for his imprisonment, it was referred to the committee of privileges and elections to examine this business, and to call Mr. Milton and the Serjeant before them, and to determine what was fit to be given to the Serjeant for his fees in this case; so courageous was he at all times in defence of liberty against all the encroachments of power, and though a prisoner, would yet be treated like a freeborn Englishman. This appears to be the matter of fact, as it may be collected partly from the Journals of the House of Commons, and partly from Kennet's Historical Register: and the clemency of the government was surely very great towards him, considering the nature of his offences; for though he was not one of the King's judges and murderers, yet he contributed more to murder his character and reputation than any of them all: and to what therefore could it be owing, that he was treated with such lenity, and was so easily pardoned? It is certain, there was not wanting powerful intercession for him both in Council and in Parliament. It is said that Secretary Morrice and Sir Thomas Clargis greatly favoured him, and exerted their interest in his behalf; and his old friend Andrew Marvel, member of Parliament for Hull, formed a considerable party for him in the House of Commons; and neither was Charles the Second (as Toland says) such an enemy to the Muses, as to require his destruction. But the principal instrument in obtaining Milton's pardon was Sir William Davenant, out of gratitude for Milton's having procured his release, when he was taken prisoner in 1650. It was life for life. Davenant had been saved by Milton's interest, and in return Milton was saved at Davenant's intercession. This story Mr. Richardson relates upon the authority of Mr. Pope; and Mr. Pope had it from Betterton the famous actor, who was first brought upon the stage and patronised by Sir William Davenant, and might therefore derive the knowledge of this transaction from the fountain.
Milton having thus obtained his pardon, and being set at liberty again, took a house in Holborn, near Red Lion Fields; but he removed soon into Jewen street, near Aldersgate street, and while he lived there, being in his 53d or 54th year, and blind and infirm, and wanting somebody better than servants to attend and look after him, he employed his friend Dr. Paget to choose a proper consort for him; and at his recommendation married his third wife, Elizabeth Minshul, of a gentleman's
began to rage in London in 1665, he removed to a small house at St. Giles Chalfont, in Buckinghamshire, which Elwood had taken for him and his family; and there he remained during that dreadful calamity; but after the sickness was over, and the city was cleansed and made safely habitable again, he returned to his house in London. His great work of Paradise Lost, had principally engaged his thoughts for some years past, and was now completed. It is probable, that his
family in Cheshire, and related to Dr. Paget. It first design of writing an epic poem was owing to
is said that an offer was made to Milton, as well as to Thurloe, of holding the same place of Secre. tary under the king, which he had discharged with so much integrity and ability under Cromwell; but he persisted in refusing it, though the wife pressed his compliance. “Thou art in the right,” said he; “you, as other women, would ride in your coach; for me, my aim is to live and die an honest man.” What is more certain is, that in 1661 he published his Accedence commenced Grammar, and a tract of Sir Walter Raleigh, entitled, Aphorisms of State; as in 1658 he had published another piece of Sir Walter Raleigh, entitled, The Cabinet Council discabinated, which he printed from a manuscript, that had lain many years in his hands, and was given him for a true copy by a learned man at his death, who had collected several such pieces: an evident sign, that he thought it no mean employment, nor unworthy of a man of genius, to be an editor of the works of great authors. It was while he lived in Jewen street, that Elwood, the quaker, (as we learn from the history of his life written by his own hand) was first introduced to read to him; for having wholly lost his sight, he kept always somebody or other to perform that office, and usually the son of some gentleman of his acquaintance, whom he took in kindness, that he might at the same time improve him in his learning. Elwood was recommended to him by Dr. Paget, and went to his house every afternoon, except Sunday, and read to him such books in the Latin tongue, as Milton thought proper. And Milton told him, that if he would have the benefit of the Latin tongue, not only to read and understand Latin authors, but to converse with foreigners either abroad or at home, he must learn the foreign pronunciation; and he instructed him how to read accordingly. And having a curious ear, he understood by my tone, says Elwood, when I understood what I read, and when I did not; and he would stop me, and examine me, and open the most difficult passages to me. But it was not long after his third marriage, that he left Jewen street, and removed to a house in the Artillery Walk, leading to Bunhill Fields: and this was his last stage in this world; he continued longer in this house than he had done in any other, and lived here to his dying day: only when the plague
his conversations at Naples with the Marquis of Villa, about Tasso, and his famous poem of the Delivery of Jerusalem; and in a copy of verses presented to that nobleman before he left Naples, he intimated his intention of fixing upon king Arthur for his hero. And in an eclogue, made soon after his return to England, upon the death of his friend and school-fellow Deodati, he proposed the same design and the same subject, and declared his ambition of writing something in his native language, which might render his name illustrious in these islands, though he should be obscure and inglorious to the rest of the world. And in other parts of his works, after he had engaged in the controversies of the times, he still promised to produce some noble poem or other at a fitter season; but it does not appear that he had then determined upon the subject, and king Arthur had another fate, being reserved for the pen of Sir Richard Blackmore. The first hint of Paradise Lost is said to have been taken from an Italian tragedy; and it is certain, that he first designed it a tragedy himself, and there are several plans of it in the form of a tragedy still to be seen in the author's own manuscript preserved in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. And it is probable, that he did not barely sketch out the plans, but also wrote some parts of the drama itself. His nephew, Philips, informs us, that some of the verses at the beginning of Satan's speech, addressed to the sun, in the fourth book, were shown to him and some others as designed for the beginning of the tragedy, several years before the poem was begun; and many other passages might be produced, which plainly appear to have been originally intended for the scene, and are not so properly of the epic, as of the tragic strain. It was not till after he was disengaged from the Salmasian controversy, which ended in 1655, that he began to mould the Paradise Lost in its present form; but after the Restoration, when he was dismissed from public business, and freed from controversy of every kind, he prosecuted the work with closer application. Mr. Philips relates a very remarkable circumstance in the composure of this poem, which he says he had reason to remember, as it was told him by Milton himself, that his vein never happily flowed but from the autumnal equinox