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to the vernal, and that what he attempted at other times was not to his satisfaction, though he courted his fancy never so much. Mr. Toland imagines that Philips might be mistaken as to the time, because our author, in his Latin elegy, written in his twentieth year, upon the approach of the spring, seems to say just the contrary, as if he could not make any verses to his satisfaction till the spring begun; and he says farther, that a judicious friend of Milton's informed him, that he could never compose well but in spring and autumn. But Mr. Richardson can not comprehend, that either of these accounts is exactly true, or that a man with such a work in his head can suspend it for six months together, or only for one; it may go on more slowly, but it must go on; and this laying it aside is contrary to that eagerness to finish what was begun, which he says was his temper, in his epistle to Deodati, dated Sept. 2, 1637. After all Mr. Philips, who had the perusal of the poem from the beginning, by twenty or thirty verses at a time, as it was composed, and having not been shown any for a considerable while as the summer came on, inquired of the author the reason of it, could hardly be mistaken with regard to the time: and it is easy to conceive, that the poem might go on much more slowly in summer than in other parts of the year; for, notwithstanding all that poets may say of the pleasures of that season, I imagine most persons find by experience, that they can compose better at any other time, with more facility and more spirit, than during the heat and languor of summer. Whenever the poem was written, it was

finished in 1665, and, as Elwood says, was shown

to him that same year at St. Giles Chalfont, whither Milton had retired to avoid the plague, and it was lent to him to peruse it, and give his judg: ment of it; and, considering the difficulties which the author lay under, his uneasiness on account of the public affairs and his own, his age and infirmities, his gout and blindness, his not being in circumstances to maintain an amanuensis, but obliged to make use of any hand that came next to write his verses as he made them, it is really wonderful, that he should have the spirit to undertake such a work, and much more, that he should ever bring it to perfection. And after the poem was finished, still new difficulties retarded the publication of it. It was in danger of being suppressed through the malice or ignorance of the licencer, who took exception at some passages, and particularly at that noble simile, in the first book, of the sun in an eclipse, in which he fancied that he had discovered treason. It was with difficulty too that the author could sell the copy; and he sold it at last only for five pounds, but was to receive five pounds more after the sale of thirteen hundred of the first impression, and five pounds more after the sale of as many of the second impression, and five more after

the sale of as many of the third, and the number was not to exceed fifteen hundred. And what a poor compensation was this for such an inestimable performance! and how much more do others get by the works of great authors, than the authors themselves! This original contract with Samuel Simmons, the printer, is dated April 27, 1667, and is in the hands of Mr. Tomson, the bookseller, as is likewise the manuscript of the first book copied fair for the press, with the Imprimatur, by Thomas Tomkyns, chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury: so that, though Milton was forced to make use of different hands to write his verses from time to time as he had occasion, yet we may suppose that the copy for the press was written all, or at least each book by the same hand. The first edition, in ten books, was printed in a small quarto; and before it could be disposed of had three or more different title pages of the years 1667, 1668, and 1669. The first sort was without the name of Symmons, the printer, and began with the poem

immediately following the title page, without any argument, or preface, or table of errata: to others was prefixed a short advertisement of the printer to the reader concerning the argument, and the room why the poem rhymes not; and then followed the argument of the several books, and the preface concerning the kind of verse, and the table of errata: others again had the argument, and the preface, and the table of errata, without that short advertisement of the printer to the reader: and this was all the difference between them, except now and then of a point or a letter, which were altered as the sheets were printing off. So that, notwithstanding these variations, there was still only one impression in quarto; and two years almost elaps|ed, before thirteen hundred copies could be sold, or before the author was entitled to his second five pounds, for which his receipt is still in being, and is dated April 26, 1669. And this was probably all that he received; for he lived not to enjoy the benefits of the second edition, which was not published till the year 1674, and that same year he died. The second edition was printed in a small octavo, and was corrected by the author himself, and the number of books was augmented from ten to twelve, with the addition of some few verses: and this alteration was made with great judgment, not for the sake of such a fanciful beauty as resembling the number of books in the AEmeid, but for the more regular disposition of the poem, because the seventh and tenth books were before too long, and are more fitly divided each into two. The third edition was published in 1678; and it appears that Milton had left his remaining right in the copy to his widow, and she agreed with Simmons, the printer, to accept eight pounds in full of all demands, and her receipt for the money is dated December 21, 1680. But a little before this Simmons had covenanted to assign the whole right of copy to Brabazon Aylmer, the bookseller, for twenty-five pounds; and Alymer afterwards sold it to old Jacob Tonson at two different times, one half on the 17th of August, 1683, and the other half on the 24th of March, 1690, with a considerable advance of the price: and except one fourth of it which has been assigned to several persons, his family have enjoyed the right of copy ever since. By the last assignment it appears that the book was growing into repute and rising in valuation; and to what perverseness could it be owing that it was not better received at first 2 We conceive there were principally two reasons; the prejudices against the author on account of his principles and party; and many, no doubt, were offended with the novelty of a poem that was not in rhyme. Rymer, who was a redoubted critic in those days, would not so much as allow it to be a poem on this account; and declared war against Milton as well as against Shakspeare; and threatened that he would write reflections upon the Paradise Lost, which some (says he") are pleased to call a poem, and would assert against the slender sophistry where with the author attacks it. And such a man as Bishop Burnet makes it a sort of objecticn to Milton, that he affected to write in blank verse without rhyme. And the same reason induced Dryden to turn the principal parts of Paradise Lost into rhyme in his Opera called the State of Innocence and Fall of Man; to tag his lines, as Milton himself expressed it, alluding to the fashion then of wearing tags of metal at the end of their ribbons. We are told indeed by Mr. Richardson, that Sir George Hungerford, an ancient member of Parliament, told him, that Sir John Denham came into the House one morning with a sheet of Paradise Lost wet from the press in his hand; and being asked what he had there, said that he had part of the noblest poem that ever was written in any language or in any age. However it is certain that the book was unknown till about two years after, when the Earl of Dorset produced it, as Mr. Richardson was informed by Dr. Tancred Robinson, the physician, who had heard the story often from Fleetwood Shepherd himself, that the Earl, in company with Mr. Shepherd, looking about for books in Little Britain, accidentally met with Paradise Lost; and being surprised at some passages in dipping here and there, he bought it. The bookseller begged his Lordship to speak in its favour if he liked it, for the impression lay on his hands as waste paper. The Earl having read it sent it to Dryden, who in a short time returned it with this answer, “This man cuts us all out and the ancients too.” Dryden's epigram upon Milton

is too weil known to be repeated; and those Latin verses by Dr. Barrow the physician, and the English ones by Andrew Marvel, Esq. usually prefixed to the Paradise Lost, were written before the second edition, and were published with it. But still the poem was not generally known and esteemed, nor met with the deserved applause, till after the edition in folio, which was published in 1688 by subscription. The Duke of Buckingham in his Essay on poetry prefers Tasso and Spencer to Milton; and it is related in the life of the witty Earl of Rochester, that he had no notion of a better poet than Cowley. In 1686 or thereabout Sir William Temple published the second part of his

Miscellanies, and it may surprise any reader, that

in his Essay on Poetry he takes no notice at all of Milton; may he says expressly that after Ariosto, Tasso, and Spenser, he knows none of the Moderns who have made any achievements in heroic poetry worth recording. And what can we think, that he had not read or heard of the Paradise Lost, or that the author's politics had prejudiced him against his poetry? It was happy that all great men were not of his mind. The bookseller was advised and encouraged to undertake the folio edition by Mr. Sommers, afterwards Lord Sommers, who not only subscribed himself, but was zealous in promoting the subscription: and in the list of subscribers we find some of the most eminent names of that time, as the Earl of Dorset, Waller, Dryden, Dr. Aldrich, Mr. Atterbury, and among the rest Sir Roger Lestrange, though he had formerly written a piece entitled No blind guides, &c. against Milton's Notes upon Dr. Griffith's sermon. There were two editions more in folio, one I think in 1692, the other in 1695, which was the sixth edition; for the poem was now so well received, that notwithstanding the price of it was four times greater than before, the sale increased double the number every year; as the bookseller, who should best know, has informed us in his dedication of the smaller editions to Lord Sommers. Since that time not only various editions have been printed, but also various notes and translations. The first person who wrote annotations upon Paradise Lost was P. H. or Patrick Hume, of whom we know nothing, unless his name may lead us to some knowledge of his country, but he has the merit of being the first (as I say) who wrote notes upon Paradise Lost, and his notes were printed at the end of the folio edition in 1695. Mr. Addison's Spectators upon the subject contributed not a little to establishing the character, and illustrating the beauties of the poem. In 1732 appeared Dr. Bentley's new edition with notes: and the year following Dr. Pearce published his Review of the text, in which the chief of Dr. Bentley's emendations are considered, and several other public. And the year after that Messieurs Richardson, father and son, published their Explanatory notes and remarks. The poem has also been translated into several languages, Latin, Italian, French, and Dutch; and proposals have been made for translating it into Greek. The Dutch translation is in blank verse, and printed at Harlem. The French have a translation by Mons. Dupré de St. Maur; but nothing shows the weakness and imperfection of their language more, than that they have few or no good poetical versions of the greatest poets; they are forced to translate Homer, Virgil, and Milton into prose: and blank verse their language has not harmony and dignity enough to support; their tragedies, and many of their comedies are in rhyme. Rolli, the famous Italian master here in England, made an Italian translation; and Mr. Richardson the son, saw another at Florence in manuscript by the learned Abbé Salvini, the same who translated Addison's Cato into Italian. One William Hog or Hogaeus translated Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes into Latin verse in 1690; but this version is very unworthy of the originals. There is a better translation of the Paradise Lost by Mr. Thomas Power, Fellow of Trinity College, in Cambridge, the first book of which was printed in 1691, and the rest in manuscript is in the library of that College. The learned Dr. Trap has also published a translation into Latin verse; and the world is in expectation of another, that will surpass all the rest, by Mr. William Dobson, of New College, in Oxford. So that by one means or other Milton is now considered as an English classic; and the Paradise Lost is generally esteemed the noblest and most sublime of modern poems, and equal at least to the best of the ancient; the honour of this country, and the envy and admiration of all others! In 1670 he published his History of Britain, that part especially now called England. He began it above twenty years before, but was frequently interrupted by other avocations; and he designed to have brought it down to his own times, but stopped at the Norman conquest; for indeed he was not well able to pursue it any farther by reason of his blindness, and he was engaged in other more delightful studies; having a genius turned for poetry rather than history. When his History was printed, it was not printed perfect and entire; for the licenser expunged several passages, which reflecting upon the pride and superstition of the Monks in the Saxon times, were understood as a concealed satire upon the Bishops in Charles the second's reign. But the author himself gave a copy of his unlicensed papers to the Earl of Anglesea, who, as well as several of the nobility and gentry, constantly visited him: and in 1681 a considera

see Rymer’s “Tragedies of the last age considered.” p. 143. lemendations and observations are offered to tho

ginning of the third book, was published, containing a character of the Long Parliament and Assembly of Divines in 1611, which was inserted in its proper place in the last edition of 1738. Bishop Kennet begins his Complete History of England with this work of Milton, as being the best draught, the clearest and most authentic account of those early times; and his style is freer and easier than in most of his other works, fore plain and simple, less figurative and metaphorical, and better suited to the nature of history, has enough of the Latin turn and idiom to give it an air of antiquity, and sometimes rises to a surprising dignity and majesty. In 1670 likewise his Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes were licensed together, but were not published till the year following. It is somewhat remarkable, that these two poems were not printed by Simmons, the same who printed the Paradise Lost, but by J. M. for one Starkey, in Fleet street: and what could induce Milton to have recourse to another printer? was it because the former was not enough encouraged by the sale of Paradise Lost to become a purchaser of the other copies? The first thought of Paradise Regained was owing to Elwood the Quaker, as he himself relates the occasion in the history of his life. When Milton had lent him the manuscript of Paradise Lost at St. Giles Chalfont, as we said before, and he returned it, Milton asked him how he liked it, and what he thought of it: “Which I modestly, but freely told him, says Elwood; and after some further discourse about it, I pleasantly said to him, Thou hast said much of Paradise Lost, but what hast thou to say of Paradise Found? He made me no answer, but sat some time in a muse; then broke off that discourse, and fell upon another subject.” When Elwood afterwards waited upon him in London, Milton showed him his Paradise Regained, and in a pleasant tone said to him, “This is owing to you, for you put it in my head by the question you put me at Chalfont, which before I had not thought of.” It is commonly reported, that Milton himself preferred this poem to the Paradise Lost; but all that we can assert upon good authority is, that he could not endure to hear this poem cried down so much as it was, in comparison with the other. For certainly it is very worthy of the author, and contrary to what Mr. Toland relates, Milton may be seen in Paradise Regained as well as in Paradise Lost; if it is inferior in poetry, I know not whether it is not superior in sentiment; if it is less descriptive, it is more argumentative; if it does not sometimes rise so high, neither does it ever sink so low; and it has not met with the approbation it deserves, only because it has not been more read and considered. His subject indeed is

ble passage, which had been suppressed at the be

confined, and he has a narrow foundation to build upon; but he has raised as noble a superstructure as such little room and such scanty materials would allow. The great beauty of it is the contrast between the two characters of the Tempter and our Saviour, the artful sophistry and specious insinuations of the one refuted by the strong sense and manly eloquence of the other. This poem has also been translated into French, together with some other pieces of Milton, Lycidas, L’Allegro, Il Penseroso, and the Ode on Christ's Nativity: and in 1732, was printed a Critical Dissertation, with Notes upon Paradise Regained, pointing out the beauties of it, and written by Mr. Meadawcourt, Canon of Worcester; and the very learned and ingenious Mr. Jortin has added some observations upon this work at the end of his excellent Remarks upon Spenser, published in 1734; and indeed this poem of Milton, to be more admired, needs only to be better known. His Samson Agonistes is the only tragedy that he has finished, though he has sketched out the plans of several, and proposed the subjects of more, in his manuscript preserved in Trinity College library: and we may suppose that he was determined to the choice of this particular subject by the similitude of his own circumstances to those of Samson blind and among the Philistines. This I conceive to be the last of his poetical pieces; and it is written in the very spirit of the ancients, and equals, if not exceeds, any of the most perfect tragedies, which were ever exhibited on the Athenian stage, when Greece was in its glory. As this work was never intended for the stage, the division into acts and scenes is omitted. Bishop Atterbury had an intention of getting Mr. Pope to divide it into acts and scenes, and of having it acted by the king's scholars at Westminster: but his commitment to the tower put an end to that design. It has since been brought upon the stage in the form of an oratorio; and Mr. Handel's music is never employed to greater advantage, than when it is adapted to Milton's words. The great artist has done equal justice to our author's L'Allegro and Il Penseroso, as if the same spirit possessed both masters, and as if the god of music and of verse was still one and the same. There are also some other pieces of Milton, for he continued publishing to the last. In 1672, he published Artis Logica plenior Institutio ad Petri Rami methodum concinnata, an Institution of Logic after the method of Petrus Ramus; and the year following, a Treatise of True Religion and the best means to Prevent the Growth of Popery, which had greatly increased through the conmivance of the King, and the more open encouragement of the Duke of York; and the same year his poems, which had been printed in 1645, were rePrinted with the addition of several others. His

Epistolarum Familiarium, Lib. I, et Prolusiones quodam Oratoriae in Collegio Christi habita", were printed in 1674; as was also his translation out of Latin into English of the Poles Declaration concerning the election of their King John III., setting forth the virtues and merits of that prince. He wrote also a brief History of Muscovy, collected from the relations of several travellers; but it was not printed till after his death in 1682. He had likewise his state-letters transcribed at the request of the Danish resident, but neither were they printed till after his death in 1676, and were translated into English in 1694; and to that translation a life of Milton was prefixed by his nephew Mr. Edward Philips, and at the end of that life his excellent sonnets to Fairfax, Cromwell, Sir Henry Vane, and Cyriac Skinner, on his blindness, were first printed. Besides these works which were published, he wrote his System of Divinity, which Mr. Toland says was in the hands of his friend Cyriac Skinner, but where at present is uncertain. And Mr. Philips says, that he had prepared for the press an answer to some little scribbling quack in London, who had written a scurrilous libel against him; but whether by the dissuasion of friends, as thinking him a fellow not worth his notice, or for what other cause, Mr. Philips knew not, this answer was never published. And indeed the best vindicator of him and his writings has been time; posterity has universally paid that honour to his merits, which was denied him by great part of his contemporaries. After a life thus spent in study and labours for the public, he died of the gout at his house in Bunhill Row, on or about the 10th of November, 1674, when he had within a month completed the sixty-sixth year of his age. It is not known when he was first attacked by the gout, but he was grievously afflicted with it several of the last years of his life, and was weakened to such a degree, that he died without a groan, and those in the room perceived not when he expired. His body was decently interred near that of his father, (who had died very aged about the year 1647,) in the chancel of the church of St. Giles's, Cripplegate; and all his great and learned friends in London, not without a friendly concourse of the common people, paid their last respects in attending it to the grave. Mr. Fenton, in his short but elegant account of the Life of Milton, speaking of our author's having no monument, says that “he desired a friend to inquire at St. Giles's church; where the sexton showed him a small monument, which he said was supposed to be Milton's; but the inscription had never been legible since he was employed in that office, which he has possessed about forty years. This sure could never have happened in so short a space of time, unless that supposition, says Mr. Fenton, carries with it so much inhumanity, that I think we ought to believe it was not erected to his memory.” It is evident that it was not erected to his memory, and that the sexton was mistaken. For Mr. Toland, in his account of the Life of Milton, says, that he was buried in the chancel of St. Giles's church, “where the piety of his admirers will shortly erect a monument becoming his worth and the encouragement of letters in King William's reign.” This plainly implies that no monument was erected to him at that time, and this was written in 1698; and Mr. Fenton's account was first published, I think, in 1725; so that not above twenty-sever years intervened from the one account to the other; and consequently the sexton, who it is said had been possessed of his office about forty years, must have been mistaken, and the monument must have been designed for some other person, and not for Milton. A monument indeed has been erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey by Auditor Benson, in the year 1737; but the best monument of him is his writings. In his youth he was esteemed extremely handsome, so that while he was a student at Cambridge, he was called the Lady of Christ's College. He had a very fine skin and fresh complexion; his hair was of a light brown, and parted on the foretop hung down in curls waving upon his shoulders; his features were exact and regular; his voice agreeable and musical; his habit clean and neat; his deportment erect and manly. He was middlesized and well proportioned, neither tall nor short, neither too lean nor too corpulent, strong and active in his younger years, and though afflicted with frequent headachs, blindness, and gout, was yet a comely and well-looking man to the last. His eyes were of a light blue colour, and from the first are said to have been none of the brightest; but after he lost the sight of them (which happened about the 43d year of his age) they still appeared without spot or blemish, and at first view and a little distance it was not easy to know that he was blind. Mr. Richardson had an account of him from an ancient clergyman in Dorsetshire, Dr. Wright, who found him in a small house, which had (he thinks) but one room on a floor; in that, up one pair of stairs, which was hung with a rusty green, he saw John Milton sitting in an elbow chair, with black clothes, and meat enough, pale but not cadaverous, his hands and fingers gouty, and with chalk stones; among other discourse he expressed himself to this purpose, that was he free from the pain of the gout, his blindness would be tolerable. But there is the less need to be particular in the description of his person, as the idea of his face and countenance is pretty well known from the numerous prints, pictures, busts, medals, and other

Familiar Epistles and some Academical Exercises, the epitaph had been industriously erased: and

representations which have been made of him.

There are two pictures of greater value than the rest, as they are undoubted originals, and were in the possession of Milton's widow: the first was drawn when he was about twenty-one, and is at present in the collection of the Right Honourable Arthur Onslow, Esq., Speaker of the House of Commons; the other in crayons was drawn when he was about sixty-two, and was in the collection of Mr. Richardson, but has since been purchased by Mr. Tonson. Several prints have been made from both these pictures; and there is a print, done when he was about sixty-two or sixty-three, after the life by Faithorn, which though not so handsome, may yet perhaps be as true a resemblance as any of them. It is prefixed to some of our author's pieces, and to the folio edition of his prose works in three volumes, printed in 1698. In his way of living he was an example of sobriety and temperance. He was very sparing in the use of wine or strong liquors of any kind. Let meaner poets make use of such expedients to raise their fancy and kindle their imagination; he wanted not any artificial spirits; he had a natural fire, and poetic warmth enough of his own. He was likewise very abstemious in his diet, not fastidiously nice or delicate in the choice of his dishes, but content with any thing that was most in season, or easiest to be procured, eating and drinking (according to the distinction of the philosopher) that he might live, and not living that he might eat and drink. So that probably his gout descended by inheritance from one or other of his parents; or if it was of his own acquiring, it must have been owing to his studious and sedentary life. And yet he delighted sometimes in walking and using exercise, but we hear nothing of his riding or hunting; and having early learned to fence, he was such a master of his sword, that he was not afraid of resenting an affront from any man; and before he lost his sight, his principal recreation was the exercise of his arms; but after he was confined by age and blindness, he had a machine to swing in for the preservation of his health. In his youth he was accustomed to sit up late at his studies, and seldom went to bed before midnight; but afterwards, finding it to be the ruin of his eyes, and looking on this custom as very pernicious to health at any time, he used to go to rest early, seldom later than nine, and would be stirring in the summer at four, and in the winter at five in the morning; but if he was not disposed to rise at his usual hours, he still did not lie sleeping, but had some body or other by his bed side to read to him. At his first rising he had usually a chapter read to him out of the Hebrew Bible, and he commonly studied all the morning till twelve, then used some exercise for an hour, afterwards dined, and after dinner played on the organ, and either sung himself or

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