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and d,m, and at the same time my spleen and immoderately addicted to women, nasty, ambt oowels to be oppressed and troubled with flatus; tious, full of himself and his own performances, and in the morning when I began to read, aceord- and satirical upon all others. He was howevet tng to custom, my eyes grew painful immediately, esteemed one of the most eminent preachers of thai and to refuse reading, but were refreshed after a age among the Protestants; but as Monsieur moderate exercise of the body. A certain iris be- Bayle observes, his chief talent must have consul gan to surround the light of the candle if I looked ed in the gracefulness of his delivery, or in those at it; soon after which, on the left part of the left sallies of imagination and quaint turns and aliaeye (for that was some years sooner clouded) a sions, whereof hi* sermons are full; for they retain mist arose which hid every thing on that side; and not those charms in reading, which they were sui looking forward if I shut my right eye, objects ap- to have formerly in the pulpit. Against this man. peared smaller. My other eye also, for these last therefore, as the reputed author of Regii sanguinis three years, failing by degrees, some months before Clamor, &c., Milton published by authority his all sight was abolished, things which I looked upon Second Defence of the people of England, Defenseemed to swim to the right and left; certain in- sio Secunda pro populo Anglicano, in 1654, and verate vapours seem to possess my forehead and treats Morus with such severity as nothing couU temples, which after meat especially, quite to eve- have excused, if he had not been provoked to i> ning, generally, urge and depress my eyes with a by so much abuse poured upon himself. There sleepy heaviness. Nor would I omit that whilst is one piece of his wit, which had been published there was as yet some remainder of sight, I no before in the newspapers at London, a distich sooner lay down in my bed, and turned on my |upon Morus for getting Pontia the maid-servsDl •ide, but a copious light dazzled out of my shut of his friend Salmasius with child, eyes; and as my sight diminished every day, colours gradually more obscure flashed out with ve
Galli ex concubitu gravidam te, Pontia, Mori
hemence; but now that the lucid is in a manner Upon this Morus published his Fides Publics tn 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 consibtories, academies, synods, and magusettled 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 eredit
with the Parliament party, who knew the real author. This brought Du Moulin, who was then in England, into great danger; but the government suirered him to escape with impunity, rather than they would publicly contradict the great patron of their cause. For he still persisted in his aceusation, and endeavoured to make it good in his Defence of himself, Autoris pro se Defenno, which was published in 1655, wherein he opposed to the testimonies in favour of Morus other testimonies against him; and Morus replied no more. After this controversy was ended, he was at leisure again to pursue his own private studies, which were the History of England before mentioned, and a new Thesaurusof the Latin tongue,
glicanos. The true author of this book was Peter I tntended as an improvement upon that by Robert du Moulin, the younger, who was afterwards pre- Stephens; a work which he had been long col bendary of Canterbury: and he transmitted his lecting from the best and purest Latin authors,
parxirs to Salmasius; and Salmasius intrusted them to the care of Alexander Morus, a French minister; and Morus published them with a dedication to King Charles II. in the name of Adrian (JIae, the printer, from whence he came to be reputed the author of the whole. This Morus was
and continued at times ahnost to his dying day: but his papers were left so confused and imperfect, that they could not be fitted for the press, though great use was made of them by the compilers of the Cambridge Dictionary, printed in 1693. These papers arc said to have consisted
the Sol 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 aceount is given st Castres in Languedoe; and he is said to have what i s become of the manuseript. It is commonly been ;. man of a most haughty disposition, and said too that at this time he began his famom
poem of Paradise Lost; and it is certain, that he was glad to be released from those controversies, which detained him so lung from following things itorc 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 lo 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 masons of the war wilh Spain: and this piece is rightly adjudged to our author, both on aceount of the pecuhar elegance of the style, and because it was his province to write such things as Latin seeretary; 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 fther 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 Duteh 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 sn 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 suceessfully, that in a few days they received intelligence from Paris, that he was a spy 1mployed by Charles II.: whereupon the very next morning Milton's kinsman was sent to him irith 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 offif'. 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 whit 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 exetvxl to him, because Mr. Milton. on aceount of
his blindness, proceeded slower in business, and had not yet put the articles of the treaty into Latin. Upon which the ambassador was greatly surprised, that things of such consequence should be entrusted to a blind man, for he must necessarily employ an amanuensis, and that amanuensu might divulge the articles; and said that it was very w >nderful, that there should be only ono man in England who could write Latin, and he a blind one. But his blindness had not diminished, but rather inereased the vigour of his mind; and his state-letters will remain as authentic memorials of those times, to be admired equally by crities and politicians; and those particularly about the sufferings of the poor Protestants in Piedmont, who can read without sensible emotion? Thu 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 oceasion.
But Oliver Cromwell being dead, and the government weak and unsettled in the hands of Richard and the Parliament, he thought it a season able time to offer his advice again to the public; and in 1659 published a Treatise of Civil Power in Ecelesiastical 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 he 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 readmit; ting kingship in this nation. We are informed by | Mr. Wood that he published this piece in Fehru|ary 1659-60; and ifter this he published Brief Notes upon a late Sc,mon, 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 bis votce was the voice of expiring liberty.
A little before the King's landing, be was Jh»cl»arged from his office of Latin Secretary, and was forced to leave his house in Petty France. whem
he had lived eight yean with great reputation, and prisoners in custody of the Serjeant-at-arms iru had been visited by all foreigners of note, who read in the House, and Milton is not among ;hem; could not go out of the country without seeing a and on the 13th of September the House ad joun;man who did so mur.h honour to tt by his writings, ed to the 6th of November. It is most probable, and whose name was as well known and as famous therefore, that after the act or indemnity was paut-broad as in hu own nation: and by several per- ed, and after the House had adjourned, he came imu ol quality of both sexes, particularly the pious out of his concealment, and was afterwards taken and virtuous Lady Ranclagh, whose son for some into custody of the Serjeant-at-arms by virtue of time he instructed, the same who was paymaster the former order of the House of Commons, but of the forces in King William's time; and by many we can not find that he wan prosecuted by the Atlearned and ingenious friends and acquaintance, torney General, nor was he continued in custody particularly Andrew Marvel, and young Laurence, very long: for on Saturday the loth of December son to the President of Oliver's Council, to whom | 1660, it was ordered by the House of Commons, he has inseribed one of his sonnets, and Marcha-, that Air. Milton now in custody of the Serjeantmont Needtnm, the writer of Politicus, and above at-arms, should be forthwith released, paying hit ad, Cyriac Skinner, whom he has honoured with fees; and on Monday the 17th of December, a two sonn,'ts. But now it was not safe for him to complaint being made that the Serjeant-at-armi appear any longer in publie, so that by the advice had demanded excessive fees for his imprisonment, of some who wished him well and were concerned it was referred to the committee of privileges and for his preservation, he fled lor shelter to a friend's elections f examine this business, and to call Mr. housc in Bartholomew Close, near West Smith- Milton and the Serjeant before them, and to defield, where he lay concealed till the worst of the termine what was fit to be given to the Serjeant storm was blown over. The first notice that we for his fees in this case; so courageous was he at find taken of him was on Saturday the I6th of all times in defence of liberty against all the enJune, 166O, when it was ordered by the House of eroachments of power, and though a prisoner,
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 Hie 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 slu,ul.I 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 i• proclamation against Milton's and Goodwyn' e books; and the proclamation was issued the 13th of August following, wherein it was said that the authors had fied or did abscond* and on Monday, August 27th, M,lton's and Goodwyn's books were burnt, aceording to the proclamation, at the Old Bailey, by the hands of the common hangman. On Wednesday. August 2ilth, 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 inllicti'd Upon them, not extending to life, yet Miltun was not excopled at all, and consequently was included in the general pardon. We Cud indeed that afterwards he was in custody of the Serjeantki-arms; but the lime ii,.rn he was taken into .-.asnKiv is not certain. .u- *-.s not in custody on •ut- 12th e.i Septt-uulxr, for that day a list of the
would yet he 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 whaUhereforc could it Ire owing, that he was treated wit'i such lenity, and was so easily pardoned 1 It i s certain, there was not wanting powerful intercession for him both in Council and in Parliament. It is said that Seeretary 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 St-cond (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 beer, saved by Milton's interest, and in return Milton was saved at Davenant's intercession. This storl Mr. Richardson relates upon the authority of Mr. Pope; and Mr. Pope hod it from Betterton ths famous actor, who was first brought upon the stage and patronised by Sir William Davenant, and might therefore derive the knowledge ,f thu transaction from the fountain.
Milton having thus obtained his pardon, and being sot 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 icrvanta to attend and look after him, he employid his friend Dr. Paget to choose a proper consort for him; and at his recommendation married his third wife, Eliz.abeth Minshul. of a gentleman's family in Cheshire, and related to Dr. Paget. It u said that an ofler was made to Milton, as well as to Thurloe, of holding the same place of Seeretary 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 Aceedence 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 H 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 hnw to re?d aceordingly. 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 .ong after his third marriage, that he left Jewen rtreet, 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 >n this house than he had done in any other, and *,>xl h>>rs tn hi* dying day . only when the plague
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 thai 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 hi* first design of writing an epic poem was owing to his conversations at Naples with the Marquis of Villa, about Tasso, and his famous poem of thfc 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 ui 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, thai he did not barely sketeh 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 epie, as of the tragic strain. It was not tili 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. Philipa relates a very remarkable circumstance in the composure of this poein, which he says he had reason to remember, as n was told him by Milton himself, that his vein Ik . ver happily flowed but from the autumnal jquinca to the vernal, and that what he attempted at other lifnes was not to his satisfaction, though he courted his fancy never sp 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 aceounts 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 ftnish 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 Dmimer came on, inquired of the author the reason of it, could hardly be mistaken with regard to the time: and it iseasy 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 !ummer. 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 aceount of
the sale of as many of the third, and the numbet 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. Tonson, the bookseller, ax is likewise the manuseript 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 hl s verses from time to time as he had oceasion, yet we may supnose 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 reason 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 tlw preface, and the table of errata, without that shert advertisement of the printer to the reader: and thij 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 elapsed, 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
—j — j i .
the pubhc affairs and his own, his age and infirm-'is dated April 26,1669. And this was probably ities, his gout and blindness, his not being in cir-1 all that he received; for he lived not to enjoy the
cumstances 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, -till 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 difliculty 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 s1er the sale of thirteen hundred of the first imm, and five pounds more after the sale of as
benefits of the second edition, which was not pul» lished 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, hot for the sake of such a fanciful beauty as resembling the number of books in the jKneid, but for the more regular disposition of the poem, because the seventh and tenth books were before too longt and are more fitly divided each into two. The third edition was published in 167H; and if appears that Milton had left his remaining right in the copy to his widow, and she agreed with Simmons, the printer, to aceept eight pounds in full of all demands, and her receipt for the money lonnyofthe second impression, and five more after is dated December 21,1680. But a little before