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a head of Milton drawn by himself: but he wu blessed with so many real excellences, that tin ri u no want of fietitious ones to raise and adorn his character. He had a quick apprehension, a sublime imagination, a strong memory, a piereing judgment, a wit always ready, and facetious or grave as the oecasion required: and I know not whether the loss of his sight did not add vigour to the faculties of his mind. He at least thought so, and often comforted himself with that reflection. But hia great parts and learning have scareely gained him more admirers, than his political principles have raised him enemies. And yet the darlmg passion of his soul was the love of liberty: tliis was his constant aim and end, however he might he mistaken in the means. He was indeed very zealous in what was called the good old cause, and with his spirit and his resolution, it is somewhat wonderful, that he never ventured his person in the civil war; but though he was not in arms. he was not inactive, and thought, I suppose, that ho could be of more service to the cause by his pen than by his sword. * He was a thorough republican, and in this he thought like a Greek or Roman, as he was very conversant with their writings. And one day Sir Robert Howard, who was a friend to Milton, as well as to the liberties of his country, and was one of his constant visiters to the last, inquired of him how he came to side with the republicans. Milton answered, among other reasons, because theirs was the most frugal government, for the trappings of a monarehy might set up an ordinary commonwealth. But then his attachment to Cromwell must be condemned, as being neither consistent with his republican principles, nor with his love of liberty. And I know no other way of aecounting for his conduct, but by presuming (as I think we may reasonably presume) that he was far from entirely approving of Cromwell's proceedings, but considered him as the only person who could rescue the nation from the tyranny of the Presbyterians, who he saw were erecting a worse dominion of their own upon the ruins of prelatical episcopacy; and of all things he drvaded spiritual slavery, and therefore closed with ~Cromwell and the Independents, as he expected under them greater liberty of conscience. And though he served Cromwell, yet it must be suid for him, that he served a great master, and iei red him ably, and was not wanting from time co time in giving him excellent good advice, especially i" his second Defence: and so little being said of him in all beerctary Thurloe's state-pa pers, it appears that he had no great share in the seerets and intrigues of government: what he despatehed was little more than matters of necessary form, lelu~* and answers to foreign states; and he may be justified for acting in such a station, upon the name pimjple as Sir Matthew Hale, for holding

a judge's commi j.:jn under the usv.sper: and ir tht. latter part ol Ks life he frequently expreneo to .iis friends hr, entire satisfaction of rnind, thai he had constantly employed his strength and faculties in the deferive of ,iberty, and in opposition to slavery.

In matters of religion too he has given ta great oflence, or even greater, than by his political principles. But still let not the infidel glory: no such man was ever of that party. He had the advantage of a pious education, and ever expressed the profoundest reverence of the Deity in his words and actions, was both a Christian and a Protestant, and studied and admired the Holy Scriptures above all other hooks whatsoever; and in all his writings tie plainly shows a religious turn of mind, as well in verse as in prose, as well in his works of an earlier date as in those of later composition. When le wrote the Doctrine and Discipline of Divoree, le appears to have been a Calvinist; but afterwards he qnterta'med a more favourable opinion of Arminius. Some have inclined to?ielieve, that le was an Arian; but there are more express passages in his works to overthrow this opinion, than any there are to confirm it. For in the conclusion of his Treatise of Reformation he thus solemnly invokes the Trinity; "Thou therefore that sittest •i light and glory unapproachable, parent of angels and men! next thec I implore Omnipotent King, Redeemer of that lost remnant whose nature hou didst assume, ineflable and everlasting love! And thou the third subsistence of divine infinitude llumming Spirit, the joy and solace ot ereated :hings! one tri-personal Godhead! look upon this thy poor, and almost spent and expiring Chureh, ic." And in his tract of Prelatical Episcopacy he endeavours to prove the spuriousness of some epistles attributed to Ignatius, because they contained in them heresies, one of which heresies is. that "he condemns them for ministers of Satan, who say that Christ i.s God above all." And a little after in the same tract he objects to the authority of Tertullian, because he went about to "prove an imparity between God the Father, and God the Son." And in the Paradise Lost we shall Hud nothing upon this head, that is not perfectly agreeable to Seripture. The learned Dr. Trap, who was as likely to ery out upon heresy as anv man, asserts that the poem is orthodox in every part of it; or otherwise he would not have been at the pains of translating it. Seqvc alienum ruletitt a studiis riri theolngi poema inagna ex parle Iheo* logicum; omni ex parle(rideant, per me liret. atmtc ringanturatheietinji>icles) OTthodorum. Milton was indeed a dissenter from the Chureh of England, in which he had been educated, and was bv his parents designed for holy orders, as we related before; but he wns led away by early prejudices against the doctrine' and discipline of the Chureh

*n4 ui his younger years was a favourer of the Presbyterians; in his middle age he was best pktaxed with the Independents and Anabaptists, as allowing greater liberty of conscience than others, and coming nearest in his opinion to the primitive practice; ;m,l in the latter part of his life he was Dot a professed member of any particular sect of Christians, he frequented no public worship, nor used any religious rite in his family. Whether so •uany different forms of worship as ho had seen, iud mode hitn indilferent to all forms; or whether be thought that all Christians had in some things corrujtol the purity and simplicity of the Gospel; or whether he disliked their endless and uncharitable disputes, and that love of dominion and inclination to persecution, which he said was a piece of popery inseparable from all churehes; or whether be believed, that a man might be a good Christian *Rhout joining in any communion; or whether he did not look upon himself as inspired, as wrapt up in God, and above all forms and ceremonies, it is Dot easy to determine: to kisoien master he standel-. orfaUsibi but if he was of any denomination, he was a sort of a Quietist, and was full of the interior of religion though he so little regarded the exterior; and it is certain was to the last an enthusiast rather than an infidel. As enthusiasm made Norris a poet, so poetry might make Milton an enthusiast.

His cireumstances were never very mean, nor •ery great; for he lived above want, and was not intent upon aecumulating wealth; his ambition was more to enrich and adorn his mind. His father supported him in his travels, and for some time after. Then his pupils must have been of some advantage to him, and brought him either a certain stipend, or considerable presents at least; and he had scareely any other method of improving his fortune, as he was of no profession. When his father died, he inherited an elder son's share of his estate, the principal part of which, I believe, w•s his house in Bread-street: And not long after, he was appointed Latin Seeretary, with a salary of two hundred pounds ayear; so that he was now is opulent cireumstances for a man who had always led a frugal and temperate life, and was at little unnecessary expense besides buying of books. Though he was of the victorious party, yet he was far from sharing in the spoils of his country. On the contrary, (as we learn from his second Defence) he sustained greater losses during the civil war, and was not at all favoured in the imposition ol' taxes, but sometimes paid beyond his due proportion. And upon a turn of affairs he was not only deprived of his place, but also lost two thousand pounds, which he had, for security and improvement, put into the Excise Office. He lost, likewise, another considerable sum for want of Drupe; care and management, as persons of Mil

ton's genius are seldom expert in money matters. And in the fire of London his house in Breaustrvet was burnt, before which aecident, foreigner! have gone, out of devotion, (says Wood) to see the house and chamber where he was born. His gains were inconsiderable in proportion to his losses; for excepting the thousand pounds, which were given him by the government for writing his Defence of the people against Salmasius, we may conclude that he got very little by the copies of his works, when it does not appear that he received any more than ten pounds for Paradise Lost. Some time before he died he sold the greatest part of his library, as his heirs were not qualified to make a proper use of it, and as he thought that he could dispose of it to greater advantage than they could after his decease. And finally, by one means or other, he died worth one thousand five hundred pounds, besides his household goods, which was no incompetent substance for him, who was aa great a philosopher as a poet.

To this aecount of Milton it may be proper to add something concerning his family. We said before, that he had a younger brother and a sister. His brother, Christopher Milton, was a man of totally opposite principles; was a strong royalist, and after the civil war made his composition through his brother's interest; had been entered young a student in the Inner Temple, of which house he lived to be an ancient bencher; and being a professed papist, was, in the reign of James II, made a judge, and knighted; but soon obtained his quietus by reason of his age and infirmities, and retired to Ipswich, where he lived all the latter part of his life. His sister, Anne Milton, had a considerable fortune given her by her father in marriage with Mr. Edward Philips, (son of Mr. Edward Philips, of Shrewsbury,) who, coming young to London, was bred up in the Crown Office in Chancery, and at length became secondary of the office under Mr. Bembo. By him she had, besides other children who died infanta, two sons, Edward and John, whom we have had frequent oecasion to mention before. Among our author's juvenile poems there is a copy of verses on the death of a fair infant, a nephew, or rather niece of his, dying of a cough; and this being written in his seventeenth year, as it is said in the title, it may naturally be inferred that Mrs. Philips was elder than cither of her brothers. She had likewise two daughters, Mary, who died very young, and Anne, who was living in I694, by a second husband, Mr. Thomas Agar, who sueceeded his intimate friend Mr. Philips in his place in the Crown Office, which he enjoyed many years, and left to Mr Thomas Milton, son of Sir Christopher before mentioned. As for Milton himself he appears to have been nu enemy to the fair sex by having had three wives What fortune he had with any i f thv ti ui nn when taid,but tliey were gentlemen's daughters; and it is remarkable that he married them all maidens, for (as he says in his Apology for Smectynmuus, which was written before he married at all) he "thought with them, who both in prudence and elegancu of spirit would choose a virgin of mean fortunes, honestly bred, before the wealthiest widow." But yet he seemeth not to have been very happy in any of his marriages; for his first wife had justly offended him by her long absence and separation from him; the second, whose love, sweetness, and goodness he commends, lived not a twelvemonth with him; and his third wife is said to have been a woman of a most violent spirit, and a hard mother-in-law to his children. She died very old, at Nantwich, in Cheshire: and from the aecounts of those who had seen her, I have learned, that she confirmed several things which have been related before; and particularly that her husband used to compose poetry chiefly in winter, and on his waking in a morning would make her write down sometimes twenty or thirty verses; and being asked whether he did not often read Homer and Virgil, she understood it as an imputation upon him for stealing from those authors, and answered with eagerness, that he stole from no body but the Muse who inspired him; and being asked by a lady present who the Muse was, replied, it was God's grace, and the Holy Spirit that visited him nightly. She was likewise asked whom he approved most of our English poets, and answered, Spenser, Shakspeare, and Cowley: and being asked what he thought of Dryden, she said Dryden used sometimes to visit him, hut he thought him no poet, but a good rhymist: but this was before Dryden had composed his best poems, which made his name so famous afterwards. She was wont, moreover, to say, that her husband was applied to by message from the King, and invited to write for the Court, but his answer was, that such a behaviour would be very inconsistent with his former conduct, for he had never yet employed his ,«;, against his conscience. By his first wife he had four children, a son, who died an infant, and three daughters, who survived him; by his second wife he had only one daughter, who died soon after ber mother, who died in childbed; and by his last wife he had no children at all. His daughters were not sent to school, but were instructed by a mistress kept at home for that purpose: and he himself, excusing the eldest on aecount of an impediment in her speech, taught the two others to read and pronounce Greek and Latin, and several other languages, without understanding any but English, for he used to say that one tongue was enough for a woman: but this employment was very irkmme to them, and this, together with the sharpness and severity of their mother-in-taw, made them «iry uneasy at home; and therefore they were all

sent abroad to learn things more proj•T for them, and particularly embroidery in gold and silver As Milton at his death left his affairs very much in the power of his widow, though she '.cknowledgod that he died worth one thousand five hundred pounds, yet she allowed but one hundred pounds to each of his three daughters. Anne, the eldest, was deerepit and deformed, but had a very handsome face; she married a mastor-builder, and died in childbed of her first child, who died with her. Mary, the second, lived and died single. Deborah, the youngest, in her father's life time went over to Ireland with a lady, and afterwards was married to Mr. Abraham Clarke, a weaver in Spittle Fields, and died in August, l727, in ths seventy sixth year of her age. She is said to have been a woman of good understanding, and genteel behaviour, though in low cireumstances. As she had been often called upon to read Homer and Ovid's Metamorphoses to her father, she could have repeated a considerable number of verses from the beginning of both those poets, as Mr. Ward, Professor of Rhetoric in Gresham College, relates upon his own knowledge ; and another gentleman has informed me, that he has heard her repeat several verses likewise out of Euripides. Mr. Addison, and the other gentlemen, who had opportunities of seeing her, knew her immediately to bo Milton's daughter, by the similitude of her countenance to her father's picture: and Mr. Addison made her a handsome present of a purse of guineas with a promise of procuring for her some annual provision for her life; but his death happening soon after, she lost the benefit of this generous dosign. She received presents likewise from several other gentlemen, and Qucen Caroline sent her fifty pounds by the hands of Dr. Friend, the physician. She had ten children, seven sons and three daughters; but none of them had any children, except one of her sons named Caleb, and one of her daughters named Elizalieth. Caleb went to Fort St. George, in the East Indies, where be married, and had two sons, Abraham and Isasc; the elder of whom came to England with the late governor Harrison, but returned upon advice of his father's death, and whether he or his brother be now living is uncertain. Elizabeth, the ynunjrest child of Mrs. Clarke, was married to Mr. Thomas Foster, a weaver in Spittle Fields, and had -seven children whq are nil dead; and she herself is agrJ about sixtv, and weak and infirm. She seems To be a good, plain, sensible woman, and has confirmed several particulars related above, ami informed me of some others, which she had olten heard from her mother: and her granfath-" lost two thousand pounds by a money-serivener, wbum he had intrusted with that sum, and likewise an estate at Westminster of-sixty pounus a year, which belonged to the Dean and Chapter, ami tzs restored to I hem at the Restoration: that he was very temperate in his eating and drinking, but what he had be always loved to have of the best: that he seldom went abroad in the latter part of his hfe, but was visited even then by persons of distinelinn, both foreigners aml others: that he kept hi s d.-.ughlt-rs at a great ilstance, and would not allow themtolenrn to write,whichhe thought unnecessary far a woman: that her mother was his greatest farourile, and could read in seven or eight languages, though she understood none but English: that her mother inherited his headache and disorders, and hud such a weakness in her eyes, that she was f >reed to make use of spectacles from the age of eighteen; and she herself, she says, has not been able to read a chapter in the Bible these twenty years: that she was mistaken in informing Mr. Bireh, which he had printed upon her authority, that Milton's father was born in France; and a brother of hers who was then living was very angry with her fur it, and, like a true bom Englishman, resented it highly, that the family should be thought to bear any relation to France: that Milton's second wife did not die in childbed, as Mr. Philips and Toland relate, but above three months after of a consumption; and this too Mr. Bireh relates upon her authority; but in this particular she must be mistaken, as well as in the other, for our author's sonnet on his deceased wife plainly implies that she did die in childbed. She knows nothing nf her aunt Philips or Agar's descendants, but believes that they are all extinct: as is likewise Sir Christopher Milton's family, the last of which, she savs, were two maiden sisters, Mrs. Mary and Mrs. Catharine Milton, who lived and died at Highgate; but unknown to her there is a Mrs. Milton living is Grosvenor-street, the grand-daughter of Sir Christopher, and the daughter of Mr. Thomas Milton before mentioned: and she herself is the only survivor of Milton's own family, unless there; be tomc in the East Indies, which she very much questions, for she used to hear from them sometimes, but has heard nothing now for several years; so that, in all probability, Milton's whole family

will be extinct with her, and he can live only in

his writings. And such is the caprice of fortune,; this grand-daughter of a man, who will be on ever-' lasting glory to the nation, has now for some years with her husband kept a little chandler's or grocer's shop for their subsistence, lately at the lower Holloway, in the road between Highgate and London, and at present in Cock Lane, not far from Shorediteh Chureh. Another thing let me mention, that is equally to the honour of the pre«nt age. Though Milton received not above ten pounds, at two different payments, for the copy of Paradise Lost, yet Mr. Hoyle, author of the trea

tise on the Game of Whist, after having disposed of all the first impression, sold the copy to tin' bookseller, as I have been informed, for two lum dred guineas.

As we have had oecasion to mention more than once Milton's manuseripts preserved in the library of Trinity College in Cambridge, it may not be ungrateful to the reader, if we give a more parli cular aecount of them, before we conclude. There are, as we said, two draughts of a letter to a friend who had importuned him to take orders, togetherwith a sonnet on his being arrived to the age of twenty-three; and by there being two draughts of this letter with several alterations and additions, it appears to have been written with great care and deliberation; and both the draughts have been published by Mr. Bireh in his Historical and Critical Aecount of the life and writings of Milton. There are also several of his poems, Areades, At a solemn musie, On time, Upon the cireumeision, the Mask, Lyeidas, with five or six of his sonnets, all in his own hand writing: and there are some others of his sonnets written by different hands, being most of them composed after he had lost his sight. It is curious to sec the first thoughts and subsequent corrections of so great a poet as Milton: but it is remarkable in these manuseript poems that he does not often make hi s stops, or begin :iis lines with great letters. There are likewise n his own hand-writing different plans of Paradise Lost in tht form of a tragedy: and it is an agreeable amusement to trace the gradual progress and improvement of such a work from its first dawnings in the plan of a tragedy to its full lustre n an epic poem. And together with the plans of Paradise Lost there are the plans or subjects of several other intended tragedies, some taken from .he Seripture, others from the British or Scottish histories: and of the latter the last mentioned is Maebeth, as if is he had an inclination to try his strength with Shakspeare; and to reduce the play more to the unities he proposes, " beginning at the arrival of Maleolm at Maeduff; the matter of Duncan may be expressed by the appearing of .hia ghost." These manuscripts of Milton were found by the learned Mr. Professor Mason among some other old papers, which, he says, belonged to Sir Henry Newton Puckering, who was a considerable benefactor to the library: and for the bettor preservation of such truly valuable relies, they were collected together, and handsomely bound in a thiu folio by the care and at the charge of a person, who is now very eminent in his profession, aml was always a lover of the Muses, and at that time a fellow of Trinity College, Mr. Clarke, one of his Majesty's council.

upon jHiiton.



Qci legis Amissam Paradisum, grandia magni

Carmina Miltoni, quid nisicuncta legis? Res cunctas, et cunctarum primordia rerum,

Et futa, et fines, continet iste liber. Inlima panduntur magni penetralia mundi,

Seribitur et toto quicquid in orbe latet: Terraque, tractusque maris, ecehimque profundnm,

Sulphureumque Erebi, flammivomumquc spe

cus: Qurcque colunt terras, pontumque, ct Tartara

Quxque colunt summi lucida regna poli:
Et quodeunque ullis conclusum est finibus usquam,

Et sine fine Chaos, et sine fine Deus;
Et sine fine magis, si quid magis est sine fine,

In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
(!.-.>• qui:- j>.• f.'>': quis erederet essc futurum?

Et tamen hsec hodie terra Britanna legit.
O quantos in bella duces! quffi protulit arma!

Qufficanit, et quanta praliadira tuba!
Coelestes acies! atque in ecrtamine coelum I

Etquoe ecelestes pugna deceret agros!
Quantus in aHhereis tollit se Lucifer armis!

Atquc ipso graditur vix Michaele minor!
Quantis, et quam funestis concurritur iris,

Dum ferus hie Stellas protegit, ille rapit!
Dum vulsos monies ecu tela reciproca torquent,

Et non mortali desuper ignc pluunl:
Stat dubius cui sc parti concedat Olympus,

Et metuit pugme non superesse Sub.
At simul in coelis Messite insignia fulgent,

Et currus animes, arm&que digna Deo,
Horrendumque rotas strident, et sieva rotarum

Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Et flammsB vibrant, et vera tonitrua rauco

Admislis flammis insonuere polo:
Excidit attonitis mens omnis, rt impetus omnis,

Et cassis dextris irrita tela cadunt;
Ad posnas fugiunt; et, ceuforet Oreus asylum,

Infemis certant condere se tenebris.
Cedite, Romani Seriptores; cedite, Graii;

Et quos fama recens vel celebravit anus.
\ Hssc quicunque leget tantum cecinisse putabit

Msxmidem ranas, Yirgilium culices.



I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold, (n slender book his vast design unfold,

Messiah erowned, God's reconciled deeree,
Rebelling angels, the forbidden tree,
Heaven, Hell, Earth, Chaos, all; the argument
Held me awhile misdoubting his intent,
That he would ruin (for I saw him strong^
The saered truths to fable and old song;
(So Samson groped the temple's post in spight,.
The world o'erwhelming, to revenge his sight.

Yet, ns I read, still growing less severe,
I liked his project, the suecess did fear;
Through that wide field how he his way S!k uld


O'er which lame Faith leads Understand!nj; blind;
Lest he'd perplex the things he would explain,
And what was easy he should render vain.

Or if a work so infinite he spann'd,
Jealous I was, that some less skilful hand
(Such as disquiet always what is well,
And, by ill imitating would excel)
Might hence presume the whole ereation's day
To change in scenes, and show it in a play

Pardon me, mighty poet, nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious surmise:
But I am now convinced; and none will dare
Within thy lal>ours to pretend a share.
Thou hast not missed one thought that could be £t,
And all that was improper dost omit:
So that no room is here for writers left,
But to detect their ignorance or theft.

That majesty, which through thy work doth


Draws the devout, deterring the profane:
And tilings divine thou treat'st of in such state
As them preserves, and thee, inviolate.
At once delight and horror on us seize,
Thou sing'st with so much gravity and ease;
And above human flight dost soar aloft
With plume so strong, so equal, and so soft.
The bird, named from that Paradise you sing,
So never flags, but always keeps on wing.

Where could'st thou words of such a cumpaa


Whence furnish such a vast expense of mind?
Just Heaven thee, like Tiresias, to requite,
Elewards with prophecy thy loss of sight.
Well might'st thou scorn thy readers to allm*
With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure;
While the Town-Bays writes all the while aiul


And, like a pack-horse, tires without his bells:
Their fancies like our bushy points appear;
The poets tag them, we for fashion wear.
I too, transported by the mode, oflend.
And, while I meant to praiw thee, must

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