Puslapio vaizdai

After his wife's return his family was increased not only with children, but also with his wife's relar tions, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters, coming to live with him in the general distress and ruin of the royal party : and he was so far from resenting their former ill treatment of him, that he generously protected them, and entertained them very hospitably, till their affairs were accommodated thro' his interest with the prevailing faction. And then upon

their removal, and the death of his own father, his house looked again like the house of the Muses : but his studies had like to have been interrupted by a call to public bufiness; for about this time there was a design of constituting him Adjutant General in the army under Sir William Waller ; but the new modeling of the army foon following, that design was laid aside. And not long after, his great house in Barbican being now too large for his family, he quitted it for a smaller in High Holborn, which opened backward into Lincoln's Inn Fields, where he prosecuted his studies till the King's trial and death, when the Presbyterians declaming tragically against the King's execution, and afferting that his person was sacred and inviolable, provoked him to write the Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, proving that it is lawful to call a tyrant to account and to depose and put him to death, and that they who af late so much blame deposing are the men who did it themselves : and he published it at the beginning of the year 1649, to satisfy and compose the minds of the people. Not long after this he wrote his Observations on the articles of peace between the Earl of Ormond and the Irish rebels. And in these and


all his writings, whatever others of different parties may think, he thought himself an advocate for true liberty, for ecclesiastical liberty in his treatises against the bishops, for domestic liberty in his books of divorce, and for civil liberty in his writings against the king in defenfe of the parlament and people of England.

After this he retired again to his private studies; and thinking that he had leisure enough for such a work, he applied himfelf to the writing of a History of England, which he intended to deduce from the earliest accounts down to his own times: and he had finished-four books of it, when neither courting nor expecting any such preferment, he was invited by the Council of State to be their Latin Secretary for foreign affairs. And he served in the same capacity under Oliver, and Richard, and the Rump, till the Restoration; and without doubt a better Latin pen could not have been found in the kingdom. For the Republic and Cromwell fcorned to pay that tribute to any foreign prince, which is usually paid to the French king, of managing their affairs in his language; they thought it an indignity and meanness, to which this or any free nation ought not to submit; and took a noble resolation neither to write any letters to any foreign states, nor to receive any answers from them, but in the Latin tongue, which was common to them all. And it would have been well, if succeeding princes had followed their example; for in the opinion of very wise men, the univerfality of the French language will make way for the univerfality of the French monarchy.

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But it was not only in foreign dispatches that the government made use of his pen. He had discharged the business of his office a very little time,' before he was called to a work of another kind. For soon af ter the King's death was published a book under his name intitled Esxwv Beoinoxn, or the royal image : and this book, like Cæsar's last will, making a deeper impression, and exciting greater commiferation in the minds of the people, than the King himself did while alive, Milton was ordered to prepare an answer to it, which was published by authority, and intitled Eixovoxdaçns or the image-breaker, the famous surname of many Greek emperors, who in their zeal against idolatry, broke all superstitious images to pieces. This piece was translated into French; and two replies to it were published, one in 1651, and the other in 1692, upon the reprinting of Milton's book at Amsterdam. In this controversy a heavy charge hath been alleged against Milton. Some editions of the King's book have certain

prayers added at the end, and among

in time of captivity, which is taken from that of Pamela in Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia: and it is said, that this prayer was added by the contrivance and artifice of Milton, who together with Bradshaw prevailed upon the printer to insert it, that from thence he might take occasion to bring a scandal upon the King, and to blast the reputation of his book, as he hath attempted to do in the first section of his answer. This fact' is related chiefly upon the authority of Henry Hills the printer, who had frequently affirmed it to Dr. Gill and Dr. Bernard his physicians, as they themselves have teftified. But Hills was not himself


them a prayer

the printer, who was dealt with in this manner, and consequently he could have the story only from hearsay; and tho' he was Cromwell's printer, yet afterwards he turned papist in the reign of James II, in order to be that king's printer, and it was at that time that he used to relate this story; so that, I think, little credit is due to his testimony. And indeed I cannot but hope and believe, that Milton had a soul above being guilty of so mean an action to serve so mean a púrpose ; and there is as little rea son for fixing it upon him, as he had to traduce the King for profaning the duty of prayer “ with the

polluted trash of romances.” For there are not many finer prayers in the best books of de ; and the King might as lawfully borrow and apply it to his own occasions, as the Apostle might make quotations from Heathen poems and plays: and it became Milton the least of all men to bring such an accusation against the King, as he was himself particularly fond of reading romances, and has made use of them in some of the best and latest of his writings.

But his most celebrated work in prose is his Defense of the people of England against Salmasius, Defenfio pro populo Anglicano contra Claudii Anonymi, alias Salmasii, Defensionem Regiam. Salmasius, by birth a Frenchman, succeeded the famous Scaliger as honorary Professor of the university of Leyden, and had gained great reputation by his Plinian Exercitations on Solinus, and by his critical remarks on several Latin and Greek authors, and was generally esteemed one of the greatest and most consummate scholars of that age: and is commended by Milton himself in his Reason of Church Government, and called the D4


learned Salmasius. And besides his great learning he had extraordinary talents in railing.". This prince

of scholars, as some body said of him, seemed to “ have erected his throne upon a heap of stones, “ that he might have them at hand to throw at every “ one's head who passed by.” - He was therefore courted by Charles II, as the most able man to write a defense of the late King his father and to traduce his adversaries, and a hundred Jacobufes were given him for that purpose, and the book was published in 1649 with this title Defenfio Regia pro Carolo I. ad Carolum II. No sooner did this book appear in England, but the Council of State unanimously appointed Milton, who was then present, to answer it: and he performed the task with amazing spirit and vigor, tho' his health at that time was fuch, that he could hårdly indure the fatigue of writing, and being weak in body he was forced to write by piece-meal, and to break off almost every hour, as he says himself in the introduction. This necessarily occasioned some delay, so that his Defense of the people of England was not made public till the beginning of 'the year 1651: and they who cannot read the original, may yet have the pleasure of reading the English translation by Mr. Washington of the Temple, which was printed in 1692, and is inserted among Milton's works in the two last editions. It was somewhat extraordinary, that Salmafius, a pensioner to a republic, Thould pretend to write a defenfe of monarchy; but the States showed their disapprobation by publicly condemning his book, and ordering it to be suppressed. And on the other hand Milton's book was burnt at Paris, and at Tolouse by the


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