Puslapio vaizdai

man 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. Birch 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 of her aunt Philips or Agar's descendents, but believes that they are all extinct: as is likewise Sir Christopher Milton's family, the last of which, she says, 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 in Grosvenor street, the grandaughter of Sir Christopher, and the daughter of Mr. Thomas Milton before mentioned : and she herfelf is the only survivor of Milton's own family, unless there be some in the East Indies, which she

very much questions, for the 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 grandaughter of a man, who will be an everlasting 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 Shoreditch Church. Another thing let me mention, that is equally to the honor of the present age.

Tho' Milton received not abovę ten pounds at two different payments for the


copy of Paradise Lost, yet Mr. Hoyle author of the treatise on the Game of Whist, after having disposed of all the first impression, fold the copy to the bookfeller, as I have been informed, for two hundred guineas.

As we have had occasion to mention more than once Milton's manuscripts preserved in the library of Trinity College in Cambridge, it may not be ungrateful to the reader, if we give a more particular account 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, together with a fonnet 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. Birch in his Historical and Critical Account of the life and writings of Milton. There 'are also several of his poems, Arcades, At a solemn music, On time, Upon the circumcision, the Mask, Lycidas, with five or fix 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 fight. It is curious to see the first thoughts and subsequent corrections of so great a poet as Milton : but it is remarkable in these manuscript poems, that he doth not often make his stops, or begin his lines with great letters. There are likewise in his own hand-writing different plans of Paradise Lost in the 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.


its full luftre in 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 the Scripture, others from the British or Scotish histories; and of the latter the last mentioned is Macbeth, as if he had an inclination to try his strength with Shakespear; and to reduce the play more to the unities, he proposes beginning at the arrival of “ Malcolm at Macduff; the matter of Duncan may “ be expressed by the appearing of his 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 better preservation of such truly valuable reliques, they were collected together, and handsomely bound in a thin folio by the care and at the charge of a person, who is now very eminent in his profession, and was always a lover of the Muses, and at that time a fellow of Trinity College, Mr. Clarke, one of his Majesty's counsel.

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U I legis Amiffam Paradisum, grandia magni

Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuncta legis ? Res cunctas, & cunctarum primordia rerum,

Et fata, & fines continet iste liber. Intima panduntur magni penetralia mundi,

Scribitur & toto quicquid in orbe latet: Terræque, tractusque maris, cælumque profundum,

Sulphureumque Erebi, flammivomumque fpecus: Quæque colunt terras, pontumque, & Tartara cæca,

Quæque colunt fummi lucida regna poli:
Et quodcunque ullis conclusum est finibus usquam,

Et sine fine Chaos, & fine fine Deus :
Et sine fine magis, fi quid magis est fine fine,
In Chrifto


homines conciliatus amor. Hæc qui speraret quis crederet esse futura ?

Et tamen hæc hodie terra Britanna legit.
O quantos in bella duces ! quæ protulit arma!

Quæ canit, & quanta prælia dira tuba!
Cæleftes acies! atque in certamine cælum!

deceret agros !


quæ cælestes

Quantus in æthereis tollit se Lucifer armis !

Atque ipso graditur vix Michaele minor !
Quantis, & quam funestis concurritur iris,

Dum ferus hic ftellas protegit, ille rapit!
Dum vulsos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent,

Et non mortali desuper igne pluunt:
Stat dubius cui se parti concedat Olympus,

Et metuit pugnæ non fupereffe suæ.
At fimul in cælis Mesliæ insignia fulgent,

Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Horrendumque rotæ strident, & fæva rotarum

Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Et flammæ vibrant, & vera tonitrua rauco

Admistis flammis insonuere polo:
Excidit attonitis mens omnis, & impetus omnis,

Et cassis dextris irrita tela cadunt;
Ad pænas fugiunt, & ceu foret Orcus afylum,

Infernis certant condere fe tenebris.
Cedite Romani Scriptores, cedite Graii,

fama recens vel celebravit anus.
Hæc quicunque leget tantùm ceciniffe putabit

Mæonidem ranas, Virgilium culices.




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