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was rewarded with a thousand pounds, and his book was much read; for paradux, recommended by spirit and elegance, easily gains attention; and he who told every man that he was equal to his king, could hardly want an audience.
That the performance of Salmasius was not dispersed with equal rapidity, or read with equal eagerness, is very credible. He taught only the stale doctrine of autho. rity, and the unpleasing duty of submission; and he had been so long not only the monarch but the tyrant of literature, that almost all mankind were delighted to find him deficd and insulted by a new name, not yet considered as any one's rival. If Christina, as is said, commended the Defence of the People, her purpose must be to torment Salmasius, who was then at court; for neither her civil station, nor her natural character, could dispose her to favour the doctrine, who was by birth a queen, and by temper despotic.
That Salmasius was, from the appearance of Milton's book, treated with neglect, there is not much proof ; but to a man so long accustomed to admiration, a little praise of his antagonist would be sufficiently offensive, and might incline him to leave Sweden, from which however he was dismissed, not with any mark of con. tempt, but with a train of attendance scarcely less than regal.
He prepared a reply, which, left as it was, imperfect, was published by his son in the year of the Restoration. In the beginning, being probably most in pain for his Latinity, he endeavours to defend his use of the word persona: but, if I re. member right, he misses a better authority than any that he has found, that of Ju. venal in his fourth satire:
Quid agas, cum dira & fædior omni
Crimine persona est ? As Salmasius reproached Milton with losing his eyes in the quarrel, Milton de lighted himself with the belief that he had shortened Salmasius's life, and both per. haps with more malignity than reason. Salmasius died at the Spa, Sept. 3, 1653 : and, as controvertists are commonly said to be killed by their last dispute, Milton was flattered with the credit of destroying him.
Cromwell had now dismissed the parliament by the authority of which he had dc. stroyed monarchy, and commenced monarch himself, under the title of Protector, but with kingly and more than kingly power. That his authority was lawful, never was pretended; he himself founded his right only in necessity; but Milton, having now tasted the honey of public employment, would not return to hunger and philosophy, but, continuing to exercise his office under a manifest usurpation, betrayed to his power that liberty which he had defended. Nothing can be more just than that rebellion should end in slavery; that he who had justified the murder of his king, for some acts which scemed to him unlawful, should dow sell his ser: vices and his flatteries to a tyrant, of whom it was evident that he could do nothing lawful.
He had now been blind for some years, but his vigour of intellect was such, that he was not disabled to discharge his office of Latin secretary, or continue his controversies. His mind was too eager to be diverted, and too strong to be subdued.
About this time his first wife died in child-bed, having left him three daughters. As he probably did not much love her, he did not long continue the appearance of lamenting her; but after a short time married Catherine, the daughter of one captain Woodcock of Hackney; a woman doubtless educated in opinions like his own She died within a year, of childbirth, or some distem per that followed it, and her husband honored her memory with a poor sonnet.
The first reply to Milton's Defensio Populi was published in 1651, called Apologia pro Rege & Populo Anglicano, contra Johannis Polypragmatici (alias Mil. toni) defensionem destructivam Regis & Populi. Of this the author was not known; but Milton and his nephew Philips, under whose name he published an answer so much corrected by him that it might be called his own, imputed it to Bramhall; and, knowing him no friend to regicides, thought themselves at liberty to treat him as if they had known what they only suspected.
Next year appeared Regii Sanguinis clamor ad Cælum. Of this the author was Peter du Moulin, who was afterwards prebendary of Canterbury; but Morus, or More, a French minister having the care of its publication, was treated as the writer by Milton in his Defensio Secunda, and overwhelmed by such violence of invective, that he began to shrink under the tempest, and gave his persecuters the means of knowing the true author. Du Moulin was now in great danger; but Mil. ton's pride operated against his malignity; and both he and his friends were more willing that Du Moulin should escape than that he should be convicted of mistake.
In this second Defence, he shows that his eloquence is not merely satirical; the rudeness of his invective is equalled by the grossness of his flattery. “ Deserimur, Cromuelle, tu solus superes, ad te summa nostrarum rerum rediit, in te solo con. sistit, insuperabili tuæ virtuti cedimus cuncti, nemine vel obloquente, nisi qui æquales inæqualis ipse honores sibi quærit, aut digniori concessos invidet, aut non intelligit nihil esse in societate hominum magis vel Deo gratum, vel rationi consentaneum, esse in civitate nihil æquius, nihil utilius, quam potiri rerum dignissimum. Eum te agnoscunt omnes, Cromuelle, ea tu civis maximus & gloriosissimus *, dux publici consilii, exercituum fortissimorum imperator, pater patriæ gessisti. Sic tu spontanea bonorum omnium & animitus missa voce salutaris,"
Cæsar, when he assumed the perpetual dictatorship, had not more servile or more elegant flattery. A translation may shew its servility; but its elegance is less attajnable. Having exposed the unskilfulness or selfishness of the former govern. ment, “ We were left,” says Milton, “ to ourselves: the whole national interest fell into your hands, and subsists only in your abilities. To your virtue, over. powering and resistless, every man gives way, except some who, without equal qualifications, aspire to equal honours, who envy the distinctions of merit greater than their own, or who have yet to learn, that in the coalition of human society no. thing is more pleasing to God, or more agreeable to reason, than that the highest mind should have the sovereign power, Such, sir, are you by general confession; such are the things achieved by you, the greatest and most glorious of our countrymen, the director of our public councils, the leader of unconquered armies, the fa. ther of your country; for by that title does every good man hail you with sincere and voluntary praise."
Next year, having defended all that wanted defence, he found leisure to defend himself. He undertook his own vindication against More, whom he declares in his
8 It may be doubted whether gloriosissimus be here used with Milton's boasted purity. Res gloriosa is an illustrious thing ; but vir gloriosus is commonly a braggart, as in miles gloriosus. Dr. J.
title to be justly called the author of the Regii Sanguinis Clamor. In this there is no want of vehemence or eloquence, nor does he forget his wonted wit. "Mo, rus es ? an Momus? an uterque idem est?” He then remembers that morus is Latin for a mulberry-tree, and hints at the known transformation:
-Poma alba ferebat
Quæ post nigra tulit Morus.
to his private studies and his civil employment.
As secretary to the Protector, he is supposed to have written the Declaration of the reasons for a war with Spain. His agency was considered as of great importance ; for, when a treaty with Sweden was artfully suspended, the delay was publicly imputed to Mr. Milton's indisposition: and the Swedish agent was provoked to express his wonder, that only one man in England could write Latin, and that man blind.
Being now forty-seven years old, and seeing himself disencumbered from external interruptions, he seems to have recollected his former purposes, and to have resumed three great works which he had planned for his future employment; an epic poem, the history of his country, and a dictionary of the Latin tongue.
To collect a dictionary, seems a work of all others least practicable in a state of blindness, because it depends upon perpetual and minute inspection and collation. Nor would Milton probably have begun it after he had lost his eyes; but, having had it alway before him, he continued it, says Philips, 6 almost to his dying day; but the papers were so discomposed and deficient, that they could not be fitted for the press.” The compilers of the Latin dictionary, printed at Cambridge, had the use of those collections in three folios; but what was their fate afterwards is not known ..
To compile a history from various authors, when they can only be consulted by other eyes, is not easy nor possible, but with more skilful and attentive help than can be commonly obtained; and it was probably the difficulty of consulting and comparing that stopped Milton's narrative at the Conquest; a period at which affairs were not yet very intricate, nor authors very numerous.
For the subject of his epic poem, after much deliberation, long chusing, and beginning late, he fixed upon Paradise Lost: a design so comprehensive, that it could be justified only by success. He had once designed to celebrate King Arthur, as he hints in his verses to Mansus; but Arthur was reserved, says Fenton, to another destiny 10.
It appears, by some sketches of poetical projects left in manusript, and to be seen in a library " at Cambridge, that he had digested his thoughts on this subject into one of those wild dramas which were anciently called Mysteries; and Philips had
9 The Cambridge Dictionary, published in 4to, 1693, is no other than a copy, with some small ad“ ditions, of that of Dr. Adam Littleton in 1685, by sundry persons, of whom, though their names are con cealed, there is great reason to conjecture tbat Milton's nephew, Edward Philips, is one ; for it is expressly said hy Wood, Fasti, vol. I. p. 266, that “ Miltoa's Thesaurus" came to his hands; and it is asserted, in the preface thereto, that the editors thereof had the use of three large folios in manuscript, collected and digested into alphabetical order by Mr. John Milton.
It has been remarked, that the additions, together with the preface above mentioned, and a large part of the title of the Cambridge Dictionary, have been incorporated and printed with the subsequent editions of Littleton's Dictionary, till that of 1735. Vid. Biog. Brit. 2985, in not. So that, for aught that appears to the contrary, Philips was the last possessor of Milton's MS. H.
101d est, to be the subject of an heroic poem written by sir RichardBlackmore. H, i Trinity College. R.
seen what he terms part of a tragedy, beginning with the first ten lines of Satan's address to the Sun. These mysteries consist of allegorical persons; such as Justice, Mercy, Faith. Of the tragedy or mystery of Paradise Lost there are two plans : THE PERSONS.
Divine Justice, Wisdom, Heavenly
The Evening Star, Hesperus.
Chorus of Angels.
Labour, Discontent, Mutes,
Mutes, with others;)
THE PERSONS. Moses apoyiz, recounting how he assumed his true body; that it corrupts not, because it is with God in the mount; declares the like with Enoch and Elijah; besides the purity of the place, that certain pure winds, dews, and clouds, preserve it from corruption ; whence exhorts to the sight of God; tells they cannot see Adam in the state of innocence by reason of their sin.
Lucifer contriving Adam's ruin.
Laborcom ferief. Thatred. E . Wer: Famine, Pestilence, Sickness, }
Adam and Eve driven out of Paradise. presented by an angel with
Mutes. DiscontentIgnorance, Fear, Death To whom he gives their names. Likewise, Winter, Heat, Tempest, &c. Faith, Hope, comfort him and instruct him. Charity, Chorus briefly concludes.
Such was his first design, which could have produced only an allegory, or mystery. The following sketch seems to have attained more maturity.
The angel Gabriel, either descending or entering; showing, since this globe was created, his frequency as much on Earth as in Heaven ; describes Paradise. Next, the Chorus, showing the reason of his coming to keep his watch in Paradise, after Lu. cifer's rebellion, by command from God; and withal expressing his desire to see and know more concerning this excellent new creature, man. The angel Gabriel, as by his name signifying a prince of power, tracing Paradise with a more free office, passes by the station of the Chorus, and, desired by them, relates what he knew of man; as the creation of Eve, with their love and marriage. After this, Lucifer appears; after his overthrow, bemoans himself, seeks revenge on man. The Chorus prepare resistance on his first approach. At last, after discourse of enmity on either side he departs: whereat the Chorus sings of the battle and victory in Heaven, against him and his accomplices : as before, after the first act, was sung a hymn of the creation. Here again may appear Lucifer, relating and exulting in what he had done to the destruction of man. Man next, and Eve, having by this time been seduced by the Serpent, appears confusedly covered with leaves. Conscience in a shape accuses him; Justice cites him to a place whither Jehovah called for him. In the mean while, the Chorus entertains the stage, and is infornied by some angel the manner of the fall. Here the Chorus bewails Adam's fall; Adam then and Eve return; accuse one another; but especially Adam lays the blame to his wife; is stubborn in his offence. Justice appears, reasons with him, convinces him. The Chorus admonisheth Adam, and bids him beware Lucifer's example of impenitence. The angel is sent to banish them out of Paradise; but before, causes to pass before his eyes, in shapes, a mask of all the evils of this life and world. He is humbled, relents, despairs : at last appears Mercy, comforts him, promises the Messiah ;