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upon that by Robert Stephens; a work which he had been long collecting from the beft and pureft Latin authors, and continued at times almost to his dying day: but his papers were left fo confused and imperfect, that they could not be fitted for the press, tho' great use was made of them by the compilers of the Cambridge Dictionary printed in 1693. These papers are faid to have confifted of three large volumes in folio; and it is a great pity that they are loft, and no account is given what is become of the manufcript. It is commonly faid too that at this time he began his famous poem of Paradise Loft; and it is certain, that he was glad to be released from those controverfies, which detained him so long from following things more agreeable to his natural genius and inclination, though he was far from ever repenting of his writings in defense of liberty, but gloried in them to the laft.
The only interruption now of his private ftudies was the business of his office. In 1655 there was published in Latin a writing in the name of the Lord Protector, fetting forth the reasons of the war with Spain: and this piece is rightly adjudged to our author, both on account of the peculiar elegance of the ftile, and because it was his province to write fuch things as Latin Secretary; and it is printed among his other profe-works in the last edition. And for the fame 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 rather than Andrew Marvel. In those days they had admirable intelligence in the Secretary's office; and Mr. Philips relates a memorable inftance or two upon his own knowledge. The Dutch were fending a plenipotentiary to England to treat of peace; but the emiffaries of the government had the art to procure a copy of his instructions in Holland, which were delivered by Milton to his kinfman who was then with him, to tranflate them for the use of
the Council, before the faid plenipotentiary had taken fhipping 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 perfon came to London with a very fumptuous train, pretending himself an agent from the Prince of Conde, who was then in arms against Cardinal Mazarine: but the government fufpecting him fet their inftruments to work so successfully, that in a few days they received intelligence from Paris, that he was a spy employed by Charles II: whereupon the very next morning Milton's kinfman was fent to him with an order of Council, commanding him to depart the kingdom within three days, or expect the punishment of a spy. This kinfman 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 affiftant to him in his office. His blindness no noubt was a great hindrance and inconvenience to him in his bufinefs, tho' fometimes a political use might be made of it; as men's natural infirmities are often pleaded in excufe for not doing what they have no great inclination to do. Thus when Cromwell, as we may collect from Whitlock, for fome reasons delayed artfully to fign the treaty concluded with Sweden, and the Swedish embaffador made frequent complaints of it, it was excufed to him, because Mr. Milton on account of his blindness proceeded flower in business, and had not yet put the articles of the treaty into Latin. Upon which the embassador was greatly furprifed, that things of fuch confequence fhould be intrufted to a blind man, for he must neceffarily employ an amanuenfis, and that amanuenfis might divulge the articles; and faid it was very wonderful, that there should be only one man in England who could write Latin, and he a blind one. But his blindness had not diminished, but rather increased the vigor of his mind; and his ftate-letters will remain as authentic memorials of
those times, to be admired equally by critics and politicians; and those particularly about the fufferings of the poor proteftants in Piedmont, who can read without fenfible emotion? This was a subject he had very much at heart, as he was an utter enemy to all forts of perfecution; and among his fonnets there is a moft excellent one upon the fame occafion.
But Oliver Cromwell being dead, and the government weak and unfettled in the hands of Richard and the Parlament, he thought it a feasonable time to offer his advice again to the public; and in 1659 published a Treatife of civil power in ecclefiaftical caufes; and another tract intitled Confiderations touching the likelieft means to remove hirelings out of the church; both addreffed to the Parlament of the commonwealth of England. And after the Parlament was diffolved, he wrote a Letter to fome Statesman, with whom he had a ferious difcourfe 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 be putin practice, and without delay. These two pieces were communicated in manufcript 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 profe-works in 1698. But Milton, still finding that affairs were every day tending more and more to the fubverfion 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 re-admitting kingship in this nation. We are informed by Mr. Wood, that he published this piece in February 1659-60; and after this he published Brief notes upon a late fermon intitled, the Fear of God and the King, preached by Dr. Matthew Griffith at Mercers Chapel March 25, 1660: fo bold and refolute was he in declaring
his fentiments to the laft, thinking that his voice was the voice of expiring liberty.
A little before the King's landing he was discharged from his office of Latin Secretary, and was forced to leave his house in Petty France, where he had lived eight years with great reputation, and had been vifited by all foreigners of note, who could not go out of the country without seeing a man who did fo much honor to it by his writings, and whose name was as well known and as famous abroad as in his own nation; and by several perfons of quality of both fexes, particularly the pious and virtuous Lady Ranelagh, whofe fon for fome time he inftructed, the fame who was Paymafter of the forces in King William's time; and by many learned an ingenious friends and acquaintance, particularly Andrew Marvel, and young Laurence, fon to the Prefident of Oliver's Council, to whom he has infcribed one of his fonnets, and Marchamont Needham the writer of Politicus, and above all Cyriac Skinner, whom he has honored with two fonBut now it was not fafe for him to appear any longer in public, fo that by the advice of fome who wished him well and were concerned for his prefervation, he fled for fhelter to a friend's houfe in Bartholomew Clofe near Weft Smithfield, where he lay concealed till the worst of the ftorm was blown over. The firft notice that we find taken of him was on Saturday the 16th of June 1660, when it was ordered by the Houfe of Commons, that his Majesty should be humbly moved to iffue his proclamation for the calling in of Milton's two books, his Defense of the people and Iconoclaftes, and alfo Goodwyn's book intitled the Obftructors 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 fame time it was ordered, that the Attorney General fhould proceed by way of indictment or information against Milton and Goodwyn in respect of their books,
and that they themselves should be sent for in custody of the Serjeant at arms attending the House. On Wednefday June 27th an order of Council was made agreeable to the order of the House of Commons for a proclamation against Milton's and Goodwyn's books; and the proclamation was iffued the 13th of Auguft following, wherein it was faid that the authors had fled or did abfcond: and on Monday August 27th Milton's and Goodwyn's books were burnt according to the proclamation at the Old Baily by the hands of the common hangman. On Wednesday Auguft 29th the act of indemnity was paffed, which proved more favorable to Milton than could well have been expected; for tho' John Goodwyn Clerk was excepted among the twenty perfons, who were to have penalties inflicted upon them, not extending to life, yet Milton was not excepted at all, and confequently was included in the general pardon. We find indeed that afterwards he was in cuftody of the Serjeant at arms; but the time when he was taken into cuftody, is not certain. He was not in custody on the 12th of September, for that day a lift of the prifoners in cuftody of the Serjeant at arms was read in the House, and Milton is not among them; and on the 13th of September the House adjourned to the 6th of November. It is moft probable therefore, that after the act of indemnity was paffed, and after the House had adjourned, he came out of his concealment, and was afterwards taken into cuftody of the Serjeant at arms by virtue of the former order of the House of Commons: but we cannot find that he was profecuted by the Attorney General, nor was he continued in cuftody very long: for on Saturday the 15th of December 1660, it was ordered by the House of Commons, that Mr. Milton now in cuftody of the Serjeant at arms fhould be forthwith released, paying his fees; and on Monday the 17th of December, a complaint being made that the Serjeant at arms had demanded exceffive fees for his imprisonment, it was referred