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cretary with a falary of 200l. a year; fo that he was now in opulent circumstances for a man, who had always led a frugal and temperate life, and was at little unneceffary expense befides buying of books. Tho' he was of the victorious party, yet he was far from fharing in the fpoils of his country. On the contrary (as we learn from his fecond Defense) he sustained great loffes during the civil war, and was not at all favored in the impofition of taxes, but fometimes paid beyond his due proportion. And upon a turn of affairs he was not only deprived of his place, but also loft 2000l. which he had for fecurity and improvement put into the Excife Office. He loft likewise another confiderable fum for want of proper care and management, as perfons of Milton's genius are feldom expert in money matters. And in the fire of London his houfe in Bread-ftreet was burnt, before which accident foreigners have gone out of devotion (fays Wood) to fee the house and chamber where he was born. His gains were inconfiderable in proportion to his loffes; for excepting the thousand pounds, which were given him by the government for writing his Defenfe of the people against Salmafius, we may conclude that he got very little by the copies of his works, when it doth not appear that he received any more than ten pounds for Paradife Loft. Some time before he died he fold 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 difpofe of it to greater advantage than they could after his decease. And finally by one means or other he died worth one thoufand five hundred pounds befides his houfhold goods, which was no incompetent subsiftence for him, who was as great a philofopher as a poet.
To this account of Milton it may be proper to add fomething concerning his family. We faid before, that he had a younger brother and a fifter. His brother Christopher Milton was a man of totally oppofit principles;
ples; was a ftrong royalift, and after the civil war made his compofition thro' his brother's intereft; had been entered young a ftudent in the Inner Temple, of which houfe he lived to be an ancient bencher; and being a profeffed papift, was in the reign of James II. made a judge and knighted; but foon obtained his quietus by reafon of his age and infirmities, and retired to Ipfwich, where he lived all the latter part of his life. His fifter Anne Milton had a confiderable fortune given her by her father in marriage with Mr. Edward Philips (fon of Mr. Edw. Philips of Shrewsbury) who coming young to London was bred up in the Crown Office in Chancery, and at length became fecondary of the office under Mr. Bembo. By him she had, befides other children who died infants, two fons Edward and John, whom we have had frequent occafion to mention before. Among our author's juvenile poems there is a copy of verfes on the death of a fair infant, a nephew, or rather niece of his, dying of a cough; and this being written in his 17th year, as it is faid in the title, it may naturally be inferred that Mrs. Philips was elder than either of her brothers. She had likewife two daughters, Mary who died very young, and Anne who was living in 1694, by a fecond husband Mr. Thomas Agar, who fucceeded his intimate friend Mr. Philips in his place in the Crown Office, which he enjoyed many years, and left to Mr. Thomas Milton, fon of Sir Chriftopher before mentioned. As for Milton himfelf he appears to have been no enemy to the fair fex by having had three wives. What fortune he had with any of them is no where faid, but they were gentlemen's daughters; and it is remarkable that he married them all maidens, for (as he fays in his Apology for Smectymnuus, which was written before he married at all) he "thought "with them, who both in prudence and elegance of spi
rit would choose a virgin of mean fortunes honestly bred before the wealthieft widow." But yet he feemeth
not to have been very happy in any of his marriages; for his first wife had juftly offended him by her long abfence and separation from him; the second, whofe love, fweetness, and goodness he commends, lived not a twelvemonth with him; and his third wife is faid to have been a woman of a most violent spirit, and a hard mother in law to his children. She died very old, about twenty years ago, at Nantwich in Cheshire: and from the accounts of those who had seen her, I have learned, that fhe confirmed feveral things which have been related before; and particularly that her husband used to compose his poetry chiefly in winter, and on his waking in a morning would make her write down fometimes 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 ftealing from thofe authors, and answered with eagerness, that he ftole from no body but the Muse who infpired him; and being afked by a lady present who the Mufe 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, Spenfer, Shakespear, and Cowley: and being asked what he thought of Dryden, she said Dryden used fometimes to vifit him, but he thought him no poet, but a good rimist: but this was before Dryden had compofed his best poems, which made his name fo famous afterwards. She was wont moreover to say, that her husband was applied to by meffage 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 pen against his conscience. By his first wife he had four children, a fon who died an infant, and three daughters who furvived him; by his fecond wife he had only one daughter, who died foon after her mother, who died in childbed; and by his last wife he had no children at all. His
His daughters were not fent to fchool, but were inftructed by a mistress kept at home for that purpose: and he himfelf, excufing the eldeft on account of an impediment in her fpeech, taught the two others to read and pronounce Greek and Latin and feveral other languages, without understanding any but English, for he used to fay that one tongue was enough for a woman: but this employment was very irksome to them, and this together with the sharpness and severity of their mother in law made them very uneafy at home; and therefore they were all fent abroad to learn things more proper for them, and particularly imbroidery in gold and filver. As Milton at his death left his affairs very much in the power of his widow, tho' fhe acknowledged that he died worth one thousand five hundred pounds, yet the allowed but one hundred pounds to each of his three daughters. Anne the eldest was decrepit and deformed, but had a very handsome face; fhe married a mafter-builder, and died in childbed of her firft child, who died with her. Mary the fecond lived and died fingle. 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 1727 in the 76th year of her age. She is faid to have been a woman of good understanding and genteel behaviour, though in low circumftances. As fhe had been often called upon to read Homer and Ovid's Metamorphofis to her father, fhe could have repeated a confiderable number of verfes from the beginning of both those poets, as Mr. Ward Profeffor of Rhetoric in Grefham College, relates upon his own knowledge: and another Gentleman has informed me, that he has heard her repeat several verfes likewife out of Euripides. Mr. Addison and the other gentlemen, who had opportunities of seeing her, knew her immediately to be Milton's daughter by the fimilitude of her countenance to her father's picture:
and Mr. Addison made her a handfome prefent of a purfe of gunieas with a promise of procuring for her fome annual provision for her life; but his death happening foon after, the loft the benefit of his generous defign. She received prefents likewife from feveral other gentlemen, and Queen Caroline fent her fifty pounds by the hands of Dr. Friend the phyfician. She had ten children, feven fons and three daughters; but none of them had any children, except one of her fons named Caleb, and one of her daughters named Elizabeth. Caleb went to Fort St. George in the Eaft Indies, where he married, and had two fons, Abraham and Isaac; the elder of whom came to England with the late governor Harrifon, but returned upon advice of his father's death, and whether he or his brother be now living is uncertain. Elizabeth, the youngest child of Mrs. Clarke, was married to Mr. Thomas Fofter a weaver in Spittle Fields, and had feven children who are all dead; and fhe herfelf is aged about fixty, and weak and infirm. She feemeth to be a good plain fenfible woman, and has confirmed several particulars related above, and informed me of fome others, which fhe had often heard from her mother: that her grandfather loft two thoufand pounds by a money fcrivener, whom he had intrufted with that fum, and likewife an eftate at Weftminfter of fixty pounds a year, which belonged to the Dean and Chapter, and was reflored to them at the Restoration: that he was very temperate in his eating and drinking, but what he had he always loved to have of the beft: that he feldom went abroad in the latter part of his life, but was vifited even then by perfons of diftinction, both foreigners and others: that he kept his daughters at a great distance, and would not allow them to learn to write, which he thought unneceffary for a woman: that her mother was his greatest favorite, and could read in feven or eight languages, tho' fhe understood none but English: that her mother inherited his