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expression of thought.' The two topics last named are handled in the Tractate on Education, and in Areopagitica, or a Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing (1644). The latter is the best known, and perhaps the best of the English prose writings of Milton. In it his characteristic faith in truth, and his assurance of her inherent strength and final victory, enable him to dispose of shallow practical objections by an appeal to facts, and to recognise the necessity of 'ordaining wisely, as in this world of evil wherein God hath placed us unavoidably.'
The publication of the early poems, English and Latin (1645); the removal of their author first to Barbican and then to a house in Holborn (1647), 'opening backwards into Lincoln's Inn Fields;' the death of his father in the same year; and the severe and bald translation of Psalms 1xxx to lxxxviii'; are the main facts of literary or domestic interest in Milton's life, till the execution of Charles I. brought him forward once more as the champion of the Puritan cause.
The odium of that memorable deed was thrown by the Presbyterians upon the victorious Independents, although the latter had therein only completed the work begun and carried on for seven years by the Presbyterians themselves. This at least is the retort which Milton (whose republican tendency had been developed and confirmed by the course of events) makes in his Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, to the cavillers at that act of highest justice.'
About the same time (Feb. 1649) he wrote Observations on the Peace which Ormond, lieutenant of Charles, concluded with the Irish rebels just thirteen days before the King's execution.
Much excitement was caused by the publication of a work purporting to have been written by Charles, and entitled Eikon Basilike, or the Portraiture of his Sacred Majesty in
1 Not included in this edition. Of these and subsequent translations Landor remarks, • Milton was never so much a regicide as when he lifted up his hand and smote King David.' Their interest is biographic merely. They shew that their author could at this time repress poetic instinct and forego poetic skill, and seeking after simplicity fall into utter bathos.
his Solitudes and Sufferings. On March 15, 1649, the Council of State, alive to the danger of a royalist reaction, commissioned Milton (who had been appointed Secretary for Foreign Tongues) to write his rejoinder of Eikonoclastes, wherein the King's unconstitutional acts, and the apologies made for them, are unsparingly enumerated and confuted.
Milton's next work was formally imposed on him by order of the Council. He was to 'prepare something in answer to the book of Salmasius'-Defensio Regia-which its author (Professor at Leyden, and foremost among European scholars) had undertaken by desire of Charles the Second, then in exile. Salmasius was one of the eminent men whom Christina of Sweden, daughter of the Protestant champion Gustavus Adolphus, had invited to her court; and his death after the appearance of Milton's Defensio pro Populo Anglicano (1650) was said to have been caused or hastened by the favour with which his royal patroness regarded the work of his English adversary, and by the diminution of her kindness to himself. Milton, in a subsequent work, notices this rumour, but holds no very consistent language respecting it. In one place he compliments Christina for not allowing her guest to experience any lessening of her favour or munificence, but directly adds that he went away in disgrace as great as had been the honour he had previously enjoyed. In another passage, he asserts that the queen having summoned Salmasius to her presence, and finding him unable to justify the assertions in his book, openly shewed that thenceforth she neither esteemed nor respected him. But as Salmasius was in failing health, and did not die till 1653, his death need not have resulted from a contest in which he did not despair of victory, and which he was preparing to renew.
A reply to Milton's Defensio was published in 1651, to which John Phillips (with his uncle's assistance) rejoined. Milton considered Bramhall, Bishop of Derry, as the author, although the bishop disowned the work, which was by 'one John Rowland.
For his Defensio Milton received the thanks of the Council. He had sacrificed his sight in his devotion to his
‘noble task,' and had done so deliberately. He says of himself that he made his choice in the spirit of Achilles, who preferred honour to life.
From a lodging next door to the Bull's Head Tavern Charing Cross, opening into Spring Garden,' he had removed to Scotland Yard, where his rooms were hung with tapestry which had been part of the furniture of the royal apartments. In 1651 he quitted this residence for a pretty garden-house next to Lord Scudamore's, and opening into the Park.' It is now 19 York Street, Westminster. On the parapet of the present back (the former front) is a commemorative tablet, *Sacred to Milton, Prince of Poets,' placed there by William Hazlitt, who occupied the house in 1811. Here Milton's first wife died in child-bed, leaving him with three daughters.
When Peter Du Moulin (afterwards prebendary of Canterbury) wrote his Regii Sanguinis Clamor (1652), Milton, in a Second Defence fastened the authorship on More, a French minister who had the care of the publication, and relentlessly exposed the scandals of his private life. But in the Defensio Secunda, as in most of the prose works, the magnificent episodes, exponents of his own thoughts or narrative of his own career, engage the reader's interest far more deeply than the violent rhetoric about the venality of Salmasius or the frailties of More. “The egotism of such a man as Milton is a revelation of spirit.' And we have in this instance more than selfreferences. There is an eloquent eulogium upon Cromwell, and then a solemn warning if he should hereafter invade that liberty which he had defended. The valour and virtue of other Commonwealth leaders are also heartily extolled by the writer, whom Johnson has stigmatized as "very frugal of his praise.'
Milton was involved in some trouble by the misfortunes of his first wife's father, Richard Powell, who came to London after the surrender of Oxford, having lost great part of his estate in the King's service, and hoping to recover some of the remainder, which had been sequestrated by the Parliament. He took the oath of the Covenant, was admitted to compound for his estate, and died in January 1647, at the house of his son-in-law. His daughter's promised dowry had never been paid, and Milton's claim of £500 on his estate was allowed on payment of £130, as fine to the Exchequer. His widow claimed her thirds out of this part of his property, and Milton paid them (without any allowance being made to him on that account) until she demanded them as her legal right. The Commissioners disallowed her claim, and she wrote the petition wherein the statement is made that 'Mr. Milton is a harsh and choleric man,' and that 'her daughter would be undone' if any course were taken against him by Mr. Powell, he having turned away his wife heretofore for a long space upon some other occasion,'or upon a small occasion.' (July 14, 1651.)
But Milton seems to have forgiven this also, for two years after, his brother Christopher took up the cause of the Powells, and succeeded in proving that the fines levied on their lands had been exorbitant, and in violation of the Oxford Articles. The family appear to have resumed (though with diminished wealth) their social position at Forest Hill.
Milton retired from the more active duties of Secretary with a reduced allowance, paid until Oct. 1659. His assistant was Andrew Marvel, whom, as early as Feb. 1653, he had recommended to President Bradshaw.
He appears to have undertaken at this time several great works (a Latin Dictionary, a History of England, a Body of Divinity), and is supposed to have begun Paradise Lost about two years before the king came in. Yet he retained his interest in public affairs, and unavailingly strove to turn the current of public feeling with pamphlets on the Removal of Hirelings 'out of the Church, and on a Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth. In the latter is clearly seen, even by Milton's own admissions, the hopeless ruin of the Puritan cause. It spoke (as its author feared) for that generation the last words of our expiring liberty,' and the appeal was made in a letter to General Monk, whose unscrupulous duplicity well fitted him for his task as pioneer of the Restoration. During Monk's dubious neutrality Milton wrote 'Notes' on a royalist sermon by Dr. Griffiths, and on the
general's behalf repudiated the insinuation that his 'public promises and declarations, both to the parliament and to the army' were soon to be falsified by his bringing in the late king's son.'
At the Restoration (May 1660) Milton shared the peril of the down-trodden Puritans. There is a tradition that Sir William Davenant, in gratitude for a like kindness, saved the life of Milton, whose biographers record that he was for a time concealed in a friend's house in Bartholomew Close. The proclamation (Aug. 13, 1660) against him as the author of Eikonoclastes and Defensio (which were ordered to be burnt by the hangman) states that he had withdrawn himself, so that no endeavours for his apprehension could take effect. He was in a few days after relieved from the necessity of further concealment by the passing of the Act of Indemnity (Aug. 30, 1660). But for some unexplained reason he was, in the following December, in the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms, whence he was released by order of the House (Dec. 13, 1660).
Milton now lived for a short time in Holborn, near Red Lion Street, but soon removed to Jewin Street. He had married his second wife, Catharine Woodcock, on the 12th of November, 1656. She died about fifteen months after her marriage, and was buried in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster. Her monument is the sonnet in which the widower commemorated his loss.
At the recommendation of his friend Dr. Paget, Milton married a third time. His latest choice was Elizabeth Minshull, a lady of a good Cheshire family, and the Doctor's relative.
The same physician introduced to him a serviceable Latin reader, Ellwood, a young Quaker, who had his full share in the persecutions which attended the first followers of George Fox. Milton taught Ellwood to pronounce Latin in the Italian manner, and knowing by his tones when he did not understand what he read, would stop him and explain the difficult passage.
Soon after his marriage, Milton lodged at the house of Millington, the bookseller of Little Britain, who used to lead