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tain Woodcock of llackney; 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 Apo. logia pro Rege & Populo Anglicano, contra Johannis Poly pragmatici (alias Miltuni) 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 themselres 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 fattery. “ Descrimur, 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 agnos. cunt omnes, Cromuelle, ea tu civis maximus & gloriosissimus , dux publici consis lii, 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 at. tainable. Having exposed the unskilfulness or selfishness of tbe 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 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. “Morus es ? an Momus? an uterque idem est?” He then remembers that morus is Latin for a mulberry-tree, and hints at the known transformation:
* 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.
-Poma alba ferebat
Quæ post nigra tulit Morus. With this piece ended his controversies; and he from this time gave himself up 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 ex. press his wonder, that only one man in England could write Latin, and that man blind.
Being now forty-seven years old, and secing himself disencumbered from cxternal interruptions, he seems to have recollected his former purposes, and to have resum. ed three great works which he had planned for his future employment; an epic po. em, 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, “ almost to his dying day;
but the papers were so discomposed and desicient, 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 be. ginning 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 T 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 auda ditions, of that of Dr. Adam Littleton in 1685, by sundry persons, of whom, thomb their names are con cealed, there is great reason to conjecture that Milton's nephew, Edward Philips, is one; for it is expressly said by Wood, Fasti, vol. I. p. 266, that “ Milton'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 subscqueut erlis tions of Littleton's Dictionary, till that of 1735. Vid. Biog. Brit. 2985, in not. So that, for aucht that appears to the contrary, Philips was the last possessor of Milton's MS. H.
10 Id est, to be the subject of an heroic poem written by sir Richard Blackmore, H. | Trinity College. R.
Adam, }with the Serpent.
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 :
TIIE PERSONS. Michael.
Moses. Chorus of Angels.
Divine Justice, Wisdom, Heavenly Heavenly Love.
The Evening Star, Hesperus.
Chorus of Angels.
THE PERSONS. Moses oporyisso, recounting how he assumed his true body; that it cor. rupts 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.
Adam and Eve driven out of Paradise.
presented by an angel with Labour, Grief, Hatred, Envy, War, Famine, Pestilence, Sickness, Iveta
Discontent, Ignorance, Fear, Death,
Such was his first design, which could have produced only an ailegory, 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 vflice, 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, comioris hin, promises the Messiah ;
then calls in Faith, Hope, and Charity; instructs him, he repents, gives God the glory, submits to his penalty. The Chorus briefly concludes. Compare this with the former draught.
These are very imperfect rudiments of Paradise Lost; but it is pleasant to see great works in their seminal state, pregnant with latent possibilities of excellence; nor could there be any more delightful entertainment than to trace their gradual growth and expansion, and to observe how they are sometimes suddenly advanced by acci. dental hints, and sometimes slowly improved by steady meditation.
Invention is almost the only literary labour which blindness cannot obstruct, andtherefore he naturally solaced his solitude by the indulgence of his fancy, and the melody of his numbers. IIc had done what he knew to be necessarily previous to poctical excellence; he had made himself acquainted with seemly arts and affairs ; his comprehension was extended by various knowledge, and his memory stored with in:ellectual treasures. He was skilful in many languages, and had by reading and composition attained the full mastery of his own. He would have wanted little help from books, had he retained the power of perusing them.
But while his greater designs were advancing, having now, like many other au. thors, caught the love of publication, he amused himself, as he could, with little productions. lle sent to the press (1658) a manuscript of Raleigh, called The Ca. binet Council; and next year gratified his malevolence to the clergy by a Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastica: Cases, and the means of removing Hirelings out of the Church,
Oliver was now dead ; Richard now constrained to resign : the system of ex. temporary government, which had been held together only by force, naturally fell into fragments when that force was taken away ; and Milton saw himself and his cause in equal danger. But he had still hope of doing something. He wrote letters, which Toland has published, to such men as he thought friends to the new commonwcalth ; and even in the year of the Restoration he tuted no jot of heart or hope, but was fantastical enough to think that the nation, agitated as it was, might be set: tled by a pamphlet, called A ready and easy Way to establish a free Commonwealth; which was, however enough considered to be both seriously and ludicrously answered.
The obstinate enthusiasm of the commonwealthmen was very remarkable. When the king was apparently returning, Harrington, with a few associates as fanatical as himself, used to meet, with all the gravity of political importance, to settle an equal government ly rotation ; and Milton, kicking when he could strike no longer, was foolish enough to publish, a few weeks before the restoration, Notes upon a ser, mon preached by one Griffiths, evtituled, The Fear of God and the King. To these notes an answer was written by L'Estrange, in a pamphlet petulantly called, Na Blind Guides.
But whatever Milton could write, or men of greater activity could do, the king was now about to be restored, with the irresistible approbation of the people. He was therefore no longer secretary, and was consequently obliged to quit the house which he held by his oflice ; and, proportioning his sense of danger to his opinion of the importance of his writings, thought it convenient to seek some shelter, and bid himself for a time in Bartholomew-Close, by West-Smithfield.
I canro: but remark a kind of respect, perhaps unconsciously, paid to this great