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the benefit of the air; and there he remained eight years, from 1652 till within a few weeks of the King's restoration. In this house he had not been fettled long, before his first wife died in childbed. But, after a proper interval of time, he married a fecond wife, Katharine daughter of Captain Woodcock of Hackney. She too died in childbed within a year af ter their marriage, and her child, a daughter, died a month after. Her husband has done honour to her memory in one of his fonnets.
Two or three years before his fecond marriage he had totally loft his fight: And his enemies triumphed in his blindness, and imputed it as a judgment upon him for writing against the King. But his fight had been decaying feveral years before, through his close application to ftudy, and the frequent head-achs to which he had been subject from his childhood, and his continual tampering with phyfic, which perhaps was more pernicious than all the reft. Milton himfelf informs us in his Second Defence, that, when he was appointed by authority to write his defence of the people againft Salmafius, he had almoft loft the fight of one eye, and the phyficians declared to him, that, if he undertook that work, he would alfo lofe the fight of the other. But he was nothing difcou raged, and chofe rather to lofe both his eyes, than defert what he thought his duty. His blindness however did not difable him entirely from performing the bufinefs of his office. An affiltant was allowed him, and his falary as Secretary fill continued.
And there was farther occafion for his fervice befides dictating of letters: for the controverfy with Salmafius did not die with him. There was published at the Hague, in 1652, a book, intitled, The Cry of the King's blood, &c. Regii fanguinis Clamor ad cœlum adverfus parricidas Anglicanos. The true author of this book was Peter du Moulin the younger, afterwards Prebendary of Canterbury. He tranfmitted his pa pers to Salmafius; Salmafius intrufted them to the care of Alexander Morus, a French minifter; and Morus published them with a dedication to King Charles
Charles II. in the name of Adrian Ulac the printer, from whence he came to be reputed the author of the whole Morus was the fon of a learned Scotfman, Prefident of the college which the Proteftants had formerly at Caftres in Languedoc. He is faid to have been a man of a mot haughty difpofition, immoderately addicted to women, hafty, ambitious, full of himself and his own performances, and fatirical upon all others. He was however efteemed one of the most eminent preachers of that age among the Proteftants: But, as M. Bayle obferves, his chief talent must have confifted in the gracefulness of his delivery, or in those fallies of imagination, and quaint turns and allufions, whereof his fermons are full; for they retain not thofe charms in reading, which they were faid to have formerly in the pulpit. Against this man therefore, as the reputed author of Regii fanguinis clamor, &c. Milton published by authority his Second Defence of the people of England, &c. Defenfio Secundo pro populo Anglicano, in 1654. He treats Morus with fuch feverity as nothing could have excufed, if he had not been provoked to it by fo much abufe poured upon himfelf. He had wrote a piece of wit, which had been published before in the news papers at London, a diftich upon Morus for getting Pontia the maid-fervant of his friend Salmafius with child.
Galli ex concubita gravidam te, Pontia, Mori Quis bene moratam morigeramque neget? Upon this Morus published his Fides Publica, in anfwer to Milton, in which he inferted several teftimonies of his orthodoxy and morals, figned by the confiftories, academies, fynods, and magiftrates of the places where he had lived, and difowned his being the author of the book imputed to him, and appealed to two gentlemen of great credit with the parliamentparty, who knew the real author. This brought Du Moulin, then in England, into great danger: but the government fuffered him to escape with impunity, rather than publicly contradict the great patron of their caufe; for Milton ftill perfifted in his accufa
tion, and endeavoured to make it good in his Defence of himself, &c. Autoris pro fe Defenfio, published in 1655, wherein he opposed to the testimonies in favour of Morus other teftimonies against him; and Morus replied no more.
This controverfy being ended, he was at leifure again to pursue his own private ftudies, viz. the History of England before mentioned, and a new Thefaurus of the Latin tongue, intended as an improvement upon that by Robert Stephens; a work, which he had been long collecting from the best and pureft Latin authors, and continued at times almoft to his dying day but his papers were left so confufed and imperfect, that they could not be fitted for the prefs, though great ufe was made of them by the compilers of the Cambridge Dictionary, printed in 1693. These papers are faid to have confifted of three large voJumes 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 thofe controverfies, which detained him fo long from following things more agreeable to his natural genius and inclination, though he was far from ever repenting of his writings in defence of liberty, but gloried in them to the last.
The only interruption now of his private ftudies was the bufinefs of his office. In 1655 there was published in Latin a writing in the name of the Lord Protector, fetting forth the reafons of the war with Spain. This piece is rightly adjudged to our author, both on account of the peculiar elegance of the ftyle, 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. For the fame reafons I am inclined to think, that the famous Latin verfes to Christina Queen of Sweden, in the name of Cromwell, were made by Milton, rather than Andrew Marvel. In those days they had admirable intelligence in the Secretary's office; and Mr. Philips relates a me
morable 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 inftructions in Holland; which being delivered by Milton to his kinfman, then with him, to be tranflated for the ufe of the council, before the plenipotentiary had taken fhipping for England, 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, then in arms against Card. Mazarine: but the government, fufpecting him, fet their inftruments to work fo fuccefsfully, that in a few days they received intelligence from Paris, that he was a fpy 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 probably Mr. Philips or his brother; and one or both of them were affiftant to him in his office. His blindness no doubt was a great hindrance and inconvenience to him in his bufinefs, though fometimes a political ufe might be made of it, as mens natural infirmities are often pleaded in excufe for not doing what they have no great inclination to do. Thus when Cromwell for fome reafons delayed artfully to fign the treaty with Sweden, and the Swedish ambaffador made frequent complaints of it, the excufe was, that Mr. Milton, on account of his blindness, proceeded flower in bufinefs, and had not yet put the articles of the treaty into Latin. The ambaffador was greatly furprised, that things of fuch confequence fhould be intrufted to a blind man; for he muft neceffarily employ an amanuenfis, and that amanuenfis might divulge the articles; and faid it was very wonderful, that there fhould be only one man in England who could write Latin, and he a blind one. But his blindnefs had not diminished, but rather increased the vigour of his mind. His ftate-let
ters will remain as authentic memorials of those times, to be admired equally by critics and politicians; thofe particularly about the fufferings of the poor Proteftants in Piedmont, who can read without fenfible emotion? He had this fubject very much at heart, for he was an utter enemy to all forts of perfecution; and he wrote a moft excellent fonnet on that occafion.
But Oliver Cromwell being dead, and the government weak and unfettled in the hands of Richard and the parliament, he thought it a feasonable time to offer his advice again to the public. He therefore in 1659 published 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 parliament of the commonwealth of England. After the parliament was diffolved, he wrote a letter to fome ftatefman, with whom he had a ferious difcourfe the night before concerning the ruptures of the commonwealth, and another, as it is fuppofed, to Gen. Monk, being a brief Delineation of a free commonwealth, eafy to be put in practice, and without delay. Thefe two pieces were first printed in the edition of our author's profe works in 1698. But Milton, ftill 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 inconveniencies and dangers of re-admitting kingfhip 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. 1600. So 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 difcharged from his office of Latin Secretary, and was forced to leave his houfe in Petty France. Here he had lived eight years with great reputation, and had been