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visited by all foreigners of note, who could not go out of the country without seeing a man who did so much honour to it by his writings, and whose name was as famous abroad as in his own nation; and by several persons of quality of both sexes, and many learned and ingenious friends and acquaintance. But now it was not safe for him to appear any longer in public; and therefore, by the advice of his well wish. ers, he fled for shelter to a friend's house near Welt Smithfield, where he lay concealed till the worst of the storm was blown over. On Saturday June 16. 1660, it was ordered by the House of Commons, that the King should be moved to issue a proclamation for the calling in of Milton's two books, The Defence of the people and Iconoclastes, and also Goodwyn's book, intitled, The Obstructors 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, and 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 Wednesday June 27, an order of council was made accordingly for a proclamation against Milton's and Goodwyn's books; and the proclamation was issued Aug. 13: wherein it was said that the authors had fled, or did abfcond ; and on Monday Aug. 27. the books were burnt at the Old Bailey by the hands of the common hangman. On Wednesday Aug. 29. the act of indemnity was passed, which proved more favourable to Milton than could well have been expected; for though John Goodwyn 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 consequently was included in the general pardon. We find indeed that afterwards he was in cuftody of the ferjeant at arms; but the time when he was taken into custody is not certain. He was not in custody on the 12th of September; for his Bame is not in a list of the prisoners in custody of the
serjeant serjeant at arms read that day in the house; and next day the House adjourned to Nov. 6. It is probable therefore, that after the passing of the act of indemnity, and adjournment of the House, Milton came out of his concealment, and was afterwards taken into custody by virtue of the former order of the House. But we do not find that he was prosecuted by the Attorney-general, or continued long in custody; for on Saturday Dec. 15. 1660, the House ordered, that Mr. Mil.. ton, then in custody of the serjeant aj arms, should be forth with released, paying his fees; and on Monday the 17th, a complaint being made, that the serjeant had demanded excessive fees, it was referred to the committee of privileges and elections to examine that bufipess, to call Mr. Milton and the ferjeant before them, and to determine what was fit to be given to the ferjeant for his fees. So courageous was Milton at all times in defence of liberty against all the incroachments of power, and, though a prisoner, would yet be treated like a free-born Englishman. The clemency of the government was surely very great towards him, considering the nature of his offences; for though he was not one of the King's judges and murderers, yet he contributed more to murder his character and reputation than any of them all. To what therefore could be owing, that he was treated with such denity, and was so easily pardoned? It is certain, there was not wanting powerful intercelijon for hini both in council and in parliament. It is said, that Secretary Morrice and Sir Thomas Clargis greatly favoured him, and exerted their interest in his behalf; and his old friend Andrew Marvel, member for Hull, formed a considerable party for him in the House of Commons; and neither was Charles II. (as Toland jays,) such an enemy to the Muses, as to require bis destruction. But the principal instrument in obtaining Milton's pardon was Sir William Davenant, out of gratitude for Milton's having procured his release, when taken prisoner in 1650. It was life for life. Davenant had been saved by Milton's interest, and in recorn Milton was faved at Davenant's interceflion.
Milton, having thus obtained his pardon, took a house in Holburn, near Ked-Lion Fields, but soon af. ter removed into Jewen-street, near Alderfgate-treet, While he lived there, being in his 53d or 54th year, blind and infirm, and wanting some body better than fervants to tend and look after him, he, at the recom. mendation of his friend Dr. Paget, to whom the lady was related, married his third wife, Elizabeth Minshui, of a gentleman's family in Chefhire. It is said, that an offer was made to Milton, as well as to Thurloe, of holding the same place of Secretary under the King, which he had discharged with fo much integrity and ability under Cromwell; but be perfifted in refusing it, though his wife pressed his compliance: “ Thou "' art in the right,” fays he; “ you, as other women, " would ride in your coach ; for me, my aim is to live " and die an honest man.” In 1661 he published his Accedence commenced Grammar, and a tract of Sir Walter Raleigh, intitled, Aphorisms of state, as in 1658 he had published another piece of the same author, intitled, The cabinet-council difcabinated; an e. vident fign, that he thought it no mean employment, nor unworthy of a man of genius, to be an editor of the works of great authors. While he lived in Jewenftreet, Elwood the Quaker was first introduced to read to him ; for, having wholly loft his fight, he kept always some body or other to perform that office, and usually the son of some gentleman of his acquaintance, whom he took in kindness, that he might at the same time improve him in his learning. Elwood was recommended to him by Dr. Paget, and went to his house every afternoon except Sunday, and read to him fuch books in the Latin tongue as Milton thought proper. Milton told him, that if he would have the benefit of the Latin tongue, not only to read and understand Latin authors, but to converse with foreigners, he must learn the foreign pronunciation ; and he instructed him how to read accordingly. “ Milton haying a curious ear understood by my tone,” says El. wood," when I understood what I read, and when I did not; and he would stop me and examine me, and C 2
open the most difficult passages to me.” Not long after
his third marriage he left Jewen-street, and removed : to a house in the Artillery-walk, leading to Bunhill.
fields, in which he resided to his dying day: only, when the plague began to rage in London in 1665, he removed to a small house at St. Giles Chalfont in Buckinghamshire, where he remained during that dreadful calamity; but after the sickness was over, and the city was cleansed and made fafely habitable again, he returned to his house in London.
His great work of Paradise Loft had principally en. gaged his thoughts for some years past, and was now completed. It is probable, that his first design of writing an epic poem was owing to his conversations at Naples with the Marquis of Villa about Taffo and his famous poem of the Delivery of Jerusalem; and, in a copy of verses presented to that nobleman before he left Naples, he intimated his intention of fixing upon King Arthur for his hero. In his eclogue upon the death of his friend Diodati, he proposed the same design and the same subject, and declared his ambition of writing something in his native language, which might render his name illustrious in these iflands, though he ihould be obfcure and inglorious to the rest of the world. And in other parts of his works, after he had engaged in the controversies of the times, he Aill promised to produce some noble poem or other at a fitter season: but it doth not appear that he had then determined upon the subject; and King Arthur had another fate, being reserved for the pen of Sir Richard Blackmore. The first hint of Paradise Lost is said to have been taken from an Italian tragedy ; and it is certain, that he first designed it a tragedy bimself, and there are feveral plans of it in the form of a tragedy ftill to be seen in the author's own manufcript, preserved in the library of Trinity-college, Cambridge. And it is probable, that he did not barely sketch out the plans, but also wrote some parts of the drama itself. Mr. Philips informs us, that some of the verses at the beginning of Satan's speech addreffed to the Sth, book iv. ver. 32, &c. were shown
to him and some others as designed for the beginning of the tragedy several years before the Poem was begun: and many other passages might be produced, which plainly appear to have been originally intended for the scene, and are not so properly of the epic, as of the tragic strain. After he was disengaged from the Salmafian controversy in 1655, he began to mold the Paradise Lost in its present form, ant after the Refloration he prosecuted the work with closer application. Mr Philips refa:es a very remarkable circumkance in thre composure of this Poem, which was told him by Milton himself, that his vein never happily flowed but from the autumnal equinos to the vernal, and that what he attempted at other times was not to his fatisfaction, though he courted his fancy never fo much. Mr. To!and imagines that Philips might be mistaken as to the time, because Milton, in his Latin Elegy, written in his 20th year, upon the approach of the Spring, feemeth to say just the contrary, as if he could not make any verses to his fatisfaction till the Spring begun: and he says further, that a judicious friend of Milton informed him, that he could never compose well but in Spring and Autumn. But Mr. Richardson cannot comprehend, that either of thiese accounts is exadly true, or that a man with such a work in his head can suspend it for six months together, or only for one ; it may go on more slowly, but it must go on: and this laying it aside is contrary to that eagerness to finish what was begun, which he fays was his temper in an epifle to Diodati. After all, Mr. Philips, who had the perufal of the Poem from the beginning, by twenty or thirty verses at a time, as it was composed, and having not been shown any for a confiderable while as the Summer came on, enquired of the author the reason of it, could hardly be mistaken with regard to the time: and it is easy to conceive, that the Poem might go on much more. Nowly in Summer than in other parts of the year ; for, notwithstanding all that the poets may say of the pleasures of: that season, I imagine most persons find by, experience, that they can compose better at any