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- pedagogue and school-inaster; whereas je - is well known he never set up for a pub- lick school, to teach all the young fry of " a parish; but only was willing to impart s his learning and knowledge to his relations, " and the tons of gentlemen who were his 66 intimate friends, and that neither his writ
ings nor his way of teaching favoured in - the last of pedantry.”
Thus laboriously does his nephew extenuate what cannot be denied, and what might be confefied without disgrace. Milton was not a man who could become inean by a mean employment. This, however, his warmest friends seeni not to have found; they therefore shift and palliate. He did not sell literature to all comers at an open shop; he was a chamber-milliner, and measured his commodities to his friends.
Philips, evidently impatient of viewing him in this state of degradation, tells us that it was not long continued ; and, to raise his character again, has a mind to invest him with military fplendour: “ He is much “ mistaken," he says,
6 if there was not
« about this time a design of making him an
adjutant-general in Sir William Waller's army. But the new-modelling of the
army proved an obstruction to the design.” An event cannot be set at a much greater distance than by having been only designed, about some time, if a man be not much mistaken. Milton shall be a pedagogue no longer; for, if Philips be not much mistaken, somebody at some time designed him for a soldier.
About the time that the army was newmodelled (1645) he removed to a smaller house in Holbourn, which opened backward into Lincoln's - Inn-Fields. He is not known to have published any thing afterwards till the King's death, when, finding his murderers condemned by the Presbyterians, he wrote a treatise to justify it, and to compose the minds of the people.
He made fome Remarks on the Articles of Peace between Ormond and the Iriji Rebels. While he contented hinself to write, he perhaps did only what his conscience dictated; and if he did not very vigilantly watch the influence of his own paffions, and the gradual
prevalence of opinions, first willingly ad. mitted and then habitually indulged ; if objections, by being overlooked, were forgotten, and desire fuperinduced conviction; he yet shared only the common weakness of mankind, and might be no less sincere than his opponents. But as faction feldom leaves a inan honest, however it might find him, Milton is suspected of having interpolated the book called Ico! Bafisike, which the Council of State, to whom he was now made Latin íccretary, employed him to censure, by inferting a prayer taken from Sidney's Arcadia, and imputing it to the King; whom he charges, in his Ico:ocla;les, with the use of this prayer, as with a heavy crime, in the indecent language with which prosperity had einboldened the advocates for rebellion to infult all that is venerable or great : “ Who “ would have imagined so little fear in him “ of the true all-leeing Deity—15, imme
diately before lois death, to pop into the “ hands of the grave bishop that attended
bim, as a fpecial relique of his faintly exer
cisos, a prayer fielen word for word from " the mouth of a heathen woman praying to “ a heathen god?"
which the King gave to Dr. Juxon on the scaffold, the regicides took away, so that they were at least the publishers of this prayer ; and Dr. Birch, who had examined the question with great care, was inclined to think them the forgers. The use of it by adaptation was innocent; and they who could so noisily censure it, with a little extension of their malice could contrive what they wanted to accuse.
King Charles the Second, being now sheltered in Holland, employed Salmasius, professor of Polite Learning at Leyden, to write a defence of his father and of monarchy; and, to excite his industry, gave him, as was reported, a hundred Jacobuses. Salmasius was a man of skill in languages, knowledge of antiquity, and fagacity of emendatory criticism, almost exceeding all hope of human attainment; and having, by excessive praises, been confirmed in great confidence of himself, though he probably had not much considered the principles of society or the rights of government, undertook the employment without distrust of his own qualifications; and,
as his expedition in writing was wonderful, in 1649 published Defensio Regis.
To this Milton was required to write a sufficient answer ; which he performed (1651) in such a manner, that Hobbes declared himself unable to decide whose language was best, or whose arguments were worst. In my opinion, Milton's periods are smoother, nicater, and more pointed; but he delights himfulf with teazing his adversary as much as with confuting him. He makes a foolish allution of Salınatius, whose doctrine he considers as fervile and unmanly, to the stream of Salmacis, which whoever entered left half his virility behind liim. Salmafius was a Frenchman, and was unhappily married to a scold. Tu es Galles, says Nilton, &, ut aiunt, nimium gullinaceus. But his supreme pleasure is to tax his adversary, so renowned for criticilin, with vitious Latin. He opens his book with telling that he has used Persona, which, according to Milton), signifies only a Molk, in a sense not known to the Roinans, by applying it as we apply Person. But as Nemesis is always on the watch, it is memorable that he has enforced the charge of a