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“ his writings nor his way of teaching favoured in " the leatt of pedantry.”
Thus laboriously does his nephew extenuate what cannot be denied, and what might be confessed without disgrace. Milton was not a man who could become mean by a mean employment. This, however, his warmest friends seem 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 splendour : “ He “ is much mistaken," he says, “ if there was not « about this time a design of making him an ad«s jutant-general in Sir William Waller's army. But “ the new-modelling of the army proved an ob6 struction 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 inuch mistaken, somebody at some time designed him for a soldier.
About the time that the army was new-inodelled (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 justfy it, and to compose the minds of the
He made some Remarks on the Articles of Peace between Ormond and the Irish Rebels. While he contented himself 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 ada mitted, and then habitually indulged; if objections, by being overlooked, were forgotten, and defire fuperinduced conviction; he yet shared only the common weakness of mankind, and might be no less fincere than his opponents. But as faction seldom leaves a man honeft, however it might find him, Milton is suspected of having interpolated the book called Icon Bafilike, which the Council of State, to whom he was now made Latin fecretary, employed him to censure, by inserting a prayer taken from Sidney's Arcadia, and imputing it to the King; whom he charges, in his Iconoclaffes, with the use of this prayer, as with a heavy crime, in the indecent language with which prosperity had emboldened the ad. vocates for rebellion to insult all that is venerable or great : “ Who would have imagined fo little fear in “ him of the true all-seeing Deity-as, immedi“ately before his deach, to pop into the hands of the “ grave bishop that attended him, as a special re“ lique of his faintly exercises, a prayer stolen word 6 for word from the mouth of a Heathen woman “ praying to a Heathen God?"
The papers 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 exainined 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 extensiun 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. Salmafius was a man of skill in languages, knowledge of antiquity, and fagacity of emnendatory criticism, alınost exceeding all hope of human attaininent; 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 Defenfio 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, neater, and more pointed; but he delights himself with teazing his adversary as much as with confuting him. He makes a foolish allusion of Salmafius, whose doctrine he considers as servile and unmanly, to the Itream of Salmahus, which whoever, entered left half his virility behind him. Salmasius was a
Frenchman, and was unhappily married to a scold. Tu es Gallus, says Milton, &, ut aiunt, nimium gallinaceus. But his supreme pleasure is to tax his adversary, fo renowned for criticism, with vitious Latin. He opens his book with telling that he has used Perfona, which, according to Milton, signifies only a Malk, in a sense not known to the Romans, by ap. plying it as we apply Perfon. But as Nemesis is alivays on the watch, it is. memorable that he has enforced the charge of a solecism by an expression in itself grossly solecistical, when for one of those supposed blunders, he says, as Ker, and I think some one before him, has remarked propino te grammatistis tuis vapulandum. From vapulo, which has a passive sense, vapulandus can never be derived. No man forgets his original trade: the rights of nations, and of kings, sink into questions of grammar, if gram. mariansdiscuss them..
Milcon, when he undertook this answer, was weak of body and dim of light; but his will was forwarded, and what was wanting of health was supplied by zeal. He was rewarded with a thousand pounds, and his book was much read; for paradox, recommended by spirit and elegance, easily gains attention; and he, who told every man that he was equal to his King, could hardly want an audience, : That the performance of Salmafius was not dispersed with equal rapidity, or read with equal eager ness, is very credible. He taught only the stale doctrine of authority, and the unpleasing duty of sub, mission ; and he had been so long not only the mo. parch but the tyrant of literature, that almost all
mankind were delighted to find him defied and in. sulted by a new name, not yet considered as any one's rival. If Christina, as is said, commended the Defence of the People, her purpose must be to torment Salmasius, who was then at court; for neither her civil station, nor her natural character, could dispose them to favour the doctrine, who was by birth a queen, and by temper despotick.
That Salmasius was, from the appearance of Mil. ton's book, treated with neglect, there is not much proof; but to a man so long accustomed to admiration, a little praise of his antagonist would be suffi. ciently offensive, and might incline him to leave Sweden, from which however he was dismissed, not with any mark of contempt, but with a train of attendance scarcely less than regal.
He prepared a reply, which, left as it was imperfeet, was published by his son in the year of the Restoration. In the beginning, being probably most in pain for his Latinity, he endeavours to defend his use of the word perfonæ ; but, if I remember right, he misses a better authority than any that he has found, that of Juvenal in his fourth satire :
As Salmasius reproached Milton with losing his eyes in the quarrel, Milton delighted himself with the belief that he had shortened Salmafius's life, and both perhaps with more malignity than reason. Salmafius died at the Spa, Scpt. 3, 1653; and, as controvertists are commonly said to be killed by their last dif