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pute, Milton was fattered with the credit of destroy
Cromwell had now dismifled the parliament by the authority of which he had destroyed monarchy, and cominenced monarch himself, under the title of Protector, but with kingly and more than kingly power. That his authority was lawful, never was pretended; he himself founded his right only in necessity ; but Milton, having now tasted the honey of publick einployment, would not return to hunger and philosophy, but, continuing to exercise his office under a manifest usurpation, betrayed to his power that liberty which he had defended. Nothing can be more just than that rebellion should end in flavery ; that he who had justified the murder of his king, for some acts which to him seemed unlawful, thould now fell his services, and his flatteries, to a tyrant, of whom it was evident that he could do nothing lawful.
He had now been blind for some years; but his vigour of intellect was such, that he was not disabled to discharge his office of Latin secretary, or continue his controversies. His mind was too eager to be diverted, and too strong to be subdued.
About this time his first wife died in child-bed, having left him three daughters. As he probably did not much love her, he did not long continue the appearance of lamenting her ; but after a short time married Catherine, the daughter of one captain Woodcock of Hackney ; a woman doubtless educated in opinions like his own. She died, within a year, of childbirth, or some distemper that followed it; and her husband honoured her memory with a
The first reply to Milton's Defenso Populi was published in 1651, called Apologia pro Rege & Populo Anglicano, contra Johannis Polypragmatici (alias Miltoni) defenfionem 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 Bramhal; and, knowing him no friend to regicides, thought themselves at liberty to treat him as if they had known what they only suspected.
Next year appeared Regii Sanguinis clamor ad Cælun. 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 pub: lication, was treated as the writer by Milton in his Defenfio Secunda, and overwhelmed by fuch violence of invective, that he began to shrink under the tempest, and gave his persecutors the means of knowing the true author. Du Moulin was now in great danger; but Milton'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 shews that his eloquence is not merely satirical; the rudeness of his invective is equalled by the grossness of his fiattery. “ De
ferimur, Cromuelle, tu solus superes, ad te fumma “ noftrarum rerum rediit, in te solo confiftit, insu. “ perabili tu e virtuti cedimus cuncti, nemine vel “ obloquente, nisi qui a quales inzqualis ipfe honorcs
“ fibi quærit, aut digniori conceffos invidet, aut non
intelligit nihil esse in societate hominum magis vel “Deo gratum, vel rationi consentaneum, effe in “ civitate nihil æquius, nihil utilius, quam potiri
rerum dignissimum. Eum te agnoscunt omnes, “ Cromuelle, ea tu civis maximus & *gloriofiffimus, “ dux publici confilii, exercituum fortisiimorum im
perator, pater patriæ gefisti. Sic tu fpontanea “ bonorum omnium & animicus mifla voce falu" taris.”
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 attainable. Having exposed the unskilfulness or selfishness of the former government, “ We were « left,” says Milton, “i to ourselves: the whole na“ tional interest fell into your hands, and sublists
only in your abilities. To your virtue, overpowering and reliftless, every man gives way, ex
cept 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 miod hould have the “ sovereign power. Such, Sir, are you by general « confession ; such are the things archieved by you, “ the greatest and most glorious of our countrymen, “ the director of our publick councils, the leader of
* It may be doubted whether gloritulimus be here ufed with Milton's boasted purity. Res gloriofa is an illinoirinus thing ; but vir gloriosus is commonly a bruzgart, as in miies glorio; is. Dris. VOL. IX.
“ unconquered armies, the father of your country: “ for by that title does every good man hail you,
with 66 fincere 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 for. get 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
Poma alba ferebat
With this piece ended his controversies : and he from this time gave himself up to his private ftudies and his civil employment.
As secretary to the Protector he is fuppofed to have written the Declaration of the reasons for a war with Spain. His agency was confidered as of great importance; for when a treaty with Sweden was artfully suspended, the delay was publickly imputed to Mr. Milton's indifpofition; and the Swedish agent was provoked to express his wonder, that only one man in England could write Latin, and that man blind.
Being now forty-seven years old, and seeing himself disencumbered from external interruptions, he seems to have recollected his former purposes, and to have resumed three great works which he had planned for his future employment; an epick poem, the
history history of his country, and a dictionary of the Latin tongue.
To collect a dictionary, seeins a work of all others least practicable in a state of blindne!s, because it depends upon perpetual and minute inspection and col. lation. Nor would Milcon probably have begun it, after he had lost his eyes; but having had it always before him, he continued it, says Philips, almofi to bis dying-day; but the papers were so discomposed and deficient, ihat 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 front 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 Conqueft; a period at which
* The Cambridge Dictionary, published in 4to, 1693, is no other than a copy, with some finall additions, of that of Dr. Adam Littleton in 1685, by fundry persons, of whom, though their names are concealed, there is great reason to conjecture that Mil. ton's nephew, Edward Philips, is one ; for it is expressly faid by Wood, Fasti, vol. 1: p. 266, that Milton's " Thefaurus" came to his hands; and it is afferted, in the preface thereto, that the edi. tors thereof had the use of three large folios in manuscript, col. lected 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 “ Cam. • bridge Dictionary," have been incorporated and printed with the fubsequent editions of " Littleton's Dictionary," till that of 1735 Vid. Biogr. Brit. 2985, in not. So that, for aught that appears to the contrary, Philips was the lait possessor of Milton's MS. H.