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“ formance of reading, and exactly pronouncing of all
(and I think the Syriac), the Greek, the Latin, the
beyond endurance. Yet ir was endured by both for “ a long time, though the irksoineness of this em“ ployment could not be always concealed, but broke
out more and more into expressions of uneasiness; “ so that at length they were all, even the eldest also, “ fent out to learn some curious and ingenious forts of “ inanufacture, that are proper for women to learn;
particularly embroideries in gold or silver.”
In this scene of misery which this mode of intellec-
Three years after his Paradise Lost (1667), he pub-
On this history the licenser again fixed his clavs, and before he could transmit it to the press tore out fe. veral parts. Some censures of the Saxon monks were taken away, left they should be applied to the modern clergy; and a character of the Long Parliament, and Assembly of Divines, was excluded; of which the author gave a copy to the earl of Anglesea, and which, being afterwards published, has been since inserted in its proper place.
The same year were printed Paradise Regained, and Sampson Agonistes, a tragedy written in imitation of the Ancients, and never designed by the author for the ftage. As these poems were published by another bookseller, it has been asked, whether Simmons was discouraged from receiving them by the now sale of the former. Why a writer changed his bookseller a hundred years ago, I am far from hoping to discover, Certainly, he who in two years sells thirteen hundred copies of a volume in quarto, bought for two payments of five pounds each, has no reason to repent his purchase.
When Milton shewed Paradise Regained to Elwood, - This,” said he, “ is owing to you; for you put it “ in my head by the question you put to me at Chal“ font, which otherwise I had not thought of."
His last poetical offspring was his favourite. He could not, as Elwood relates, endure to hear Paradise Lost preferred to Paradise Regained. Many causes may vitiate a writer's judgement of his own works. On that which has cost him much labour he sets a high value, because he is unwilling to think that he has been diligent in vain ; what has been produced without toilsome efforts is considered with delight, as a proof
of vigorous faculties and fertile invention ; and the latt work, whatever it be, has necessarily most of the grace of novelty. Milton, however it happened, had this prejudice, and had it to himself.
To that muliplicity of attainments, and extent of comprehension, that entitle this great author to our veneration, may be added a kind of humble dignity, 'which did not disdain the meanest services to literature, The epic poet, the controvertist, the politician, having already descended to accommodate children with a book of rudiments, now, in the last years of his life, com, posed a book of Logick, for the initiation of students in philosophy; and published (1672) Artis Logicæ plenicy Infilutio ad Petri Rami methodum concinnata ; that is, “ A new Scheme of Logick, according to the 6 Method of Ramus." I know not whether, even in this book, he did not intend an act of hostility against the Universities ; for Ramus was one of the first oppugners of the old philosophy, who disturbed with innovations the quiet of the schools.
His polemical disposition again revived. He had now been safe so long, that he forgot his fears, and published a Treatise of true Religion, Heresy, Scbifm, Toleration, and the best Means to prevent the Growth of Popery.
But this little tract is modestly written, with respectful mention of the Church of England, and an appeal to the thirty-nine articles. His principle of toleration is, agreement in the sufficiency of the Scriptures; and he extends it to all who, whatever their opinions are, profefs to derive them from the facred books. The papists appeal to other testimonies, and are therefore in his opinion not to be permitted the liberty of either publick.
or private worship; for though they plead conscience, we bave no warrant, he says, to regard conscience, wbich is not grounded in Scripture.
Those who are not convinced by his reasons, may be perhaps delighted with his wit. The term Roman catholick is, he says, one of ihe Pope's bulls; it is particular universal, or catholick schismatick.
He has, however, something better. As the best preservative against Popery, he recommends the diligent perufal of the Scriptures; a duty, from which he warns the busy part of mankind not to think themselves excused.
He now reprinted his juvenile poems, with some additions.
In the last year of his life he sent to the press, seeming to take delight in publication, a collection of Familiar Epistles in Latin; to which, being too few to make a volume, he added some academical exercises, which perhaps he perused with pleasure, as they recalled to his memory the days of youth; but for which nothing but veneration for his name could now procure a reader.
When he had attained his fixty-sixth year, the gout, with which he had been long tormented, prevailed over the enfeebled powers of nature.
He died by a quiet and filent expiration, about the tenth of November 1674, at his house in Bunhill-fields; and was buried next his father in the chancel of St. Giles at Cripplegate. His funeral was very splendidly and numerously attended.
Upon his grave there is supposed to have been no memorial; but in our time a monument has been erected in Westminster-Abbey To the Author of Paradije Loft, by
Mr. Benson, who has in the inscription bestowed more
Milton. When the inscription for the monument of Philips, in which he was said to be foli Miliono secundus, was exhibited to Dr. Sprat, then dean of Westminster, he refused to admit it; the name of Milton was, in his opinion, too detestable to be read on the wall of a building dedicated to devotion. Atterbury, who succeeded him, being author of the infcription, permitted its reception.
" And such has been the change of pub-, “ lick opinion,” said Dr. Gregory, from whom I heard this account,
" that I have seen erected in the church a “ statue of that man, whose name I once knew consi-, “ dered as a pollution of its walls.”
Milton has the reputation of having been in his youth eminently beautiful, so as to have been called the Lady of his college. His hair, which was of a light brown, parted at the foretop, and hung down upon his Thoulders, according to the picture which he has given of Adam. He was, however, not of the heroick siațure, but rather below the middle fize, according to Mr. Richardson, who mentions him as having narrowly escaped from being hort and thick *. He was vigorous and active, and desighted in the exercise of the sword, in which he is related to have been eminently skilful. His weapon was, I believe, not the rapier, but the backsword, of which he recommends the use in his book on Education,
* Richardson's description of Milton's person is here alluded to: * He was, no he was not,” says this quaint writer, " a short thick
man; but, had he been somewhat forter and thicker, he had been ' a short thick man." Of Horace it is said that he was brevis et obesus.