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balance in her left hand, to denote that she weighs carefully before she determines; and with a sword in her right hand, to denote that Justice can punish offenders with the sword of the law. The Roman magistrates had axes surrounded with rods, carried before them, as emblems of punishment; the rods to punish sinaller offences, the axe to punish greater crimes with death. Though the judges have not swords carried before them, yet the king of England, who is the head of the law, and who is represented by the chief justice of the king's bench, has the sword of state carried before him on days of ceremony." “And, princes all, believe me, I beseech you ;
My father's gone into his grave; and in
"And, princes, believe me, my father has carried my wildness and youthful follies into his grave with him, for all my former affections or propensities lie there ; and his sedate spirit lives in me, to disappoint the expectation which the world has of my being a dissipated monarch, and to contradict prophesies and opinions which were formed from my former conduct.'"
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea;
The lowliest duties on herself diù lay.”—Wordsworth. Milton, who is rightly classed among the most exalted of British poets, was the son of a gentleman in the middle rank of society, but the moral dignity of his character would have done honour to any station. For abjuring the Roman Catholic, and professing the Protestant faith, the elder Milton was disinherited by his father, and compelled to make his way in the world by industry and integrity only; but his ability in business secured to him a complete estate, and the happy turn of his mind rendered a moderate fortune sufficient. From the childhood of the poet, his father discerned his extraordinary endowments, and trained him with suitable care and skill. Mil. ton was at first educated by a private tutor, then sent to a public school in London, and, at a proper age, was entered at the university of Cambridge. After his collegiate studies were finished, he spent a few years in a delightful rural retirement at.Horton in Buckinghamshire, and at the age of thirty repaired to the continent of Europe. All the influences of domestic culture, of self-application, and of foreign travel, tended to give the highest finish to the character of a man on whom nature had bestowed the most beautiful countenance, and the most sublime soul.
During his residence in France and Italy, Milton's virtues and accomplishments gained him the friendship of some of the most gifted men of the age. He lived, in respect to his own country, at a period of political trouble ; but he was neither is a bigot of the iron time” of Cromwell, nor a sycophant in the licentious court of Charles II. He was a true republican, and Cromwell, had distinguished him: consequently, after the Stuart ascended the throne, he fell into obscurity and neglect. But what was infinitely more afflictive, he was totally deprived of sight at the age of forty-two years. The happi
ness of this great man depended little upon fortune. His intellectual and moral worth gave dignity to his condition, and he was not forsaken of honourable friendships when he was removed from active life. His divine complacency, and the consolations that sustained his spirit, are exbibited by his own declarations.
A person engaged in a controversy with Milton, enraged at the zeal with which he supported the cause of civil and religious liberty, reproached him with his blindness, as a retribution of God upon the principles which he defended. Upon this occasion, the poet made the following reply to his accuser :
"I do not regard my lot either with weariness or compunction; I continue in the same sentiments fixed and immoveable. I do not think God displeased with me, neither is he displeased; on the contrary, I experience and thankfully acknowledge his paternal clemency and benignity towards me in every thing that is of the greatest moment; specially in this, that he himself consoling and encouraging my spirit, I acquiesce without a murmur in his sacred dispensations. It is through his grace that I find my friends, even more than before, kind and officious towards me—that they are my consolers, honourers, visiters, and assistants. Those who are of the highest consideration in the republic, finding that the light of my eyes departed from me, not being slothful and inactive, but while I was with constancy and resolution placing myself in the foremost post of danger for the defence of sacred liberty, do not on their part desert me. Nor is it an occasion of anguish to me, though you count it miserable, that I am fallen in vulgar estimation into the class of the blind, the unfortunate, the wretched, and the helpless ; since my hope is, that I am thus brought nearer to the mercy and protection of the universal father.
“There is a path, as the apostle teaches me, through weakness to a more consummate strength; let me therefore be helpless, so that in my debility the better and more immortal part of our human nature may be more effectually displayed : so that amidst my darkness, the
light of the divine countenance may shine forth more bright--then shall I be at once helpless, and yet of giant strength : blind, yet of vision most penetrating : thus may I be in this helplessness carried on to fulness of joy, and in this darkness surrounded with the light of eternal day."— Translated from the Latin of Milton, Defensio Secunda. ?
The more powerful of Milton's poems may be found in different collections of poetry, as well as in his entire works; such passages as were suitable to this book are here inserted. Cowper has translated from Milton's Latin poetry some endearing verses to the poet's fatherthey are an affecting acknowledgment of the benefits be had derived from that exemplary parent.
TO MY FATHER.
To sum the whole, whate'er the heav'n contains,
Go now, and gather dross, ye sordid minds,
But thou ! my Father, since to render thanks