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house of a friend, in Bartholomew Close, near West Smithfield. Proceedings were commenced against the “Defence of the English People," and the “ Eiconoclastes.” On the 27th of June, 1660, Parliament ordered that the author of those works should be arrested. At first he could not be found; but a few months afterwards he was in the hands of the Sergeant at Arms. He was, however, soon released. In December of the same year,
he had the boldness to address this terrible Parliament, who fancied that it had treated him. generously in not bringing him to the block. He exclaimed against the exorbitant fees demanded by the Sergeant, and thought himself more outraged by the privation of liberty than he would have been by the loss of life.
The Journals of the House of Commons contain two entries relative to this subject. The first, dated Saturday, December 15th, 1660, records the Resolution of the House, that Mr. Milton, then in the custody of the Sergeant at Arms, be liberated, on paying the fees.
The other, dated Monday, December 17th, 1660, states that, a complaint having been made that the Sergeant at Arms has demanded excessive fees, for the detention of Mr. Milton, the House resolved, that he be referred to the Committee of Privileges, for the investigation of this affair.
Davenant saved Milton-an honourable episode
in the History of the Muses, on which I formerly scribbled some execrable doggrel. Cunningham gives another version of the poet's deliverance. He pretends that Milton gave himself out for dead, and that his obsequies were celebrated. Charles II. would have applauded the artifice of a man who escaped death by feigning it The character of the author of the “Defence," as well as the records of history, forbid us to believe this anecdote. Milton was forgotten, in the retreat where he had buried himself; and to that oblivion we owe “Paradise Lost.” If Cromwell had lived ten years longer, as M. Mosneron observes, his Secretary would never have been thought of. The rejoicings for the Restoration over, the illuminations extinguished, next came its punishments. Charles had charged his Commons with all responsibility of that nature, and they were not sparing of violent re-actions. Cromwell was disinterred, and his body hung, as if they hoisted the flag of his glory on the posts of a gibbet. History has preserved in her archives the receipt of the mason who was ordered to break open the tomb of the Protector, and who received the sum of fifteen shillings for his pains.
May the 4th, 1661, recd. then in full of the worshipful Sergeant Norforke, fiveteen shillinges, for taking up the corpes of Cromwell, Ierton, and Brassaw.
“Rec. by me, John Lewis.” Milton alone remained faithful to the memory of Cromwell. While minor authors, vile, perjured, bought by restored power, insulted the ashes of a great man at whose feet they had grovelled, Milton gave him an asylum in his genius, as in an inviolable temple.
Milton might have been reinstated in office. His third wife (for he espoused two after the death of Mary Powell) beseeching him to accept his former place as Secretary, he replied, “You are a woman, and would like to keep your carriage; but I will die an honest man."
Remaining a Republican, he wrapped himself in his principles, with his Muse and his poverty. He said to those who reproached him with having served a tyrant, “He delivered us from kings.” Milton affirmed that he had only fought for the cause of God and of his country.
One day, walking in St. James's Park, he suddenly heard repeated near him, " The king ! the king!” “Let us withdraw,” he said to his guide, “I never loved kings." Charles II. accosted the blind man.
Thus, Sir, has Heaven punished you for having conspired against my father.” Sire,” he replied, " if the ills that afflict us in this world be the chastisements for our faults, your father must have been very guilty.”
NEW WORKS OF MILTON.
HIS LAȚIN DICTIONARY-HIS
MUSCOVY-HIS HISTORY OF
The season most favourable to the inspirations of Milton was autumn, as being most congenial with the melancholy gravity of his thoughts. He says, however, somewhere, that he revives in spring. He believed that he was visited, at night, by a heavenly female. He had three daughters by Mary Powell; one of them, Deborah, read to bin Isaiah in Hebrew, Homer in Greek, and Ovid in Latin, without understanding any of these languages. This anecdote is disputed by Johnson. That Milton was as great a scholar as a poet we see by his writing in Latin as fluently as in English ; he composed Greek verses, witness some of his minor pieces. It was from the original text of the Prophets that he derived their fire. The lyre of Tasso was not unknown to him. He spoke nearly all the living languages of Europe. Antonio Francini, a Florentine, expresses himself with regard to Milton, as if the Poet of Albion, while journeying through Italy, had been in the full enjoyment of his fame.
“ Another Babel would for him confuse tongues in vain; for, England! besides thy most noble idiom, he is master of Spanish, French, Tuscan, Greek, and Latin."
Milton, towards the end of the Protectorate, began seriously to compose“ Paradise Lost ;” and, at the same time, with this work of the Muses, he laboured on History, Logic, and Grammar. He collected, in three folio volumes, materials for a new Thesaurus Lingua Latina, which was used by the Editors of the “Cambridge Dictionary," printed in 1693. We have a Latin Grammar of his, for children. Bossuet wrote a Catechism for the little boys at Meaux. The author of “Paradise Lost” was engrossed by the subject of his poem.
Even in the “Tractate on Education,' addressed to Hartlib, in 1650, he says, “ The end of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents, by regaining to know God aright.” These works, which would have done honour to a Ducange, or to a Benedictine of the congregation of St. Maur, fatigued not the genius of Milton; they did not even suffice it. Like Leibnitz, he embraced History in his researches. His “ Moscovia" ”