Abbildungen der Seite

by his voice when he read what he did not understand, and would stop him, "and open the most difficult passages."

noted by those with whom he was familiar; for he was obliged, when he had composed as many lines as his memory would conveniently retain, to employ some friend in writing them, having, at least for part of the time, no regular attendant. This gave opportunity to observations and reports.

In a short time he took a house in the Artillerywalk, leading to Bunhill-fields; the mention of which concludes the register of Milton's removals and habitations. He lived longer in this place than any other. Mr. Philips observes, that there was a very reHe was now busied by "Paradise Lost." markable circumstance in the composure of "PaWhence he drew the original design has been va-radise Lost," which I have a particular reason," riously conjectured by men who cannot bear to says he, "to remember; for whereas I had the think themselves ignorant of that which, at last, perusal of it from the very beginning, for some neither diligence nor sagacity can discover. Some years, as I went from time to time to visit him, in find the hint in an Italian tragedy. Voltaire tells parcels of ten, twenty, or thirty verses at a time, a wild and unauthorized story of a farce seen by (which, being written by whatever hand came Milton in Italy, which opened thus: Let the rain- next, might possibly want correction as to the orboy be the fiddle-stick of the fiddle of Heaven.* thography and pointing,) having, as the summinet It has been already shown, that the first concep- came on, not been showed any for a considerable tion was a tragedy or mystery, not of a narrative, while, and desiring the reason thereof, was an but a dramatic work, which he is supposed to swered, that his vein never happily flowed from have begun to reduce to its present form about the Autumnal Equinox to the Vernal; and that the time, (1655) when he finished his dispute with whatever he attempted at other times was never the defenders of the King. to his satisfaction, though he courted his fancy never so much; so that, in all the years he was about this poem, he may be said to have spent half his time therein."

He long before had promised to adorn his native country by some great perforinance, while he had yet, perhaps, no settled design, and was stimulated only by such expectations as naturally arose from the survey of his attainments, and the consciousness of his powers. What he should undertake, it was difficult to determine. He was "long choosing, and began late."

While he was obliged to divide his time between his private studies and affairs of state, his poetical labour must have been often interrupted; and perhaps he did little more in that busy time than construct the narrative, adjust the episodes, proportion the parts, accumulate images and sentiments, and treasure in his memory, or preserve in writing, such hints as books and meditations would Supply. Nothing particular is known of his intellectual operations while he was a statesman; for, having every help and accommodation at hand, he had no need of uncommon expedients.

Upon this relation Toland remarks, that in his opinion Philips has mistaken the time of the year; for Milton, in his elegies, declares, that with the advance of the spring he feels the increase of his poetical force, redeunt in carmina vires. To this. it is answered, that Philips could hardly mistake time so well marked; and it may be added, that Milton might find different times of the year fa vourable to different parts of life. Mr. Richardson conceives it impossible that such a work should be suspended for six months, or for one. It may go on faster or slower, but it must go on. By what necessity it must continually go on, or why it might not be laid aside and resumed, it is not easy to discover.

This dependance of the soul upon the seasons, those temporary and periodical ebbs and flows of Being driven from all public stations, he is yet intellect, may, I suppose, justly be derided as the too great not to be traced by curiosity to his re- fumes of vain imagination. Sapiens dominabitur tirement: where he has been found by Mr. Ri-astris. The author that thinks himself weatherchardson, the fondest of his admirers, sitting "before his door in a gray coat of coarse cloth, in warm sultry weather, to enjoy the fresh air; and so, as in his own room, receiving the visits of the people of distinguished parts as well as quality." His visiters of high quality must now be imagined to be few; but men of parts might reasonably court the conversation of a man so generally illustrious, that foreigners are reported, by Wood, to have visited the house in Bread-street, where he was born.

According to another account, he was seen in small house, "neatly enough dressed in black clothes, sitting in a room hung with rusty green; pale, but not cadaverous, with chalk-stones in his hands. He said, that, it were not for the gout,

his blindness would be tolerable."

In the intervals of his pain, being made unable to use the common exercises, he used to swing in a chair, and sometimes played upon an organ.

He was now confessedly and visibly employed upon his poem, of which the progress might be

It is scarcely necessary to inform the reader, that this Telat of Voltaire's was perfectly true, as far as relates to the existence of the play which he speaks of, namely, the Alams of Andraini; but it is still a question whether Mon ever saw it-J. B.

bound will find, with a little help from hellebore, that he is only idle or exhausted. But while this notion has possession of the head, it produces the inability which supposes. Our powers owe much of their energy to our hopes; possunt quia posse videntur. When success seems attainable, diligence is enforced; but when it is admitted that the faculties are suppressed by a cross wind, or a cloudy sky, the day is given up without resistance, for who can contend with the course of


From such prepossessions Milton seems not to have been free. There prevailed in his time an opinion, that the world was in its decay, and that we have had the misfortune to be produced in the decrepitude of Nature. It was suspected that the whole creation languished, that neither trees nor animals had the height or bulk of their predecessors, and that every thing was daily sinking by gradual diminution.* Milton appears to sus

This opinion is, with great learning and ingenuity, refuted in a book now very little known, " An Apology or Declaration of the Power and Providence of God in the Government of the world," by Dr. George Hakewill, London, flio, 1035. The first who ventured to propo gate it in this country was Dr. Gabriel Goodman, hishop of Gloucester, a man of a versatile temper, and the au

The story of reducing his exuberance has been told of other authors, and, though doubtless true of every fertile and copious mind, seems to have been gratuitously transferred to Milton.

pect that souls partake of the general degeneracy | burthening his memory, if his daughter could have and is not without some fear that his book is to be performed the office. written in "an age too late" for heroic poesy.* Another opinion wanders about the world, and sometimes finds reception among wise men; an opinion that restrains the operations of the mind to particular regions, and supposes that a luckless mortal may be born in a degree of latitude too high or too low for wisdom or for wit. From this fancy, wild as it is, he had not wholly cleared his head, when he feared lest the climate of his country might be too cold for flights of imagination. Into a mind already occupied by such fancies, another not more reasonable might readily find its way. He that could fear lest his genius had fallen upon too old a world, or too chill a climate, might consistently magnify to himself the influence of the seasons, and believe his faculties to be vigorous only half the year.

What he has told us, (and we cannot now know more,) is, that he composed much of this poem in the night and morning, I suppose before his mind was disturbed with common business; and that he poured out with great fluency his unpremeditated verse. Versification, free, like his, from the distresses of rhyme, must, by a work so long, be made prompt and habitual; and, when his thoughts were once adjusted, the words would come at his command.

At what particular times of his life the parts of his work were written, cannot often be known. The beginning of the third book shows that he His submission to the seasons was at least had lost his sight; and the introduction to the more reasonable than his dread of decaying na-seventh, that the return of the King had clouded ture, or a frigid zone, for general causes must him with discountenance, and that he was offendoperate uniformly in a general abatement of men- ed by the licentious festivity of the Restoration. tal power; if less could be performed by the There are no other internal notes of time. Milwriter, less likewise would content the judges of ton, being now cleared from all effects of his dishis work. Among this lagging race of frosty loyalty, had nothing required from him but the grovellers, he might still have risen into eminence common duty of living in quiet, to be rewardby producing something which they should noted with the common right of protection; but willingly let die. However inferior to the heroes who were born in better ages, he might still be great among his contemporaries, with the hope of growing every day greater in the dwindle of posterity. He might still be a giant among the pigmies, the one-eyed monarch of the blind.

this, which, when he skulked from the approach of his King, was perhaps more than he hoped, seems not to have satisfied him; for no sooner is he safe, than he finds himself in danger, "fallen on evil days and evil tongues, and with darkness and with danger compass'd round." This darkness, Of his artifices of study, or particular hours of had his eyes been better employed, had undoubtcomposition, we have little account, and there was edly deserved compassion; but to add the menrhaps little to be told. Richardson, who seems tion of danger was ungrateful and unjust. He to have been very diligent in his inquiries, but dis- was fallen indeed on evil days; the time was come covers always a wish to find Milton discriminated in which regicides could no longer boast their from other men, relates, "that he would some-wickedness. But of evil tongues for Milton to times lie awake whole nights, but not a verse could he make; and on a sudden his poetical faculty would rush upon him with an impetus or astrum, and his daughter was immediately called to secure what came. At other times he would dictate perhaps forty lines in a breath, and then reduce them to half the number."

complain required impudence at least equal to his other powers; Milton, whose warmest advocates must allow that he never spared any asperity of reproach, or brutality of insolence.

studies, or his amusements, without persecution, molestation, or insult. Such is the reverence paid to great abilities, however misused; they who contemplated in Milton the scholar and the wit were contented to forget the reviler of his King.

But the charge itself seems to be false; for it would be hard to recollect any reproach cast upon him, either serious or ludicrous, through the These bursts of light and involutions of dark-whole remaining part of his life. He pursued his ness, these transient and involuntary excursions and retrocessions of invention, having some appearance of deviation from the common train of nature, are eagerly caught by the lovers of a wonder. Yet something of this inequality happens to every man in every mode of exertion, manual or mental. The mechanic cannot handle his hammer and his file at all times with equal dexterity; there are hours, he knows not why, when his hand is out. By Mr. Richardson's relation, casually conveyed, much regard cannot be claimed. That, in his intellectual hour, Milton called for his daughter "to secure what came," may be questioned; for unluckily it happens to be known that his daughters were never taught to write; nor would he have been obliged, as is universally confessed, to have employed any casual visiter in dis

When the plague (1665) raged in London, Mil ton took refuge at Chalfont, in Bucks; where Elwood, who had taken the house for him, first saw a complete copy of "Paradise Lost;" and, having perused it, said to him, "Thou hast said a great deal upon 'Paradise Lost;' what hast thou to say upon Paradise found?"

Next year, when the danger of infection had ceased, he returned to Bunhill-fields, and designed the publication of his poem. A license was necessary, and he could expect no great kindness from a chaplain of the Archbishop of Canter

thor of a book entitled, "The Fall of Man, or the Cor-bury. He seems, however, to have been treated ruption of Nature proved by Natural Reason." Lond. 16 6 and 164, 4to. He was plundered in the Usurpation, turned Roman Catholic, and died in obscurity.-See Athen Oxon. vol. i. p. 727.-H.

[blocks in formation]

with tenderness; for though objections were made to particular passages, and, among them, to the simile of the sun eclipsed in the first book, yet the license was granted; and he sold his copy, April 27, 1667, to Samuel Simmons, for an immediate payment of five pounds, with a stipulation to re

ceive five pounds more when thirteen hundred should be sold of the first edition; and again, five pounds after the sale of the same number of the second edition; and another five pounds after the same sale of the third. None of the three editions were to be extended beyond fifteen hundred copies.

The first edition was of ten books, in a small quarto. The titles were varied from year to year; and an advertisement and the arguments of the books were omitted in some copies, and inserted in others.


gusting to many, was an uncommon example of the prevalence of genius. The demand did not immediately increase; for many more readers than were supplied at first the nation did not afford. Only three thousand were sold in cleven years; for it forced its way without assistance; its admirers did not dare to publish their opinion; and the opportunities now given of attracting notice by advertisements were then very few; the means of proclaiming the publication of new books have been produced by that general literature which now pervades the nation through all its ranks.

But the reputation and price of the copy stil advanced, till the Revolution put an end to the secrecy of love, and "Paradise Lost" broke into open view with sufficient security of kind recep tion.

The sale gave him in two years a right to his second payment, for which the receipt was signed April 26, 1669. The second edition was not given till 1674; it was printed in small octavo; and the number of books was increased to twelve, by a division of the seventh and twelfth; and some other small improvements were made. The third Fancy can hardly forbear to conjecture with edition was published in 1678; and the widow, to what temper Milton surveyed the silent progress whom the copy was then to devolve, sold all her of his work, and marked its reputation stealing its claims to Simmons for eight pounds, according to way in a kind of subterraneous current through her receipt given Dec. 21, 1680. Simmons had fear and silence. I cannot but conceive him calm already agreed to transfer the whole right to Bra- and confident, little disappointed, not at all de bazon Aylmer, for twenty-five pounds; and Ayl-jected, relying on his own merit with steady conmer sold to Jacob Tonson half, August 17, 1683, sciousness, and waiting without impatience the and half, March 24, 1690, at a price considerably vicissitudes of opinion, and the impartiality of a enlarged. In the history of "Paradise Lost" a future generation. deduction thus minute will rather gratify than fatigue.

The slow sale and tardy reputation of this poem have been always mentioned as evidences of neglected merit, and of the uncertainty of literary fame; and inquiries have been made, and conjectures offered, about the causes of its long obscurity and late reception. But has the case been truly stated? Have not lamentation and wonder been lavished on an evil that was never felt ?

That in the reigns of Charles and James, the "Paradise Lost" received no public acclamations, is readily confessed. Wit and literature were on the side of the court: and who that solicited favour or fashion would venture to praise the defender of the regicides? All that he himself could think his due, from evil tongues in eril days, was that reverential silence which was generously preserved. But it cannot be inferred, that his poem was not read, or not, however unwillingly, ad


The sale, if it be considered, will justify the public. Those who have no power to judge of past times but by their own, should always doubt their conclusions. The call for books was not in Milton's age what it is in the present. To read was not then a general amusement; neither traders, nor often gentlemen, thought themselves disgraced by ignorance. The women had not then aspired to literature, nor was every house supphed with a closet of knowledge. Those, indeed, who professed learning, were not less learned than at any other time; but of that middle race of students who read for pleasure or accomplishment, and who buy the numerous products of modern typography, the number was then comparatively small To prove the paucity of readers, it may be sufficient to remark, that the nation had been satisfied from 1623 to 1664, that is, forty-one years, with pnly two editions of the works of Shakspeare, which probably did not together make one thousand copies.

The sale of thirteen hundred copies in two years, in opposition to so much recent enmity, and to a style of versification new to all, and dis

In the mean time he continued his studies, and supplied the want of sight by a very odd expedient, of which Philips gives the following account:

Mr. Philips tells us, "that though our author had daily about him one or other to read, some persons of man's estate, who, of their own accord, greedily catched at the opportunity of being his readers, that they might as well reap the benefit of what they read to him, as oblige him by the benefit of their reading; and others of younger years were sent by their parents to the same end; yet excusing only the daughter by reason of her bodily infirmity and difficult utterance of speech (which, to say truth, I doubt was the principal cause of excusing her) the other two were condemned to the performance of reading and exactly pronouncing of all the languages of whatever book he should, at one time or other, think fit to pe ruse; viz. the Hebrew (and I think, the Syriac,) the Greek, the Latin, the Italian, Spanish, and French. All which sorts of books to be confined to read, without understanding one word, must needs be a trial of patience almost beyond endurance. Yet it was endured by both for a long time, though the irksomeness of this employment 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, sent out to learn some curious and ingenious sorts of manufacture, that are proper for women to learn, particularly embroideries in gold or silver."

In the scene of misery which this mode of intellectual labour sets before our eyes, it is hard to determine whether the daughters or the father are most to be lamented. A language not understood can never be so read as to give pleasure, and very seldom so as to convey meaning, I few men would have had resolution to write books with such embarrassments, few likewise would have wanted ability to find some better expedient.

Three years after his "Paradise Lost," (1667,) he published his "History of England," comprising the whole fable of Geoffrey of Monmouth, and continued to the Norman Invasion. Why

he should have given the first part, which he seems not to believe, and which is universally rejected, it is difficult to conjecture. The style is harsh; but it has something of rough vigour, which perhaps may often strike, though it cannot please.

On this history the licenser again fixed his claws, and before he would transmit it to the press tore out several parts. Some censures of the Saxon monks were taken away, lest 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 Anglesey, and which, being afterwards published, has been since inserted in its proper place.

The same year were printed "Paradise Regained," and "Samson Agonistes," a tragedy written in imitation of the ancients, and never designed by the author for the stage. As these poems were published by another bookseller, it has been asked, whether Simmons was discouraged from receiving them by the slow 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 showed "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 Chalfont, which otherwise I had not thought of."

ciple of toleration is, agreement in the sufficiency of the Scriptures; and he extends it to all who, whatever their opinions are, profess to derive them from the Sacred Books. The papists appeal to other testimonies, and are therefore, in his opinion, not to be permitted the liberty of either public or private worship; for though they plead conscience, "we have no warrant," he says, "to regard conscience which is not grounded in Scripture."

Those who are not convinced by his reasons, may be perhaps delighted with his wit. The term Roman Catholic is, he says, "one of the Pope's bulls; it is particular universal, or catholic schis matic.”

He has, however, something better. As the best preservative against popery, he recommends the diligent perusal 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 acade mical 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.

very splendidly and numerously attended.

When he had attained his sixty-sixth year, the gout, with which he had been long tormented, prevailed over the enfeebled powers of nature. He died by a quiet and silent expiration, about the His last poetical offspring was his favourite. 10th of November, 1674, at his house in BunhillHe could not, as Elwood relates, endure to hear fields; and was buried next his father in the chan "Paradise Lost" preferred to "Paradise Re-cel of St. Giles, at Cripplegate. His funeral was gained." Many causes may vitiate a writer's judgment 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 last work, whatever it be, has necessarily mos of the grace of novelty. Milton, however happened, had this prejudice, and had it to himself.

To that multiplicity of attainments, and extent of comprehension, that entitled 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, composed a book of logic for the initiation of students in philosophy; and published, (1672,) Artis Logicæ plenior Institutio al Petri Rami Methodum concinnata; that is, "A new Scheme of Logic, according to the 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 feas, and published a "Treatise of true Religion, Heresy, Schism, 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 prin

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 Paradise Lost," by Mr. Benson, who has in the inscription bestowed more words upon himself than upon Milton.

When the inscription for the monument of Philips, in which he was said to be soli Miltono 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 inscription, permitted its reception. "And such has been the change of public 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 considered 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 shoulders, according to the picture he has given of Adam. He was, however, not of the heroic stature, but rather below the middle size, according to Mr. Richardson, who mentions him as having narrowly escaped from being short and thick. He was vigorous and active, and delighted 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 back-sword, of which he recommends the use in his book on education.

His eyes are said never to have been bright;

but, if he was a dexterous fencer, they must have been once quick.

Of the English poets he set most value upon Spenser, Shakspeare, and Cowley. Spenser was apparently his favourite: Shakspeare he may easily be supposed to like, with every other skilful reader; but I should not have expected that Cowley, whose ideas of excellence were so different from his own, would have had much of his approbation. His character of Dryden, who sometimes visited him, was, that he was a good rhymist, but no poet.

His domestic habits, so far as they are known, were those of a severe student. He drank little strong drink of any kind, and fed without excess in quantity, and in his earlier years without delicacy of choice. In his youth he studied late at night; but afterwards changed his hours, and rested in bed from aine to four in the summer, and five in the winter. The course of his day was best known after he was blind. When he His theological opinions are said to have been first rose, he heard a chapter in the Hebrew Bible, first Calvinistical; and afterwards, perhaps and then studied till twelve; then took some ex-when he began to hate the Presbyterians, to ercise for an hour; then dined, then played on have tended towards Arminianism. In the the organ, and sang, or heard another sing, then mixed questions of theology and government he stuched till six; then entertained his visiters till never thinks that he can recede far enough from eight; then supped, and, after a pipe of tobacco popery or prelacy: but what Baudius says of and a glass of water, went to bed. Erasmus seems applicable to him, magis habuit So is his life described: but this even tenor ap-quod fugeret, quam quod sequeretur. He had depears attainable only in colleges. He that lives termined rather what to condemn, than what to in the world will sometimes have the succession approve. He has not associated himself with of his practice broken and confused. Visiters, of any denomination of protestants; we know whom Milton is represented to have had great rather what he was not, than what he was. He numbers, will come and stay unseasonably; busi- was not of the church of Rome; he was not of ness, of which every man has some, must be done the church of England. when others will do it.

When he did not care to rise early, he had something read to him by his bedside; perhaps at this time his daughters were employed. He conposed much in the morning, and dictated in the day, sitting obliquely in an elbow-chair, with his leg thrown over the ann.

of which the rewards are distant, and which is To be of no church is dangerous. Religion, animated only by faith and hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind, unless it be invigorated and reimpressed by external ordinances, by stated calls to worship, and the salutary influ had full conviction of the truth of Christianity, ence of example. Milton, who appears to have and to have regarded the Holy Scriptures with the profoundest veneration, and to have been untainted by any heretical peculiarity of opinion, and to have lived in a confirmed belief of the immediate and occasional agency of Providence, the distribution of his hours, there was no hour yet grew old without any visible worship. In of prayer, either solitary, or with his household; omitting public prayers, he omitted all.

Fortune appears not to have had much of his care. In the civil wars he lent his personal estate to the parliament; but when after the contest was decided, he solicited repayment, he met not only with neglect, but sharp rebuke; and, having tired both himself and his friends, was given up to poverty and hopeless indignation, till he showed how able he was to do greater service. He was then made Latin secretary, with two hundred pounds a year; and had a thousand pounds for his "Defence of the People," His widow, who, after his death, retired to Namptwich, in Cheshire, Of this omission the reason has been sought and died about 1723, is said to have reported that upon a supposition which ought never to be he lost two thousand pounds by entrusting it to a made, that inen live with their own approbascrivener; and that, in the general depredation tion, and justify their conduct to themselves. upon the church, he had grasped an estate of Prayer certainly was not thought superfluous about sixty pounds a year belonging to West- by him, who represents our first parents as minster Abbey, which, like other sharers of the praying acceptably in the state of innocence, and plunder of rebellion, he was afterwards obliged to efficaciously after their fall. That he lived with return. Two thousand pounds, which he had out prayer can hardly be affirmed; his studies placed in the Excise-office, were also lost. There and meditations were an habitual prayer. The is yet no reason to believe that he was ever re- neglect of it in his family was probably a fault duced to indigence. His wants, being few, for which he condemned himself, and which he were competently supplied. He sold his library intended to correct, but that death, as too often before his death, and left his family fifteen hun-happens, intercepted his reformation. dred pounds, on which his widow laid hold and only gave one hundred to each of his daughters. His literature was unquestionably great. He read all the languages which are considered either as learned or polite; Hebrew with its two dialects, Greek, Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish. In Latin his skill was such as places him in the first rank of writers and critics; and he appears to have cultivated Italian with uncommon diligence. The books in which his daughter, who used to read to him, represented him as most deighting, after Homer, which he could almost repeat, were Ovid's Metamorphoses and Euripides. His Euripides is, by Mr. Cradock's kindness, now in my hands; the margin is sometimes noted; but I have found nothing remarkable.

His political notions were those of an acri monious and surly republican, for which it is not known that he gave any better reason than that "a popular government was the most frugal; for the trappings of a monarchy would set up an It is surely very ordinary commonwealth." shallow policy that supposes money to be the chief good: and even this, without considering that the support and expense of a court is, for the most part, only a particular kind of traffic, for which money is circulated without any national impoverishment.

Milton's republicanism was, I am afraid, founded in an envious hatred of greatness, and a sullen desire of independence; in petulance im patient of control, and pride disdainful of su

« ZurückWeiter »