Page images
PDF
EPUB

and to haue gonn to Rome, as he had binn aduised, by the prudent counsell of the Popes zealous Nuntio, Rossetti, now a Cardinall.!! And, speaking of our Kings death, he hath this passage-His death was foretould (so long ago as when he was Prince · of Wales) when he was in Spaine, where he, going

to visit a holy Nunne, whoe was much esteemed for her sanctity; shee foretold him, that, if he did not hearken to the inspirations of that light which his gardian Angell shold instruct him in, he shold dye a miserable death, and ruine all his progeny! This ANGELL was Cardinal ROSSETTI, whoe by his frequent inspirations, not internall, but to the eare and the eye, by the voice and by writings, by his eloquent and angelicall suggestions, indeavoured his conuersion to the Catholik Faith ; Card : Rossetti an Angel in practice! Greate Minister of the Pope, and an Angel by his office, as being a Nuntio or Messenger ; a zealous Nuntio ! Whence it is no maruell, if what the holy Nunne foretold had its effect !

“ Card : Barberino at Rome; This man his agent here; Card: Mazarino in France; And Gio: Rinuccini, Archbishop of Firmo in Italy and the Popes Nuntio in Ireland; were the Popish Ecclesiasticks, that by the helpe of the Jesuites, in all probabilety, were the men that ruined the King and Kingdome · vnder the new name and Cheate of INDEPENDENT ;

1 P. 177.

warr W

I being tould beyond sea by muncks and fryars that I might heare Mass where I wold among the Independents ; that Word signefying onely Independent as to the Church of England, but Dependent as to the Church of Romè; and so our warr was a warr of Religion to bring in Popery, and the King was a true martyr (that died for his Religion) in 'reuenge for the death of the Queene of Scotts, his grandmother.”—This acute traveller relates also that he was at Rome, on his fourth visit to that city, when Charles the second was restored ; which event, he says, “ to my knowledge, was to the great griefe of the Triple Crowne and College of Cardinals, who thought to have binn masters of England." In another page he citės the Italian author, already mentioned; to show that “ Charles the first suspected Mazzarino and the Imbassador of France to have had a hand in his troubles.”

[ocr errors]

Thorles

[ocr errors]

From these communications, which the subject of Milton's book induced me to make, I proceed merely to mention his next publication, “ Observations on the Articles of Peace between James Earl of Ormond, for King Charles I. on the one hand, and the Irish Papists and Rebels on the other,” &c. which all his biographers have ascribed to him, improperly as it will presently be seen, before he became Latin Secretary.

His life was yet private ; and he had entered upon his History of England; of which he had written

four books, when, without expectancy or solicitation of preferment, he was invited by the Council of State to be their Secretary for Foreign Tongues. They had determined not to write to others abroad, except in that language, which was common to them all, the Latin. Their choice, therefore, could not have fallen upon a more perfect' master of Latinity, Dr. Newton wishes that succeeding princes had followed this example of Latin correspondence; because, “s in the opinion of very wise men, the universality of the French language will make way for the universality of the French monarchy.” It may be added, that Milton himself countenanced this opinion : “ Then began the English to lay aside their own ancient customs, and in many things to imitate French manners; the great peers to speak French in their houses, in French to write their bills and letters, as a great piece of gentility; ashamed of their own: a presage of their subjection shortly to that people, whose fashions and language they affected so slavishly.

r“ Erat sanè Miltonus purioris dicendi generis vehementer studiosus, quod et ipse diligentissimè sectabatur, et qui Salmasium, soloecismos aliquando admittentem, salsè admodum perstringebat.” Literæ Nom. Sen. Angl, ed. J. G. Pritius, Lips, 1690. Pref. ' s Life of Milton.. . ' Hist. of England, B. vi. edit. 1698, p. 111.

SECTION III.

From his appointment as Secretary for Foreign Tongues,

to the Restoration of King Charles the Second.

СОТ

The Book of a Orders of the Council of State during the Usurpation, preserved in his Majesty's StatePaper Office, presents the poet addressed by a committee, appointed for the purpose of inviting him into office, about six weeks after the martyrdom of the King.

1648-9. March 13. Ordered, that Mr. Whitelocke, Sir Henry Vane, Lord Lisle, Earl of Denbigh, Mr. Martyn, Mr. Lisle, or any two of them, be appointed a committee to consider what alliances the Crowne hath formerly had with Forreigne States, and what those States are; and whether it will be fit to continue those allyances, or with how many of the said States; and how farr they should be continued, and upon what grounds; and in what man

a Now first presented to the publick eye, excepting three or four extracts embodied in Dr. Sumner's Introduction to his recent Translation of Milton's Treatise De Doctrina Christiana.

ner applications and addresses should be made for the said continuance.

“ That it be referred to the same committee to speake with Mr. Milton, to know whether he will be employed as Secretary for the Forreigne Tongues ; and to report to the Councell.

“ 1648-9. March 15. Ordered, that Mr. John Milton be employed as Secretary for Forreigne Tongues to this Councell; and that he have the same salarie, which Mr. 6 Weckherlyn formerly had for the same service.

; “ 1648-9. March 22. Ordered, that the letters, now read, to be sent to Hamburgh, in behalf of the Company of Merchant-Adventurers, be approved ; and that they be translated into Latine by Mr. Milton.

.“ 1649. March 26. Ordered, that the letters,

o Mr. Weckherlyn presently occurs as Secretary Assistant for the business of Foreign Affairs. He had been before employed as Secretary for Foreign Affairs from the first establishment of the Joint Committee of both kingdoms in Feb. 1643-4. What his salary was, has not been ascertained. This gentleman, who was of German extraction, Granger says, was Latin Secretary to King Charles I. He was the author of poems, and of other literary productions. See the Bodleian and the Brit. Mus. Catalogues, Art. George Rodolph Wecherlin, or Weckerlin. His only daughter, according to Granger, was first wife to William Trumbull, Esq. and mother of the noted Sir W. Trumbull, the friend of Pope.

« PreviousContinue »