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dence, the house in the Artillery-walk, may appear to his enthusiastick admirers, as Mr. Hayley remarks, consecrated by his genius. ,
From Paradise Regained we proceed to the poem which follows it, the Samson Agonistes ; in which there are so many severe strictures, clearly pointing at the Restoration, and at the subsequent sufferings of Milton's party, that it has been often wondered it should have been sanctioned with an imprimatur. A learned antiquary thus endeavours to account for this indulgence in the licenser :“m Hurt by the censures, to which he had subjected himself by his over-refined cavils at Paradise Lost, he might be unwilling to renew and encrease the obloquy, by demurring at the appearance of another poem of unquestionable excellence." To his own sufferings also the poet often alludes in this sublime and affecting tragedy. He had before couched his complaint, as well as his unsubdued contempt of regal government, under the concluding sentence of his history: “ As the long-suffering of God permits bad men to enjoy prosperous days with the good, so his severity ofttimes exempts not good men from their share in evil times with the bad."
In 1672, he published his Artis Logicæ plenior institutio, ad Rami methodum concinnata. This work and his Accidence commenced Grammar are
m Denne's Hist. of Lambeth Parish, &c. 1795, p. 344.
proofs of that zeal for careful education, which Milton shewed throughout his life. And to this zeal Dr. Johnson has paid a tribute of applause, not more honourable than just. “ To that multiplicity 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 epick 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 Logick, for the initiation of students in philosophy.” Of his book of Logick there was a second edition in the following year.
In 1673, his Treatise Of true Religion, Heresie, Schism, Toleration, and what best means may be used against the growth of Popery, was published. In this discourse there are some passages which shew that Milton had altered his opinion, since his younger days, respecting certain points of doctrine. But that regard for the Holy Writings, which always predominated in his mind, is particularly observable in it. “ Let not," he says, “ the countryman, the tradesman, the lawyer, the physician, the statesman, excuse himself by his much business, from the studious reading of the Bible." This advice he offers as the best preservative against Popery. His principle of toleration, as Dr. Johnson observes, 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. In the same year he reprinted his juvenile poems with some additions, and with the Tractate on Education. Notwithstanding the publick avowal of his opposition to Popery, the infamous Titus Oates had the impudence to assert, not long afterwards, that “ Milton was a known " frequenter of a Popish Club."
In 1674, the last year of his laborious life, he published his Familiar Letters in Latin, to which he added some Academical Exercises. His employment of the press closed for ever in a translation of the ° Latin Declaration of the Poles in favour of John the third, their heroick sovereign. Dr. Symmons professes himself to be doubtful of the fact of Milton having translated this Declaration; « as the Latin document could arrive in England only a very short time before his death, and the translation bears no resemblance to his character of composition.” This doubt is admitted by Mr. Hawkins in his recent additions to bishop Newton's life of the poet. Now the Declaration had been made in May, and the translator of it died in the following November. The translation would exact from Mil
• Dedication or address prefixed to the true Narrative of the Horrid Plot, &c. of the Popish Party, by T. Oates, D.D. fol. Lond. 1679.
• The Biographical Dictionary, of 1798, calls this piece a translation from the Dutch. See vol. x. p. 465. But the titlepage of the performance announces it thus : “ Now faithfully translated from the Latin Copy."
ton not many hours. But the original, so brief and at the same time so formal, could hardly call forth any distinctive graces of his pen. Yet we may trace his hand, I think, in the use of interreign not a common word, which is found in this Declaration and in his History of England ; and in the rudiments of warfare, which, while it is a classical expression, his Paradise Regained, as well as the present translation, exhibits. But he ? delighted not, he has told us, in translations. Yet in the cause of this popular sovereign, who was the patron too of men of letters, he stooped, I can believe, with pleasure. Sobieski also was a king to Milton's mind : he might be deposed by his subjects.
Milton had now been long a sufferer by the gout; and in July, considering his end to be approaching, he informed his brother Christopher, who was then a bencher in the Inner Temple, that he wished to dictate to him the disposition of his property. And the discovery of this Nuncupative. Will has illustrated the domestick manners of the poet. He died on 9 Sunday the 8th of November follow
p See the remark in the next section, p. 223.
9 Mr. Hayley says, on Sunday the 15th of November. But it appears, by the Register of St. Giles's Cripplegate, that he was buried on the 12th. “ L. John Melton, gentleman. Consumption. Chancell. 12. Nov. 1674.” Melton has been altered, in fresher ink, to Milton. L. denotes the liberty of the parish, Mr. Steevens supposed the entry to have been made by the undertaker, who knew nothing more of Milton than that he was
ing. His death was so easy, that the time of his expiration was unperceived by the attendants in his room.
The remains of Milton were attended to the grave. by “all his learned and great friends in London, not without a friendly concourse of the vulgar." He was buried next his father in the chancel of St. Giles, Cripplegate. In August, 1790, the spot, where his body had been deposited, was opened ; and a corpse, hastily supposed to be his, was exposed to publick view. A Narrative of the disinterment of the coffin, and of the treatment of the corpse, was published by Philip Neve, Esq. The Narrative was immediately and ably answered in the St. James's Chronicle, in Nine Reasons why it is improbable that the coffin, lately dug up in the Parish Church of St. Giles, Cripplegate, should contain the reliques of Milton. Mr. Neve added a Postscript to his Narrative. But all his labour appears to have been employed in an imaginary cause. The late Mr. Steevens, who particularly lamented the indignity which the nominal ashes of the poet sustained, has intimated in his ma
dead. Aubrey says, “ He was buried at the upper end in St. Gyles Cripple-gate chancell," and that, “ when the two steppes to the Communion Table were raysed; (in 1679) his Storie was removed.”
+ Toland's Life of Milton, prefixed to the edition of Milton's Prose-Works, printed (not at Amsterdam as asserted in the titlepage,) but at London, in 1698, fol. p. 46.
• Formerly in the possession of the late James Bindley, Esq.; by whom I was favoured with the perusal of them,