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odiasse l'abuso di quello che la cosa in se stessa. Un uomo del suo ingegno non poteva non conoscere quanto in massima la forza morale della religione sia necessaria a consolidare la felicità di uno Stato. E' anche da notare che a quei tempi erano molto in voga le questioni teologiche, delle quali niente V ha di più pericoloso a far cadere in incertezze ed errori.”
Recapitulation and Conclusion.
In the FIRST SECTION I have omitted the circumstances, which were related in my former account of the life and writings of Milton from the communication of Mr. Richards, of Milton's father-in-law being of Sandford in the vicinity of Oxford, of Milton himself residing at Forest-hill and there writing a great part of his Paradise Lost, and of Mr. Warton's finding there many papers of Milton's own writing. For Mr. Warton himself a notices only some papers of Mr. Powell, which he there saw; no other o document has been found to shew. Mr. Powell's residence or connection with Sandford; and the improbability of Milton's writing at Forest-hill any part of his immortal poem, I have stated.
In the SECOND SECTION I have only to observe, that what Dr. Newton and other biographers of
See the present account, &c. p. 269, note k.
See the details of his property, &c. pp. 69, 70, &c. • See before, p. 29.
Milton have stated, as to the correspondence of the Council of State with other governments, is not quite correct. Dr. Newton says, “ Milton served as Latin secretary for foreign affairs under Oliver, and Richard, and the Rump, till the Restoration; and without doubt a better Latin pen could not have been found in the kingdom. For the republick and Cromwell scorned to pay that tribute to any foreign prince; which is usually paid to the French king, of managing their affairs in his language: they thought it an indignity and meanness, to which this or any free nation ought not to submit; and took a noble resolution neither to write any letters to any foreign states, nor to receive any answers from them, but in the Latin tongue, which was common to them all.” Now, in the preceding Orders of Council, it will be seen that they did receive answers from other states in their respective languages, which Milton was directed to translate.
.. To the THIRD SECTION a curious addition is now given, which I remember not to have met with in any remarks of the biographers on the classical taste of Milton. It is, that “e he often read Plautus, in order the better to rail at Salmasius.” In the same section, the f letter of Milton, which was given while the sheet was printing, in behalf of Marvel,
See before, pp. 141, 146. e Toland's Vindicius Liberius, or Defence of himself, &c. 1702, p. 8.
See before, p. 162.
confirms what in my former account of the poet I had said without alteration, that he was not totally blind before 1653, but to which I have added in the present, from Du Moulin's inhuman taunt, a 8 belief that in 1652, in which year Du Moulin published the book that contained it, the sight of both eyes was gone.. This letter, however, dated Feb. 21, 1652, that is, 1652-3, is written steadily with his own hand throughout, and clearly proves that he had still the use of one eye, which could direct his hand to express elegantly the friendly feelings of his heart. It may here be mentioned that Marvel was in 1653 appointed by Cromwell tutor to Mr. Dutton; possibly through the interest of Milton, Marvel thus acknowledges the former kindness, in a letter to Milton, dated at Eton, June 2, 1654. “He [Bradshawe] might suspect that I delivering it (a letter) just upon my departure, it might have brought in it some second proposition, like to that which you have before made to him by your letter to my advantage."
: To the FOURTH AND FIFTH SECTIONS I offer no addition.
· In the sixth SECTION what the wife of Milton told the early admirers of his poetry, must be inserted ;
& See before, p. 147...
Biograph. Brit. Art. Marvel.
namely, that he used to compose his poetry chiefly in winter, and on his waking in a morning dictated to her sometimes twenty or thirty verses ; that Spenser, Shakspeare, and Cowley, were his favourite English poets; and that he pronounced Dryden to be a rhymist rather than a poet. Dryden's best poems, however, had not then appeared, To Dryden, who often visited him, it must be added, Milton acknowledged that Spenser was his original. Nor must Phillips's relation here be overpassed : 6.& There is a remarkable passage in the composure of Paradise Lost, which I have a particular occasion to remember; for, whereas I had the perusal of it from the very beginning, for some years as I went from time to time to visit him, in a parcel of ten, twenty, or thirty verses at a time, which, being written by whatever hand came next, might possibly want correction as to the orthography and pointing; having, as the summer came on, not been shewn any for a considerable while, and desiring to know the reason thereof, was answered, that his vein never happily flowed but from the autumnal equinox to the vernal, and that whatever he attempted was never 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 but half his time therein.” Dr. Johnson ridicules the notion that a writer should suppose himself influenced by times or seasons; but while he has thus
* Life of Milton, p. xxxvi.