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of twenty-four. The marriage took place February 24, 1662-3. His second daughter, Mary, is reported upon oath to have said that it was no news to hear of his wedding, but if she could hear of his death that was something.' His third wife proved to be a blessing to him as long as he lived. She was pretty and had golden hair; she sang to his accompaniments on the organ or bass viol, and was sufficiently alive to his intellectual requirements as to like to talk with him about Hobbes and other learned men. Not long after their marriage they went to live in Artillery Walk, Bunhill Fields. This was his last residence, and considerable is known about the details of his domestic economy there. He had a man servant named Greene, who, it is said, was able to read aloud to him from the Hebrew Bible. His chief recreations were walking in his garden, swinging in a chair, and making music. Andrew Marvell, Cyriack Skinner, and other distinguished men used often to visit him. He is reported as having been “extremely pleasant in conversation . . . though satirical.”

“Paradise Lost" was completed by 1663 and revised during the summer of 1665, while, in order to escape from the plague that was then devastating London, he went with his wife and his three daughters to Chalfont St. Giles in Buckinghamshire. His friend Elwood, the Quaker, lived near there, and to him Milton loaned a copy of the great poem. The Quaker approved of it, but suggested that he had said much of Paradise Lost but nothing of Paradise Found. This suggestion resulted in the shorter epic. The next year that of Dryden's Annus Mirabilis · - the great fire still further abridged his fortunes by destroying the house in which he had been born and which he still owned. A few years later his comfort and that of his household was increased by the departure of his daughters, who were sent out to learn embroidery for their own support.


After the publication of his great epic visitors were frequent, and we have several descriptions of his appearance, both as he sat out of doors on his porch and as he was indoors, in a room hung with rusty green, "sitting in an elbow chair, black clothes and neat enough, pale but not cadaverous, his hands and fingers gouty and with chalk stones"; his habits at table were abstemious, but his later days were troubled by gout. His last poem was the perfect Greek tragedy "Samson Agonistes," which has an interesting autobiographic import. This was written in 1671. Three years later "the gout struck in," and he died on November 8, 1674, and was buried beside his father in the Church of St. Giles, Cripplegate. All his learned and great friends in London, and a "friendly concourse of the vulgar," attended the funeral. Milton had intended to cut off his "unkind" and "undutiful" children with only that portion of his estate that was due it from the Powells, but they contested the nuncupative will and received as their share of their father's estate about £100 each, while the widow was left with a pittance of £600. She retired to her native Cheshire, and died in 1727, having survived her husband nearly fifty-three years. Among

" and two

her effects were copies of his "Paradise Lost and Regained juvenile portraits. Mary, the younger daughter, died the same year, having married a weaver or silk mercer named Clark, by whom she had ten children, only two of whom survived her to have issue.

The collections made by Milton toward his Latin dictionary have been embodied in later dictionaries. Several of his prose writings were discovered long after his death. In one of them - a Latin treatise

on Christian Doctrine which he claims to be founded directly on the Bible - he boldly advanced many theories at variance with the beliefs of the Church-perhaps the most shocking being his arguments in favour of polygamy.

No one can study Milton's life without winning a deep respect and even admiration for the man. To him, duty "stern daughter of the voice of God". was ever paramount. Unflinchingly he sacrificed his inclinations and his pleasures in order to take the place whereto he was called in the Councils of the State. If ever a man was anointed by the Muses it was Milton; yet, conscious as he was of his poetic powers, he threw himself heart and soul into the gross battle of politics, and for twenty of the richest years of his life allowed his cherished schemes to slumber. As a man, therefore, he is worthy of reverence, even though we may not entirely sympathise with some of his views or actions.

His deli

As a poet he takes rank among the few whom all the world recognises as greatest, Homer, Vergil, Dante, Chaucer, Shakspere. cate musical ear taught him to modulate his numbers with a skill unknown to any other English poet. Well has he been called "that mighty arc of song- the divine Milton." As Wordsworth says, the sonnet in his hand "became a trumpet whence he blew soul-animating strains"; his minor poems are marvels of elegance and grace, but by his "Paradise Lost " he made himself as it were the prophet of English theology, the work supplementing the Bible in the beliefs of many, and strongly colouring the popular conception of Satan and the fall of man. But aside from its theological import, it is by the grandeur of theme and dignity of treatment almost superhuman a work of which all who speak the English tongue will be forever proud.


N. H. D.




It was possibly just before the Great Fire of London in September, 1666, and it certainly cannot have been very long after that event, when Milton, then residing in Artillery Walk, Bunhill Fields, sent the manuscript of his Paradise Lost to receive the official licence necessary for its publication. The duty of licensing such books was then vested by law in the Archbishop of Canterbury, who performed it through his chaplains. The Archbishop of Canterbury at that time (1663-1677) was Dr. Gilbert Sheldon; and the chaplain to whom it fell to examine the manuscript of Paradise Lost was the Rev. Thomas Tomkyns, M. A. of Oxford, then incumbent of St. Mary Aldermary, London, and afterwards Rector of Lambeth and D. D. He was the Archbishop's domestic chaplain, and a very great favourite of his quite a young man, but already the author of one or two books or pamphlets. The nature of his opinions may be guessed from the fact that his first publication, printed in the year of the Restoration, had been entitled "The Rebel's Plea Examined; or, Mr. Baxter's Judgment concerning the Late War." A subsequent publication of his, penned not long after he had examined Paradise Lost, was entitled "The Inconveniences of Toleration; " and, when he died in 1675, still young, he was described on his tomb-stone as having been "Ecclesiæ Anglicana contra Schismaticos assertor eximius." A manuscript by a man of Milton's political and ecclesiastical antecedents could hardly, one would think, have fallen into the hands of a more unpropitious examiner. It is, accordingly, stated that Tomkyns hesitated about giving the licence, and took exception to some passages in the poem - particularly to that (Book I. vv. 594-599) where it is said of Satan in his diminished brightness after his fall, that he still appeared

66 as when the Sun, new-risen,
Looks through the horizontal misty air
Shorn of his beams, or, from behind a cloud,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs."


At length, however, Mr. Tomkyns was satisfied. There still exists the first book of the actual manuscript which had been submitted to him.* It is a fairly written copy, in a light, not inelegant, but rather characterless hand of the period of course, not that of Milton himself, who had been for fourteen years totally blind. It consists of eighteen leaves of small quarto, stitched together; and on the inside of the first leaf, or cover, is the following official licence to print in Tomkyns's hand

Imprimatur: Tho. Tomkyn's, Rmo. in Christo Patri ac Domino, Dno. Gilberto, divind Providentia Archiepiscopo Cantuariensi, a sacris Domesticis.


The other books of the manuscript having received a similar certificate, or this certificate on the MS. of the first book sufficing for all, the copy was ready for publication by any printer or bookseller to whom Milton might consign it. Having already had many dealings with London printers and booksellers, Milton may have had several to whom he could go; but the one whom he favoured in this case, or who favoured him, was a certain Samuel Simmons, having his shop "next door to the Golden Lion in Aldersgate Street." The date of the transaction between Simmons and Milton is April 27, 1667. On that day an agreement was signed between them to the following effect: - Milton, "in consideration of Five Pounds to him now paid," gives, grants, and assigns to Simmons "all that Book, Copy, or Manuscript of a Poem intituled Para"dise Lost, or by whatsoever other title or name the same is or shall be called or distinguished, now lately licensed to be printed;" on the understanding, however, that, at the end of the first impression of the Book -"which im"pression shall be accounted to be ended when thirteen hundred books of the "said whole copy, or manuscript imprinted shall be sold or retailed off to par"ticular reading customers "— -Simmons shall pay to Milton or his representatives a second sum of Five Pounds; and further that he shall pay a third sum of Five Pounds at the end of a second impression of the same number of copies, and a fourth sum of Five Pounds at the end of a third impression similarly measured. To allow a margin for presentation copies, we suppose, it is provided that, while in the account between Milton and Simmons each of the three first impressions is to be reckoned at 1,300 copies, in the actual printing of each Simmons may go as high as 1,500 copies. At any reasonable request of Milton or his representatives, Simmons, or his executors and assigns, shall be bound to make oath before a Master in Chancery "concerning his or "their knowledge and belief of, or concerning the truth of, the disposing and selling the said books by retail as aforesaid whereby the said Mr. Milton is to "be entitled to his said money from time to time," or, in default of said oath, to pay the Five Pounds pending on the current impression as if the same were due.†


*The manuscript is described and a facsimile of a portion of it is given, in Mr. S. Leigh Sotheby's "Ramblings in elucidation of the Autograph of Milton," 1861: pp. 196, 197. It was then in the possession of William Baker, Esq. of Bayfordbury, Hertfordshire, to whom it had descended, with other Milton relics, from the famous publishing family of the Tonsons, connected with him by ancestry.

†The original of this document - or rather that one of the two originals which Simmons kept is now in the British Museum. To the poet's signature "John Milton (which,

however, is written for him by another hand) is annexed his seal, bearing the family arms of the double-headed eagle; and the witnesses are "John Fisher" and "Benjamin Greene, servt. to Mr. Milton,"

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