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vifited by all foreigners of note, who could not go out of the country without feeing a man who did fo much honour to it by his writings, and whofe name was as famous abroad as in his own nation; and by feveral perfons of quality of both fexes, and many learned and ingenious friends and acquaintance. But now it was not fafe for him to appear any longer in public; and therefore, by the advice of his well with ers, he fled for fhelter to a friend's houfe near West Smithfield, where he lay concealed till the worst of the ftorm was blown over. On Saturday June 16. 1660, it was ordered by the House of Commons, that the King fhould be moved to iffue a proclamation for the calling in of Milton's two books, The Defence of the people and Iconoclaftes, and alfo Goodwyn's book, intitled, The Obftructors of justice, written in justification of the murder of the late King, and to order them to be burnt by the hands of the common hangman, and that the attorney-general fhould proceed by way of indictment or information against Milton and Goodwyn in respect of their books, and that they themselves should be fent for in cuftody of the ferjeant at arms attending the house. On Wednesday June 27, an order of council was made accordingly for a proclamation against Milton's and Goodwyn's books; and the proclamation was iffued Aug. 13. wherein it was faid that the authors had fled, or did abfcond; and on Monday Aug. 27. the books were burnt at the Old Bailey by the hands of the common hangman. On Wednesday Aug. 29. the act of indemnity was paffed, which proved more favourable to Milton than could well have been expected; for though John Goodwyn was excepted among the twenty persons, who were to have penalties inflicted upon them, not extending to life, yet Milton was not excepted at all, and confequently was included in the general pardon. We find indeed that afterwards he was in cuftody of the ferjeant at arms; but the time when he was taken into cuftody is not certain. He was not in cuftody on the 12th of September; for his name is not in a lift of the prifoners in cuftody of the



ferjeant at arms read that day in the house; and next day the Houfe adjourned to Nov. 6. It is probable therefore, that after the paffing of the act of indemnity, and adjournment of the House, Milton came out of his concealment, and was afterwards taken into custody by virtue of the former order of the House. But we do not find that he was profecuted by the Attorney-general, or continued long in cuftody; for on Saturday Dec. 15. 1660, the House ordered, that Mr. Milton, then in cuftody of the ferjeant at arms, fhould be forthwith released, paying his fees; and on Monday the 17th, a complaint being made, that the ferjeant had demanded exceffive fees, it was referred to the committee of privileges and elections to examine that bufinefs, to call Mr. Milton and the ferjeant before them, and to determine what was fit to be given to the ferjeant for his fees. So courageous was Milton at all times in defence of liberty against all the incroachments of power, and, though a prifoner, would yet be treated like a free-born Englishman. The clemency of the government was furely very great towards him, confidering the nature of his offences; for though he was not one of the King's judges and murderers, yet he contributed more to murder his character and reputation than any of them all. To what therefore could be owing, that he was treated with fuch lenity, and was fo eafily pardoned? It is certain, there was not wanting powerful interceffion for him both in council and in parliament. It is faid, that Secretary Morrice and Sir Thomas Clargis greatly favoured him, and exerted their intereft in his behalf; and his old friend Andrew Marvel, member for Hull, formed a confiderable party for him in the House of Commons; and neither was Charles II. (as Toland fays,) fuch an enemy to the Mufes, as to require his deftruction. But the principal inftrument in obtaining Milton's pardon was Sir William Davenant, out of gratitude for Milton's having procured his release, when taken prifoner in 1650. It was life for life. Davenant had been faved by Milton's intereft, and in return Milton was faved at Davenant's interceffion.


Milton, having thus obtained his pardon, took a houfe in Holburn, near Red-Lion Fields, but foon after removed into Jewen-ftreet, near Alderfgate-ftreet. While he lived there, being in his 53d or 54th year, blind and infirm, and wanting fome body better than fervants to tend and look after him, he, at the recom mendation of his friend Dr. Paget, to whom the lady was related, married his third wife, Elizabeth Minfhul, of a gentleman's family in Chefhire. It is faid, that an offer was made to Milton, as well as to Thurloe, of holding the fame place of Secretary under the King, which he had difcharged with fo much integrity and ability under Cromwell; but he perfifted in refufing it, though his wife preffed his compliance: "Thou "art in the right," fays he; 66 you, as other women, "would ride in your coach; for me, my aim is to live "and die an honest man." In 1661 he published his Accedence commenced Grammar, and a tract of Sir Walter Raleigh, intitled, Aphorisms of fate, as in 1658 he had published another piece of the fame author, intitled, The cabinet-council difcabinated; an evident fign, that he thought it no mean employment, nor unworthy of a man of genius, to be an editor of the works of great authors. While he lived in Jewenftreet, Elwood the Quaker was first introduced to read to him; for, having wholly loft his fight, he kept always fome body or other to perform that office, and ufually the fon of fome gentleman of his acquaintance, whom he took in kindness, that he might at the fame time improve him in his learning. Elwood was recommended to him by Dr. Paget, and went to his houfe every afternoon except Sunday, and read to him fuch books in the Latin tongue as Milton thought proper. Milton told him, that if he would have the benefit of the Latin tongue, not only to read and understand Latin authors, but to converfe with foreigners, he must learn the foreign pronunciation; and he inftructed him how to read accordingly. "Milton having a curious ear understood by my tone," fays Elwood," when I understood what I read, and when I did not; and he would ftop me and examine me, and

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open the most difficult paffages to me." Not long after his third marriage he left Jewen-street, and removed. to a house in the Artillery-walk, leading to Bunhill. fields, in which he refided to his dying day: only, when the plague began to rage in London in 1665, he removed to a fmall house at St. Giles Chalfont in Buckinghamshire, where he remained during that dreadful calamity; but after the ficknefs was over, and the city was cleanfed and made fafely habitable again, he returned to his houfe in London.

His great work of Paradife Loft had principally engaged his thoughts for fome years paft, and was now completed. It is probable, that his first design of writing an epic poem was owing to his converfations at Naples with the Marquis of Villa about Taffo and his famous poem of the Delivery of Jerusalem; and, in a copy of verfes prefented to that nobleman before he left Naples, he intimated his intention of fixing upon King Arthur for his hero. In his eclogue upon the death of his friend Diodati, he propofed the fame defign and the same subject, and declared his ambition of writing fomething in his native language, which might render his name illuftrious in thefe iflands, though he should be obfcure and inglorious to the rest of the world. And in other parts of his works, after he had engaged in the controverfies of the times, he ftill promised to produce fome noble poem or other at a fitter season: but it doth not appear that he had then determined upon the subject; and King Arthur had another fate, being referved for the pen of Sir Richard Blackmore. The first hint of Paradife Loft is faid to have been taken from an Italian tragedy; and it is certain, that he first defigned it a tragedy himself, and there are feveral plans of it in the form of a tragedy ftill to be feen in the author's own maaufcript, preferved in the library of Trinity-college, Cambridge. And it is probable, that he did not barely fketch out the plans, but also wrote fome parts of the drama itself. Mr. Philips informs us, that fome of the verfes at the beginning of Satan's speech addreffed to the Son, book iv. ver. 32, &c. were shown


to him and fome others as defigned for the beginning of the tragedy several years before the Poem was begun: and many other paffages might be produced, which plainly appear to have been originally intended for the fcene, and are not fo properly of the epic, as of the tragic ftrain. After he was difengaged from the Salmafian controverfy in 1655, he began to mold the Paradise Loft in its prefent form, and after the Refloration he profecuted the work with clofer application. Mr Philips relates a very remarkable circum ftance in the compofure of this Poem, which was told him by Milton himself, that his vein never happily flowed but from the autumnal equinox to the vernal, and that what he attempted at other times was not to his fatisfaction, though he courted his fancy never fo much. Mr. Toland imagines that Philips might be mistaken as to the time, because Milton, in his Latin Elegy, written in his 20th year, upon the approach of the Spring, feemeth to fay juft the contrary, as if he could not make any verfes to his fatisfaction till the Spring begun: and he fays further, that a judieious friend of Milton informed him, that he could never compofe well but in Spring and Autumn. But Mr. Richardfon cannot comprehend, that either of these accounts is exactly true, or that a man with fuch a work in his head can fufpend it for fix months together, or only for one; it may go on more flowly, but it must go on: and this laying it afide is contrary to that eagerness to finish what was begun, which he fays was his temper in an epiftle to Diodati. After all, Mr. Philips, who had the perufal of the Poem from the beginning, by twenty or thirty verfes at a time, as it was compofed, and having not been shown any for a confiderable while as the Summer came on, enquired of the author the reafon of it, could hardly be mistaken with regard to the time: and it is eafy to conceive, that the Poem might go on much more. flowly in Summer than in other parts of the year; for, notwithstanding all that the poets may fay of the pleasures of that season, I imagine moft perfons find by experience, that they can compofe better at any

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