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he testifies with the ablest criticks of his own and succeeding times. In 1694 they were translated into English, and published; and to that translation was prefixed the Life of Milton by his nephew, Ed+ ward Phillips; at the end of which were added his Sonnets to Fairfax, Cromwell, Vane, and Cyriack Skinner. Of these letters in their original language, from the corrected manuscript, a new edition is much to be desired.
From the Restoration of King Charles the Second to the Death of Milton.
MILTON at the Restoration withdrew, for a time, to a friend's house in Bartholomew-Close. By this precaution he probably escaped the particular prosecution which was at first directed against him. Mr. Warton was told by Mr. Tyers from good authority, that when Milton was under prosecution with Goodwin, his friends, to gain time, made a mock-funeral for him; and that when matters were settled in his favour, and the affair was known, the King laughed heartily at the trick. This circumstance has been also related by an historian lately brought to light; who says that Milton" pretended to be dead, and had a publick funeral procession," and that "the King applauded his policy in escaping the punishment of death, by a seasonable shew of dying." His Iconoclastes and Defensio pro Populo Anglicano were, however, consigned to the most
a See his Second Edition of Milton's Smaller Poems, p. 358. b Cunningham's Hist. of Great Britain, vol. i. p. 14.
publick disgrace. It was the resolution of the Commons, on the 16th of June 1660, that his Majesty should be c humbly moved to call in Milton's two books, and that of John Goodwin, [The Obstructors of Justice, written in justification of the murder of the late King, and order them to be burnt by the common hangman; and that the Attorney-General do proceed against them by indictment or otherwise."
Dr. Johnson thinks that Milton was not very diligently pursued. It is certain that he very successfully concealed himself. The proclamation for apprehending him, and his bold compeer, particularly notices that "the said John Milton and John Goodwin are so fled, or so obscure themselves, that no endeavours used for their apprehension can take effect, whereby they may be brought to legal tryal, and deservedly receive condign punishment for their treasons and offences." Of the proscribed books several copies were committed to the flames on the 27th of August. Within three days after the burning these offensive publications, he found himself relieved, by the Act of Indemnity, from the necessity of concealment. Goodwin was incapacitated, as Dr. Johnson observes, with nineteen more, for any publick trust; but of Milton there was no exception. He was afterwards, however, in the custody of the Serjeant at arms; for on Saturday the 15th of De
c Journals of the House of Commons.
See the Proclamation printed at length in Kennet's Register and Chronicle, 1728, p. 189.
cember, 1660, it was ordered, by the House of Commons, "that Mr. Milton, now in custody of the Serjeant at arms, attending this House, be forthwith released, paying his fees." And, on Monday the 17th, "a complaint being made that the Serjeant at arms had demanded excessive fees for the imprisonment of Mr. Milton; it was ordered, that it be referred to the Committee for Privileges to examine this business, and to call Mr. Mead the Serjeant before them, and to determine what is fit to be given to the Serjeant for his fees in this case." Milton is supposed to have had powerful friends both in Council and Parliament; as Secretary Morice, Sir Thomas Clarges, and Andrew Marvell. But the principal instrument in obtaining Milton's pardon is said to have been Sir William Davenant, who, when he was taken prisoner in 1650, had been saved by Milton's interest, and who now, in grateful return for so signal an obligation, interceded for the life of Milton. This story has been related by Richardson upon the authority of Pope, who received it from Betterton, of whom Davenant was the patron. Aubrey, in his manuscript life of Davenant, ascribes his safety, however, without mention of Milton, to two aldermen of York.
Milton, having obtained his pardon, reappeared immediately in his literary character; and published
• Journals of the House of Commons.
'See the Hist. Account of the English Stage, Steevens's Shakspeare, ed. 1793, vol. ii. p. 431.
in 1661 his Accidence commenced Grammar. He had now taken a house in Holborn near Red-Lion Fields; but soon removed to Jewin Street, near Aldersgate. And there he married his third wife, in " the year before the sickness," Aubrey says, which would be in 1664. She was Elizabeth Minshul, of a genteel family in Cheshire. Her father, Sir Edward Minshul," received the honour of knighthood. She was also a relation of Dr. Paget, his particular friend, whom he had requested to recommend a proper consort for him. It may here be observed, that he chose his three wives out of the virgin state. Indeed he tells us that he entirely agreed "h with them who, both in prudence and elegance of spirit, would choose a virgin of mean fortunes, honestly bred, before the wealthiest widow." The very reverse was the fancy of another poet, of no mean fame, Sheffield, duke of Buckinghamshire; who, like Milton, was thrice married, but whose three wives had been all widows! Soon after Milton's last marriage, he is said to have been offered, and to have declined, the employment again of Latin Secretary.
While he lived in Jewin Street too, Ellwood the quaker was recommended to him as a person, who, for the advantage of his conversation, would read to him such Latin books as he thought proper; an em
& Communicated to me by the learned historian of Cheshire, Mr. Ormerod.
h Prose-Works, vol. i. p. 191, ed. 1698.
See the note 'on the Nuncupative Will of Milton.