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of the Greek Teftament, and to hear his learned expofition of it. The next work after this was to write from his dictation some part of a system of divinity, which he had collected from the ableft divines, who had written upon that fubject. Such were his academic inftitutions; and thus by teaching others he in fome measure inlarged his own knowledge; and having the reading of so many authors as it were by proxy, he might poffibly have preserved his fight, if he had not moreover been perpetually bufied in reading or writing fomething himself.

certainly a very reclufe and ftudious life, that both he and his pupils led; but the young men of that age were of a different turn from those of the present; and he himfelf gave an example to those under him of hard ftudy and spare diet; only now and then, once in three weeks or a month, he made a gaudy day with fome young gentlemen of his acquaintance, the chief of whom, says Mr. Philips, were Mr. Alphry and Mr. Miller, both of Gray's Inn, and two of the greatest beaus of those times.

But he was not fo fond of this academical life, as to be an indifferent spectator of what was acted upon the public ftage of the world. The nation was now in a great ferment in 1641, and the clamor run high against the bifhops, when he joined loudly in the cry, to help the puritan ministers, (as he fays himself in his fecond Defense) they being inferior to the bifhops in learning and eloquence; and published his two books, Of Reformation in England, written to a friend. About the fame time certain ministers having published a treatise against epifcopacy, in answer to the Humble Remonftrance of Dr. Jofeph Hall Bishop of Norwich, under the title of Smectymnuus, a word confifting of the initial letters of their names, Stephen Marshal, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurftow; And Archbishop Ufher having published at Oxford a refutation of Smectymnuus, in a tract concerning the Ori

ginal of Bishops and Metropolitans; Milton wrote his little piece Of Prelatical Epifcopacy, in oppofition chiefly to Ufher, for he was for contending with the most powerful adverfary; there would be either lefs difgrace in the defeat, or more glory in the victory. He handled the subject more at large in his next performance, which was the Reason of Church Government urged against Prelacy, in two books. And Bishop Hall having published a Defense of the Humble Remonftrance, he wrote Animadverfions upon it. All these treatises he published within the course of one year, 1641, which show how very diligent he was in the cause that he had undertaken. And the next year he set forth his Apology for Smectymnuus, in answer to the Confutation of his Animadverfions, written as he thought himself by Bishop Hall or his son. And here very luckily ended a controversy, which detained him from greater and better writings which he was meditating, more useful to the public, as well as more fuitable to his own genius and inclination: but he thought all this while that he was vindicating ecclefiaftical liberty.

In the year 1643, and the 35th of his age, he married; and indeed his family was now growing fo numerous, that it wanted a mistress at the head of it. His father, who had lived with his younger fon at Reading, was, upon the taking of that place by the forces under the Earl of Effex, neceffitated to come and live in London with this his elder fon, with whom he continued in tranquility and devotion to his dying day. Some addition too was to be made to the number of his pupils. But before his father or his new pupils were come, he took a journey in the Whitfuntide vacation, and after a month's absence returned with a wife, Mary the eldest daughter of Mr. Richard Powell, of Forefthill near Shotover in Oxfordshire, a juftice of the peace, and a gentleman of good repute and figure in that county. But she had not cohabited with her husband above a month, before fhe

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was earnestly solicited by her relations to come and spend the remaining part of the fummer with them in the country. If it was not at her instigation that her friends made this request, yet at least it was agreeable to her inclination; and fhe obtained her husband's confent upon a promise of returning at Michaelmas. And in the mean while his studies went on very vigorously; and his chief diverfion, after the business of the day, was now and then in an evening to vifit the Lady Margaret Lee, daughter of the Earl of Marlborough, Lord High Treasurer of England, and President of the Privy Council to King James I. This Lady, being a woman' of excellent wit and understanding, had a particular honor for our author, and took great delight in his conversation; as likewife did her husband Captain Hobson, a very accomplish'd gentleman. And what a regard Milton again had for her, he has left upon record in a fonnet to her praise, extant among his other poems.

Michaelmas was now come, but he heard nothing of his wife's return. He wrote to her, but received no anfwer. He wrote again letter after letter, but received no answer to any of them. He then dispatched a messenger with a letter, defiring her to return; but she positively refused, and dismissed the messenger with contempt. Whether it was, that she had conceived any diflike to her husband's person or humor; or whether fhe could not conform to his retired and philofophical manner of life, having been accustomed to a houfe of much gaity and company; or whether being of a family strongly attached to the royal cause, she could not bear her husband's republican principles; or whether she was overperfuaded by her relations, who poffibly might repent of having matched the eldest daughter of the family to a man fo distinguished for taking the contrary party, the King's head-quarters being in their neighborhood at Oxford, and his Majesty having now fome fairer profpect of



fuccefs; whether any or all of these were the reasons of this extraordinary behavior; however it was, it so highly incensed her husband, that he thought it would be difhonorable ever to receive her again after fuch a repulse, and he determined to repudiate her as she had in effect repudiated him, and to confider her no longer as his wife: And to fortify this his refolution, and at the fame time to justify it to the world, he wrote the Doctrin and Difciplin of Divorce, wherein he endevors to prove, that indifpofition, unfitness, or contrariety of mind, proceeding from any unchangeable cause in nature, hindering and ever likely to hinder the main benefits of conjugal fociety, which are folace and peace, are greater reafons of divorce than adultery or natural frigidity, especially if there be no children, and there be mutual consent for separatiHe published it at firft without his name, but the ftile easily betrayed the auther; and afterwards a fecond edition, much augmented, with his name; and he dedicated it to the Parlament of England with the Affembly of Divines, that as they were then confulting about the general reformation of the kingdom, they might also take this particular case of domestic liberty into their confideration. And then, as it was objected, that his doctrin was a novel notion, and a paradox that no body had ever afferted before, he endevored to confirm his own opinion by the authority of others, and published in 1644 the Judgment of Martin Bucer &c. And as it was still objected, that his doctrin could not be reconciled to Scripture, he published in 1645 his Tetrachordon or Expofitions upon the four chief places in Scripture, which treat of marriage, or nullities in marriage. At the first appearing of the Doctrin and Disciplin of Divorce the clergy raised a heavy outcry against it, and daily folicited the Parlament to pass some cenfure upon it; and at last one of them, in a fermon preached before the Lords and Commons on a day of humiliation in August 1644, roundly told them,

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that there was a book abroad, which deferved to be burnt, and that among their other fins they ought to repent that they had not yet branded it with fome mark of their displeasure. And Mr. Wood informs us, that upon Milton's publishing his three books of Divorce, the Assembly of Divines, that was then fitting at Westminster, took special notice of them; and notwithstanding his former fervices in writing against the Bishops, caused him to be fummoned before the Houfe of Lords: but that House whether approving his doctrin, or not favoring his accufers, foon dismissed him. He was attacked too from the press as well as from the pulpit, in a pamphlet intitled Divorce at pleasure, and in another intitled an Anfwer to the Doctrin and Disciplin of Divorce, which was licenced and recommended by Mr. Jofeph Caryl, a famous Presbyterian Divine, and author of a voluminous commentary on the book of Job: and Milton in his Colafterion or Reply published in 1645 expoftulates smartly with the licencer, as well as handles very roughly the nameless author. And these provocations, I fuppofe, contributed not a little to make him fuch an enemy to the Presbyterians, to whom he had before distinguished himfelf a friend. He compofed likewife two of his fonnets on the reception his book of Divorce met with, but the latter is much the better of the two. To this account it may be added from Antony Wood, that after the King's restoration, when the subject of divorce was under confideration with the Lords upon the account of John Lord Rofs or Roos his feparation from his wife Anne Pierpoint eldest daughter to Henry Marquis of Dorchester, he was confulted by an eminent member of that House, and about the fame time by a chief officer of state, as being the prime person who was knowing in that affair.

But while he was engaged in this controverfy of divorce, he was not fo totally engaged in it, but he attended to other things; and about this time published his


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