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Letter of education to Mr. Samuel Hartlib, who wrote fome things about husbandry, and was a man of confiderable learning, as appears from the letters which paffed between him and the famous Mr. Mede, and from Sir William Petty's and Pell the mathematician's writing to him, the former his treatise for the Advancement of fome particular parts of learning, and the latter his Idea of the Mathematics, as well as from this letter of our author. This letter of our author has usually been printed at the end of his poems, and is as I may say the theory of his own practice; and by the rules which he has laid down for education we fee in some measure the method that he pursued in educating his own pupils. And in 1644 he published his Areopagitica or Speech for the liberty of unlicenced printing to the Parlament of England. It was written at the defire of feveral learned men, and is perhaps the best vindication, that has been published at any time or in any language, of that liberty which is the bafis and support of all other liberties, the liberty of the prefs: but alas it had not the defired effect; for the Prefbyterians were as fond of exercising the licencing power, when they got it into their own hands, as they had been clamorous before in inveighing against it, while it was in the hands of the Prelates. And Mr. Toland is miftaken in saying, " that fuch was the effect of this piece, "that the following year Mabol a licencer offered rea"fons against licencing; and at his own request was dif"charged that office." For neither was the licencer's name Mabol, but Gilbert Mabbot; neither was he discharged from his office till May 1649, about five years afterwards, tho' probably he might be fwayed by Milton's arguments, as every ingenious person muft, who perufes and confiders them. And in 1645 was published a collection of poems, Latin and English, the principal of which are On the morning of Christ's nativity, L'Allegro, Il Penserofo, Lycidas, the Mask &c. &c. and if he had left no other
monuments of his poetical genius behind him, these would have been fufficient to have rendered his name immortal.
But without doubt his Doctrin of Divorce and the maintenance of it principally engaged his thoughts at this period; and whether others were convinced or not by his arguments, he was certainly convinced himself that he was in the right; and as a proof of it he determined to marry again, and made his addreffes to a young lady of great wit and beauty, one of the daughters of Dr. Davis. But intelligence of this coming to his wife, and the then declining state of the King's caufe, and confequently of the circumstances of Juftice Powell's family, caufed them to fet all engins on work to restore the wife again to her husband. And his friends too for different reasons feem to have been as defirous of bringing about a reconciliation as her's, and this method of affecting it was concerted between them. He had a relation, one Blackborough, living in the lane of St. Martin's Le Grand, whom he often vifited; and one day when he was vifiting there, it was contrived that the wife should be ready in another room; and as he was thinking of nothing lefs, he was surprised to see her, whom he had expected never to have seen any more, falling down upon her knees at his feet, and imploring his forgiveness with tears. At first he fhowed fome figns of averfion, but he continued not long inexorable; his wife's intreaties, and the interceffion of friends on both fides foon wrought upon his generous nature, and procured a happy reconciliation with an ac of oblivion of all that was paft. But he did not take his wife home immediately; it was agreed that she should remain ata friend's, till the house, that he had newly taken, was fitted for their reception; for fome other gentlemen of his acquaintance, having obferved the great fuccess of his method of education, had recommended their fons to his care; and his house in Alderfgate-ftreet not being large enough, he had taken a larger in Barbican: and
till this could be got ready, the place pitched upon for his wife's abode was the widow Webber's houfe in St. Clement's Church-yard, whose second daughter had been married to the other brother many years before. The part that Milton acted in this whole affair, showed plainly that he had a spirit capable of the strongest resentment, yet more inclinable to pity and forgiveness: and neither in this was any injury done to the other lady, whom he was courting, for fhe is faid to have been always averse from the motion, not daring I fuppofe to venture in marriage with a man who was known to have a wife ftill living. He might not think himself too at liberty as before, while his wife continued obftinate; for his most plaufible argument for divorce proceeds upon a supposition, that the thing be done with mutual consent.
After his wife's return his family was increased not only with children, but also with his wife's relations, her father and mother, her brothers, and fifters, coming to live with him in the general diftrefs and ruin of the royal party: and he was so far from refenting their former ill treatment of him, that he generously protected them, and entertained them very hofpitably, till their affairs were accommodated thro' his intereft with the prevailing faction. And then upon their removal, and the death of his own father, his house looked again like the house of the Muses: but his ftudies had like to have been interrupted by a call to public bufinefs; for about this time there was a design of conftituting him Adjutant General in the army under Sir William Waller; but the new modelling of the army foon following, that defign was laid afide. And not long after, his great house in Barbican being now too large for his family, he quitted it for a smaller in High Holborn, which opened backward into Lincoln's Inn Fields, where he profecuted his ftudies till the King's trial and death, when the Prefbyterians declaming tragically against the King's execution, and af
ferting that his perfon was facred and inviolable, provoked him to write the Tenure of Kings and Magiftrates, proving that it is lawful to call a tyrant to account and to depose and put him to death, and that they who of late fo much blame depofing are the men who did it themfelves: and he published it at the beginning of the year 1649, to satisfy and compose the minds of the people. Not long after this he wrote his Observations on the articles of peace between the Earl of Ormond and the Irish rebels. And in these and all his writings, whatever others of different parties may think, he thought himself an advocate for true liberty, for ecclefiaftical liberty in his treatises against the bishops, for domeftic liberty in his books of divorce, and for civil liberty in his writings against the king in defense of the parlament and people of England.
After this he retired again to his private ftudies; and thinking that he had leifure enough for such a work, he applied himself to the writing of a Hiftory of England, which he intended to deduce from the earliest accounts down to his own times: and he had finished four books of it, when neither courting nor expecting any fuch preferment, he was invited by the Council of State to be their Latin Secretary for foreign affairs. And he served in the fame capacity 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 Republic 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 fubmit; and took a noble refolution 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. And it would have been well, if fucceeding princes had followed their
example; for in the opinion of very wife men, the univerfality of the French language will make way for the univerfality of the French monarchy.
But it was not only in foreign difpatches that the government made use of his pen. He had discharged the business of his office a very little time, before he was called to a work of another kind. For foon after the King's death was published a book under his name intitled Eikon Bafilike, or the royal image: and this book, like Cæfar's last will, making a deeper impreffion, and exciting greater commiferation in the minds of the people, than the King himself did while alive, Milton was ordered to prepare an answer to it, which was published by authority, and intitled Eikouoilaftes or the image-breaker, the famous furname of many Greek emperors, who in their zeal against idolatry broke all fuperftitious images to pieces. This piece was tranflated into French; and two replies to it were published, one in 1651, and the other in 1692, upon the reprinting of Milton's book at Amsterdam. În this controversy a heavy charge hath been alleged against Milton. Some editions of the King's book have certain prayers added at the end, and among them a prayer in time of captivity, which is taken from that of Pamela in Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia: and it is faid, that this prayer was added by the contrivance and artifice of Milton, who together with Bradshaw prevailed upon the printer to infert it, that from thence he might take occafion to bring a scandal upon the King, and to blast the reputation of his book, as he hath attempted to do in the first section of his answer. This fact is related chiefly upon the authority of Henry Hills the printer, who had frequently affirmed it to Dr. Gill and Dr. Bernard his phyficians, as they themselves have testified. But Hills was not himself the printer, who was dealt with in this manner, and confequently he could have the ftory only from hearsay: and tho' he was Cromwell's printer,