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into great danger; but the government fuffered him to escape with impunity, rather than they would publicly contradict the great patron of their cause. For he ftill perfifted in his accufation, and endevored to make it good in his Defense of himself, Autoris pro fe Defenfio, which was published in 1655, wherein he opposed to the teftimonies in favor of Morus other teftimonies against him; and Morus replied no


After this controversy was ended, he was at leisure again to pursue his own private ftudies, which were the Hiftory of England before mentioned, and a new Thefaurus of the Latin tongue, intended as an improvement upon that by Robert Stephens; a work, which he had been long collecting from the best and pureft Latin authors, and continued at times almost to his dying day: but his papers were left fo confused and imperfect, that they could not be fitted for the prefs, tho' great ufe was made of them by the compilers of the Cambridge Dictionary printed in 1693. Thefe papers are faid to have confifted of three large volumes in folio; and it is a great pity that they are loft, and no account is given what is become of the manufcript. It is commonly faid too that at this time he began his famous poem of Paradife Loft; and it is certain, that he was glad to be released from those controverfies, which detained him fo long from following things more agreeable to his natural genius and inclination, tho' he was far from ever repenting of his writings in defenfe of liberty, but gloried in them to the laft.

The only interruption now of his private studies was the business of his office. In 1655 there was


published in Latin a writing in the name of the Lord Protector, fetting forth the reafons of the war with Spain: and this piece is rightly adjudged to our author, both on account of the peculiar elegance of the ftile, and because it was his province to write fuch things as Latin Secretary; and it is printed among his other profe-works in the laft edition. And for the fame reafons I am inclined to think, that the famous Latin verfes to Chriftina Queen of Sweden in the name of Cromwell were made by our author rather than Andrew Marvel. In those days they had admirable intelligence in the Secretary's office; and Mr. Philips relates a memorable instance or two upon his own knowledge. The Dutch were fending a plenipotentiary to England to treat of peace; but the emiffaries of the government had the art to procure a copy of his inftructions in Holland, which were delivered by Milton to his kinfman who was then with him, to translate them for the ufe of the Council, before the faid plenipotentiary had taken fhipping for England; and an anfwer to all that he had in charge was prepared, and lay ready for him before he made his public entry into London. Another time a perfon came to London with a very fumptuous train, pretending himself an agent from the Prince of Conde, who was then in arms against Cardinal Mazarine: but the government fufpecting him fet their inftruments to work fo fuccefsfully, that in a few days they received intelligence from Paris, that he was a fpy employed by Charles II: whereupon the very next morning Milton's kinfman was fent to him with an order of Council, commanding him to depart the kingdom within three VOL. I. E


days, or expect the punishment of a spy. This kinsman was in all probability Mr. Philips or his brother, who were Milton's nephews, and lived very much with him, and one or both of them were affiftant to him in his office. His blindness no doubt was a great hindrance and inconvenience to him in his business, tho' fometimes a political use might be made of it; as men's natural infirmities are often pleaded in excufe for not doing what they have no great inclination to do. Thus when Cromwell, as we may collect from Whitlock, for fome reafons delayed artfully to fign the treaty concluded with Sweden, and the Swedish embaffador made frequent complaints of it, it was excufed to him, because Mr. Milton on account of his blindness proceeded flower in business, and had not yet put the articles of the treaty into Latin. Upon which the embaffador was greatly furprised, that things of fuch confequence fhould be intrufted to a blind man, for he muft neceffarily employ an amanuenfis, and that amanuenfis might divulge the articles; and faid it was very wonderful, that there fhould be only one man in England who could write Latin, and he a blind one. But his blindnefs had not diminished, but rather increased the vigor of his mind: and his ftate-letters will remain as authentic memorials of thofe times, to be admired equally by critics and politicians; and thofe particularly about the fufferings of the poor protestants in Piedmont, who can read without fenfible emotion? This was a fubject that he had very much at heart, as he was an utter enemy to all forts of perfecution; and among his fonnets there is a most excellent one upon the fame occafion.



But Oliver Cromwell being dead, and the ment weak and unfettled in the hands of Richard and the Parlament, he thought it a seasonable time to offer his advice again to the public; and in 1659 published a Treatife of civil power in ecclefiaftical caufes; and another tract intitled Confiderations touching the likelieft means to remove hirelings out of the church; both addreffed to the Parlament of the commonwealth of England. And after the Parlament was diffolved, he wrote a Letter to fome Statesman, with whom he had a ferious difcourfe the night before, concerning the ruptures of the commonwealth; and another, as it is fuppofed, to General Monk, being a brief Delineation of a free commonwealth, eafy to be put in practice, and without delay. These two pieces were communi cated in manufcript to Mr. Toland by a friend, who a little after Milton's death had them from his ne phew; and Mr. Toland gave them to be printed in the edition of our author's profe-works in 1698. But Milton, ftill finding that affairs were every day tending more and more to the fubverfion of the commonwealth and the restoration of the royal family, published his Ready and eafy way to establish a free commonwealth, and the excellence thereof, compared with the inconveniences and dangers of readmitting kingship in this nation. We are informed by Mr. Wood, that he published this piece in February 1659-60; and after this he published Brief notes upon a late fermon intitled, the Fear of God and the King, preached by Dr. Matthew Griffith at Mercers Chapel March 25, 1660: fo bold and refolute was he in declaring his fentiments to

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the last, thinking that his voice was the voice of expiring liberty.

A little before the King's landing he was difcharged from his office of Latin Secretary, and was forced to leave his houfe in Petty France, where he had lived eight years with great reputation, and had been vifited by all foreigners of note, who could not go out of the country without feeing a man who did fo much honor to it by his writings, and whose name was as well known and as famous abroad as in his own nation; and by feveral perfons of quality of both fexes, particularly the pious and virtuous Lady Ranelagh, whofe fon for fome time he inftructed, the fame who was Paymaster of the forces in King William's time; and by many learned and ingenious friends and acquaintance, particularly Andrew Marvel, and young Laurence, fon to the Prefident of Oliver's Council, to whom he has infcribed one of his fonnets, and Marchamont Needham the writer of Politicus, and above all Cyriac Skinner, whom he has honored with two fonnets. But now it was not safe for him to appear any longer in public, fo that by the advice of fome who wished him well and were concerned for his prefervation, he fled for fhelter to a friend's houfe in Bartholomew Close near Weft Smithfield, where he lay concealed till the worst of the ftorm was blown over. The first notice that we find taken of him was on Saturday the 16th of June 1660, when it was ordered by the Houfe of Commons, that his Majefty fhould be humbly moved to iffue his proclamation for the calling in of Milton's two books, his Defense of the people and Iconoclaftes, and alfo Goodwyn's book

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