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produced with a dedication to Charles the 2nd, and entitled, "Claudii Salmasii Miltonum Responsio, opus posthumum; Dijon, Sept. 1660." Answer of Claud sius to John Milton; a posthumous work, &c. The learned Dr. Birch say virulence which it displays is unexampled. He treats his antagonist as an ordin master; qui ludimagister in Scholâ triviali Londinensi fuit;" and charge divorcing his wife after a year's marriage, for reasons best known to himself, ing the lawfulness of divorce for any causes whatsoever. He styles him, im quæ nihil hominis sibi reliqui fecit præter lippiantes oculos. He charges him false quantities in his juvenile Latin poems; and throughout the whole book gi title of Bellua, fanaticus latro, homunculus, lippulus, cæculus, homo perditissin impurus, scelestus audax et nefarius alastor, infandus impostor, &c. &c. And he would have him tortured with burning pitch or scalding oil till he exp cæteris autem suis factis dictisque dignum dicam videri, qui pice ardenti, vel o perfundaris, usque dum animam effles nocentem et carnifici jam pridem debitam for the "great" Salmasius.
The First Defence is the last of Milton's writings-the last work which he his own hand. Before the end of the year in which he completed it, he was All his future works therefore, whether prose or verse, must have been dictat pure eloquence, and true bardic rapture,-the utterance-the hallowed fire, for touch and purify his lips," he so devoutly prayed. The visitation of blindnes been to a mind like his, so admirably framed to enjoy the wonders and bea visible universe, a severe and afflictive dispensation-a hard sentence of ex the palace of the magnificent creation. But his spirit had already convers domain of materialisms; the light, though faded from his eyes, was yet "plea soul; and the capacious vision of memory was perhaps more splendid than the lation of visual sense. He had taken a spiritual possession of suns and turned them all into thoughts. Time itself became to him a part of the past, sent was to him the portion of a privileged eternity. He was thus brought i contact or rather converse with the invisible. One veil of flesh was removed plete external dependence upon the kindnesses and sympathies of his fell must have taught him the lesson we have all to learn, of total dependence and the Creator. Faith, now a necessary portion of his animal life, became m identified with his spiritual nature. His mind was not benighted, nor even da lustre of these heavens and the luxuriance of this earth he was not destined to -but he knew that the time of his departure was at hand-and that his eyes be opened, in "supereminence of beatific vision," upon the "new heavens, earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness!"
Adversity, says Lord Bacon, does best discover virtue. Milton bore his exemplary patience and fortitude. His episcopalian enemies boasted that a retribution for the transgressions of his pen. In the Second Defence, writte after this calamity had befallen him, he explains, in a passage already quoted by which he was governed in the measures which he took, and under the lo sustained-and thus replies to such miserable antagonists:
"Let then the calumniators of the divine goodness cease to revile, or to object of their superstitious imagination. Let them consider that my situati is, is neither an object of my shame or my regret; that my resolutions are shaken, that I am not depressed by any sense of the divine displeasure; tha hand, in the most momentous periods, I have had full experience of the divi protection, and that, in the solace and the strength, which have been infused above, I have been enabled to do the will of God; that I may oftener this
has bestowed, than on what he has withheld; that in short I am unwilling to exchange my consciousness of rectitude with that of any other person; and that I feel the recollection a treasured store of tranquillity and delight. But if the choice were necessary, I would, Sir, prefer my blindness to yours: yours is a cloud spread over the mind, which darkens both the light of reason and of conscience; mine keeps from my view only the coloured surfaces of things, while it leaves me at liberty to contemplate the beauty and stability of virtue and of truth. How many things are there besides, which I would not willingly see; how many which I must see against my will; and how few which I feel any anxiety to see! There is, as the apestle has remarked, a way to strength through weakness. Let me then be the most feeble creature alive, as long as that feebleness serves to invigorate the energies of my rational and immortal spirit; as long as in that obscurity, in which I am enveloped, the light of the divine presence more clearly shines: then, in proportion as I am weak, I shall be invincibly strong; and in proportion as I am blind, I shall more clearly see. O! that I may thus be perfected by feebleness, and irradiated by obscurity! And indeed," (let these few sentences sink deep in our minds, and then we shall form a proper estimate of his posthumous detractors,)“ in my blindness, I enjoy in no inconsiderable degree the favour of the Deity; who regards me with more tenderness and compassion in proportion as I am able to behold nothing but himself. Alas! for him who insults me, who maligns and merits public execration! For the divine law not only shields me from injury; but almost renders me too sacred to attack; not indeed so much from the privation of my sight, as from the overshadowing of those bearenly wings, which seem to have occasioned this obscurity; and which, when occasioned, he is wont to illuminate with an interior light, more precious and more pure. To this I ascribe the more tender assiduities of my friends, their soothing attentions, their kind visits, their reverential observances; among whom there are some with whom I may interchange the Pyladean and Thesean dialogue of inseparable friends. This extraordinary kindness which I experience, cannot be any fortuitous combination; and friends, such as mine, do not suppose that all the virtues of a man are contained in his eyes. Nor do the persons of principal distinction in the commonwealth, suffer me to be bereaved of comfort, when they see me bereaved of sight, amid the exertions which I made, the zeal which I shewed, and the dangers which I ran for the liberty which I love. But, soberly reflecting on the casualties of human life, they shew me favour and indulgence as to a soldier who has served his time; and kindly concede to me an exemption from care and toil. They do not strip me of the badges of honour which I have once worn; they do not deprive me of the places of public trust to which I have been appointed; they do not abridge my salary or emoluments; which, though I may not do so much to deserve as I did formerly, they are too considerate and too kind to take away; and in short they honour me as much, as the Athenians did those, whom they determined to support at the public expense in the Prytaneum. Thus, while both God and man unite in solacing me under the weight of my affliction, let no one lament my loss of sight in so honourable a cause. And let me not indulge in unavailing grief; or want the courage either to despise the revilers of my blindness, or the forbearance easily to pardon the offence." What say the revilers, not of his blindness, but of his memory, to this magnanimous effusion?
Time was yet his tabernacle-he yet a sojourner-and though he neither shunned nor courted publicity, he continued diligently to discharge all the common duties of life. Well might Wordsworth sing:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea,
Yet a while longer his harp was left in the hands of the guardian Muse. The strings were now occasionally, and never more harmoniously, touched by him. These sonnets show that his right hand had lost none of its cunning, and may be introduced here.
ON HIS BLINDNESS
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
My true account, lest he, returning, chide;
Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
The first reply to the Defensio Populi appeared in 1651, and was ascribed to Bishop
Bramhall, and by some to Jane, an obscure lawyer of Gray's Inn. Mr. Todd has made the important discovery that its real author was one John Rowland. The anonymous pamphlet was entitled, "Apologia pro Rege et Populo Anglicano, contra Johannis Polypragmatici (alias Miltoni Anglo) Defensionem destructivam regis et populi." Philips, Milton's nephew, answered this barbarous production, in a piece which appeared in 1652, under the title of "Johannis Philippi Angli Responsio ad Apologiam anonymi cujusdam Tenebrionis pro Rege et Populo Anglicano infantissimam :" An Answer to a most puerile Apology for the King and People of England, by some anonymous Lurker, by John Philips, an Englishman. Milton was reserving himself for the rumoured retort of Salmasius. His nephew, when he undertook this reply to a work so far beneath his own notice, had not attained his majority; and as, from internal evidence, there can be little doubt that it was written under his superintendence, it has been always classed among his Prose Works. Its style, energy, latinity, withering sarcasm, are worthy of its real parentIt bears the name, but the Philippic was beyond the unassisted powers of the minor. With little that is new in argument, (for what could Rowland do after Salmasius?) we have the same arguments often newly, powerfully, and even splendidly stated. In personal abuse it surpasses all his other pieces-and directed as it is entirely against an imaginary foe, it is far more ingenious than excusable. The work replied to is excessively offensive
in this particular. The Preface to the Responsio states the motives which might have induced Milton to shun, and Philips to undertake, an answer to so contemptible an adver
Such being the character of the man, (the anonymous Lurker,) he was by Milton him self deservedly neglected and despised: since it was thought by all, unbecoming the dignity and choice eloquence of that polished and learned author, to stoop to clear away the ordure, (aderuenda sterquilinia,) to refute the furious gabbling of a miscreant of such uncurbed insolence, and egregious folly (rabidamque loquacitatem tam effrænis atque stulti blateronis refutandam). Lest, however, this empty blusterer should vaunt himself among his own runaways, and imagine that he has written something great, or even that is worth a scanty dinner; led also by devotion to my country, and by the love of liberty so lately revived amongst us; bound likewise by many obligations to the man whom he persecutes, and who will ever be held in reverence by me-. -I could not refrain, though unsolicited, from undertaking to repress the petulance of this senseless fellow. And as the Roman recruits of old were accustomed first to exercise themselves with swords and spears against a wooden man, so I, laying aside the rudiments of a wit as yet scarcely bearded, have the confidence that it may be no difficult matter to sharpen my style against this block: for with an adversary so insipid and ordinary, any one, at the least with a small portion of ability, and a scantling only of erudition, may safely engage without premeditation." Burnett's Translation.)
After this, what becomes of a late remark, " that the nameless opponent was exhibited as a man of the most distinguished talents." How dull soever, or how beaten soever, may be both the adversary or the tract of argument, the wit vouchsafed by Milton to his nephew in this pamphlet, is never weary, and the stores of his learning appear inexhaustible. The triumph is never more decisive than when battle is given on the field of former victory. Milton took no notice of Sir Robert Filmer's "Animadversions" on the First Defence; and Hobbes's "Leviathan," the hugest metaphysical monster ever chased through the waters of controversy, he left to perish unscathed in the maelstroom of public abhorrence. These, and scores of other works, were doomed to be dealt with by other hands. But in the same year, 1652, in which they were published, an Answer to the Defence appeared, which, as it abounded in the most atrocious calumnies, and the most unfeeling insolence, the 'Howay Neos, was compelled to reassert his country's honour, and to maintain his own. The ignoble libeller, a real compound of the monkey and tiger, was a Frenchman of the name of Du Moulin. His ribald work was written in Latin, printed at the Hague, and entitled, “Regii Sanguinis Clamor ad Cœlum adversus Parricidas Anglicanos:" The Cry of the Royal Blood to Heaven against the English Parricides. This piece of service was ultimately rewarded with a prebendal stall at Canterbury. Such was the scandalous and scurrilous tendency of this work, that its author was afraid to publish it in this country. For this purpose, therefore, he sent it to Salmasius, and this omnivorous pedagogue having gorged its nauseous flattery of himself, (the author even wrote him a grand thanksgiving ode, entitled, “ Magno Salmasio pro Defensione Regia Ode Eucharistica,") placed the MS. in the hands of his protege, one Morus or More, a migratory Scotchman, then settled in France, and a celebrated protestant preacher of the day, to conduct through the press. More entered heartily into the honourable task, wrote the dedication to the exiled Charles, under the name of Adrian Ulac, (Latinè, Vlaccus,) the printer, and became so mixed up with the work, as to be generally considered as its author. He was the victim of the conspiracy against our countrymen-and for a very brief reputation, (of which he certainly made the most while it lasted,) his life was embittered, and his memory covered with infamy. A considerable period elapsed between the aggression and the castigation. The friends of Salmasius reported that he was busy at the anvil of fabrication, and Milton was determined
to reserve himself for the more potent adversary. The death of the greater champion, however, making the work which More had published of somewhat more importance, Milton was compelled to engage with the inferior author, and in 1654 he produced, in reply, his famous Second Defence-" Defensio Secunda pro Populo Anglicano, contra infamem Libellum anonymum, cui litulus, Regii Clamor, &c." The Second Defence of the People of England against the anonymous Libel, entitled, &c. The translation by Robert Fellowes, A. M. Oxon, is a successful performance-though it is not sufficiently close and idiomatic to entitle it to the character of a perfect one. The phraseology is perhaps just as over sonorous, as Walsingham's in the First Defence is flippant and skippish. We certainly want a new version of both. To exaggerate the merits of the original would be impossible. Considering the contemptible character of the opponent's work, the exhaustion of the general subject, and the melancholy catastrophe which had befallen our author, we might almost have augured its inferiority to the reply to Salmasius. It is more sober, but not one jot less powerful, than the First Defence. It is certainly much more entertaining. Its prodigious vehemence is tempered with consummate elegance; and abounding equally in wise and noble sentiments, simply and energetically expressed, it not unfrequently reminds the reader of the Philippics of the mighty Athenian. Being, with all its successors, the production of a blind man, it may be judged of by the rules of the oratorical art, of which its author was so passionately fond, and his successful cultivation of which, in all its branches, is demonstrated by this, as well as by each of his other works. It was in personal defence against unmerited calumnies, more than in mere political altercation, that the orators of antiquity most successfully distinguished themselves. Milton had now not merely his beloved country for a client, with all the warriors and statesmen who had redeemed her from bondage, but he himself was charged with immoralities and heinous crimes, before the tribunal of the civilized world. The cause of liberty, and the character of her chosen advocate, rise triumphantly from the encounter, and vengeance recoils upon the enemies of the one, and the adversary of the other, with all the majesty which insulted justice could inflict in all the weight of overwhelming eloquence. There is a terrible moral in all this exposure of sacerdotal depravity in More: and, doubtless, many a heart has beaten, and many a face has blushed, under the influence of various emotions, while that indignant page has been read, in which Milton has tracked this clerical debauchee through the paths and into the haunts of depravity; and then thrown the glare of retributive daylight into their recesses. The justifiable personalities of this, and of the next works, have all the coherence of personification about them. More becomes a formal dramatic character-the type and representative of a species always numerous in religiopolitical establishments. The Morus of 1654 is the exact portraiture of one half of those who have been, and in this nineteenth century are, candidates for office in a church which shall be nameless,—a corporeal spirituality under which the land and religion yet groan; -and the mitred successors of the lowly apostles who are so busily occupied within its hallowed enclosure, not being invested with the power of discerning spirits, can never prevent such men from obtaining their holy orders for admission into that spiritual and temporal vineyard. While the eye of the bishop cannot detect hypocrisy, the palm of his hand possesses the touch of indelibility, and the wand of discipline is broken against the silver crozier.
The character of our defender was unassailable and unsullied. His heart was as pure as his intellect, and harmoniously did all their powers and passions unite to make up the perfect homogeneousness of this exalted specimen of humanity. All his works illustrate this wonderful permeability, so to speak, of his whole nature-this fine but thorough articulation of his ental and moral energies-this sublime and perpetual reciprocity and sympathy between all the stores and functions of his soul. The kingdom of his spirit was not divided