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cium feret; jacta strenuè fundamenta fuisse, præclara initia, immò plusquam initia; sed qui opus exædificarent, qui fastigium imponerent, non sine commotione quâdam animi desiderabit; tantis incoeptis, tantis virtutibus non adfuisse perseverantiam dolebit; ingentem gloriæ segetem, et maximarum rerum gerendarum materiam præbitam videbit, sed materiæ defuisse viros: non defuisse qui monere recta, hortari, incitare, qui egregiè tum facta tum qui fecissent, condecorare, et victuris in omne ævum celebrare laudibus potuerit
"For myself, whatever may be the final result, such efforts as, in my own judgment, were the most likely to be beneficial to the commonwealth, I have made without reluctance, though not, as I trust, without effect: I have wielded my weapons for liberty not only in our domestic scene, but on a far more extensive theatre; that the justice and the principle of our extraordinary actions, explained and vindicated both at home and abroad, and rooted in the general approbation of the good, might be unquestionably established, as well for the honour of my compatriots as for precedents to posterity. That
y P. W. vol. v. 266.
fundamenta plusquam ittive 1. qui fastig
the conclusion prove not unworthy of such a commencement, be it my countrymen's to provide:-it has been mine to deliver a testimony, I had almost said to erect a monument which will not soon decay, to deeds of greatness and of glory almost transcending human panegyric; and, if I have accomplished nothing further, I have assuredly discharged the whole of my engagement. As the bard, que however, who is denominated Epic, if he
on defuisse qu
confine his work a little within certain canons of composition, proposes to himself, for a subject of poctical embellishment, not the whole life of his hero but some single action; such as the wrath of Achilles, the return of Ulysses, or the arrival in Italy of Æneas; and takes no notice of the rest of his conduct; so will it suffice, either to form my vindication or to satisfy my duty, that I have recorded, in heroic narrative, one only of my fellow-citizen's achievements. The rest I omit; for who can declare all the actions of an entire people? If, after such valiant exploits, you fall into gross delinquency; and perpetrate any thing unworthy of yourselves, posterity will not fail to discuss and to pronounce sentence on the disgraceful deed. The foundation, they will allow, indeed, to have been firmly laid, and the first (nay more than the
er may be the
y own judgme beneficial tod ade without Trust, without pons for liter
ne, but on at
the justice dinary act h at home neral app
nquestion ur of myc terity. T
steady republicans, whom Cromwell, unable to conciliate, was under the necessity of securing. After a previous imprisonment in the tower, Overton was confined during the Protector's life in the island of Jersey; and obtained his liberty from the Parliament, a short time only before the restoration. Whether any further notice was taken Cromwell of Milton's present we are not informed: but we may be assured that he was not on the list of the Protector's peculiar friends, and that the Secretary would easily be reconciled to the consequences of exclusion from his employer's favour by the consciousness of commanding his respect.
With the "Second Defence of the People of England" and the two subsequent replies to Morus Milton closed his great controversial labours; and endeavoured among his studies to retire from the mortification and disappointment, which he necessarily must have felt in consequence of the fuller exhibition of his hero's perfidy and despotism. He continued, indeed, to serve his country, in the character of her latin secretary, on the same principle, as we may fairly conclude, which induced Blake to extend her dominion upon the ocean, and Sir Matthew Hale to be the interpreter of her laws at
head of the Common Pleas; but his
part was s terwards re that edition was publis of peculia
icenser, al of a great duct of the
bly of Div
disapprobation of the present state of things is evident from more than one of his familiar letters; and he seems to have acquiesced under the existing evil only as it was irremediable, or as it was temporary, or as it appeared to be inferior in degree to that of the return of the royalists into `power with their exiled and exasperated monarch.
; He was now engaged in the prosecution of three great works, a history of England, a thesaurus of the latin language on the plan of that by Stephens, and an epic poem. Of the first of these literary labours we have already said so much, that little is now left to be remarked,-unless it be that, previous to its publication in 1670, it was mutilated by the barbarian caprice of the licenser, and deprived of one of its most spirited and brilliant passages. In 1681, this reprobated part was separately printed, and it was afterwards re-admitted to its proper place in that edition of the author's prose-works, which was published in 1738. As it obtains a kind of peculiar interest from its rejection by the licenser, and as it offers to us the observations of a great contemporary mind on the conduct of the Long Parliament and the Assembly of Divines, a portion of it shall be laid
orders were commonly disobeyed: which for certain durst not have been, without secret compliance, if not compact with some superiors able to bear them out. Thus were their friends confiscate in their enemies, while they forfeited their debtors to the state, as they called it, but indeed to the ravening seizure of innumerable thieves in office: yet were withal no less burdened in all extraordinary assessments and oppressions, than those whom they took to be disaffected: nor were we happier creditors to what we called the state, than to them who were sequestered as the state's enemies.
For that faith which ought to have been kept as sacred and inviolable as any thing holy, 'the Public Faith,' after infinite sums received, and all the wealth of the church not better employed, but swallowed up a private Gulf, was not ere long ashamed to confess bankrupt. And now besides the sweetness of bribery, and other gain, with the love of rule, their own guiltiness, and the dreaded name of Just Account, which the people had long called for, discovered plainly that there were of their own number, who secretly contrived and fomented those troubles and combustions in the land, which openly they sat to remedy; and would con
of zeal, the and prelates fall employ able soever,
ere any pa bey came
alary) want and scandal and especial to seize into to accept
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