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ken, is the larg
These attacks were not calculated to occadamission much disturbance to the republican author: but he could not feel equally easy on the near approach of that thunder-cloud, which was just ready to burst upon him and his party. His spirit, however, did not desert him; and, while there remained a possibility of upholding his falling cause, he was resolute and active in its support. Bold in the anticipation of their triumph, the Royalists had already seized upon the press and the pulpit for the diffusion of their tenets and their resentments; and Dr. Matthew Griffith, one of the late king's chaplains, desirous of making a professional display of his loyalty, at a crisis when it might be especially beneficial to him, published a sermon, which he had preached at Mercer's Hall, on (Proverbs xxiv. 21.) My Son, fear the Lord and the King, and meddle not with them that are given to change." On this provocation Milton instantly kindled ; and, in a short but forcible commentary on the Doctor's sermon, renewed his strong
s much Istan
I were sure I sh
es and stone
twith the ." to tell the
hat I lave
ce! nor thr
s of our
on's was mad a serious
mphlet af republicanci
the Rota 1. "The free Comm
* Milton's severity on this intrusion of the pulpit into the province of politics, reminds us of the asperity with which Mr. Burke reprehended a similar invasion by a modern divine. Dr. Price differed as essentially, in his political principles, from the chaplain of Charles, as Milton did from the Marquis of Rockingham's secretary: yet the two doctors experienced the same treatment, and the two statesmen concurred in the same sentiments of reprobation. The politics of the pulpit may, at
could not be pardoned without powerful intercession. We may conclude that his friend, Andrew Marvell, the member for Hull, made what interest for him he could in the House; and we are told that Sir Thomas Clarges united his exertions with those of Secretary Morrice for the preservation of this valuable life. But Milton seems to have been saved principally by the earnest and grateful interposition of Sir William D'Avenant. When D'Avenant, who had been captured by the fleet of the Commonwealth on his passage from France to America, had been ordered by the Parliament, in 1651, to his trial before the High Court of Justice, the mediation of Milton had essentially contributed to snatch him from his danger; and, urged by that generous benevolence which shone conspicuously in his character, he was now eager to requite, with a gift of equal value, the life which he had received. For the existence of D'Avenant's obligation to Milton we have the testimony of Wood, and for the subse quent part of a story, so interesting in itself and so honourable to human nature, the evidence is distinctly and directly to be traced from Richardson to Pope; and from Pope to Betterton, the immediate client and intimate of D'Avenant.
i Athenæ Oxon. vol. ii. 412.
On the passing the full grace of w
cluded, Milton lef
had continued for 1
which he had heard
the Commons, the tion, and his two "Iconoclastes" an
People of England
by the hands of th species of insult, affected on the pre formerly been by
same publications and he probably,
the purpose of incr
of course, his dang fortune, the malig the abuse and c Tented against hi But those scenes
LIFE OF MILTON.
On the passing of the Act of Oblivion,* in grace of which he found himself included,' Milton left the retirement, where he had continued for nearly four months; and in which he had heard himself made, by a vote of the Commons, the object of a public prosecufor the presention, and his two great political works, the
: Milton seens
"Iconoclastes" and the "Defence of the People of England," condemned to be burnt by the hands of the hangman. By this last species of insult, he was probably no more affected on the present occasion than he had formerly been by its infliction on one of the same publications at Thoulouse and at Paris: and he probably, also, only smiled, when, for the purpose of increasing his unpopularity and, of course, his danger at this delicate crisis of his fortune, the malignity of his enemies published the abuse and calumnies, which had been vented against him by the dying Salmasius. But those scenes of sanguinary execution,"
mell, the memi rest for him ber
are told that S
by the ears of Sir William D , who bad be
to America, t, in 1651.
Justice, ther ally contrib
ger; e which shore
; he was none jual value,
For the ex • Milton wel id for the s teresting i nature, the
thly to be ta and from F client and g
* On the 29th of august.
John Goodwin, a divine and a writer of no celebrity, who had justified, without ability or effect, the murder of the king, was not beneath the condescension of this act of the legislature. He was incapacitated by it from holding any public office: and be is said to have owed his life only to the circumstance of his Arminian principles, which had conciliated the favour of some of the leading clergy of the church of England. His obnoxious work, which was called "The Obstructors of Justice," had the honour of burning with Milton's superior publications.
" I must here, with some shame and much regret, remark
victims, which the perfidiousness of party, in expiation of its own offences, was so base ás to offer to him; and he glutted the nation, as far as he durst, with an effusion of blood, not more guilty than that of thousands, perhaps, who were present to behold it; for they who, from their office, were more personally engaged in the trial and the execution of the king, were unquestionably not more criminal than were all those who had voted for these violences in Parliament; or, in the army, had first planned, and then imperiously carried them into effect. More, however, than they who were regarded as the actual regicides were exempted from the benefit of the amnesty. Neither Vane, nor Peters, nor Lambert was immediately implicated in the murder of the king; yet the two former of these were slaughtered (and Vane in violation of the royal promise to the Parliament for his pardon) while the last, the most guilty of the three, was indeed permitted to live, but to live only in a state of miserable exile.
But not limited to the sufferings of the living, the vengeance of Charles extended itself to mean and atrocious outrages on the dead. It broke the hallowed repose of the tomb, and exhibited that last infirmity of our mortal nature, the corruption through which it is doomed to pass into its kindred
earth, to the deris
dies of the illust
It is well known th
the place in which
bas been advanced, on aut that his corpse was rem
his death, and buried i goes further and affirms t would probably, in a chan er's body, his friends su Charles; and that it was pored on the gallows at will present them with erved in Lord Sommers's that, as eleven years ha Charles, it is difficult to
tenance, or of seam ab
"A counter-interment of and ready to be de Barkstead, who
within Temple-Bar, that was executed as being, at the time of age of fifteen years. "That the said regi Tower of London, and among other such confi ness, desire to know w answered, where he had
LIFE OF MILTON.
earth, to the derision and the disgust of impotent malignity. When we behold the bodies of the illustrious usurper and of the
in It is well known that many doubts have existed respecting the place in which Oliver Cromwell was interred: and it has been advanced, on authority which cannot easily be rejected, that his corpse was removed, on the day succeeding to that of his death, and buried in the field of Naseby. The account goes further and affirms that, suspicious of the indignities which would probably, in a change of things, be offered to the Usurper's body, his friends substituted for it in the coffin that of Charles; and that it was this corpse which was afterwards exposed on the gallows at Tyburn. To entertain my readers I will present them with a curious paper on this subject, preserved in Lord Sommers's collection. I must premise, however, that, as eleven years had nearly elapsed since the death of Charles, it is difficult to conceive how any distinction of countenance, or of seam about the neck could, at this period, be traced unless, indeed, the process of dissolution had been suspended by the arts of embalming, the corpse, with exception. to the bones, must now have been resolved into its original ele
"A counter-interment of the aforesaid arch-traytor,* as averred, and ready to be deposed (if occasion required) by Mr. Barkstead, who daily frequents Richard's coffee-house, within Temple-Bar, being son to Barkstead, the regicide, that was executed as such, soon after the restoration, the son being, at the time of the said arch-traytor's death, about the age of fifteen years.
"That the said regicide Barkstead, being lieutenant of the Tower of London, and a great confident of the usurper, did among other such confidents, in the time of the usurper's sickness, desire to know where he would be buried: to which he answered, where he had obtained the greatest victory and glory,