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some rhyming lines were written apparently by a female hand, with these words at the conclufion, dictated by J. M. Mr. Todd withholds his decifion as to their authenticity, chiefly on account of the rhyme; but Doctor Symmons, a lefs cautious critic, has no doubt of their being the production of Milton. The subject is “ Daybreak," and a short extract will be fufficient to enable the admirers of Milton to form their opinion.
"Whose pale-faced Regent, Cynthia, paler grows,
The gladfome tidings of day's gentle beams,
And, long kept filence, breaking, rudely wakes
The feather'd train, which foon their concert makes," &c.&
Three years after Paradise Loft was given to the world, Milton published the Hiftory of England, comprising the fable of Geoffrey of Monmouth, continued only as far as the Norman invafion. The first copies were mutilated by the licenfer, who expunged all the paffages that reflected on the conduct of the long parliament, and of
84 See Todd's Life, first ed. p. 91, for fome lines called, Lavinia walking in a frosty morning, p. 104; for a fonnet written at Chalfont, which the critics are willing to attribute to Milton. The epigram in Fenton's collection must have come from a very different inkstand. (Extempore on a Faggot, p. 286.)
85 Milton, in his Hiftory of England, feems to have used Spenfer's Chronicle of the British Kings, as a kind of clue to direct him through fo dark and perplexed a fubject. He plainly copies Spenfer's order and difpofition, whom he quotes; and almoft tranfcribes from him the ftory of Lear, of much however as the difference between profe and verse will admit. Milton's history is an admirable comment on this part of Spenfer, which is taken from the first part of Hardyng's Chronicle. v. Warton on Spenfer, ii. p. 242, and fee Retrospective Review, vol. ix. p. 1-19.
the new church government. Toland has egregiously misrepresented the facts connected with this fuppreffion. He called it an exposure of the superstition, pride, and cunning of the Popish monks in the Saxon times, and stated that it was fuppreffed by the licensers, because they thought what was said of the monks was meant to apply to Charles the Second's bishops, though it related folely to the Long Parliament and republican affembly of divines in 1641; but, as the Bishop of Salisbury observes, Toland "very ill digested such an account of the liberty and religion of his favourite republic." Milton gave a copy of these remarks to the Earl of Anglefea, which were published in 1681, with a preface, and have fince been inserted in their proper place. The fix books which Milton executed appeared in 1670, of the passages then fuppreffed, but fince 1738 always accompanying the Hiftory, it appears that fome learned perfons have doubted the authenticity. This work has received, as is well known, the praise of Warburton, who faid "It is written with great fimplicity, contrary to his custom in his profe writings, and is the better for it. But he fometimes rises into a surprising grandeur in the fentiments and expreffions, as at the conclufion of the second book; I never faw any thing equal to this, but the conclufion of Sir Walter Raleigh's Hiftory of the World." The third
86 See "Proteftant Union," by T. Burgefs, Bishop of Salisbury, p. xlii. Richardson says, "the castrated part was a fort of digreffion, and was expunged to avoid giving offence to a party quite fubdued, and whose faults the government was then willing to have forgotten." See Life, p. xlvi. Mr. Hollis's biographer (Archd. Blackburne) is as unwilling as Toland to admit this paffage in its real sense; and most abfurdly turns it against the Popish clergy, v. Mem. p. 494.
87 See Todd's Life of Milton, p. 210; Dibdin's Library Companion, p. 201 (1824); Retrospective Review, vol. ix. p. 1-9; and Warton on Spenfer, ii. p. 242.
88 See Birch's Life, p. lxviii; and Newton's Life, p. lxxvi.
book opens with a comparison drawn between the unfettled ftate of the Britons, after the desertion of the Romans, and the condition of the country under Cromwell and the Presbyterian government. The parallel is forced into its place by the indignation of the writer; and feverely has he chaftifed the hypocrify, the selfishness, the rapacity, the ignorance of the leaders, and the injustice and weakness of the government. He follows up his first blow at the "ftatifts," by an equally powerful attack on the unprincipled greediness and bafenefs of the Prefbyterian clergy, "who execute their places like children of the devil, unfaithfully, unjustly, unmercifully, and where not corruptly, ftupidly." The whole paffage is written with eloquence,-facit indignatio verfum.89 In one part, he evidently alludes to himself," They who were ever faithfullest to this cause, and freely aided them in perfon, or with their fubftance, when they durft not compel either, flighted and bereaved after of their just debts, by greedy fequeftrations, were toffed up and down after miferable attendance from one committee to another, with petitions in their hands, yet either miffed the obtaining of their fuit, or though it were at length granted (mere shame and reason ofttimes extorting from them at least a show of justice), yet, by their fequeftrators and fubcommittees abroad, men for the most part of insatiable hands and noted difloyalty, thofe orders were commonly difobeyed," &c. This is part of the paffage that was suppressed by the licenser in 1670, and was first separately printed in 1681. On this fubject I am enabled to give the opinion of one to whom has been applied the happy
"New foes arise
Threatning to bind our fouls in fecular chains,
Help us to fave free confcience from the paw
Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw." Sonnet.
defignation by Sir D. Dalrymple of Lord Hardwickas "learned in British History."
"I thought, first, that the paffage was a digreffion out of both time and place; to use a vulgar phrase, brought in head and shoulders, and looking, therefore, much like an interpolation. Secondly, that the opinions expressed in it are greatly at variance with Milton's political creed and character. And, thirdly, that the reasons for its alleged fuppreffion are wholly inadequate and inconclufive. With respect to my first objection, I am aware it will be faid that Milton, in the introductory paragraph of his third book, as published by himself, had expressly referred to the late civil broils.' But it is not from thence to be inferred that he meant to follow it up with so ample, particular, and misplaced a defcription of his own times as is contained in the digreffion. Of my fecond ground of fufpicion, I must leave you to form your own opinion. But I cannot easily believe, that if Milton had really derived from experience fuch expreffions of the conduct and views of his late affociates, he would have condescended to incur the imputation of being a time-server by printing them, as the story says he meant to do. Such a course would have been quite foreign to the sturdy independence of his character. As to the last point, I think the reafon affigned for the fuppreffion of the paffage by the Licensers, namely, that it was done out of tenderness for the vanquished party, is a most lame and impotent one. The Licensers, indeed, might have expunged, as Toland fays they did, fome paffages expofing the superstition and luxury of monks, yet this feems doubtful, as so many were permitted to remain. But can it be believed that Charles the Second and his Licensers had the amiable weakness of harbouring tender mercies towards the beaten Republicans? On the contrary, would they not have triumphed in an opportunity of expofing the recantation
(for fo they would have called it) of so formidable and illuftrious an adverfary as Milton? After all, I muft in candour admit that the digreffion is not without internal marks of genuineness. It is fo Miltonic in ftyle and execution, that if Milton did not write it, it would be difficult to affign it to any other writer. If it be taken from him, as Johnson says of one of the disputed plays of Shakespeare, to whom shall it be given? But the Hiftory of Britain itself I cannot think worthy of Milton's great name. It is a laboured recapitulation of the long-exploded fables of Brute and his descendants, and is as difcreditable to his judgment, as the flur he cafts on Saxon History and Saxon Hiftorians. That History he treats
90 It is with pleasure that we favour the reader with some interesting remarks by the late Lord Grenville, on a doubtful point of English History connected with the present subject, and attached to a paffage of Milton:
"Milton fays, in anticipation of his intended poem-'Frangam Saxonicas Britonum fub marte phalangas.' The struggle of Cornish Britons for their national independence, tho' finally overpowered, was maintained till a very late period of the Saxon dominion in England, nor is it easy to ascertain the precise date of its termination. Gibbon indeed afferts (c. 38, note 135), 'that Cornwall was finally fubdued by Athelstane (A. D. 927-941), who planted an English colony at Exeter, and confined the Britons beyond the river Tamar.' But this statement is confuted by the authority which he cites, as well as by other historical evidence. Malmsbury, to whofe evidence Gibbon refers us, fays no more, than that this monarch vigorously attacked the Cornish men, drove them from Exeter, and fixed the boundaries of his own territories (provinciæ fuæ) on this fide of the Tamar.' Cornwall was therefore ftill excluded from them. Nor is it more true, that Athelstane planted an English colony at Exeter. The English were fettled there before his time, and held it, as Malmsbury exprefsly tells us, conjointly with the Britons (æquo jure). This common occupancy of the same district, by two hoftile and barbarous tribes, was naturally not very favourable to its cultivation. Those who know its present state, may be amused with this author's account of it. No uninstructive leffon, if it teaches the importance of domeftic concord to national improvement, and the in