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tody of the Serjeant, attending this House,
"A complaint made, that the Serjeant at arms had demanded excessive fees for the imprisonment of Mr. Milton.”
"Ordered, that it be referred to a committee for privileges, to examine this business, and to call Mr. Milton and the Serjeant before them, and to determine what is fit to be given to the Serjeant for his fees in this case."
On his return to society, Milton took a house in Holbourn near to Red Lion Square; which he occupied only for a short term, as we find him, in 1662, residing in Jewen Street. From this situation he removed to a small house in the Artillery Walk adjoining to Bunhill Fields, where he continued during the remaining part of his life. The circumstance of his lodging for some interme diate time, after he left Jewen Street, with Millington, the celebrated auctioneer, who was accustomed to lead his venerable inmate by the hand when he walked in the streets, is mentioned by Richardson on the testimony of a person, who was acquainted with Milton, and who had frequently met him abroad with his conductor and host. The fact, therefore, ought not to be rejected in conse
quence of its omission by the other biographers of our author.
In Jewen Street, on the recommendation of his friend Dr. Paget, a physician of eminence in London to whom the lady was distantly related, he married his third wife, Elizabeth Minshull, the daughter of a gentleman of Cheshire. The domestic situation of Milton was now such as almost to compel him to seek for the aid and the protection of a wife. At fifty-four years of age, he was, in a great degree, submitted by his blindness to the power of others; and by his studious habits, from the indulgence of which all his resources of pleasure were derived, he was peculiarly disqualified for the management of a family. He had not, indeed, been wholly without the counsels and assistance of a female friend; for he had been indulged, during this period, with the intimacy of Lady Ranelagh, the favourite and accomplished sister of the celebrated Robert Boyle. This estimable Lady, who had placed her son under Milton's care, seems to have been assiduous in discovering her sense of his high worth by rendering to him every service, which his circumstances could require or her's would enable her to offer. In one of the four letters to his pupil, which were pub
ed his th
by the shished with his familiar epistles, he speaks of her, at that time preparing to depart for Ireland, in terms of the most grateful affection: 1. a plat"The absence," he says, " of your most excel1. the lady lent mother must be equally lamented by us both; for to me she has supplied the place of every friend whom I could want." But his infirmities were of a nature not to admit of substantial relief from any but a domestic friend; and for alleviation from the kindnesses of filial piety they unhappily solicited in vain. From the conduct of his daughters, he experienced nothing but mortification and aggravated distress.
His nuncupative will, which has lately been discovered in the Prerogative registry, and was published by Mr. Warton," opens a glimpse into the interior of Milton's house, which shows him to have been amiable and injured in that private scene, in which alone he has generally been considered as liable to censure, or rather perhaps not intitled to our affection. In this will, and in the papers con
I accompl it Bork!
laced her have be se of hist
• Nunc discedens in Hyberniam mater tua præstantissima, cujus discessu uterque nostrum dolere haud mediocriter debemus, nam et mihi omnium necessitudinum loco fuit, has ad te literas ipsa perfert. Sept. 21, 1656.
P. W. vol. vi. 132. P This will, with the deposition of the witnesses, is published as an appendix to the preface of Mr. Warton's 2d Edit. of Milton's Juvenile Poems, and is well entitled to the reader's notice.
friend selected for
ained the assistant
able report made (
hints, on the sub
nected with it, we find the venerable father
gested by Richard
her husband. Sh
ble of combining with the maid-servant, and his worldly fortun
of advising her to cheat her master and their father in her markettings; and that one of them, Mary, on being told that her father was to be married, replied that "that was no news, but if she could hear of his death that were something."
¶ Circumstanced as he was at this juncture, and with reference to his daughters, Milton might, properly, be regarded, like
tr a poor old man,
More sinn'd against than sinning:"
and might, perhaps, feel
"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
A wife, therefor him from such un gerous hands; and
gard in his will; of their union is a bons to that instru deserted her it w
made to him, soo restitution of his to have pressed, blesome importu proffered benefit. the new govern Thom he saw po
friends, was abh and his feelings, lations of the la
right: you as o
• passing or
A wife, therefore, was necessary to rescue him from such undutiful and almost dangerous hands; and in the lady, whom his friend selected for him, he seems to have obtained the assistant whom his circumstances ak demanded. In opposition to the unfavourpable able report made of her by Philips, and the hints, on the subject of her temper, sugbgested by Richardson, she appears to have been uniformly attentive and affectionate to bar her husband. She is the sole object of his regard in his will; and the general harmony of their union is attested by all the depositions to that instrument. If her temper ever deserted her it was in consequence of her husband's inattention to the advancement of his worldly fortunes: and when an offer was made to him, soon after their marriage, of a restitution of his official situation, she is said to have pressed, with much earnest and troublesome importunity, his acceptance of the
wear of h proffered benefit. But to be in office under
the new government, and under Charles whom he saw polluted with the blood of his friends, was abhorrent from all his principles and his feelings, and he silenced the solicitations of the lady with, "You are in the right: you as other women would ride in
mas ; and the d that be
I that "the