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,,to learn; particularly embroideries in gold or ,,filver."

In the fcene of mifery which this mode of intellectual labour fets before our eyes, it is hard to determine whether the daughters or the father are moft to be lamented. A language not understood can never be fo read as to give pleasure, and very feldom fo as to convey meaning. If few menl would have had refolution to write books with fuch embaraffments, few likewife would have wanted ability to find fome better expedient.

Three years after his Paradife Loft (1667), he publifhed his Hiftory of England, comprifing the whole fable of Geoffry of Monmouth, and continued to the Norman Invasion. Why he should have given the first part, which he seems not to believe, and which is univerfally rejected, it is difficult to conjecture. The ftyle is harfh; but it has fometing of rough vigour, which perhaps may often frike, though it cannot please.


On this hiftory the licenfer again fixed his claws, and before he would tranfinit it to the prefs tore out feveral parts. Some cenfures of the Saxon monks were taken away, left they fhould be applied to the modern clergy; and a character of the Long Parliament, and Affembly of Divines, was excluded; of which the author gave a copy to the earl of Anglefea, and which, being afterwards publifhed, has been fince inferted in its proper place.


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The fame year were printed Paradife Regained, and Sampson Agonistes, a tragedy written in imita tion of the Ancients, and never defigned by the author for the stage. As thefe poems were pub lifhed by another bookfeller, it has been asked, whether Simmons was difcouraged from receiving them by the flow fale of the former. Why a writer changed his bookfeller a hundred years ago, I am far from hoping to difcover. Certainly, he who in two years fells thirteen hundred copies of a volume in quarto, bought for two payments of five pounds each, has no reason to repent his purchate.


When Milton fhewed Paradife Regained to Elwood, "This," faid he, "is owing to you; for you put it ,,in my head by the question you put to me Chalfont, which otherwife I had not thought of."




His laft poetical offspring was his favourite. to as Elwood relates, endure could not, Paradife Loft preferred to Paradife Regained. Many caufes may vitiate a writer's judgement of his own works. On that which has coft him much labour he fets a high value, because he is unwilling to think that he has been diligent in vain; what has been produced without tollfome efforts is confidered with delight, as a proof of vigorous faculties and fertile Invention; and the lait work, whatever it be, has neceffarily moft of the grace of novelty. Milton, however it happened, had this prejudice, and had it to himself.


To that multiplicity of attainments, and extent of comprehenfion, that entitle

our veneration, may be adde

great author to

kind of humble

dignity, which did not difdain the meaneft fervices to litterature. The epic poet, the controvertist, the politician, having already defcended to accommodate children with a book of rudiments, now, in the laft years of his life, compofed a book of Logick, for the initiation of ftudents in philofophy: and published (1672) Artis Logice plenior Inftitutio ad Petri Rami methodum concinnata; "A new Scheme ,,of Logick, according to the Method of Ramus." I know not whether, even in this book, he did not intend an act of hoftility against the Universities; for Ramus was one of the firft oppugners of the old philofophy, who disturbed with innovations the quiet of the fchools.

His polemical difpofition again revived. He had now been fafe fo' long, that he forgot his fears, and published a Treatise of true Religion, Heresy, Schifm, Toleration, and the best Means to prevent the Growth of Popery.

But this little tract is modeftly written, with refpectful mention of the Church of England, and an appeal to the thirty-nine articles. His principle

of toleration is, agreement in the 'fufficiency of the Scriptures; and he extends it to all who, whatever their opinions are, profefs to derive them from the facred books. The papifts appeal to other teftimonies, and are therefore in his opinion not to be

permitted the liberty of either publick or private worship; for though they plead confcience, we have no warrant, he fays, to regard confcience which is not grounded in Scripture.

Those who are not convinced by his reafons, may The term be perhaps delighted with his wit. Koman catholick is, he fays, one of the Pope's bulls; it is particular univerfal, or catbolick fchifmatick.

He has, however, fomething better. As the best prefervative against Popery, he recommends the diligent perufal of the Scriptures; a duty, from which he warns the busy part of mankind not to think themselves excused.

He now reprinted his juvenile poems, with fome additions.

In the last year of his life he fent to the press, feeming to take delight in publication, a collection of Familiar Epiftles in Latin; to which, being too few to make a volume, he added fome academical exercifes, which perhaps he perused with pleasure, as they recalled to his memory the days of youth; but for which nothing but veneration for his name could now procure a reader.


When he had attained his fixty-fixth year, the gout, with which he had been long tormented, prevailed over the enfeebled powers of nature. died by a quiet and filent expiration, about the tenth of November 1674, at his house in Bunhillfields; and was buried next his father in the chancel


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fplendidly and numeroufly attended.

Upon his grave there is fuppofed to have been no memorial; but in our time a monument has been erected in Weftminfter-Abbey To the Author of Paradife Loft, by Mr. Benfou, who has in the infcription bestowed more words upon himself than upon Milton.

When the infcription for the monument of Philips, in which he was faid to be foli Miltono fecundus, was exhibited to Dr. Sprat, then dean of West,

minfter, heed to admit it; the name of Milton was, in his opinion, too deteftable to be read on the walls of a building dedicated to devotion. Atterbury, who fucceeded him, being author of the infcription, permitted its reception. "And fuch ,,has been the change of publick opinion," faid Dr. Gregory, from whom I heard this account, "that I have feen erected in the church a ftatue ,,of that man, whose name once knew confidered pollution of its walls."


Milton has the reputation of having been in his youth eminently beautiful, fo as to have been called the Lady of his college. His hair, which was of a light brown, parted at the foretop, and hung down upon his fhoulders, according to the picture which he has given of Adam. He was, however, not of the heroick ftature, but rather below the middle fize, according to Mr. Richardfon, who mentions him as having narrowly escaped



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