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And after this re-union, so far was he from retaining an unkind memory of the provocations which he had receiv'd from her ill conduct, that when the King's cause was entirely oppress'd, and her Father who had been a&ive in his loyalty was expos’d to sequestration, MILTON receiv'd both him and his family to protection, and free entertainment, in his own house, till their affairs were accommodated by his interest in the victorious faction.
For he was now grown famous by his polemical writings of various kinds, An. Ætat. 41. and held in great favor , and esteem, by thofe who had power to dispose of all preferments in the State. 'Tis in vain to difsemble, and far be it from me to defend, his engaging with a party combin'd in the destruction of our Church and Mónarchy. Yet, leaving the justification of a mis-guided fincerity to be debated in the schools, may I presume to observe in his favor, that his zeal, dittemper'd & furious as it was, does not appear to have been inspirited by self-interested views: For it is affirm'd, that though he liv'd always in a frugal retirement, and before his death had dispos'd of his Library ( which we may suppose to have been a valuable collection ) he left no more than fifteen handred pounds behind him for the support of his family:&whoever considers the Posts to which he was advanc'd , & the times in which he enjoy'd them, will I believe confess that he might have accumulated a much more plentiful fortune: in a dispassionate mind it will not require any extraordinary measure of candor to conclude, that though he abode in the heritage of oppreffors, and the spoils of his country lay at his feet, neither his conscience, nor his honor, cou'd ftoop to gather them.
A Commission to constitute him An. Ætat.42 Adjutant-General to Sir William Waller was promis'd, but foon fuperseded by Waller's being
laid a - fide , when his Masters thought it proper to new-model their Army. However, the keeness of his pen had so effectually recommended him to Cromwell's efteem, that when he took the reins of government into his own hand, he advanc'd him to be Latin Secretary, both to himself and the Parliament: the former of these preferments he enjoy'd both under the Ufurper , and his Son; the other, 'till King Charles II. was restor’d. For some time he had an apartment for his family in Whitehall; but his health requiring a freer accession of air , he was oblig'd to remove from thence to lodgings which open'd into St. James's Park. Not long after his settlement there, his Wife dy'd in child-bed: and much about the time of her death, a Gutta serena, which had for several years been gradually increasing, totally extinguish'd his fight. In this melancholic condition he was eafily prevail'd with to think of taking another wife; who was Catharine the Daughter of Captain Woodcock of Hackney: and the too, in less than a year after their marriage , dy'd in the same unfortunate manner as the former had done. In his twenty third Sonnet he does honor to her memory.
These private calamities were much An. Ætat. 52. heighten'd, by the different figure he
was likely to make in the new scene of affairs, which was going to be acted in the State, For all things now conspiring to promote the King's restoration, he was too conscious of his own activity during the Usurpation, to expect any favor from the Crown: & therefore he prudently absconded 'till the Act of oblivion was publishd; by which he was only render'd incapable of bearing any office in the Nation. Many had a very just esteem of his admirable parts and learning, who detested his principles; by whose intercession his Pardon pafs’d the Seals: and I wish the laws of civil History cou'd have extended the benefit of that oblivion to the memory of his guilt,