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perfected in the art of reading to him in all languages without understanding what they read, had more than their share in such daily drudgery with him over his books. His poetical vein, Phillips tells us, flowed most happily “from the autumnal equinox to the vernal," i.e. from the end of September to the end of March,—so that, with all his exertions through the other half of the year, he was never so well satisfied with the results. His poor health, and frequent headaches and other pains, were another interference with his work, but less than might have been supposed. Gout was his most confirmed ailment, and it had begun to stiffen his hands.
As Dryden was appointed to the Laureateship in 1670, in succession to Davenant, who had died in 1668, it was an odd fact, at which Dryden would have been the first to smile, that he could count Milton for a time among his literary subjects. The last four or five years of Milton's life were the first four or five of Dryden's Laureateship, and they include the following interesting series of publications by Milton-Accedence Commenc'd Grammar, a small Compendium of Latin Grammar in English, 1669; History of Britain to the Conquest, with his portrait by Faithorne prefixed, 1670; Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes together, 1671; Latin treatise on Logic, according to the system of Ramus, entitled "Artis Logica Plenior Institutio, ad Petri Rami Methodum Concinnata," 1672 (probably an old performance lying among his MSS.); an English tract "Of true Religion, Heresy, Schism, Toleration, and what best means may be used against the growth of Popery," 1673 (a very mild tract put forth in the midst of a "No Popery " excitement, when Milton thought he might again be heard on a political topic); the Second Edition of his Minor Poems, 1673; the Second Edition of Paradise Lost, 1674; a translation of Letters Patent for the Election of John III. [Sobieski], King of Poland, 1674; his Epistolæ Familiares, with his juvenile Prolusiones Oratoriæ at Cambridge added, 1674. There is evidence in the number of these publications, and in the nature of some of them, that Milton's name prefixed to a book was again in some request.
To complete our formal chronology of the Poems, we have now only to extricate from among the productions
of the ten years in Artillery Walk the following separ
PARADISE LOST, 1667. Re-edited 1674.
Two Scraps of translated Verse from Geoffrey of Monmouth in History of Britain (annexed now to the Minor English Poems). PARADISE REGAINED. 1671.
SAMSON AGONISTES. 1671.
During the last four or five years of Milton's life his three daughters had ceased to reside with him. In or about 1669, the eldest being then twenty-three years of age and the youngest seventeen, they had all, by what seems to have been a really judicious arrangement of their stepmother, been sent out, at their father's expense, "to learn some curious and ingenious sorts of manufacture that are proper for women to learn, particularly embroideries in gold and silver." From that time, therefore, Milton and his wife Elizabeth had been by themselves in the house near Bunhill Fields, with one maid-servant. It was probably the calmest time in Milton's life for many a day. Our best glimpse of him in those closing years is from the Notes of the painter Jonathan Richardson, published in 1734. "I have heard many years since," says Richardson, "that he used to sit in a grey coarse cloth coat at the door of his house near Bunhill Fields, without Moorgate, in warm sunny weather, to enjoy the fresh air, and so, as well as in his room, received the visits of people of distinguished parts as well as quality; and very lately I had the good fortune to have another picture of him from an aged clergyman of Dorsetshire, Dr. Wright. He found him in a small house, he thinks but one room on a floor. In that up one pair of stairs, which was hung with a rusty green, he found John Milton sitting in an elbow chair, black clothes, and neat enough; pale but not cadaverous; his hands and fingers gouty, and with chalk-stones. Among other discourse he expressed himself to this purpose,-that, was he free from the pain this gave him, his blindness would be tolerable." A day soon came when the slight figure in coarse grey was no more to be seen by the inhabitants of the obscure neighbourhood. He died peacefully, of what was called "gout struck in," on Sunday, Nov. 8, 1674, aged sixty-five years and eleven months; and he was buried, Nov. 12, beside his father, in the church
of St. Giles, Cripplegate, attended to the grave by "all his learned and great friends in London, not without a friendly concourse of the vulgar." Andrew Marvell, who may have been among the mourners, promised Aubrey to write some account of Milton to be sent to Anthony Wood for his Fasti Oxonienses; but, Marvell having died in 1678, without having fulfilled the promise, Aubrey himself collected what information he could from Milton's widow, his brother, the elder Phillips, and others.
Milton, before his death, estimated his estate at about £1000 in money, besides household goods. Actually about £900 in money (worth about £2700 now) was the sum at once realised. It was the subject of litigation between the widow and the three daughters. A few months before his death, Milton, in a conversation with his brother Christopher, then a bencher of the Inner Temple, had signified his intention as to the disposition of his property thus : "The portion due to me from Mr. Powell, my former [first] wife's father, I leave to the unkind children I had by her, having received no part of it; but my meaning is that they shall have no other benefit of my estate than the said portion and what I have besides done for them, they having been very undutiful to me. All the rest of my estate I leave to the disposal of Elizabeth, my loving wife." For the right understanding of this, it is to be explained that there was due to Milton's estate a promised marriage-portion of £1000 with his first wife, and arrears of interest on the same since 1643, and that, though there had been little prospect of a recovery of the money at Mr. Powell's death in 1647, the Powell family were now in circumstances to bear the debt, and were under obligation to do so by Mr. Powell's will. Milton's meaning, therefore, was that his daughters should have a claim on their relatives, the Powells, for the £1000 and arrears of their grandfather's money, while his widow should have the whole of his own actual estate. The daughters, however, probably with the Powells urging them,-for their grandmother, Mrs. Powell, was still alive,-disputed the "nuncupative" or word-of-mouth will of their father, alleging that they had been and were "great frequenters of the church
and good livers," and insinuating that their uncle Christopher had an interest in upholding the will, inasmuch as there was a private understanding that the widow should hand over to his children, according to a desire which the deceased had expressed, any overplus that the estate might yield above £1000. The result was that, though there was perfect evidence of the facts, it was decided (Feb. 1674-5), on technical grounds, that the widow should have two-thirds and the daughters one-third among them. The widow acquiesced, and punctually paid to the three daughters about £100 each, having about £600 left for herself. She was then thirtysix years of age, and the money would yield her a meagre annuity.
The widow, after remaining in London till about 1681, retired to Nantwich in her native Cheshire, where she lived to as late as 1727, a pious member of a Baptist congregation, having survived her husband nearly fifty-three years. inventory of her effects at her death has been recovered, and shows that she retained to the last some trinkets that had belonged to Milton, copies of his Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, and two juvenile portraits of him. -Milton's eldest daughter, Anne, "lame, and with a defect in her speech, but with a very handsome face," married “a masterbuilder," and died in her first childbirth, the child dying also. Mary, the second daughter, never married, and was dead before 1694. Deborah, the youngest and the best, and "very like her father," had gone to Dublin, as companion to a lady, before her father's death, and married there an Abraham Clarke, described as a weaver or silk-mercer. They came to London some time between 1684 and 1688, and settled in the weaving business in Spitalfields. She lived till 1727, and was visited in her later years by Addison and others, who were much pleased with her, and whom she surprised by repeating stray lines she remembered from Homer, Euripides, and Ovid. The Princess Caroline of Wales sent her fifty guineas, and a fund was raised for her benefit. Of ten children of hers only two survived to have issue. A son, Caleb Clarke, had gone to Madras before 1703, and had died as "parish-clerk of Fort George" in 1719, leaving progeny who are supposed to have all died in India. The last trace of them is the registration at Madras, April 2, 1727, of the birth of a daughter of Abraham
Clarke, the son of Caleb (i.e. a great-great-granddaughter of Milton, actually born while Milton's widow was still alive at Nantwich); but there is just a possibility that there was other and farther descent from Milton in these Indian Clarkes. Otherwise, the direct descent from Milton ended in his granddaughter Elizabeth Clarke, the youngest daughter of Deborah. She married a Thomas Foster, a Spitalfields weaver ; she afterwards kept "a small chandler's shop" in Holloway; she removed thence to Shoreditch, where she and her husband had some little dispute in 1750 as to the investment of about £130, the proceeds of a performance of Comus which Dr. Johnson and others had got up for her benefit; and she died in Islington in 1754. She struck those who visited her as "a good, plain, sensible woman," in very infirm health. Seven children of hers had all died in infancy.- - Christopher Milton, the poet's lawyer-brother, but who had always been opposite to him in politics, was not only a bencher of the Inner Temple at the time of his brother's death, but also Deputy-Recorder of Ipswich. In the reign of James II., having pushed his compliance so far as to turn Roman Catholic, he became Sir Christopher Milton, Knt., and a judge. At the Revolution he retired into private life at or near Ipswich; where he died in 1692, in his seventy-seventh year. He left a son, Thomas Milton, and two or three daughters, who are traced some way into the eighteenth century.- -So far as is known, the Milton pedigree was transmitted farthest and most respectably in the descent from Milton's sister Anne, who was first Mrs. Phillips and afterwards Mrs. Agar, and who seems to have died some years before the poet, leaving Mr. Agar still alive. Her two sons by the first marriage, Edward and John Phillips, Milton's two nephews, and educated by him (John wholly, but with two years at Oxford added in Edward's case), can hardly, indeed, be reckoned among fortunate men. They struggled on cleverly and industriously, but never very prosperously, in private tutorship, schoolmastering, and hack-authorship; and their numerous publications in prose and verse, lists of which have been made out, are among the curiosities of the minor literature of England in the latter half of the seventeenth century. Edward died not long after 1694, in which year he had published his brief but valuable Life of Milton, prefixed to an English translation of Milton's State Letters; John,