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ness; and his answer to the charge can be read by no one without high admiration of the magnanimity of his mind, and the strength of his piety. To be blind, he says, is not miserable, but not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable indeed. He calls God to witness, the searcher of the inmost spirit, and of every thought, that he is unconscious of any thing, (though he has visited all the recesses of his heart) of any crime, the heinousness of which could have justly called down this calamity upon him above others. That he has written nothing which he was not persuaded at the time, and is still persuaded, was right and true, and pleasing to God. And this, without being moved by ambition, by lucre, or by glory, but solely by a sense of duty, of grace, and of devotion to his country. Then let the slanderers (he says) of the judgments of God cease their revilings. Let them desist from their dreamy forgeries concerning me. Let them know that I neither repine at, nor repent me of my lot: that I remain fixed, immoveable in my opinion: that I neither believe, nor have found that God is angry: nay, that in things of the greatest moment, I have experienced, and acknowledge his mercy, and his paternal goodness towards me. That above all, in regard of this calamity, I acquiesce in his divine will, for it is he himself who comforts and upholds my spirit, being ever more mindful of what he shall bestow upon me, than of what he shall deny me. Besides, how many things are there which I should choose not to see? how many which I might be unwilling to see? and how few remaining things are there which I should desire to see? Neither am I concerned at being classed, though you think this a miserable thing, with the blind, with the afflicted, with the miserable, with the weak. Since there is a hope that, on this account, I have a nearer claim to the mercy and protection of the sovereign Father. There is a way, and the Apostle is my authority, through weakness to the greatest strength. May I be one of the weakest, provided only in my weakness, that immortal and better vigour be put forth with greater effect: provided only in my darkness the light of the divine countenance

VOL. I.

does but more brightly shine; for then I shall at once be the weakest and most mighty; shall be at once blind, and of the most piercing sight. Thus, through this infirmity should I be consummated, perfected. Thus, through this darkness should I be enrobed with light. And, in truth, we who are blind, are not the last regarded by the providence of God; who, as we are incapable to discern any thing but himself, beholds us with the greater clemency and benignity. Woe be to him who makes a mock of us. Woe be to him who injures us; he deserves to be devoted to the public curse. The divine law, the divine favour has made us not merely secure, but, as it were, sacred from the injuries of men ; nor would have seemed to have brought the darkness upon us, so much by inducing a dimness of the eyes, as by the overshadowing of heavenly wings. Besides, as I am not grown torpid by indolence, since my eyes have deserted me, but am still active, still ready to advance among the foremost to the most arduous struggles for liberty; I am not therefore deserted by men even of the first rank in the state. Thus, while I can derive consolation in my blindness both from God and man, let no one be troubled that I have lost my eyes in an honourable cause: and far be it from me to be troubled at it; far be it from me to possess so little spirit as not to be able without difficulty to despise the revilers of my blindness, or so little placability as not to be able with still less difficulty to forgive them. The treatise, after a succession of passages of great eloquence and animation, ends with an earnest and solemn address to the people of England to prove themselves worthy of the victory they have gained, and the position they have secured. He warns them to derive their liberty not from arms, but from piety, justice, temperance; in fine, from real virtue, not to make war alone their virtue, or highest glory, or to neglect the arts of peace; to banish avarice, ambition, luxury, and all excess from their thoughts; such is the warfare of peace; victories hard, it is true, but blameless; more glorious far than the warlike or the bloody. As for myself,' he says (speaking with something of a prophetic sorrow), 'to whatever state things

may return, I have performed, and certainly with good will, I hope not in vain, the service which I thought would be of most use to the commonwealth. It is not before our doors alone that

I have borne my arms in defence of liberty. I have wielded them in a field so wide that the justice and reason of those which are no vulgar deeds, shall be explained and vindicated alike to foreign natures and our own countrymen. If after achievements so magnanimous, ye basely fall from your duty, if ye are guilty of any thing unworthy of you, be assured, posterity will speak, and thus pronounce its judgment. The foundation was strongly laid. The beginning, nay, more than the beginning, was excellent; but it will be inquired, not without a disturbed emotion, Who raised the superstructure, who completed the fabric? To undertakings so grand, to virtues so noble, it will be a subject of grief that perseverance was wanting. It will be seen that the harvest of glory was abundant; but that men were not to be found for the work. Yet that there was not wanting one who could give good counsel, who could exhort, encourage: who could adorn and celebrate in immortal praises the transcendent deeds, and those who performed them.' Another piece, in which he defends himself personally against More, and repeats his accusations, is all which is necessary to notice in this remarkable controversy.3

Milton was now removed by an order of council from his lodgings at Whitehall, and took a garden house in Petty France, in Westminster, opening into St. James's Park: in this house he continued till within a few weeks of the Restoration. In 1651 he was suffering under the approach of total blindness. He had lost the entire use of one eye and his nephew, Edward Philips, was supposed to have greatly assisted him in the affairs

3 In noticing Milton's mistake in the use of the word 'Vapulandus,' Johnson has observed that Ker, and some one before him, had remarked it. This person was Vavassor. de Epig. cxxii. p. 144. See Crenii Animad. Philolog. 12mo, p. 77. Illud mirum pariter et festivum quod is quo loco et quibus plane verbis attribuit Salmasio solæcismos, iisdem ipse solæcismum, aut solæcismo flagitium non minus admittat.'

4 Previously to his going to live in Scotland Yard, Whitehall, Milton lodged at one Thomson's, next door to the Bull Head Tavern, Charing Cross. See Birch's Life, p. xxxviii. In Scotland Yard his infant son died.

of secretary. In 1652 his sight was totally gone. His enemies, as we have seen, considered his blindness as a judgment for writing against the king; and one of the prebendaries of Exeter reproached him, even from the pulpit, with the severe visitation. But he himself more truly accounted for the affliction by the wearisome labours and studious watchings wherein he spent, and almost tired out, a whole youth. His letter to his Athenian friend, Leonard Phileras, gives an account of the gradual approach of the disease. Philips says that Milton was always tampering with physic: to which he attributes the loss of his sight, as well as to his continual studies, and the headaches to which he had been subject from his youth.

It is supposed that in 1653 Milton lost his first wife, who died in childbed, leaving him three daughters. He remained a widower for three years, when he was again united in marriage to a daughter of Captain Woodcock of Hackney. She also died within a year after her marriage, in the same manner; and in one of his sonnets he has paid an affectionate tribute to her memory. Soon after this event, he retired from his office of secretary5 on an allowance for life, of one hundred and fifty pounds a year. His name does not again occur in the books of the council of state; his friend Andrew Marvell had been associated with him.

As we are now arrived at the close of Milton's public life, it may be as well for a moment to look back, and recollect the

4 His eyesight was decaying about twenty years before his death. His father read without spectacles till eighty-four. His mother had very weak eyes, and used spectacles presently after she was thirty years old. Aubrey Lett. iii. p. 449. He lost the use of his left eye in 1651; and it is supposed, of the other, in 1654. See Todd's Life (1st ed.), p. 85; but the period of the complete affliction is not known with exactness.

5 But see Mr. Todd's Life (ed. 2.), p. 158, who says some official documents were written by him after 1655. The last payment of his salary was Oct. 22, 1659, when he was sequestered from the office.

6" His familiar learned acquaintance were A. Marvell, Lawrence, Needham, Hartlib, Mr. Skinner, Dr. Paget, M. D. Mr. Skinner was his disciple.-His widow assures me that Mr. Hobbes was not one of his acquaintance. That her husband did not like him at all; but he would acknowledge him to be a man of great parts, and a learned man." Aubrey Lett. iii. 444. He had no intimacy with Cromwell, nor with those in power. He tells Heimbach that he cannot serve him, "Propter paucissimas familiaritates meas cum gratiosis." Ep. Fam. Dec. 18, 1657.

system upon which he asserts his political career to have been conducted, and the end to which his writings were directed. He says, when the outcry against the bishops commenced, and the model of our reformed church was to its disadvantage compared to others, he saw that a way was opening for the establishment of real liberty. That he perceived there were three species of liberty essential to the happiness of social lifereligious, domestic, and civil. To promote the first, he wrote his Treatise on Reformation, &c.; and as he saw that the magistrates were active in obtaining the third, he therefore turned his attention to the second, or domestic. This included three material questions; first, the conduct of the conjugal tie; secondly, the education of children; and, thirdly, the free publication of the thoughts. These questions were severally considered by him in his Treatise on Divorce, his Tractate on Education, and his Areopagitica, or Liberty of unlicensed printing. With regard to civil affairs, he left them in the hands of the magistrates, till it became necessary to vindicate the right of lawfully dethroning, or destroying tyrants (without any immediate or personal application to Charles), against the doctrine of the Presbyterian ministers. Such were the fruits of his private studies, which he had gratuitously presented to church and state, and for which he was recompensed by nothing but impunity. Though the actions themselves (he says) procured me peace of conscience, and the approbation of the good; while I exercised that freedom of discussion which I loved.

Disencumbered of the duties of secretary, disgusted with the treachery of parties, and the failure of his fondest wishes, Milton at length retreated from the changes and turbulence of the times, and had now leisure to resume the great works which he had long destined for his future employment. He commenced a history of his native country, a dictionary of the Latin language,7 more copious and correct than that of Ste

7 These collections consisted of three large volumes in folio. They were much discomposed and deficient, but were used by the editors of the Camb. Dict. in 16 4to. See the Pref. to Ainsworth's Lat. Thesaurus. It was said that Philips was the last possessor of these collections. I have an extract from a bookseller's catalogue by me

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