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at a much greater distance than by having been only designed, about some time, if a man be not much mistaken. Milton shall be a pedagogue no longer ; for, if Philips be not much mistaken, somebody at some time designed him for a soldier.
About the time that the army was new-modelled (1645), he removed to a smaller house in Holborn, which opened backward into Lincoln's-Inn. Fields. He is not known to have published any thing afterwards till the King's death, when, finding his murderers condemned by the Presbyterians, he wrote a treatise to justify it, and to compose the minds of the people.
He made some Remarks on the Articles of Peace between Ormond and the Irish Rebels. While he contented himself to write, he perhaps did only what his conscience dictated; and if he did not very vigilantly watch the influence of his own passions, and the gradual prevalence of opinions, first willingly admitted and then habitually indulged ; if objections, by being overlooked, were forgotten, and desire superinduced conviction ; he yet shared only the common weakness of mankind, and might be no less sincere than his opponents. But as faction seldom leaves a man honest, however it might find him, Milton is suspected of having interpolated the book called Icon Basilike, which the Council of State, to whom he was now made Latin secretary, employed him to censure, by inserting a prayer taken from Sidney's Arcadia, and imputing it to the King; whom he charges, in his Iconoclastes, with the use of this prayer, as with a heavy crinie, in the indecent language with which prosperity had emboldened the advocates for rebellion to insult all that is venerable or great : • Who would have imagined so little fear in him of the true all-seeing Deity-as, immediately before his death, to pop into the hands of the grave bishop that attended him, as a special relique of his saintly exercises, a prayer stolen * word for word from the mouth of a heathen wo• man praying to a heathen god ?
The papers which the King gave to Dr. Juxon on the scaffold, the regicides took away, so that they were at least the publishers of this prayer; and Dr. Birch, who had examined the question with great care, was inclined to think them the forgers. The use of it by adaptation was innocent; and they who could so noisily censure it, with a little extension of their malice could contrive what they wanted to accuse.
King Charles the Second, being now sheltered in Holland, employed Salmasius, professor of Polite Learning at Leyden, to write a defence of his father and of monarchy; and, to excite his industry, gave him, as was reported, a hundred Jacobuses. Salmasius, was a man of skill in languages, knowledge of antiquity, and sagacity of emendatory criticism, almost exceeding all hope of human attainment; and having, by excessive
praises, been confirmed in great confidence of him. self, though he probably had not much considered the principles of society or the rights of government, undertook the employment without distrust of his own qualifications; and, as his expedition in writing was wonderful, in 1649 published Defensio Regis.
To this Milton was required to write a sufficient answer; which he performed (1651) in such a manner, that Hobbes declared himself unable to decide whose language was best, or whose arguments were worst. In my opinion, Milton's periods are smoother, neater, and more pointed; but he delights himself with teazing his adversary as much as with confuting him. He makes a foolish allusion of Salmasius, whose doctrine he considers as servile and unmanly, to the stream of Salmacis, which whoever entered left half his virility behind him. Salmasius was a Frenchman, and was unhappily married to a scold. Tu es Gallus, says Milton, &, ut aiunt, nimium gallinaceus. But his supreme pleasure is to tax his adversary, so renowned for criticism, with vitious Latin. He opens his book with telling that he has used Pere sona, which, according to Milton, signifies only a Mask, in a sense not known to the Romans, by applying it as we apply Person, But as Nemesis is always on the watch, it is memorable that he has enforced the charge of a solecism by an expression in itself grossly solecistical, when for one of those supposed blunders, he says, as Ker, and I think some one before him, has remarked, propino te grammatistis tuis vapulandum. From rapulo, which has a passive sense, vapulandus can never be derived. No man forgets his original trade : the rights of nations, and of kings, sink into questions of grammar, if grammarians discuss them.
Milton, when he undertook this answer, was weak of body and dim of sight; but his will was forward, and what was wanting of health was supplied by zeal. He was rewarded with a thousand pounds, and his book was much read; for paradox, recommended by spirit and elegance, easily gains attention; and he, who told every man that he was equal to his King, could hardly want an audience.
That the performance of Salmasius was not dispersed with equal rapidity, or read with equal eagerness, is very credible. He taught only the stale doctrine of authority, and the unpleasing duty of submission; and he had been so long not only the monarch but the tyrant of literature, that almost all mankind were delighted to find him defied and insulted by a new name, not yet considered as any one's rival. If Christina, as is said, commended the Defence of the People, her purpose must be to torment Salmasius, who was then at her court; for neither her civil station nor her Datural character could dispose her to favor the doctrine, who was by birth a queen, and by temper despotic.
That Salmasius was, from the appearance of Milton's book, treated with neglect, there is not much proof; but to a man so long accustomed to admiration, a little praise of his antagonist would be sufficiently offensive, and might incline him to leave Sweden, from which however he was dismissed, not with any mark of contempt, but with a train of attendance scarcely less than regal.
He prepared a reply, which, left as it was imperfect, was published by his son in the year of the Restoration. In the beginning, being probably most in pain for his Latinity, he endeavors to defend his use of the word persona; but, if I remember right, he misses a better authority than any that he has found, that of Juvenal in his fourth satire:
--- Quid agas, cum dira & fædior omni
Crimine persona est ? · As Salmasius reproached Milton with losing his eyes in the quarrel, Milton delighted himself with the belief that he had shortened Salmasius's life, and both perhaps with more malignity than reason. Salmasius died at the Spa, Sept. 3, 1653; and, as controvertists are commonly said to be killed by their last dispute, Milton was flattered with the credit of destroying him.
Cromwell had now dismissed the parliament by the authority of which he had destroyed monarchy, and commenced monarch himself, under the title