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wicked King, and after due Conviction, to depose and put him to death, if the ordinary Magistrate have neglected or denied to do it; and that they, who, of late, so much blame Deposing, are the Men that did it themselves.” To the second edition of this treatise was added in the title-page,
“ Published now the second time with some additions, and many testimonies also added out of the best and learnedst among Protestant Divines, asserting the position of this book.” Not long after this, he wrote his “ Observations upon the Articles of Peace with the Irish Rebels, on the Letter of Ormond to Colonel Jones, and the Representation of the Presbytery at Belfast.”
He now retired again to his private studies; and began to write a History of England, which he intended to have deduced from the earliest accounts, and to have brought it down to his own times. He had actually finished four books of it, when, neither courting nor expecting any such preferment, he was invited by the Council of State to be their Latin Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He served in this capacity under Oliver Cromwell, his son Richard Cromwell, and the Rump Parliament, until the Restoration of Charles II.; and, without doubt, says Bishop Newton, a better Latin pen could not have been found in the kingdom.
Soon after the death of the King, a book was published under the title of “ Eixw Bæoidoxin," or the Royal Image. This book was calculated to excite greater commisseration in the minds of the people than the king himself did while alive; and Milton was directed by the parliament to prepare an answer to it; which was published, by authority, under the title of “ Erxovoxdæotns," or the Image-Breaker. This piece was translated into French; and two replies to it were published, one in 1651, and the other in 1692, upon the reprinting of Milton's book at Amsterdam.
Milton's most celebrated prose-work is his “ Defensio pro Populo Anglicano contra Claudii Anonymi, alius Salmasii, Defensionem Regiam." Salmasius was a man of uncommon abilities, and therefore he was courted by Charles II. to write a Defence of the late King, his father, and to traduce his adversaries; for which laudable undertaking he was presented with a hundred Jacobuses; and the book was published in 1649, with this title, Defensio Regia pro Carolo I. ad Carolum II.” It was in answer to this book that the parliament of England desired Milton to write his “ Defensio pro Populo Anglicano,” &c. but his health was so much impaired, and he was so weak in body, that he was under the necessity of writing it by piece-meal, which retarded its publication; so that it was not put forth
till 1651. An English translation of it, by Mr. Washington, of the Temple, is inserted in the later editions of Milton's Works *. The first
* “It was somewhat extraordinary (says Bishop Newton) that Salmasius, a pensioner to a republic, should pretend to write a defence of Monarchy; but the states (of Holland) shewed their disapprobation by publicly condemning his book, and ordering it to be suppressed. On the other hand, Milton's book was burnt at Paris, and at Toulouse by the hands of the common hangman; but this served only to procure it the more readers : it was read and talked of everywhere; and even they who were of different principles, yet could not but acknowledge that he was a good defender of a bad cause; and Salmasius's book underwent only one impression, while this of Milton passed through several editions. On the first appearance of it, he was visited or invited by all the foreign ministers at London, not excepting even those of crowned heads.” He was likewise highly complimented by the literati of several nations, particularly those of France and Germany; but, “what gave him the greatest satisfaction (continues the learned Bishop) the work was highly applauded by those who had desired him to undertake it; and they made him a present of a thousand pounds; which in those days of frugality was reckoned no inconsiderable reward for his performance. But the case was far otherwise with Salmasius. He was then in high favour at the court of Christina, Queen of Sweden, who had invited thither several of the most learned men of all countries : but when Milton's Defence of the people of England was brought to Sweden, and was read to the Queen, at her own desire, he sunk immediately in her esteem and the opinion of every body; and though he talked big at first, and vowed the destruction of Milton and the parliament, yet, finding that he was looked upon with coldness, he thought proper to take leave of the court; and he who came in honour, was dismissed with contempt.”
reply that was published to this book was in 1651, under the title of “ Apologia pro Rege & Populo Anglicano contra Johannis Polypragmatici (alias Miltoni Angli) Defensionem destructivam Regis & Populi Anglicani.” It is unknown who was the author of this piece; but it was so mean a performance, and was written in such barbarous Latin, that Milton did not chuse to answer it, but directed one of his nephews to make a reply to it. It should, however, be acknowledged, that he supervised and corrected the MS. before it went to the press; so that it may in some measure be called his. It was published in 1652, with this title,
Johannis Philippi Angli Responsio ad Apologiam anonymi cujusdam tenebrionis pro Rege & Populo Anglicano infantissimam.”
For some time after his appointment to be Latin Secretary, Milton had an apartment for his family in Whitehall; but his health requiring a freer accession of air, he removed to a house in Petty France, which opened into St. James's Park; where he remained eight years, from the year 1652 till within a few weeks of the King's restoration. Not long after his settlement there, his wife died in child-bed. Much about the time of her death, a gutta serena, which had for several years been gradually increasing, totally extinguished his sight. In this melancholic condition he was easily prevailed
with to enter a second time into the matrimonial state with Catharine, the daughter of Captain Woodcock of Hackney: and she too, in less than a year after their marriage, died in the same unfortunate manner as the former had done; and in his twenty-third Sonnet he does honour to
In 1652 appeared at the Hague“ Regii sanguinis Clamor ad Cælum adversus Parricidas Anglicanos.” This book was published by Alexander Morus, with a Dedication to Charles II. but the real author's name was Peter du Moulin. Against Morus, however, as the reputed author of the Book, Milton directed his satire in “ Defensio Secunda pro Populo Anglicano;" which appeared in 1654. Morus was highly chagrined at a truth told by Milton in
ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.
Methought I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
Rescu'd from death by force, though pale and faint;
Purification in th' old law did save,
Full sight of her in Heav'n without restraint,
Her face was veil'd, yet to my fancy'd sight,
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd
But O, as to embrace me she inclin’d,