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he Marry'd Again, Blind and Ill as he was ; This Second Wife dy'd also in Childbed within a Year, and the Child soon after. he continu'd a Widower 'till after the Great Change of Government, and seems to have paft-his Time after his Salmafian Controversy was ended, which was in the Year 1655, as an Infirm, Blind Man could, but One who Lost both Health and Sight in the Pursuit of Knowledge, in Converfing with the Beauties of the Ancient Writings, and Applying All he could Attain in the Service (as he was Fully Persuaded) of Religion and National Liberty. a Great Part of This time he also had the pleasure of seeing what he Conceivd a National Happiness
, which Himself had Largely Contributed to, though he also, in the Latter part of These Years must be Sup; pos’d to Observe the Tottering Condition of that Fabrick with Grief and Terror. He Publith'd three or fouir sniall Treatises on Religion and Government.
Probably in This Period he went on with what he had Began Before, the English History froin the Earlieit times in which Any Accounts of it re Extant; he Discontinued it when he had brought it down to the Norman Cono quest, he allo - fét himself to Collect out of all the Claflicks in Verse and Profe, a Latin Thejuures, in Emendation of That done by Stephen!!s; and to the Framing a Body of Divinity out of the Bible. the History was Pub?
lith'd; but not 'till the Year 1640. the Other two were 'Never Printed, though said to have been finish?d.'' but the Thesaurus is not Loft to the World, as appears by-the Preface to Littleton's Dictionary.
He was still preparing Himself for his Great Work; Wood says 'twas Begun in This time, but it does not appear he had gone in Earnest about it; not but that it seems to have been in View when he Wrote to Henry Oldenburg), Minister of Bremen to the Senate of England; Anno 1654. This Letter gives an 1dea of Him at That time; in It he says to this Effeet. Now that I have done with thefe Disputés I prepare for Other things, I know not whether more Noble or more Usefull than Aserting Liberty, if I can do it for my ní
GreVous than any Old Age, it, in fine, for thelë Clamours and Evil Tongues which perpetually Surroiind Me, for an Idle Leifiure never pleas'd Me, and "Tkoje Unforeseen Controversies with the Adverfaries' of Liberty Dragg'd me Unwillingly, Intentiipon very Different, and Much more Delightfull Subject's ; Yet So that I do not Repent me at all of having Undertaken them Jince 'twas Necessary, for I am very far from thinking tbat That Controversy was Vain and Trifling, as You focin to Intimate.
it has been "faid Milton was put upon Tranllating Homer'; he was Certainly the Best Fite 4
ted for it of any Man on Some Accounts, on Others not at All. for as he says in the P. S. to the Judgment of Bucer concerning Di
Me, who never could delight in long Citations, much Less in whole Tradučtions; whether it be Natural Disposition, or Education in Me, or that my Mother bore, me a Speaker of what God made mine Own, and not a Translator. A good Reason for Declining it, as he did.
the Year 1660, as all the World knows, Open'd a New Scene in England; it did so to Milton to be sure in particular.
'twas Necessary for him to Abscond. he Quitted his House where he had Liv'd in great Honour and Convenience Eight Years, and was thick Envellop'd in the Cloud which, amidst the Glaring Sun-fhine of That time, rose on Some Few, whose Active Zeal or Crimes had put a Mark upon them for Ruin.
That Milton escap'd is well known, but not How. by the Accounts we Have 'twas by the Act of Indemnity; only Incapacitated for any Publick Employment. This is a Notorious Mistake, though Toland, the Bishop of Sarum, Fenton, &c. have gone into it, Confounding Him with Goodwin, their Cases were very different, as I found upon Enquiry.
Not to take a Matter of this Importance upon Trust, I had first of all Recourse to the Act itself; Milton is not Among the Excepted. if he was fo Conditionally Pardon'd, it must Then be by a Particular Instrument;
That could not be after he had been Purify'd Intirely by the General Indemnity, nor was it Likely the King, who had Declar'd from Breda he would Pardon All but whom the Parliament should judge Unworthy of it, and had Thus Lodg’d the Matter with Them; should Before They had come to a Determination bestow a Private Act of Indulgence, and to One fo Notorious as Milton, 'tis true Rapin says several Principal Republicans apply'd for Mercy whilst the Act was Yet des pending; but quotes no Authority; and upon Search, no Such Pardon appears on Record, though Many are two or three Years after, but then they are without Restrictions; Some people were willing to have a Particular, as well as the General Pardon. but whatever was the Case of Others, there is a Reason befides what has been already noted, to believe no Such Favour would Now be shewn to Milton ; the House of Commons (16 June, 1660) Vote the King be mov'd to call in Milton's two Books, and That of John Goodwin Written in Justification of the Murther of the King, in order to be Burnt. and that the Attorney-General do proceed against them by Indictment or Otherwise. June 27. An Order of Council, Reciting that Vote of the 16th, and that the Persons were not to be found, Directs a Proclamation for calling In Milton's two Books, which are here Explain'd to be that againft Salmahus (the De
fence) and his Answer to Eicon Bafilike ; as also Goodwin's Book; and a Proclaination was Issu’d accordingly, and Another to the Same Purpofe 13th August. as for 'Goodwin he Narrowly Escap'd with Life, but he was Voted to be Excepted out of the Act of 'Indemnity amongst the Twenty design’d to have Penalties Inflicted short of Death. and August 27, 'those Books of Milton and Goodwin were burnt by the Hangman. the Act of Oblivion was pafs'd the 29th. (Kennet's Regift.] is feen by This account, that Milton's Person and Goodwin's are Separated, though their Books are'Blended together. 5. As the King's Intenţion Appeared to be to Pardon All but Actual Regicides, as Bishop Burner lays (p. 163) "tis odd he should say in the Same Breath almost all people weię furpriz'd that Goodwin and Milton Escap'd all Censure (Neither is That True as has been seen) Why should it be lo Strange, They not being Concernd in the King's Blood? That he was. "Forgot, as Toland says Some people Imagin’d, was very Unlikely, however tis Certain by what has been thewn from Bishop Kennet he was 'Not. That He should be Distinguish d from Goodwin with Advantage will justly appear Strange ; for his Vast Merit as an Honest Man, a Great Scholar, and a' moft Excellent Writer, and his Fane og That Account, will hardlý be thought the Causes, Especially when 'tiš Rémembred Pai