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almost exceeding all hope of human attainment; and having, by excessive praises, been confirmed in great confidence of himself, though he probably had not much confidered 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 1669 published Defenho 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 fmoother, neater, and more pointed ; but he delights himself with teizing his adversary as much as with confuting him. He makes a foolish allufion of Şalmasiųs, whose doctrine he confiders as servile and unmanly, to the įtream of Salmacis, which whoever entered left half his virility behind him. Salmafius was a Frenchman, and was unhappily married to a scold. Tu és Gallus, says Milton, et, tu ai unt, nimium gallinaceus. But his supreme pleasure is to tax his adversary, fo renowned for criticism, with vitious Latin. He opens his book with telling that he has used Persona, which according to Milton, signifies only a Mask, in a sense not known to the Romans, by applying it as we apply Perfon. 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 folecistical when, for one of those supposed blunders, he says, propino te grammatistis tuis vapulandum. from vapulo, which has a paf
five 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 fight; 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, eafily 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 Itale 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 natural character could dispose her to favour the doctrine, who was by birth a queen, and by temper despotick.
That Salmasius was, from the appearance of Milton's book, treated with neglect, there is not much proof; but to a man so long accuftomed to admiration, a little praise of his antagonist would be sufficiently offensive, and might incline him to leave Sweden.
He prepared a reply, which, left as it was imperfect, was published by his son in the year of the Restauration. In the beginning, being probably most in pain for his Latinity, he endeavours to defend his use of the word perfona; 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 Salmafius's life, and both perhaps with more malignity than reason. Salmafius 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.
Cromwel had now dismissed the parliament by the authority of which he had destroyed monarchy, and commenced monarch himself, under the title of protector, but with kingly and more than kingly power. That his authority was lawful, never was pretended; he himself founded his right only in necessity; but Milton, having now tasted the honey of publick employment, would not return to hunger and philosophy, but, continuing to exercise his office under a manifest usurpation, betrayed to his power that liberty which he had defended. Nothing can be more just than that rebellion should end in Navery; that he, who had justified the murder of his king, for some acts which to him seemed unlawful, should now sell his services, and his flatteries,
to a tyrant, of whom it was evident that he could do nothing lawful.
He had now been blind for some years; but his vigour of intellect was such, that he was not disabled to discharge his office, or continue his controversies. His mind was too eager to be diverted, and too strong to be subdued.
About this time his first wife died in childbed, having left him three daughters. As he probably did not much love her, he did not long continue the appearance of lamenting her ; but after a short time married Catherine, the daughter of one captain Woodcock of Hackney ; a woman doubtless educated in opinions like his own. She died within a year, of childbirth, or some distemper that followed it; and her husband has honoured her memory with a poor sonnet.
The first Reply to Milton's Defensio Populi was published in 1651, called Apologia pro Řege & Populo Anglicano, contra Yohannis Polypraymatici (alias Miltoni) defensionem destručtivem Regis @ Populi. Of this the author was not known; but Milton and his nephew Philips, under whose name he published an answer fo much corrected by him that it might be called his own, imputed it to Bramhal; and, knowing him no friend to regicides, thought themfelves at liberty to treat him as if they had known what they only suspected.
Next year appeared Regii Sanguinis clamor ad Cælum. Of this the author was Peter du Moulin, who was afterwards prebendary of Canterbury; but Morus, or More, a French minister, having the care of its publication, was treated as the writer by Milton, in his Defenfio SeM 2
cunda, and overwhelmed by such violence of invective, that he began to shrink under the tempelt, and gave his persecutors the means of knowing the true author. Du Moulin was now in great danger; but Milton's pride operated against his malignity, and both he and his friends were more willing that Du Moulin should escape than that he should be convicted of mistake.
In this fecond Defence he shews that his eloquence is not merely satirical; the rudeness of his invective is equalled by the grossness of his flattery. “ Deferimur, Cromuelle, tu solus " superes, ad te summa nostrarum rerum re“ diit, in te folo confiftit, insuperabili tuæ “ virtuti cedimus cuncti, nemine vel oblo“ quente, nisi qui æquales inæqualis ipfe ho“ nores sibi quærit, aut digniori conceffos in“ videt, aut non intelligit nihil effe in focietate “ hominum magis vel Deo gratum, vel rationi “ consentaneum, efle in civitate nihil æquius, “ nihil utilius, quam potiri rerum dignissi“ mum. Eum te agnoscunt omnes, Cromu" elle, ea tu civis maximus et * gloriofiffimus, “ dux publici confilii, exercituum fortissimo“ rum, pater patriæ geffifti. Sic tu sponta"nea, bonorum omnium et animitus missa s voce falutaris.”
Cæfar, when he assumed the perpetual dictatorship, had not more servile or more elegant flattery. A translation may fhew its fervility; but its elegance is less attainable. Having exposed the unskilfulness or selfish
* It may be doubted whether gloriofifimus be here ufed with Milton's boasted purity. Res gloriosa is an illustrious thing; but wir gloriofus is commonly a braggart, as in miles gloriofus.