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The venom of this remark happens to be too weak to do any mifchief. Cafuifts of all fects and complexions have done juftice to the honesty of men who adhered to their principles and perfuafions, though they might judge wrong in the choice of them.


goes on, "And if he thought the "office minifterial only, he certainly "might have honestly retained it under

the King." Not quite fo certainly. But Milton's and Dr. Johnfon's notions of honesty are fo widely different, that we cannot admit the Doctor to estimate Milton's honefty by his own fcale. In the end, however, he questions the fact. "But this tale has too little evidence to deferve a difquifition: large offers

" and

and sturdy rejections are among the

moft common topicks of falfehood." That is, in plain unaffected English, "No man could ever reject a large offer, though on conditions ever fo re


pugnant to his profeffed principles." But the Doctor is but an individual, and his experience from his own particular cafe will not be admitted as the ftandard of other men's integrity; and yet this is the only reafon he gives for rejecting this anecdote, fo honourable to Milton.

Milton's attachment to Cromwell was evidently founded on different confiderations. The narrownefs of the Presbyterians in their notions of Liberty, and particularly of religious liberty, had appeared upon many occafions. He more


than hints, in his Areopagitica, their inclination to govern by the epifcopal and oppreffive maxims of the Stuart race. He faw and abhorred their attempts to fhackle the faith of Proteftants and Chriftians in the bonds of fyftems, confeffions, tefts, and fubfcriptions.

Cromwell's plan was of a more generous complexion; and Milton's Sonnet #


CROMWELL, Our Chief of Men, that through a
Not of war only, but diftractions rude, [crowd,
(Guided by Faith and matchlefs Fortitude)
To Peace and Truth thy glorious way haft plow'd,
And fought Gob's battles, and his works purfu'd,
While Darwent ftreams with blood of Scots im-
And Dunbar field refound thy praises loud, [bru'd,
And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much re-
To conquer fill: Peace has her victories [mains
No less than those of War. New foes arife,
Threat'ning to bind our Souls in fecular chains:
Help us to fave free confcience from the paw
Of hireling wolves, whofe gofpel is their maw.

addreffed to him, was evidently a compliment founded on the expectation that he would lay the ground-work of a free toleration in matters of religion, without which he faw (what Dr. Johnfon never will fee) that civil liberty can never be established upon its proper bafis. Milton's adherence to Cromwell, therefore, was founded on the most liberal views; and while there was a profpect of realizing the idea, was certainly irreprcher


Dr. Johnson however, in spite of every prefumption to the contrary, will have Milton's agency in political matters to have been confidered as of great impor



"When a treaty," fays the Doctor, "with Sweden was artfully fufpended, "the delay was publicly imputed to Mr. "Milton's indifpofition; and the Swedish


agent was provoked to exprefs his "wonder, that only one man in Eng"land could write Latin, and that man "blind *."

But Whitelock, who was a principal hand in negotiating this treaty, instead of pleading Milton's indifpofition for the delay, only fays, "the employment of "Mr. Milton" [to tranflate the treaty]

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was excused to him" [the Swedish ambaffador] "because feveral other fervants "of the council, fit for that employ66 ment, were then abfent."

* Milton's Life, p.


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