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that men live with their own approbation, and justify their conduct to themselves. Prayer certainly was not thought superfluous by him, who represents our first parents as praying acceptably in the state of innocence, and efficaciously after their fall. That he lived without prayer can hardly be affirmed; his studies and meditations were an habitual prayer.
The neglect of it in his family was probably a fault for which he condemned hima self, and which he intended to correct, but that death, as too often happens, intercepted his reformation.
His political notions were those of an acrimonious and surly republican, for which it is not known that he gave any better reason than that a popular government was the most frugal; for the trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth. It is surely very shallow policy, that supposes money to be the chief good; and even this, without considering that the support
and expence of a Court is, for the most part, only a particular kind of traffic, for which money is cire culated, without any national impoverishment.
Milton's republicanism was, I am afraid, founded in an envious hatred of greatness, and a sullen desire of independence; in petulance impatient of control, and pride disdainful of superiority. He hated monarchs in the state, and prelates in the church; for he hated all whom he was required to obey. It is to be suspected, that his predominant desire was to destroy rather than establish, and that he felt not so much the love of liberty as repug. nance to authority.
It has been observed, that they who most loudly clamour for liberty do not most liberally grant it. What we know of Milton's character, in domestic relations, is, that he was severe and arbitrary. His family consisted of women; and there appears in his books something like a Turkish contempt of females, as subordinate and inferior beings. That his own daughters might not break the ranks, he suffered them to be depressed by a mean and penurious education. He thought woman made only for obedience, and man only for rebellion.
Of his family soine account may be expected. His sister, first married to Mr. Philips, afterwards married Nir. Agar, a friend of her first husband, who succeeded him in the Crown-office. She had by her first husband Edward and John, the two nephew's whom Milton educated; and by her second, two daughters.
His brother, Sir Christopher, had two daughters, Mary and Catharine *; and a son Thomas,
* Both these persons were living at Holloway about the year 1734, and at that time possessed such a degree of health and strength as enabled them on Sundays and Prayer-days to walk a mile up a sieep bilt to flighgate chapel. One of them was Ninety-two at the time of her death. Their parentage was known tv few, and their nar
rupted into Melton. By the Crown oltice mentioned in the two lasi paragraphs, we ale to understand the Crown office of the Court of Chancery. 11.
who succeeded Agar in the Crown-office, and left a daughter living in 1749 in Grosvenor-street.
Milton had children only by his first wife ; Anne, Mary, and Deborah. Anne, thoughede. formed, married a master-builder, and died of her first child. Mary died single. Deborah married Abraham Clark, a weaver in Spital-fields, and lived seventy-six years, to August 1727. This is the daughter of whom public mention has been made. She could repeat the first lines of Homer, the Metamorphoses, and some of Euripides, by having often read them. Yet here incredulity is ready to make a stand. Many repetitions are necessary to fix in the memory lines not understood; and why should Milton wish or want to hear them số often? These lines were at the beginning of the poems. Of a book written in a language not understood, the beginning raises no more attention than the end ; and as those that understand it know commonly the beginning best, its rehearsal will seldom be necessary.
It is not likely that Milton required any passage to be so much repeated as that his daughter could learn it; nor likely that he desired the initial lines to be read at all; nor that the daughter, weary of the drudgery of pronouncing unideal sounds, would voluntarily commit them to memory.
To this gentlewoman Addison made a present, and promised some establishment; but died soon after. Queen Caroline sent her fifty guineas. She
had seven sons and three daughters; but none of them had any children, except her son Caleb and her daughter Elizabeth. Caleb went to Fort St. George in the East Indies, and had two sons, of whom nothing is now known. Elizabeth married Thomas Foster, a weaver in Spital-fields; and had seven children, who all died. She kept a petty grocer's or chandler's shop, first at Holloway, and afterwards in Cock-lane near Shoreditch Church. She knew little of her grandfather, and that little was not good. She told of his harshness to his daughters, and his refusal to have them taught to write; and, in opposition to other accounts, represented him as delicate, though temperate, in his diet.
In 1750, April 5, Comus was played for her benefit. She had so little acquaintance with diversion or gaiety, that she did not know what was intended when a benefit was offered her. The profits of the night were only one hundred and thirty pounds, though Dr. Newton brought a large contribution; and i wenty pounds were given by Tonson, a man who is to be praised as often as he is named. Of this sum one hundred pounds were placed in the stocks, after some debate between her and her husband in whose name it should be entered; and the rest augmented their little stock, with which they removed to Islington. This was the greatest benefạction that Paradise Lost ever proculcd the author's descendants; and to this be, who has now attempted to relate his Life, had the honour of contributing a Prologue.
IN the examination of Milton's poetical works, I shall pay so much regard to time as to begin with bis juvenile productions. For his early pieces he seems to have had a degree of fondness not very laudable; what he has once written he resolves to preserve, and give to the public an unfinished poem, which he broke off because he was nothing satisfied with what he had done, supposing his readers less nice than himself. These preludes to his future labors are in Italian, Latin, and English. Of the Italian I cannot pretend to speak as a critic; but I heard them commended by a man well qualified to decide their merit. The Latin pieces are lusciously elegant; but the delight which they afford is rather by the exquisite imitation of the ancient writers, by the purity of the diction, and the harmony of the numbers, than by any power of invention, or vigour of sentiment. They are not all of equal value; the elegies excel the odes; and some of the exercises on Gun-powder Treason might have been spared.
The English poems, though they make no promises of Paradise Lost, have this evidence of genius, that they have a cast original and unborrowed. But their peculiarity is not excellence; if they differ from verses of others, they differ for the