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the dishonesty of his agents, or his own want of worldly diligence and caution. He was unable, therefore, to employ a regular amanuensis, or reader, but was obliged to receive either the occasional and gratuitous services of some friend, or some inexperienced youth whose services he requited by instruction. There is an interesting passage in his own writings, which shows his disinterestedness, and gives a subsidiary explanation of his embarrassments. “ These my services I gratuitously gave to religion, and my country; and I got no return but the preservation of my life. I have had, however, my reward, in an honest conscience, and an honest reputation. As to others, some have obtained honours, and some emoluments. But for me,- no one ever saw me playing the courtier myself, or soliciting any thing through my friends, or ever knew me with suppliant look hanging at the doors of the Council Chamber, or at the vestibules of ministers. I usually kept myself at home, living on my own means, which, though much diminished in the civil commotions, and by oppressive taxation, yet yielded me a scanty subsistence."

The following melancholy passage, from his letter to his German friend Heimbach, counsellor to the Elector of Brandenburgh, dated London, August 26th, 1666, will convey some idea of his condition at this time:-“Let me obtain from you this favour, that if you find any parts incorrectly written, and without stops, you will impute it to the boy who writes for me, who is utterly ignorant of Latin, and to whom I am forced, (wretchedly enough) to repeat every single letter that I dictate." But independently of his increasing bodily afflictions and poverty, he was haunted with perpetual fears of assassination, ever since the Restoration ; which kept him awake whole nights, and prevented him from appearing much abroad, unless when some trusty friend came and conducted him stealthily through byways, at dusk, to take a little necessary exercise. His formal pardon did not disarm the different parties to whose designs his honest and independent stand for the religious and political liberties of his country presented such a barrier, and whose rancour time or distance could not mitigate. Milton was well apprised of the inveterate hostility of these parties ; and saw awful proofs of their determined

purposes. To this state of feeling he pathetically alludes, Paradise Lost, vii. 25, &c.

“ Paradise Lost” was published in 1667. In 1670 he published his “ History of Britain," especially the part now called England, which he was unable, from other pursuits, to bring down later than the Norman Conquest. In this year the “ Paradise Regained,” and “ Samson Agonistes," were licensed, though not published till the following year. They were published by Starkey, of Fleet-street. There is a current belief that Milton always preferred " Paradise Regained” to “ Paradise Lost :" I find, however, no authority for this story. His nephew, Phillips, only says, that when his literary friends would decry, in their admiration of “Paradise Lost," the other poem as “ so much inferior, he could not hear with patience any such thing," Though “ Paradise Regained" is vastly below the “ Paradise Lost” in all the chief excellences of epic poetry-invention-sublimity of thought-beauty of imagery and diction, and variety of action, yet it is at least equal to it in sentiment, if not superior in argument. On sentiment and argument Milton rested much of his literary fame, and they were more congenial to his taste than scenes of turbulence and battle: for he says, “Paradise Lost," ix. 28, he was “not sedulous by nature to indite battles.” He only meant then, not that “Paradise Lost" was praised too much, but that" Paradise Regained,” though generally inferior, was dispraised too much ; and the more this latter poem is examined, the more will Milton's judgment receive the reader's sanction. Thus many, familiar with the lliad, decry the Odyssey, because they have not carefully read it. "Samson Agonistes,” the last of his poetical pieces, is the only tragedy he finished, though he sketched out the plans of several ; and it is said he was determined to the choice of this subject by the similiarity of his own circumstances to those of Samson-blind and helpless among his enemies. “ It is written,” says Newton, (and all the best critics agree in this opinion) " in the very spirit of the ancients; and equals, if not exceeds, any of the most perfect tragedies which were exhibited on the Grecian stage when Grecian literature was in its glory." As this work was

the dishonesty of his agents, or his own want of worldly diligence and caution. He was unable, therefore, to employ a regular amanuensis, or reader, but was obliged to receive either the occasional and gratuitous services of some friend, or some inexperienced youth whose services he requited by instruction. There is an interesting passage in his own writings, which shows his disinterestedness, and gives a subsidiary explanation of his embarrassments. “ These my services I gratuitously gave to religion, and my country; and I got no return but the preservation of my life. I have had, however, my reward, in an honest conscience, and an honest reputation. As to others, some have obtained honours, and some emoluments. But for me,- no one ever saw me playing the courtier myself, or soliciting any thing through my friends, or ever knew me with suppliant look hanging at the doors of the Council Chamber, or at the vestibules of ministers. I usually kept myself at home, living on my own means, which, though much diminished in the civil commotions, and by oppressive taxation, yet yielded me a scanty subsistence."

The following melancholy passage, from his letter to his German friend Heimbach, counsellor to the Elector of Brandenburgh, dated London, August 26th, 1666, will convey some idea of his condition at this time:—“Let me obtain from you this favour, that if you find any parts incorrectly written, and without stops, you will impute it to the boy who writes for me, who is utterly ignorant of Latin, and to whom I am forced, (wretchedly enough,) to repeat every single letter that I dictate.” But independently of his increasing bodily afflictions and poverty, he was haunted with perpetual fears of assassination, ever since the Restoration ; which kept him awake whole nights, and prevented him from appearing much abroad, unless when some trusty friend came and conducted him stealthily through byways, at dusk, to take a little necessary exercise. His formal pardon did not disarm the different parties to whose designs his honest and independent stand for the religious and political liberties of his country presented such a barrier, and whose rancour time or distance could not mitigate. Milton was well apprised of the inveterate hostility of these parties ; and saw awful proofs of their determined

purposes. To this state of feeling he pathetically alludes, Paradise Lost, vii. 25, &c.

“Paradise Lost” was published in 1667. In 1670 he published his “ History of Britain," especially the part now called England, which he was unable, from other pursuits, to bring down later than the Norman Conquest. In this year the “ Paradise Regained,” and “Samson Agonistes," were licensed, though not published till the following year. They were published by Starkey, of Fleet-street. There is a current belief that Milton always preferred “ Paradise Regained" to

” “ Paradise Lost :" I find, however, no authority for this story. His nephew, Phillips, only says, that when his literary friends would decry, in their admiration of “Paradise Lost," the other poem as " so much inferior, he could not hear with patience any such thing," Though

Though “ Paradise Regained" is vastly below the “Paradise Lost" in all the chief excellences of epic poetry-invention-sublimity of thought-beauty of imagery and diction, and variety of action, yet it is at least equal to it in sentiment, if not superior in argument. On sentiment and argument Milton rested much of his literary fame, and they were more congenial to his taste than scenes of turbulence and battle: for he says, “Paradise Lost,” ix. 28, he was “not sedulous by nature to indite battles.” He only meant then, not that “Paradise Lost” was praised too much, but that " Paradise Regained," though generally inferior, was dispraised too much ; and the more this latter poem is examined, the more will Milton's judgment receive the reader's sanction. Thus many, familiar with the lliad, decry the Odyssey, because they have not carefully read it. "Samson Agonistes," the last of his poetical pieces, is the only tragedy he finished, though he sketched out the plans of several; and it is said he was determined to the choice of this subject by the similiarity of his own circumstances to those of Samson-blind and helpless among his enemies. “ It is written,” says Newton, (and all the best critics agree in this opinion) " in the very spirit of the ancients; and equals, if not exceeds, any of the most perfect tragedies which were exhibited on the Grecian stage when Grecian literature was in its glory.” As this work was the dishonesty of his agents, or his own want of worldly diligence and caution. He was unable, therefore, to employ a regular amanuensis, or reader, but was obliged to receive either the occasional and gratuitous services of some friend, or some inexperienced youth whose services he requited by instruction. There is an interesting passage in his own writings, which shows his disinterestedness, and gives a subsidiary explanation of his embarrassments. “ These my services I gratuitously gave to religion, and my country; and I got no return but the preservation of my life. I have had, however, my reward, in an honest conscience, and an honest reputation. As to others, some have obtained honours, and some emoluments. But for me,- no one ever saw me playing the courtier myself, or soliciting any thing through my friends, or ever knew me with suppliant look hanging at the doors of the Council Chamber, or at the vestibules of ministers. I usually kept myself at home, living on my own means, which, though much diminished in the civil commotions, and by oppressive taxation, yet yielded me a scanty subsistence.'

The following melancholy passage, from his letter to his German friend Heimbach, counsellor to the Elector of Brandenburgh, dated London, August 26th, 1666, will convey some idea of his condition at this time:-“Let me obtain from you this favour, that if you find any parts incorrectly written, and without stops, you will impute it to the boy who writes for me, who is utterly ignorant of Latin, and to whom I am forced, (wretchedly enough,) to repeat every single letter that I dictate." But independently of his increasing bodily afflictions and poverty, he was haunted with perpetual fears of assassination, ever since the Restoration ; which kept him awake whole nights, and prevented him from appearing much abroad, unless when some trusty friend came and conducted him stealthily through byways, at dusk, to take a little necessary exercise. His formal pardon did not disarm the different parties to whose designs his honest and independent stand for the religious and political liberties of his country presented such a barrier, and whose rancour time or distance could not mitigate. Milton was well apprised of the inveterate hostility of these parties ; and saw awful proofs of their determined

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