Milton, John (1608-1674) (DNB00)
MILTON, JOHN (1608–1674), poet, born 9 Dec. 1608 at the house of his father, John Milton [see under Milton, John, the elder], scrivener, in Bread Street, Cheapside. The child was christened at Allhallows Church, destroyed in the fire of 1666. A tablet to commemorate the fact, erected in the present century in the new church, was removed, upon the demolition of that church in 1876, to Bow Church, Cheapside. Milton was a beautiful boy, as appears from a portrait taken when he was ten years old, and soon showed remarkable literary promise. His father (who himself instructed him in music, and, according to Aubrey, made him a skilful organist) had him taught by a private tutor, Thomas Young [q. v.], a Scottish clergyman, afterwards a well-known presbyterian divine, who became in 1644 master of Jesus College, Cambridge. Milton was also sent to St. Paul's School, not later than 1620. Alexander Gill the elder [q. v.] was head-master, and his son, Alexander Gill the younger [q. v.], became assistant-master in 1621. Milton took to study passionately. He seldom left his lessons for bed till midnight, a practice which produced frequent headaches, and, as he thought, was the first cause of injury to his eyes. Besides Latin and Greek, he appears to have learnt French, Italian, and some Hebrew (see his Ad Patrem), and had read much English literature. He was a poet, says Aubrey, from the age of ten. Spenser's ‘Faery Queen’ and Sylvester's translation of Du Bartas were among his favourites. Two paraphrases of Psalms were written when he was fifteen. He became intimate with the younger Gill, and made a closer friendship with Charles Diodati, a schoolfellow of his own age, son of a physician of Italian origin, and a nephew of John Diodati, a famous theologian at Geneva. With Charles Diodati, who entered Trinity College, Oxford, in February 1622-3, Milton kept up an affectionate correspondence.
Milton was admitted as a pensioner of Christ's College, Cambridge, on 12 Feb. 1624-5, and was matriculated on 9 April following. His tutor was William Chappell [q. v.], famous for his skill in disputation, who was afterwards promoted by Laud's favour to the bishopric of Cork. Milton's rooms at Christ's College are still pointed out on the first floor of the western staircase on the north side of the great court. Wordsworth paid his respects to the place, drinking, for once, till he was ‘dizzy’ (see the Prelude, bk. iii.) Milton kept every term at Cambridge until he graduated as M.A. 3 July 1632. He took his B.A. degree 26 March 1629. Rumours of some disgrace in his university career were spread by some of his opponents in later years. Aubrey says that Chappell showed him ‘some unkindness,’ above which in the original manuscript is the interlineation ‘whipt him.’ This ‘whipping’ was accepted by Johnson, and the practice of flogging, though declining, was not yet obsolete. In a Latin epistle to Diodati, probably (see Masson, i. 161) of the spring of 1626, Milton speaks of the harsh threats of a master:—
Cæteraque ingenio non subeunda meo.
Milton clearly had some quarrel with Chappell, and had to leave Cambridge for a time, though without losing his term. He was then transferred from the tutorship of Chappell to that of Nathaniel Tovey.
In replying to the attacks upon him Milton was able to assert that he had been esteemed above his equals by the fellows of the college, and that they had been anxious that he should continue in residence after he had taken his M.A. degree. His biographers, Aubrey and Wood, speak of the respect paid to his abilities. Milton while at college corresponded with Diodati, Gill, and his old preceptor, Young, in Latin prose and verse. He wrote some Latin poems upon events at the university and on the Gunpowder plot, and seven ‘Prolusiones Oratoriæ’ (published in 1674) were originally pronounced as exercises in the schools and in college. One of them, given in the college hall in 1628, was originally concluded by the address to his native language in English. Milton wrote the copy of Latin verses distributed, according to custom, at the commencement of 1628. He had also written some English poems, the sonnet to Shakespeare (1630, first published in the second folio, 1632, of Shakespeare), that ‘On having arrived at the Age of Twenty-three’ (1631), the clumsy attempt at humour upon the death of the carrier Thomas Hobson [q. v.], and the noble ‘Ode on the Nativity’ (Christmas, 1629), in which his characteristic majesty of style first appears, although marred by occasional conceits. Milton (Apology for Smectymnuus) speaks with great contempt of dramatic performances which he had heard at the university, and (letter to Gill, 2 July 1628) expresses his scorn for the narrow theological studies of his companions, and their ignorance of philosophy.
Milton was nicknamed the ‘lady’ at college, from his delicate complexion and slight make. He was, however, a good fencer, and thought himself a ‘match for any one.’ Although respected by the authorities, his proud and austere character probably kept him aloof from much of the coarser society of the place. He shared the growing aversion to the scholasticism against which one of his exercises is directed. Like Henry More, who entered Christ's in Milton's last year, he was strongly attracted by Plato, although he was never so much a philosopher as a poet. He already considered himself as dedicated to the utterance of great thoughts, and to the strictest chastity and self-respect, on the ground that he who would ‘write well here-after in laudable things ought himself to be a true poem’ (Apology for Smectymnuus). Milton's father had retired by 1632 from an active share in his business. He had handed this over to a partner, John Bower, and retired to a house at Horton, Buckinghamshire, a village near Colnbrook. Milton had been educated with a view to taking orders, and a letter (now in Trinity College Library), ending with the sonnet upon completing his twenty-third year, gives reasons for postponing but not for abandoning his intention. He was, however, alienated by the church policy which became dominant under Laud, and says, in 1641 (Reasons of Church Government), that he was unwilling to take the necessary oaths, and was (in this sense) ‘church-outed by the prelates.’ There are slight indications that he thought of studying law (Masson, i. 327), but he soon abandoned this and resolved to devote himself exclusively to literature. His style, ‘by certain vital signs it had, was likely to live,’ he says, and in the Latin epistle ‘Ad Patrem,’ probably written about this time, he thanks his father for consenting to his plans. Milton therefore settled with his father at Horton for nearly six years—July 1632toApril 1638. The house is said by Todd to have been pulled down about 1795. Tradition says that it was on the site of Byrken manor-house, near the church. Milton frequently visited London, eighteen miles distant, to take lessons in mathematics and music. He read the classical writers, and studied Greek and Italian history (to C. Diodati, 23 Sept. 1637), and he wrote poems already displaying his full powers. The ‘Allegro’ and ‘Penseroso,’ the most perfect record in the language of the impression made by natural scenery upon a thorough scholar, were probably (Masson, i. 589) written in 1632. The Countess-dowager of Derby, who had been the wife of Ferdinando, fifth earl of Derby, and afterwards of Thomas Egerton, lord Ellesmere [q. v.] was living at Harefield, near Uxbridge. Her family presented a masque before her in 1633, or possibly in 1634, for which Lawes composed the music and Milton the words, afterwards published as ‘Arcades.’ Milton's acquaintance with Henry Lawes [q. v.] was probably the cause of his employment, as no other connection with the Egerton family is known. John Egerton, first earl of Bridgewater [q. v.], the stepson, and also son-in-law of the Dowager-countess of Derby, had been appointed in 1631 president of the council of Wales. He went to his official residence at Ludlow Castle in 1633, and in September 1634 his family performed the masque of ‘Comus’ in the great hall of the castle, Milton and Lawes being again the composers. This noble poem was appreciated at the time. Lawes received so many applications for copies that he published it (without Milton's name) in 1634. The last of the great poems of his youthful period, ‘Lycidas,’ was written in November 1637, upon the death of Edward King (1612-1637) [q. v.], for the collection of poems published by King's friends at Cambridge in 1638. The poetry already written by Milton would by itself entitle him to the front rank in our literature, and has a charm of sweetness which is absent from the sublimer and sterner works of his later years. The famous apostrophe of St. Peter in ‘Lycidas’ shows his growing interest in the theological controversies of the day.
Milton's mother died on 3 April 1637, and was buried in the chancel of Horton Church. The elder Milton was at the same time charged by a client with misconduct in respect of funds trusted to him for investment. A lawsuit ended on 1 Feb. 1637-8 by an order of court completely exonerating him from all charges (Masson, i. 627-38, 661). Milton now obtained his father's consent to a journey abroad. His brother Christopher, who had followed him to St. Paul's School and Christ's College, was now a law student; he married about this time, and was probably resident at Horton during the elder brother's absence. Milton took a servant, and the expense of a year abroad, as calculated by Howell at the time, would be not under 300l. for a well-to-do traveller and 50l. for his servant. As Milton had no means of his own, his father must have been both able and willing to be liberal. Milton started in April 1638; he made a short stay in Paris, where, according to Wood, he disliked ‘the manners and genius’ of the place; he travelled to Nice; went by sea to Genoa and to Leghorn, and thence by Pisa to Florence, where he stayed two months, probably August and September. About the end of September he went to Rome and spent two months there. He then went to Naples and heard news of the Scottish troubles, which determined him to return, lest, as he said, he should be travelling abroad while his countrymen were fighting for liberty. He made a second stay at Rome, spent two more months in Florence (where he was present in March 1639), and thence went to Venice by Bologna and Ferrara. From Venice he sent home a collection of books and music. He left Italy by Verona, Milan, and the Pennine Alps, probably the Simplon. He spent some time at Geneva, where he was present (as appears from an autograph in an album) on 10 July 1639; and thence returned by Paris, reaching England about the end of July 1639, after fifteen months' absence. (The dates are fixed by the short account of his travels in the ‘Defensio Secunda’ and references in his ‘Occasional Poems and Epistles.’)
Milton declares his freedom from all vice during his foreign journey. His statement is confirmed by a letter of Nicholas Heinsius written from Venice 27 Feb. 1652-3, on occasion of Milton's controversy with Salmasius. Heinsius says that Milton had offended the Italians by his strict morality and by his outspoken attacks on popery (in P. Burmann's Sylloge Epistolarum). His reception by distinguished persons indicates the impression made upon his contemporaries by his lofty character, prepossessing appearance, and literary culture. Lawes had obtained a passport for him. Sir Henry Wotton, then provost of Eton, and his neighbour at Horton, sent him a friendly letter on his departure, thanking him for a gift of ‘Comus,’ and giving his favourite piece of advice, ‘I pensieri stretti ed il viso sciolto.’ Wotton added a letter of introduction; and by others he was introduced to Lord Scudamore, the English ambassador in Paris. Scudamore introduced him to Grotius, then Queen Christina's ambassador, who, according to Phillips, received him kindly. At Florence Milton was received with singular warmth. He was welcomed by the members of all the popular academies, of which he speaks with the enthusiasm of gratitude. The chief among them were Jacopo Gaddi, Carlo Date, Agostino Colsellino, Benedetto Bonmattei, and Antonio Malatesti (see extracts from the ‘pastorals’ of the Academy of the Svogliati in Stern, bk. ii. p. 499). A reference in the ‘Areopagitica’ tells how they complained to him of the tyranny over freedom of speech exercised by the Inquisition. He read Latin poems at their meetings, and was repaid by complimentary effusions given in his subsequent collections of poems (for the history of a manuscript given by Malatesti to Milton, containing some equivocal sonnets, which was afterwards in possession of Thomas Hollis, see Masson,'i. 786-7 n.) At Florence Milton, as he states in the ‘Areopagitica,’ saw Galileo. References in ‘Paradise Lost’ (i. 287-91, v. 262) also indicate the impression made upon Milton by this interview; and the noble lines upon Vallombrosa commemorate a visit of which there was said to be some tradition at the convent (Wordsworth's poem, At Vallombrosa, 1837; works by Knight, vi. 82). Two Latin letters written by Milton to the convent had been shown at Vallombrosa a ‘few years ago’ in 1877 (Notes and Queries, 5th ser. viii.117). At Rome Milton's chief association was apparently with Lucas Holsten or Holstenius, librarian of the Vatican, who had lived at Oxford, and afterwards became a convert to Catholicism. Holstenius showed him collections of books and manuscripts, and introduced him to his patron, Cardinal Barberini. Milton attended a concert at Barberini's palace, and there probably heard the great singer, Leonora Baroni, to whom he addressed three Latin epigrams. At Naples Milton was introduced by ‘a certain eremite,’ with whom he had travelled from Rome, to the aged Manso, formerly the patron of Tasso and Marini. To Manso he addressed an epistle in Latin hexameters, and received in acknowledgment two richly worked cups (described in his ‘Epitaphium Damonis’). Manso, says Milton, excused himself for not showing more attentions on account of his guest's freedom in conversations upon religion. Milton was afterwards told that the English Jesuits at Rome intended to lay snares for him upon the same ground. He determined, however, to speak freely if he should be attacked, and, though carrying out his resolution, was not molested. Milton wrote five Italian sonnets and a canzone, professing love to a beautiful Italian lady of Bologna, which from the allusions to the scenery are supposed to have been written during his visit to that place in the spring of 1639. One of them, however, is addressed to Charles Diodati, who died in August 1638, but it is possible that Milton may not have heard of his loss. Nothing further is known of the lady, whom Warton arbitrarily identified with the singer Leonora; and they are chiefly remarkable as proofs of Milton's facility in writing Italian, although not without occasional slips of grammar and idiom (Masson, i. 826-7 n.)
Milton soon after his return to England took lodgings at a tailor's house in St. Bride's Churchyard. His sister, Mrs. Phillips, had lost her husband in 1631, and afterwards married Thomas Agar, who had succeeded her first husband as secondary in the crown office. She had two sons by her first marriage: Edward, aged about nine, and John, a year younger, who now became pupils of their uncle, the youngest being ‘wholly committed to his charge.’ After a short stay in lodgings, where he had no room for his books, he took a ‘pretty garden-house’ in Aldersgate Street, then, says Phillips, one of the quietest streets in London. Professor Masson (ii. 207) thinks that it was near Golden Lion Court. The elder nephew now came to board with him also, and the household became an example of ‘hard study and spare diet.’ Once a month or so he allowed himself a ‘gaudy day,’ with some ‘beaux of these times,’ but otherwise he devoted himself to carrying out the system of education described in his treatise on that subject (letter to Hartlib, published in June 1644). He gives a portentous list of books to be read; and his pupils are to be trained in athletic and military sports, and in poetry and philosophy, besides obtaining a vast amount of useful knowledge so far as such knowledge is accessible through classical authors. Phillips gives some account of his practice. In 1643 he began to take more pupils. Meanwhile he was busy with literary projects. The ‘Epitaphium Damonis,’ written soon after his return, commemorates, in the form of a pastoral idyll in Latin hexameters, his grief for the loss of Diodati, and incidentally states the resolution, to which he adhered, of henceforth writing in the vernacular. He sketches the plan of an heroic poem upon Arthur. A notebook, now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, gives a list of ninety-nine subjects for poems extracted from scripture and English history. Four drafts show that he was already contemplating a poem on ‘Paradise Lost,’ which was, however, to be in the form of the Greek tragedy. The other subjects are more briefly noticed, and probably few of them occupied his attention for more than the moment. A passage in his ‘Reason of Church-Government’ (1641) describes his meditations upon some great moral and religious poem, the poem and topic being still undecided (for the reasons for assigning the date of about 1640 to these jottings see Masson, ii. 121).
Milton's attention was soon diverted from poetry to ecclesiastical disputes. The meeting of the Long parliament in November 1640 was the signal for urgent attacks upon the episcopacy. Numerously signed petitions were followed by proceedings in parliament, and accompanied by a shower of books and pamphlets. The chief champion of episcopacy was Joseph Hall [q. v.], bishop of Exeter, who had published in the previous February a defence of the ‘Divine Right of Episcopacy,’ and now (January 1640-1) brought out a ‘Humble Remonstrance’ to parliament. He was opposed by the five ministers whose united initials formed the name Smectymnuus. Their book appeared in March. Hall replied in April by a ‘Defence’ of the ‘Remonstrance,’ and also persuaded Archbishop Ussher to publish (in May) a short tract entitled ‘The Judgment of Doctor Rainoldes,’ supporting a qualified version of the episcopal theory. Smectymnuus rejoined in June by a ‘Vindication’ of the previous book. Professor Masson thinks, on rather slight grounds, that Milton had some hand in this ‘Vindication’ (Masson, ii. 260).
One of the Smectymnuan divines was Thomas Young, Milton's old teacher. Milton now supported Smectymnuus in three pamphlets. The first, ‘Of Reformation touching Church Discipline in England’ (May - June 1641), vehemently attacked episcopacy upon historical grounds. The second, on ‘Prelatical Episcopacy’ (June-July), was a reply to Ussher. The third, ‘Animadversions upon the Remonstrance Defence’ (July), was a fierce attack upon Hall's last book, from which a series of passages were cited, with a bitter comment appended to each. These writings were all anonymous, though no secret was made of the authorship. In February 1641-2 Milton published, under his own name, a pamphlet called ‘The Reason of Church-Government urged against Prelacy,’ containing an elaborate argument upon general grounds, and including, after his custom, a remarkable autobiographical statement (at the beginning of the second book). The argument refers partly to a collection of seven tracts upon the episcopal side, published in 1641 as ‘Certaine Briefe Treatises.’ Meanwhile Hall, after a ‘Short Answer’ to the Smectymnuus in the autumn of 1641, left Milton's animadversions unnoticed till in the beginning of 1642 he issued a ‘Modest Confutation of a Slanderous and Scurrilous Libel.’ This pamphlet seems to have been the joint work of Hall and his son Robert, a canon of Exeter and a Cambridge man, two years older than Milton. They had made inquiries as to Milton's character, and the result appeared in much personal abuse. To this Milton replied by an ‘Apology’ (about April 1642), defending himself, attacking the bishops, and savagely reviling Hall, with frequent references to his enemy's early satires and other questionable writings. This ended Milton's share in the discussion. The pamphlets are characteristic, though not now easily readable. They breathe throughout a vehemence of passion which distorts the style, perplexes the argument, and disfigures his invective with unworthy personalities. His characteristic self-assertion, however, acquires dignity from his genuine conviction that he is dedicated to the loftiest purposes; and in his autobiographical and some other passages he rises to an eloquence rarely approached, and shows the poet of ‘Paradise Lost’ struggling against the trammels of prose. The ecclesiastical doctrine shows that he was at this time inclined to presbyterianism (see Masson, ii. 229, 239, 249, 361, 398, for dates of his pamphlets).
The outbreak of the civil war at the end of 1642 did not induce Milton to enter the army. He says himself (Defensio Secunda) that as his mind had always been stronger than his body, he did not court camps in which any common person would have been as useful as himself. Professor Masson thinks, but upon apparently very inadequate grounds, that he had practised himself in military exercises (Masson, ii. 402, 473-81), and Phillips gives an obviously incredible report that there was a design for making him adjutant-general in Waller's army. The expected assault on the city when the king's army was at Brentford in 1642 occasioned Milton's sonnet, which decidedly claims a peaceful character. Meanwhile his father and his brother Christopher had removed to Reading, which was taken by the Earl of Essex in April 1643. About Whitsuntide (21 May 1643) Milton took a journey into the country, assigning no reason, and came back with a wife (Phillips). She was Mary, eldest daughter of Richard Powell of Forest Hill, near Shotover, Oxfordshire. Powell had bought an estate at Forest Hill about 1621. He had also a small estate at Wheatley, valued at 40l. a year. Altogether he had about 300l. a year, but with many encumbrances. Mary (baptised 24 Jan. 1625) was the third of eleven children, and Powell appears to have been a jovial and free-living cavalier. Forest Hill was in the neighbourhood in which Milton's ancestors had lived, and with which the descendants possibly kept up some connection. For some unknown reason Powell had in 1627 acknowledged a debt of 312l. to Milton, who was then an undergraduate, and this debt, among others, was still undischarged. There are no other traces of previous familiarity to explain Milton's sudden journey into a royalist district and his return with a bride of seventeen. Milton's father, dislodged from Reading, came to live with him at the time of his marriage, and some of his wife's family paid him a visit, when there were ‘feastings for some days.’ The wife soon found the house dull after the gaiety of her father's home; there was no society; the nephews (says Aubrey) were often beaten and crying, and Milton discovered that his bride was stupid. She returned to her father's house after trying ‘a philosophical life’ for a month, with the understanding, however, that she was to return at Michaelmas. Phillips says that as Mrs. Milton did not come back at the appointed time Milton sent a messenger to her home. The family, who disliked the connection with a puritan and were encouraged by the prosperity of the royalist cause, sent back the messenger ‘with some sort of contempt’ (‘evilly entreated’ him, as Aubrey thinks). Milton was so indignant that he resolved never to take her back, and proceeded to write his book upon divorce. Professor Masson, however, has pointed out that Thomason, the collector of the king's pamphlets in the British Museum, has marked a copy of this with the date ‘Aug. 1st,’ that is, 1 Aug. 1643. Unless, therefore, there is some mistake, Milton must have written and published the pamphlet within less than three months of his marriage, and, since his wife came to London (by Phillips's account) in June and stayed there a month, almost by the time of her departure. It is impossible to reconcile this with the circumstantial and apparently authentic story about the messenger; but, on the other hand, there is no reason for suspecting Thomason's date. Milton's pamphlet is sufficient to show that the ground of quarrel was some profound sense of personal incompatibility, and not any external quarrel. Such a piece of literary work during a honeymoon, however, is so strange that some very serious cause must be supposed. Pattison sanctions the conjecture, supported by a passage in the pamphlet, that the bride may have refused to Milton the rights of a husband.
However this may be, Milton's indignation took the form, usual to him, of seeing in his particular case the illustration of a general principle to be enunciated in the most unqualified terms. His ‘doctrine and discipline of divorce’ supports the thesis that ‘indisposition, unfitness, or contrariety of mind arising from a cause in nature unchangeable … is a greater reason of divorce than natural frigidity, especially if there be no children or that there be mutual consent.’ He asserts this doctrine in his usual passionate style, and appeals to the highest moral principles in its support. He looks at the matter entirely from the husband's point of view, is supremely indifferent to all practical difficulties, and proposes, by a sweeping reform of the marriage law, to ‘wipe away ten thousand tears out of the life of men.’ The pamphlet attracted notice. Howell calls its author a ‘shallow-pated puppy’ (Familiar Letters, bk. iv. letter 7). Hall was amazed to find that so able an author was serious in so monstrous a scheme; and the clergy began to attack him. He there-upon brought out a second edition with his name to it (2 Feb. 1643-4). It contained many additions, including the striking passage of the myth of Anteros.
Milton's views upon divorce made him notorious, and he is mentioned by the various writers against the sects, whose multiplication was a significant sign of the times, as in Ephraim Paget's ‘Heresiography’ and Thomas Edwards's ‘Gangræna.' Edwards tells the story of a Mrs. Attaway who left her ‘unsanctified’ husband to take up with a preacher, and justified her conduct by Milton's book. On 15 July 1644 Milton published a second pamphlet, ‘The Judgment of Martin Bucer on Divorce,’ justifying himself by the authority of the reformer, and appealing for parliamentary support. Soon afterwards Herbert Palmer, a divine of the Westminster Assembly, declared, in a sermon preached before parliament on a solemn fastday (13 Aug. 1644), that Milton's book ought to be burnt. The presbyterians were denouncing toleration and demanding a general suppression of sects. Their demands were universally supported by the Stationers' Company. The licensing system had broken down in the confusion of the civil troubles and under the pressure of all kinds of publications. The Stationers' Company complained, not only on account of the character of many of the pamphlets, but because their copyrights were frequently disregarded. They petitioned the House of Commons, which (26 Aug. 1644) directed that ‘an ordinance’ should be prepared, and meanwhile directed a search for the authors and printers of Milton's pamphlet ‘concerning divorce.’ An ordinance had already been passed a year before (June 1643), and Milton had disregarded its regulations and published the divorce pamphlets, like their predecessors, without license. Although the new ordinance was passed (1 Oct. 1644), no further notice was taken of Milton in the commons. Milton, however, was led by these attacks to write his ‘Areopagitica,’ which appeared on 24 Nov. 1644. The book is directly devoted to the question of unlicensed prints, and though in favour of such toleration as was then practicable, he makes some reserves in his application of the principle. The right of the ‘Areopagitica’ to rank as the best, as it is clearly the most popular, of Milton's prose works, has been disputed by the jealous admirers of others. The popularity, no doubt due in part to the subject, is also to be ascribed to the greater equability and clearness of the style. If he does not soar to quite such heights, there are fewer descents and contortions, and it remains at a high level of lofty eloquence. In the following December the House of Lords, in the course of some proceedings about an alleged libel, were invited by the wardens of the Stationers' Company to examine Milton. An examination was ordered accordingly, but nothing more is said of it. Milton ended his writings upon divorce by two more pamphlets, both published 4 March 1644-5 the ‘Tetrachordon,’ a ‘proof’ that the four chief passages in the Bible which relate to divorce confirm his views; and the ‘Colasterion,’ intended as a castigation of Joseph Caryl [q. v.], who had licensed an anonymous answer, with an expression of approval of the anonymous answerer himself, and (briefly) of Prynne, who had attacked him in ‘twelve considerable serious queries.’
A third edition of the treatise on divorce appeared in 1645. Milton, according to Phillips, was proposing to apply his principles by marrying the daughter of a Dr. Davis, who was handsome and witty, but ‘averse to this motion.’ After the separation Milton, as Phillips says, had frequented the house of Lady Margaret Ley, now married to a Colonel Hobson. His fine sonnet to Lady Margaret commemorates this friendship, and that addressed to a ‘virtuous’ (and unmarried) ‘young lady’ shows that he saw some female society.
Meanwhile the ruin of the royal cause had brought the Powells into distress, and they desired to restore his real wife to Milton. They introduced her to the house of a Mr. Blackborough, a relative and neighbour of Milton, and when he paid his usual visit his wife was suddenly brought to him. She begged pardon on her knees, and, after some struggle, he consented to receive her again. Passages in ‘Samson Agonistes’ (725-47) and ‘Paradise Lost’ (bk. x. 937-46) may be accepted as autobiographical reminiscences of his resentment and relenting. She came to him in a new house in the Barbican (now destroyed by a railway), which was larger than that in Aldersgate Street, and therefore more convenient for an increased number of pupils, who were now being pressed upon him. His first child, Anne, was born on 29 July 1646; his second, Mary, on 25 Oct. 1648; his third, John (died in infancy), on 16 March 1650-1; and his last daughter Deborah, on 2 May 1652. His wife died in the same year, probably from the effects of her last confinement.
The surrender of Oxford on 24 June 1646 completed the ruin of the Powells. Powell, already deeply in debt, had surrendered his estate to Sir Robert Pye, to whom it had been mortgaged. The moveable property had been sold under a sequestration, and the timber granted to the parishioners by the House of Commons (Masson, iii. 473 seq., 487). It seems probable that the transaction with Pye involved some friendly understanding, as the Powells subsequently regained the estate. Powell, with his wife and some of his children, came to live with Milton and arrange for a composition. He had hardly completed the arrangement when he died, 1 Jan. 1646-7, leaving a will which proves that his affairs were hopelessly confused, though there were hopes of saving something. Mrs. Powell, who administered to the will, her eldest son declining, left Milton's house soon afterwards (ib. pp. 632-40). She continued to prosecute her claims, which were finally settled in February 1650-1. In the result Milton, in consideration of the old debt from Powell, and 1,000l. which had been promised with his wife, had an ‘extent’ upon the Wheatley estate, valued after the war at 80l. a year, but had to pay Powell's composition, fixed at 130l., and also paid Mrs. Powell's jointure of 26l. 13s. 4d. a year (ib. iv. 81, 236-46). Disputes arose upon this, in the course of which Mrs. Powell said that Milton was a ‘harsh, choleric man,’ and referred to his turning her daughter out of doors. She found the allowance insufficient for eight children. Milton was apparently willing to pay, but differed as to the way in which it was to be charged to the estate (see ib. iii. 632-40, iv. 145-6, 236-46, 336-41, and Hamilton's Original Papers). Milton's father died on 15 March 1646-7, and was buried in the chancel of St. Giles's, Cripplegate. His brother Christopher, who had also taken the royalist side, had to compound, and was in difficulties for some years (Masson, iii. 633). A sonnet addressed to Lawes, dated 9 Feb. 1645-6, and a later correspondence with one of his Italian friends, Carlo Dati, suggest some literary occupation at this time (for the Dati correspondence see the Milton Papers printed for the Chetham Society in 1851 by Mr. J. F. Marsh of Warrington, from manuscripts in his possession). The first edition of his collected poems was published in 1645, the English and Latin being separately paged. An ugly portrait by William Marshall is prefixed, under which Milton, with ingenious malice, got the artist to engrave some Greek verses ridiculing it as a caricature. Sonnets written just after this express the antipathy with which he now regarded the presbyterians.
In 1647 the number of Milton's pupils had slightly increased, according to Phillips. Phillips, however, is anxious to explain that he was not a professional schoolmaster. He was only persuaded to impart learning to the sons of some intimate friends. Among his pupils were Cyriac Skinner, grandson by his mother of Sir Edward Coke, and the second Earl of Barrymore, son of Lady Ranelagh, the elder and attached sister of Robert Boyle, well known to literary circles in London, and afterwards a friend of Milton. She also sent to him her nephew, Richard Jones, afterwards first earl Ranelagh [q. v.] In the autumn of 1647, however, Milton moved to a small house in High Holborn, opening at the back into Lincoln's Inn Fields. He gave up teaching, and as, in spite of the many claims upon him, he was able to dispense with this source of income, it maybe inferred that he had inherited a competence from his father.
Milton fully sympathised with the army in their triumph over the parliamentary and presbyterian party. His feelings are expressed in the sonnet to Fairfax upon the siege of Colchester (August 1648). About the same time he was composing his doggerel version of the Psalms, of which he turned eight into rhyme in 1648, adding nine more in 1653. He also employed himself upon compiling the ‘History of Britain,’ of which he had written four books (Defensio Secunda). He was recalled to public affairs by the events which led to the execution of Charles I. Immediately after the king's death appeared his ‘Tenure of Kings and Magistrates’ (13 Feb. 1648-9), an argument in favour of the right of the people to judge their rulers. The newly formed council of state invited Milton directly afterwards to become their Latin secretary. He accepted the offer at once, and was sworn in on 15 March 1648-9. His salary was 15s. 10½d. a day (or 289l. 14s. 4½d. a year). The chief secretary received about 730l. a year. Milton's chief duty was to translate foreign despatches into dignified Latin. He was employed, however, upon a number of other tasks, which are fully indicated by the extract from the ‘Proceedings of the Council’ given in Professor Masson's book. He was concerned in the various dealings of the government with the press; he had to examine papers seized upon suspected persons; to arrange for the publication of answers to various attacks, and to write answers himself. He also appears as licensing the official ‘Mercurius Politicus,’ of which Marchmont Needham [q. v.] was the regular writer. Needham became ‘a crony’ according to Wood, and during 1651 Milton super-intended the paper, and may probably have inspired some articles. Stern (bk. iii. 287-297) gives a previously unpublished correspondence of Milton in his official capacity with Mylius, envoy from Oldenburg. By order of the House of Commons he appended ‘Observations’ to the ‘Articles of Peace’ between Ormonde and the Irish, published 16 May 1649. He was directed also to answer the ‘Eikon Basilike,’ written, as is now known, by John Gauden [q. v.], and published 9 Feb. 1648-9. Milton's ‘Eikonoklastes,’ the answer in question, appeared 6 Oct. 1649, a work as tiresome as the original, and, like Milton's controversial works in general, proceeding by begging the question. By the council's order a French translation of the ‘Eikonoklastes’ by John Durie (1596-1680) [q. v.] was published in 1652. Milton hints a suspicion that Charles was not the real author of the ‘Eikon.’ He attacks with special severity the insertion of a prayer plagiarised from Sidney's ‘Arcadia,’ and enlarged this attack in a second edition published in 1650. The prayer had only been appended to a few copies of the ‘Eikon.’ This led to the absurd story, unfortunately sanctioned in Johnson's ‘Life,’ that Milton had compelled William Dugard [q. v.], then in prison, to insert the prayer in order to give ground for the attack. The impossibility of the story is shown by Professor Masson (iv. 249-50 n., 252). Dugard was concerned in printing the ‘Eikon,’ was imprisoned upon that ground in February 1649-50, a year after the publication, and, on being released at Milton's intervention, published Milton's book against Salmasius. Salmasius (Claude de Saumaise, 1588-1653), a ‘man of enormous reading and no judgment’ (Pattison), was now a professor at Leyden. He had been invited by the Scottish presbyterians to write in their behalf Charles II, who was at the Hague, induced him to write the ‘Defensio Regia pro Carolo I,’ published in November 1649. Milton was ordered to reply by the council on 8 Jan. 1650, and his ‘Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio’ appeared in March 1650. Hobbes, in his ‘Behemoth’ (English Works, vi. 368), says that it is hardly to be judged which is the best Latin or which is the worst reasoning, and compares them to two declamations made by the same man in a rhetoric school. Milton did not, as has been said, receive ‘1.000l.’ for his defence. A hundred pounds was voted to him by the council of state; but the order was cancelled, Milton having no doubt refused to accept it. He had taunted Salmasius (in error apparently) for having received one hundred jacobuses from Charles II, and could not condescend to take a reward for himself. He finally lost his eyesight by the work. It had been failing for some years, and he persisted, in spite of a physician's warnings, in finishing his book (Def. Secunda) at the expense of his eyes. In a famous sonnet he congratulates himself on his resolution. His eyes, he says, were not injured to ‘outward view.' The disease was by himself attributed either to cataract or amaurosis (Paradise Lost, iii. 25), but is said to have been more probably glaucoma (the fullest account is given in Milton's letter to Leonard Philaras or Villeré, 28 Sept. 1654). Salmasius replied in a ‘Responsio,’ but he died at Spa on 6 Sept. 1653, and his book was not published till 1660. Meanwhile other attacks had been made upon Milton. An anonymous pamphlet by John Rowland (Phillips erroneously ascribed it to Bramhall), ‘Pro Rege et Populo Anglicano’ (1651), was answered by Milton's nephew, John Phillips, and the answer—which, according to Edward Phillips, was corrected by their uncle has been published in Milton's works. Peter du Moulin the younger [q. v.], son of a famous French Calvinist, attacked Milton with gross personal abuse in his ‘Regii Sanguinis Clamor ad cœlum' (March 1652) (Masson, v. 217-224. For Du Moulin's account see Gent. Mag. 1773, pp. 369-70,and his Parerga, 1670; also Wood, Fasti, ii. 195). This was edited and provided with a dedicatory epistle by Alexander Morus (or More), son of a Scottish principal of a French protestant college. Milton supposed the true author to be the nominal editor, whom he had perhaps met at Geneva, where More was professor of Greek. He had now become a professor at Middleburg. There were scandals as to More's relations to women, especially to a maid of Salmasius. Milton was ordered by the council to reply to the ‘Clamor,’ and his answer, the ‘Defensio Secunda,’ appeared in May 1654. It was full of savage abuse of Morus, whom Milton declared to be the author, and to be guilty of all the immorality imputed to him. It fortunately contains also one of the most interesting of Milton's autobiographical passages, and an apostrophe to Cromwell and other leaders of the Commonwealth, which illustrates his political sentiments. The ‘Defensio Secunda’ was republished by Ulac, the publisher of the ‘Clamor,’ in October 1654, with ‘Fides Publica,’ a reply by Morus, which was afterwards completed by a ‘Supplementum’ in 1655. Morus denied the author-ship, and Milton in his final reply, ‘Pro se Defensio’( August 1655), to which is subjoined a ‘Responsio’ to Morus's ‘Supplementum,’ reduces his charge to the statement that, in any case, Morus was responsible for editing the book. He had received sufficient testimony from various quarters to convince him that Morus was not really the author, had he been convincible (Masson, iv. 627-34). He continued to maintain his other charges, but happily this was the end of a controversy which had degenerated into mere personalities.
Milton, upon becoming Latin secretary to the council, had been allowed chambers in Whitehall. At the end of 1651 they had been given to others, and he had moved to another ‘pretty garden-house’ in Petty France, Westminster. It afterwards became No. 19 York Street, belonged to Bentham, was occupied successively by James Mill and Hazlitt, and finally demolished in 1877. Here he lived until the Restoration. Milton was helped in his duties, made difficult on account of his blindness, successively by a Mr. Weckherlin, by Philip Meadows [q. v.], and finally by Andrew Marvell. He continued to serve throughout the Protectorate, though in later years, after Thurloe became secretary and kept the minutes in a less explicit form, his services are less traceable. His inability to discharge his duties fully was probably taken into account in an order made in 1655, by which (among other reductions, however) his salary is reduced to 150l. a year, though this sum was to be paid for his life. The amount appears to have been finally fixed at 200l. ib. v. 177, 180-3). He could not regularly attend the council, but despatches requiring dignified language were sent to him for translation. The most famous of these were the letters (dated chiefly 25 May 1655) which Cromwell wrote to various powers to protest against the atrocious persecution of the Vaudois. The letters were restrained in language by diplomatic necessities; but Milton expressed his own feeling in the famous sonnet.
On 12 Nov. 1656 he married Catharine Woodcock, of whom nothing more is known than can be inferred from his sonnet after her death. She gave birth to a daughter 19 Oct. 1657. The mother and child both died in the following February (ib. v. 376, 382). A memorial window to her, erected at the cost of Mr. G. W. Childs of Philadelphia, in St. Margaret's, Westminster, was unveiled on 13 Feb. 1888, when Matthew Arnold gave an address, published in his ‘Essays on Criticism’ (2nd ser. 1888', pp. 56-69). Milton had a small circle of friends. Lady Ranelagh is mentioned by Phillips, and there are two letters to her son at Oxford, showing that Milton disapproved even of the reformed university. He also saw Hartlib, Marchmont Needham, and Henry Oldenburg [q. v.], who was tutor to Lady Ranelagh's son at Oxford. His old pupil, Cyriac Skinner, and Henry Lawrence, son of the president of Cromwell's council, were also friends. But his most famous acquaintance was Andrew Marvell, who succeeded Meadows in 1657, though Milton had recommended him as early as 1652 as his assistant in the secretary's office. There are no traces of acquaintance with other famous men of the time. His religious prejudices separated him from all but a small party, and the lofty severity of his character probably emphasised such separation. It has been vaguely suggested that Milton procured an offer of help from the council for Brian Walton's Polyglott Bible. Foreigners, however, frequently came to see Milton (Phillips), and, according to Aubrey, visited England expressly to see Milton and Cromwell. His writings upon the regicide were received with interest by learned men on the continent, who were surprised that a fanatic could write Latin as well as Salmasius. It is said that Milton had an allowance from parliament, and afterwards from Cromwell, to keep a ‘weekly table’ for the entertainment of distinguished foreigners (Mitford, Life of Milton, App. p. cxlvi).
Milton retained his secretaryship during the protectorate of Richard Cromwell and through the distracted period which intervened before the Restoration. Some brief pamphlets written at this time are a despairing appeal on behalf of a policy which all practical men could perceive to be hopeless. Two of them, published in 1659, are arguments in favour of a purely voluntary ecclesiastical system. In another, published early in 1660, he proposes that parliament should simply make itself perpetual. A second edition was apparently quashed by the speedy establishment of the monarchy. Finally, as late as April 1660, he wrote ‘Brief Notes,’ attacking a royalist sermon. These writings show that Milton was now inclined to the old republican party. His republicanism was anything but democratic. He desired the permanent rule of the chiefs of the army and the council, with a complete separation between church and state, and abstention from arbitrary measures of government.
At the Restoration Milton concealed himself in a friend's house in Bartholomew Close. He remained there during the long debates as to the list of regicides to be excepted from pardon. On 16 June 1660 it was ordered by the House of Commons that Milton's ‘Defensio’ and John Goodwin's ‘Obstructors of Justice’ should be burnt by the common hangman, and that Milton and Goodwin should be indicted by the attorney-general, and taken into custody by the sergeant-at-arms. A proclamation was issued on 13 Aug. ordering the surrender of all copies of the books named. It states that both the authors have hitherto concealed themselves. Milton was arrested in the course of the summer, but in the next session it was ordered that he should be released on paying his fees. Milton protested, through Marvell, against the excessive amount of the fees (150l.), and his complaint was referred to the committee on privileges. The Indemnity Act freed him from all legal consequences of his actions.
Pattison thinks that Milton owed his escape to his ‘insignificance and harmlessness.’ Burnet, however, says that his escape caused general surprise. Pattison's sense of the unpractical nature of Milton's political writings probably led him to underestimate the reputation which they enjoyed at the time. A new edition of the ‘Defensio’ had appeared in 1658, and Salmasius's posthumous ‘Responsio’ was published in September 1660. Cominges, the French ambassador in London, writing to his master on 2 April 1663 of the condition of English literature, declared that in recent times there was only one man of letters—‘un nommé Miltonius qui s'est rendu plus infâme par ses dangereux écrits que ces bourreaux et les assassins de leur roi’ (Jusserand, French Ambassador at the Court of Charles II, p. 205). Milton clearly had enemies who might have sought to make him an example. Professor Masson has endeavoured to construct a history of the negotiations by which such attempts, if made, may have been frustrated (vi. 162-95). The only direct statements are by Phillips and Richardson. Phillips says that Marvell ‘made a considerable party’ for Milton in the House of Commons, and, with the help of other friends, obtained immunity for him. He adds incorrectly that Milton was disqualified for holding office. Richardson, writing in 1734 (Explanatory Notes, p. lxxxix), mentions a report that Secretary William Morice [q. v.] and Sir Thomas Clarges [q. v.] ‘managed matters artfully in his favour.’ He gives, however, as the real secret that Milton had entreated for the life of Sir William D'Avenant [q. v.], and that D'Avenant now returned the favour. Richardson heard this from Pope, Pope heard it from Betterton, and Betterton from his steady patron, D'Avenant. The objection to the anecdote is its neatness. No good story is quite true. Clarges, as Monck's brother-in-law, and Marvell, as Monck's intimate friend, had both influence at the time, and, as Professor Masson also notes, Arthur Annesley, afterwards first Earl of Anglesey [q. v.], was a close friend of Milton in later years, and was at this time a chief manager of the Restoration and in favour of lenity. It cannot be now decided how far any of these stories represents the facts. An incredible story of a mock funeral, carried out by his friends, was given in Cunningham's ‘History of Great Britain,’ 1787, i. 14. On regaining his liberty, Milton took a house in Holborn, near Red Lion Fields (Phillips), and soon afterwards moved to Jewin Street. He lost much in money. He had, according to Phillips, put 2,000l. into the excise office, and could never get it out. He lost another sum invested somewhere injudiciously. He had to give up property valued at 60l., which he had bought out of the estates of Westminster. Professor Masson calculates that before the catastrophe he had about 4,000l. variously invested, and some house property in London, which, with his official income and some other investments, would bring him in some 500l. a year. This may have been reduced to 200l. Milton was frugal and temperate, and Phillips thinks that, ‘all things considered,’ he had still a ‘considerable estate’ (Masson, vi. 444-5). Mrs. Powell renewed her attempts to recover the property after the Restoration. Her eldest son finally regained Forest Hill, and Milton apparently made over the Wheatley estate to the Powells, though it does not appear what he received for the old debt, or for his promised marriage portion of 1,000l. (ib. vi. 449-51).
Milton soon found it desirable to take a third wife who could look after his affairs. His eldest daughter was in her seventeenth year, and the household apparently much mismanaged, when on 24 Feb. 1662-3 he married Elizabeth Minshull. She was born on 30 Dec. 1638, and was a cousin of Milton's friend, Dr. Nathan Paget, by whom the match was arranged. The marriage, though not romantic, was successful. Shortly afterwards Milton moved to a house in Artillery Walk, Bunhill Fields. It was small, but, like all Milton's houses, had a garden. He lived there for the rest of his life, except that, according to Richardson, he lodged for a time (about 1670) with the bookseller Millington. During the plague of 1665 Milton retired to Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, where a ‘pretty box’ was taken for him by the quaker Thomas Ellwood [q. v.] Ellwood had been introduced to Milton in 1662 by Paget; in order to improve his scholarship he had offered to read Latin books to the blind man, who became interested in him and encouraged his studies. Ellwood afterwards became a tutor in the family of the Penningtons at Chalfont. The cottage in which Milton stayed at Chalfont is now preserved, having been bought by public subscription in 1887, and is the only house connected with Milton which still exists. Ellwood visited Milton there one day, and received from him the complete manuscript of ‘Paradise Lost.’ ‘Thou hast said much here of "Paradise Lost,"’ he observed, ‘but what hast thou to say of Paradise Found?’
Blind, infirm, and poor, depressed by the triumph of the principles which he most detested, Milton had determined to achieve the great purpose to which from early youth he had been self-devoted. His sonnet upon completing his twenty-third year, and the letter with which it was accompanied (Masson, i. 324, first published in Birch's Life), show that he was then looking forward to some great work. He had resolved to write a poem which should be national in character, and set forth his conception of the providential order of the world. At the time of his foreign journey he had contemplated a poem upon the Arthurian legend, to which he refers in the ‘Epistle to Manso’ and the ‘Epitaphium Damonis,’ 1638-9. At the time of his jottings, however, about 1641, his chief interest had come to be in a dramatic treatment of the fall of man, although in the ‘Reasons of Church-Government,’ 1641-2, he declares his resolution to take full time for meditation on a fit subject. Phillips reports that the opening passage of this, composed about 1642, was the speech of Satan, which is now at the beginning of the fourth book of ‘Paradise Lost.’ Milton's controversies and business distracted his mind from poetry, and he produced little except the few noble sonnets which commemorate his political emotions. In 1658 he settled down to the composition of ‘Paradise Lost.’ It is said by Aubrey to have been finished in 1663. Among earlier poems from which Milton may have taken hints are especially noticeable: the Anglo-Saxon poem attributed to Cædmon [q. v.], and published in 1655 by Francis Junius; the ‘Adamo’ of Andreini, which was translated by Cowper for Hayley's edition of Milton, and is in Cowper's ‘Works’ by Southey (1837, vol. x.); and the ‘Lucifer’ of Joost van Vondel, published in 1654. The coincidences with the last are the most remarkable. An account of Vondel's poem is given in Mr. Gosse's ‘Literature of Northern Europe’ (1883, pp. 278-312), and an elaborate comparison of ‘Lucifer’ and ‘Paradise Lost’ is given in ‘Milton and Vondel: a Curiosity of Literature,’ by G. Edmundson (1885). At an uncertain date Milton obtained a license for ‘Paradise Lost’ from Thomas Tomkyns, chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Tomkyns, according to Toland (Life, 1709, p. 130), hesitated for a time, on account of the lines in the first book about fear of change perplexing monarchs. The fire of 1666 destroyed the house in Bread Street which Milton had inherited from his father, and diminished his income. Many booksellers were ruined by the loss of their stock. On 27 April 1667, however, Milton signed an agreement with Samuel Simmons or Symons for the copyright. The original of Simmons's copy of the work came into the possession of the Tonsons, who had become proprietors of the copyright, and was finally presented to the British Museum by Samuel Rogers. Milton was to receive 5l. down, and 5l. more upon the sale of each of the first three editions. The editions were to be accounted as ended when thirteen hundred copies of each were sold ‘to particular reading customers,’ and were not to exceed fifteen hundred copies apiece. Milton received the second 5l. in April 1669, that is 10l. in all. His widow in 1680 settled all claims upon Simmons for 8l., and Simmons became proprietor of the copyright, then understood to be perpetual.
The reception of ‘Paradise Lost’ has been the subject of some controversy. No poet ever put more of himself into his work, and Milton's singular loftiness of character and contemptuous tone of superiority to the dominant political and religious parties of his day might be expected to keep readers at a distance. The degree to which the poetry is saturated with the reading of a fine classical scholar might also alienate the unlearned. Milton rather conquers than attracts unless his readers be men of highly cultivated taste, or, like Landor, of congenial temperament. On the other hand, little merit of other kinds is generally required for the popularity of a religious poem. Although ‘Paradise Lost’ has been mentioned as an instance of popular neglect, it would seem on the whole that the sale of thirteen hundred copies in eighteen months and some 4,500 by 1688 marks, as Johnson maintained, a fair degree of success. Richardson (Explanatory Notes, p. cxix) preserved a tradition that Sir John Denham had, upon reading a sheet ‘wet from the press,’ pronounced ‘Paradise Lost’ to be the noblest poem ever written. He adds that it was unknown for two years, when Buckhurst, afterwards Lord Dorset, found it on an old stall, that it was given to him as waste paper, and that Dryden, to whom he showed it, declared that ‘this man cuts us all out and the ancients too.’ Dryden's phrase may be accepted, and is characteristic of his generosity in criticism; but the anecdotes, which involve various inaccuracies, are obviously so distorted, if at all founded on fact, as to prove nothing. Phillips tells us that Milton in his later years was much visited by foreigners and by men of rank, especially Arthur Annesley, earl of Anglesey; and Toland says that Sir Robert Howard, Dryden's brother-in-law, was a ‘particular acquaintance.’ Edward Phillips says in his edition of the ‘Thesaurus’ of Buchler (1675) that many persons thought Milton to have reached the perfection of epic poetry. The commendatory poems by Samuel Barrow and Marvell, prefixed to the second edition of ‘Paradise Lost’ (1674), imply that Milton's position was already regarded as established. Marvell's poem contains a reference to a well-known anecdote of Dryden. Dryden, according to Aubrey, asked Milton's leave to put ‘Paradise Lost’ into a drama in rhyme. Milton told Dryden that he might ‘tag his verses.’ The result was Dryden's ‘Heroick Opera,’ ‘The Fall of Angels and Man in Innocence’ (licensed 17 April 1674). The performance is a contemptible travesty; but in the preface to it, as published in 1675, Dryden speaks emphatically of the sublimity of the original. He told Dennis twenty years afterwards that he knew not at this time ‘half the extent of Milton's excellence.’ Wentworth Dillon, fourth earl of Roscommon [q. v.], inserts a passage from ‘Paradise Lost’ into his ‘Essay on Translated Verse’ (2nd edit. 1685), which is generally mentioned as the first public recognition of Milton's merits. A few other notices are collected by Professor Masson (vi. 781-5). In 1688 Tonson published by subscription a sumptuous edition in folio. Among the subscribers were Somers, who is said to have exerted himself greatly for its success, and Atterbury, who was always an enthusiastic admirer. Dryden's well-known flashy epigram is placed under the portrait. In 1708, when a monument was erected to John Philips (1676-1708) [q. v.] in Westminster Abbey, the dean (Sprat) suppressed the words ‘soli Miltono secundus,’ as that name was too detestable to be used in a sacred building. Atterbury withdrew the prohibition. A monument was erected to Milton himself by William Benson [q. v.] in 1737 (Stanley, Memorials, pp. 306-8 ; Johnson, Lives of Milton and Philips). Milton's fame was now established, and the triumph of the whigs removed one external obstacle. Addison's papers in the ‘Spectator’ (1712) only ratified the then orthodox opinion. A German translation had been published by E. G. von Berge at Zerbst in 1682, while Latin translations and an annotated edition had already shown the growing reputation of the poem.
Milton's last poems, ‘Paradise Regained’ and ‘Samson Agonistes,’ appeared together in 1671. Ellwood says that Milton acknowledged that the ‘Paradise Regained’ was due to his hint at Chalfont. Philips says that Milton could not bear to hear it mentioned as inferior to its predecessor. Its studied severity of style has hindered its popularity, though such critics as Coleridge and Wordsworth have spoken of it as perfect. Although dramatically feeble, the ‘Samson Agonistes’ is to some readers among the most interesting of all Milton's poems from the singular intensity of the scarcely concealed autobiographic utterance.
Milton wrote no more poetry, but in 1673 produced a new edition of the early poems. He published in 1669 his Latin grammar and his ‘History of Britain,’ written long before, and only noticeable as an indication that his name was now exciting interest. His compendium of Ramus's ‘Logic’ came out in 1672. A tract upon ‘True Religion’ of 1673, suggested by Charles II's declaration of 15 March 1672, is a slight performance, giving reasons against tolerating the open exercise of popery. His ‘Familiar Epistles’ and ‘College Exercises’ were published in 1674, though the intended publication at the same time of his official letters was forbidden.
Milton was declining in health and suffered much from gout. His domestic life had been troubled. His eldest daughter, Anne, was deformed and had a defect of speech. None of the children were sent to school, but they were taught, according to the youngest, Deborah, by a mistress at home. Phillips states that the two youngest were brought up to read to him in various languages, including Hebrew, perhaps Syriac, Greek, and Latin, without knowing the meaning. Though, as Professor Masson remarks, this more probably represents the result than the intention for Ellwood speaks of Milton's annoyance at hearing words read when the meaning was not understood the practice was doubtless unpleasant. Their grandmother, Mrs. Powell, would probably not make things pleasanter. It was declared by a servant (see below) that Milton had told her, on the authority of a previous servant, that about 1662 the children combined to cheat their father in household affairs and wished to sell his books. His third marriage annoyed them, and Mary is reported, on the same authority, to have said that a wedding was no news, but that ‘if she could hear of his death that were something.’ The daughters remained with their father till about 1670. The trial of their patience in reading had become ‘almost beyond endurance’ (Phillips), and they were all sent out to learn such ‘curious and ingenious sorts of manufacture’ as are ‘proper for women,’ especially embroidery in gold and silver.
Milton died on 8 Nov. 1674 of ‘gout struck in,’ so peacefully that the time of death was not perceived. He was buried in St. Giles's, Cripplegate, beside his father, with the Anglican service. Many friends and a ‘concourse of the vulgar’ were present, according to Phillips and Toland (accounts of a disgusting exhumation in 1790 of what may have been his body will be found in Notes and Queries, 7th ser. ix. 361-4). Upon Milton's death his wife produced for probate a nuncupative will. The daughters objected, and the widow became administratrix. She settled matters by paying the daughters 100l. apiece, and had about 600l. left for herself. The will had been declared to Milton's brother Christopher on 20 July 1674. Milton had then said that he wished to leave to his ‘undutiful children’ what was due to him from the Powells. He intended ‘all the rest to go to his loving wife.’ Evidence of a maid-servant and her sister was produced to prove this to have been his intention; and he also stated that he had spent ‘the greatest part of his estate’ in providing for his daughters. The servant might probably be prejudiced in Mrs. Milton's favour; but the general impression is no doubt correct that Milton's relations to his daughters were, from whatever cause, unfortunate. (The evidence, from the records of the court, was first printed in the second edition of the ‘Minor Poems’ by Warton, 1791, and is also given in Todd's ‘Life of Milton’ and in the ‘Chetham Miscellanies,’ vol. xxiv.)
Milton's appearance and manners are described with little difference by Aubrey, Phillips, and Richardson. He was rather below the middle height, but well made, with light brown or auburn hair and delicate complexion. He was stately and courteous, though he could be satirical. He would sit at his house-door in a grey coarse cloth coat in fine weather to receive visitors; indoors he is described as neatly dressed in black, pale but not cadaverous; with his ‘fingers gouty and with chalk-stones’ ( Richardson). Aubrey and Toland tell us that he rose as early as four in summer and five in winter. Before breakfast the Bible was read to him in Hebrew. He afterwards read or dictated till midday, when he dined very temperately. He took some exercise, walking when possible, and in bad weather swinging. He always had music in the afternoon. He then retired for a time, but again saw his friends after six o'clock, had a supper of ‘olives or some light thing’ at eight, and after a pipe and a glass of water went to bed. According to Phillips, Milton composed freely only from ‘the autumnal equinoctial to the vernal;’ the account was confirmed by Mrs. Milton (Newton, p. lxxx), though Toland fancies that Phillips has inverted the period, because in his early ‘In Adventum Veris’ (1629) he welcomes the revival of his genius in spring. He frequently dictated from ten to thirty lines to any one who happened to be at the house, leaning in his easy chair, adds Richardson, with a leg thrown over the elbow. At times he would compose during sleepless nights, and would call up and dictate to his daughter. He would dictate forty lines in a breath, and then reduce them to twenty. The sonnet to Lawrence gives an impression of Milton in his sociable hours. Milton had come to stand apart from all sects, though apparently finding the quakers most congenial. He never went to any religious services in his later years. When a servant brought back accounts of sermons from nonconformist meetings, Milton became so sarcastic that the man at last gave up his place (Richardson).
Portraits of Milton, known to be authentic, are: (1) A portrait at the age of ten, ascribed to Cornelius Janssen (engraved as frontispiece to Masson's ‘Life,’ vol. i.; see pp. 66n., 308n.), is in the possession of Edgar Disney. (2) A portrait taken at Cambridge at the age of twenty, engraved by Vertue in 1731 and 1756, and by other artists. The later portrait belonged to Speaker Onslow, and is generally known as the ‘Onslow’ portrait. It has disappeared since a sale of Lord Onslow's pictures in 1828. Both these belonged to Milton's widow. (3) The portrait engraved by Faithorne for the ‘History of Britain;’ the original crayon-drawing was in possession of the Tonsons in 1760, and an etching from it is given in the ‘Memoirs of Thomas Hollis,’ p. 529. Another crayon-drawing, now at Bayfordbury, belonged to Richardson, and resembles the preceding so clearly, that its independence is doubtful. This was the portrait recognised by Milton's daughter Deborah when the engraver Vertue saw her about 1725 (Hollis, Memoirs, p.625). The ‘Onslow’ portrait is the original of the caricature by Marshall, prefixed to the 1645 poems. A mezzotint by J. Simon is inscribed ‘R. White ad vivum delin.,’ but there are no traces of the original. A bust now in Christ's College, to which it was left by John Disney (1746-1816) [q. v.], is said to have been taken by ‘one Pierce’ who executed the bust of Wren now in the Bodleian Library. The face is said to be ‘a plaster cast from the original mould.’ A miniature by Samuel Cooper once belonged to Reynolds, who had a controversy about it with Lord Hailes in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ for 1791; but it seems to be clearly not Milton (Masson, i. 66n., 308-10 n., vi. 754-7 n., and Sotheby, Ramblings, pp. xvii-xxv; J. Fitchett Marsh in Lancashire and Cheshire Historic Society, 1855).
Milton's widow retired to Nantwich, Cheshire, where her family lived, and died in the autumn of 1727. Some stories derived from her are given by Newton. She said that her husband had been asked to write for the court, but would not write against his conscience (Newton, p. lxxx). Richardson's report that he was asked to resume the Latin secretaryship (an incredible statement), and told his wife that she wanted to ride in her coach, but that he would live and die an honest man, is probably an elaboration of this very doubtful statement. Anne Milton married a ‘master-builder,’ and died in childbed before 26 Oct. 1678, when her grandmother, Mrs. Powell (who died in 1682), made a bequest of 10l. apiece to the other daughters. Mary died unmarried by 1694. Deborah had gone to Dublin as companion to a lady before her father's death, and soon after it married a weaver, Abraham Clarke. The Clarkes settled in Spitalfields, and had ten children. She died 24 Sept. 1727, being then a widow; her only surviving son was Urban Clarke, a weaver in Spitalfields, who died unmarried. Her only surviving daughter, Elizabeth, had married Thomas Foster, another weaver. Her eldest son, Caleb Clarke, had emigrated to Madras, where he was married in 1703, had children, and died in 1719. The last trace of descendants was the birth of Mary, daughter of Caleb's son Abraham, at Madras in 1727. Deborah Clarke received some notice before her death. Addison visited her, gave her some money, and proposed to get her a pension, but died (1719) before doing so. She was seen by Professor Ward of Gresham College, confirmed the stories about reading unknown languages to her father, and is said to have repeated verses from Homer, Ovid, and Euripides. She spoke, however, with affection (Richardson, Explanatory Notes, p. xxxvi) of her father, though not of her stepmother. Queen Caroline is said to have given her fifty guineas, and Voltaire says that when her existence was known she ‘became rich in a quarter of an hour.’ Her daughter, Elizabeth Foster, had seven children, all of whom died before her without issue. Mrs. Foster was visited by Newton and Birch (see Hunter, Gleanings), and ‘Comus’ was performed for her benefit at Drury Lane, 5 April 1750. Johnson wrote the prologue, and a sum of about 130l. was produced by this and other subscriptions [cf. art. Lauder, William]. She died at Islington, 9 May 1754, being probably the last of Milton's descendants.
Milton's works are: 1. ‘A Masque presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634, on Michaelmasse Night, before the Right Honourable the Earle of Bridgwater, Viscount Brackly, Lord President of Wales, and one of his Majesties Most Honourable Privie Counsell,’ London, 1637 (with Dedicatory Letter by H. Lawes; the name ‘Comus’ is not in this or in Milton's ‘Poems’ of 1645 or 1673; a manuscript in the Bridgewater Library was printed by Todd in his edition of ‘Comus’ in 1798). 2. ‘Obsequies to the Memorie of Mr. Edward King, Anno Dom. 1638,’ thirteen English poems, of which Milton's ‘Lycidas’ is the last; published and sometimes bound with twenty-three Latin and Greek poems, ‘Justa Edovardo King Naufrago ab amicis mœrentibus amoris et μνείας χάριν.' 3. ‘Of Reformation touching Church Discipline in England, and the Causes that hitherto have hindered it: Two Books written to a Friend,’ 1641. 4. ‘Of Prelatical Episcopacy, and whether it may be deduced from the Apostolical Times by vertue of those Testimonies which are alledg'd to that purpose in some late Treatises; one whereof goes under the Name of James, Archbishop of Armagh,’ 1641. 5. ‘Animadversions upon the Remonstrant's Defence against Smectymnuus,’ 1641. 6. ‘The Reason of Church Government urged against Prelaty, by Mr. John Milton,’ 1641 (early in 1641-2). 7. ‘An Apology against a Pamphlet called A Modest Confutation of the Animadversions …,"’ 1642 (March and April 1642). 8. ‘The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, Restor'd, to the good of both sexes, from the Bondage of Canon Law and other Mistakes, to Christian Freedom, guided by the Rule of Charity; wherein also many places of Scripture have recovered their long-lost Meaning; reasonable to be now thought of in the Reformation intended,’ 1643 (1 Aug.? see above); 2nd enlarged edition, 2 Feb. 1643-4, ‘the author J. M.’ 9. ‘Of Education: to Mr. Samuel Hartlib,’ 5 June 1644 (a facsimile of the edition of this , appended to the ‘Poems’ of 1673, was edited by Oscar Browning in 1883). 10. ‘The Judgement of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce. Writt'n to King Edward the Sixt, in his Second Book of the Kingdom of Christ. And now Englisht. Wherein a late Book restoring the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce is heer confirm'd and justify'd by the Authoritie of Martin Bucer. To the Parlament of England,’ 1644. 11. ‘Areopagitica. A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, to the Parlament of England,’ 1644 (November). 12. ‘Tetrachordon: Expositions upon the foure chief Places in Scripture which treat of Marriage, or Nullities in Marriage. … By the former Author, J. M.,’ 1645 (14 March 1644-5). 13. 'Colasterion: A Reply to a Nameles Answer against "The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce." Wherein the trivial Author of that Answer is discover'd, the License conferred with, and the opinion which they traduce defended. By the former Author, J. M.,’ 1645 (4 March 1644-5). 14. ‘Poems of Mr. John Milton, both English and Latin, compos'd at several times. Printed by his true copies. The songs were set in Musick by Mr. Henry Lawes, Gentleman of the King's Chappel, and one of His Majesties Private Musick,’ 1645. An address by the stationer, Humphrey Moseley, to the reader is prefixed; Sir H. Wotton's letter to Milton and verses by his Italian friends are also given, and a portrait by W. Marshall. A second edition, called ‘Poems, &c., upon several Occasions,’ with ‘A small Tractate of Education to Mr. Hartlib,’ appeared in 1673. It included the poems written since the first publication, excepting the sonnets to Cromwell, Fairfax, Vane, and the second to Cyriac Skinner, which first appeared with the ‘Letters of State’ in 1694. Some youthful poems are added; and the dedication of ‘Comus’ to Bridgewater and Wotton's letter are omitted. T. Warton published an edition in 1785; a second, enlarged, appeared in 1791. 15. ‘The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, proving that it is lawful … for any who have the power to call to account a Tyrant or wicked King, and after due Conviction, to depose and put him to Death, if the ordinary Magistrate have neglected or denied to do it,’ 1648-9; 2nd edition in 1650. 16. ‘Observations on the Articles of Peace’ (between Ormonde and the Irish), 1649. 17. ‘Eίκονοκλαστης in Answer to a Book entitled “Eίκων βασιλικη”’ 1649; October, 2nd edition, 1650; French translation, 1652. 18. ‘Joannis Miltoni Angli pro Populo Anglicano Defensio contra Claudii anonymi, alias Salmasii Defensionem Regiam,’ 1650-1. A folio, a quarto, and several 12mo editions were published in 1651, another in 1652, and one in 1658. 19. ‘Joannis Miltoni Angli pro Populo Anglicano Defensio Secunda contra infamem Libellum anonymum cui titulus Regis Sanguinis Clamor …,’ 1654. 20. ‘Joannis Miltoni pro se Defensio contra Alexandrum Morum Ecclesiasten, Libelli famosi cui titulus Regis Sanguinis Clamor … Authorem recte dictum,’ 1655 (August). To this was appended 21. ‘Joannis Miltoni ad Alexandri Mori Supplementum Responsio,’ 1655. 22. ‘Scriptum Domini Protectoris … contra Hispanos …,’ 1655 (a translation, with James Thomson's ‘Britannia,’ was published in 1738). 23. ‘A Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes, showing that it is not lawfull to compell in Matters of Religion,’ 1658-9. 24. ‘Considerations touching the likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church, wherein is also discoursed of Tithes, Church-Fees, and Church Revenues …,’ 1659. 25. ‘A Letter to a Friend concerning the Ruptures of the Commonwealth,’ dated 20 Oct. 1659 (this and No. 27 published in ‘Prose Works’ of 1698, ‘from the manuscript’). 26. ‘The Ready and Easy Way to establish a Free Commonwealth and the Excellencies thereof compared with the Inconveniences and Dangers of readmitting Kingship in this Nation,’ 1659-60; 2nd edition, April 1660. 27. ‘The Present Means and Brief Delineation of a Free Commonwealth, easy to be put in Practice and without Delay, in a Letter to General Monk,’ 1660. 28. ‘Brief Notes upon a late Sermon … by Matthew Griffith, D.D.,’ 1660. 29. ‘Paradise Lost: A Poem written in Ten Books, by John Milton.’ Nine different title-pages were prefixed to successive issues of the first edition. In the fifth were added fourteen pages, containing a prose ‘Argument’ and the paragraph headed the ‘Verse,’ defending the absence of rhyme (see Masson, vi. 622-8, and his preface to the facsimile published by Elliot Stock in 1877, for an account of these variations). The 2nd edition (‘revised and augmented,’ in which the poem was first divided into twelve books) appeared in 1674, the 3rd in 1678, and the 4th in 1688. Latin translations of the first book were published in 1686 and 1691; of the whole, as also of ‘Paradise Regained’ and ‘Samson Agonistes,’ by W. Hog, in 1690; of the whole, by M. B[old], in 1702; by Joseph Trapp in 1740-4, 2 vols.; and by W. Dobson, in 1750-3, 2 vols. The British Museum contains translations into Armenian, Danish, Dutch (1728, &c.), French (1729, &c.), German (1682, &c.), Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian (1735, &c), Manx (1796), Polish (1791), Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Welsh. 30. ‘Accidence commenc't Grammar …,’ 1669. 31. ‘The History of Britain, that Part especially now called England. From the first traditional Beginning continued to the Norman Conquest, collected out of the antientest and best Authours thereof by John Milton,’ 1670. 32. ‘Artis Logicæ Plenior Institutio ad P. Remi Methodum concinnata,’ 1670, also 1672 and 1673. 33. ‘Paradise Regained, a Poem in IV Books; To which is added “Samson Agonistes.” The author John Milton,’ 1671, also 1680, 1688, and 1793. Editions of these, often with ‘Paradise Lost,’ as ‘Poetical Works.’ 34. ‘Of True Religion, Heresy, Schism, Toleration, and what best Means may be us'd against the Growth of Popery,’ 1673. 35. ‘Joannis Miltoni Angli Epistolarum Familiarium Liber unus; quibus accesserunt ejusdem (jam olim in Collegio adolescentis) Prolusiones quædam Oratoriæ,’ 1674. 36. ‘A Declaration or Letters Patent of the Election of this present King of Poland, John II,’ translated 1674 (anonymous translation, but published as Milton's in the ‘Prose Works,’ 1698). 37. ‘Literæ Pseudo-Senatus Anglicani, necnon Cromwell reliquorumque Perduellium nomine ac jussu conscriptæ ɛ Joanne Miltono,’ 1676 (this was a surreptitious publication of Milton's despatches. It was reprinted at Leipzig in 1690; and an English translation, ‘Letters of State,’ by Phillips, with a life of Milton prefixed, in 1694). 38. ‘Mr. John Milton's Character of the Long Parliament and Assembly of Divines. In mdcxli.,’ 1681 (professes to be a passage omitted from the ‘History of Britain,’ in later editions of which it is now inserted. The authenticity is doubtful, see Masson, vi. 807-12). 39. ‘A Brief History of Moscovia …Gather'd from the Writings of several Eye-witnesses …,’ 1682 (said by the publisher to have been written by Milton's own hand before he lost his sight). 40. ‘J. Miltoni Angli de doctrina Christiana Libri duo posthumi,’ 1825. Edited by Sumner, afterwards bishop of Winchester, from a manuscript in the State Paper Office. This manuscript, together with a copy of the ‘Literæ Pseudo-Senatus,’ had been entrusted by Milton to Daniel Skinner, who after Milton's death had offered them for publication to Elzevir at Amsterdam. Skinner was compelled to surrender them to government, and both manuscripts were discovered in the State Paper Office by Robert Lemon in 1823. Such of the state letters as had not been already published were edited by W. D. Hamilton for the Camden Society in ‘Original Papers’ (1859). The ‘Christian Doctrine’ gives Milton's theological views. Accepting absolutely the divine authority of the Bible, he works out a scheme of semi-Arianism, and defends the doctrine of free-will against the Calvinist view. He shows little knowledge of ecclesiastical authorities. Sumner published a translation of the ‘Christian Doctrine,’ reprinted in Bohn's edition of the ‘Prose Works.’ In 1658 Milton published Raleigh's ‘Cabinet Council’ from a manuscript in his possession. ‘Original Letters and Papers of State addressed to Oliver Cromwell … found among the Political Collections of Mr. John Milton,’ 1743, contains papers which are stated to have been given by Milton to Ellwood (see Masson, vi. 814).
Milton's ‘Collections for a Latin Dictionary’ are said by Wood to have been used by E. Phillips in his ‘Enchiridion’ and ‘Speculum’ in 1684. ‘Three large folios’ of Milton's collections were used by the editors of the ‘Cambridge Dictionary’ of 1693.
An ‘Argument on the great Question concerning the Militia, by J. M.,’ 1642, which, according to Todd (i. 223), is ascribed to Milton in a copy in the Bridgewater Library by a note of the second Earl of Bridgewater, was really by John March (1612-1657) [q. v.] (Bodleian Cat.} Two commonplace books of Milton's have been edited by Mr. Alfred J. Horwood, one from a copy belonging to Sir F. W. Graham in 1876 (privately printed), and another for the Camden Society (1876, revised edition, 1877). They contain nothing original. A manuscript poem, dated 1647, discovered by Professor Morley in a blank page of the 1673 volume, was attributed by him to Milton, and became the subject of a warm newspaper controversy in 1868. The British Museum has a collection of the articles which appeared. The weight of authority seems to be against it, and if Milton's, he suppressed it judiciously. It has also been claimed for Jasper Mayne [q. v.] The Milton MSS. now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, were left to the college by Sir Henry Newton Puckeridge, bart., a book-collector, who died in 1700. They contain copies of ‘Comus’ and ‘Lycidas,’ the ‘jottings’ mentioned above, some early poems, many of the sonnets in Milton's own hand, besides copies of a few sonnets in other hands.
The first annotated edition of Milton's poems appeared in 1695 by P[atrick] H[ume] [q. v.] John Callander [q. v.] was accused of appropriating the notes unfairly in his edition of the first book of ‘Paradise Lost’ in 1750. Bentley's famous edition appeared in 1732, and was attacked by Zachary Pearce [q. v.] in that year. The edition by Newton of ‘Paradise Lost’ appeared in 1749, 2 vols. 4to, and of the other poems, 1 vol. 4to, in 1750, and has been frequently reprinted. Baskerville's quarto edition of 1758, from Newton's text, is handsome but ‘full of misprints.’ Another of Baskerville's followed in 1759. Boydell's sumptuous edition, with plates, after Westall, and a life by Hayley, appeared in 1794. Cowper's translations of the Latin and Italian poems were published separately by Hayley in 1808, and are in the tenth volume of Cowper's ‘Works’ by Southey (1837). Todd's ‘Variorum’ edition appeared in 6 vols. 8vo in 1801, 7 vols. 8vo in 1808, and in 1826. The ‘Aldine’ edition of 1826 contains the life by Phillips, Cowper's translations of Latin and Italian poems, and an introduction by J[oseph] P[arkes]; that of 1832, a life by J. Mitford. Sir Egerton Brydges edited an edition (6 vols. 8vo) in 1835, and James Montgomery an edition (2 vols. 8vo) in 1843. Professor Masson edited the ‘Cambridge’ Milton, 3 vols. 8vo, in 1877, and again in 1890, and also an edition in the ‘Golden Treasury’ series in 1874, and the ‘Globe’ Milton in 1877. The ‘Aldine’ edition, with life by John Bradshaw, appeared in 1892. An edition of the English ‘Prose Works,’ in 1 vol. folio, 1697, without the name of printer or place of publication, is in the British Museum. The ‘Prose Works’ were collected by Toland in 1698 in 3 vols. folio, Amsterdam (really London). They were republished by Birch in 1738, 2 vols. folio, and again in 1753 (when Richard Baron [q. v.] restored the later editions of tracts printed by Toland from earlier copies). They were edited by Charles Symmons, D.D., in 7 vols. 8vo, in 1806. A selection appeared in 1809. A one-volume edition was edited by J. Fletcher in 1833, and has been reprinted. They are also contained, together with the ‘Christian Doctrine,’ in Bohn's edition, 5 vols. 8vo, edited by J. A. St. John, 1848-53. The ‘Works in Prose and Verse,’ in 8 vols. 8vo, were edited by John Mitford in 1851, but without the ‘Christian Doctrine.’
[Everything knowable about Milton has been given, with careful references to original sources, in Professor Masson's Life of John Milton, narrated in connection with the Political, Ecclesiastical, and Literary History of his Time, 6 vols. 8vo, 1859-80. A new and revised edition of vol. i. (cited above) appeared in 1881. The original sources are: Life in Wood's Fasti (Bliss), i. 480-6 (first published in 1691-2). Wood's information came chiefly from Aubrey, whose memoir was published in the Lives (1813). A copy from the original manuscripts is appended to Godwin's Lives of E. and J. Phillips (1815), and another in Stern (i. 337-44). The life by Edward Phillips, which is the most valuable, was originally prefixed to the Letters of State, 1694, and is reprinted in Godwin's Lives of the Phillipses, and in the Poems, 1826. Toland's sketch was originally prefixed to the Prose Works of 1698, and appeared separately in 1699 and 1761. A brief life by Elijah Fenton [q. v.] was prefixed to an edition of the Poems in 1725, and to many later editions. The Explanatory Notes on Paradise Lost, by Jonathan Richardson, Father and Son, 1734, contain a life of Milton by the father, who collected a few original facts. A life by Thomas Birch was prefixed to the Prose Works of 1738 and 1753. Peck's New Memoirs of the Life … of Mr. John Milton, 1740. is a ‘silly medley of odds and ends’ (Masson). The life by Newton, prefixed to Works in 1749, adds a fact or two from Milton's widow and granddaughter. The famous life by Johnson first appeared in 1779 in the collection of English Poets. An edition, edited by Mr. C. H. Firth, was published in 1891. The evidence taken upon the will was first published in the second edition of the Minor Poems by T. Warton in 1791. H. J. Todd's life was first prefixed to the ‘Variorum’ edition of 1801. In a third edition (1826) Todd first made use of the records of Milton's official career, preserved in the State Paper Office. The notes to the ‘Variorum’ edition contain most of the accessible information. A life by Charles Symmons forms the seventh volume of the Prose Works of 1806. Other lives are by Sir Egerton Brydges (Poems of 1835), by James Montgomery (Poems, 1843), by C. R. Edmonds (1851), specially referring to Milton's ecclesiastical principles, and by Thomas Keightley (Life, Opinions, and Writings of Milton, 1855). The standard life previous to Professor Masson was that by J. Mitford, prefixed to Works, 1851. Milton und seine Zeit, in 2 pts. 1877-9, by Alfred Stern, is an independent and well-written, though less comprehensive, work on the same lines. See also the short but admirable lives by Pattison in the Men of Letters series, and by Dr. Garnett in the Great Writers series. Among special publications are Ramblings in Elucidation of the Autograph of Milton, by Samuel Leigh Sotheby, F.S.A., imperial 4to, 1861; Papers connected with Milton and his Family, by John Fitchett Marsh, in Chetham Society Miscellanies (vol. xxiv. of Publications). 1851; A Sheaf of Gleanings, by Jeseph Hunter, 1850; and Original Papers illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Milton, with an Appendix of Papers relating to his connection with the Powell Family, by W. Douglas Hamilton (Camden Soc.), 1859.]