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of marrying another wife, who might be worthy of the title, he paid his addresses to the daughter of Doctor Davies : the father seems to have been a convert to Milton's arguments; but the lady had fcruples. She possessed, according to Philips, both wit and beauty. A novelist could hardly imagine circumstances more singularly distressing to sensibility, than the situation of the poet, if, as we may reasonably conjecture, he was deeply enamoured of this lady; if her father was inclined to accept him as a son-in-law; and if the object of his love had no inclination to reject his suit, but what arose from a dread of his being indiffolubly united to another,
Perhaps Milton alludes to what he felt on this occasion in those affecting lines of Paradise Lost, where Adam, prophetically enumerating the miseries to arise from woman, says, in closing the melancholy list, that man sometimes
« His happiest choice too late “ Shall meet, already link'd and wedlock-bound “ To a fell adversary, his hate or fhame! “ Which infinite calamity shall cause “ To human life, and houshold peace confound.”
However strong the scruples of his new favourite might have been, it seems not improbable that he would have triumphed over them, had not an occurrence, which has the air of an incident in ro. mance, given another turn to the emotions of his heart. While he was conversing with a relation, whom he frequently visited in St. Martin's-lane,
the door of an adjoining apartment was suddenly opened : he beheld his repentant wife kneeling at his feet, and imploring his forgiveness. After the natural struggles of honest pride and just resentment, he forgave and received her, “partly from the in“ tercefsion of their common friends, and partly," says his nephew, “ from his own generous nature,
more inclinable to reconciliation, than to per“ feverance in anger and revenge.”
Fenton juftly remarks, that the strong impression which this interview must have made on Milton “ contributed much to the painting of that pa" thetic scene in Paradise Lost in which Eve ad" dresses herself to Adam for pardon and peace;' the verses, charming as they are, acquire new charms, when we consider them as descriptive of the poet himself and the penitent destroyer of his domestic comfort.
« Her lowly plight
It has been said, that Milton resembled his own Adam in the comeliness of his person; but he seems to have resembled him ftill more in much nobler endowments, and particularly in uniting great ten
derness of heart to equal dignity of mind. Soon after he had pardoned, and lived again with his
wife, he afforded an asylum, in his own house, to both her parents, and to their numerous family,
They were active royalists, and fell into great diftress by the ruin of their party : these were the persons who had'not only treated Milton with contemptuous pride, but had imbittered his existence for four years, by instigating his wife to persist in deserting him. The mother, as Wood intimates, was his greatest enemy, and occasioned the perverse conduct of her daughter. The father, though sumptuous in his mode of life when he first received Milton as his son-in-law, had never paid the marriage portion of a thousand pounds, according to his agreement, and was now stript of his property by the prevalence of the party he had opposed. On persons thus contumelious and culpable towards him, Milton bestowed his favour and protection. Can the records of private life exhibit a more magnanimous example of forgiveness and beneficence ?
At the time of his wife's unexpected return, he was preparing to remove from Aldersgate to a larger house in Barbican, with a view of increasing the number of his scholars. It was in this new mansion that he received the forgiven penitent, and provided a refuge for her relations, whom he retained under his roof, according to Fenton, “ till their affairs
were accommodated by his interest with the vic66 torious party.
They left him soon after the death of his father, who ended a very long life, in the year 1647, and
not without the gratification, peculiarly soothing to an affectionate old man, of bestowing his benediction on a grand-child; for, within the year of Milton's re-union with his wife, his family was increased by a daughter, Anne, the eldest of his children, born July 29th, 1646.
When his apartments were no longer occupied by the guests, whom he had so generously received, he admitted more fcholars; but their number was small, and Philips imagines, that he was induced to withdraw himself from the business of education by a prospect of being appointed adjutant general in Sir William Waller's army; whatever might have been the motive for his change of life, he quitted his large house in Barbican for a smaller in Holborn,
among those (says his nephew) that open back66 wards into Lincoln's Inn Fields," where he lived, according to the same author, in great privacy, and perpetually engaged in a variety of studies.
Three years elapsed without any new publication from his pen; a silence which the various affecting occurrences in his family would naturally produce. In 1649 he published The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates ; and in his summary account of his own writings, he relates the time and occasion of this performance. He declares, that without any personal malevolence against the deceased monarch, who had been tried and executed before this publication appeared, it was written to compose the minds of the people, disturbed by the duplicity and turbulenceof certain presbyterian ministers, who affected to consider the sentence against the king as contrary to
the principles of every protestant church, " a false. “ hood (says Milton) which, without inveighing “ against Charles, I refuted by the testimony of their “ most eminent theologians *.”
His observations on the articles of peace between the Earl of Ormond and the Irish papists appeared in the same year; a performance that he probably thought too inconsiderable to enumerate in his own account of what he had published; it includes, however, some remarkably keen strictures on a letter written by Ormond, to tempt Colonel Jones, the governor of Dublin, to desert the Parliament, who had intrusted him with his command. Ormond, having imputed to the prevailing party in England a design to establish a perfect Turkish .tyranny, Milton, with great dexterity, turns the expreffion against Ormond, observing, that the design of bringing in
* Tum verò tandem, cùm presbyteriani quidam ministri, Carolo priùs infeftiffimi, nunc independentium partes fuis anteferri, et in fenatu plus poffe indignantes, parliamenti fententiæ de rege latz (non facto irati, sed quod ipforum factio non fecisset) reclamitarent, et quantum in ipfis erat tumultuarentur, ausi affir. mare protestantium doctrinam, omnesque ecclesias reformatas ab ejusmodi in reges atroci fententiâ abhorrere, ratus falfitati tam apertæ palam eundem obviàm effe, ne tum quidem de Carolo quicquam fcripfi aut fuafi, fed quid in genere contra tyrannos liceret, adductis haud paucis summorum theologorum teftimoniis oftendi ; et infignem hominum meliora profitentium, five ignorantiam five impudentiam propè concionabundus incesli. Liber iste non nifi poft mortem regis prodiit, ad componendo3 potius hominum animos factus, quam ad ftatuendum de Carolo quicquam, quod non mea, fed magiftratuum intererat, et peractum jam tum erat.-Profe works, vol. ii. p. 385.