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death of their author for political reasons; others might be concealed from the same motive, and in such concealment they might easily perish. I can hardly believe that he never addressed a verse to Bradshaw, whom we have seen him praising so eloquently in prose; and among those whom he mentions with esteem in his Latin works, there is a less known military friend, who seems still more likely to have been honored with some tribute of the poet's affection, that time and chance may have destroyed; I mean his friend Overton, a soldier of eminence in the service of the parliament, whom Milton describes "as endeared to him through many years by the sweetness of his manners, and by an in* timacy surpassing even the union of brothers.*" A character so highly and tenderly esteemed by the poet has a claim to the attention of his biographer. Overton is

* Tc, Overtone, mihi multis ab hinc annis ct studiorum similitudinc, et morum suavitate, concordia plus

quara fraterna conjunctissime. Prose Work, Vol*

II, p. 400,

commended by the frank ingenuous Ludlow as a brave and faithful officer; he is also ridiculed in a ballad of the royalists as a religious enthusiast. He had a gratuity of 3001. a-year conferred upon him for his bravery by the parliament, and had risen to the rank of a major general. Cromwell, apprehensive that Overton was conspiring against his usurpation, first imprisoned him in the tower, and afterwards confined him in the island of Jersey. A letter, in which Marvel relates to Milton his having presented to the Protector at Windsor a recent copy of the Second Defence, expresses at the same time, an affectionate curiosity concerning the business of Overton, who was at that time just brought to London by a mysterious order of Cromwell. He did not escape from confinement till after the death of Oliver, when, in consequence of a petition from his sister to the parliament, he obtained his release. Soon after the restoration, he was again imprisoned in the tower with Colonel Desborow, on a rumour of their being concerned in a treasonable

commotion ; but as that rumour seems to have been a political device of the royalists, contrived to strengthen the new government, he probably regained his freedom, though we know not how his active days were concluded. The anxiety and anguish that Milton must have indured in the various calamities to which his friends were exposed on the vicissitude of public affairs, formed, I apprehend, the severest sufferings of his extraordinary life, in which genius and affliction seem to have contended for pre-eminence.

Some traces of the sufferings I allude to, though mysteriously veiled, are yet visible in his poetry, and will be noticed hereafter. Not to anticipate the severest evil of his destiny, let me now speak of a foreign friend, in whose lively regard he found only honor and delight. On the publication of his defence, Leonard Philaras, a native of Athens, who had distinguished himself in Italy, and risen to the rank of envoy from the Duke of Parma to the court of France, conceived a flattering desire to cultivate the friendship of Milton. With this view he sent him his portrait, with very engaging letters, and the highest commendation of the recent defence. The reply of Milton is remarkable for its elegance and spirit; after thanking his correspondent for presents so agreeable, he says,—" * If

* Cum cnim Alexander ille magnus in terris ultimis bellum gerens, tantos se militiae laborcs pertulisse testatus sit, T»k iraq ASuvaimn EfJofla; itiy.a.; quidni ergo mihi gratulcr, meque ornari quam maxirae putem, ejus viri laudibus, in quo jam uno priscorum Atheniensium artes, atquc virtutes ilias celebratissimas, renasci tam lougo intervallo, ct refloresccre videntur. Qua ex urbe cum tot viri disertissimi prodierint, corum potjssimum scriptis ab adolescentia pervolvendis, didicisse me libens fateorquicquid ego Uteris profeci. Quod si mihi tanta vis dicendi accepta ab illis et quasi transfusa incssct, ut exercitos nostros et classes ad liberandam ab Ottomanico tyiatm0 Graeciam, eloquentix patriam, excitare possem ; ad quod facinus egregium nostras opes pene implorare videris, faccrem profecto id quo nihil mihi antiquius aut in votis priusesset. Quid-enim vol fortissimi olira viri, vel eloqiuntissimi gloriosius aut so dignius esse duxerunt, quam vel suadendo vel fortitcr faciendo buvicpsf xai ivlayofui'; oroi!(c79ixi Tbj 1<M.r.vct(? Vcrutn et aliud quiddam prseterca tentandum est, mea quidem sententia longe niasir Alexander in the midst of his martial toil confessed, that he laboured but to gain an eulogy from Athens, I may think myself fortunate indeed, and esteem it as the highest honor, to be thus commended by the man in whom alone the genius and virtue of the ancient Athenians seem, after so long an interval, to revive and flourish. As your city has produced many most eloquent men, I am perfectly willing to confess, that whatever proficiency I have made in literature is chiefly owing to my long and incessant study of their works. Had I acquired from them such powers of language as might enable me to stimulate our fleets and armies


mum, ut quis antkjuam in animis Gracorum virtutem ■ industrial!), laborum tolcrantiam, antiqua ilia studia dicendo, suscitarc alquc accendorc possit. Hoc si quis effecerit, quod a nemine potius quam abs tc, pro tua ilia insigni erga patriam pictate, cum summa prudentia rcique militaris pcritia, summo denique pecuperaodas libertatis pristine studio conjuncta, expectaro drbemus; ncque ipsos sibi Grrecos neque ullam gentem Gra?cis de

futurara esse confido. Vale. Prose Works, Vol. II

p. 575.

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