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ed his domineering and oppressive character ; on
the contrary, he affected, with the greatest art, such
a tender concern for the people; he represented
himself, both in his public and private protestations,
so perfectly free from all ambitious desires, that
many persons, who possessed not the noble unsuf-
pecting fimplicity of Milton, believed the Protector
fincere in declaring, that he reluctantly submitted
to the cares of government, merely for the settlement
and security of the nation. With a mind full of
fervid admiration for his marvellous atchievements,
and generally disposed to give him credit for every
upright intention, Milton hailed him as the father
of his country, and delineated his character: if
there were some particles of flattery in this panegy-
ric, which, if we adhere to our author's just de-
finition of flattery we cannot allow, it was com-
pletely purified from every cloud or speck of servi-
lity by the most splendid and sublime admonition
that was ever given to a man pofsefsed of great
talents and great power by a genuine and dauntless
friend, to whom talents and power were only ob-
jects of reverence, when under the real or fancied
direction of piety and virtue.

" * Revere (says Milton to the Protector) the
great expectation, the only hope, which our coun-


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* Reverere tantam de te expectationem, fpem patriæ de te unicam ; reverere vultus et vulnera tot fortium virorum, quote quot, te duce, pro, libertate tam ftrenuè decertarunt; maines etiam eorum qui in ipfo certamine occubuerunt; reverere exterarum quoque civitatum existimationem de nobis atque fermones, quantas res de libertate noftra tam fortiter partâ, de nofK 2


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try now rests upon you-revere the fight and the fuf. ferings of so many brave men, who under your gui

tra republica tam gloriose exorta fibi polliceantur; quæ fi tam citò quafi aborta evanuerit, profecto nihil æquè dedecorofum huic genti, atque pudendum fuerit ; teipfum denique reverere, ut pro quâ adipiscenda libertate tot ærumnas pertulifti, tot pericula adiifti, eam adeptus violatam per te, aut ulla in parte imminutam aliis ne finas effe. Profecto tu ipse liber sine nobis effe non potes, fic enim natura comparatum est, ut qui aliorum libertatem occupat, suam ipfe primum omnium amittat; feque primum omnium intelligat serviri ; atque id quidem non injuriâ. At vero, si patronus ipfe libertatis, et quasi tutelaris deus, si is, quo nemo juftior, nemo fanctior eft habitus, nemo vir melior, quam vindicavit ipse, eam poftmodum invaserit, id non ipfi tantum sed univerfæ virtutis ac pietatis rationi perniciosum ac lethale

prope modum fit necesse est : ipfa honeftas ipsa virtus decoxiffe videbitur religionis augusta fides, exiftimatio perexigua in pofterum erit, quo gravius generi humano vulnus, poft illud primum, infligi nullum poterit. Onus longè graviffimum fufcepisti, quod te penitus explorabit totum te atque intimum perfcrutabitur atque oftendet, quid tibi animi, quid virium infit, quid ponderis ; vivatne in te verè illa pietas, fides, justitia, animique moderatio, ob quas evectum te præ cæteris Dei numine ad hanc fummam dignitatem credimus. Tres nationes validiffimas confilio regere, populos ab inftitutis pravis ad meliorem, quam antehac, frugem ac disciplinam velle perducere, remotiffimas in partes, follicitam mentem, cogitationes immittere, vigilare, prævidere, nullum laborem recufare, nulla voluptatum blan. dimenta non fpernere, divitiarum atque potentiæ oftentationem - fugere, hæc funt illa ardua, præ quibus bellum ludus est ; hæc

te ventilaburit atque excutient, hæc virum pofcunt divino fultum auxilio, divino penè colloquio monitum atque edoctum. Quæ tu et, plura, fæpenumero quin tecum reputes atque animo revolvas, non dubito; uti et illud, quibus potiffimum queas modis et illa maxima perficere et libertatem falvam nobis reddere et auctiorem. Prose Works, vol. 2. p. 399.


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dance, have fought so strenuously for freedom-revere the credit we have gained in foreign nationsreflect on the great things they promise themselves, from our liberty, fo bravely acquired; from our republic, so gloriously founded, which, should it perish like an abortion, must expose our country to the utmost contempt and dishonour,

Finally, revere yourself; and having fought and sustained every hardship and danger for the acquisition of this liberty, let it not be violated by yourself, or impaired by others, in the smallest degree. In truth, it is impossible for you to be free yourself unless we are fo; for it is the ordinance of nature, that the man who first invades the liberty of others must first lose his own, and first feel himself a slave. This indeed is just. But if the very patron and tutelary angel of liberty, if he who is generally regarded as pre-eminent in justice, in sanctity, and virtue; if he should ultimately invade that liberty which he asserted himself, such invasion must indeed be pernicious and fatal, not only to himself, but to the general interest of piety and virtue. Truth, probity, and religion would then lose the estimation and confidence of mankind, the worst of wounds, since the fall of our first parents, that could be inflicted on the human race. You have taken upon you a burthen of weight inexpreffible ; it will put to the severest perpetual test the inmost qualities, virtues, and and soul; it will determine whether there really exists in your character that piety, faith, justice, and moderation, for the sake of which we believe you


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powers of

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raised above others, by the influence of God, to this fupreme charge.

1 “ To direct three most powerful nations by your counsel, to endeavour to reclaim the people from their depraved institutions to better conduct and discipline, to send forth into remotest regions your anxious spirit and incessant thoughts, to watch, to foresee, to shrink from no labour, to spurn every allurement of pleafure, to avoid the oftentation of opulence and power, these are the arduous duties, in comparison of which war itself is mere sport; these will fearch and prove you ; they require, indeed, a man supported by the assistance of heaven, and almost admonished and instructed by immediate intercourse with God. These and more I doubt not but you diligently revolve in your mind, and this in particular, by what methods you may be most able to accomplish things of highest moment, and secure to us our liberty not only safe but enlarged.”

If a private individual thus speaking to a man of unbounded influence, whom a powerful nation had idolized and courted to assume the reins of

government, can be called a flatterer, we have only to wish that all the flatterers of earthly power may be of the same complexion. The admonition to the people, with which Milton concludes his second defence, is by no means inferior in dignity and fpirit to the advice he bestowed on the protector. The great misfortune of the monitor was, that the two parties, to whom he addressed his eloquent and patriotic exhortation, were neither of them so worthy of his counsel as he wished them to be, and endea



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voured to make them. For Cromwell, as his sub-
fequent conduct fufficiently proved, was a political
impostor with an arbitrary soul; and as to the peo-
ple, they were alternately the dishonoured instru-
ments and victims of licentiousness and fanaticism.
The protector, his adherents, and his enemies, to
speak of them in general, were as little able to
reach the disinterested purity of Milton's principles,
as they were to attain, and even to estimate, the
sublimity of his poetical genius. But Milton, who
passionately loved his country, though he saw and
lamented the various corruptions of his contempo-
raries, still continued to hope, with the native ar-
dour of a fanguine spirit, that the mass of the
English people would be enlightened and improved.
His real sentiments of Cromwell, I am persuaded,
were these: he long regarded him as a person not
only possessed of wonderful influence and ability,
but disposed to attempt, and likely to accomplish,
the purest and noblest purposes of policy and re-
liğion; yet often thwarted and embarrassed in his
best designs, not only by the power and machina-
tions of the enemies with whom he had to contend,
but by the want of faith, morality, and sense in the
motley multitude, whom he endeavoured to guide

As religious enthusiasm was the pre-
dominant characteristic of Milton, it is most pro-
bable that his fervid imagination beheld in Crom-
well a person destined by heaven to reduce, if not
to annihilate, what he considered as the most enor-
mous grievance of earth, the prevalence of popery
and superstition. The several humane and spirited


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and govern.

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