Milton - PR3550 D77 1777 M2

THE LIFE of MILTON, 435 not add vigor to the faculties of the mind. He at lead: thought fo, and 'often comforted himfelf with that refleaion. But his great parts and learning have feared', gained him more admirers, than his political principles have railed him enemies. And yet the darling paffion of his foul was the love of liberty ; this was his conftant aim and end, however he might be miftaken in the means. He was indeed very zealous in what was called the good old caufe, and with his fpirit and his refolution it is fomewhat won- derful, that he never ventured his perfon in the civil war ; but tho' he was not in arms, he was not unaftive, and thought, I fuppofe, that he could be of more fervice to the caufe by his pen than by his (word. He was a thorough republican, and in this he thought like a Greek or Roman, as he was very converfant with their writings. And one day Sir Robert Howard, who was a friend to Milton as well as to the liberties of his country, and was one of his conftant vifitors to the lait, inquired of him how he came to fide with the republicans. Milton anfwered among other reafons, becaufe theirs was the molt frugal government, for the trappings of a monarchy might let up an ordinary commonwealth. But then his attachment to Cromwell mutt be condemned, as being neither confiftent with his republican princi. pies, nor with his love of liberty. And I know no other way of ac- counting for his conduit, but by prefuming (as I think we may rea- fonably prefume) that he was far from entirely approving of Crom- well's proceedings, but confidered him as the only perfon who could refcue the nation from the tyranny of the Prefbyterians, who he faw were erefting a worfe dominion of their own upon the ruins of prelatical epifcopacy ; and of all things he dreaded fpiritual flavery, and therefore doled with Cromwell and the Independents, as he ex- pe6ted under them greater liberty ofconfcience. And tho' he ferved Cromwell, yet it mull be faid for him, that 124 ferved a great matter, and ferved him ably, and was not wanting from time to time in giving him excellent good advice, efpecially in his fecond Defenfe : and fo little being faid of him in all Secretary Thurloe's hate- papers, it appears that he had no great share in the fecrets