Milton - PR3550 D77 1777 M2

Al=1.11M10111111_ 393 THE LIFE of MILTON. Lord High Treafurer of England, and Prefident of the Privy Coon- cil to King James I. This Lady, being a woman of excellent wit and underftanding, had a particular honor for our author, and took great delight in his converfation ; as likewife did her hufband Cap- tain Hobfon, a very accomplifhed gentleman. And what a regard Milton again had for her, he has left upon record in a fonnet to her praife extant among his other poems. Michaelmas was now come, but he heard nothing of his wife's return. He wrote to her, but received no anfwer. 1-le wrote again letter" after letter, but received no anfwer to any of them. He then difpatched a meffenger with a letter, defiring her to return ; but fhe positively refufed, and difmiffed the meffenger with contempt. Whether it was, that fhe had conceived any diflike to her hufband's perfon of humor ; or whether the could not con- form to his retired and philofophical manner of life, having been ac- cuftomed to a houfe of much gaiety and company ; or whether being of a family firongly attached to the royal caufe, fhe could not bear her hufband's republican principles ; or whether the was overperfuad- ed by her relations, who pofiibly might repent of having matched the eldeli daughter of the family to a man fo diftinguifbed for taking the contrary party, the King's head-quarters being in their neigh- bourhood at Oxford, and his Majefly having now fome fairer prof- pea of fuccefs ; whether any or all of thefe were the reafons of this extraordinary behaviour ; however it was, it fo highly incenfed her hufband, that he thought it would be difhonorable ever to receive her again after filch a repulfe, and he determined to repudiate her as The had in effect repudiated him, and to confider her no longer as his wife. And to fortify this his refolution, and at the fame time to juflify it to the world, he wrote the Doctrine and Difcipline of Divorce, where- in he endeavours to prove, that indifpofition, unfitnefs, or contrariety of mind, proceeding from any unchangeable caufe in nature, hinder- ing and ever likely to hinder the main benefits of conjugal fociety, which are folace and peace, are greater reafons of divorce than adul- tery or natural frigidity, efpecially if there be no children, and there In mutual confcnt for feparation. He publifhed it at firft without bi4