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% This innovation was opposed, as might be expected, by the clergy; who, then holding their famous affembly at Westminster, procured that the author hould be called before the Lords; "but o that house,” says Wood, “ 'whether
approving the doctrine, or not favour«ing his accufers, did foon dismiss “Thim.!; js, i cil i
There seems not to have been much written against him, nor any thing by any writer of eminence. The antagonist that appeared is stiled by him, a Serving-man turned Solicitor. Howel in his filetters mentions the new doctrine with contempt'; and it was, I fuppose, t? ht more worthy of derifion than ation. He complains of this
peglect in two fonnets, of which the firit is contemptible, and the second not excellent; i
? , : 1. From this time it is observed that he became an enemy to the Presbyterians, whom he had favoured before. He that changes his party, by his humour, is not more virtuous than he that changes it by his interest; he loves himself rather than truth. f.' ini.
His wife and her relations now found that Milton was not an unresisting fufferer of injuries, and perceiving that he had begun to put his doctrine in praogicegoby courting a young woman-of great accomplishments, the daughter of pne Doctor Davis, who was however not ready to comply, they resolved
to endeavour a re-union. He went fometimes to the house of one Blackborough, his relation, in the lane of St. Martin's le-Grand, and at one of his usual visits was surprised to fee his wife come from another room, and implore forgiveness on her knees. He refifted her intreaties for awhile; « but partly,” says Philips, “ his own generous nature, more « inclinable to reconciliation than to per“ feverance in anger or revenge, and * partly the strong intercesfion of friends “ on both fides, foon brought him to « an act of oblivion and a firm league e of peace.” It were injurious to omit, that Milton afterwards received her father and her brothers in his own house,
when they were distressed, with other Royalists.
He published about the same time his Areopagitica, a Speech of Mr. John Milton for the liberty of unlicensed Printing. The danger of such unbounded liberty, and the danger of bounding it, have produced a problem in the science of Government, which human understand, ing seems hitherto unable to solve. If nothing may be published but what civil authority shall have previously approved; power must always be the standard of truth; if every dreamer of innovations may propagate his projects, there căp be no settlement; if every murmurer at government may diffuse discontent, there can be no peace; and if every sceptick
in théology may teach his follies, there cán be no religion. The remedy againft these evils is to punish the authors, for it is yet allowed that every society may punih, though not prevent, the publi. cation of opinions, which that society shall think pernicious : but this punifhe ment, though it may crush the authory
promotes the book; and it seems not · more reasonable to leave the right of
printing unrestrained, because writers inay be i afterwards censured, than ic would be to sleep with doors unbolted, because by our laws 'we can hang a chief, '.
. i ; ;': 's, But whatever were his engagements, civil or domesticky poetry was never long out of his thoughts... About this