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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 should be called before the Lords; "but " that house,” says Wood, « whether (approving the doctrine, or not favoursing his accufers, did foon dismiss ufhim.';vi,is is į i.is
There seems not to have been much written against him, nor any thing by any writer of eminence. The antago nist that appeared is ftiled by him, a Serving-män turned Solicitor: Hewel in his rlletters mentions the new doctrine with contempt'; -and it was, I suppose, thought more worthy of derifion than bf confutation. He complains of this oj
neglect 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. is ' .. He published about the fame 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 folve. 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, căn be no fettlement; if every murmurer ar government may diffuse discontent, there can be no peace; and if every sceptick
in théology may teach his follies, there can be no religion. The remedy against these evils is to punish the authors'; for it is yet allowed that every society may punihh, though not prevent, the publi. cation of opinions, which that fociety shall think pernicious : but this punishe ment, though it may crush the author,
promotes the book; and it suems nort · more reasonable to leave the right of
printing unrestrained, because writers inay be afterwards censured, thànic would be to sleep with doors unbolted, because by our laws 'we can hang a thief is. I'll see! . ' ; ,!
1 But whatever were his engagements," civil or domesticky 'poetry was never lang out of his thoughts... - About this