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served $ ^ i&pg , / you are a foal , #£ &e& ;? f * i %$ && him tiangfed as ar puriishifr&it J ti > "hang * liim will be doihg him a service ; it will be taking' him out of his miseries . No , if he be old , poor and blind , he is miserable enough , in all conscience—let him HveP" This anecdote is
characteristic of the two ^ brothers , particularly of the sttllen bigot James , who drove himself from the throne , and rendered his offspring vagabonds throughout the earth . €€ The character of Milton , " says William Godwin , " is one * of those
which appears to gam by time . To future ages , it is probable , he will stand forth as the most advantageous specimen that can be produced of the English nation . He is our poet There is nothing else of so capacious dimensions in thevcompass of our
literature , ( if , indeed , there is in the literary productions of our species , ) that can compare with the Paradise Lost . He is our patriot ! No man of just discernment can read his political writings without being penetrated with the holy flame that animated him . And if the world shall ever
attain that stature of mind as for courts to find no place in it , he will be found the patriot of the world ! As an original genius , as a writer of lofty and expansive soul , and as a man , he rises above his countrymen , and like Saul in the convention of the Jews , * from his shoulders and upwards he is higher than any of the people . '"
Dr . Charming" also has felicitously eulogized him in his masterly Review of the Character and Writings of the Great Poet , which has been rcpublished in this country . " We see Milton ' s magnanimity in the circumstances under which Paradise Lost
was written . It was not in prosperity , in honour and amidst triumphs , but in disappointment , desertion , and what the world calls disgrace , that he composed that work . The cause with which he had identified himself had foiled . His friends were
scattered . Liberty was trodden under foot , and her devoted champion was a b y-word amopg the triumphant loyalists ! But it is the prerogative of true greatness to glorify itself in advers ity , and to meditate and execute va enterprises in defeat . Milton ,
fallen in outward condition , affijicted with blindness , disappointed iti his best Ijopes , applied himself with characteristic energy to the sublimest achievement of intellect , solacing himself with great thoughts , with splendid creations , and with a prophetic
confidence that , however neglected in his own age , he was framing in his works a bond of unitfn and fellowship with the illustrious spirits of a brighter day 1 We delight to contemplate him in his retreat and last years . To the passing spectator he seemed fallen and forsaken , and his
blindness was reproached as a judgment from God , But though sightless , he lived in light ! His inward eye ranged through universal nature , and his imagination shed on it brighter beams than the sun . Heaven and
hell and paradise were open to him He visited past ages and gathered round him ancient sages and heroes , prophets and apostles , brave knights
and gifted bards . As he looked forward , ages of liberty dawned and rose to view , and he felt that he was about to bequeath to them an inheritance of genius which would not fade away , and was to live in the memory , reverence and love of remotest
generations . " John Milton was born in Bread Street , London , 1608 , the year in which Shakspeare died ; thus when one star sets , another luminary emerges to bless the horizon ! He terminated his career , 1674 , in the
sixty-sixth year of his age , by so tranquil an exit that the attendants in the chamber were not apprized of his dissolution . He was interred by the side of his beloved father in Oripplegate Church , his funeral being numerously and even splendidly attended . No memorial was raised over
him till the father of the late Samuel Whitebread , Esq ., erected a white marble slab with a bust , and decorated by the simple representation of a serpent entwined around a flamingsword , with an apple in his mouth
indicative of his great work , Paradise Lost ! A monument has been placed in Westminster Abbey , but the courtly Dean Sprat would not allow an inscription afterward admitted by Bishop Atterbury . The Latin epitnpli drawn up by Dr . George , Pro-
Domestic Character of Milton . 661
V XXI . 4 Q
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Nov. 2, 1826, page 661, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2554/page/25/