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the other: but he was nothing discouraged, and chose rather to lose both his eyes, than desert what he thought his duty. It was the sight of his left eye that he lost first: and at the desire of his friend Leonard Philaras, the Duke of Parma's minister at Paris, he sent him a particular account of his case, and of the manner of his growing blind, for him to consult Thevenot the physician, who was reckoned famous in cases of the eyes. The letter is the fifteenth of his familiar epistles, is dated September 28, 1654, and is thus translated by Mr. Richardson.
“ Since you advise me not to fling away all hopes of “ recovering my sight, for that you have a friend at
Paris, Thevenot the physician, particularly famous “ for the eyes, whom you offer to consult in my behalf
if you receive from me an account by which he may
judge of the causes and symptoms of my disease, I “ will do what you advise me to, that I may not seem “ to refuse any assistance that is offered, perhaps from 66 God.
“ I think it is about ten years, more or less, since I began to perceive that my eye-sight grew weak and “dim, and at the same time my spleen and bowels to “ be oppressed and troubled with flatus; and in the “ morning when I began to read, according to custom,
my eyes grew painful immediately, and to refuse “ reading, but were refreshed after a moderate exercise “ of the body. A certain iris began to surround the
light of the candle if I looked at it; soon after which, on the left part of the left eye, (for that was some years sooner clouded,) a mist arose which hid every
thing on that side; and looking forward if I shut my right eye, objects appeared smaller. My other eye also, for these last three years, failing by degrees,
some months before all sight was abolished things “ which I looked upon seemed to swim to the right " and left; certain inveterate vapours seem to possess
my forehead and temples, which after meat especially, * quite to evening, generally, urge and depress my eyes with a sleepy heaviness. Nor would I omit " that whilst there was as yet some remainder of sight, “ I no sooner lay down in my bed, and turned on my
side, but a copious light dazzled out of my shut eyes; " and as mysight diminished every day colours gradually
more obscure flashed out with vehemence; but now " that the lucid is in a manner wholly extinct, a direct
blackness, or else spotted, and, as it were, woven " with ash-colour, is used to pour itself in. Never
theless the constant and settled darkness that is before me as well by night as by day, seems nearer
to the whitish than the blackish; and the eye-rolling " itself a little, seems to admit I know not what little "smallness of light as through a chink.”
But it does not appear what answer he received; We may presume, none that administered any relief. His blindness however did not disable him entirely from performing the business of his office. An assistant was allowed him, and his salary as secretary still continued to him.
And there was farther occasion for his service besides dictating of letters. · For the controversy with Salma
sius did not die with him, and there was published at the Hague in 1652 a book entitled the Cry of the King's blood &c. Regii sanguinis Clamor ad cælum adversus Parricidas Anglicanos. The true author of this book was Peter du Moulin the younger, who was afterwards prebendary of Canterbury: and he transmitted' his papers to Salmasius; and Salmasius in. trusted them to the care of Alexander Morus, a French Minister; and Morus published them with a dedication to King Charles II. in the name of Adrian Ulac the printer, from whence he came to be reputed the author of the whole. This Morus was the son of a learned Scotsman, who was president of the college, which the protestants had formerly at Castres in Languedoc; and he is said to have been a man of a most haughty disposition, and immoderately addicted to women, hasty, ambitious, full of himself and his own performances, and satirical upon all others. He was however esteemed one of the most eminent preachers of that age among the protestants; but as Monsieur Bayle obseryes, his chief talent must have consisted in the gracefulness of his delivery, or in those sallies of imagination and quaint turns and allusions, whereof his sermons are full; for they retain not those charms in reading, which they were said to have formerly in the pulpit. Against this man therefore, as the reputed author of Regii sanguinis Clamor &c. Milton published by authority his Second Defence of the people of England, Defensio Secunda pro populo Anglicano, in 1654, and treats Morus with such severity as nothing could have excused, if he had not been pro
voked to it by so much abuse poured upon himselfm. Upon this Morus published his Fides Publica in answer to Milton, in which he inserted several testimonies of his orthodoxy and morals signed by the consistories, academies, synods, and magistrates of the places where he had lived; and disowned his being the author of the book inputed to him, and appealed to two Gentlemen of great credit with the Parliament party, who knew the real author. This brought Du Moulin, who was then in England, into great danger; but the government suffered him to escape with impunity, rather than they would publicly contradict the great patron of their cause". For he still persisted in his accusation, and endeavoured to make it good in his Defence of himself, Autoris pro se Defensio, which was published in 1655, wherein he opposed to the testimonies in favour of Morus other testimonies against him; and Morus replied no more.
After this controversy was ended, he was at leisure again to pursue his own private studies, which were the History of England, before mentioned, and a new Thesaurus of the Latin tongue, intended as an improvement upon that by Robert Stephens; a work, which
** See Epigram xi. and Mr. marks, Milton addresses him in Warton's note. Dr. Birch, in his his Second Defence as one of his Life of Milton, p. xl. ed. 1753, dearest friends.--" Te, Overhas given a curious letter from “tone, mihi multis abhinc annis, A. Marvel to Milton, giving an
« et studiorum similitudine, et account of his presenting a copy
morum suavitate, concordia of the Second Defence, accom “ plusquam fraterna conjunctis, panied by a letter from the au " sime." E. thor
, to the Protector. In this See Du Moulin's account of letter Colonel Overton is men the matter in the edition of his tioned as a friend of Milton's, Latin poems, Cambridge, 1670, and indeed, as Mr. Hayley re 8vo. I. iij. p. 140, 141. Birch.
he had been long collecting from the best and purest Latin authors, and continued at times almost to his dying day: but his papers were left so confused and imperfect, that they could not be fitted for the press, though great use was made of them by the compilers of the Cambridge Dictionary printed in 1693. These papers are said to have consisted of three large volumes in folio; and it is a great pity that they are lost, and no account is given what is become of the manuscripto. It is commonly said too that at this time he began his
poem of Paradise Lost; and it is certain, that he was glad to be released from those controversies, which detained him so long from following things more agreeable to his natural genius and inclination, though he was far from ever repenting of his writings in defence of liberty, but gloried in them to the last.
The only interruption now of his private studies was
• The “ Cambridge Diction- large part of the title of the ary," published in 4to. 1693, is “ Cambridge Dictionary," have no other than a copy, with some been incorporated and printed small additions, of that of Dr. with the subsequent editions of Adam Littleton in 1685, by sun- “ Littleton's Dictionary," till that dry persons, of whom, though of 1735. Vid. Biogr. Brit. 2985, their names are concealed, there in not. So that, for aught that is great reason to conjecture that appears to the contrary, Philips Milton's nephew, Edward Phi- was the last possessor of Milton's lips, is one ; for it is expressly MS. H. Lives of the Poets, ed. said by Wood, Fasti, vol. i. p. 1794. 266, that “ Milton's Thesaurus" Wood states, that Philips's came to his hands; and it is as- “ Enchiridion Linguæ Latinæ,". serted, in the preface to the Dic- and “Speculum Linguæ Latina," tionary, that the editors had the both published in 1084, were al. use of three large folios in MS. together or chiefly taken froin collected and digested into alpha- Milton's Latin Thesaurus. And betical order by Mr. John Mil Philips himself mentions, that ton.
what there was of Milton's work It has been remarked, that the was made use of for another additions, together with the pre- Dictionary. E. face above mentioned, and a