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in Oxfordshire: a Gentleman of estate and reputation in that county; and of principles so very opposite to his Son-in-Law, that the marriage is more to be wonder'd at, than the separation which ensu'd, in little more than a month after she had cohabited with him in London. Her desertion provok'd him both to write several treatises concerning the doctrine, and discipline, of Divorce; and also to make his addresses to a young Lady of great wit and beauty : but before he had engag'd her affections to conclude the marriage-treaty, in a visit at one of his relations He found his Wife proftrate before him, imploring forgiveness and reconciliation. It is not to be doubted but an interview of that nature, so little expected, must wonderfully affect him: and perhaps the impressions it made on his ima. gination contributed much to the painting of that pathetic Scene in * PARADISE Lost, in which Eve addresseth herself to Adam for pardon, and peace. At the intercession of his friends who were present, after a short reluctance He generously facrific'd all his refentment to to her tears.
* Book X. ver. 909.
Soon his heart relented Tow'rds her, his life fo late, and fole delight: Now, at his feet fubmiffive in distress !
And after this re-union, so far was He from retaining an unkind memory of the provocations which He had receiv'd from her ill conduct, that when the King's cause was entirely oppress'd, and her father, who had been active in his loyalty, was expos'd to fequestration; MILTON receiv'd both him and his family to protection, and free entertainment, in his own house, till their affairs were accommodated by his interest in the victorious faction.
For He was now grown famous by his polemical writ
An. Ætat. 41. tings of various kinds, and held, in great favor, and esteem, by those who had power to dispose of all preferments in the State. 'Tis in vain to dissemble, and far be it from me to defend, his engaging with a Party combin'd in the destruction of our Church and Monarchy. Yet, leaving the justification of a mis-guided sincerity to be debated in the Schools, may I presume to observe in his favor, that his zeal, distemper'd and furious as it was, does not appear to have been inspirited by self-interested views ?
For it is affirm'd, that though He liv'd always in a frugal retirement, and before his death had dispos'd of his library (which we may suppose to have been a valuable collection) He left no more than fifteen hundred pounds behind him for the support of his family: and whoever confiders the Pofts to which He was advanc'd, and the times in which He enjoy'd them, will I believe confels He might have accumulated a much more plentiful fortune : in a dispassionate mind it will not require any extraordinary measure of candor to conclude, that though He abode in the heritage of Oppreffors, and the spoils of his country lay at his feet, nei-. ther his conscience, nor his honor, cou'd stoop to gather them.
A Commission to constitute An. Ætat. 42. him Adjutant-General to Sir
William Waller was promis'd; but foon superseded by Waller's being laid aside, when his Masters thought it proper to new-model their army. However, the keenness of his Pen had so effectually recommended him to Cromwells esteem, that when he took the reins of government into his own hand, he advanc'd him to be Latin Secretary, both to himself and the Parliament: the former of these preferments He enjoy'd both under the Usurper, and his Son; the other, 'till King Charles II. was restor’d, For some time He had an apartment -for his family in White-ball; but his health requiring a freer accession of air, He was oblig'd to remove from thence to lodgings which open'd into St. James's Park. Not long after his settlement there, his wife dy'd in child-bed: and much about the time of her death, a Gutta Serena, which had for several years been gradually increasing, totally extinguish'd his fight. . In this melan, cholic condition he was easily prevaild with to think of taking another wife; who was Catharine the daughter of Captain Woodcock of Hackney: and she too, in less than a year after their marriage, dy'd in the fame unfor. tunate manner as the former had done; and in his twenty third Sonnet He does honor to her memory.
These private calamities were much heightend, by the dif- An. Ætat. 52. ferent figure he was likely to make in the new scene of affairs, which was going to be acted in the State. For, all things now conspiring to promote the King's Restoration, He was too conscious of his own activity during the Usurpation, to expect any favor from the Crown: and therefore He prudently absconded 'till the Act of Oblivion was publish'd; by which He was only render'd incapable of bearing any office in the Nation. Many had a very just esteem of his admirable parts and learning, who detested his principles; by whose interceffion his Pardon pass'd the Seals: and I wish the laws of Civil History could have extended the benefit of that oblivion to the memory of his guilt, which was indulg’d to his person ; nè tanti facinoris immanitas aut extitise, aut non vindicata fuise, videatur,
Having thus gain'd a full protection from the Government, (which was in truth more than he cou'd have reasonably hop'd). He appear'd as - much in public as he formerly us’d to do; and employing his friend Dr. Paget to make choice of a third consort, on his recommendation He married Elizabeth the Daughter of Mr. Minhul a Chehire Gentleman, by whom He had no issue. Three daughters by his first wife were then living; the two elder of whom are said to have been very serviceable to him in his studies. For, having been instructed to pronounce not only the Modern, but also the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages; they read in their respective originals whatever Authors He wanted to consult; though they understood none