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the best of my species. Among those, on whom it has fallen, I might reckon some of the wisest of the bards of remote antiquity, whose want of sight the Gods are said to have compensated with extraordinary and far more valuable endowments, and whose virtues were so venerated that men would rather arraign the Gods themselves of injustice than draw from the blindness of these admirable mortals an argument of their guilt. What is handed down to us respecting the augur Tiresias is very commonly known. Of Phineus, Apollonius in his Argonautics thus sings
“ Careless of Jove, in conscious virtue bold,
But independently of its communications respecting its author, by which it is principally recommended to us, the “ Second Defence” exhibits many striking passages
and a variety of entertaining matter. It introduces to our notice many of the writer's republican friends, and, besides an animated address to Cromwell, which it is our intention to extract, it presents us with an eloquent eulogy on Christina the Queen of Sweden. This extraordinary character was at this moment renowned throughout Europe for her liberality, her erudition, and her patronage of the learned. On the favour of Milton
* She was complimented in strains of as high panegyric as any that is to be found in Milton, by almost all the scholars of het time in Europe. In the letters of Sarrau, or Sarravius, she is al. ways mentioned in the most encomiastic terms, and is called the great Christina and the greatest of queens. This learned and able and upright man expresses envy for the happiness of Salmasius, Vossius, and the other scholars who were at her court, and could thus enjoy the charms of her conversation, and the sweet influence of her smiles.-" O beatam Suediam," he says to Vossius in a letter written from Paris Nov. 19, 1649, “ tanta suarum fortunarum moderatrice! O beatum Vossium! O beatos omnes cui datum est suavi ejus præsentia, conspectu, colloquio et gratiâ frui!"--The verse of Sarravius is not less flattering to Christina than bis
prose. Of six distichs, which he wrote on a medal, representing the head of this queen, as a Minerva, on one side, and on the other a meridian sun, the two following are not the least full of compliment,
Si coluisse voles Phæbum & coluisse Minervain;
Tu cole Christinam-Numen utrumque ĉoles.
Sarravii Epis. 286. Christina was beloved by the people over whom she reigoted; and her abdication was opposed by the strong and affectionate remonstrances of the Senate of Sweden. N. Heinsius, who was then at Stockholm, records this circumstance which is so honourable to his royal patroness, in a letter written from that city at the precise period in question. Nihil non egit universus regni Senatus, ut ab hoc proposito Dominam avellerent: sed nimis alte ejus animo hæret impressa sententia vitæ privatæ instituendæ, quam ut tolli aut mutari ullâ ratione possit. This letter which is dated from Stockholm on the 29th of April 1654, is addressed to the writer's chief friend, Gronovius. Though by her abdication all his hopes of royal favour were to be blighted, and he was
the daughter of the great Adolphus had
likely also to sustain much pecuniary loss, N. Heinsius on this and on every future occasion speaks of Christina with much affection and respect : and yet this is the woman whose unhappy eccentricities Mr. Warton has delighted to expose, and to make them, with his utmost power, the objects of our ridicule and disgust. But she possessed sufficient taste to admire Milton's “ Defence of the People of England;" an intercourse of praise had intervened between her and this great adversary of royal despotism,-and by Mr. Warton, and the writers of his character and class, she was consequently to be degraded as much as possible, and her memory to be loaded with as much ignominy as could be collected with assiduity from every quarter, and mer. cilessly thrown on it. Her later conduct, as it must be lamented, has supplied these posthumous enemies with too many materials for their ungenerous purpose: but with respect to her principal offence, in the estimation of these men, let us recollect that when she praised Milton, she praised him who has since become the subject of universal admiration; and that when Milton praised her, he praised a Queen who possessed the affections of a happy people; who extended the most liberal patronage to the learned, and who was the theme of almost unbounded panegyric with all the princes of European literature. The propriety of Milton's panesyric of Christina is admitted by his adversary Morus; who carries his admiration of her as far any of his contemporaries. Adverting to this part of Milton's "Second Defence," Morus says, Hinc ambitiosa digressio in illam, quæ non obiter dici debet, singularis exempli Reginam ; quæ jam omnes omnium laudes merita, consecuta, longissimèque supergressa; hoc unum non meruit, abs te laudari. (Alex. Mori Fides Publica, p. 60.]
With reference to the provocation under which it was written, this reply of Morus is remarkably tenperate and candid. As the writer of the dedication and as the editor of the “ Regii Sanguinis Clamor," the offence of Morus was certainly great, and such as to exempt him from our pity under his sufferings: but when we compare him with Du Moulin, we must regard him as a liberal and honourable antagonist.
a particular claim in consequence of the praise which, though a sovereign, she had liberally given to his “ Defence of the People of England;” and on all occasions he seems anxious to requite her with the most prodigal panegyric. Of this not only the passage, to which I have now referred, is an instance, but the verses also, which, at a period, as we may conjecture, somewhat earlier than the present, he had written under a portrait of the Protector, transmitted as an official compliment to the northern Potentate from the fortunate usurper of England. To transcribe the prose eulogy would detain us too long from more interesting matters; but the poetic compliment, at once concise and splendid, shall be inserted to gratify our readers.
Bellipotens Virgo, septem regina trionum,
Christina! Arctoi lucida stella poli!
Utque senex armis impiger ora tero;
Exequor et populi fortia jussa manu.
Non sunt hi vultus regibus usque truces.b
b Some doubts have been raised about the author of these verses, and a few, among whom is Mr. Warton, have assigned them to the pen of Andrew Marvell. For my own part I cannot find any reason to dispute Milton's title to them. To write them was evidently within the province of the Latin Secretary, and, as they must have been composed before 1654, in the April of which year Christina abdicated her throne, and as Marvell was not associated in the office of Latin Secretary till 1657, they must have been written when Milton sustained the duties of his place without an assistant. Is it likely then, I will ask, that be should solicit aid for the composing of eight verses, addressed to a person who was manifestly a great object of his regard? The notion entertained by Mr. Warton, that Milton, who was perpetually conversant with the classics and with Latin composition, should by the disuse of a few years so far lose his faci. lity in the constructing of Latio verse, as to be unable to write it, strikes me as ludicrously absurd. The inference from their being found in a posthumous publication of Marvell's works is surely of no consequence. A friend might certainly transcribe a friend's verses, and place them by his own on the same subject, without suspecting that be was thus bringing the author's just claim to them into suspicion. Induced probably by the same reasons which have influenced my opinion in this instance, Bishop Newton, Dr. Birch, and the late ingenious editor of Paradise Regained, Mr. Dunster, have concurred in considering these verses as the property of Milton,
Imperial Maid, great arbitress of war!
Before we proceed to exhibit the address to Cromwell, it will be proper to direct our attention to the state of the British public at this remarkable conjuncture.
That part of the Long Parliament, which