" [for his republican notions) than that a popular government was the most frugal; for that the trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary Common56 wealth *." . In the Eικων Βασιλικη King Charles says, or is made to say, “ that Kings 5 are the greatest patrons of law, justice, “ order, and religion, on earth.” • To this Milton replies, “What pas trons they be God in scripture oft “ enough hath exprest; and the earth 6 itself hath too long groaned under the s6 burden of their injustice, disorder, and “ irreligion t." ;.. .. ; ..A plain man would think this a better ment, than merely the expence of monarchy. But let the Biographer have his way. .." It is surely a very narrow policy that “ supposes money to be the chief good.” But it is as surely asserted by us, that no modeft man can find any such position in all Milton's works. The political maxim, that money is not the chiefest good, would stand with a much fairer face in the tract intituled, “ Taxation no Ty“6 ranny,” in order to prevail with the people to bleed freely, and submit chearfully to the pecuniary demands of the ministry; for that the expence of a court is “ for the most part only a particular “ kind of traffick, by which money is “ circulated without any national impoés verishment.”

reason, if true, for a republican govern. * Life, P.:143. ii ri, A # Iconoclastes, chap. xxviii. I 2



· Tritical aphorisms should be universally and unequivocally true,, unlimited by such insertions, as, for the most part. The expence of a court is an expression relative to a thousand articles beyond what Milton called the trappings of monarchy. Admit that a traffic, not detrimental, to the nation, might be carried on with those who furnish the articles comprehended in what is called the civil lift, yet are those articles all the traffic which comes within the description of the 6.expence of a court?”. Have we not heard, fome centuries ago; of trafficking with court-money and court-honey, for courtly votes, and courtly. essays, to countenance and abet courtly encroachments ;, wherein a reciprocation of profit

I 3

is ftipulated upon the evangelical terms of Give, and it shall be given unto you?

In the common estimation of the world individuals are impoverished by their debts; and it would be strange if national debt should have no tendency to national poverty; and it would be still stranger, if, when the account of our own debts come to be audited, no part of them fhould appear to have been contracted by the expence of a court.

Dr. Johnson is afraid that Milton's republicanism was founded in an envious “ hatred of greatness, and a fullen defire “ of independence; in petulance, im*“ patient of controul ; and pride, dif“ dainful of fuperiority. He hated mo“ narchs in the state, and prelates in the


66 church; for he hated all whom he was “ required to obey. It is to be fufpected, " that his predominant desire was to de“ ftroy, rather than to establish, and * that he felt not so much the love of “ liberty, as repugnance to authority.”

Great is the witchcraft of words, and it prevaileth! How many readers will be imposed upon by this unmanly abuse of Milton, who will never consider that the following character is at least equally true of his calumniator! - ." It is to be feared that ---> bs loyalty 6 was founded on ani idolatrous venera" tion of greatness, and an abject fond* nefs for dependence; in fycophafitry, « impatient of hunger and philofophy, si and in a meanness disdainful of no ltiishi

I 4

“ crative

« VorigeDoorgaan »