« VorigeDoorgaan »
We have lately met with a pleasanr piece of vengeance taken of Milton by a poor fellow who had suffered under his lash for conveying into the world, Morus’s, or rather Du Moulin's, “ Clamor • Regii Sanguinis."
Just before the Restoration, Robert Creyghton, chaplain to Charles II. and his attendant in his exile, a man of learning, procured a handsome and valuable edition of Sylvester Sguropulus's History of the council of Florence, in Greek. The printer of it was Adrian Vlacq, of the Hague, who yet smarted from the stripes inflicted upon him by Milton some years before. Adrian now thought he had a fine opportunity of taking his amends. For this purpose he prevailed
with Creyghton to characterize Milton in the preface to his book, but without naming him, lest both the editor and the printer should suffer for their temerity, the Restoration being yet in embryo. Some of his rhetoric we shall transcribe :
“ Nec suis unquam parasitis indiguit *6 fanaticum illud genus hominum, qui “ exitiali facundia armati semper in pro“ cinctu stant, et qua jubentur, linguas “ venales flectunt, eorum turpissima “ crimina ut virtutes collaudant, aliorum • omnium dotes dente fatyrico perfo“ diunt, et in Deum ipsum, fr. senatus
perduellis mandaverit, profanæ elo« quentiæ arietes admovere non erubef" .cunt.”
And again, : “ Regicidium commendant pofteris, « ut Heroici facinoris exemplum fingu- “ lare. Everfionem ecclefiæ, extirpa“ tionem regni, regiique sanguinis, inter
“ fa&ta fortiffima numerant." . Again, speaking of the style of the writers on the side of the parliament, he says :
« Qui fructum cum semente conferre « vellet fatius multo judicaret ad rudem “ illam, fed honestam Latinæ orationis
balbutiem (monkish Latin) revertere " quam fic in Marci Tullii ac Titi Livii “ viridariis expatiari, pollucibiliter men“ tiri, &c.” . . .
And lastly, iss Tum de Regibus, fi quis forte for. * tuna encomiaftice scripserit, fuccenr sent, frendunt, debacchantur, et in « omne latus obftreperain volvunt fa“cundiam, ne quis Rex pro pio habe* atur, quando ipfi in omnium Regum * facrosancta capita tam impii [l. impie]
The allusion here to Milton and his works could not have been plainer, without naming him. The prefacer well knew Milton's zeal for his cause, and his abilities in defending it. He knew not but he might yet be disposed to do himself and his party justice at his ( Creyghton's] expence, and he chose therefore, both for the poor printer's fake and his
own, to make the abuse general, that he might have room to say, that Milton was not the man he meant, though the two last citations would not apply to any other man that then was, or ever had been, upon the face of the earth. Such was the terror that Milton's name struck
into the hearts of his opponents, even : when his party was rapidly approaching atheir final diffolution :