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« away his patriotism in a private board“ing school.”
This fneer is derived from a reflection of Mr. Fenton, “to whom it seemed “wonderful that one, of so warm and " daring a spirit as Milton's certainly “was, should be restrained from the “ camp in those unnatural commotions*;
and whence Dr. Johnson takes the li“berty to subsume: But Milton was re“ strained from the camp, therefore his “ patriotism was vapoured away.”
But was there no scene of patriotic action but in the camp? or will Dr. Johnson allow that Milton could have done more for the liberty of his countrymen with his sword than he did with his pen* ?
* Fenton's Life of Milton, p. x.
Philips informs us, that Milton arrived in England from his travels “about “the time of the King's making his fe“cond expedition against the Scots *;" ;
* Neque enim militiæ labores et pericula fic defugi, ut non alia ratione, et operam multo utiliorem, nec minore cum periculo, meis civibus navârim, et animum dubijs in rebus neque de miffum unquam, neque ullius invidiæ, vel etiam mortis plus æquo metuentem præstiterim. Nam: cum ab adolescentulo humanioribus effem itudiis, ut qui maxime deditus, et ingenio, semper quam corpore validior, posthabita caftrenfi opera, qua me gregarius quilibet robustior facile superâffet, ad ea me contuli quibus plus potui, ut parte inei meliore ac potiore, fi faperem, non deteriore, ad rationes patriæ, causamque hanc præftantiffimam, quantum maxime poflem momentum accederem, Miltoni Defensio secunda pro populo Angli
cano, p. 366. vol. II. cf Baron's edition
of his prose-works. of Philips, D. xvi.
and fo say Toland, Newton, &c; and it was in the very same year that Milton published his Discourses of Reformation in two books, founded on the same principles of liberty for which his countrymen were contending in the camp.
The same Mr. Philips says, that within the first two years that Milton inhabited the house which the new narrative dignifies with the name of boardingschool*, he set out not only the tract above-mentioned, but likewise the several treatises against Prelatical Episcopacy, on the Reason of Church-Govern
* The expression was familiar to this writer:
ment, Defence of Smečtymnus, and others.
Dr. Johnson will hardly deny that these patriotic pieces vapoured beyond the environs of Milton's boarding-school, even perhaps to the warmest scene of action, the Commons' House of Parliament: nor can we think he will (except in a fit of merriment) call them small performances, with respect to their effects; as he himself must know by experience the service that political pamphlets do to the faction their authors adhere to, when seasonably published. The merit of the faction, or of the author, is out of the question. We believe it will not be disputed, that Milton was as valuable a writer to the party he
2. espoused, as Dr. Johnson is to the present
administration, though not (at the time
zeal for the propagation of learning; “ and all tell what they do not know to “ be true, only to excuse an act which no “ wise man will consider as in itself dif“ graceful. His father was alive, his “ allowance was not ample, and he sup