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casion, fearing the loss of that stipend with which the Hollanders feed such a murrain and pest as you are, if by reviling the English you should consequently reflect upon them that maintain you, you endeavour to demonstrate "how unlike their actions and ours are." The comparison that you make betwixt them I resolve to omit (though many things in it are most false, and other things flattery all over, which yet you thought yourself obliged to put down, to deserve your pension.) For the English think they need not allege the examples of foreigners for their justification. They have municipal laws of their own, by which they have acted; laws with relation to the matter in hand the best in the world: they have the examples of their ancestors, great and gallant men, for their imitation, who never gave way to the exorbitant power of princes, and who have put many of them to death, when their government became insupportable. They were born free, they stand in need of no other nation, they can make what laws they please for their own good government. One law in particular they have a great veneration for, and a very ancient one it is, enacted by nature itself: That all human laws, all civil right and government, must have a respect to the safety and welfare of good men, and not be subject to the lusts of princes. From hence to the end of your book I find nothing but rubbish and trifles, picked out of the former chapters; of which you have here raised so great a heap, that I cannot imagine what other design you could have in it, than to presage the ruin of your whole fabric. At last, after an infinite deal of tittle-tattle, you make an end, calling "God to witness, that you undertook the defence of this cause, not only because you were desired so to do, but because your own conscience told you, that you could not possibly undertake the defence of a better." Is it fit for you to intermeddle with our matters, with which you have nothing to do, because you were desired, when we ourselves did not desire you ? to reproach with contumelious and opprobrious language, and in a printed book, the supreme magistracy of the English nation, when, according to the authority and power that they are intrusted with, they do but their duty within their own jurisdiction, and all this without the least injury or provocation from them? (for they did not so much as know that there was such a man in the world as you.) And I pray by whom were you desired?
By your wife, I suppose, who, they say, exercises a kingly right and jurisdiction over you; and whenever she has a mind to it (as Fulvia is made to speak in that obscene epigram, that you collected some centoes out of, page 320) cries, "Either write, or let us fight;" that made you write perhaps, lest the signal should be given. Or were you asked by Charles the younger, and that profligate gang of vagabond courtiers, and like a second Balaam called upon by another Balak to restore a desperate cause by ill writing, that was lost by ill fighting? That may be; but there is this difference, for he was a wise understanding man, and rid upon an ass that could speak, to curse the people of God: thou art a very talkative ass thyself, and rid by a woman, and being surrounded with the healed heads of the bishops, that heretofore thou hadst wounded, thou seemest to represent that beast in the Revelation. But they say, that a little after you had written this book you repented of what you had done. It is well, if it be so; and to make your repentance public, I think the best course that you can take will be, for this long book that you have writ, to take a halter, and make one long letter of yourself. So Judas Iscariot repented, to whom you are like; and that_young Charles knew, which made him send you the purse, Judas's badge; for he had heard before, and found afterward by experience, that you were an apostate and a devil. Judas betrayed Christ himself, and you betray his church; you have taught heretofore, that bishops were antichristian, and you are now revolted to their party. You now undertake the defence of their cause, whom formerly you danıned to the pit of hell. Christ delivered all men from bondage, and you endeavour to enslave all mankind. Never question, since you have been such a villain to God himself, his church, and all mankind in general, but that the same fate attends you that befell your equal, out of despair rather than repentance, to be weary of your life, and hang yourself, and burst asunder as he did; and to send beforehand that faithless and treacherous conscience of yours, that railing conscience at good and holy men, to that place of torment that is prepared for you.* And now
In the above recapitulation of the crimes of Charles I., which are mixed up with denunciations against his defender, it is unnecessary to offer any remarks. I refer the reader to the Eikonoklastes, and to my notes on Towards poor Salmasius, Milton is much too fierce here, in the conclusion of his work, since he dismisses him into that warm region
I think, through God's assistance, I have finished the work I undertook, to wit, the defence of the noble actions of my countrymen at home and abroad, against the raging and envious madness of this distracted sophister; and the asserting of the common rights of the people against the unjust domination of kings, not out of any hatred to kings, but tyrants: nor have I purposely left unanswered any one argument alleged by my adversary, nor any one example or authority quoted by him, that seemed to have any force in it, or the least colour of an argument. Perhaps I have been guilty rather of the other extreme, of replying to some of his fooleries and trifles, as if they were solid arguments, and thereby may seem to have attributed more to them than they deserved. One thing yet remains to be done, which perhaps is of the greatest concern of all, and that is, that you, my countrymen, refute this adversary of yours yourselves, which I do not see any other means of your affecting, than by a constant endeavour to outdo all men's bad words by your own good deeds. When you laboured under more sorts of oppression than one, you betook yourselves to God for refuge, and he was graciously pleased to hear your most earnest prayer and desires. He has gloriously delivered you, the first of nations, from the two greatest mischiefs of this life, and most pernicious to virtue, tyranny and superstition; he has endued you with greatness of mind to be the first of mankind, who after having conquered their own king, and having had him delivered into their hands, have not scrupled to condemn him judicially, and, pursuant to that sentence of condemnation, to put him to death. After the performing so glorious an action as this, you ought to do nothing
to which controversialists are too apt to consign their adversaries. Of course we are not to understand our author too seriously; he could joke at times, grimly, it is true, but yet he could joke; and the comparison of Salmasius to Judas Iscariot is one of those harsh pleasantries in which none but a vehement and energetic man could indulge. Late in life Milton evidently experienced regret for the warmth into which he was betrayed, while writing this book. But men of sincerity and high principles, who are earnest in their love of liberty, and ready to do and suffer all things for its sake, are easily betrayed into excesses while combating for the principle they love. The foreign sophist, hired to advocate the cause of tyranny by a hundred Jacobuses, must necessarily have appeared an odious and contemptible person in the eyes of Milton, who, though afterwards rewarded by the gratitude of his country, voluntarily undertook its defence, and required no recompense but the consciousness of having done well.-ED.
that is mean and little, not so much as to think of, much less to do, anything but what is great and sublime. Which to attain to, this is your only way: as you have subdued your enemies in the field, so to make appear, that unarmed, and in the highest outward peace and tranquillity, you of all mankind are best able to subdue ambition, avarice, the love of riches, and can best avoid the corruptions that prosperity is apt to introduce, (which generally subdue and triumph over other nations,) to shew as great justice, temperance, and moderation in the maintaining your liberty, as you have shewn courage in freeing yourselves from slavery. These are the only arguments, by which you will be able to evince, that you are not such persons as this fellow represents you--Traitors, Robbers, Murderers, Parricides, Madmen; that you did not put your king to death out of any ambitious design, or a desire of invading the rights of others; not out of any seditious principles or sinister ends; that it was not an act of fury or madness; but that it was wholly out of love to your liberty, your religion, to justice, virtue, and your country, that you punished a tyrant. But if it should fall out otherwise, (which God forbid,) if as you have been valiant in war, you should grow debauched in peace, you that have had such visible demonstrations of the goodness of God to yourselves, and his wrath against your enemies; and that you should not have learned by so eminent, so remarkable an example before your eyes, to fear God, and work righteousness; for my part, I shall easily grant and confess (for I cannot deny it) whatever ill men may speak or think of you, to be very true. And you will find in a little time, that God's displeasure against you will be greater than it has been against your adversaries, greater than his grace and favour has been to yourselves, which you have had larger experience of than any other nation under heaven.
DEFENCE OF THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND.
AGAINST AN ANONYMOUS LIBEL,
"THE ROYAL BLOOD CRYING TO HEAVEN FOR VENGEANCE ON THE ENGLISH PARRICIDES."
TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN, BY ROBERT FELLOWES, A.M., OXON,
EDITOR'S PRELIMINARY REMARKS.
WHEN the reply to Salmasius made its appearance, a kind of stupor seems to have seized upon the defenders of absolute monarchy throughout Europe. Milton was so much of an orator, and so skilfully and successfully roused the passions of the European public, that no man of character or political eminence would sully his own reputation by attacking him. It was felt that he had the good sense and passionate predilections of mankind on his side. Already was the dawn breaking upon Christendom of that great day, the noon of which has not yet arrived. And Milton, with the spirit of a political propagandist, was making in his works the tour of the civilized world, rousing the Germans and the French, the Italians and the Spaniards to shake off the yoke of centuries and assert their liberty. He imagined he saw them rising and girding their loins for the great enterprise. But it was imagination only. It required two centuries more of thought and toil to imbue the public mind of Christendom with the love of liberty, to awaken it to the consciousness of its birthright, and to confirm it in the belief, that to be subject to despotic authority is to be altogether false to the cause of humanity.
But if no man of ability or respectable character stepped forward in defence of the kings of those days, there were not wanting miserable scribblers who, for money, would prop up any tyrant. Salmasius had not found his account in composing lumbering pamphlets for Charles II. On the contrary, he had forfeited his claim to the praise of judgment and moderation, and an honest attachment to the cause of civil and religious liberty, and had been overwhelmed with contempt and obloquy for his signal failure. From persons of his class therefore, no aid was to be expected by the wandering Stuarts. At length, however, a man was found who, under the shelter of a false name, consented to brave the indignation of Milton and the scorn of the English nation. This was an obscure clergyman of the name of Dumoulin, who, assisted by Alexander More, a Scotchman settled in France, put forward a second attack on the English Commonwealth, the judges who had sentenced Charles Stuart to an ignominious death, and Milton who had defended that act.
Further than this it is unnecessary to enter into the history of the causes which produced the Second Defence of the People of England. With the exception of Salmasius, there is not one of Milton's adversaries who does not owe the place he occupies, such as it is, in history, to the contemptuous notice of the great poet. Meanwhile it may be regarded as fortunate for us that such men existed, and had the temerity to sting the English republic and Milton at the same time, since it is to this fact we owe the