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said that it was first printed in 1649, that a
by the gentle eloquence of fanaticism," (make of it, gentle reader, what sense you can,) " he listened no longer to the wild and native wood-notes of ' fancy's sweetest child. In his Iconoclastes he censures King Charles for studying 'One whom we know was the closest companion of his solitudes, William Shakspere.' This remonstrance, which not only resulted from his abhorrence of a king, but from his disapprobation of plays, would have come with more propriety from Prynne or Hugh Peters.” Then follows a just panegyric on the cultivation of the King's mind and the elegance of his taste.
To talk of the poètical predilections of the future author of the Paradise Lost as totally obliterated; or to impute an abhorrence of plays to the man who not only wrole Samson Agonistes, but who has left behind him a variety of subjects for the drama selected at a period subsequent to the publication of the Iconoclastes from prophane history, among which is the story of Macbeth, is abundantly strange, if we must not call it absurd. But to enter into a serious contest with the perverse imbecillity of this note of Mr. Warton's would be, to the last degree, idle. The criminated passage in the Iconoclastes, which I shall produce, will prove that it was not in Milton's contemplation to censure the King for studying Shakspeare; and that Mr. Warton must either not have understood what he quoted, or must have quoted with a determination to misrepresent. Speaking of the pieces of devotion with which the Icon is so thickly bestrown, Milton observes that “ he who from such a kind of psalmistry or any other verbal devotion, without the pledge and earnest of suitable deeds, can be persuaded of a zeal and true righteousness in the person, hath much yet to learn and knows not that the deepest policy of a tyrant hath been ever to counterfeit religious : and Aristotle in bis Politics hath mentioned that special craft among twelve other tyrannical sophisms. Neither want we examples. Andronicus Commenus, the Byzantine emperor, though a most cruel tyrant, is reported by Nicetas to have been a constant reader of St. Paul's epistles; and by con. tinual study to have so incorporated the phrase and style of that
and that Dr. Walker himself had been intrụsted with a part of the manuscript for the purpose of delivering it, under certain precautions, to Royston the printer through the intervention of Dr. Gauden's steward. Dr. Walker further reported that his friend, after the restoration, had informed him of the transaction's having been made known to the duke of York, who, in acknowledgment of the service, had promised the bishoprick of Winchester to this efficient promoter of the royal cause: a promise which was afterwards ill performed by his translation to the see of Worcester. In addition to all this mass of proof, Dr.Walker lastly asserted that many of the expressions in the devotional parts of the Icon were known to be peculiar to Dr. Gauden, by whom they had been frequently used in his religious exercises, both in private and in public.
To Dr. Walker's account, which it confirms in every essential particular, the written narrative, left by Mrs. Gauden the bishop's widow, adds many circumstances which complete, if any thing were before wanted to complete the integrity and roundness of the evidence. In this narrative, which is unquestionably authentic, Mrs. Gauden states the original intention of her husband, when
he planned the work; the title of Suspiria Regalia, or the Royal Sighis, which he first affixed to it and which he subsequently changed to that of Icon Basilikè; the conversation, reported by the marquis of Hertford to have passed between bishop Duppa and the King, when the manuscript, with the name and the design of the author, was communicated to his Majesty; the person, (a royalist divine of the name of 'Symmonds,) by whose means her husband had obtained the printing of a part of the work at Royston's press, where it had been received as the immediate production of the King's; the
discovery and the interruption of the printi ing with the danger which had compelled
her husband to abscond, in consequence of the arrest of Symmonds whose opportune death, immediately after his apprehension, had relieved the fears of his employer; the
b Tbis Mr. Symmonds, of Rayne in Essex, was ejected from his benefice by the Parliament in 1642, for preaching the doctrines of passive obedience and the divine right of kings. He avowed and justified in a pamphlet called “The loyal Subject's Belief," the offensive doctrines which had been imputed to him. His royalist spirit is fierce against the Parliament. - If David's heart smote him," he says, “ for cutting off Saul's garment, what would it have done if he had kept him from his castles, towns, and ships?" Neale's Hist. of the Puritans, v. iii. c. 1.
discourse of Dr. Morley, after the restoration, with her husband in which that prelate had talked of the service rendered by Dr. Gauden to the royal cause, both at home and abroad, by writing the king's book, as the Icon was then usually called, and had mentioned that he had communicated the whole business to Sir Edward Hyde, who had discovered much approbation of Dr. Gauden's work and conduct. Mrs. Gauden concludes her narrative by assigning the immediate cause, an illness which threatened his life, of her husband's making the important disclosure to the King, (Charles II,) who was much pleased with it, and confessed that he did often wonder that his father should have gotten time and privacy enough in his troubles to compose so excellent a piece, and written with so much learning."
After this minute and satisfactory relation, which certainly does not require and, indeed, will scarcely admit of any corroboration, it
may be superfluous to notice two Jetters written by Dr. Gauden, one to the duke of York and the other to the lord chancellor Hyde, urging the writer's services with reference to the Icon; or an answer from the .
ċ Consecrated bishop of Worcester oct. 28, 1660.
lord chancellor, in which he says to Dr. Gauden, “ the particular, you mentior, has, indeed been imparted to me as a secret: I am sorry
that I ever knew it; and when it ceases to be a secret it will please none but Mr. Milton."
To this power of testimony, sufficient as one would imagine to force the most impregnable infidelity, the unyielding spirit of party prejudice has attempted an opposition. Against the assertion of the two sons of Charles, against the letters of the lord chancellor Hyde and of Dr. Gauden, against the explicit and specific depositions of the confidential friend and of the widow of Dr. Gauden have been thrown into the scale the inconsistent or the inconclusive testimonies of
persons who have affirmed either that the manuscript in dispute was found among the King's papers at Naseby and had been restored to him by Fairfax; or that it had been seen, and even partly read in the King's own hand
his table in the Isle of Wight; or that it had been quoted by the King, or that it contained things similar to what the King had been heard to say.
My readers, probably, would not thank me if I were to lengthen this digression, already too far extended, by entering fully