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mansion of Lord Scudamore; and here he continued to reside till the Restoration.
Charles, the son of the late king, anxious to appeal to the courts of Europe against the judgment of the people of Eng. land, employed, as his advocate, Salmasius, an honorary professor in the University of Leyden. It would have been difficult for Charles readily to have found a foreigner at this period well qualified for the task; but in his choice he seems to have been peculiarly unfortunate. This man, though possessed of great erudition and considerable critical acumen, was altogether destitute of those practical talents that were needed for the work imposed on him; and, above all, he was utterly ignorant of the facts and bearings of the question he thus undertook to exhibit in its true light to others; so that he was entirely dependent for his materials on the prejudiced representations of the ruined cavaliers.
In reply to the work thus produced, Milton published in 1651, his “Defence of the People of England,” giving in it one of the noblest instances of self-sacrifice that ever patriotism offered. He had already greatly injured his eyes by his protracted studies, and his physicians now assured him that unless he abandoned this labour, he must lose his sight. “On this occasion,” says Milton, replying to an antagonist who had made his blindness a reproach, “I reflected that many had purchased with a superior evil a lighter good, glory with death;—to me, on the contrary, greater good was purchased with an inferior evil; so that by incurring blindness alone, I might fulfil the most honourable of all duties."
The unanimous voice of the Council had called him to this work, and the reception it met with on the continent was such as might have satisfied the highest ambition;—enemies no less than friends manifested their sense of its power. It was publicly burned at Paris and Toulouse. It was translated into Dutch for the special benefit of the countrymen of Salmasius, to his own extreme vexation; and while the StatesGeneral ordered its suppression as a national disgrace, its author received the highest encomiums from the most eminent men in Europe. Queen Christina of Sweden especially marked her admiration of this work; but, above all, it completely accomplished the purpose for which it was written,