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verse of pale, and such as induces almost every one who sees me, to consider me as ten years younger than I am; neither is my skin wrinkled, nor my body in any way shrunk. If I should misrepresent any of these circumstances, my falsehood must instantly be detected by thousands of my own countrymen, and by many foreigners who are acquainted with my person, and to whose ridicule and contempt I should be exposed: it might then be fairly concluded, that he who, in an affair of no moment, could unnecessarily be guilty of a gross and wanton violation of truth, could not be deserving of credit in any thing which he asserted. Thus much have I been compelled to speak of my own person of yours, though I have been informed that it is the most contemptible and the most strongly expressive of the dishonesty and malice which actuate it, I am as little disposed to speak as others would be to hear.

"I wish that it were in my power, with the other attack, to refute the charge, which my unfeeling adversary brings against me, of blindness; but, alas! it is not in my power, and I must consequently submit to it. It is not, however, miserable to be blind: he only is miserable who cannot acquiesce in his blindness with fortitude. And why should I repent at a calamity, which every man's mind ought to be so prepared

and disciplined, as to be able, on the contingency of its happening, to undergo with patience a calamity to which every man by the condition of his nature is liable: and which I know to have been the lot of some of the greatest and the best of my species. Among those on whom it has fallen, I might reckon some of the remotest bards of remote antiquity, whose want of sight the Gods are said to have compensated with extraordinary and far more valuable endowments, and whose virtues were so venerated that men would rather arraign the Gods themselves of injustice, than draw from the blindness of these admirable mortals an argument of their guilt. What is handed down to us respecting the augur Tiresias is very commonly known. Of Phineus, Apolonius in his Argonautics thus sings—

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Careless of Jove, in conscious virtue bold,
His daring lips Heav'ns sacred mind unfold.
The God hence gave him years without decay,
But robb'd his eye-balls of the pleasing day.'

"As for what I wrote at any time, (since the Royalists think I now suffer on that account, and triumph over me,) I call God to witness that I did not write any thing but what I then thought, and am still persuaded to be, right and true and acceptable to God; nor led by any sort of ambition, profit, or vain glory; but have done all

from a sense of duty and honour, or out of piety to my country, and for the liberty of Church and State. On the contrary, when the task of answering the king's defence was enjoined me by public authority, being both in an ill state of health, and the sight of one eye almost gone already, the Physicians openly predicting the loss of both if I undertook this labour, yet nothing terrified by their premonition, I did not long balance whether my duty should be preferred to my eyes."

The following beautiful Sonnet will show the happy state of his mind under this painful affliction, the principles of the gospel evidently "filled him with joy and peace in believing:" so that he "abounded in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost."


"When I consider how my life is spent

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide,

Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he, returning chide,
'Doth God exact day labour, light denied?'
I fondly ask: but patience to prevent


That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
Either man's works, or his own gift; who best
Bears his mild yoke they serve him best: his state
Is kingly thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.''

In a letter expressive of his entire resignation to the will of God, under this painful affliction, addressed to his friend, Leonard Philarus of Athens, dated Westminster, September 28th, 1654, he gives this further account of his blind


"That I might not seem," he says, "to neglect any means, perhaps of divine suggestion, for my relief, I will hasten to comply with your request :

"It is now about ten years, I think, since I first perceived my sight beginning to grow weak and dim, and at the same time my spleen and other visura heavy and flatulent. When I sate down to read as usual in the morning, my eyes gave me considerable pain, and refused their office till fortified by moderate exercise of body. If I looked at a candle, it appeared surrounded by an iris. In a little time, a darkness covering the left side of the left eye, which was partially clouded some years before the other, interrupted the view of all things in that direction. Objects also in front seemed to dwindle in size whenever I closed my right eye. This eye too for three years gradually failing, a few months previous, while I was perfectly stationary, every thing seemed to swim backward and forward: and now thick vapours appear to settle upon my forehead and temples, which weigh down my eyes with an oppressive

sense of drowsiness, especially in the interval between the dinner and evening; so as frequently to remind me of Phineus, the Salmydissim, in the Argonautics.

"In darkness swam his brain, and where he stood,
The stedfast earth seemed rolling like a flood.
Nerveless his tongue, and, every power oppressed,
He sunk, and languished into torpid rest.”

"I ought not to omit mentioning that, before I wholly lost my sight, as soon as I lay down in bed, and turned upon either side, brilliant flashes of light used to issue from my closed eyes; and afterwards upon the gradual failure of any power of vision, colours proportionably dim and faint, seemed to rush out with a degree of vehemence and a kind of inward noise. These have now faded into uniform blackness, such as ensues on the extinction of a candle; or blackness varied only and intermingled with a dunnish grey. The constant darkness, however, in which I live day and night, inclines more to a whitish than a blackish tinge; and the eye in turning itself round admits, as through a narrow chink, a very small portion of light. But this, though it may offer a similar glance of hope to the physician, does not prevent me from making up my mind to my case, as evidently beyond the reach of cure and I often reflect, that as many days

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