« AnteriorContinuar »
3. Five Letters to Milton from various friends, now first
CHARLES LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER,
ON HIS PUBLICATION OF
MILTON DE DOCTRINA CHRISTIANA.
As one whose footsteps by some ancient stream,
Benhall, Nov. 1831.
1 See Miltoni Eleg. in Obitum Præs. Wintoniensis.
On being requested to compose a brief Memoir of the Life of Milton, adapted to the edition to which it was to be attached, I naturally searched for information among the former biographers of the Poet.
Though the present Life is too contracted in its plan, and, perhaps, too slender in its materials, to pretend to rank among the laboured and established biographies of Milton, yet I must observe that in the arrangement of the subject, in the opinions delivered, or the inferences drawn, it is dependent on none that has preceded it. I have consulted all the former writers for information, without copying them; and I have attended respectfully to their reasoning, without servilely adhering to it. After being indebted to them for the necessary facts, and for occasional expressions, the remainder of the narrative has been the result of my own inquiries, and formed from the conclusions of my own judgment. To the poetry of Milton from my earliest youth down to the commencing autumn of my life, I have ever looked with a reverence and love not easily to be surpassed; for the sentiments adopted and avowed by him on the great and complicated questions of civil liberty and political rights, I have, as becomes my situation, and is suitable to the habits of my mind, expressed myself with that temperance of opinion and