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1643. Marries Mary Powell (May or June).
“Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce” published
(August). 1644. “Of Education. To Master S. Hartlib” pub
lished. “The Judgment of Martin Bucer concerning
“Areopagitica” published (Nov.). 1645. “Tetrachordon " published (March).
“ Colasterion” published (March).
in Barbican. 1646. “Poems both English and Latin” published (Jan.). 1647. Death of his father and of his father-in-law. Moves
to High Holborn. 1649. “Tenure of Kings and Magistrates” published.
Made Secretary for Foreign Tongues (March).
“ Eikonoklastes” published (October). 1651. “Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio contra Salma
sium” published. 1652. Becomes totally blind.
His first wife dies. 1654. “Defensio Secunda” published. 1655. “ Pro se Defensio contra Morum” published. 1656. Marries Katherine Woodcock. 1658. Death of his second wife. 1659. “Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes "
published. “Considerations touching the means of removing
Hirelings out of the Church” published. 1660. “Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Com
Milton goes into hiding. 1661. Goes to live in Jewin Street, but soon removes to
1664. Marries Elizabeth Minshull.
“Samson Agonistes" } published in one volume). 1672. “ Artis Logicæ Institutio” published. 1673. “Of True Religion, Heresy and Schism” pub
“ Prolusiones Academicæ " published.
V. BOOKS RECOMMENDED.
. Life is Stephenal Biograni
vion of Le philips",
Bradshaw, “ Milton's Poetical Works” (Aldine Poets).
St. John, “Milton's Prose Works,” Bohn's edition, Standard Library, five vols.
Masson, “Milton's Poetical Works” (Globe edition), “ Life of John Milton,” six vols.
Leslie Stephen, article “ Milton, John," in the “ Dictionary of National Biography," vol. 38. Garnett, “Life of Milton.” Pattison, “ Milton” (English Men of Letters series). Goodwin, “ Lives of Edward and John Philips," which contains Edward Philips' Life of Milton, Aubrey's Life, and other useful material.
Elwood, “ History of Thomas Elwood” (Morley's Universal Library).
Jonathan Richardson, “Explanatory Notes on ‘Paradise Lost'" (with Life).
Johnson's “Lives of the Poets,” edited by Mrs. Napier ; or Cunningham's edition (out of print).
THE Life of Milton has been already written in so
1 many forms, and with such minute enquiry, that I might perhaps more properly have contented myself with the addition of a few notes to Mr. Fenton's elegant Abridgement, but that a new narrative was thought necessary to the uniformity of this edition.
John Milton was by birth a gentleman, descended from the proprietors of Milton near Thame in Oxfordshire, one of whom forfeited his estate in the times of York and Lancaster. Which side he took I know not; his descendant 10 inherited no veneration for the White Rose.
His grandfather John was keeper of the forest of Shotover, a zealous papist, who disinherited his son, because he had forsaken the religion of his ancestors.
His father, John, who was the son disinherited, had recourse for his support to the profession of a scrivener. He was a man eminent for his skill in musick, many of his compositions being still to be found ; and his reputation in his profession was such, that he grew rich, and retired to an estate. He had probably more than common litera- 20 ture, as his son addresses him in one of his most elaborate Latin poems. He married a gentlewoman of the name of Caston, a Welsh family, by whom he had two sons, John the poet, and Christopher who studied the law, and adhered, as the law taught him, to the King's party, for which he was a while persecuted; but having, by his brother's
interest, obtained permission to live in quiet, he supported himself so honourably by chamber-practice, that soon after the accession of King James, he was knighted and made a Judge ; but, his constitution being too weak for business, he retired before any disreputable compliances became necessary.
He had likewise a daughter Anne, whom he married with a considerable fortune to Edward Philips, who came
from Shrewsbury, and rose in the Crown-office to be 10 secondary : by him she had two sons, John and Edward,
who were educated by the poet, and from whom is derived the only authentick account of his domestick manners.
John, the poet, was born in his father's house, at the “Spread-Eagle” in Bread-street, Dec. 9, 1608, between six and seven in the morning. His father appears to have been very solicitous about his education ; for he was instructed at first by private tuition under the care of Thomas Young, who was afterwards chaplain to the English merchants at Hamburgh; and of whom we have reason to 20 think well, since his scholar considered him as worthy of an epistolary Elegy.
He was then sent to St. Paul's School, under the care of Mr. Gill; and removed in the beginning of his sixteenth year, to Christ's College in Cainbridge, where he entered a sizar, Feb. 12, 1624 (O.S.).
He was at this time eminently skilled in the Latin tongue; and he himself, by annexing the dates to his first compositions, a boast of which the learned Politian had
given him an example, seems to commend the earliness of 30 his own proficiency to the notice of posterity. But the
products of his vernal fertility have been surpassed by many, and particularly by his contemporary Cowley. Of the powers of the mind it is difficult to form an estimate: many have excelled Milton in their first essays, who never rose to works like “ Paradise Lost.”
At fifteen, a date which he uses till he is sixteen, he translated or versified two Psalms, 114 and 136, which he thought worthy of the publick eye; but they raise no great expectations; they would in any numerous school have obtained praise, but not excited wonder.
Many of his elegies appear to have been written in his eighteenth year, by which it appears that he had then read the Roman authors with very nice discernment. I once heard Mr. Hampton, the translator of “ Polybius,” remark what I think is true, that Milton was the first English. 10 man who, after the revival of letters, wrote Latin verses with classick elegance. If any exceptions can be made, they are very few: Haddon and Ascham, the pride of Elizabeth's reign, however they may have succeeded in prose, no sooner attempt verses than they provoke derision. If we produced anything worthy of notice before the elegies of Milton, it was perhaps Alabaster's “Roxana.”
Of these exercises which the rules of the University required, some were published by him in his maturer 20 years. They had been undoubtedly applauded; for they were such as few can perform : yet there is reason to suspect that he was regarded in his college with no great fondness. That he obtained no fellowship is certain ; but the unkindness with which he was treated was not merely negative. I am ashamed to relate what I fear is true, that Milton was one of the last students in either university that suffered the publick indignity of corporal correction.
It was, in the violence of controversial hostility, objected 30 to him, that he was expelled : this he steadily denies, and it was apparently not true; but it seems plain from his own verses to Diodati, that he had incurred Rustication ; a temporary dismission into the country, with perhaps the loss of a term: