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LONDON:
T. NOBLE, 79, FLEET STREET.

1 845.

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BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE.

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JOIN MILTON, the justiy celebrated Anthor of the following Poems, was born December 9th, 1608, in Bread Street, London. His grandfather was so rigid a Papist, that he, in consequence of dita ference of religiour opinions, disinherited his son, (the father of our Poet,) who was compelled to follow the profession of a scrivener. He married a lady of the name of Castin, by whom he had three children, John, the Poet, Christopher, and Anne. Milion received the rudiments of his education from Mr. Thomas Young, afterwards Chaplain to the resident English Merchants at Hamburgh : on leaving this gentleman, he went to St. Paul's School, then under the superintendence of Mr. Gill; from whence he removed to Christ's College, Cambridge, where he was admitted as a pensioner, in February, 1024. He soon exhibited his accurate knowledge of Latin, and is considered to have been the first Englishman wi... Frote with classic elegance and taste in that lane guage. In 1628 he obtained the degree of Bachelor and irr 1632 that of Master of Arts,

He appes i to have taken great antipathy to the University, cris account of some imagined severity towards hiniCertain it is, he derermined to quit it, and, at the same time, he resigned all idea of enterii thchurch, which at o'e time he intended. Upon his kaving College, he returned to his father's house as

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orton, in Buckinghamshire, where he remained about five years, studying the Greek and Romana authors, and occasionally exercising himself in Poetry.

In the year 1634, he produced “Comus," a nlask ; and three years after, “ Luycidas," which was wriiton upon the death of a son of Sir J. King, secretary for Ireland ; and about this time he wroie

; Sis “ Arcades.”

Spon the death of his mother, he obtained his Eojner' onsent to travel, and in 1638 he left Engand für Paris, when he was introduced to the celebrated Grotius, who was then ambassador from tho court of Sweden. He prosecuted his journey as far as Italy, and returned to his native country, after an absence of fifteen months.

England at this period was the scene of civil dis. turbance, and Milton being hostile to monarchical principles, wrote boldly and ably in support of the republican party. On his return to his native coun. try, he hired a house in Aldersgate Street, where he took pupils, amongst whom were two sons of his sister, Phillips. The religious controversies of the time had their effect on our Author, who pub. lished his 'Treatise on the Reformation, in favour of the Puritans, in 1641.

About the thirty-fifth year of his age he married a daughter of Mr. Powel, of Forest Hill, Oxford. shire a justice of the peace, and an inflexible Royalist. This marriage, to the daughter of a m8“ whose political principles were diametrically posite to his own, is a circumstance far more re markable, than the separation which took place about a month after their union. The desertius of his wife so greatly irritated him, that he is saie Whave sought a divorce: and, in consequence o chis event, he published his three treatises on that nibject, in order to justify the step he had in con templation. wift, nowever, sought an oppos

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