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IN TWELVE BOOKS:
With an Account of the Author's Life.
Τὸν πέρι Μέσ ̓ ἐφίλησε, δίδε δ' ἀγαθόν τε, κακόν τε, Οφθαλμῶν μὲν ἄμερσε, δίδει δ ̓ ἡδεῖαν ἀοιδήν.
HOMER Odyff. ☺.
Biblioth. du Palais des Arts
MR. JOHN MILTON.
ROM a Family, & Town of his name in Oxfordfhire, our Author deriv'd his defcent; but he was born at London in the year 1608. The Publifher of his Works in profe (on whofe veracity fome part of this narrative muft entirely depend) dates his birth two years earlier than this: but contradicting himself afterwards in his own computation, I reduce it to the time that Monfieur Bayle hath affign'd; and for the fame reafon which prevail'd with him to affign it. His Father, John Milton, by profeffion a Scrivener, liv'd in a reputable manner on a competent eftate, entirely his own acquifition; having been early dis-inherited by his Parents for renouncing the communion of the Church of Rome, to which they were zealously devoted. By his wife Sarah Cafton he had likewife one Daughter nam'd Anna; & another Son, Chriftopher, whom he train'd to the practice of the Common-Law; who in the great Rebellion adher'd to the Royal caufe: and in the Reign of King James II. by too eafy a compliance with the doctrines of the Court, both religious and civil, he attain'd to the dignity of being made a Judge of the Commonshu sipstered приня ΠΟΛΥ Η ΑΙΤΙΑ
Pleas; of which he dy'd devefted not long after the Revolution.
But JOHN the fubject of the prefent effay, was the favorite of his Father's hopes; who to cultivate the great genius which early difplay'd itfelf, was at the expenfe of a domeftic Tutor: whofe care and capacity his Pupil hath gratefully celebrated in an excellent Latin Elegy; the fourth in the prefent collection. At his initiation he is faid to An. Etat. 12. have apply'd himself to letters with fuch indefatigable induftry, that he rarely was prevail'd with to quit his ftudies before midnight which not only made him frequently subject to fevere pains in his head; but likewife occafion'd that weakness in his eyes, which terminated in a total privation of fight. From a domeftic education he was remov'd to St. Paul's School, to complete his acquaintance with the Claffics under the care of Dr. Gill: and after a fhort ftay there, was tranfplanted to Chrift's College in Cambridge, where he diftinguifhd himself in all kinds of Academical exercifes. Of this fociety he continued a Member 'till he commenc'd Mafter of Arts and then leaving the University, he return'd to his Father; who had quitted the Town, and liv'd at Horton near Colebrooke in Barkshire; where he perfu'd An. Etat. 23 and fuccefs. his ftudies with unparallel'd affiduity,
An. Etat. 15.
After fome years fpent in this ftudious retirement, his Mother dy'd and then he prevail'd with his Father to gratify an inclination he had long entertain'd of feeing foreign countries. Sir Henry Wotton, at that time Provoft of Eaton College, gave him a letter of advice for the direction of his travels: but by not obferving an excellent maxim in it, he incur'd great danger by difputing against the fuperftition of
An. Etat. 30.
I penfieri ftretti, ed il vifo fciolto