Cover Page

Contents

Note on This Edition

Acknowledgements

List of Illustrations

Chronology

Introduction

Milton’s Anti-Episcopal Prose and Religious Conflict

The Politics of Divorce and “Free Writing”

The Politics and Writing of 1649

Defending the English People and Himself

Milton’s Late Prose and the Crisis of the Good Old Cause

1 PROLUSIONS VI AND VII

PREFATORY NOTE

Prolusion VI: DELIVERED IN THE COLLEGE SUMMER VACATION, BUT IN THE PRESENCE OF ALMOST THE WHOLE BODY OF STUDENTS, AS IS CUSTOMARY (i) THE ORATION

Prolusion VII: DELIVERED IN THE COLLEGE CHAPEL IN DEFENCE OF LEARNING AN ORATION

2 OF REFORMATION

PREFATORY NOTE

3 THE REASON OF CHURCH-GOVERNMENT URG’D AGAINST PRELATY

PREFATORY NOTE

THE PREFACE

CHAP. I.

CHAP. II.

CHAP. III.

CHAP. IV.

CHAP. V.

CHAP. VI.

CHAP. VII.

The Second Book

4 AN APOLOGY AGAINST A PAMPHLET

PREFATORY NOTE

5 THE DOCTRINE AND DISCIPLINE OF DIVORCE

PREFATORY NOTE

1. BOOKE.

THE SECOND BOOK.

6 OF EDUCATION

PREFATORY NOTE

7 AREOPAGITICA; A SPEECH OF Mr. JOHN MILTON

PREFATORY NOTE

8 TETRACHORDON

PREFATORY NOTE

9 THE TENURE OF KINGS AND MAGISTRATES

PREFATORY NOTE

10 EIKONOKLASTES

PREFATORY NOTE

The PREFACE

11 A SECOND DEFENCE OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE

PREFATORY NOTE

12 A TREATISE OF CIVIL POWER IN ECCLESIASTICAL CAUSES

PREFATORY NOTE

13 CONSIDERATIONS TOUCHING THE LIKELIEST MEANS TO REMOVE HIRELINGS OUT OF THE CHURCH

PREFATORY NOTE

14 THE READIE AND EASIE WAY TO ESTABLISH A FREE COMMONWEALTH

PREFATORY NOTE

15 OF TRUE RELIGION, HÆRESIE, SCHISM, AND TOLERATION

PREFATORY NOTE

16 SELECTIONS FROM MILTON’S PRIVATE LETTERS

PREFATORY NOTE

TO ALEXANDER GIL 1628

LETTER TO A FRIEND, 1633

TO CHARLES DIODATI, 1637

TO BENEDETTO BUONMATTEI THE FLORENTINE, 1638

TO CHARLES DATI, NOBLEMAN OF FLORENCE, 1647

[SINCE I HAVE BEEN FROM BOYHOOD] TO LEONARD PHILARAS, ATHENIAN

TO THE MOST DISTINGUISHED MR HENRY DE BRASS, 1657

TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS PETER HEIMBACH, COUNCILLOR TO THE ELECTOR OF BRANDENBURG

17 DE DOCTRINA CHRISTIANA

PREFATORY NOTE

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

Chapter XV

Chapter XVIII

From Chapter XIX

From Chapter XX

Chapter XXVII

From Chapter XXXIII

Chapter I

Chapter VI

Chapter IX

Chapter XVII

18 THE LIFE OF MR. JOHN MILTON by Edward Phillips

Select Bibliography

Praise for John Milton: Prose

“This excellent selection is what I have always wanted for my students: un-modernized texts very well edited and contextualized. Milton’s seering radicalism, the extraordinary controlled freedom of his rhetoric, the engagement with the great issues of England’s revolution, but also with universal themes of God, Humankind, liberty, accountability, are made accessible as never before.”

John Morrill, Professor of British and Irish History, Cambridge University

 

“David Loewenstein’s scrupulous edition offers a remarkably generous range of Milton’s prose works on religion, politics, and domestic issues. The Prefatory Notes to each work are a model of clarity and concision, and annotations are precise and informative. The volume will be a wonderful resource for Milton scholars, teachers, and students alike.”

Laura Knoppers, Editor, Milton Studies

 

“Richly annotated and with a fine, purposeful introduction, this wholly new edition makes available ten major prose works by Milton in their entirety, together with generous selections from Milton’s other tracts. No other edition allows the reader to appreciate so fully Milton’s original engagement with concepts of political, religious, and domestic liberty. It is the best edition for teaching purposes and the general reader. Scholars too will appreciate the wealth of fresh annotations.”

Thomas N. Corns, University of Wales, Bangor

 

“This is the most ambitious one-volume edition of Milton’s prose to date, one that both invites the general reader who is curious about the author of Paradise Lost, and that also satisfies the needs of classrooms. Readers will have at their fingertips works from across Milton’s writing career, with its wide range of occasions and styles. We see the scrappy polemicist, the rhetorically powerful tyrannicide, the critic and participant in religious reform, a Milton who was always daring, witty and engaged. With crisp prefatory introductions to each work, helpful annotations, and a generous introduction to the whole, there is no better guide to Milton’s prose treasures than this one. I will be eager to assign this to students.”

Sharon Achinstein, University of Oxford

 

David Loewenstein is Helen C. White Professor of English and the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. His books include Representing Revolution in Milton and his Contemporaries: Religion, Politics, and Polemics in Radical Puritanism (2001), which received the Milton Society of America’s James Holly Hanford Award for Distinguished Book. He is the author of Treacherous Faith: The Specter of Heresy in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (2013). He has co-edited The Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature (2002), Early Modern Nationalism and Milton’s England (2008), and The Complete Works of Gerrard Winstanley (2009). He is an Honored Scholar of the Milton Society of America.



Also available:



John Milton: “Paradise Lost”

Edited by Barbara K. Lewalski



John Milton: Complete Shorter Poems

Edited by Stella P. Revard



The Life of John Milton: A Critical Biography

Barbara K. Lewalski

Image







For Barbara Lewalski and in Memory of Norman T. Burns

Figure 1 Portrait of Milton at age 62 by William Faithorne; from The History of Britain (1670). By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

image

Note on This Edition

This is an original spelling edition of Milton’s prose (except, of course, for translations of Milton’s Latin texts). It is intended for a broad readership: students, teachers, scholars, and general readers. I have prepared fresh annotations for all the texts; however, because of the need to keep this large one-volume edition from becoming too big, I have not provided annotations (except for several contemporary names) to the substantial selections from Milton’s theological treatise, De Doctrina Christiana. I have aimed to keep the annotations concise but full, so that readers of Milton’s prose can get as much as possible from the old-spelling texts. I have also followed the original punctuation.

In preparing this edition, I have followed the chosen copy-texts closely. In cases where there are clearly typographical errors in the original, I have made emendations without noting them. Biblical citations in the annotations are from the Authorized (King James) Version.

This is one of three volumes presenting the complete poetry and major prose in original ­language. The shorter poems are edited by Stella Revard; Paradise Lost is edited by Barbara Lewalski. Quotations from the shorter poetry are taken from John Milton: Complete Shorter Poems, edited by Stella P. Revard (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009); quotations from Paradise Lost are taken from John Milton: “Paradise Lost,” edited by Barbara K. Lewalski (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007).

Abbreviations

Any abbreviations refer to works cited in the Select Bibliography at the end of this edition. CPW refers to the Yale edition of the Complete Prose Works of John Milton, general editor Don M. Wolfe, 8 volumes (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1953–82). Thomason refers to the major collection of published texts assembled by the London bookseller, George Thomason, between 1640 and 1661; the collection is kept in the British Library. Wing refers to The Short-title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America and of English Books Printed in Other Countries, 1641–1700 by Donald Goddard Wing, 2nd edition, revised and enlarged (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1972–98).

Acknowledgements

For help in preparing this edition, I am very grateful to a number of energetic and discerning assistants: Jon Baarsch, Claire Falck, Michael Gadaleto, Elizabeth Malson-Huddle, Vanessa Lauber, Kristiane Stapleton, and Eric Vivier. These advanced graduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison checked and re-checked the texts for accuracy; they also assisted me with the large number of annotations, including by noting less familiar words, names, and difficult passages they considered needed glossing. They exemplified engaged, strenuous modern readers of Milton’s prose, helping to ensure that this old-spelling edition is one that can be read and appreciated by a broad readership. I am especially grateful to Kristiane Stapleton for assisting me as I prepared the final manuscript for the press. Joshua M. Smith gave his expert advice when I had questions about Milton’s Greek and Latin. Finally, the Marjorie and Lorin Tiefenthaler Funds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison provided essential financial support during the years this edition was being prepared.

I would also like to thank warmly Emma Bennett, my editor at Wiley-Blackwell, for much helpful advice and patience as I prepared this edition. I am also grateful to Benjamin Thatcher at Wiley-Blackwell for his expertise in seeing this large book through production. I thank Fiona Screen for her expert copy-editing skills. Much work on this edition was conducted using the resources of the ­following libraries: the Bodleian Library, the British Library, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Library, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. I am grateful to their staffs for much assistance and many kindnesses.

I am also very grateful to the editors of the other two Wiley-Blackwell editions of Milton: Barbara K. Lewalski and Stella P. Revard. It has been a special pleasure to work with them as we discussed and designed all three volumes of Milton’s writings. Barbara Lewalski has provided much support, valuable criticism, and practical advice. Her scholarship on Milton has been exemplary in its range and depth – for its attention to the aesthetic achievements of Milton’s writing (in both his poetry and prose), as well as to the constant freshness with which Milton expresses his arguments and ideas about politics, religion, and domestic issues. This volume is dedicated to her. It is also dedicated to the memory of Norman T. Burns, with whom I was lucky enough to enjoy the kind of lively ­intellectual friendship Milton himself deeply treasured.

List of Illustrations

1

Portrait of Milton at age 62 by William Faithorne; from The History of Britain (1670). By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

2

Eikon Basilike: The Pourtraicture of His Sacred Majestie in his Solitude and Sufferings (1649), frontispiece. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

3

John Milton, Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio (London, 1651), title page.By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Chronology

Milton’s Life

Historical and Literary Events

Dec. 9, born in Bread Street, Cheapside London, to John and Sarah Milton.

1608

1611

King James (“Authorized”) Bible.

Educated by private tutors, including the Presbyterian cleric, Thomas Young.

1614–20

Brother Christopher born.

1615

1616

Death of Shakespeare.

Portrait at age 10 painted by Cornelius Janssen.

1618

Ben Jonson’s Works published.

Begins to attend St. Paul’s School; ­friendship with Charles Diodati begins. (?)

1620

1621

Donne appointed Dean of St. Paul’s.

1623

Shakespeare’s First Folio published.

First known poems, paraphrases of Psalms 114 and 136.

1623–4

Admitted to Christ’s College, Cambridge (Feb. 12).

1625

Death of James I; accession of Charles I.

Outbreak of plague.

Writes funeral elegies, “In quintum Novembris,” verse epistles, and Prolusions in Latin; “On the Death of a Fair Infant,” “At a Vacation Exercise” in English.

1626–8

William Laud made Bishop of London.

Takes BA degree (March).

1629

Charles I dissolves Parliament.

Writes “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” (Dec).

Writes “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso”(?).

1631

“On Shakespeare” published in the Second Folio of Shakespeare’s plays. Admitted to MA degree (July 3). Writes Arcades, entertainment for the Countess of Derby(?). Writes sonnet “How soon hath Time” (Dec). Starts to live with his family at Hammersmith.

1632

Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems published in Italian.

Writes “On Time,” “At a Solemn Music”(?).

1633

Donne’s Poems and Herbert’s The Temple published.

Laud made Archbishop of Canterbury.

A Maske (Comus) performed at Ludlow with music by Henry Lawes (Sept. 29).

1634

Carew’s masque, Coelum Britannicum.

Moves with his family to Horton, Buckinghamshire. Begins notes on his reading in Commonplace Book.

1635

Publication of A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle. Mother dies (April 3).
Writes “Lycidas.”

1637

Trial and punishment of Puritans William Prynne, John Bastwick, and Henry Burton.

Descartes, Discourse on Method.

“Lycidas” published in collection of elegies for Edward King.

1638

Begins Continental tour (May 1638); meets Grotius, Galileo, Cardinal Barberini, Manso; visits Academies in Florence and Rome; visits Vatican Library; visits Naples, Venice, and Geneva.
Writes “Mansus,” other Latin poems.

1638–9

Learns of Charles Diodati’s death.
Returns to England (July).
Takes lodgings in Fleet Street.
Begins teaching nephews Edward and John Phillips and a few others.

1639

First Bishops’ War with Scotland.

Writes Epitaphium Damonis (epitaph for Charles Diodati). Begins work on Accidence Commenc’t Grammar, Art of Logic, Christian Doctrine(?).

1640

Long Parliament convened (Nov. 3); impeachment of Laud. George Thomason, London bookseller, begins his collection of tracts and books.

Publishes anti-episcopal tracts: Of Reformation; Of Prelatical Episcopacy; Animadversions upon the Remonstrants Defense.

1641

Impeachment and execution of Strafford (May)
Root and Branch Bill abolishing bishops.
Irish rebellion breaks out (Oct.).

Publishes The Reason of Church-government and An Apology [for] . . . Smectymnuus
Marries Mary Powell (May?), who returns (Aug.?) to her royalist family near Oxford.
Writes sonnet, “Captain or Colonel” when royalist attack on London expected.

1642

Civil War begins (Aug. 22). Royalists win Battle of Edgehill. Closing of theaters.

Publishes Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (Aug.).

1643

Westminster Assembly of Divines to reform Church.
Solemn League and Covenant subscribed.
Thomas Browne, Religio Medici.

Publishes second edition of Doctrine and Discipline; Of Education (June); The Judgement of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce (Aug.); Areopagitica (Nov.).

1644

Royalists defeated at Battle of Marston Moor (July 2).

Publishes Tetrachordon and Colasterion on the divorce question.
Mary Powell returns. Moves to a large house in the Barbican.

1645

Execution of Laud.
New Model Army wins decisive victory at Naseby (June).
Edmund Waller, Poems.

Poems of Mr. John Milton published (Jan., dated 1645).
Writes sonnet to Lawes.
Daughter Anne born (July 29).

1646

First Civil War ends.
Crashaw, Steps to the Temple.

Father dies; moves to High Holborn.

1647

Daughter Mary born (Oct. 26).
Writes sonnet to Lord General Fairfax.
Translates Psalms 80–88.

1648

Second Civil War.
Pride’s Purge (Dec.) expels many Presbyterians from Parliament, leaving c.150 members of the House of Commons (the Rump).
Herrick, Hesperides.

Publishes Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (Feb.).
Appointed Secretary for Foreign
Tongues to the Council of State (March 15).
Writing the History of Britain.
Publishes Observations on Irish documents; Eikonoklastes (“The Idol Smasher”) (Oct.).
Given lodgings in Scotland Yard

1649

Trial of Charles I, executed Jan. 30. Eikon Basilike (“The Royal Image”) published in many editions.
Acts abolishing kingship and House of Lords (March).
Salmasius, Defensio Regia. Parliament declares England a free Commonwealth (May).

Second edition of Eikonoklastes (June).

1650

Marvell, Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland. Vaughan, Silex Scintillans (Part 1).

Publishes Defensio pro populo Anglicano in reply to Salmasius (Feb. 24).
Birth of son, John (March 16).
Moves to Petty France, near St. James Park.

1651

Hobbes, Leviathan.

Milton totally blind.
Writes sonnet, “When I consider how my light is spent”(?) and sonnets to Cromwell and Sir Henry Vane.
Daughter Deborah born (May 2).
Mary Powell Milton dies (May 5).
Son John dies (June).

1652

Regii Sanguinis Clamor (“Cry of the Royal Blood”), answer to Milton’s Defensio, published. First Dutch War (to 1654).

Translates Psalms 1–8.

1653

Cromwell dissolves Rump Parliament (April 20). “Barebones” Parliament. Cromwell made Lord Protector (Dec), under Constitution, “Instrument of Government.”

Publishes Defensio Secunda (“A Second Defense of the English People”), answer to Regii Sanguinis (May 30).

1654

Writes sonnet, “Avenge O Lord thy Slaughter’d Saints.”
Publishes Pro Se Defensio (“Defense of Himself”) (Aug.). Works on Christian Doctrine(?).

1655

Massacre of the Protestant Vaudois on order of the Prince of Savoy (April).
Andrew Marvell, The First Anniversary of the Government Under O.C.

Marries Katherine Woodcock (Nov. 12).

1656

James Harrington, Oceana, published.

Daughter Katherine born (Oct. 10). Marvell appointed his assistant in Secretariat for Foreign Languages.

1657

“Humble Petition and Advice,” constitution establishing more conservative government.

Katherine Woodcock Milton dies (Feb. 3).
Daughter Katherine dies (March 17). New edition of Milton’s Defensio.

1658

Death of Oliver Cromwell (Sept. 3). Richard Cromwell becomes Protector.

Publishes A Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes (Feb.); The Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings out of the Church (Aug.).

1659

Richard Cromwell deposed by army; Rump Parliament recalled; Rump deposed and again restored.

Publishes The Readie and Easie Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth (Feb.); 2nd edition (April); Brief Notes upon a Late Sermon (April).
In hiding (May); his books burned (Aug.); imprisoned (Oct.?); released (Dec.).

1660

Long Parliament restored; New Parliament called (April).
Charles II restored, enters London (May).
Dryden, Astraea Redux.
Bunyan imprisoned (until 1672).

At work on Paradise Lost, Christian Doctrine.

1661

Regicides imprisoned, ten executed. Repression of dissenters.

Marries Elizabeth Minshull (Feb.). Moves to Bunhill Fields.

1663

Butler, Hudibras, Part I.

1664

Butler, Hudibras, Part II; Molière, Tartuffe.

Quaker Thomas Ellwood finds house for Milton at Chalfont St. Giles to escape plague.

1665

Bubonic plague kills 70,000 in London.
Second Dutch War.

1666

Great Fire of London (Sept. 2–6). Bunyan, Grace Abounding.

Paradise Lost published.

1667

Dryden, Annas Mirabilis; Of Dramatick Poesie.

1668

Dryden made Poet Laureate.

Publishes Accidence Commenc’t Grammar.

1669

Publishes History of Britain, with William Faithorne’s engraved portrait.

1670

Publishes Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes.

1671

Publishes Art of Logic.

1672

Charles II’s Declaration of Indulgence.
Marvell, Rehearsal Transposed.
Third Dutch War.

Publishes Of True Religion, Hæresie, Schism and Toleration; publishes new edition of Poems (1645).

1673

Test Act passed.

Publishes Familiar Letters and Prolusions. Publishes 2nd edition of Paradise Lost. Death (Nov. 8–10?); burial at St. Giles, Cripplegate (Nov. 12).

1674

Dryden’s rhymed drama The State of Innocence, registered (published 1677).

1678

Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress.

4th (Folio) edition of Paradise Lost: ­illustrations chiefly by Juan Baptista de Medina, engraved chiefly by Michael Burghers.

1688

Milton’s Letters of State published, with Edward Phillips’ Life of Milton and four sonnets – to Fairfax, Cromwell, Vane, and Cyriack Skinner (#2) – omitted from 1673 Poems.

1694

THE

LIFE

OF

Mr. John Milton.1

Of all the several parts of History, that which sets forth the Lives, and Commemorates the most remarkable Actions, Sayings, or Writings of Famous and Illustrious Persons, whether in War or Peace; whether many together, or any one in particular, as it is not the least useful in it self, so it is in highest Vogue and Esteem among the Studious and Reading part of Mankind. The most Eminent in this way of History were among the Ancients, Plutarch and Diogenes Laertius of the Greeks; the first wrote the Lives, for the most part, of the most Renowned Heroes and Warriours of the Greeks and Romans; the other the Lives of the Ancient Greek Philosophers. And Cornelius Nepos (or as some will have it Aemilius Probus) of the Latins, who wrote the Lives of the most Illustrious Greek and Roman Generals. Among the Moderns, Machiavel a Noble Florentine, who Elegantly wrote the Life of Castrucio Castracano, Lord of Luca. And of our Nation, Sir Fulk Grevil, who wrote the Life of his most intimate Friend Sir Philip Sidney: Mr. Thomas Stanly of Cumberlo-Green, who made a most Elaborate improvement to the foresaid Laertius, by adding to what he found in him, what by diligent search and enquiry he Collected from other Authors of best Authority.

Isaac Walton, who wrote the Lives of Sir Henry Wotton, Dr. Donne; and for his Divine Poems, the admired Mr. George Herbert. Lastly, not to mention several other Biographers of considerable Note, the Great Gassendus of France, the worthy Celebrator of two no less worthy Subjects of his impartial Pen; viz. The Noble Philosopher Epicurus, and the most politely Learned Virtuoso of his Age, his Country-man, Monsieur Periesk. And pitty it is the Person whose memory we have here undertaken to perpetuate by recounting the most memorable Transactions of his Life, (though his Works sufficiently recommend him to the World) finds not a well-informed Pen able to set him forth, equal with the best of those here mentioned; for doubtless had his Fame been as much spread through Europe, in Thuanus’s2 time as now it is, and hath been for several Years, he had justly merited from that Great Historian, an Eulogy not inferiour to the highest, by him given to all the Learned and Ingenious that liv’d within the compass of his History. For we may safely and justly affirm, that take him in all respects, for Acumen of Wit, Quickness of Apprehension, Sagacity of Judgement, Depth of Argument, and Elegancy of Style, as well in Latin as English, as well in Verse as Prose, he is scarce to be parallel’d by any the best of Writers our Nation hath in any Age brought forth. He was Born in London, in a House in Breadstreet, the Lease whereof, as I take it, but for certain it was a House in Breadstreet, became in time part of his Estate in the Year of our Lord, 1606.3 His Father John Milton, an Honest, Worthy, and Substantial Citizen of London, by Profession a Scrivener, to which Profession he voluntarily betook himself, by the advice and assistance of an intimate Friend of his, Eminent in that Calling, upon his being cast out by his Father, a bigotted Roman Catholick, for embracing, when Young, the Protestant Faith, and abjuring the Popish Tenets; for he is said to have been Descended of an Ancient Family of the Miltons, of Milton, near Abington in Oxfordshire; where they had been a long time seated, as appears by the Monuments still to be seen in Milton-Church, till one of the Family having taken the wrong side, in the Contests between the Houses of York and Lancaster, was sequestred of all his Estate, but what he held by his Wife. However, certain it is, that this Vocation he followed for many Years, at his said House in Breadstreet, with success suitable to his Industry, and prudent conduct of his Affairs; yet did he not so far quit his own Generous and Ingenious Inclinations, as to make himself wholly a Slave to the World; for he sometimes found vacant hours to the Study (which he made his recreation) of the Noble Science of Musick, in which he advanc’d to that perfection, that as I have been told, and as I take it, by our Author himself, he Composed an In Nomine of Forty Parts: for which he was rewarded with a Gold Medal and Chain by a Polish Prince, to whom he presented it. However, this is a truth not to be denied, that for several Songs of his Composition, after the way of these times, three or four of which are still to be seen in Old Wilby’s set of Ayres, besides some Compositions of his in Ravenscrofs Psalms, he gained the Reputation of a considerable Master in this most charming of all the Liberal Sciences: Yet all this while, he managed his Grand Affair of this World with such Prudence and Diligence, that by the assistance of Divine Providence favouring his honest endeavours, he gained a Competent Estate, whereby he was enabled to make a handsom Provision both for the Education and Maintenance of his Children; for three he had, and no more, all by one Wife, Sarah, of the Family of the Castons, derived originally from Wales. A Woman of Incomparable Vertue and Goodness; John the Eldest, the Subject of our present Work. Christopher, and an onely Daughter Ann; Christopher being principally designed for the Study of the Common Law of England, was Entered Young a Student of the Inner-Temple, of which House he lived to be an Ancient Bencher, and keeping close to that Study and Profession all his Life-time, except in the time of the Civil Wars of England; when being a great favourer and assertor of the King’s Cause, and Obnoxious to the Parliament’s side, by acting to his utmost power against them, so long as he kept his Station at Reading; and after that Town was taken by the Parliament Forces, being forced to quit his House there, he steer’d his course according to the Motion of the King’s Army.

But when the War was ended with Victory and Success to the Parliament Party, by the Valour of General Fairfax, and the Craft and Conduct of Cromwell; and his composition made by the help of his Brother’s Interest, with the then prevailing Power; he betook himself again to his former Study and Profession, following Chamber-Practice every Term, yet came to no Advancement in the World in a long time, except some small Employ in the Town of Ipswich, where (and near it) he lived all the latter time of his Life. For he was a person of a modest quiet temper, preferring Justice and Vertue before all Worldly Pleasure or Grandeur: but in the beginning of the Reign of K. James the II. for his known Integrity and Ability in the Law, he was by some Persons of Quality recommended to the King, and at a Call of Serjeants received the Coif, and the same day was Sworn one of the Barons of the Exchequer, and soon after made one of the Judges of the Common Pleas; but his Years and Indisposition not well brooking the Fatigue of publick Imployment, he continued not long in either of these Stations, but having his Quietus est, retired to a Country Life, his Study and Devotion. Ann, the onely Daughter of the said John Milton the Elder, had a considerable Dowry given her by her Father, in Marriage with Edward Philips, (the Son of Edward Philips of Shrewsbury,) who coming up Young to Town, was bred up in the Crown-Office in Chancery, and at length came to be Secondary of the Office under Old Mr. Bembo; by him she had, besides other Children that dyed Infants, two Sons yet surviving, of whom more hereafter; and by a second Husband, Mr. Thomas Agar, who (upon the Death of his Intimate Friend Mr. Philips) worthily Succeeded in the place, which except some time of Exclusion before and during the Interregnum, he held for many Years, and left it to Mr. Thomas Milton (the Son of the aforementioned Sir Christopher) who at this day executes it with great Reputation and Ability. Two Daughters, Mary who died very Young, and Ann yet surviving.

But to hasten back to our matter in hand; John our Author, who was destin’d to be the Ornament and Glory of his Countrey, was sent, together with his Brother, to Paul’s School, whereof Dr. Gill the Elder4 was then Chief Master; where he was enter’d into the first Rudiments of Learning, and advanced therein with that admirable Success, not more by the Discipline of the School and good Instructions of his Masters, (for that he had another Master possibly at his Father’s house, appears by the Fourth Elegy of his Latin Poems written in his 18th year, to Thomas Young5 Pastor of the English Company of Merchants at Hamborough, wherein he owns and stiles him his Master) than by his own happy Genius, prompt Wit and Apprehension, and insuperable Industry; for he generally sate up half the Night, as well in voluntary Improvements of his own choice, as the exact perfecting of his School-Exercises: So that at the Age of 15 he was full ripe for Academick Learning, and accordingly was sent to the University of Cambridge; where in Christ’s College, under the Tuition of a very Eminent Learned man, whose Name I cannot call to mind, he Studied Seven years, and took his Degree of Master of Arts; and for the extraordinary Wit and Reading he had shown in his Performances to attain his Degree, (some whereof spoken at a Vacation-Exercise in his 19th. year of Age, are to be yet seen in his Miscellaneous Poems) he was lov’d and admir’d by the whole University, particularly by the Fellows and most Ingenious Persons of his House. Among the rest there was a Young Gentleman, one Mr. King,6 with whom, for his great Learning and Parts he had contracted a particular Friendship and Intimacy; whose death (for he was drown’d on the Irish Seas in his passage from Chester to Ireland) he bewails in that most excellent Monody in his fore-mentioned Poems) Intituled Lycidas. Never was the loss of Friend so Elegantly lamented; and among the rest of his Juvenile Poems, some he wrote at the Age of 15, which contain a Poetical Genius scarce to be parallel’d by any English Writer. Soon after he had taken his Master’s Degree, he thought fit to leave the University: Not upon any disgust or discontent for want of Preferment, as some Ill-willers have reported; nor upon any cause whatsoever forc’d to flie, as his Detractors maliciously feign; but from which aspersion he sufficiently clears himself in his Second Answer to Alexander Morus,7 the Author of a Book call’d, Clamor Regii Sanguinis ad Cælum, the chief of his Calumniators; in which he plainly makes it out, that after his leaving the University, to the no small trouble of his Fellow-Collegiates, who in general regretted his Absence, he for the space of Five years lived for the most part with his Father and Mother at their house at Horton near Colebrook in Barkshire; whither his Father, having got an Estate to his content, and left off all business, was retir’d from the Cares and Fatigues of the world. After the said term of Five years, his Mother then dying, he was willing to add to his acquired Learning the observation of Foreign Customs, Manners, and Institutions; and thereupon took a resolution to Travel, more especially designing for Italy; and accordingly, with his Father’s Consent and Assistance, he put himself into an Equipage suitable to such a Design; and so intending to go by the way of France, he set out for Paris accompanied onely with one Man, who attended him through all his Travels; for his Prudence was his Guide, and his Learning his Introduction and Presentation to Persons of most Eminent Quality. However, he had also a most Civil and Obliging Letter of Direction and Advice from Sir Henry Wootton then Provost of Eaton, and formerly Resident Embassador from King James the First to the State of Venice; which Letter is to be seen in the First Edition of his Miscellaneous Poems. At Paris being Recom­mended by the said Sir Henry and other Persons of Quality, he went first to wait upon my Lord Scudamore, then Embassador in France from King Charles the First. My Lord receiv’d him with wonderful Civility; and understanding he had a desire to make a Visit to the great Hugo Grotius,8 he sent several of his Attendants to wait upon him, and to present him in his Name to that Renowned Doctor and Statesman, who was at that time Embassador from Christina Queen of Sweden, to the French King. Grotius took the Visit kindly, and gave him Entertainment suit­able to his Worth, and the high Commendations he had heard of him. After a few days, not intending to make the usual Tour of France, he took his leave of my Lord, who at his departure from Paris, gave him Letters to the English Merchants residing in any part through which he was to Travel, in which they were requested to shew him all the Kindness, and do him all the Good Offices that lay in their Power.

From Paris he hastened on his Journey to Nicæa, where he took Shipping, and in a short space arrived at Genoa; from whence he went to Leghorn, thence to Pisa, and so to Florence: In this City he met with many charming Objects, which Invited him to stay a longer time then he intended; the pleasant Scituation of the Place, the Nobleness of the Structures, the exact Humanity and Civility of the Inhabitants, the more Polite and Refined sort of Language there, than elsewhere. During the time of his stay here, which was about Two Months, he Visited all the private Academies of the City, which are Places establish’d for the improvement of Wit and Learning, and maintained a Correspondence and perpetual Friendship among Gentlemen fitly qualified for such an Institution: and such sort of Academies there are in all or most of the most noted Cities in Italy. Visiting these Places, he was soon taken notice of by the most Learned and Ingenious of the Nobility, and the Grand Wits of Florence, who caress’d him with all the Honours and Civilities imaginable, particularly Jacobo Gaddi, Carolo Dati,9 Antonio Francini, Frescobaldo, Cultellino, Banmatthei10 and Clementillo: Whereof Gaddi hath a large Elegant Italian Canzonet in his Praise: Dati, a Latin Epistle; both Printed before his Latin Poems, together with a Latin Distich of the Marquess of Villa, and another of Selvaggi, and a Latin Tetrastick of Giovanni Salsilli a Roman.

From Florence he took his Journey to Siena, from thence to Rome; where he was detain’d much about the same time he had been at Florence; as well by his desire of seeing all the Rarities and Antiquities of that most Glorious and Renowned City, as by the Conversation of Lucas Holstenius,11 and other Learned and Ingenious men; who highly valued his Acquaintance, and treated him with all possible Respect.

From Rome he Travelled to Naples, where he was introduced by a certain Hermite, who accompanied him in his Journey from Rome thither, into the Knowledge of Giovanni Baptista Manso, Marquess of Villa, a Neapolitan by Birth, a Person of high Nobility, Vertue, and Honour, to whom the famous Italian Poet, Torquato Tasso,12 Wrote his Treatise de Amicitia; and moreover mentions him with great Honour in that Illustrious Poem of his, Intituled, Gierusemme Liberata: This Noble Marquess received him with extraordinary Respect and Civility, and went with him himself to give him a sight of all that was of Note and Remark in the City, particularly the Viceroys Palace, and was often in Person to Visit him at his Lodging. Moreover, this Noble Marquess honoured him so far, as to make a Latin Distich in his Praise, as hath been already mentioned; which being no less pithy then short, though already in Print, it will not be unworth the while here to repeat.

Ut Mens, Forma, Decor, Facies, [Mos,] si* Pietas, sic,
Non Anglus Verum Hercle Angelus ipse fores.13

In return of this Honour, and in gratitude for the many Favours and Civilities received of him, he presented him at his departure with a large Latin Eclogue, Intituled, Mansus, afterward’s Published among his Latin Poems. The Marquess at his taking leave of him gave him this Complement, That he would have done him many more Offices of Kindness and Civility, but was therefore rendered incapable in regard he had been over-liberal in his speech against the Religion of the Country.14

He had entertain’d some thoughts of passing over into Sicily and Greece, but was diverted by the News he receiv’d from England, that Affairs there were tending towards a Civil War; thinking it a thing unworthy in him to be taking his Pleasure in Foreign Parts, while his Countreymen at home were Fighting for their Liberty: But first resolv’d to see Rome once more; and though the Merchants gave him a caution that the Jesuits were hatching designs against him, in case he should return thither, by reason of the freedom he took in all his discourses of Religion; nevertheless he ventured to prosecute his Resolution, and to Rome the second time he went, determining with himself not industriously to begin to fall into any Discourse about Religion; but, being ask’d, not to deny or endeavour to conceal his own Sentiments; Two Months he staid at Rome; and in all that time never flinch’d, but was ready to defend the Orthodox Faith against all Opposers; and so well he succeeded therein, that Good Providence guarding him, he went safe from Rome back to Florence, where his return to his Friends of that City was welcomed with as much Joy and Affection, as had it been to his Friends and Relations in his own Countrey, he could not have come a more joyful and welcome Guest. Here, having staid as long as at his first coming, excepting an excursion of a few days to Luca, crossing the Apennine, and passing through Bononia and Ferrara, he arriv’d at Venice, where when he had spent a Month’s time in viewing of that Stately City, and Shipp’d up a Parcel of ­curious and rare Books which he had pick’d up in his Travels; particularly a Chest or two of choice Musick-books of the best Masters ­flourishing about that time in Italy, namely, Luca Marenzo, Monte Verde, Horatio Vecchi, Cifa, the Prince of Venosa and several others, he took his course through Verona, Milan, and the Pænine Alps, and so by the Lake Leman to Geneva, where he staid for some time, and had daily converse with the most Learned Giovanni Deodati, ­Theology-Professor in that City, and so returning through France, by the same way he had passed it going to Italy, he, after a Peregrination of one compleat Year and about Three Months, arrived safe in England, about the time of the Kings making his second Expedition against the Scots.15 Soon after his return, and visits paid to his Father and other Friends, he took him a Lodging in St. Brides Church-yard, at the House of one Russel a Taylor, where he first undertook the Education and Instruction of his Sister’s two Sons, the Younger whereof had been wholly committed to his Charge and Care. And here by the way, I judge it not impertinent to mention the many Authors both of the Latin and Greek, which through his excellent judgment and way of Teaching, far above the Pedantry of common publick Schools (where such Authors are scarce ever heard of) were run over within no greater compass of time, then from Ten to Fifteen or Sixteen Years of Age.16 Of the Latin the four Grand Authors, De Re Rustica, Cato, Varro, Columella, and Palladius; Cornelius Celsus, an Ancient Physician of the Romans; a great part of Pliny’s Natural History, Vitruvius his Architecture, Frontinus his Stratagems, with the two Egregious Poets, Lucretius, and Manilius. Of the Greek; Hesiod, a Poet equal with Homer; Aratus his Phænomena, and Diosemeia, Dionysius Afer de situ Orbis, Oppian’s Cynegeticks & Halieuticks. Quintus Calaber his Poem of the Trojan War, continued from Homer; Appollonius, Rhodius his Argonuticks, and in Prose, Plutarch’s Placita Philosophorum & Περι Παιδων ’Aγоγιας, Geminus’s Astronomy; Xenophon’s Cyri Institutio & Anabasis, Aelians Tacticks, and Polyænus his Warlike Stratagems; thus by teaching he in some measure increased his own knowledge, having the reading of all these Authors as it were by Proxy; and all this might possibly have conduced to the preserving of his Eye-sight, had he not, moreover, been perpetually busied in his own Laborious Undertakings of the Book or Pen. Nor did the time thus Studiously imployed in conquering the Greek and Latin Tongues, hinder the attaining to the chief Oriental Languages, viz. The Hebrew, Caldee and Syriac, so far as to go through the Pentateuch, or Five Books of Moses in Hebrew, to make a good entrance into the Targum, or Chaldee Paraphrase, and to understand several Chapters of St. Matthew in the Syriac Testament, besides an Introduction into several Arts and Sciences, by Reading Urstisius his Arithmetick, Riffs Geometry, Petiscus his Trigonometry, Joannes de Sacro Bosco de Sphæra; and into the Italian and French Tongues, by reading in Italian, Giovan Villani’s History of the Transactions between several petty States of Italy; and in French a great part of Pierre Davity, the famous Geographer of France in his time. The Sunday’s work was for the most part the Reading each day a Chapter of the Greek Testament, and hearing his Learned Exposition upon the same, (and how this savoured of Atheism in him, I leave to the courteous Backbiter to judge). The next work after this, was the writing from his own dictation, some part, from time to time, of a Tractate which he thought fit to collect from the ablest of Divines, who had written of that Subject; Amesius, Wollebius, &c. viz. A perfect System of Divinity, of which more hereafter. Now persons so far Manuducted17 into the highest paths of Literature both Divine and Human, had they received his documents with the same Acuteness of Wit and Apprehension, the same Industry, Alacrity, and Thirst after Knowledge, as the Instructer was indued with, what Prodigies of Wit and Learning might they have proved! the Scholars might in some degree have come near to the equalling of the Master, or at least have in some sort made good what he seems to predict in the close of an Elegy he made in the Seventeenth Year of his Age, upon the Death of one of his Sister’s Children (a Daughter) who died in her Infancy.



Then thou the Mother of so sweet a Child,

Her false Imagin’d Loss cease to Lament,

And Wisely learn to curb thy Sorrows Wild;

This if thou do, he will an Offspring give,

That to the Worlds last end, shall make thy Name to live.



But to return to the Thread of our Discourse; he made no long stay in his Lodgings in St. Brides Church-yard; necessity of having a place to dispose his Books in, and other Goods fit for the furnishing of a good handsome House, hastning him to take one; and accordingly a pretty Garden-house he took in Aldersgate-Street, at the end of an Entry; and therefore the fitter for his turn, by the reason of the Privacy, besides that there are few Streets in London more free from Noise then that.

Here first it was that his Academick Erudition was put in practice, and Vigorously proceeded, he himself giving an Example to those under him, (for it was not long after his taking this House, e’re his Elder Nephew was put to Board with him also) of hard Study, and spare Diet; only this advantage he had, that once in three Weeks or a Month, he would drop into the Society of some Young Sparks of his Acquaintance, the chief whereof were Mr. Alphry, and Mr. Miller, two Gentlemen of Gray’s-Inn, the Beau’s of those Times, but nothing near so bad as those now-a-days; with these Gentlemen he would so far make bold with his Body, as now and then to keep a Gawdy day.