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sale increas'd double the number every year. The Work is now generally known and esteem’d; and I having the honor to hear Your LORDSHIP say', that a smaller edition of it would be grateful to the world, immediately resoly'd upon printing it in this volume, of which I most humbly beg Your acceptance , from,
ever obliged servant.
I: F F E
Mr. JOHN MILTON. FROM a family, and town of his naria in Oxfordshire , our Author deriv'd his defe cent; but He was born at London in the Year 2608. The Publisher of his works in Prose (on whose veracity fome part of this narrative must entirely depend) dates his birth two years earlier than this : but contradiding himself afterwards in his own computation, I reduce it to the time that Monsieur Bayle hath assign'd; and for the same Reafon which prevail'd with him to aflign it. His father John Milton , by profesion a scrivener, liv'd in a reputable manner on a competenteftate, entirely his own acquisition; having been
early disinherited by his parents for renouncing the communion of the Church of Rot me, to which they were zealously devoted. By his wife Sarah Cafton hehad likewife one daughter, nam Anna; and another"fon; Christopher , whom he train'd to the practice of the Common Law; who in the Great Rebellion adher'd to the royal cause : and in the reign of King James II. by too easy a compliance with the do&rines of the Court, both religious and civil, he attain'd to the dignity of being made a Judge of the Common Pleas; of which he dy'd devested not long after the Revolution.
But JOHN, the subje&t of the present essay, was the favorite of his father's hopes; who, to cultivate the great genius which early display'd itself, was at the expense of a domestic Tutor : whose care and capacity his Pupil hath gratefully celebrated in an excellent Latin Elegy, the fourth in the pre
sent collection.. At his initiaAn. Ætar. 12. tion He is said to have apply'd
himself to Letters with such indefatigable industry, that he rarely was prevail with to quit his studies before midnight: which not only made him frequently subje& to severe pains in his head; but likewise occasion'd that weakness in his eyes, which terminated in a total privation