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been so well received, that notwithstanding the price of it was four times greater than before, the sale increased double the number every year. The Work is now generally known and esteemed ; and I having the honour to hear your LORDSHIP fay, that a smaller edition of it would be grateful to the world, immediately resolved upon printing it in this volume, of which I most humbly beg your ac
ever obliged Servant.
ROM a family, and town of his name
in Oxfordshire, our Author derived his descent; but he was born at Landon in the year 1608. 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 contradicting himself afterwards in his own computation, I reduce it to the time
* Mr. TOLAND.
that Monsieur Bayle hath assigned ; and for the same reason which prevailed with him to assign it. His father, John Milton, by profession a Scriveņer, lived in a reputable manner on a competent estate, entirely his own acquisition ; having been early disinherited by his parents for renouncing the communion of the church of Rome, to which they were zealously devoted. By his wife. Sarah Caston he had likewise one daughter, named Anna ; and another son, Christopher, whom he trained to the practice of the common law; who in the great rebellion adhered to the royal caufe : and in the reign of king James II. by too easy a compliance with the doctrines of the court, both religious and civil, he attained to the dignity of being made a judge of the common pleas; of which he died divested not long after the Revolution.
But John, the subject of the present essay, was the favourite of his father's hopes, who, to cultivate the great genius which early displayed 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 present colle&ion.
An. Ætat. 12. At his initiation he is faid to have applyed himself to letters with such indefatigable industry, that he rarely was prevailed with to quit his studies before mid-night : which not only made him frequently subject to severe pains in his head; but likewise occasioned that weakness in his eyes, which terminated in a total privation of fight. From a domestic education he was removed to St. Paul's School, to complete his acquaintance with the clasfics under the care of Dr. Gill: and after a short stay there, was transplanted to
Christ's college in Cambridge, Ar. Ætat. 15. where he distinguished himself in all kinds of academical exercises. Of this society he continued a Member 'till he commenced master of arts; and then leaving the university, he returned to his father ; who had quitted the Town, and
lived at Horton in BuckingAn. Ætat.
hamshire; where he pursued his studies with unparalleled assiduity and success.
After some years spent in this studious retirement, his mother died : and then he prevailed with his father to gratify an inclination he had long entertained, of seeing foreign countries. Sir Henry Wotton, at
that time provost of Eaton An. Ætat. 30.
college, gave him a letter of advice for the direction of his travels : but by not observing * an excellent maxim
* I pensieri stretti, ed il viso sciolto.