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STOPFORD A. BROOKE.

NEW YORK:
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,

549
&
551

BROADWAY.
1879.

JARVARD COLLEGE
fan, 8, 1937
LIBRARY

By exchange

O MIGHTY-MOUTH'D INVENTOR OF HARMONIES,

O SKILL'D TO SING OF TIME OR ETERNITY,

GOD-GIFTED ORGAN-VOICE OF ENGLAND,

MILTON, A NAME TO RESOUND FOR AGES ;
WHOSE TITAN ANGELS, GABRIEL, ABDIEL,
STARR'D FROM JEHOVAH'S GORGEOUS ARMOURIES,

TOWER, AS THE DEEP-DOMED EMPYRÊAN

KINGS TO THE ROAR OF AN ANGEL ONSET

ME RATHER ALL THAT BOWERY LONELINESS,

THE BROOKS OF EDEN MAZILY MURMURING,

AND BLOOM PROFUSE AND CEDAR ARCHES

CHARM, AS A WANDERER OUT IN OCEAN,

WHERE SOME REFULGENT SUNSET OF INDIA

STREAMS O'ER A RICH AMBROSIAL OCEAN ISLE,

AND CRIMSON-HUED THE STATELY PALMWOODS

WHISPER IN ODOROUS HEIGHTS OF EVEN."

Tennyson.

MILTON.

CHAPTER I.

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THE EARLY LIFE OF MILTON. Birth of Milton.-Bread Street, in the City of London, as one turns out of Cheapside, was famous in Queen Elizabeth's days for its Mermaid Tavern, where Shakspere, Beaumont, and their fellows met to drink canary wine, and to put“ each their whole wit into a jest.” Not far from its doors, though on the other side of the way, at the sign of the Spread Eagle -the device of the Milton family-John Milton, the poet, was born, on Friday, December 9, 1608, some eight years before Shakspere's death. He was baptized in All Hallows Church, in the same street, December 20th; and his name still stands on the register which was saved when the church itself was destroyed in the Great Fire. The boy lived in his father's house for sixteen years, and may often have seen the figures of the great poets after their carousing, go gaily down the street, and “ tasted the air they left behind them.” It pleases our fancy to think that the shadow of Shakspere may have fallen on Milton's eager face and the Master of English Drama touched the Master of English Epic.

His Parentage.—Richard Milton, the poet's grandfather, was one of a Roman Catholic family in the rank of yeomen, whom we can trace occupying land near Oxford as far back as 1550. He clung to his religion and was fined, as we know from the Recusant Rolls for Oxfordshire, for refusing to attend his parish church. But his son, John Milton, the poet's father, left the faith of his ancestors, and became

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