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occasion, are the more noble and becoming, as all his preceding years had been employed in forming, for the most important purposes, a firm and lofty mind, and in furnishing it abundantly with whatever might be usefuland honorable to himselfandothers, in the various exigences and vicissitudes both of public and private life.

We have traced him through a long course of infantine, academical, domestic, and foreign study; we have seen him distinguished by application, docility and genius; uncommonly attached to his instructors, and most amiably trrateful to his parents; in friendship, ardent and steady; in Jove, though tender not intemperate; as a poet, sensible of his rare mental endowments, yet peculiarly modest in regard to his own productions; enamoured of glory, yet as ready to bestow as anxious to merit praise: in his person and manners so fashioned to prepossess all men in his favor, that even foreigners gave him credit for those high literary atchievements, which were to shed peculiar lustre on his latter days, and considered him already as a man, of whom his country might be proud.

With such accomplishments, and such expectations in his behalf, Milton returned to England. The subsequent portion of his life, however gloomy and tempestuous, will be found to correspond, at least in the close of it, with the radiant promise of his youth. We shall see him deserting his favorite haunts of Parnassus to enter the thorny paths of ecclesiastical and poetical dissention: his principles as a disputant will be condemned and approved, according to the prevalence of opposite and irreconcilable opinions, that fluctuate in the world; but his upright consistency of conduct deserves applause from all honest and candid men of every persuasion. The Muse indeed, who had blessed him with singular endowments, and given him so lively a sense of his being constituted a poet by nature, that when he wrote not verse, he had the use (to borrow his own forcible expression) "but of his left hand;" the Muse alone might have a right to reproach him with having acted against inward conviction ; but could his Muse have visibly appeared to reprove his desertion of her service in a parental remonstrance, he might have answered her, as the young Harry of Shakespear answers the tender and keen reproof of his royal father,

"I will redeem all this, And in the closing of some glorious day Be hold to tell you, that I am your son."








The narrative may proceed from the information of Milton himself. On his return he procured a residence in London, ample enough for himself and his books, and felt happy in renewing his interrupted studies.* This first establishment (as we learn from his

* Ipse, sicubi possem, tam rebus turbatis & fluctuantibus, locum consistendi circumspiciens mihi librisque meis, sat amplam in urbe doraum conduxi; ibi ad intermissa studia beatulus me recepi; rerum exitu deo imprimis & quibus id muneris populus dabat, facilfc permisso.


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