A Common-Place Book of John Milton: And a Latin Essay and Latin Verses Presumed to Be by Milton

A Common-Place Book of John Milton: And a Latin Essay and Latin Verses Presumed to Be by Milton

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A Common-Place Book of John Milton: And a Latin Essay and Latin Verses Presumed to Be by Milton

A Common-Place Book of John Milton: And a Latin Essay and Latin Verses Presumed to Be by Milton

Read FREE!

Excerpt

John Milton is admitted to stand second only to Shakespeare in the roll of English Poets. Looking at the numerous testimonies (during his lifetime) to Shakespeare's existence, the number of his plays and poems, the many acquaintances whom his mere profession must necessarily have forced upon him, the friends whom his undoubted genial nature must have secured, and the various business transactions in which he must have engaged before being able to accumulate the competence on which he retired to the country, it seems strange that six or seven signatures are all that remain of the actual writing of him who, in literature, is England's chief glory. But looking at these signatures, and considering the traditions about Shakespeare's youth, it may be doubted if he was ever a good penman: transcripts by other persons of his rough drafts would serve for the Play House and the Press, and his business transactions were most likely effected by scriveners; the circumstances under which he is traditionally reported to have first come to London would perhaps prevent him from corresponding with his country friends; and not even a copy or a print of any letter by him exists. Milton, on the other hand, had a liberal education; early in life he made acquaintance with men of good position in England and on the Continent; he was in the service of the State; many of his official and private letters are in print; he was not only a poet but also a politician and a theologian; moreover his handwriting was remarkably good, and up to the age of fortyseven or forty-eight he could see to write; but, a few pages of the . . .

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