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M I L T O N.

TH

HE Life of Milton has been al

ready written in so many forms, with such ininute enquiry, that I might perhaps more properly have contented myself with the addition of a few notes to Mr. Fenton's elegant Abridgement, but that a new narrative was thought necessary to the uniformity of this edition.

JOHN MILTON was by birth a gentleman, descended from the pro

b

prietors

prietors of Milton near Thame in Oxfordfhire, one of whom forfeited his estate in the times of York and Lancaster. Which fide he took I know not; his descendant inherited no veneration for the White Rose.

His grandfather John was keeper of the forest of Shotover, a zealous papist, who disinherited his son, because he had forsaken the religion of his ancestors.

His father, John, who was the son disinherited, had recourse for his support to the profession of a scrivener. He was a man eminent for his skill in musick, many of his compofitions being still to be found; and his reputation in his profession was such, that he grewrich, and retired to an estate. He had pro

bably bably inore than common literature, as his son addresses him in one of his most elaborate Latin poems. He married a gentlewoman of the name of Caston, a Welsh family, by whom he had two fons, John the poet, and Christopher who'studied the law, and adhered, as the law taught him, to the king's party, for which he was awhile persecuted, but having, by his brother's interest, obtained permission to live in quiet, he supported hiinself by chamber.practice, till, soon after the accession of king James, he was knighted and made a judge; but, his conftitution being too weak for business, he retired before any disreputable compliances became necef-fary.

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