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Book 2 pa. 23.
Stationers court, and
LIFE OF JOHN MILTON. FROM a family
and town of his name in Oxfordshire, our Author derived his descent; but he was born at London, in the year 1608. His father, John Milton, by profession a scrivener, 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.
Our Author 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. At his initiation he is said to have applied himself to letters with such indefatigable industry, that he rarely was prevailed upon to quit his studies before midnight : which not only made him frequently subject to severe pains in his head; but likewise occasioned that weakness in his eyes, which termipated in a total privation of sight. From a domestic education he was removed to St. Paul's School, to complete his acquaintance with the classics, under the care of Dr. Gill; and after a short stay there, was transplanted to Christ College in Cambridge, 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 Buckinghamshire, 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 enter