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To the Right Honorable : John Lord Sommers,
Baron of Evesham..
T was Your LORD
encouragement that occafion’d the first appearing of this. Poem in the Folio Edition, which from thence has been so well receiv'd, that
it was four times greater than before, the sale increas'd double the number every year. The Work is now generally known and esteem'd; and I having the honor to hear Your LORDSHIP say, that a smaller edition of it would be grateful to the world, immediately resolv'd upon printing it in this vofume, of which Imoft humbly beg Your acceptance, from, My LORD,
LI F E
Mr. JOHN MILTON.
ROM a family, and town of his name in Oxfordshire, our Author deriv'd his de
scent; but He was born at London in the year 1608. The Publisher of his works in Prose (on whose veracity fome part of this narrative must entirely depend) dates his birth two years earlier than this: but contradicting himself afterwards in bis own computation, I reduce it to
the time that Monsieur Bayle hath afsign'd; and for the same reason which prevail'd with him to assign it. His father, John Milton, by profession a Scrive ner, liv'd 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. By his wife Sarala Cafton he had likewise one daughter, named Anna ; and another son, Christopher, whom he train'd to the practice of the Common Law; who in the Great Rebellion adher'd to the royal cause :
and in the reign of King James II. by too eafy a compliance with the doctrines of the Court, both religious and civil, he attain’d to the dignity of being made a Judge of the Common Pleas; of which he dy'd devested not long after the Revolution.