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With the LIFE of the AUTHOR, and a
Discourfe on the Poem. By J. R. Sen.
Ć O N D ON: Printed for JAMES, JOHN, and Paul KNAPTON,
at the Crown in Ludgate-ftreet, near the West-End of St. Paul's.
If I can give a more Exact, and a more Just Idea of Milton, and of Paradise Lost than the Publick has yet had of Either, I am Affur’d it will be Acceptable to all Honest and Ingenuous Minds of What Party Soever. This is All I Intend; not a Panegyrick, not to give my Own Sense of What a Man should be, but what This Man Really was. Not to Plead for the Poet, or the Poem, but for Truth, by giving Light into What hath Hitherto lain in Obscurity, and by Dispelling Mistakes which have Injur'd the Memory of a Deserving Man, Debas'd a Work Worthy of the Highest Estimation, and Robb’d the World of the Pleasure and Advantage it Might have Receiv’d, and I presume to Hope Will Hereafter Receive. This is My Aim in the Present Undertaking. Whoever Reads without being the Better for My Labour in Some Degree, 'tis Their Own Fault; though that they are not More Benefitted may be Mine; not from any Defect in my Will, but Capacity. Concerning Milton, 'I will First of All, as well as I am Able, Show you his Person; A 2
Then his Mind; Afterwards You shall be Acquainted with the Principal Occurrences of his Life; his Provision for Maintenance; and Lastly, I will Consider the General Character of his Life, as to Happiness, by Comparing in very
few Words his Sufferings and Enjoyments.
He was rather a Middle Siz'd than a Little Man, and Well Proportion'd; Latterly he was No; Not Short and Thick, but he would have been So, had he been Somthing Shorter and Thicker than he Was. His Deportment was Marly and Resolute, but with a Gentlemanly Affability. in his Habit Plain, Clean, and Neat. his voice was Musically Agreeable. When Young he was Esteem'd Handsom, Chiefly I believe because he had a Fine Skin, and a Fresh Complexion. . his Hair was a Light Brown, which he wore Parted atop, and Somwhat Flat, Long, and Waving, a little Curld. the Print Prefix'd huws the Face of him who Wrote Paradise Loft, the Face We Chiefly desire to be Acquainted with, 'tis done from a Picture which I have reason to believe he Sate for not long before his Death, I have therefore given a little more Vigour to the Print, and but a Little. the Complexion must be Imagin’d as of One who had been Fair and Freih Colour’d. Toland says he was Ruddy to the Laft, My Picture and other hommation does not tell us That, but
that he might have been So not long before. the Colour of his Eyes inclin’d to Blue, not Deep; and though Sightless, they were as he says Himself, Clear to Outward View of Blemish or of Spot; he was Told So, and 'tis Certain the Gutta Serena (which was His Cafe) does not appear to Common Eyes, and at a little Distance; but Blindness, even of That Kind is Visible, in the Colour, Motion, and Look of the Eye which has the fad Unhappiness of being Extinguish'd by it. ’tis Wonderfully Exprest in the Picture from Whence this Print was made, as well as the Sett of the Mouth, and the rest of the Air. I have Imitated it as well as I could in a Way of Working which I Never Practic'd but on a Few Plates, and Those in my Youth, except an Attempt on One or Two near 20
the Laurel is not in the Picture, the two Lines under it are my Reason for putting it There, not what Otherwise would have been Imagin'd. All the World has given it him long since.
One that had Often seen him, told me he us'd to come to a Houle where He Liv'd, and he has also Met him in the Street, Led by Millington, the fame who was to Famous an Auctioneer of Books about the time of the Revolution, and Since. This Man was then a Seller of Old Books in Little Britain, and Milton lodg’d at his house. This was 3 or 4. Years before he Dy'd. he then worc no