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THE

POETICAL WORKS

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John MILTON,
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with the Poet's LIFE
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Of all the several parts of history, that which sets forth the lives, and commemorates the most remarkable actions, sayings, or writings of famous and illustrious persons, whether in war or peace; whether many together, or any one in particular, as it is not the least useful in its self, so it is in highest vogue and esteem among the studious and reading part of mankind. The most eminent in this way of history were among the ancients Plutarch and Diogenes Laertius of the Greeks; the first wrote the lives, for the most part, of the most renowned heroes and warriors of the Greeks and Romans; the other the lives of the ancient Greek philosophers; and Cornelius Nepos (or as some will have it Aemilius Probus) of the Latins, who wrote the lives of the most illustrious Greek and Roman generals. Among the moderns, Machiavel, a noble Florentine, who elegantly wrote the life of Castrucio Castracano, Lord of Luca; and of our nation, Sir Fulk Grevil, who wrote the life of his most intimate friend Sir Philip Sidney: Mr. Thomas Stanly , of Cumberlo-Green, who made a most elaborate improvement to the foresaid Laertius, by adding to what he found in him, what by diligent search and enquiry he collected from other authors of best authority. - Isaac Walton, who wrote the lives of Sir Henry Wotton, D. Donne; and for his divine poems, the admired Mr. George Herbert. Lastly, not to mention several other biographers of considerable note, the great Gas

sendus of France, the worthy celebrator of two no less *

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