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The Poetical Works of John Milton With a Memoir, Vol. 1 (Classic Reprint)

The Poetical Works of John Milton With a Memoir, Vol. 1 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Poetical Works of John Milton With a Memoir, Vol. 1

John Milton was born at his father's house in Bread Street, in the city of London, on the 9th of December, 1608. Nothing of the material fabric of the street in which he was born now remains, the great fire of 1666 having destroyed that with so much of the rest of old London. But the present Bread Street, which is one of the streets striking off from the great thoroughfare of Cheapside towards the river, occupies the exact site of the old Bread Street; and the spot in which Milton was born may be yet identified as being that occupied by the third or fourth house on the left, going from Cheapside. Here, as one of a line of very respectable shops, and dwelling-houses over them, inhabited chiefly by merchants, and all, as was then the custom, distinguished by signs over the doors and not by numbers as at present, there stood, prior to the great fire, a house and shop known as the Black Spread Eagle. Milton's father, whose name was also John, had occupied this house since 1603, and carried on in it the business of a scrivener or a copying lawyer. The story is, that he had betaken himself to that profession some fifteen or twenty years before, on being disinherited by his father, a substantial yeoman in Oxfordshire, for having abandoned the Catholic faith.

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