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The Poetical Works of John Milton (Classic Reprint)

The Poetical Works of John Milton (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Poetical Works of John Milton

Milton's original intention was to have visited Sicily and Greece, but he says, The sad news of civil war coming from England called me back; for I considered it disgraceful that, while my fellow-countrymen were fighting at home for liberty, I should be travelling abroad at ease for intellectual purposes. From Naples he returned to Rome, where he again spent two months, and arrived once more in Florence towards the end of February 1639. After a short excursion to Lucca, he set out for Venice, crossing the Apennines, and passing through Bologna and Ferrara. His residence in the island-bui1t city was of short duration; there he shipped for England the rare and curious books which he had collected in his travels up and down the Peninsula, His course next lay through the fertile plains and famous towns of Lombardy, over the Pennine Alps, and along Lake Leman to Geneva, where he stayed for a week or two, to enjoy the society of the most learned professor of theology, John Diodati, uncle of his friend Charles, who had just recently died. Resuming his homeward journey, he passed rapidly through France, and landed in England about the beginning of autumn, after an absence of fifteen months. During all his wanderings his conduct had been blameless - worthy of him who thought no man should dare to be a poet whose life was not itself a poem. I take God to witness, he solemnly affirms, that in all those places where so many things are considered law ful, I lived sound and untouched from all pro?igacy and vice, havn ing this thought perpetually with me, that though I might escape the eyes of men, I certainly could not the eyes of God.

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