[Milton-L] A Milton quote
Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Mon Dec 1 20:06:15 EST 2008
But a "pirated" edition of Religio appeared in 1642. William Riley Parker puts the publication of Apology in February of 1642 (new style, I believe), so I suppose it still is possible.
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>From Aaron Shapiro <aaronshapiro1 at gmail.com>
Sent Mon 12/1/2008 5:29 PM
To John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Subject Re: [Milton-L] A Milton quote
Perhaps this sentence in the Apology inspired a somewhat cryptic assertion made by Sir Thomas Browne in the following year:
"His life has been a miracle of thirty years; which to relate were not history but a piece of poetry, and would sound like a fable."
-Preface to Religio Medici (1643)This sentence in turn provoked a characteristically tenacious inquiry from Dr. Johnson:
Of these wonders, however, the view that can be now taken of his life offers no appearance. The course of his education was like that of others, such as put him little in the way of extraordinary casualties. A scholastick and academical life is very uniform; and has, indeed, more safety than pleasure. A traveller has greater opportunities of adventure; but Browne traversed no unknown seas, or Arabian desarts; and, surely, a man may visit France and Italy, reside at Montpellier and Padua, and at last take his degree at Leyden, without any thing miraculous. What it was, that would, if it was related, sound so poetical and fabulous, we are left to guess; I believe, without hope of guessing rightly. The wonders probably were transacted in his own mind: self-love, co-operating with an imagination vigorous and fertile as that of Browne, will find or make objects of astonishment in every man's life: and, perhaps, there is no human being, however hid in the crowd from the observation of his fellow-mortals, who, if he has leisure and disposition to recollect his own thoughts and actions, will not conclude his life in some sort a miracle, and imagine himself distinguished from all the rest of his species by many discriminations of nature or of fortune.
-"Life of Sir Thomas Browne" (1756)
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