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in the recent edition of his life by Mr Todd. And although it seems unaccountable that they have been heretofore neglected and almost unmentioned, yet the Translator has no reason to think that he has been anticipated.
He has studied to make the translation as plain and exact as the difference of phraseology would admit, and to insert no more in annotation than was necessary to elucidate, or add some interest to, the text.
TO THOMAS YOUNG.
[Mr Young was Milton's private teacher before he entered St Paul's school in London, This connexion seems to have been dissolved nearly three years previous to the writing of this letter, at the date of which Milton was little older than sixteen. Young was one of the confederacy of polemics who wrote Smectymnuus, which was, probably, one of the reasons that induced his pupil to undertake its defence against the attack of Archbishop Usher. He issued several tracts with that design in the years 1641 and 1642.]
LONDON, March 26, 1625.
My dear Preceptor :
Although I had determined to send you a short
letter in verse1, I concluded that I would not be satisfied without writing another in prose ; for the boundless gratitude which you may justly claim from me is not to be expressed in that restricted method, which must be measured by feet and syllables2 ; but in untramelled language, or rather, if I
1 The poetical epistle alluded to followed this letter. It is the fourth poem in the · Elegiarum Liber.'
Young was at this time chaplain for the English merchants in Hamburg, where, it is probable, he was driven by his nonconformity. Milton addresses him as
ignoto solus inopsque solo,
and likens his condition to that of Elijah, when he fled into the wilderness to avoid the vengeance of Jezebel. James I. died on the day after the date of the above letter, and Young in a short time returned. During the Presbyterian ascendancy he was promoted to the mastership of a college in Cambridge, which office he held, until another revolution in the form of the national religion exacted engagements to which his conscience would not bend.
‘Nam neque noster amor modulis includitur arctis, • Ivec venit ad claudos integer ipse pedes.'
· For verse has bounds, and must in measure move,
love." Cowper's Translation.