Milton's Tercentenary

Milton's Tercentenary
An address delivered before the Modern Language Club of Yale University on Milton's Three Hundredth Birthday.

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Milton's Tercentenary by Henry A. Beers

Published:

1910

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Milton's Tercentenary
An address delivered before the Modern Language Club of Yale University on Milton's Three Hundredth Birthday.

By

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Book Excerpt

o democrat; equality and fraternity were not his trade, though liberty was his passion. Liberty he defended against the tyranny of the mob, as of the king. He preferred a republic to a monarchy, since he thought it less likely to interfere with the independence of the private citizen. Political liberty, liberty of worship and belief, freedom of the press, freedom of divorce, he asserted them all in turn with unsurpassed eloquence. He proposed a scheme of education reformed from the clogs of precedent and authority. Even his choice of blank verse for Paradise Lost he vindicated as a case of "ancient liberty recovered to heroic song from this troublesome and modern bondage of riming."

There is yet one reason more why we at Yale should keep this anniversary. Milton was the poet of English Puritanism, and therefore he is our poet. This colony and this college were founded by English Puritans; and here the special faith and manners of the Puritans survived later than at the other great Uni

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