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Milton's Sonnets-Domestic Incidents--Conduct of the Pres-
SCANTINESS OF THE MATERIAL OFFERED BY MEN LIKE MILTON TO THE
MERE BIOGRAPHER-GREAT MEN PRODUCED IN AGES OF TRANSITION
GENERAL FEATURES OF THE AGE IN WHICH MILTON LIVED-EFFECTS
It is a condition, at which it is futile to repine, belonging to those who in all ages have been born to guide a country amidst the stormy vicissitudes of a revolution, that they can be but little known as individuals to succeeding generations. Such men can scarcely be said to have, during their active years, a personal and private life. Scarcely any of those who are either desirous or capable of transmitting to posterity the portraiture of the Man, have close and frequent access to the leaders, whether military or civil, of national transition. And as little, too, have those heroes such close and leisurely access to themselves, as admits of their giving to mankind that most valuable of biographies which can be best, if not solely, recorded by the individual, and which would exhibit the development of those inner principles which, ultimately embodied in their public acts, have influenced or decided the destinies of their country. The biography of such men is, for the most part, little else than a fragment of the history of their times.
To those who can appreciate the loftiest intellectual powers, sustained by vast learning, and enriched with the