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HE Prose Writings of Milton, inspired by the stirring events amid which they were written, form his contribution to
the literature of freedom. To them were given the matured
of a mind enriched by varied studies, and ripened by meditation. They form the labors of his life, grand in thought and expression, as the poetic recreations of his earlier and later years are sublime and beautiful. In them his opinions, character, motives and conduct are portrayed with singular fidelity.
It is the aim of this volume to present a selection from Milton's Prose Writings, comprising some of the author's best thoughts, and setting forth as clearly as possible Milton himself, showing impartially his merits and faults as a writer
and as a man. It will not have been prepared in vain, if it shall serve to make more widely known the Treasures of truth and beauty in these Prose Writings, and the true greatness of soul in their much abused author. And may the principles of civil and religious freedom, here so eloquently defended, triumph everywhere.
July 12, 1865.