Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature Gold Rose John Milton

17th-Century Literature | John Milton | Quotes | Biography | Works | Essays | Resources | Bookstore | Discussion Forum



Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



John Milton

Title-page of Tetrachordon



A BOOK was writ of late called Tetrachordon,
     And woven close, both matter, form, and style;
     The subject new: it walk'd the town awhile,
     Numb'ring good intellects; now seldom por'd on.
Cries the stall-reader, Bless us! what a word on
     A title-page is this! and some in file
     Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Mile-
     End Green.  Why is it harder, Sirs, than Gordon,,
Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?†
     Those rugged names to our like mouths grow sleek,
     That would have made Quintillian stare and gasp;
Thy age, like ours O soul of Sir John Cheek,‡
     Hated not learning worse than toad or asp,
     When thou taught'st Cambridge, and King Edward, Greek.




    * When Milton published his book of Divorce, he was greatly condemned by the Presbyterian ministers, whose advocate and champion he had been before. He published his Tetrachordon, or Expositions upon the four chief places in Scripture, which treat of marriage, or nullities in marriage, in 1645.
    † "We may suppose, (says Dr. Newton,) that these were persons of note and eminence among the Scotch ministers who were for pressing and enforcing the convenant."  Mr. George Gillespie, here wrongously named Galasp, was one of the Scotch commissioners to the Westminster assembly.  But who the other persons were is not known.  It appears from this sonnet, and the verses on the forcers of conscience, that Milton treats the Presbyterians with great contempt.
    ‡ This Gentleman was the first Professor of the Greek tongue in the university of Cambridge, and was highly instrumental in bringing that language into repute.  He was afterwards made one of the tutors to Edward VI.

        The Complete Poems of John Milton. Vol 4.
        Charles W. Eliot, ed.
        New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1909. 81.

to Works of John Milton

Site copyright ©1996-2012 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on October 9, 1996. Last updated April 26, 2012.


The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605

17th-century Literature:

King James VI & I
Sir Francis Bacon
Lancelot Andrewes
Sir Thomas Overbury
William Alabaster
John Donne
Joseph Hall
Ben Jonson
Thomas Dekker
John Marston
Francis Beaumont
John Fletcher
Thomas Middleton
John Webster
William Rowley
Philip Massinger
Thomas Heywood
Edward Herbert
Lady Mary Wroth
George Herbert
Thomas Carew
Francis Quarles
Robert Herrick
Thomas Hobbes
John Ford
James Shirley
Mildmay Fane
Sir John Suckling
Richard Crashaw
Richard Lovelace
Abraham Cowley
John Milton
Sir Thomas Browne
Edmund Waller
Andrew Marvell
Henry Vaughan
Margaret Cavendish
Dorothy Osborne
Katherine Philips
Sir Isaac Newton
Essays and Articles
Additional Sources

Metaphysical Poets

Visit the site

Cavalier Poets

Visit the site

English Renaissance Drama

Visit the site

English Religious Writers

Visit the site

Historical Personages

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox
William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax

Search | Luminarium | Encyclopedia | What's New | Letter from the Editor | Bookstore | Poster Store | Discussion Forums