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HOUGH ready for the prefs in 1665, Paradife Loft was not published till two years afterwards. Milton, in the fifty-ninth year of his age, and in the fifteenth or fixteenth of his total blindness, was then refiding, with his third wife, and his three daughters by his first wife, in Artillery Walk, near Bunhill Fields, an obfcure fuburb of London, on the edge of that vaft ruin of all the central parts of the City which had been caused by the Great Fire of September, 1666. The disturbance to business occafioned by that difafter, following fo closely as it did on the Great Plague of 1665-6, may have had fomething to do with the delay of the publication. It was neceffary, moreover, that the manuscript should be fubmitted to the proper authorities for licence; and the particular person who had to grant the licence in this cafe-viz. the Rev. Thomas Tomkyns, M. A., minifter of the parish of St. Mary Aldermary, and one of the chaplains of the Archbishop of Canterbury-is faid to have hesitated over a work by fo notorious an old Republican and Anti-StateChurchman as Milton, and to have taken especial exception to one paffage in the First Book of the poem. The difficulty was overcome, however; and there ftill exifts the actual copy of that Firft Book as it had been fubmitted to Mr. Tomkyns, in the handwriting of one of Milton's amanuenfes or paid fcribes, with the word "Imprimatur" written by Mr. Tomkyns on the infide

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