THE STUDENT VAGABOND
Perhaps there is no stronger association of a work with a name than that of Paradise Lost with the name of John Milton. In fact so close is this connection, that many are almost insensible to the fact that Milton was anything besides a poet, although he was in addition, very active in the political and religious life of his time.
One of the most interesting things, though little known generally is that he was one of the most noted sectaries of the time, there being in the list of sects drawn up by contemporary Protestant writers, special mention of one known as "Miltonists" or "Divorcers". The latter name was given to it as a result of Milton's strong views on that subject.
About the end of May, 1643, Milton went forth on a journey without saying whether or why. When a month or so later he returned it was with a young wife, the daughter of Richard Powell, a strong Royalist from near Oxford. It was almost impossible that the marriage should turn out happily, not did it. Mary Powell was little over 1 years old, while Milton was 35. More over she was scarcely of a temperament which would easily suit itself to his. In a very short time she went on a visit to her parents and refused to return.
Milton now, fearless and speculative, converted his own case into a public protest against the existing laws and theory of marriage, in a pamphlet entitled "The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, Restored to the good of both Sexes from the Bondage of Canon Law and other Mistakes."
This treatise and others like it sent a shock through London, and he was denounced in the pulpits throughout the city, efforts being made to bring him within definite parliamentary censure.
So far as he was personally concerned, his interest in divorce speculation came to an end in 1645 when a reconciliation was effected between him and his wife, and although the entire episode is not of primary importance it sheds an interesting sidelight on the life of one of the greatest of poets.
At 2 o'clock today, Professor Murdock will lecture in Sever 11 on the more important characteristics of the life, religion and politics of John Milton.
Other lectures of interest are:
"The Treaty-Making Powers of a Government", Professor Yeomans, Harvard 2, Government 19.
"Unland's Poems", Professor Burk-hard, Sever 6, German 26a.
"Introduction to Roman Architecture", Professor Conant, Robinson Hall, Fine Arts 3a.
"Italian History in the Fifteenth Century", Professor Post, Fogg Museum, Fine Arts 9a.
"Weber: Life and Personality", Professor Hill, Music Building, Music 3.