Front Page Titles (by Subject) XXI.: To the accomplished Emeric Bigot. - The Prose Works of John Milton, vol. 2
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XXI.: To the accomplished Emeric Bigot. - John Milton, The Prose Works of John Milton, vol. 2 
The Prose Works of John Milton, With a Biographical Introduction by Rufus Wilmot Griswold. In Two Volumes (Philadelphia: John W. Moore, 1847). Vol. 2.
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To the accomplishedEmeric Bigot.
I was highly gratified by the distinguished marks of attention which you paid me on coming into England, and this gratification is considerably increased by your kind epistolary inquiries after so long an interval. The favourable opinions of others might have prompted your first visit, but you would hardly have taken the trouble to write if you had not been prompted by your own judgment or benevolence. Hence I think I may justly congratulate myself; many have been celebrated for their compositions whose common conversation and intercourse have betrayed no marks of sublimity or genius. But, as far as possible, I will endeavour to seem equal in thought and speech to what I have well written, if I have written any thing well; and while I add to the dignity of what I have written, I will, at the same time, derive from my writings a greater splendour of reputation. Thus I shall not seem to have borrowed the excellence of my literary compositions from others so much as to have drawn it pure and unmingled from the resources of my own mind, and the force of my own conceptions. It gives me pleasure that you are convinced of the tranquillity which I possess under this afflicting privation of sight, as well as of the civility and kindness with which I receive those who visit me from other countries. And indeed why should I not submit with complacency to this loss of sight, which seems only withdrawn from the body without, to increase the sight of the mind within. Hence books have not incurred my resentment, nor do I intermit the study of books, though they have inflicted so heavy a penalty on me for my attachment; the example of Telephus king of Micia, who did not refuse to receive a cure from the same weapon by which he had been wounded, admonished me not to be so morose. With respect to the book which you have concerning the mode of holding parliaments, I have taken care to have the passages which were marked, either amended, or, if they were doubtful, confirmed by a MS. of the illustrious Lord Bradshaw; and from one of the Cotton MSS. as you will perceive from the paper which I have returned. I sent some one to inquire of the keeper of the Records in the Tower, who is my intimate friend, whether the original of this work be extant in that collection, and he replied that there was no copy in the repository. I am reciprocally obliged to you for your assistance in procuring me books. My Byzantine History wants Theophanis Chronographia Græc. Lat. fol. Constant. Manassis Breviarium Historicum, and Codini Excerpta de Antiquit. C. P. Græc. Lat. Anastasii Bibliothecarii Hist. and Vitæ Rom. Pontific. fol. to which I beg you to add Michael Glycas and John Sinnam, and the continuator of Anna Comnena, if they have already issued from the same press. I need not request you to purchase them as cheap as possible. There is no occasion to do this to a man of your discretion, and the price of those books is fixed and known to all. Dr. Stuppe has undertook to pay you the money, and to get them conveyed in the most commodious way. Accept my best wishes. Adieu.
Westminster, March 24, 1658.