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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

XV. The Progress of Science

§ 4. Milton and Scientific Enquiry

But the incongruity between these two statements is no greater will be found to-day in authors writing of subjects still sub judice. Further, we must not forget that Milton never saw either of his great epics in writing or in print. His power of impressing his visions on the world was, however, such that Huxley held that it was not the cosmogony of Genesis but the cosmogony of Milton which had enthralled and misled the world.

More distinctly than in his epics, Milton, in his history, showed a leaning to the scientific method. Firth has lately told us that “his conclusions are roughly those of modern scholars, and his reasoning practically that of a scientific historian.” In one respect, however, he was less than lukewarm. He had no sympathy with antiquarian researches and sneered at those “who take pleasure to be all their lifetime raking the foundations of old abbeys and cathedrals.”