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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > John Milton Quotes

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John Milton
(9 Dec 1608 - 8 Nov 1674)

English poet noted in particular for Paradise Lost, a blank verse epic on the fall of man (completed by 1665, published 1667). Having by this time lost his sight, the poem was accomplished by dictation.

Science Quotes by John Milton (15 quotes)

A complete and generous education fits a man to perform justly, skilfully and magnanimously all the offices of peace and war.
— John Milton
Louis Klopsch, Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1896), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Complete (43)  |  Education (280)  |  Fit (31)  |  Generous (12)  |  Justly (3)  |  Office (14)  |  Peace (58)  |  Perform (27)  |  War (144)

And God made two great lights, great for their use
To man, the greater to have rule by day, The less by night…
— John Milton
Paradise Lost: A poem, in Twelve Books (1750), Book 7, 36-37.
Science quotes on:  |  Day (38)  |  God (454)  |  Light (246)  |  Moon (132)  |  Night (73)  |  Sun (211)

And having thus passed the principles of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and geography, with a general compact of physics, they may descend in mathematics to the instrumental science of trigonometry, and from thence to fortification, architecture, engineering, or navigation. And in natural philosophy they may proceed leisurely from the history of meteors, minerals, plants, and living creatures, as far as anatomy. Then also in course might be read to them out of some not tedious writer the institution of physic. … To set forward all these proceedings in nature and mathematics, what hinders but that they may procure, as oft as shall be needful, the helpful experiences of hunters, fowlers, fishermen, shepherds, gardeners, apothecaries; and in other sciences, architects, engineers, mariners, anatomists.
— John Milton
In John Milton and Robert Fletcher (ed.), 'On Education', The Prose Works of John Milton: With an Introductory Review (1834), 100.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomist (14)  |  Anatomy (59)  |  Apothecary (9)  |  Architect (15)  |  Architecture (35)  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Creature (127)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Experience (268)  |  Fisherman (4)  |  Fortification (4)  |  Gardener (4)  |  Geography (25)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Helpful (10)  |  History (302)  |  Hunter (11)  |  Institution (32)  |  Leisure (11)  |  Life (917)  |  Mariner (7)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Meteor (14)  |  Mineral (37)  |  Natural Philosophy (21)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Navigation (12)  |  Physics (301)  |  Plant (173)  |  Read (83)  |  Science And Education (15)  |  Shepherd (5)  |  Tedious (6)  |  Trigonometry (3)  |  Writer (35)

Aristotle ... imputed this symphony of the heavens ... this music of the spheres to Pythagorus. ... But Pythagoras alone of mortals is said to have heard this harmony ... If our hearts were as pure, as chaste, as snowy as Pythagoras' was, our ears would resound and be filled with that supremely lovely music of the wheeling stars.
— John Milton
'On the Music of the Spheres'. Second Prolusion. In John Milton and Merritt Yerkes Hughes (ed.), Complete Poems and Major Prose (1957, 2003), 603-604.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Harmony (55)  |  Mortal (19)  |  Music Of The Spheres (2)  |  Pythagoras (27)  |  Star (251)

By night the Glass
Of Galileo … observes
Imagin’d Land and Regions in the Moon.
— John Milton
Paradise Lost, Book 5, lines 261-263. In Books V and VI, edited by A. W. Verity,(1910), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Crater (6)  |  Galileo Galilei (101)  |  Moon (132)  |  Telescope (74)

From man or angel the great Architect did wisely to conceal, and not divulge his secrets to be scanned by them who ought rather admire; or if they list to try conjecture, he his fabric of the heavens left to their disputes, perhaps to move his laughter at their quaint opinions wide hereafter, when they come to model heaven calculate the stars, how they will wield the mighty frame, how build, unbuild, contrive to save appearances, how gird the sphere with centric and eccentric scribbled o’er, and epicycle, orb in orb.
— John Milton
Paradise Lost (1674, 1754), Book 8, 231.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (77)  |  Building (51)  |  Calculation (67)  |  Contrivance (9)  |  Cycle (26)  |  Eccentric (10)  |  Epicycle (2)  |  Frame (17)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Laughter (22)  |  Model (64)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Orb (5)  |  Quaint (5)  |  Saving (19)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Star (251)  |  Wield (5)

He scarce had ceased when the superior fiend
Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous shield
Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening from the top of Fésolè,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
— John Milton
Paradise Lost, Books I and II (1667), edited by Anna Baldwin (1998), lines 283-91, p. 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Galileo Galilei (101)  |  Globe (39)  |  Moon (132)  |  Telescope (74)

Let there be light! said God; and forthwith light
Ethereal, first of things, quintessence, pure.
— John Milton
From Paradise Lost (1821), Book 7, 209.
Science quotes on:  |  First (174)  |  God (454)  |  Light (246)  |  Pure (62)  |  Quintessence (3)

Oh dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse
Without all hope of day!
— John Milton
Samson Agonistes (1671), lines 80-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Dark (49)  |  Eclipse (16)  |  Hope (129)

The childhood shows the man
As morning shows the day.
— John Milton
From 'Paradise Regain’d', Book 4, collected in Samuel Johnson (ed.), The Works of the English Poets: Volume the Fourth: The Poems of Milton: Volume II (1779), 208.
Science quotes on:  |  Childhood (23)  |  Day (38)  |  Man (345)  |  Morning (31)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Show (55)

The Earth obey’d and straight
Op’ning her fertile womb, teem’d at a birth Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms,
Limb’d and full grown.
— John Milton
From 'Paradise Lost', Book 7, collected in Edward Hawkins (ed.), The Poetical Works of John Milton (1824), Vol. 2, 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Birth (81)  |  Creature (127)  |  Earth (487)  |  Fertile (10)  |  Form (210)  |  Full (38)  |  Grow (66)  |  Live (186)  |  Numerous (21)  |  Obey (13)  |  Perfect (46)  |  Womb (13)

The invention all admired, and each how he
To be the inventor missed; so easy it seemed,
Once found, which yet unfounded most would have thought,
Impossible!
— John Milton
Paradise Lost, Part VI, ll. 478-501 (1667)
Science quotes on:  |  Invention (283)

There it was that I found and visited the famous Galileo, grown old, a prisner to the inquisition, for thinking in astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licencers thought.
Recounting the tyranny of the inquisition that Milton had seen for himself in Italy. When he visited in 1640, he was age 30, and Galileo was age 77 and nearly blind.
— John Milton
'Proof.—The servile condition of learning in Italy, the home of licencing.' Areopagitica; A Speech of Mr John Milton to the Parlament of England (24 Nov 1644), editted by Edward Arber (1868), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  Galileo Galilei (101)  |  Inquisition (4)  |  Prisoner (7)

Th’invention all admir’d, and each, how he
To be th’inventor miss’d; so easy it seem’d,
Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought
Impossible.
— John Milton
From Paradise Lost (1821), Book 6, 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Easy (56)  |  Find (248)  |  Impossible (68)  |  Invention (283)  |  Inventor (49)  |  Missed (2)  |  Seem (89)

Truth is compared in Scripture to a streaming fountain; if her waters flow not in perpetual progression, they sicken into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition.
— John Milton
The Homiletic Review, Vol. 83-84 (1922), Vol. 83, 208.
Science quotes on:  |  Progress (317)  |  Research (517)  |  Truth (750)



Quotes by others about John Milton (3)

Godless science reads nature only as Milton's daughters did Hebrew, rightly syllabling the sentences, but utterly ignorant of the meaning.
Lecture, 'The Blessed Life', collected in Lectures Delivered Before the Young Men's Christian Association (1861), Vol. 16, 347.
Science quotes on:  |  Daughter (11)  |  Hebrew (3)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Sentence (20)  |  Syllable (3)

The sea from its extreme luminousness presented a wonderful and most beautiful appearance. Every part of the water which by day is seen as foam, glowed with a pale light. The vessel drove before her bows two billows of liquid phosphorus, and in her wake was a milky train. As far as the eye reached the crest of every wave was bright; and from the reflected light, the sky just above the horizon was not so utterly dark as the rest of the Heavens. It was impossible to behold this plane of matter, as if it were melted and consumed by heat, without being reminded of Milton’s description of the regions of Chaos and Anarchy.
Science quotes on:  |  Anarchy (5)  |  Billow (2)  |  Chaos (63)  |  Description (72)  |  Liquid (25)  |  Luminous (9)  |  Phosphorus (15)  |  Sea (143)

Now if we want poets to interpret physical science as Milton and Shelley did (Shelley and Keats were the last English poets who were at all up-to-date in their chemical knowledge), we must see that our possible poets are instructed, as their masters were, in science and economics.
In Daedalus or Science and the Future (1924). Reprinted in Haldane's Daedalus Revisited (1995), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Economics (30)  |  English (23)  |  Instruction (51)  |  Interpret (15)  |  John Keats (9)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Master (55)  |  Physical Science (54)  |  Poet (59)  |  Percy Shelley (6)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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