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The Iowa School of the air presents as a writer is a writer is produced by a radio station under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Today's program the grand sacrifice. There were many grand events between 16:00 John Milton was born and 16 73 when he died. There was a great civil war in England. There was a grand peace afterwards. There were large buildings built and splendor and all of these things can be described as a grand. But how is that grandeur of human sacrifice described. How can John Milton's personal sacrifice be described. Must we see the man himself blind dependent. Will it help if we come into his garden. Very well then come along.
It's just through this gate. Come along he's not disturbed that is visitors are quiet. And. I don't use you so charming. His daughter Deborah. She takes down his poem and speaking you know again the next verse. So charming left his voice and that so charming left his voice that caught him still speaking still stood fixed to hear and I think we both must be tired. We ought never to go past three twenty 20 no more. It seemed we were all so so so sunny day. So Sunday and the Imperial rung with Hallelujah.
Yes perhaps it will be some but it is after three. The poem were weak yet. What is there to see. He sits. She writes Mr. Skinner comes to tea this afternoon. Mr. Skinner quite an interesting good I want to hear is news. Is it only that John Milton is blind. Is that the heroic part about him. But perhaps it's more than seeing him come along. A man like Mr. Milton ought to have the privacy of his garden I suppose. Yet he has sacrificed its hard to understand that just watching him for a moment in his garden. Perhaps if we could see him when he was young when all of life was before him. He had just returned from college a year or sixteen thirty two.
Well you do understand of course John I even agree. If I could I should like to be not just a poet. Instead I want very much to be a very good poet. I should like to live an entire life of poetry. See to you John. You want to have your chance but I don't know how long it will be before I'm ready. Before I read everything necessary before I know myself you do inspire but only with your consent. I know we're not rich you know we are not rich. However there is quite enough money. Let me know what you need and you shall have it. Ink pen and paper. Young John Milton was quite as good as his word. He rose each morning at 4 am ready his Hebrew Bible study Latin Greek French Italian read and wrote poetry. Walk three or four hours each day and
generally went to bed at nine for five years he prepared himself a sacrifice some people would say. How soon have time the subtle thief of youth stolen on his wing knife three and twentieth year by Hastings fly on with full career but my late spring bud or blossom. Perhaps my summons might deceive the truth that I had to manhood in the ride so near an inward or rightness doesn't much less appear that some more kindly and happy spirits and. Yet. Be it less or more. Soon. It shall be still in strictest measure even to that same lot however mean or high. Toward which time leads me in the will of Heaven. All these. If I have grace to use it so. As ever in my great taskmasters I.
You're. Packed Have you everything. It's no use remembering your reserve when you're in Italy I think I have everything and it will be a good experience especially now that you're prepared properly. Now that you can speak Italian and French you know I don't speak well. Nonsense I've heard you rattle away but only with Englishman although no one expects you to be a Frenchman. Have it come along. The coach is waiting. I shall write when I land. When you land fresh off the boat. Don't hurry it. I want to hear about the Continent not about the ocean not about me of course about you know but I dare say you won't be too much changed by crossing the English Channel. Very well I shall wait at least a month. I seriously wish you would make
this trip this journey last. You know your life. Who knows what may happen. War on the continent. No. But perhaps here. The Scots will not be put down. Where this is no way to say goodbye. You will remember me as a prophet of doom if I'm not careful not at all. I do respect your judgement and your own as good enough. You've developed. You've become what you want to be by going to Europe and visiting the great cities by adding the continent to your experience. The. Dear father. I have been to Rome and to the great places there. I'm travelling now to Venice where I have letters of introduction to Deodato. Dear father. It is fantastic that a year should have flown so quickly
but the experience has made an impression upon. A Time can never die. I debate upon religious matters most often. Dear father. I'm sorry to hear of the difficulties between Parliament and the king. Of course I share your hope that matters will not become worse and. At present I am planning my return journey. To win. A grand education leisure when the sons of other men were expected to enter trade. A Journey Through continental Europe. Where was their sacrifice. Yes. Wait. John Milton arrived home in time for civil war. Tracts pamphlets written arguments against the bishops. What of your
poetry. What of the years and years you've prepared. I'm afraid Father these are not times for poetry why concern yourself. Well it is my affair against the king. I'm for the freedom of conscience but against your own king. God is my king. I will have no other if I must sacrifice my conscience to pay as tribute would you would sacrifice your career or your aspiration. I hope to have time again for such matters. 10 years passed the Civil War was over. The king was dead. You're just askin. You can't know how glad I am that you've come to Mrs. Milton how kind of you know kind indeed. What else am I to
expect from you. There is something the matter if I can help by all means Cromwell's man is with him no problem well. And why my husband has served too well they want him stales do as Latin secretary to the parliament. Won't you talk with him. Frankly discourage him. He's not meant as a political much hardly And I know how Cromwell will persist I shall have my word with John. And do promise to be strong with me and he must have time for himself for his own work. It's been ten years. Think seriously about this matter Mr. Melton. This shows that you must not have any hope about it. Yet we do. You would be magnificent for the position. Skinner you are not but Mr. want a general want of his nephew I am pleased sir. Your servant Mr. Skinner. I was trying to persuade you I haven't been reading this disc and have no fear madam for I was just refusing the offer. You must allow me to come and try once more. Come when you will stay now for supper. Thank you no. I'm just going good day good day Mr. Skinner. Your health sir.
Well Mr. Skinner I'm glad you refuse. Of course I'm tired. See to yourself Mrs. Milne you do watch over me. His eyes are being tired you know Mr. Skinner. They should be tired when I do my own work madam. But then you can stop when you want to. Mr. Melton thank you but I cannot vote I have my own works Milt. I have given service to the government. MR. And finally John Milton agreed and there was enough immediately to do so makes use of Holland the great Latin scholar had attacked the New English Government. John Milton appointed himself to answer the charges. But at what cost.
You will find him in the garden Mr. Skinner. He is reading the great Milton is answering the lessers reading. If you can do something so do it. I have tried. There you are John reading again. It has cost you the sight of one eye is it worth the loss of the other. It was worth men's lives. Yes that was war I did not come here to quibble with me did you. I hope we are not quibbling. Then I answer it is worth the side of both my eyes to defend the good name of my union and will it not cost you that God and does God command you when this sacrifice my own conscience commands me. But it is enough. I am proud of your friendship John but if I could persuade you differently. If and perhaps but such words often mean little. By 16:50 for he was blind. Completely blind
in the service of English. When I consider how my night is spent. And I have my days in this dark world in mind. And that one talent which is death to hide lodged with me useless. Though my soul had been there with mine. But how is a man's sacrifice described. Are the tones of the voice slow and serious. Are they majestic. Must we see the man in his blindness. Must we know what he has given. I know I smelled it the smell of the dew was gone by now and I am ready. Well those are the questions. Let us answer them as best we can and if we care to. If we care to visit Mr. Milton's garden. Heard in today's program with Marty Chapman Emma Sue Phelps Lauren cocking Tom
Taylor and Dick set up by John Beauchamp Harold Swanson and Fred Morris who are studio engineers. Why is a writer as written by Floyd Horowitz and directed by Larry Walcott This is Dave Carter speaking this has been another program in the series why is a writer produced by WSU why is Iowa School of the air under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center and distributed by the National Association of educational broadcaster. This is the end of a radio network.
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Why is a writer?
The grand sacrifice
Producing Organization
University of Iowa
WSUI 910 AM (Radio station : Iowa City, Iowa)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program explores the reasons behind John Milton's decision to defend his political beliefs, although the choice meant almost certain total blindness.
Series Description
Produced by the Iowa School of the Air, this series focuses on various works of literature from Shakespeare to Twain.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Actor: Setterberg, Dick
Actor: Keeler, Tom
Actor: Phelps, Emma Sue
Actor: Chapman, Marty
Announcer: Carter, Dave
Director: Walcoff, Larry
Producing Organization: University of Iowa
Producing Organization: WSUI 910 AM (Radio station : Iowa City, Iowa)
Writer: Horowitz, Floyd
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: S60-6-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:30?
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Chicago: “Why is a writer?; The grand sacrifice,” 1960-12-16, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
MLA: “Why is a writer?; The grand sacrifice.” 1960-12-16. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Why is a writer?; The grand sacrifice. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from