Friday, September 27, 2013

Milton's Mischief

It's always fascinating to look at the early years of those who have become great leaders or celebrities. Some experience uncommon fortune from an early age, others seem born of commonplace circumstances. It's clear that Milton had both uncommon advantages and a fantastic work ethic driven by his sense of destiny. It can be tempting to think of his life as following one great crescendo leading to his great master works, but I wonder about the lesser known episodes from his youth, and I'm reminded of President Monson; we often hear about Monson's work "as a young bishop of 22," and I suppose he has told quite a few prosaic stories from his life from the pulpit, but some new dimension to his life seemed to opened up when he revealed how he nearly destroyed Provo Canyon by fire at eight years old.

As a typical young boy, Tommy was guilty of typical shenanigans, and the embarrassment that inevitably seems to follow foolish missteps. I presume poets are no less susceptible than prophets to such things. I wonder what sorts of embarrassing mischief Milton got into. And I remember my own, perpetrated with an accordion around the turn of the century.

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