In Book Two of Christian Doctrine Milton explains that the general category of virtue (he differentiates between general and specific categories of virtue), which "are relevant to the whole duty of man" (CE xvii. 27) are comprised of understanding and will. Why should memory be the discarded component? Ignatian meditations employ memory to dramatize a biblical event in one's imagination.
If the object of meditation is the Nativity, the retreatant places himself at the scene: he sees the baby Jesus, hears the animals surrounding the manger, and uses all his senses to recreate the event in his imagination, thus becoming a part of the biblical scene. The first stage of the meditative process focuses on the event itself as opposed to scripture, which for Milton problematizes memory. Further, evidence suggests that Milton understood exactly what it meant to retreat, Ignatian-style, into the inner self for private imaginings: Who are these ambiguous men who "never weary of forming subtle imaginations"? St.
Ignatius Loyola? St. Bernard of Clairvaux? St. Bonaventure? Or any and every one of a hundred other Catholics whose meditative treatises flooded England, their works churned out through secret presses? Milton's reference to never wearying men not only suggests his awareness of Ignatian treatises, but the very specific nature of his remark on "subtle imaginations" (CE xiv. 33),increases the likelihood that he did not record in his Commonplace Book his readings of at least some of these texts. That December, a document produced by the National LiberationFront sharpened the picture.
It reported that betweenDecember 1, 1968, and April 1, 1969, primarily in the Deltaprovinces of Kien Hoa and Dinh Tuong, the "9th Divisionlaunched an ‘express raid'" and "mopped up many areas, slaughtering