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circumnavigate the earth. Posterity was the pole-star in whicle Milton's ambition and expectations implicitly and solely trusted.
A critical and careful collation of the copies of Paradise Lost, under these title-pages of different dates, will discover several variations in punctuation, orthography, and paging, and sometimes a change of words of one syllable. These alterations were probably made in the course of the press work, which may have becu stopped for new revised proofs, and to insert amendments occurring to the poet in the progress of the work through the press. His blindness preventing his visual correction of the proof-sheets might occasion repeated readings to him, and some sheets may have been cancelled.
In 1671, Milton again appeared before the public as a Poet in “Paradiso Regain'd, a Poem in iv Books, to which is added Samson Agonistes. The author John Milton. London, Printed by J. M. for John Starkey at the Mitre in Fleet Street, near Temple Bar, MDCLXXI.” Paradise Regained was published in the simple and unpretending form of Paradise Lost, without preface or argument. On the fly-leaf of this original octavo edition is printed " Licensed, July 2. 1670."-Samson Agonistes is preceded by tle Argument, the Dramatis Personæ, and an Introduction of three pages on Tragedy.
Although in this Introduction to the present edition, a notice only of the original editions in the lifetime of Milton is intended. yet a passage in the singular autobiography of Thomas Ellwood the Quaker, under the date of 1665, is so interesting and little known, that its extract cannot fail to be acceptable. Ellwood had been an old pupil of Milton's, and occasionally reader to him. The following is the passage referred to:
“Some little time before I went to Alesbury prison, I was desired by my quondam Master Milton, to take an house for him, in the neighborhood where I dwelt, that he might go out of the city, for the safety of himself and his family, the pestilence then growing hot in London. I took a pretty box for him in Giles-Chalfont, a mile from me; of which I gave him notice: and intended to have waited on him, and seen him well settled in it; but was prevented by that imprisonment.
“But now being released, and returned home, I soon made a visit to him, to welcome him into the country.
"After some common discourse had passed between us, he called for a manuscript of his; which being brought he delivered it to me, bidding me take it home with me, and read it at my leisure, and when I had so done, return it to him, with my judgment thereupon. “When I came home, and had set myself to read it, I found it was that excellent poem, which he entitled Paradise Lost. After I had, with the best attention, read it through, I made him another visit and returned him his book, with due acknowledgment of the favour he had done me, in communicating it to me. He asked me how I liked it, and what I thought of it; which I modestly but freely told him: and after some further discourse about it, I pleasantly said to him, Thou hast said much here of Paradise Lost; but what hast thou to say of Paradise Found? He made me no answer, but sate some time in a muse: then brake off that discourse and fell upon another subject.
“After the sickness was over, and the city was cleansed and become safely habitable again, he returned thither. And when afterwards I went to wait on him there (which I seldom failed of doing, whenever my occasions drew me to London) he shewed me his second Poem, called Paradise Regained; and in a pleasant tone said to me, This is owing to you: for you put it into my head, by the question you put to me at Chalfont; which before I had not thought of. But from this digression I return to the family I then lived in."
In 1673, a second edition, in small octavo, of the Minor Poems was published—“Poems, &c. upon several occasions by Mr. John Milton. Both English and Latin, &c. composed at several times. With a small Tractate of Education to Mr. Hartlib. London. Printed for Tho. Dring at the White Lion next Chancery Lane End, in Fleet Street. 1673.” To the English poems in this edition were first added,-1. Ode on the Death of a Fair Infant. II. At a Vacation Exercise in the College. III. On the New Forcers of Conscience under the Long Parliament. IV. Horace to Pyrrha. V. Nine Sonnets. VI. All the English Psalms.- To the Latin Poems: I. Apologus de Rustico et Hero. II. Ad Joannem Rousium.—The epistle from Sir Henry Wootton is omitted.
In 1674, Paradise Lost was republished in twelve books - The second edition, Revised & Augmented by the same Author. London, Printed by S. Simmons, &c. 1674," small octavo. A portrait by Dolle was prefixed to this edition, in which also first appeared the commendatory verses of Barrow and Marvel.
In the new subdivision and increase of the books in this second edition of Paradise Lost, Milton divided the seventh and tenth books into two each, the length of the original seventh and tenth books probably suggesting a pause in the narration. On this Lew distribution of the Poem, he added the following verses to the beginning of those books which ar now the eighth and twelfth.
Book viii. V. 1.
So charming left his voice, that he & while
Then, as new waked, thus gratefully replied." The latter part of the verse was taken from the line in the inst edition
“To whom thus Adam gratefully replied.”
Book xii. V.1.
Then, with transition sweet, new speech resumes." Some few additions were also made to the poem, the notice of which will interest the critical reader.
Book v. V. 637.
Are fill'd, before the all-bounteous king," &c. were thus enlarged in the second edition
"They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Book xi. V. 484, after,
"Intestine stone, and ulcer, colic-pangs," these three verses were added
“ Dæmoniac phrenzy, moping melancholy,
And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy ;
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence."
“Of rendering up. Michael to him replied") received this addition :
“Of rendering up, and patiently attend
My dissolution. Michael replied." On the 8th of November, in this year, 1674, Milton died. Toland, one of his early biographers, says that "all his learned and great friends in London, not without a friendly concourse of the vulgar, accompanied his body to the Church of St. Giles, near Cripplegate, where he lies buried in the chancel."
In contradiction to the vulgar opinion, that the poetical character of Milton was scarcely known and little appreciated during his lifetime, the striking fact appears of these numerous publications of his poems, at a period when the sale and advertisement of books was very limited, the range of readers so circumscribed, and the political and religious factions and commotions entirely occupied men's minds. The anecdote of Sir John Denham's entering the House of Cominons, with a proof-sheet of Paradise Lost, wet from the press, and on being questioned concerning the paper, declaring it was "part of the noblest poem that ever was written in any language or in any age,” has been doubted, though without reason; ond, if true, proves thus early a just and public appreciation of the genius of Milton. In 1678, a third edition of Paradise Lost was published. Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes were reprinted in 1680, from which time innumerable successive editions have issued from the press.
Lawes' edition of Comus was printed in 1637, and Lycidas had appeared in 1638, in the Cambridge verses. Milton's correspondence with so many of the most eminent European Literati, and their universal resort to his house when visiting England, attesi his early and public reputation. The Earl of Dorset, Fleetwood, Shepard, and Dryden, bear early and ample testimony to his merit. Dryden, the poet laureat, in 1674, had adapted from Milton a published opera, entitled, “The State of Innocence.” In his preface, Dryden observes, “What I have here borrowed, will be so easily discerned from my mean productions, that I shall not need to point the reader to the places—the original being undoubtedly one of the greatest, most noble and sublime poems, which either this age or nation has produced.” In Dennis's Letters, Moral and Critical, 1721, p. 75, Dennis writes, “ Dryden, however, at this time knew not half the extent of Milton's excellence, as more than twenty years afterwards he confessed to me.” In Roscommon's Essay on Translated Verse, published in 1682, a passage of nearly thirty lines cites an abstract of Milton's battle of the fallen angels as a specimen of the “noblest kind of verse."
The first express and published prose eulogy of Paradise Lost that has yet been noticed, is by Edward Philips, in his edition of Buchlerus, published exactly two years after Paradise Lost. He thus speaks of his illustrious relative :-" Johannes Miltonius, præter alia quæ scripsit elegantissma, tum Anglicè, tum Latinè, nuper publici juris PARADISUM AMISSUM, Poema, quod, sive sublimitatem argumenti, sive leporem simul et majestatem styli, sive sublimitatem inventionis, sive similitudines et descriptiones quam maximè naturales, respiciamus, verè Heroicum, ni fallor, audiet
plurimum enim suffragiis qui non nesciunt judicare, censetur perfectionem hujus generis poematis assecutum esse."
“ John Milton, besides other things in the most elegant style of composition which he has written, both in Latin and English, has lately presented at the bar of the public PARADISE Lost: a Poem, which, whether we consider the majesty of the subject, or the united poignancy and loftiness of the style, or the sublimity of the invention, or the propriety and felicity of the similitudes and descriptions, will receive, if I do not mistake, the name of truly heroic, and is adjudged by the suffrages of many, not unqualified to decide such a question, to have reached the perfection of this species of poetry."
The following commendatory verses by Barrow and Marvel, before noticed as prefixed to the second edition of Paradise Lost are additional proofs of the early and public estimation of Mil ton's musc.
IN PARADISUM. AMISSAM SUMMI POETÆ JOHANNIS MILTONI.
Qui legis Amissam Paradisum, grandia magni
Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuncta legis ?
Et fata, et fines continet iste liber.
Scribitur et toto quicquid in orbe latet ;
Sulphureumque Erebi flammivomum que specus ;
Quæque colunt summi lucida regna poli;
Et sine fine Chaos, et sine fine Deus ;
In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
Et tamen hæc hodie terra Britanna legit.
Quæ canit, et quanta, prælia dira tuba.
Et quæ cælestes pugna deceret agros !
Atque ipso graditur vix Michaele minor !
Dum ferus hic stellas protegit, ille rapit !
Et non mortali desuper igne pluunt:
Et metuit pugnæ non supresse suæ,
Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,