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This observation, one would think, should weigh greatly in the minds of all descriptions of people, and act as a stimulus to the reading of the excellent Poem contained in the following sheets. But this is not all : it is, as Dr. Gillies declares, “ admired by all judges of fine writing.
Poets, historians, wits, philosophers, divines, “ all agree in acknowledging its excellence. But « in their remarks they discover great variety of o sentiment. What is most esteemed by some, “ is by others thought flat and insipid. On the “ other hand, the passages most extolled by the " latter, seem to the former chiefly valuable, as
they serve to connect the grander parts of the “ Work. In most instances, the cause of this
diversity of taste is easily explained.”
But, with respect to the present Edition, it may not be unnecessary to observe, that, as there have lately appeared several excellent poetical compositions printed in a superior style, the Proprietor, at the instigation of a great number of his Friends, and encouraged by the celebrity of the Poem itself, thought an Edition of PARADISE Lost would not be deemed an unfit com
panion to the Works of other eminent Poets which have recently made their appearance on the theatre of the world in a degree of superiority.
To this Edition is prefixed a very circumstantial account of the Life of Milton; whose Probity as a Man, whose Abilities as a Scholar, and whose Charity as a Christian, are admired and extolled by people of all ranks, professions, and degrees, throughout the more enlightened part of the universe.
As to the Notes, they are such as were deemed necessary to elucidate some particular passages of the Poem, and for that purpose were selected from the labours of Newton, Addison, and others, who have made this Work of Milton their peculiar study.
At the close of the Work is given a very copious Index; by the examination of which any subject treated of in the Poem, may be found with ease and facility.
As to the superior style of the Letter-Press, or of the Designs and Execution of the several
Engravings which accompany the Work, nothing more need be said to give the Public a just idea of their excellent quality, than that they were designed by CORBOULD, and engraved by Heath and other Artists equally eminent in their profession.
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