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tinued narration, of which, whether it affords more or less satisfaction and entertainment than former accounts, the reader must judge and determine: but it has been my study and endeavour, as in the notes to comprise the flower of all other notes, so in the life to include the substance of all former lives, and with improvements and additions.
In the conclusion are added copious indexes, one of the principal matters, and another of the words. The man, who is at the pains of making indexes, is really to be pitied; but of their great utility there is no need to say any thing, when several persons, who pass in the world for profound scholars, know little more of books than title pages and indexes, but never catch the spirit of an author, which is sure always to evaporate or die in such hands. The former of these indexes, if not drawn up by Mr. Tickell, was I think first inserted in his quarto edition of Milton's poetical works, printed in 1720b; and for the latter, which was much more laborious, it was composed at the desire and encouragement of Mr. Auditor Benson by Mr. Cruden, who hath also published a very useful Concordance to the Bible,
First inserted in the edition of Par. Lost printed for Tonson, 1711. Todd.
II. PREFACE TO THE PARADISE REGAINED, SAMSON
AGONISTES, AND MINOR POEMS.
IT hath been recommended to me by some great persons, as well as by several friends, to complete the edition of Milton's poetical works: for though the Paradise Lost be the flower of epic poesy, and the noblest effort of genius ; yet here are other poems which are no less excellent in their kind, and if they have not that sublimity and majesty, are at least equally beautiful and pleasing to the imagination. And the same method that was taken in the publication of the Paradise Lost, is pursued in this edition of the Paradise Regained and other poems, first to exhibit the true and genuine text according to Milton's own editions, and then to illustrate it with notes, critical and explanatory, of various authors. Of the Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes there was only one edition in Milton's lifetime, in the year 1671; and this we have made our standard, correcting only what the author himself would have corrected. Dr. Bentley pronounces it to be without faults, but there is a large table of errata at the end, which instead of being emended have rather been augmented in the following editions, and were never corrected in any edition that I have seen before the present. Of the other poems there were two editions in Milton's lifetime, the first in 1645, before he was blind, and the other with some additions in 1673. Of the Mask there was likewise an edition published by Mr. Henry Lawes in 1637 : and of the Mask and several other poems. there are extant copies in Milton's own hand-writing, preserved
in the library of Trinity College in Cambridge: and all these copies and editions have been carefully collated and compared together, the differences and variations are noted, and even the Poet's corrections and alterations in his manuscript are specified for the satisfaction of the curious critical reader. The manuscript indeed hath been of singular service in rectifying several passages, and especially in the Sonnets, some of which were not printed till many years after Milton's death, and were then printed imperfect and deficient both in sense and metre, but are now by the help of the manuscript restored to their just harmony and original perfection. From the manuscript too we have given the plan of Paradise Lost, as Milton first designed it, in the form of a tragedy, and likewise the subjects which he had sketched out for other tragedies, whether with an intention ever to finish them or not we cannot be certain. They were printed before in the Historical and Critical Life of Milton prefixed to his prose works by the learned and ingenious Mr. Birch, who is continually adding something new to the stock of learning: but it was judged proper to reprint them from the manuscript in this edition, as they bear a nearer relation to the author's poetical works“.
The notes, as upon the Paradise Lost, so likewise upon the Paradise Regained and other poems, are of various authors and of various kinds : but these, excepting only a few, were never printed before, and have therefore novelty to recommend them, as well as some names of the first rank and greatest eminence in the republic of letters. The truth of my assertion
• They are given in vol. iii. p. 329, of this edition. E.
will be fully justified by mentioning only the names of Mr. Warburton and Mr. Jortin, who while they are employed in writing the most learned and elaborate defences of religion, yet find leisure to cultivate the politer arts, and to promote and improve both in themselves and others a classical taste of the finest authors ; and whatever may be the success, I can never repent of having engaged in this undertaking, which hath given me so many convincing proofs of their friendship and kindness, and at the same time hath happily conjoined (what perhaps might never else have been joined together) my studies and my name with theirs. I am equally obliged too to Mr. Thyer for the continuation of his friendly assistance; and the reader will find the same good sense, and learning, and ingenuity in these, as in his former remarks upon the Paradise Lost. And now he hath gone through Milton's poetical works, I hope he will do the same justice to another of our greatest English poets, and gratify the public with a complete edition of Spenser's works, or at least with his equally learned, equally elegant observations upon them. I would not be understood by this to disparage in the least Mr. Upton's intended edition, or Mr. Sympson's, who is my friend, and hath kindly assisted me in this edition, as well as in that of the Paradise Lost. Mr. Upton is certainly a man of great learning, and so likewise is Mr. Sympson, and particularly well read in our old English authors, as appears from his share in the late excellent edition of Beaumont's and Fletcher's works: but I know no man, who hath a juster and more delicate taste of the beauties of an author than Mr. Thyer, or is a greater master of the Italian language and Italian poetry, which in Spenser's
time was the study and delight of all the men of letters, and Spenser himself hath borrowed more from that source than from almost any other, and sometimes hath translated two or three stanzas together. Mr. Richardson likewise hath continued his good offices, and communicated his comment upon Lycidas and his marginal notes and observations upon the other poems, together with a very fine head of Milton done by his father after a drawing of Cooper: and both the Richardsons, father and son, deserve the thanks of all lovers of the sister arts, for their instructive essays on painting, as well as for several ingenious remarks on Milton, I had the honour of all these for my associates and assistants before, but I have been farther strengthened by some new recruits, which were the more unexpected, as they were sent me from gentlemen, with whom I never had the pleasure of a personal acquaintance. The Reverend Mr, Meadowcourt, Canon of Worcester, in 1732 published a Critical Dissertation with notes upon the Paradise Regained, a second edition of which was printed in 1748; and he likewise transmitted to me a sheet of his manuscript remarks, wherein he hath happily explained a most difficult passage in Lycidas better than any man had done before him. The Rererend Mr. Calton of Marton in Lincolnshire hath contributed much more to my assistance: he favoured me with a long correspondence; and I am at a loss which to commend most, his candour as a friend, or his penetration and learning as a critic and divine. Besides all these helps I have picked out some grain from among the chaff of Mr. Peck's remarks, and hare gleaned up every thing which I thought might