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A NEW EDITION,
With NOTES of various AUTHOR S,
Printed for J. and R. TONS ON and S. DRAPER in the Strand.
M DCC LII.
T hath been recommended to me by fome great perfons, as well as by feveral friends, to complete the edition of Milton's poetical works: for tho' the Paradise Loft be the flower of epic poefy, and the nobleft effort of genius; yet here are other poems which are no less excellent in their kind, and if they have not that fublimity and majefty, are at leaft equally beautiful and pleafing to the imagination. And the same method that was taken in the publication of the Paradise Loft, is purfued in this edition of the Paradife Regain'd and other poems, firft to exhibit the true and genuin text according to Milton's own editions, and then to illustrate it with notes critical and explanatory of various authors. Of the Paradise Regain'd and Samfon Agonistes there was only one edition in Milton's life-time, 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 life-time, the firft in 1645 before he was blind, and the other with some additions in 1673. Of the Mask there was likewise an edition publish'd by Mr. Henry Lawes in 1637: and of the Mask and feveral 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 fatisfaction of the curious critical reader. The Manuscript indeed hath been of fingular service in rectifying several paffages, and especially in the Sonnets, fome of which were not printed till many years after Milton's death, and were then printed imperfect and deficient both in fenfe and meter, 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 Paradife Loft, as Milton first defigned it, in the form of a tragedy, and likewise