« السابقةمتابعة »
From other minds of highest worth,
To thee are copiously reveal'd,
Let Time no more his wing display,
His injuries may cease to fear;
Give me, that I may praise thy song,
Already proves thee more than man ;
I, who beside the Arno, strain
To admire thee rather than to praise,
It is well known that the pecuniary advantages derived by Milton from his poetical works bore no comparison to their value, and no relation to their celebrity. The following curious documents are literally copied from the originals now in the possession of a gentleman of distinguished literary character: they are Milton's second receipt for Paradise Lost, the third receipt of his wife, and her Anal discharge to Simmons, the purchaser of the copyright:
APRIL 26, 1669. Recd then of Samuel Simmons five pounds, being the Second five pounds to be paid-mentioned in the Covenant. I say reci by me,
John Milton. Witness EDMUND
UPTON. I do hereby acknowledge to have received of Samuel Syinonds
Cittizen and Statoner of London, the Sum of Eight pounds: which is in full payment for all my right, title, or interest, which I have or ever had in the Coppy of a Poem Intitled Paradise Lost in Twelve Bookes in 8vo-By John Milton, Gent. my late husband. Wittness my hand this 21st day of December 1680.
Know all men by these pssents that I Elizabeth Milton of London # Widdow, late wife of John Milton of London Gent: deceased-
have remissed released and for ever quitt claimed And by these pssents doe remise release & for ever quitt clayme unto Samuel Symonds of London, Printer-his heirs Excutrs and Administrators All and all manner of Accon and Accons Cause and Causes of Accon Suites Bills Bonds writinges obligatorie Debts dues duties Accompts Summe and Sumes of money Judgments Executions Extents Quarrells either in Law or Equity Controversies and demands-And all & every other matter cause and thing whatsoever which against the said Samuel Symonds-I ever had and which I my heires Executers or Administrators shall or may have clayme & challenge or demand for or by reason or means of any matters cause or thing whatsoever from the beginning of the World unto the day of these pssents. In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale the twenty ninth-day of April in the thirty third Year of the Reigne of our Soveraign Lord Charles by the grace of God of England Scotland ffrance and Ireland King defender of the ffaith & Anno
ELIZABETH MILTON. in the pssence of
The PROSE WORKS of Milton will, of course, be estimated accord. ing to the political principles and prejudices of the English reader. Milton was a bold and decided actor in the most eventful period of British history. But however the English public may be divided in sentiment on the principles and projects of the politics espoused by Milton, no one will now dare to deny him the just character of great ability, intellectual intrepidity, and Roman integrity; and, although intelligent readers may differ from the political tenets of the Prose Works, they must admire the peculiar felicity of the language, and the terse and eloquent passages which enrich every page. The purity of his prose style was publicly eulogized so early as the year 1650, in Kotham's Introduction to the Teutonick Philosophie-" In truth it is very hard to write good English: and few have attained its height, in this last frie of books, but Mr. Milton." The Areopagitica or Speech for the Liberty of the Press, in the nobility of its argument, and the majesty and strength of expression, is the most eloquent composition in the English language.
The following s an accurate list of his prose pieces: 1. Familiar Epistles. 2. Of Reformation touching Church Discipline in England. 3. Of Prelatical Episcopacy. 4. The Reason of Church Government urged against Prelaty. 5. Arrimadversions upon the Remonstrant's Defence against Smectymnaus. 6. An Apology for Smectymnuus. 7. Of Education; to Master Samuel Hartlib. 8. Areopagitica ; a Speech for the Liberty of unlicenced Printing, to the Parlia.
ment of England. 9. The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. 10. The Judgment of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce. 11. Tetrachordon; an Exposition of the Scriptural Doctrine of Marriage. 12. Colasterion; a Defence of the former Tracts 13. The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates. 14. Observations on the Articles of Peace between the Earl of Ormond and
Charles I. with the Irish Catholics. 15. Eikonoclastes: in Answer to Eikon Basilike. 16. A Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes. 17. Considerations touching the likeliest means of removing Hirelings out of the
Church. 18. A Letter to a Friend concerning the ruptures of the Commonwealth. 19. The present means and brief delineation of a Free Commonwealth. In a
Letter to General Monk. 20. The ready and easy way to establish a Free Commonwealth. 21. Brief Notes on a loyal Sermon by Dr. Griffith. 22. Accedence commenced Grammar, or Rules to attain the Latin Tongue. 23. The History of Britain to the Norman Conquest. 24. Of True Religion, Heresy, Schism, Toleration, &c. 25. A brief History of Muscovia. 26. Numerous State Papers, when Latin Secretary to the Commonwealth, and
Protector, in Latin and English.
“Tyrannical Government Anatomized, 1642," have been ascribed to Milton ;
27. Defensio pro Populo Anglicano, contra Claudii Salmasii Defensionem Regiam. 28. Defensio Secunda contra Alexandrum Morum Ecclesiasten. 29. Defensio pro se, &c. 30. Artis Logicæ Institutio ad Petri Rami methodum concinnata. Adjecta est
Prais Analytica et Petri Rami vita, &c. 31. De Doctrina Christiana.
For detailed biographies of Milton, the reader is referred to the numerous early lives and memorials by Wood, in the Athene Oxoniensis,-by Aubrey, Ellwood, Toland, Richardson, and Fenton ; and the modern memoirs of the Poet in the Biographical Dictionaries by Birch and Chalmers, and the late very elegant and impartial biographies by Hayley and Dr. Symmons. The well-known criticisms of Hume, Addison, Bentley, Meadowcourt, the Richard
sons, Peck, Newton, Dr. Johnson, Pearce, Capel Loft, Neve, Aikin, Cowper, Hayley, Gilbert Wakefield, and their collected labors in the invaluable edition of Milton's Poetical Works by Mr. Todd, have exhausted materials of commentary and criticism.
The text of the present edition has been selected with great care from the most correct of the previous editions: the sheets have been diligently revised and collated in all points of uncertain or different readings, and compared with a most excellent edition of the poems, printed in Dublin in 1757, edited by John Hawkey. The volume now given to the world forms the most complete edition of the poetical works vet published, containing not only an entire collection of all the minor poems, but translations of the Latin and Italian, chiefly selected from Cowper; and also a reprint of all the notices originally prefixed to the several editions in the lifetime of the immortal author.
No notes encumber the text to divide the attention of the reader, or to “point out the beauties” of Milton, which indeed best display themselves in their own chaste attire, without the meretricions introduction of the critic. To apply the language of an early poet
Nothing can cover his high fame but Heaven.