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THE POETICAL WORKS

OF

JOHN MILTON

EDITED

WITH MEMOIR, INTRODUCTIONS, NOTES, AND

AN ESSAY ON MILTON'S ENGLISH

AND VERSIFICATION

BY

DAVID MASSON, M.A. LL.D.

PROFESSOR OF RHETORIC AND ENGLISH LITERATURE IN THE

UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

VOL. I.

THE MINOR POEMS

London

MACMILLAN AND CO.

AND NEW YORK

1 890

All rights reserved

PR 3551

1890
v. 1

First Edition 1874
Second Edition 18 go

The
UNIVERSITY
OF CHICAGO

LIBRARY

6177 07 DAVID H STEVENS

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In the present Library Edition of Milton's Poetical
Works all the matter of the preceding Library or
Cambridge Edition of 1874 is carefully retained, but
with certain editorial changes.

The most obvious change consists in the rearrangement of the Pcems now in their proper chronological order,--the Minor POEMS occupying Volume I., and PARADISE Lost, PARADISE REGAINED, and SAMSON AGONISTES following, in that succession, in Volume II. This chronological arrangement, — always the best where it is possible, and already adopted by the Editor, apparently with general approval, in the latest form of his smaller Edition of Milton,-has the particular advantage in the present case of permitting the removal of the General Essay on Milton's English and Versification from Volume I., where it was perhaps an encumbrance, to Volume III., where it will be in more natural company with the body of the Notes.

Besides this change in the order of the contents of the Volumes, there are very considerable additions to

the contents themselves. There was no formal Memoir of Milton in the previous Library Edition; but, something in the shape of a chronological outline of the life of a poet being usually convenient in any edition of his works, the opportunity has now been taken of supplying what

may

have been a defect. The Memoir of Milton prefixed to the present Edition is a recast, with some extensions and other adaptations, of the latest form of a similar biographic sketch prepared originally by the Editor for his smaller Edition of Milton. Written wholly and expressly for the present Edition, and possibly not without use for students of some minute points in Milton's Biography and the chronology of his manuscripts, is the little Appendix to the Memoir entitled Specimens of Milton's Signature. For the rest, the most important of the editorial additions in these volumes will be found in the “ Introductions": viz. in the General Introduction to the MINOR POEMS collectively and the separate Introductions to them severally, contained in Volume I., and in the separate Introductions to PARADISE Lost, PARADISE REGAINED, and SAMSON AGONISTES, contained in Volume II. In these Introductions, at all points throughout, there has been incorporated whatever of relevant new information the Editor has acquired since 1874 respecting the occasions and dates of the poems, the circumstances of their publication, and their subsequent histories. It

may

be enough, however, to specify here the two additions in

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