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THE POETICAL WORKS
WITH MEMOIR, INTRODUCTIONS, NOTES, AND
AN ESSAY ON MILTON'S ENGLISH
DAVID MASSON, M.A. LL.D.
PROFESSOR OF RHETORIC AND ENGLISH LITERATURE IN THE
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
THE MINOR POEMS
MACMILLAN AND CO.
AND NEW YORK
All rights reserved
First Edition 1874
6177 07 DAVID H STEVENS
In the present Library Edition of Milton's Poetical
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
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
be enough, however, to specify here the two additions in