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"the Reader. Courteous Reader, There was no Argument at first intended "to the Book, but for the satisfaction of many that have desired it, I have pro"cur'd it, and withall a reason of that which stumbled many others, why the "Poem Rimes not. S. Simmons."

Sixth title-page.-Same as the preceding, except that, instead of four lines of stars under the author's name, there is a fleur-de-lis ornament. 1668. 4to. pp. 356. Here we have the same preliminary matter as in the preceding. There seem to be some copies, however, with the incorrect three-line Address, and others with the correct five-line Address, of the Printer.

Seventh title-page." Paradise lost. | A | Poem | in | Ten Books. | The Author John Milton. | London, | Printed by S. Simmons, and are to be sold by | T. Helder, at the Angel, in Little Brittain, | 1669. |" 4to. pp. 356. Some copies with this title-page still retain Simmons's incorrect three-line Address to the Reader, while others have the five-line Address. Rest of preliminary

matter as before.

Eighth and Ninth title-pages.-Same as last, except some insignificant changes of capital letters and of pointing in the words of the title. 1669. 4to. pp. 356.*

Here are at least nine distinct forms in which, as respects the title-page, complete copies were issued by the binder, from the first publication of the work about August 1667 on to 1669, inclusively; besides which, there are the variations among individual copies arising from the two forms of the Printer's Advertisement, and the variations in the text of the poem arising from the indiscriminate binding together of sheets in the different states of correctness in which they were printed off. The variations of this last class are of absolutely no moment—a comma in some copies where others have it not; an error in the numbering of the lines, or of a with for an in, in some copies, rectified in others; &c. On the whole, the text of any existing copy of the First Edition is as perfect as that of any other-though there is an advantage in having a copy with the small list of Errata and the other preliminary matter. But the variations in the title-page are of

* This list is drawn up from my own inspection of all copies within my reach, assisted by consultation of the article "Milton" in Mr. Bohn's edition of Lowndes's Bibliographer's Manual, and by examination of a list given by Mr. S. Leigh Sotheby (Ramblings, pp. 80, 81). I believe my list does not exhaust the variations.

+ The copy of the First Edition in my own possession is one with what I have called the seventh title-page, and with the three-line form of Simmons's Address to the Reader.

greater interest. Why is the author's name given in full in the title-pages of 1667, then contracted into "J. M." in two of those of 1668, and again given in full in two of those of the same year, and in all those of 1669? And why, though Simmons had acquired the copyright in April 1667, and had entered the copyright as his in the Stationers' Books in August 1667, is his name kept out of sight in all the title-pages prior to that one of 1668 which is given as the Fifth in the foregoing list, and which is the first with the preliminary matter-the preceding title-pages showing no printer's name, but only the names of three booksellers at whose shops copies might be had? Finally, why, after Simmons does think it right to appear on the title-page, are there changes in the names of the booksellers—two of the former booksellers first disappearing and giving way to other two, and then the three of 1668 giving way in 1669 to the single bookseller, Helder of Little Britain? Very probably, in some of these changes nothing more was involved than convenience to Simmons in his trade at the time. Business may have been temporarily disarranged by the Great Fire. Not impossibly, however, more was involved than this in so much changing and tossing-about of the book within so short a period. May not Simmons have been a little timid about his venture in publishing a book by the notorious Milton, whose attacks on the Church and defences of the execution of Charles I. were still fresh in the memory of all, and some of whose pamphlets had been publicly burnt by the hangman after the Restoration? May not his entering the book at Stationers' Hall simply as "a Poem in Ten Books by J. M." have been a caution on his part; and, though in the first issues he had ventured on the name "John Milton" in full, may he not have found it advisable, for a subsequent circulation in some quarters, to have copies with only the milder "J. M." upon them? May not Milton himself have suggested such precautions?

In any case, the first edition of Paradise Lost was a most creditably-printed book. It is, as has been mentioned, a small quarto of 342 pages in such copies as are without the "Argument" and other preliminary matter, and of 356 pages in the copies that have this addition. But the pages are not numbered -only the lines by tens along the margin in each Book. In one

or two places there is an error in the numbering of the lines, arising from miscounting. The text in each page is enclosed within lines-single lines at the inner margin and bottom, but double lines at the top for the running title and the number of the Book, and along the outer margin columnwise for the numbering of the lines. Very great care must have been bestowed on the revising of the proofs, either by Milton himself, or by some competent person who had undertaken to see the book through the press for him. It seems likely that Milton himself caused page after page to be read over slowly to him, and occasionally even the words to be spelt out. There are, at all events, certain systematic peculiarities of spelling, which it seems most reasonable to attribute to Milton's own instructions. Altogether, for a book

printed in such circumstances, it is wonderfully accurate; and, in all the particulars of type, paper, and general getting-up, the first appearance of Paradise Lost must have been rather attractive than otherwise to book-buyers of that day.

The selling-price of the volume was three shillings*—which is perhaps as if a similar book now were published at about 7s. 6d. From the retail sale of 1,300 copies, therefore, the sum that would come in to Simmons, if we make an allowance for trade-deductions at about the modern rate, would be something under 1407. Out of this had to be paid the expenses of printing, &c., and the sum agreed upon with the author; and the balance would be Simmons's profit. On the whole, though he cånnot have made anything extraordinary by the transaction, it must have been sufficiently remunerative. For, by the 26th of April, 1669, or after the poem had been published a little over eighteen months, the stipulated impression of 1,300 copies had been exhausted. The proof exists in the shape of Milton's receipt for the additional Five Pounds due to him on that contingency:

* "A General Catalogue of Books printed in England since the dreadful Fire of London, 1666, to the end of Trinity Term, 1674; collected by Robert Clavel. London, 1675.” Here, for the sake of comparison, are a few prices of similar books from the same authority :-Davenant's Works, 17. 4s.; Cowley's Works, 145.; Reliquæ Wottonianæ, 5s.; Donne's Poems, 4s. ; Hudibras, Parts I. and II. reprinted, 3s. 6d. ; Randolph's Poems, Cleveland's, and Denham's, 35. each; Waller, and Herbert, 2s. 6d. each; Dryden's Annus Mirabilis, 1s. 6d.

April 26, 1669.

Received then of Samuel Simmons five pounds, being the Second five pounds to be paid mentioned in the Covenant. I say recd. by me.

Witness, Edmund Upton.

John

milton *

*The original of this document is, or recently was, in the possession of Lady Cullum, widow of the Rev. Sir Thomas Gery Cullum, Bart., who had it in his possession at least as far back as 1822. Its former history has not been traced; but, not improbably, it came from among those papers, left by Jacob Tonson, tertius, of which an account has been already given (see antè, p. 4, note). A facsimile of it was given in the Gentleman's Magazine for July, 1822; and there is a copy of this facsimile in Mr. Leigh Sotheby's Ramblings, Plate XVIII. Connected with the document is a curious incident, which should be a warning to purchasers of such antiquities. At the public sale, in June, 1859, of the manuscript collections of the late well-known antiquary, Mr. Dawson Turner, there was put up what professed to be this identical receipt of Milton to Simmons for his second Five Pounds, together with what professed to be a subsequent receipt (to be presently spoken of) by Milton's widow for a final payment by Simmons on account of Paradise Lost. These two supposed originals were bought on commission for an American collector for 437. Is. Scarcely had they been bought, however, when a controversy arose as to their genuineness. Lady Cullum claimed to have in her possession the two original documents in question: how, then, could Mr. Dawson Turner have had them too? The matter was discussed in the columns of the Athenæum at intervals from September 1859 till February 1860. So far the mystery was cleared up. It appeared that, many years before, Sir Thomas Cullum had lent the two original documents to Mr. Dawson Turner, and that the documents put up at the sale were only copies, and not perfect copies either, of these originals-which copies Mr. Dawson Turner had made, or caused to be made, for his own use, before returning the originals. He had neglected to label them as copies, and hence the error. The Cullum documents were thus established to be the true

originals, and the sale of the others was cancelled. But another question re

mained as to one of the documents. It is not doubted that the Cullum document is the genuine receipt which Milton gave and Simmons kept; but is it Milton's autograph? In this case, the body of the receipt being in the same hand as the signature, either both are autograph, or receipt and signature were both written for Milton by another hand We have already explained, in connexion with the original agreement with Simmons for the publication of Paradise Lost (see antè, p. 5, note), that Milton, in his blindness, did use other hands for his signature even to legal documents. Whether this receipt for the second Five Pounds is autograph is to be determined, therefore, by comparison with Milton's known handwriting. Now from that it differs even more than the signature to the original agreement with Simmons. No one looking at the receipt, and knowing Milton's hand before his blindness, would for a moment admit it to be in Milton's hand; besides which, there is an interlineation in the receipt, which

Thus, by the end of April 1669, Milton had received in all Ten Pounds for his Paradise Lost. This was all that he was to receive for it in his life. For, contrary to what might have been expected after a sale of the first edition in eighteen months, there was no second edition for five years more, or till 1674. Either the book was out of print for those five years, or what demand for it there continued to be was supplied out of the surplus of 200 copies which, for some reason or other, Simmons had been authorized to print beyond the 1,300. But in 1674-the last year of Milton's life- -a second edition did appear, with this title :—

Paradise Lost. | A | Poem | in | Twelve Books. | The Author | John Milton. The Second Edition | Revised and Augmented by the same Author. | London, Printed by S. Simmons next door to the | Golden Lion in Aldersgatestreet, 1674. |

This edition is in small octavo, with the pages numbered, but with no marginal numbering of the lines-the pages of the text as numbered being 333. Prefixed (in some copies, at least) is a not badly executed portrait of the author, with this inscription underneath, "W. Dolle sculpsit: Johannis Miltoni effigies, ætat. 63, 1671." ." There are also prefixed two sets of commendatory verses -the one in Latin signed "S. B., M.D." and written by a certain Samuel Barrow, a physician and a private friend of Milton; the other in English, signed “A. M.," and written by Andrew Marvel. But the most important difference between this and the previous edition is that, whereas the poem had been arranged in Ten Books in the first, it is here arranged in Twelve. This is accomplished by dividing what had formerly been the two longest Books of the poem-Books VII. and X.-into two Books each. There is a corresponding division in the "Arguments" of these Books; and the "Arguments," instead of being given in a body at the a blind man could hardly have made. The signature to the receipt also differs decidedly from the signature to the agreement eighteen months before. If that was autograph, this can hardly be. My belief is that neither is autograph; but, were I to vote for either, it would be rather for the signature to the agreement than for the receipt. This last I take to have been written for Milton-not impossibly by his third wife, whose hand it somewhat resembles.

* The same portrait (a copy, on a reduced scale, of Faithorne's celebrated Engraving of Milton, prefixed to his History of Britain in 1670) had been prefixed to Milton's Artis Logica plenior Institutio, published in 1672, and also to the Second Edition of his Minor Poems, brought out in 1673.

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