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IN taking leave of these volumes, the preparation of which has extended over not a few years, I may be permitted a word or two regarding the several portions of their contents.

The TEXT of the Poems has been prepared, with the utmost study of accuracy, from the original and other authoritative editions. Accounts of these, and of the surviving manuscripts of some of the Poems, with other relative bibliographical information, are given in the INTRODUCTIONS; where also the endeavour has been to elucidate, as fully and exactly as possible, and with the due amount of accompanying criticism, the circumstances, motives, and intention, of each of the Poems individually. If read in their chronological order, indeed, these Introductions will be found to constitute, after their fashion, a continuous, and rather minute, Literary Biography of the Poet. The NOTES are partly expository, partly philological, and partly critical; and the principles on which they have been prepared, and the amount of use made in them of the Notes of previous Editors, are explained at pp. 101-106, p. 281, and pp. 341, 342, of Volume III. In the prefixed GENERAL ESSAY ON MILTON'S ENGLISH what may be called the Philology of the Poems is presented, for

VOL. I.

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the first time, in a systematic form.

The reader is referred to the Sections of that Essay on Milton's Spelling and Punctuation for the reasons that have determined the spelling and pointing of the Poems in the present edition.

Mr. R. C. Browne's excellent edition of the English Poems for the Clarendon Press series had not appeared when the Introductions in the present volumes went to press; but acknowledgment of it is made in the Notes. An interesting special addition to our Miltonic Literature since the volumes were wholly at press is The Lycidas and Epitaphium Damonis of Milton, edited, with Notes and Introduction, by C. S. Ferram, M.A. Information which would have had an appropriate place in that scholarly little book, or in the Introduction and Notes to the Epitaphium Damonis in Volumes II. and III. of the present work, has reached me only in time to be communicated in this Preface.

The burial-register of the young physician Charles Diodati, the hero of the Epitaphium Damonis, and the bosom-friend of Milton's youth, has at last been discovered. The credit of the discovery belongs to Colonel J. L. Chester, a distinguished American genealogist and antiquary, resident in London. "Charles Diodati," Colonel Chester informs me in a letter dated Aug. 24, 1874, "was buried at St. Anne, 'Blackfriars, London, 27 Aug. 1638. The entry in the Register is simply ' Mr. Charles Deodate, from Mr. Dollan's. "Seventeen days before, viz. 10 Aug. 1638, was also buried "there'Mrs. Philadelphia Deodate, from Mr. Dollam's. On "the 29th of June 1638 was baptized Richard, son of John "and Isabell Deodate;' and on the 23rd of June in the same

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"year was buried 'Isabell, wife to John Deodate.' These are "all the entries of the name that occur in the Register of "St. Anne, Blackfriars." The Philadelphia Diodati, who thus pre-deceased Charles by seventeen days, was probably, Colonel Chester concludes, a sister of Charles, not hitherto heard of; the John Diodati, whose wife died in childbirth a few weeks before, was certainly the brother of Charles. Letters of administration of Charles's effects were granted to him in this capacity, Colonel Chester has found, Oct. 3, 1638. Besides the two Diodati brothers of the elder generation mentioned in the Introduction to the Elegia Prima-John Diodati, the celebrated Divine of Geneva (1576—1649), and Theodore Diodati, the naturalized London physician, and the father of Milton's friend-there was, it appears from Colonel Chester's researches, a third brother, Charles Diodati, also naturalized in London, and probably in some mercantile business. The two sons of the physician Dr. Theodore, John and Charles, had therefore been named after their two uncles. But there was also in London eventually, if not so early as the date of the Epitaphium Damonis, a younger Theodore Diodati, the son of the Genevese Divine. After having graduated as M.D. at Leyden in 1643, Colonel Chester informs me, he is found certainly in London in 1651, shortly after his father's death at Geneva, and then apparently the sole surviving representative of the London Diodatis. For, when old Dr. Theodore died, and was buried at St. Bartholomew the Less (Feb. 12, 1650-1), his will, proved the same day by his second wife, Abigail, for whom due provision was made in it, appointed this Theodore Diodati, his nephew,

the residuary legatee, making no mention of any children. The natural inference is that John, the old physician's son, alive and a widower in 1638, had meanwhile died. Again, a few months afterwards, the same Theodore, on the death of his other uncle, Charles Diodati, described as "late of St. Mary Magdalen, Old Fish Street, London, bachelor," administers to his estate as next of kin (Aug. 13, 1651). After that he seems to have lived on in London in good medical practice. He was admitted an Honorary Fellow of the College of Physicians in London in 1664; and he was alive, with the style of "Doctor of Medicine and Merchant," till 1680.These new particulars of the Diodati family history, all ascertained by Colonel Chester, will add precision to the information on the subject given in the Introductions to the Elegia Prima, the Elegia Sexta, and the Epitaphium Damonis. They oblige one correction: viz. the substitution of "John" for "Theodore" as the name of young Charles Diodati's brother at p. 325 and pp. 373, 374 of Volume II.; and they partly supersede the note to line 149 of the Epitaphium Damonis. For the rest, they confirm our main narrative of the facts, and especially the conjecture, which I had risked, of some alienation of Milton's friend and his brother from their father's household before 1638, caused by the old physician's second marriage. In 1638, when Milton was abroad on his Italian journey, the two brothers, it appears, had quitted their father's house in Little St. Bartholomew, and were living in Blackfriars,-John married, and apparently in a house of his own; Charles unmarried, and boarding, it seems, with his sister (?) Philadelphia, at the house of a Mr. Dollam.

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