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represented by o singly, but by oa, ough, a singly (whence it is sometimes called the open A sound), au, aw, awe, augh: e.g. broad, thought, all, fall, wrath, haul, awe, daws, bawl, naught.-Milton has wrauth, but also wrath; naught, but also nought; wraught, but also wrought; aw, but also awe; haut once, from stress of rhyme (Ps. LXXX. 33), but also haughty and haughtie.

Another Long O sound, usually so called, though distinct from the former (as in go, shore, note).-The chief representative of this sound is o; but it is represented also by oa, oe, oo, ou, ow, o'e, eo, ew, ough: e.g. boast, woe, door, soul, low, o'er, yeoman, sew, though.-In Milton, we have seen, there are such spellings as dores, shoars, rore, yoak. He has dore and dores uniformly, I think, through Faradise Lost; but he gives door and doors elsewhere (Lycid. 130, Sams. Ag. 77). So also we have shores, roar and yoke, as in our ordinary spelling. The word goal occurs twice, once as gole and once as goal. He has oke, but also oak and oake. -The contraction o'er, for over, is generally, so far as I have observed, spelt or'e with the apostrophe in the wrong place, or ore without any apostrophe: but I can find no meaning in this perversity.-Two interesting words in this long O group are show and roll. Milton's practice with respect to them will be discussed hereafter; meanwhile it is enough to state that he spells the first in his poetry both show and shew, and that for the second he gives us only once roll (in the form roll'd), and in every other case of the occurrence of the word, i.e. thirty-seven times, rowl, rowle, roul, or roule, either so or in the related forms of rowld, rould, rowling, rouling, &c. The inquiry will involve words of similar sound, as scroll, control, fold, &c.

The Short U sound proper (as in full, put).—It is represented chiefly by u; but also by o, oo, ou, oul, ough: e.g. woman, book, you (unemphatic), could, and through (unemphatic).—So far as I have observed Milton's practice in such words conforms to the present.

The Long U sound proper (as in truth).—It is represented by u; but also by ue, ui, 0, 00, oe, ou, ew: e.g. true, fruit, move, soothe, shoe, youth, brew.--Here also Milton's spelling in the main conforms to ours. He has remoov'd, but also remov'd; crue (the noun), but generally crew; boosom'd, but also bosom'd; woolf, but also wolf; turneys, but also tournament; &c.

The Short U sound (as in but).-Though represented by u, it is represented also by o, oo, ou: e.g. son, blood, young.-There is an interchangeability between this sound and the two last u sounds, some provincial speakers pronouncing put as if it rhymed to hut, and Dr. Johnson himself having preserved his provincial poonch for punch. I have found no evidences that this was other than a provincial habit in Milton's time.-He has com and welcom, but also come and welcome; jocond, but also jocund; som, but also some; don, but also done; courb once (P. L., XI. 643), but curb five times; floud, but also flood; yonger, but also younger, &c.

A nondescript E sound, intermediate between short I and short U (as in her, minster).—This is represented also by i, y, if not sometimes by u: e.g. sir, virtue, myrrh, surname; and indeed the combinations er, ar, ir, or, our, ur, re, have a tendency in common habit in certain cases to this one sound: e.g. baker, beggar, stir, stationery, stationary, sailor, ardour, murmur, sepulchre.—In Milton virtue and virtuous are, I think, nearly always spelt vertue or vertu and vertuous, as was common in his time; but virtue does occur (e.g. P. R., II. 431, 455), and virtual, which occurs but twice, is both times so. I find warriers and persecuters in his text, but also warriors and warriours. Beggery occurs once (S. A., 69), and sepulcher or sepulchers twice; but in the main the spellings even for this obscure sound are ours.

The Four Diphthongs proper.-These are heard in the words fine, thou, oil, muse. The first, still often called the long i sound, is represented not only by that letter, but also by y, ie, ye, ay, is, ig, igh, eye, uy, ais, eigh: e.g. cry, die, dye, ay, isle, sign, high, eye, buy, aisle, height. The second, represented by ou, is represented also by ow, ough: e.g. owl, plough. The third, represented by oi, is represented also by oy and uoy: e.g. boy, buoy. The fourth, still often called the long U sound, is represented not only by u, but also by eu, ew, ewe, iew, ue, ui, eau, ieu : e.g. rheum, few, ewe, view, sue, suit, beauty, lieu.-Some of Milton's spellings in these diphthong groups have already been noted. We may add a few more instances. (1) He has both isle and ile, island and iland, rites and rights, spite and spight (within some lines of each other, P. L., II. 385-393), eye and ey, lie and lye, nigh and ny (Sonnet I. 10). He has aries at least once for arise. The word rime, though spelt so in the prose preface to Par. Lost, is spelt once rhyme in the poetry (Lyc. 11), and rhime in the only other case where it occurs there (P. L., 1. 16). We have die and di'd for 'colour' and 'coloured;' but, to make up, there is a slip once or twice into dye and dy'd for our verb of mortality.—(2) Plowman occurs twice, and each time in that form; but in the MS. of the Sonnet to Cromwell we have plough'd. Bought and boughs or boughes is normal in the text, but once at least there is bowes. The adjective foul, for unclean,' which is a frequent word, occurs in Par. Lost first as fowl (I. 33), and the very next time (I. 135) as foul. The word flower is very unstable. I find it, in the singular, in no fewer than six forms-flower, flowr, flowre, flour, floure, and flouer; and it is about the same in the plural. Similarly we have tower in three forms— tower, towre, towr (all three forms occurring within eight lines of each other, P. L., XII. 44-52); and so with shower, hour, and other words. (3) In this diphthong group we have indifferently choice and choyce, voice and voyce, &c. (4) In this group Milton has lewd and leud, hue and hew (noun), blue, blu, and blew (all for the colour), ewe and ews (the animal), suite and suitable, &c.

Consonantal and Miscellaneous Spellings.-A promiscuous assemblage of examples will suffice to prove that here too the spellings in Milton are

variable, and that, even where his text has a different spelling from ours in one or in several places, it accepts ours in others :—warr, dinn, lipps, mortall, celestiall, faithfull, musicall, committ, compell, farewel, mattin, sollemne, &c., found also as war, din, lips, mortal, celestial, faithful, musical, commit, compels, farewell, matin, solemn, &c.; endles, darknes, sweetnes, &c., found also as endless, darkness, sweetness, &c. (ripenesse in Sonnet III. in Milton's own MS. appearing as ripenes in the same when printed under his own eye); musick, majestick, &c., found also as music, majestic, &c. ; lincked found also as linked; sulfurous and sulphurous; partriark and patriarch in two consecutive pages (P. L., 117-151); murtherer, but also murder, and murd'rous; chrystal and chrystall, but also crystal; autority, but also authority and authoritie.

Ample proof has now been furnished of both parts of our proposition -i.e. not only of the general fact that Milton's spelling, like the spelling of most of his contemporaries, was unstable and variable, but also of the more special fact that, in the cases where he varied his spelling, it was most frequently a mere accident, a mere turn of the wrist, whether he should give us a spelling that we now think odd or the one now adopted and authorized. Neither part of the proposition has been sufficiently attended to by Milton inquirers and literary and linguistic archæologists; but perhaps the second less than the first. Yet it is not unimportant.

"Would it not be well," it might be asked, "in reprinting Milton's Poems, to retain punctiliously his own spelling?" Now, whatever may be the propriety, for philological purposes, of having plenty of exact reprints of our old English books, or of portions of such, and exact representations in type of the spelling of old English MSS., common sense seems to have settled that, in modern editions of such great authors as Bacon, Shakespeare, and Milton, just as in all modern editions of the authorized English Bible for general use, the spelling of our own time ought to be adopted, except in cases where there is something significant, etymologically or phonetically, in an archaic spelling in the original editions. Messrs. Clark and Aldis Wright, in their Preface to the Cambridge Edition of Shakespeare, have given their reasons for following this plan in that work; and their reasoning applies to Milton's Poetry. Though we have used again and again the phrase "Milton's spelling," it is impossible to say what Milton's spelling really is. There is an extant mass of his own manuscript, containing the drafts of a portion of his earlier English Poems. There, certainly, so far as the mass goes, we have Milton's own spelling. But then the spelling there differs in numberless particulars from the spelling of the same pieces when printed in 1645. The spelling in the volume of that year may be called Milton's own too, inasmuch as he had then the use of his eyesight, and it is to be taken for granted that he revised the proofs. But which is most Milton's spelling--that of the MSS. so far as they go, or that of the printed volume? Farther, for all the later poetry, in

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cluding Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes, we have neither a spelling set up by the printers from Milton's own manuscript, nor a spelling passed by Milton's personal revision after the printers, but only the discordant spellings of different printers, set up from the discordant spellings of no one knows how many different amanuenses to whom a blind man had dictated, and revised of course not by the blind man himself, but only by the readers of the printing offices, or by friends reading the proofs aloud for his benefit, with perhaps a shot of correction now and then from his own mouth when his quick ear detected anything wrong. How, in such a complexity of circumstances, shall we determine Milton's own spelling for his Poetical Works collectively? We have, it is true, the original editions of his English Prose Pamphlets, all of which as far as 1649 may be assumed to have been set up from his own manuscripts, or at least revised by himself for the press. Might not these assist us in an attempt for the recovery of Milton's own spelling for his poems? Very little. In the first place, there is no reason to believe that the spelling of these pamphlets, even if it were uniform, is the spelling of the MSS. from which they were set up. The spelling of many pieces in the 1645 edition of the poems, as we have seen, differs incessantly from the spelling of the same pieces in the extant MSS.; and the spelling of the First Book of Paradise Lost in the original edition differs incessantly, we may now add, from that of the same Book in the preserved MS. copy in the hand of an amanuensis from which the printers set up the text. In the very first page we find blissful seat in the printed edition substituted for blissfull seate in the press-copy, mortal for mortall, loss for losse, Brook for brooke, soar for soare, pursues for persues, chiefly for cheifly, dark for darke, &c. How are we to know that the printers of the Prose Pamphlets were more strict to the manuscript copies? If it is replied that Milton at all events adopted the spelling of the printers of those pamphlets, and so made it his, that only brings out afresh the fact that, within a certain range, he did not mind how words were spelt. For the same instability is to be detected in the spelling of the prose pamphlets as in that of the poems. There were different printers; they differed from each other; and each differed from himself from page to page and moment to moment. In short, Milton's own spelling of his poems, in any definite sense of the term, is not a real and recoverable existence anywhere in nature, but at best a vortex of verbal forms, with certain steadyish main features amid a fringing confusion of incompatible atoms, whirling in the Cambridge, Horton, and London air of the seventeenth century, and modified in London by cross-gusts between divers printing-offices, and between those offices and Milton's houses in Bread Street, St. Bride's Churchyard, Aldersgate Street, Barbican, High Holborn, Jewin Street, Bunhill Fields, and other places.

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"Well, but," it may be said, "no ideal reconstruction is necessary. Why not accept the original printed editions in their series? Why not

reproduce these page after page, and vote the spelling in its totality, with all its variations, to be Milton's?"-This may seem plausible; but it breaks down on consideration. The simple fact that we are in possession of a mass of Milton's English poetry in his own handwriting, the spelling of which differs from that of the same pieces as printed in the First and Second editions of his Minor Poems, falls like a crushing blow on the proposal. Could we recover Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, some of his Sonnets, and his Hamlet or Midsummer Night's Dream, in his own handwriting, what a joy there would be! Should we then adhere to the quartos, even if it could be proved that Shakespeare revised the proofs? Would not the cry be "No intervention of printers here: let us have every jot and tittle of the great hand, as it paralleled and descended the paper, and the ink fell from the pen's point!" Why should it be otherwise with Milton's extant MSS. ? If we are to have the original spelling and nothing else, why should not these, as far as they will serve, be followed, rather than the printed copies? Then, again, have we not Lawes's printed copy of Comus in 1637, and the Bridgewater MS. of the same, and have we not Lycidas in its original form in the Cambridge volume of Memorial Verses on King published in 1638? What are the claims of these, and of one or two other fragments, orthographically?

Suppose, however, in this absolute impossibility of getting at a standard spelling, we were to agree to adopt the spelling of Milton's original printed editions enumerated above, and vote it to be the standard. What, even with that violent solution of the difficulty, ought to be the policy in a modern edition of Milton's poems? Apart from the interest that might attach to an exact orthographic reprint regarded as a bibliographical curiosity, the sole purpose it would serve would be to exhibit that very phenomenon of variability of spelling which we have been illustrating. A standard spelling in the original editions! There is no such thing. There is utter instability, incessant change, causeless and yet conscious inconsistency. In view of all else that we expect and require in a modern edition of Milton, is it worth while to refabricate a collective edition of the poems expressly to exhibit the phenomenon of the variability, in Milton's case as in others, of the seventeenth century spelling? The phenomenon is certainly interesting, and worthy of exhibition. But, in the interest of the phenomenon itself, there are better and more economic means. For scholars who want to study the phenomenon, access to copies of the original editions is not too difficult; and for most people, or in the main for scholars too, a series of specimens of literal reprint will amply suffice. There ought to be such specimens, and all that is essential in the phenomenon may be elicited from a moderate number of them. With such material, and with an Essay on the subject, collecting and specifying instances, the phenomenon in question might be better brought out in all its bearings than in a collective reprint from the

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