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OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
THE PUBLICK is here prefented with a complete edition of the Poetical Works of Milton, accompanied with notes of various authors.
To this undertaking I was invited, and encouraged, at the close of the year 1798. Without this previous declaration, I might have been accused of intrufion into the prefent office. Senfible that the tatk would have been better executed by many recent annotators on Milton, I would not indeed have liftened to the unexpected application of engaging in an employment fo important, if fome literary friends had not promised their affiftance. I therefore undertook to arrange my materials; and continued my inquiries till the clofe of the year 1799, when the edition began to be printed; at which time, nearly half a century had elapfed fince the publication of the Poetical Works entire, with illuftrations. And my attention to the progrefs and completion of the work in 1801, was conftant and unwearied.
Of thofe criticks and annotators, whofe obfervations were selected in 1749, &c. by Dr. Newton; as well as of those, with whose subsequent remarks the following pages are enriched; fome account may be thought neceffary.
The firft annotator on the poet was Patrick Hume, a Scotchman. He publifhed, in 1695, a copious commentary on the Paradife Loft; " to which fome of his fucceffours in the fame province," fays Mr. Warton, "apprehending no danger of detection from
→ This is the Preface to my first edition of Milton's Poetical Works, with fuch alterations and additions, as an account of unintentional mistake or omiffion, new materials, and other circumftances, are requifite. H. J. T.
Preface to his edition of Milton's Smaller Poems.
a work rarely inspected, and too pedantick and cumberfome to attract many readers, have been often amply indebted, without even the moft diftant hint of acknowledgement." His illuftrations in these volumes will be rarely found uninterefting. To him fucceeded the elegant Addifon, by whofe "blandifhments of gentleness and facility, Milton has been made an univerfal favourite, with whom readers of every clafs think it neceflary to be acquainted." His effays on the Paradife Loft are here printed as a Preliminary Differtation; the remarks on each particular book not being detached from the general obfervations on the Poem, because the author himself was defirous that the reader thould not neglect to view the whole extent of his criticifin. By the fame critick Comus and L'Allegro had been before commended. In 1732, Dr. Bentley published a fplendid edition of the Paradife Loft, by which he acquired no honour. His fpecious pretences of an interpolated text, and his arbitrary method of emendation, were received with derifion and disgust. Yet there are fome notes, in the edition, which befpeak the unvitiated tafte of this eminent fcholar, and to which the claffical reader will always thankfully fubfcribe. Immediately after the publication of this edition, the admirers of Milton were gratified by Dr. Pearce's mafterly and candid refutation of the editor's chimerical corrections: And the Review of the Text of Paradife Loft furnished abundant annotations, at once inftructive and delightful. In 1734, the two Richardfons publifhed their Expla
Dr. Johnfon's Life of Addifon.
See the Prolegomena in the fecond volume of this edition, p. 18. Dr. Johnfon alfo wrote his Effay on Milton's Verification, in order to ferve as a continuation of this criticifm. See the Proleg. in the fecond vol. pp. 152, 156.
Tatler, No. 98. Nov. 24, 1709.
Spectator, No. 249. Dec. 15, 1711.
natory Notes on the Paradife Loft. Soon afterwards, Dr. Warburton communicated to the world fome remarks upon the fame poem. An Effay upon Milton's imitations of the Ancients, faid to be written by a gentleman of North Britain, whofe name, it is believed, has not been divulged; the Letters concerning poetical Tranflations, afcribed to Auditor Benfon; and the Critical Obfervations on Shakspeare, in which are interspersed remarks upon Milton, by Mr. Upton; were the next publications, from which Dr. Newton profeffes to have derived affiftance. But, befides the flower of those which had been already published, he added many new obfervations both of others and his own. He was indebted, for feveral ingenious illuftrations of Paradife Loft to his relation, Dr. Greenwood. He was alfo obliged by the use of Dr. Heylin's manufcript remarks on the fame poem; which had been before communicated to Bentley, and of which the greater part (according to his account) had been difingenuously adopted,
B. i. ver. 5. facred top.
f" I cannot," if I may employ Milton's expreffions, "think" Bentley "fo to feek, or fo unprincipled in" criticifm's "book," as to be guilty of this meanniefs. I have been lately favoured, by the Rev. J. Mitford, (in whofe poffeffion this literary curiofity now is,) with the examination of Tonfon's quarto edition of Paradife Loft, 1720, containing Bentley's alterations of the text, as well as various memoranda for notes. These are probably the first expreflions and remarks of the great critick, in regard to the labour which he had undertaken. It may be acceptable to the curious reader, (and it is evident that they do not minutely accord with Bentley's edition,) if I prefent him with fpecimens from the beginning and end of the poem.
ver. 13. adventurous wing.
ver. 16. verfe, (5, 15.) then fong.
th' heart upright. (221. 2, 72.)
ver. 28. deep gulph.
ver. 34. whofe wile. (646. 9, 85. And note at the bottom, Ephef. vi. 11. Wile, craft, guile, fraud.)