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years beyond. When he died in 1674, there was a second edition of the Paradise Lost, to be followed by a third in 1678; but it was not till 1680 that there was a second edition of the Paradise Regained and Samson. It was brought out by the same publisher, Starkey, and is of inferior appearance and getting-up to the first, the size still small octavo, but the type closer, so as to reduce the number of pages to 132. The title-pages remain the same; but the two poems are now paged continuously, and not separately. There seems to have been no particular care in revising for the press, for errors noted in the list of errata in the former edition remain uncorrected in the text of. this.
Third editions, both of the Paradise Regained and of the Samson, appeared in folio in 1688, sold, either together or separately, by a new publisher,-Randal Taylor; and these are commonly found bound up with the fourth or folio edition of Paradise Lost, published by another bookseller in the same year. From this time forward, in fact, the connexion between Paradise Regained and Samson, originally accidental, is not kept up, save for mere convenience in publication. The tendency was to editions of all Milton's poetical works collectively,-in which editions it was natural to put Paradise Lost first, then Paradise Regained, then Samson Agonistes, and after these the Minor Poems. The greater demand for Paradise Lost, however, making it convenient to divide the Poetical Works in publication, two methods of doing so presented themselves. On the one hand, there was an obvious propriety, if the Poems were to be divided at all, in detaching Paradise Regained from Samson and the rest, and attaching it to Paradise Lost; and, accordingly, there are instances of such conjoint editions of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, apart from the other poems, in 1692, 1775, and 1776. But a more convenient plan, mechanically, inasmuch as it divided the Poems collectively into two portions of nearly equal bulk, was to let Paradise Lost stand by itself in one or more volumes, and throw Paradise Regained, Samson, and the Minor Poems together into a separate issue in one or more volumes, the two sets combinable or not into a collective edition. This plan, first adopted by Tonson, in 1695, has prevailed since.
There is not the least reason for doubting Ellwood's statement as to the way in which the subject of Paradise Regained was suggested to Milton. There is no such evidence as in the case of Paradise Lost of long meditation of the subject previous to the actual composition of the poem. Among Milton's jottings, in 1640-1, of subjects for dramas or other poems (see Introduction to Paradise Lost, pp. 16, 18) there are indeed several from New Testament History. There is a somewhat detailed scheme of a drama, to be called Baptistes, on the subject of the death of John the Baptist at the hands of Herod. There are also seven notes of subjects from the Life of Christ,—the first entitled Christus Patiens, accompanied by a few words which show that, under that title, Milton had an idea of a drama on the scene of the Agony in the Garden; the others entered simply as follows: "Christ Born," "Herod Massacring, or Rachel Weeping (Matt. ii.)," "Christ Bound," "Christ Crucified," "Christ Risen,' " and "Lazarus (John xi.)" But not one of those eight subjects, thought of in Milton's early manhood, it will be seen, corresponds with the precise subject of Paradise Regained, executed when he was verging on sixty. The subject of that poem is expressly and exclusively the temptation of Christ by the Devil in the Wilderness, after his baptism by John, as related in Matt. iv. 1-11, Mark i. 12, 13, and Luke iv. 1-13. Commentators on the Poem, indeed, have remarked it as somewhat strange that Milton should have given so general a title as "Paradise Regained" to a poem representing only this particular passage of the Gospel History. For the subject of the Poem is thus announced in the opening lines:
"I, who erewhile the Happy Garden sung
By one man's firm obedience fully tried
On this passage, and on the Poem generally, a commentator (Thyer), representing a general feeling, makes this remark : "It may seem a little odd that Milton should impute the recovery of Paradise to this short scene of our Saviour's
life upon earth, and not rather extend it to his Agony, Crucifixion, etc. But the reason, no doubt, was that Paradise regained by our Saviour's resisting the temptations of Satan might be a better contrast to Paradise lost by our first parents too easily yielding to the same seducing Spirit." This remark is perfectly just; but it receives elucidation and point from Ellwood's story of the way in which the poem came into existence.
The young Quaker's observation, "Thou hast said much here of Paradise Lost; but what hast thou to say of Paradise Found?" had stirred something in Milton's mind. He made no answer, but "sate some time in a muse," and then talked of something else. But an idea had flashed upon him,—the idea of a sequel to Paradise Lost, to be called Paradise Regained. Had he not, in Paradise Lost itself, assumed the possibility of such a sequel? Thus, even in the opening lines of the poem, defining its scope :
"Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree whose mortal taste
Here he had actually limited beforehand the horizon of the poem on which he was engaged. He had limited it by the perception of a new event in the distance, retrieving the catastrophe he was about to sing.1 Might not that new event also be made the theme of a poem ?—This idea once in Milton's mind, there is no difficulty in seeing how the story of Paradise Regained, as conceived by him, should have concentrated itself in the single passage of the Gospel History known as the Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness, rather than diffused itself through the entire range of Christ's ministry and passion. The second poem must correspond with the first, -must presuppose it, and be the artistic antithesis to it. Now, what had been the theme of the first poem? The temptation of the first of
1 It occurs to me as not impossible that Milton, having finished Paradise Regained in manuscript before Paradise Lost was printed, may have touched into the text of Paradise Lost here and there such occult pre-advertisements of its successor as that in the opening lines.
men, and its results. Seeking for the most exact antithesis to this in the life of the "one greater Man" by whom these results were to be retrieved, of what would the poet so readily think as of the Temptation to which He was subjected with an issue so different? Why not concentrate, poetically or representatively, the whole of Christ's achievement, in undoing the effects of the Fall and restoring Paradise, on the issue of that second Temptation which stood out in such contrast with the first? If a single portion of Christ's history were to be taken, it must necessarily be this portion, where, more directly than in any other, Christ is brought into contact with the Evil One who had figured as the hero of the first poem, and had there borne away the victory. That same Satan, the story of whose fortunes, from his rebellion in Heaven on to his temptation of Adam and conquest thereby of Earth and the Universe of Man, forms the true thread of events in the first poem, here reappears in changed guise, after some thousands of years of his diabolic life amid those mundane elements the possession of which he had won for himself and his crew. He reappears; and, remembering all that we had read of him before, we are called upon to behold him once again in action. We are to behold him meeting Jesus, or the Second Adam, in a deliberate encounter more protracted than that with the first, and feeling himself foiled, and knowing in consequence that the prophesied era of the world's redemption has arrived, and the cessation of his own rule before a stronger force. In order that Satan, who had figured so largely in the first poem, might have his due place in the second, it was almost necessary to select the Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness as the incident to be developed in the second. Any theological objection that there might be to the seeming imputation thereby of the recovery of Paradise to one short scene in Christ's life, and that but preliminary to his main recorded ministry, might be obviated by representing the scene so that it should be typical of the ministry as a whole. It might be impressed on readers that here, at the very beginning of Christ's ministry, Satan, encountering Him, knew that he had met his match, and that all that followed in the whole ministry, to its close, was virtually certain from the date of this initial act of superiority over Satan.
Only by firmly remembering that it was as a sequel to Paradise Lost that Paradise Regained thus grew into shape in Milton's mind will the second poem be rightly understood. The commentators, indeed, as they have sought the "origin of Paradise Lost," or hints for its origin, in all sorts of previous poems, Italian, Latin, and Dutch, on the same subject (see Introduction to the Poem), have, though less laboriously, searched for previous poems from which Milton may have taken hints for his Paradise Regained. Todd, in his preliminary observations entitled " Origin of Paradise Regained," refers to the following pieces as possibly in Milton's recollection while he was writing the Poem,Bale's Brefe Comedy or Enterlude concernynge the Temptacyon of our Lorde and Saver Jesus Christ by Sathan in the Desart (1538); Giles Fletcher's Christ's Victorie and Triumph (1611), a poem in four parts, the second of which, entitled "Christ's Triumph on Earth," describes the Temptation; also La Humanità del Figlivolo di Dio, a poem in ten books, by Theofilo Folengo of Mantua (1533), La Vita et Passione di Christo, a poem by Antonio Cornozano (1518), and one or two other Italian poems, cited at random for their titles and not from knowledge. The only one of these references worth much is that to Giles Fletcher's religious poem. Giles Fletcher, who died 1623, and his brother Phineas Fletcher, who outlived him more than twenty-five years, were among the truest poets in the interval between Spenser and Milton, and the highest in that ideal or Spenserian faculty which Milton admired. He must have known the works of both brothers well, and not least the really fine poem of Giles Fletcher to which Todd refers. But recollection of it can have had no effect on the scheme of his own Paradise Regained. That was determined simply by the poet's own meditations on those passages of the Evangelists which narrate the Temptation in the Wilderness,—especially the eleven verses in Matt. iv. and the thirteen in Luke iv.,-with a view to construct therefrom an imagination of the whole scene, which, while it should be true to the scriptural text, should fit as a sequel to Paradise Lost. The result was the poem as we now have it,-a poem in which the brief Scriptural narrative of the Temptation is expanded into four books, and yet the additions and filling-in are consistent with the texts which have suggested them.