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[Ixtrifted from Dr. Newton's OAavo Edition of I773.J
iThatb been recommended to meby some great persons, as well as by several friends, to complete the edition of Milton s Poetical Works :for though the Paradise Lost bethefiower of epic poesy, and. the noblest effort of genius, yet here are other poems which are no less excellent in their kind, and if they have not that sublimityand majesty, are at leastequally beautifuland pleasing to the imagination. And the same method that was taken in the publication of the Paradise Lost, is pursued in this edition of the Paradise Reguind and other Poems, to exhibit the true and geguine text according to Milton's own editions. Of the Paradise Regain'd and Samson Agonistestbere was only one edition in Milton's life-time, in the year 1671; and this we have made our standard, correcting only what the Author himself would have corretled. Dr. Bentley pronounces it to be without faults, but there is a large table of errata at the end, which instead of being emended, beve rather been augmentedin tbefollowing editions, and'twere never correSled in any edition that I have seen before the present. Of the other Poems there were two editions in Milton slife-time,thefirstin 1645,beforehewas blind, and the other with some additions in 1673.
Of the Mask tbert was likewise an edition published by Mr. Henry Lawes in 1637 i and of the Mask and several other poems there are extant copies in Milton's own hand writing, preserved in the library of Trinity College in Cambridgei and all these copies and editions have been carefully collated and compared together. The Manuscript, indeed, hath been of singular service in rectifying several passages, and especially in the Sonnets, some of •which were not printed till many years after Milton's death, and were then printed imperfeel and deficient both in sense and metre, but are novj, by the help of the Manuscript, restored to their just harmony and original perfetlion.
The Latin poems I cannot say are equal to several of bis English compositionsi butyet they are not without their merit; they are not a cento, like most of the modern Latin poetry; there is spirit, invention, and other marks and tokens of a rising genius ;for it should be considered, &at the greater part of them were written while the Author was under twenty. They are printed correclly, according to bis own -editions in 164.5 an^ 167 3.
I Who ere while the happy Garden sung,
By one Man's disobedience lost, now sing
Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,
By one Man's firm obedience fully try'd
Through all temptation, and the Tempter foil'd 5
In all his wiles, defeated and repuls'd,
And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness.
Thou Spi'rit who ledst this glorious eremite
And unrecorded left through many an age,
Now had the great Proclamer, with a voice
From Nazareth the son of Joseph deem'd
The Spi'rit descended, while the Father's voice
Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd,
O ancient Pow'rs of Air and this wide world, For much more willingly I mention Air, 45
This our old conquest, than remember Hell,
Since Adam and his facil consort Eve
Broken be not intended all our power
His birth to our just fear gave no small cause,