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Any attempt, however humble, to make the Poems of Milton more widely circulated, intelligently read, and wisely appreciated, needs no apology. I may state, however, the simple incident to which the present edition owes its origin. Five years ago, when preparing my “Compendium of English Literature," I had occasion to look at Todd's “Verbal Index” to Milton, in connection with “Lycidas," and found the first two references to which I turned, to be wrong. Surprised at this, I soon after, at my leisure, compared every word in “Lycidas” with this Index, and found, in its references to that short poem of one hundred and ninety-three lines, SIXTY-THREE mistakes ! This discovery made me resolve to prepare, as early as my numerous engagements would permit, an edition of Milton's Poems, with an Index subjoined on which some reliance for accuracy might be placed. But though I began the examination of Todd's Index more than three years ago, so laborious has been the work that I have been able but recently to bring it to a close. The result is, that, after two careful examinations, (in the first of which I was assisted, in some portions, by two or three literary friends,) there have been found THREE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-TWO mistakes! This I could scarcely believe, had I not marked the number on each page at its foot, and had not "he careful addition of the figures brought about the astounding result; so that, on the whole, the work of examining and comparing Todd's Index has been about equivalent to that of making out, independently, an entirely new one. I need hardly say how richly I have been repaid for my labour, in my constant communings, day by day, with the mind of the immortal bard, whose astonishing learning and genius have continually excited in me fresh admiration and delight. No work could more amply bring with it its own rich reward,
. While I sit with thee, I seem in Heaven;
Par. Lost, viii. 210. Great pains have also been taken to present a correct text. Sir Egerton Brydges' London edition, in six volumes, was put into the hands of the printer to “set up” from; but the proofs have, from the outset, been read and compared with three other editions, namely, Todd's, 7 vols., London, 1809; Mitford's " Aldine,” 3 vols., London, 1845; and “Milton's own,” as reprinted by Pickering, 6 vols., London, 1851. It was well that this care was taken, for numerous errors were found throughout in the text of Brydges. I claim not, of course, that my edition is immaculate: but I can truly say that great and unwearied pains have been taken to avoid errors both in the text and in the Index.
The notes, with the preliminary and subsequent “Remarks” to each poem, have mainly been selected from the numerous preceding annotators, with such discrimination, and I hope it may be thought with such taste, as a work like this demands. It would have been easy to swell these to any extent; but a book is not always valuable in proportion to its size, and my great aim in preparing this edition of Milton was, to have one that, while it would be critical enough for the scholar, full enough for the general reader, and beautiful enough for the table of the opulent, should, above all, be cheap enough for the school-room and for the dwellings of those whose limited means prevent them from buying expensive books. In both the latter I hope, especially, that this edition may be frequently seen,--for scarcely any higher blessing could we desire for our land, than that the minds and hearts of the people and the people's children should be imbued with the pure morality, the manly truth, the lofty sentiments, the profound wisdom, and the sublime imagery of these deeply spiritual and soul-stirring poems.
Having thus aimed, not at originality, but simply to make the MOST PSEPUL edition of England's and the world's greatest poet, I now commit it to an intelligent public to decide how far I have succeeded,
CHARLES DEXTER CLEVELAND. Philadelphia, January 1, 1853,
Since the fifth edition was published, I have seen, in the hands of the Hon. Charles Sumner, the Album Amicorum of a Neapolitan nobleman, Camillus Cordoyn, at Geneva, who was wont to get the autographs of distinguished men who passed through that city on their way to or from Italy. There are many names of great interest in it, but that whichi outweighs them all is Milton's, of which I have had a facsimile taken, through the kindness of Mr. Sumner, and now present it here, as a gem of the rarest value:
if Vestue feelle, were Heaven it selte would scope to her, Calun non anima muto du frans mare Joannes Miltonui
Anglus. Jang eo. ibag
It will be observed that Milton changes the quo!" in from Horace from the third to the first person, which gives an increased interest to the beautiful lines of Coņus,-published just before he commenced his travels:-"The sky, not the mind, I change when I cross the sea ;' thus showing, in the language of the late William Ellery Channing, D. D.,
That to Milton the words from Comus were something more
C. D. C.
This first book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject, man's dis
obedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise, wherein he was placed. Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the serpent, or rather Satan in the serpent; who, revolting from God, and drawing to his side many legions of Angels, was by the command of God driven out of heaven with all his crew into the great deep. Which action passed over, the Poem hastes into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into hell, described here, not in the centre, for heaven and earth may be supposed as yet not made, certainly not yet accursed; but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Chaos: Here Satan, with his Angels lying on the burning lake, thunderstruck and astonished, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in order and dignity lay by him: they confer of their miserable fall. · Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded: they rise; their numbers, array of battel, their chief leaders named, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining heaven, but tells them lastly of a new world and a new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy or report in heaven: for that Angels were long before this visible creation, was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determine thereon, he refers to a full council. What his associates thence attempt. Pana dæmonium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly built out of the deep: the infernal Peers there sit in council.
OF Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
1. Of man's first disobedience. The poet' means by which they are brought about here lays before the reader the subject are to be unfolded by degrees, whilst here of the following work--the disobedience he offers to the reader's imagination only of our ancestors to the command of God such ideas as are most capable to inspire --the effects of that disobedience which him with reverence and attention. The Jost them Paradise; and the hope we are poem begins with the origin of evil in allowed to entertain, through the Divine our world, and the disobedience of our Goodness, of being restored to the liko ancestors to God-the cause of all our blissful state. Such are the great events WO.- CALLANDER. our poet proposes to celebrate. The
4. Till one greuter Man. Rom. v. 19.