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When Tonson became the sole owner of the copyright the imprint of the title was altered to

Printed for Jacob Tonson at the Judge's- | Head in Chancerylane near Fleet- | street.


Copies of the fifth edition with these title-pages are in the Library of Queens' College, Cambridge, and in both Paradise Lost is followed by the 1688 edition of Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes.

In 1695 Randal Taylor's interest in Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes had been transferred to John Whitlock, and the two poems were issued in that year with the same titles as in the 1688 edition, except that Whitlock's name was substituted for Taylor's. They are printed page for page, but from a fresh setting of the type. Some copies of the edition of 1695 contain only Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes, but in others these are combined with Hume's Notes on Paradise Lost, and the Minor Poems, of which Tonson had acquired the copyright. The volume thus constituted a complete edition of Milton's Poetical Works.

This appeared with the general title

THE POETICAL | WORKS | OF | Mr John Milton. | CONTAINING, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regain'd, | Sampson Agonistes, and his Poems | on several Occasions. | TOGETHER WITH | Explanatory NOTES on each Book of the | PARADISE LOST, and a TABLE | never before Printed. | LONDON:| Printed for Jacob Tonson, at the Judges-Head near the InnerTemple | Gate in Fleet-street, MDCXCV.

This is the full title of the complete collection of Milton's Poems, of which Tonson had the control, although he may not have had the entire copyright. The taste of purchasers appears to have been consulted, for some copies, as has been said, only contain the Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and

Samson Agonistes, without the Notes or the Minor Poems. Notwithstanding, in these copies the title to Paradise Lost is,

Paradise Lost. | A | POEM | In Twelve Books. | The AUTHOUR JOHN MILTON. The Sixth Edition, with Sculptures. To which is added, Explanatory NOTES upon each Book, and a TABLE | to the POEM, never before Printed. | LONDON, | Printed by Tho. Hodgkin, for Jacob Tonson, at the Judge's-Head near the Inner-Temple-Gate, in Fleetstreet. MDCXCV.

The Minor Poems which were included in the complete Works, comprising everything which had appeared in the edition of 1673, had in the 1695 edition a separate title-page:

POEMS UPON | Several Occasions. | Compos'd at several times. BY Mr. JOHN MILTON. | The Third Edition. | LONDON: | Printed for Jacob Tonson at the Judge's Head, near the Inner- | Temple-Gate in Fleet-street. 1695. |

Before 1705 Tonson must have acquired the whole of the copyright in Milton's Poems, for from this time there were issued editions by him in 8vo. in 1705 and 1707; in 12mo. of Paradise Lost in 1711 and 1719, and of the other poems in 1713. All these were booksellers' reprints, and shew no signs of editorial care.

In 1720 a very handsome quarto edition in two volumes appeared under the superintendence of Thomas Tickell, the friend of Addison, and in consequence Addison's Notes on Paradise Lost are printed at the end of the first volume.

In 1725 Tonson published the 12th edition of Paradise Lost, to which was prefixed an account of Milton's Life by Elijah Fenton, whose name however does not appear in connexion with it till the 13th edition was issued in 1727. Fenton suggested two or three emendations of the text and revised the punctuation. The 14th edition was printed in 1730, the year of Fenton's death, and the 15th in 1738. The

copyright probably continued in the Tonson family till the death of the third Jacob Tonson in 1767.

In 1732 Richard Bentley, at the suggestion of Queen Caroline, was rash enough to put his hand to an edition of Paradise Lost, a task for which he was eminently unqualified. He neither understood Milton's language nor his rhythm, and having no imagination of his own proceeded to deal with the poem in the spirit of a pedagogue correcting a schoolboy's exercise. Whole passages were relegated to the margin as spurious, in obedience to a theory he had framed that they had been interpolated by a fraudulent editor, who had taken advantage of Milton's blindness to corrupt the text with his own worthless compositions. Of Bentley's emendations I have only recorded such as are not absolutely impossible, but there is hardly one that is necessary. After a considerable experience I feel justified in saying that in most cases ignorance and conceit are the fruitful parents of conjectural emendation.

Bentley's work was not allowed to pass unchallenged. It was quickly followed by "A Review of the Text of Milton's Paradise Lost: In which the Chief of Dr Bentley's Emendations are Consider'd; And several other Emendations and Observations Offer'd to the Public."

The book appeared in three parts, of which the first and second were printed in 1732 and the third in 1733 with an Appendix to the whole. It was anonymous, but it is known to have been written by Zachary Pearce, at that time Vicar of St Martin's in the Fields, and formerly Fellow of Bentley's own college. Newton truly says of it, "His Review of the Text of the Paradise Lost is not only a most complete answer to Dr Bentley, but may serve as a pattern to all future critics, of sound learning and just reasoning, joined with the greatest candor and gentleness of manners."

In 1749 Dr Thomas Newton, afterwards Bishop of Bristol, brought out an edition of Paradise Lost in two 4to volumes, "with Notes of various Authors," his object being as he

explains in his Preface to publish it "as the work of a classic author, cum notis variorum." His plan was completed by the appearance in 1752 of Paradise Regained and the remainder of the poems also in quarto. This is the first edition which had had any care bestowed upon it beyond that of the printer's reader. It was reprinted at least eight times before the end of the century, when it was superseded by Todd's edition. The authorities for the notes collected by Newton, as given in the Editor's Preface, were Patrick Hume, Bentley, Pearce, Richardson, Warburton, Lauder, Benson, Upton, Heylin, whose notes were appropriated by Bentley, Jortin, Thyer, and Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons.

In 1785, Thomas Warton brought out an edition of the Minor Poems, and a second appeared in 1791 after his death. In 1795, Paradise Regained with Notes of various Authors was edited by Charles Dunster, M.A. The edition I have used is that of 1800.

In 1798 Comus was edited by H. J. Todd with Notes of various Commentators, and "a copy of the Mask from a manuscript belonging to His Grace the Duke of Bridgewater." This Ms. is now in the Library of Bridgewater House, and by the kindness of the Earl of Ellesmere I have been allowed to collate it. It is called by Todd the Ashridge Ms. and is quoted in the Notes to the present edition as "Egerton MS." or "Eg. MS." In 1801 Todd published a complete edition of Milton's Poetical Works. This was followed by a second in 1809, and a third in 1826. After this the editions of most importance from a critical point of view are Mitford's in 1832, Keightley's in 1859, and Professor Masson's in 1874. There are of course a multitude of others, but I have only found it necessary to consult them occasionally, and I have reason to believe that a careful collation of them would only lead to a record of variations due to errors of the press.

Besides the printed copies, I have collated the MS. of Comus now in the Library of Bridgewater House, which has

been already mentioned, and the мs. of some of the Minor Poems preserved in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, and edited by me in 1899 at the request of the College Council. The MS. of Comus is supposed to be one of the many copies of the masque made by or for Henry Lawes, and the Ms. in Trinity Library is mainly in Milton's own hand.

In three instances I have departed from the printed text and have preferred to follow the authority of Milton himself. In Lycidas, line 10, I read "he well knew "instead of "he knew," because in the Trinity мs. Milton has twice written "he well knew," and in a copy of the first printed edition, which is in the Cambridge University Library, Milton has in his own hand inserted "well." In Sonnet XIII. 9, I read "lend" instead of "send," which is the reading of the edition of 1673, because in the Trinity MS. "lend" is the reading of three copies, two of which are in Milton's own hand and the third in the handwriting of an amanuensis. On nearly the same authority in Sonnet XIV. 12 I read "in glorious themes" instead of "on glorious themes," for in this case Milton's own two copies have "in," and the amanuensis misled the printer who substituted "on."

Another Ms. authority which I have sometimes quoted is Capell Ms. This is a copy of Paradise Lost transcribed with elaborate care and prepared for the press by Edward Capell, the editor of Shakespeare. It was never published, and the volume is with the rest of the Capell Collection in Trinity Library. The editor intended to dedicate it to Pearce, Bishop of Rochester, who has already been mentioned in connexion with Bentley's edition. The date of the Preface is Jan. 23, 1767, but a note at the beginning of Book I. indicates that the transcript was begun July 23, 1759, and it was finished, according to a note at the end, Dec. 18, 1760. The text is followed by a Table of Various Readings.

The notation I have adopted in the Notes which record the Various Readings is easily explained. The earliest editions

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