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the Mitre in Fleet Street, was the publisher of the new volume. He was, however, the publisher only, or agent for the printer "J. M." Such, at all events, is the inference of so good an authority in such matters as the late Mr. Leigh Sotheby, who, after quoting the title of the volume, as above, adds: "It is interesting here to notice that the initials of Milton occur in the "imprint as the printer of the volume. Such was frequently the
case when a work was printed solely at the expense of the "author." In connexion with which observation we may here note the entry of the volume in the books of the Stationers' Company:
Septemb. 10, 1670: Mr. John Starkey entered for his copie, under the hands of Mr. Tho. Tomkyns and Mr. Warden Roper, a copie or Booke Intituled Paradise regain'd, A Poem in 4 Bookes. The Author John Milton. To which is added Samson Agonistes, a drammadic [sic] Poem, by the same Author.
The volume itself furnishes an additional item of information. On the page opposite the general title-page at the beginning is this brief imprint, "Licensed, July 2, 1670"-from which it appears that the necessary licence had been obtained by Milton, from the censor Tomkyns. Apparently Tomkyns gave this licence more easily than he had given that for Paradise Lost.
The volume containing the first editions of Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes is handsome enough in appearance---the paper thicker than that of the first edition of Paradise Lost, and the type more distinct and more widely spaced. But the printing, especially the pointing, is not nearly so accurate. Within the first few pages one finds commas where there should be full stops or colons, and vice versâ, and becomes aware that the person or persons who assisted Milton in seeing the volume through the press cannot have been so careful as those who performed the like duty for the former poem--where, though the pointing is not our modern pointing, it rarely conflicts with the sense.
Whatever was the number of copies printed, it sufficed the demand during the rest of Milton's life, and for six 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
* Ramblings in the Elucidation of the Autograph of Milton, 1861, p. 83.
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. Appended to the volume is an advertisement, in four pages, of books printed for Starkey. They are chiefly medical and historical; but among them is an edition of Sir William Davenant's collected works.
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; and in the eighteenth century I count nine separate editions of Paradise Regained, Samson, and the Minor Poems (the most notable being Tonson's of 1713, Fenton's of 1725, and Tonson's of 1747),
against thirty-five or thirty-six separate editions of Paradise Lost -not reckoning the expressly collective editions of all the Poetical Works which appeared in the meantime. Exceptional editions, I believe, are one of Paradise Regained by itself at Edinburgh in 1785, another at Alnwick in 1793, and another at London, in quarto, with variorum notes by Dunster, in 1795. I find no case after 1688 of the re-association of the Paradise Regained and the Samson, in an edition apart from the other poems.
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. 43, 44), there are indeed several from the 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 disobedience lost, now sing
Recovered Paradise to all mankind,
And Eden raised in the waste Wilderness."
On which 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, &c. 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, by his casual observation, in the cottage at Chalfont St. Giles, "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 "sat some time in a muse," and then talked of something else. But an idea had flashed through him—the idea of a sequel to Paradise Lost, to be called Paradise Regained. Had he not, in Paradise Lost itself, assumed, and pointed throughout to, 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
Restore us and regain the blissful seat,
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.* Might not that new event also be made
* 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.
the theme of a poem? And, if so, would it not be fit, as his young Quaker friend had hinted, that he, who had sung the loss of Eden, should treat also this theme of its recovery?
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. In his hands, at least, 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 men, and its results. Seeking for the most exact antithesis to this in the life of the (6 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 behoved to 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 down 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--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, ght 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