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neglect to view the whole extent of his criticism. By the same critick Comus and © L'Allegro had been before commended. In 1732, Dr. Bentley published a splendid edition of the Paradise Lost, by which he acquired no honour. His specious pretences of an interpolated text, and his arbitrary method of emendation, were received with derision and disgust. Yet there are some notes, in the edition, which bespeak the unvitiated taste of this eminent scholar, and to which the classical reader will always thankfully subscribe. Immediately after the publication of this edition, the admirers of Milton were gratified by Dr. Pearce's masterly and candid refutation of the editor's chimerical corrections: And the Review of the Text of Paradise Lost furnished abundant annotations, at once instructive and delightful. In 1734, the two Richardsons published their Explanatory Notes on the Paradise Lost. Soon afterwards, Dr. Warburton communicated to the world some remarks upon the same poem. Essay upon Milton's Imitations of the Ancients,


See the Prolegomena in the present edition, vol. ii. Dr. Johnson also wrote his Essay on Milton's Versification, in order to serve as a continuation of this criticism. See this also in the second volume.

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said to be written by a gentleman of North Britain, whose name, it is believed, has not been divulged; the Letters concerning poetical Translations, ascribed to Auditor Benson; and the Critical Observations on Shakspeare, in which are interspersed remarks upon Milton, by Mr. Upton; were the next publications, from which Dr. Newton professes to have derived assistance. But, besides the flower of those which had been already published, he added many new observations both of others and his own. He was indebted, for several ingenious illustrations of Paradise Lost to his relation, Dr. Greenwood. He was also obliged by the use of Dr. Heylin's manuscript remarks on the same poem; which had been before communicated to Bentley, and of which the greater part (according to his account) had been disingenuously adopted, by that critick, without ac


"I cannot," if I may employ Milton's expressions, "think" Bentley "so to seek, or so unprincipled in" criticism's "book," as to be guilty of this meanness. I was favoured, before the edition of 1809 was published, by the Rev. J. Mitford, (in whose possession this literary curiosity was,) with the examination of Tonson's quarto edition of Paradise Lost, 1720, containing Bentley's alterations of the text, as well as various memoranda for notes. These are probably the first expressions and remarks of the great critick, in regard to the labour which he had undertaken. It may be acceptable to the curious reader, (and it is evident that they do not minutely accord with Bentley's edition,) if I present him with specimens from the beginning and end of the poem.

knowledgement. By the manuscript communications of Richardson, Jortin, and Warburton; and more particularly by those of the modest and liberal Mr. Thyer; his commentary on Paradise Lost was considerably enlarged. To the same learned coadjutors, with the addition of such respectable names as Sympson, and Seward, the

B. i. ver. 5. sacred top.

ver. 13. adventurous wing.

ver. 15. I pursue.

ver. 16. verse, (5, 15.) then song.

ver. 18.

ver. 26.

th' heart upright. (221. 2, 72.)
to Man.

ver. 28. deep gulph.

ver. 34. whose wile. (646. 9, 85. And note at the bottom,

Ephes. vi. 11.

ver. 36. Thee mother, &c.

Wile, craft, guile, fraud.)

ver. 39. God's Son. (5. 660. And at the bottom,

To place in glory above the Son of God.)

ver. 46. ruin and confusion.

ver. 48. circling. (2. 647. And at the bottom,

B. xii. ver. 599.

ver. 603.

Inchain'd with adamant rock and circling fire.
Also, over circling is written solid.)

her first to know.

with cause

Humbled for evils past

ver. 610. Whither thou went'st, and whence return'st

ver. 643. blade. (592. xi. 120.

ver. 648. Then


And note below, flaming

Gen. i. 24.)

wearied, afterwards carefull,

next social, and lastly

with social steps their way

Through Eden took, with hope and promise


And for hope and promise is also given heavn'ly favour.

editors of Beaumont and Fletcher; of the Rev. Mr. Meadowcourt, Prebendary of Worcester; of the Rev. Mr. Calton of Lincolnshire; and of Mr. Peck the antiquary; Dr. Newton's subsequent edition of Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, and the Smaller Poems, was also gratefully indebted.

In the year after the publication of Dr. Newton's edition of Paradise Lost, there was published at Glasgow the first Book of that poem with a large and very learned commentary; from which some notes are selected in this edition. They, who are acquainted with this commentary, will concur with me in wishing that the annotator had continued his ingenious and elaborate criticisms on the whole poem. That annotator, I have been told, was Mr. Callander. And since the publication of the first edition of these volumes, I was favoured, by the learned Malcolm Laing, Esq. with a small interleaved Copy of Paradise Lost, containing memoranda of Mr. Callander for notes on the whole poem, and a few remarks completed.

In a letter from the late Mr. Mason to Dodsley, the bookseller, dated May 31, 1747, which was in the possession of my friend, the late


Isaac Reed, Esq. an editorial intention is announced; which, though not accomplished, it may not be improper here to notice; as it coincides with the opinion of him, who has so ably illustrated the picturesque description, and romantick imagery, of the poems which Mr. Mason mentions; and to whose illustrations the editor must next express his obligations. "I could wish to know," Mr. Mason says, "whether Tonson or any other Bookseller has a property in the second volume of Milton. F have often thought it a great pity that many of the beautiful pieces it contains should be so little read as they certainly are. I fancy this has arisen from the bad thing they are tack'd to. I want vastly to have a separate edition of the Tragedy, Mask, Lycidas, L'Allegro, &c. And I fancy I shall some time or other undertake it myself; but, if you think that it would sell at present, I would willingly give you my assistance either for a preface, or notes, or any thing that should be thought necessary; and this merely for the sake of the incomparable poet, whom I am not content with having considered and praised as the Author of Paradise Lost alone."

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