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HE present Edition of the Poetical
and Profe Works of Milton has been S R carefully printed from the Author's
s es copies; the orthography so peculiar in the writings of Milton has been scrupulously preserved: and if an authority were required for closely following the text of an author, it is only necessary to quote the words of the Rev. John Keble; who, in the preface to Hooker, says, “ however both in this question (punctuation) and still more in that of spelling, the Editor acknowledges that he should himself prefer an exact reprint of the original, excepting, of course, palpable errors of the press. In one respect especially, i. e. as a specimen of language, ancient books lose very much of their value by the neglect of ancient orthography."
The most authentic likeness of Milton appeared with his History of Britain, which was printed in 1670; it was drawn “ from the life,” when he was 62 years old, by William Faithorne, and engraved also by him: the portrait which faces the title page of this volume is engraved by William Humphreys, and is a faithful copy from that by Faithorne; the line under the portrait and the name are fac-similes of Milton's handwriting, from
a copy of Aratus' Phænomena, now in the British Museum.
The copyright of Paradise Lost was sold to Samuel Symmons for five pounds; who was to pay a further five pounds when the first impression, which was to consist of thirteen hundred copies should be sold and retailed off; and other five pounds at the end of the second impression; and five pounds more at the end of the third impression. The original agreement, dated 27 April, 1667, is now in the collection of Samuel Rogers, Esq. It was once in the posseflion of the Publisher of this Edition, and was sold by him for one hundred guineas. A fac-simile of this agreement, with Milton's autograph and seal, appears at p. clxxxix of this volume.
For the elaborate pedigree of the family of Milton, which precedes the Life, the publisher is indebted to the kindness of Sir Charles Young, Garter King at Arms.
The Life is formed on that which appeared by the same writer in the Aldine edition of the Poetical Works of Milton, 1831, with some additions and alterations.
May 1, 1851.
CONTENTS TO VOL. I.
Il Penterolo · · · · · · · ·
VII. [On his being arrived to the age of Twenty-three).
xi. (On the Detraction which followed upon my writing
certain Treatises] . . . . . . . . . . 103
| lon] • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 165
VIII. Whavirtuous your paret Leylowed upon my
Ad Joannem Roufium Oxonienfis Academiæ Bibliothecarium