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he fometimes hits the true meaning of the author furprisingly, and explains it properly. He had good natural parts but without erudition or learning, in which he was affifted by his fon, who is a man of taste and litterature, as well as of the greatest benevolence and good-nature. Mr. Warburton likewise has published some remarks upon the Paradise Loft, occafioned chiefly by Dr. Bentley's edition. They were printed fome years ago in the History of the works of the Learned, and he allowed me the free ufe of them: but upon looking into the Hiftory of the works of the Learned, to my regret I found that his remarks were continued no farther than the three first books, and what is become of his other papers, and how they were mislaid and loft, neither he nor I can apprehend; but the excellence of those which remain fufficiently evinces the great loss that we have fuftained in the others, which cannot now be recovered. He has done me the honor too of recommending this edition to the public in the preface to his Shakespear, but nothing could have recommended it more effectually than if it had been adorned by fome more of his notes and obfervations. There is a pamphlet intitled An Effay upon Milton's imitations of the Ancients, faid to be written by a Gentleman of North Britain; and there is another intitled Letters concerning poetical tranflations, and Virgil's and Milton's arts of verfe, commonly afcribed to Mr. Auditor Benfon: and of both thefe I have made fome ufe, as I have likewife of the learned Mr. Upton's Critical Obfervations on Shakespear, wherein he has occafionally interfperfed fome remarks upon Milton; and in fhort, like the bee, I have been VOL. I. B ftudious
ftudious of gathering fweets wherever I could find them growing.
But befides the flower of those which have been already published, here are feveral new obfervations offered to the world, both of others and my own. Dr. Heylin lent me the use of his manufcript remarks, but much the greater part of them had been rifled before by Dr. Bentley. It seems Dr. Heylin had once an intention of publishing a new edition of the Paradise Loft, and mentioned his defign to Dr. Bentley: but Dr. Bentley declaring at the fame time his resolution of doing it, Dr. Heylin modeftly defifted, and freely communicated what obfervations he had made to Dr. Bentley. And what does Dr. Bentley do? Why, he borrows the best and most plausible of his notes from Dr. Heylin, publishes them as his own, and never has the gratitude to make any acknowledgment, or fo much as any mention of his benefactor. I am obliged too to Mr. Jortin for fome remarks, which he conveyed to me by the hands of Dr. Pearce. They are chiefly upon Milton's imitations of the Ancients; but every thing that proceeds from him is of value, whether in poetry, criticism, or divinity; as appears from his Lufus Poetici, his Miscellaneous Obfervations upon authors, and his Discourses concerning the truth of the Chriftian Religion. Befides thofe already mentioned, Mr. Warburton has favored me with a few other notes in manufcript; I wish there had been more of them for the fake of the reader, for the loofe hints of fuch writers, like the flight sketches of great mafters in painting, are worth more than the labor'd pieces of others. And he very kindly lent me
Mr. Pope's Milton of Bentley's edition, wherein Mr. Pope had all along with his own hand fet fome mark of approbation, rectè, benè, pulchrè &c, in the margin over-againft fuch emendations of the Doctor's, as feemed to him juft and reasonable. was a fatisfaction to fee what fo great a genius thought particularly of that edition, and he appears throughout the whole to have been a very candid reader, and to have approved of more than really merits approbation. Mr. Richardfon the father has faid in his preface, that his fon had a very copious collection of fine paffages out of ancient and modern authors, by which Milton had profited; and this collection, which is written in the margin and between the lines of Mr. Hume's annotations, Mr. Richardfon the fon has put into my hands. Some little ufe I have made of it; and it might have been of greater fervice, and have faved me fome trouble, if I had not then almost completed this work. Mr. Thyer, the Librarian at Manchester, I have not the pleasure of knowing perfonally, but by his writings I am convinced that he must be a man of great learning, and as great humanity. It was late before I was informed that he had written any remarks upon the Paradife Loft, but he was very ready to communicate them, and for the greater difpatch fent me his interleav'd Milton, wherein his remarks were written: but unluckily for him, for me, and for the public, the book thro' the negligence of the carrier was dropt upon the road, and cannot fince be found. Mr. Thyer however hath had the goodness to endevor to repair the lofs to me and to the public by writing what he could recollect, and fending me a fheet or two full of reB 2 marks
marks almost every poft for several weeks together: and tho' feveral of them came too late to be inferted into the body of the work, yet they will be found in the Appendix, which is made for the fake of them principally. It is unneceffary to say any thing in their commendation; they will fufficiently recommend themselves. Some other affiftance too I have received from perfons, whofe names are unknown, and others, whofe names I am not at liberty to mention: but I hope the Speaker of the House of Commons will pardon my ambition to have it known, that he has been pleased to suggest some useful hints and obfervations, when I have been admitted to the honor of his converfation.
And as the notes are of various authors, fo they are of various kinds, critical and explanatory; fome to correct the errors of former editions, to difcufs the various readings, and to establish the true genuin text of Milton; fome to illuftrate the fenfe and meaning, to point out the beauties and defects of fentiment and character, and to commend or cenfure the conduct of the poem; fome to remark the peculiarities of ftile and language, "to clear the fyntax, and to explain the uncommon words, or common words ufed in an uncommon fignification; fome to confider and examin the numbers, and to difplay our author's great arts of verfification, the variety of the pauses, and the adaptness of the found to the fenfe; fome to fhow his imitations and allufions to other authors, whether facred or profane, ancient or modern. We might have been much larger and more copious under each of thefe heads, and efpecially under
* In this edition they are inferted in their proper places.
under the last: but I would not produce every thing that hath any fimilitude and refemblance, but only fuch paffages as we may fuppofe the author really alluded to, and had in mind at the time of writing. It was once my intention to prefix fome effays to this work, one upon Milton's ftile, another upon his verfification, a third upon his imitations &c; but upon more mature deliberation I concluded that the fame things would have a better effect in the form of fhort notes, when the particular paffages referred to came immediately under confideration, and the context lay before the reader. There would have been more of the pomp and oftentation of criticism in the former, but I conceive there is more real use and advantage in the latter. It is the great fault of commentators, that they are apt to be filent or at most very concise where there is any difficulty, and to be very prolix and tedious where there is none: but it is hoped that the contrary method has been taken here; and tho' more may be faid than is requifite for critics and scholars, yet it may be no more than is neceffary or proper for other readers of Milton. For thefe notes are intended for general ufe, and if they are received with general approbation, that will be fufficient. I can hardly expect that any body should approve them all, and I may be certain that no body can condemn them all.
The life of the author it is almoft become a custom to prefix to a new edition of his works; for when we admire the writer, we are curious alfo to know fomething of the man: and the life of Milton is not barely a hiftory of his works, but is fo much the more interefting, as he was more engaged in