תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

use in conjunction with the teaching of rhetoric. For the classification of figures, De Mille's Elements of Rhetoric is the work which has been drawn upon. Compositions should be written upon such themes as Milton's life, the principal characters of the poem, etc.

The editor would acknowledge his obligations to the labors of his predecessors, from Newton to the present. The principal editions have been consulted, and something of value obtained from each, the earlier ones, especially Newton's, being richest in independent discoveries of literary parallels and sources. A large number of these are recorded in Todd's edition of Milton.

The text is substantially that of Masson, but this has sometimes been more strictly conformed to the first edition of Paradise Lost, or changed in certain particulars of spelling or punctuation to render it more consistent with itself, or more clear to the reader.

The account of The Composition of Paradise Lost, in the Introduction, is abridged, without further alteration, from that given by Masson in the Globe edition of Milton, since there was no possibility of improving upon it. Those interested in the imaginative cosmogony of Paradise Lost are referred to Masson's remarks on the subject in his Introduction.

The Sketch of Milton's Life, and the Chronological Table, have been prepared by Mr. Frank H. Chase, Clark Scholar in English in Yale University.

ALBERT S. COOK. Yale University, Jan. 20, 1890.

INTRODUCTION.

I. SKETCH OF MILTON'S LIFE.

John Milton was born Dec. 9, 1608, in London; and in London his whole life, except the years from 1625 to 1639, was passed. Of this period of fourteen years, the first seven were spent at Christ's College, Cambridge, which he left as a Master of Arts in 1632; he then retired to his father's home at Horton, in Buckinghamshire, where he lived quietly, engaged, for the most part, in the study of the Classics, until 1638. In April of that year he set out for a sixteen months' journey in Italy, visiting Florence — where he saw the aged Galileo in prison, and made many friends — Rome, Naples, and other cities. In 1639 he returned to London, and opened a little school in his house, having first his two nephews, and later other boys, as pupils. In 1649, on the establishment of the Commonwealth, he was appointed Latin Secretary to the Council of State, a post which he retained under Cromwell and his son. During this period he became totally blind. After the Restoration, when he escaped the anger of Charles II. against the regicides, he was compelled to a quiet life. This he employed in literary works, dictating his poetry to his daughters or other amanuenses. His death occurred Nov. 8, 1674.

The literary career of Milton naturally falls into three well1

« הקודםהמשך »