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and expression, to bring out their thought and feeling. A pupil who is a good reader will often stimulate a whole class wonderfully. Comment and criticism should be used mainly for pointing out beauties and exciting admiration; passages may be committed to memory. In this way fondness for reading and for good books may be induced.'
All this is well, and most teachers would agree with him. But he does not stop here, and proceeds to urge an advance beyond such admirable beginnings. He would have great literature more deeply understood than is possible through such processes as have been sketched above. 'We must learn,' he says, 'to speak and write English; then we must study it in the seats of its power, in the great English authors. Early rapid reading gives us words without definition. We get the denotation of names of common material objects and acts somewhere near right, but without knowing their meaning, their connotation. Abstract terms and names of complex conceptions and idioms float vaguely through the mind. There is no more delightful discipline than that of clearing up these vague notions, defining them and nailing them down with their words, so as to make the scholar confident master of his thought. This is the preparation for all progress in advanced thinking or for original writing. It is because students of Latin and Greek are more thoroughly trained in this discipline than others that they so often show superior command of thought and style to others.'
Again, he advocates the 'study of English words in English literature, just as the Greeks acquired their Greek by the study of Greek. Demosthenes studied Thucydides. Johnson tells the student of English style to spend his days and nights upon Addison. Franklin formed his admirable style in that way, reading good passages in the Spectator, then after a
time writing out the thoughts as well as he could, and comparing his work with Addison's, word by word, and studying all. John Bright formed his powerful oratory by English studies. Thousands of lesser lights have trimmed their lamps, such as Nature has furnished them, in the same fashion.'
He does not even shrink from employing the terms 'grammar ' and 'philology,' though it is clear that he does not believe that all teaching of grammar and philology is promotive of literary enjoyment, since he speaks of a 'highest kind of philological study,' and distinguishes this from lower kinds by noting that its fruit is love for the thing studied: 'It is a matter of course that thorough grammatical and philological study should be given to such a work if one finds it congenial. "The Scripture cannot be understood theologically," says Melanchthon, "unless it be first understood grammatically." Men of one book, men who give much of their time to chewing and digesting some favorite volumes, have always been marked men. Genius broods ever. Luther called Galatians his wife. What apparatus of grammars, dictionaries, concordances, cyclopaedias, have those who love the Bible made for the study of it, what commentaries of every kind, what longcontinued studies of supreme passages! What mastery of Bible English is obtained by this study, and what love of it! And this is a type of the highest kind of philological study. In this way Homer has been made near and dear to thousands, and Socrates, and Dante, and Shakespeare. There must be a great character behind the words of great literature. Then for profound and worthy admiration we must have profound study long continued and often repeated. Philological study used as a means of clearing up, enriching, and impressing our apprehension of the thought and style, makes the student rejoice in them and remember them forever. The English masters ought to be studied in the same way as the great ancients'
To the same effect is a recent utterance by Professor Thomas R. Price, of Columbia College (Educational Review, January, 1896): 'And so, for the teaching of literature itself, its separation from the teaching of language is altogether pernicious. It leads to careless habits of reading, to false thinking, to self-deception, to that bungling and smattering which rob education of its real value. For the true study of literature is the study, not of theories about relations of history and philosophy and aesthetics, but of the meaning and significance of the great works of literature themselves. And the meaning of the text is so inwoven with the language that expresses it, as to make all study of literature except through knowledge of language delusive and fallacious.'
The present edition is an attempt to illustrate a method of English study as applied to a literary masterpiece. A method, not the method; for the editor will readily concede that the same result may be attained in a variety of ways. Such as the book is, a few of its features may be pointed out.
Milton has been made his otim interpreter. With regard to his theory of the poetic art, his own aim in writing, and the preparation by which he qualified himself for his wonderful achievement, he is allowed to speak for himself. The Introduction contains the passages from his prose works which are most constantly laid under tribute by editors and biographers for the illustration of Milton's life and ideals; but perhaps they are most eloquent and convincing when freed from ancillary paraphrase and comment. For the interpretation of
individual words and phrases, Milton often furnishes enlight- ,
i ening parallels in other portions of his works; and in such cases the student has been directed to draw his own inferences from the passages cited in elucidatioa.
Milton has been interpreted by other poets. It is often asserted, with considerable justice, that there is a class of pedantic commentators who darken counsel by words without knowledge; and that, being intent on the mint, the anise, and the cummin of scholarship, they have omitted the weightier matters, insight and sympathy. How obvious is it, then, that we should look to a poet's brethren in craftsmanship and soul to supply interpretative comment, in cases where they have shown themselves disposed to do so. Fortunately, | there is no lack of poetic exegetes upon Milton) and it has proved easy to enrich the pages of this edition with opinions of the highest significance from artists and men like Landor, Lowell, Wordsworth, and Matthew Arnold.
The sources whence Milton derived inspiration or phraseology have been exhibited somewhat more fully than usual. It is a commonplace that Milton was learned, and used his learning freely in Paradise Lost. So fully has this been recognized, that the greater part of the parallels, Biblical, classical, and from earlier English poets, included in this edition, have been indicated by previous commentators. The present editor, however, has often quoted more extensively from standard translations of the ancients than his predecessors, and in several instances, as, for example, in the notes on I. 521, 550, 668, II. 302, 420, etc., has made contributions of his own. An appendix contains Morley's translation (English Writers, vol. II) of those portions of the Pseudo-Csedmonian Genesis which are most strikingly similar to passages in Paradise Lost.
Besides the features just mentioned, there are others of a subsidiary nature, such as the interruption of the continuity of the text by typographical devices, and the provision of marginal summaries. The latter may be welcome to those who wish, before they have acquired a familiarity with the poem, to gain a rapid survey of the course and argument of the first two books.
The study of the text should involve substantial conformity with the suggestions of the notes, and, in fact, a use of all the illustrative matter provided. When reference is made to the Bible, or to any other book, the reference should be looked up. Nor should the labor end here. The matter of the reference or the quotation is but a basis for more interesting and profitable thought than would be possible without it. The inferences and deductions to be drawn by the student are, after all, the main thing, and what has been provided for purposes of elucidation has been presented in strict subservience to this view.
The books accessible for consultation ought to comprise as many as possible of those recommended on pp. 48, 49. There should be a Bible; a Globe edition (Masson's) of Milton; a Globe Spenser and a Globe Shakespeare (Macmillan); Lang, Leaf, and Myers' translation of the Iliad; Butcher and Lang's Odyssey; the Globe translations of Virgil and Horace; the Bohn translation of Ovid (at least the Metamorphoses); Mrs. Browning's version of the Prometheus Bound, or Plumptre's jEschylus (D. C. Heath & Co.); Longfellow's Dante (or Norton's, or Butler's); and Fairfax's Tasso (in the Carisbrooke Library). Longinus on the Sublime might be added, in Havell's translation (the best), or in the cheap edition published, together with Aristotle's Poetics, by Cassell & Co.
Milton's employment of rhetorical figures has frequently been remarked in the notes, so that the work is adapted for