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The Measure is English heroic verse without rhyme, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; rhyme being no necessary adjunct or true ornament of poem or good verse, in longer works especially, but the invention of a barbarous age, to set off wretched matter and lame metre; graced indeed since by the use of some famous modern poets, carried away by custom, but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to express many things otherwise, and for the most part worse than else they would have expressed them. Not without cause, therefore, some, both Italian and Spanish poets, of prime note, have rejected rhyme both in longer and shorter works, as have also long since our best English tragedies, as a thing of itself, to all judicious ears, trivial and of no true musical delight; which consists only in apt numbers, fit quantity of syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault avoided by the learned ancients both in poetry and all good oratory. This neglect, then, of rhyme, so little is to be taken for a defect, though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar readers, that it is rather to be esteemed an example set, the first in English, of ancient liberty recovered to Heroic Poem from the troublesome and mod. ern bondage of rhyming.
It will be useful to note among the editions of dise Lost” the earliest and some of the latest. The following list includes the editions published in the seventeenth century, and some of the more convenient modern editions.
EDITIONS OF “ PARADISE Lost."
1. PARADISE LOST. A Poem written in Ten Books by
John Milton. Licensed and Entered according to
Church in Fleet-street. 1667.
Author John Milton. The Second Edition, Revised
in Aldersgate-street. 1674.
Books vii. and viïi., then, of the present editions, were originally one book. The first few lines of Book viji. were added on the division. In like manner what are now Books xi. and xii: the first lines of Book xii. being added at this time.] 3. PARADISE LOST. London. 1678.
[The third edition, with title page almost exactly like that of the second, except for the date.] 4. PARADISE LOST. London. 1688.
[Fourth edition, folio, some copies having “Paradise Regained ” added.] 5. PARADISE Lost. London. 1692.
[Fifth edition, folio. “ Paradise Regained” added.] 6. THE POETICAL WORKS OF MR. JOHN MILTON. Lon
don. 1695. [All of Milton's Poems, in folio. · Paradise Lost" was also bound by itself. To this edition was added the first Commentary on the poem, by Patrick Hume.]
Of recent editions may be noted: 17. THE POETICAL WORKS OF JOHN MILTON.
Edited by David Masson. 3 vols. 8vo. London, 1874. (Mac
millan.) [An excellent library edition.] 7a. The same in 3 vols., Globe 8vo, a good smaller edi
tion. 76. The same in one volume. Globe Edition. 8. PARADISE Lost. Edited with notes, glossary, and in
troduction, by A. Wilson Verity. Pitt Press Series,
Cambridge: from 1892 on. [In six small volumes, each containing two books: Books ix. and x. have not yet been issued.]
MASSON. The Life of John Milton: narrated in connec
tion with the Political, Ecclesiastical, and Literary History of his Time. By David Masson. Six vol
London, 1871. [This is a great piece of work; too much for the ordinary student to read through, but valuable for reference.] PATTISON. Milton, by Mark Pattison. English Men of
Letters Series. London, 1880.
GARNETT. Life of John Milton, by Richard Garnett. Great Writers Series. London.
London. Including a bibliography.
ADDISON. Eighteen numbers of the Spectator, as fol
lows: 267, 273, 279, 285, 291, 297, 303, 309, 315, 321, 327, 333, 339, 345, 351, 357, 363, 369; i.e., every Saturday from Jan. 5th, 1712, to May 3d. Also, collected and edited by Edward Arber. London, 1868. New edition, 1895. Extremely appreciative in the oldfashioned way, serving to call attention to a good deal that is true about the
poem. Johnson. In his “Lives of the Poets," originally writ
ten for an edition of the British poets, but now to be found in his collected Works. The essay gives a somewhat prejudiced account of Milton's life; the poet was what Johnson called an acrimonious and surly republican.” When it came to his poetry, Johnson could not help admiring it greatly and esteeming it great; his rough common sense, however, prevented
his going into any conventional ecstasies. MACAULAY. “Milton.” The first essay contributed by
Macaulay to the Edinburgh Review, appearing in the number for August, 1825. Ostensibly a notice of the newly discovered “ Treatise on Christian Doctrine,” it is really a description and an estimate of Milton's life and work. It is not the best example of Macaulay's style or of his opinions, but may well be read as
a corrective to Johnson. LOWELL. “Milton.'
“ Milton.” A review of Masson's Life and of (7) above. Reprinted in
Reprinted in “ Among My Books." It is actually a review, and not an independent study. It discusses chiefly Masson's views on Milton's life, his
language, and his versification. MATTHEW ARNOLD. “A French Critic on Milton." Quar
terly Review for January, 1877. Reprinted in "Mixed Essays,” 1879. It is interesting for its criticisms of the essays of Macaulay, Addison, and Johnson. The main part of the essay is a presentation of Edmond Scherer's view of Milton. It considers chiefly the necessary drawbacks incident to the conception of
“Paradise Lost,” and the greatness of Milton's style. DOWDEN. “ The Idealism of Milton." Originally pub
lished in the Contemporary Review (xix. 198), and afterwards in “Transcripts and Studies.” A very suggestive essay, giving in greater detail the ideas summarized in pp. xix.-xxiii. of the Introduction.
The student will also find valuable: BRADSHAW. A Concordance to the Poetical Works of
John Milton. By John Bradshaw. London, 1894. BRIDGES. Milton's Prosody. An Examination of the
Rules of Blank Verse in Milton's later poems,