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too voluminous for the Pocket, which the fmaller Editions of Milton's Works fo agreeably fill. It was therefore propofed to the Writer of this Preface, fome time fince, by a Gentleman defervedly of the first Character in the learned World, to compile a fhort and comprehenfive Explanation of the difficult Words and Paffages in Milton's poetical Works, digefted in Alphabetical Order; which might ferve to the common Reader, instead of more diffuse Comments; and might be to all a portable and familiar Attendant upon this inimitable Author.

Pleased with the Propofal, he readily embraced it But other and more neceffary Avocations preventing his Completion of the Defign, he commended it to the Gentleman who hath now executed it, and, as it appears, with good Judgment and Propriety.

The Explanation of mere Words are generally taken from Mr. Johnson's very useful Dictionary, and that in reference only to the Sense wherein Milton applies them: For





For the reft, he hath used, with all Freedom, the Comments and Notes of thofe Writers, who have dedicated their Time to the pleafing Employ of explaining the Works of this Prince of English Poets; in particular he confeffes himself obliged to the excellent Edition of this Author, which the Care and Elegance of Dr. Newton hath prefented to the Public. No Lover of Milton would want this Edition; and no Lover of Milton can withold his Thanks from that learned and ingenious Editor.

He hath studied Brevity as much as poffible in thefe explanatory Notes; yet, he hopes, not fo much as to become obfcure: It would have been extremely easy to have enlarged the Work, by frequent Quotations, and long Details of particular Stories: But he wifhed to avoid this, as the Notes are intended always to accompany the Author.--And the rather, as it was judged proper to affix Mr. Addison's inimitable Critique to the Work; by which Means it is rendered, in fome Measure perfect. Mr. Adilifon's Pa


pers will give the Reader a true Taste for Milton, and open to his View the feveral Graces and Beauties of his Paradife Loft: The explanatory Notes will ferve to remove the particular Difficulties in the Text, and enable the Reader to understand perfectly the Beauties which are offered to his Attention.--I must just observe, that these Notes refer not to the Paradife Loft only, but to all Milton's poetical Works.

There was heretofore an Attempt made to explain Milton in the Way of a Dictionary: But it was injudicious in the Method, and tedious in the Compilation. The present Work can fall under nei ther of these Cenfures: And as it is at once fhort, clear, and full; published with the best Design, and fubfervient to a very valuable End, we doubt not, that the Public will receive it favourably. I must take the Liberty to recommend it efpecially to Parents, and those who have the Care of Youth; if they are defirous that their Children and Trufts fhould be acquainted with




vii the Graces of the British Homer, 'they will do well to put this little Work into their Hands; and thereby give them an Opportunity to understand what they read. The fair Sex in particular will receive great Advantages from it; and with the fair Sex that Milton can never fail to be a Favourite, who hath so pleasingly described the Happinefs of conjugal Affection, "Perpetual Fountain of domeftic Sweets."

I have nothing more to add, than that having perused the Work, I have received great Pleasure from it; and can recommend it with much fatisfaction. While I am defired to fay on the Part of our Compiler, that had he been lefs obfcure, or had the Work been more worthy, he should not long have hesitated under whofe Patronage to publish it: the learned Editor above men tioned having fo good a right to it.

August, 1761.



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