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For the ftate has not wholly ingroffed Your time and attention ; at proper feafons and intervals You have alfo facrificed to the Mufes . Your writings in other kinds are very well known to the world , have long been in A 3 every every ...
... with regard to the use of capital letters , Italic characters , and the fpelling of fome words : but to Milton's own fpelling ( for we must distinguish between his and that of his times ) we pay all proper regard , and commonly note ...
... which treat of the poem in general , are prefixed in the nature of a preliminary discourse ; and those , which are written upon each book feparately , are inserted under each book , and interwoven in their proper places .
... worthy of the perufal of every lover and admirer of Milton , but fuch parts only are ingraffed into this work as are more immediately proper for our design , and explain fome difficulty , or illuftrate fome beauty of our author .
We might have been much larger and more copious under each of these heads , and especially ; under * In this edition they are inferted in their proper places . under the last : but I would not produce every PREFACE .
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Chronicles the rise and fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Begins with the crowning of the Son of God, moves to Lucifer's rebellion and fall, the beginning of the Earth, the birth of Adam and Eve, and how they fell prey to Satan's fraud.
Written in 10 syllable per line prose, which must have been very difficult. Milton was blind, which makes the accomplishment even more amazing. Parts of the book were wonderfully written (the battles with Satan, Eden, the creation of the Earth, the coming events as Adam and Eve are escorted from Eden by Archangel Michael), but others are difficult with many references to Greek characters. I'm sure Milton was brilliant, but those parts don't add much for me and make it seem as though he's being pretentious. I also disliked the way all the characters addressed each other: "Lo, great angel from Heaven, graceful and true of spirit." The pictures of the story in the book, while they received vast praise in the preface, were forgettable.
Still, I can't get away from the amazing work that Milton put here. My only real compliant was the blatant sexism that Adam had for Eve, assuming she was always inferior to him. That is no longer the way of the world, and I doubt Adam would have treated Eve thusly. Sin, Death. Satan, Michael and Raphael were my favorite characters, all providing memorable lines.