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BY THE REV. J. R. MAJOR, M. A. HEAD MASTER OF KING'S COLLEGE SCHOOL,
Ages elapsed ere Homer's lamp appear'd,
To give a Milton birth, asked ages more.-Cowper.
B. FELLOWES, LUDGATE STREET.
THE groundwork of the Notes subjoined to this portion of the Paradise Lost has been supplied by the elaborate Commentary of Bishop Newton. Their object cannot be better explained than in the words of his Preface: to illustrate the sense and meaning; to remark the peculiarities of style and language; to clear the syntax; to explain uncommon words, or common words used in an uncommon signification; to show his imitations and allusions to other authors, whether sacred or profane, ancient or modern.'
If elucidations of this nature were considered necessary for more advanced readers, they cannot be devoid of interest and utility to the young. For the youthful student the present selection has been made; and should it enable him to combine.
with the study of Homer and of Virgil, the profitable reading of a poet equalled with them in renown,' the views of the compiler will be answered.
The name of Newton is indicated by the initial, 'N.'; the names of other commentators, being of less frequent occurrence, are given more explicitly.
Four Papers from the Critique of Addison in the Spectator, containing a general outline and analysis of the prominent beauties of each book, have been prefixed, being well worthy of perusal by the readers of Milton.
The remaining books will shortly be published, should the present specimen be favorably received.
UPON THE PARADISE LOST.
BY MR. ADDISON.
FROM THE SPECTATOR, NOS. 303. 309. 315. 321.
ON BOOK THE FIRST.
MILTON has proposed the subject of his poem in the following verses:
Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, heav'nly Muse!—
These lines are, perhaps, as plain, simple, and unadorned, as any of the whole poem, in which particular the author has conformed himself to the example of Homer, and the precept of Horace.
His invocation to a work which turns in a great measure upon the creation of the world, is very properly made to the Muse who inspired Moses in those books from whence our author drew his subject, and to the Holy Spirit, who is therein represented as operating after a particular manner in the first production of nature. This whole exordium rises very happily into noble language and sentiments, as I think the transition to the fable is exquisitely beautiful and natural.
The nine days' astonishment, in which the angels lay