Milton - PR3550 D77 1777 M2

426 THE LIFE ®F MILTON. gentry, conftantly vifited him : and in 1681 a confiderable paffage, which had been fuppreffed at the beginning of the third book, was publifhed, containing a charader of the Long Parliament and Affem- bly of Divines in 1641, which was inferted in its proper place in the laft edition of 1738. Bifhop Kennet begins his Complete Hiftory of England with this work of Milton, as being the belt draught, the cleareft and molt authentic account of thofe early times and his 'tile is freer and eafier than in moll of his other works, more plain and Pimple, lefs figurative and metaphorical, and better fuited to the nature of hiftory, has enough of the Latin turn and idiom to give it an air of antiquity, and fometimes rifes to a furprifing dignity and majefly. In 167o likewife his Paradife Regain'd and Samfon Agonifles were licensed together, but were not publifhed till the year follow. ing. It is fomewhat remarkable, that thefe two poems were not printed by Simmons, the fame who printed the Paradife Loft, but by J. M. for one Starkey in Fleetftreet : and what could induce Milton to have recourfe to another printer ? was it becaufe the former was not enough encouraged by the fele of Paradife Loft to become a per- chafer of the other copies ? The first thought of Paradife Regain'd was owing to Elwood the quaker, as he himfelf relates the occafion in the hiftory of his life. When Milton had lent him the manufcript of Paradife Loft at St. Giles Chalfont, as we faid before, and he re- turned it, Milton afked him how he liked it, and what he thought of : " Which I modally, but freely told him, fays Elwood ; and " after fame further difcourfe about it, I pleafantly faid to him, " Thou haft faid much of Paradife Loft, but what haft thou to fay 4 of Paradife Found ? He made me no anfwer, but fat fome time in a 44 muie ; then broke off that difcourfe, and fell upon another fubjed." When Elwood afterwards waited upon him in London, Milton fhowed him his Paradife Regain'd, and in a pleafant tone faid to. him, " This is owing to You, for You put it into my head by the quefticn You put me at Chalfont, which before I had not thought " of." It is commonly reported, that Milton himfelf preferred this poem to the Paradife Loft but all that we can affert upon good authority