Milton - PR3550 D77 1777 M2

444 THE LIFE of MILTON. twenty three ; and by their being two draughts of this letter with feveral alterations and additions, it appeals to have been written with great care and deliberation ; and both the draughts have been pub- lifhed by Mr. Birch in his Hiftorical and Critical Account of the life and writings of Milton. There are alfo feveral of his poems, Arcades, At a folemn mufic, On time, Upon the circumcifion, the IVIafk, Lycidas, with five or fax of his fonnets, all in his own hand- writing : and there are fome others of his fonnets written by different hands, being molt of them compofed after he had loft his fight. It is curious to fee the firft thoughts and fubfequent correaions fo great a poet as Milton : but it is remarkable in thefe manufcript poems, that he cloth not often make his flops, or begin his lines with great letters. There are likewife in his own hand- writing different plans of Paradife Loft in the form of a tragedy and it is an agreeable amufement to trace the gradual progrefs and improvement of fuch a work from its firft dawnings in the plan of a ttavdy to its full ltiftre in an epic poem. And together with the plans of Paradife Loft there are the plans or fubjeas of feveral other intended tragedies, fome taken from the Ecripture, others from the Eritifh or Scottifh hiftories : and of the latter the lall mentioned is Macbeth, as if he had an inclination to try his ftrength with Shakefpear ; and to reduce the play more to the unities, he propofes, " beginning at the arrival of Malcolm at rc Maeda.; the matter of Duncan may be expreffed by the appear- ing of his ghoft." Thefe rnanufcripts of Milton were found by the learned Mr. Profeffor tvlafon among fume other old papers, which, Says, belonged to Sir Henry Newton Puckering, who was a con- fide:able benefador to the library ; and for the better prefervation of fuch, truly valuable 'relicus, they were colleded together, and 1-)andfomely bound in a thin folio by the care and at the charge of a perfon, who is now very eminent in his profefiion, and was always a iwer of the Mufes, and at that time a fellow of Trinity College, tor, clark,e, ono of his Majelly's counfel. END OF THE LIFE O? NULTON.