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attracting notice by advertisements were then length it happened that some persons of greater very few; the means of proclaiming the publi- | delicacy and judgment found out the merit of that cation of new books have been produced by that excellent' poem, and by communicating their sen. general literature which now pervades the nation timents to their friends, propagated the esteem of through all its ranks."
the author, who soon acquired universal apIn answer to what Johnson has advanced, let us plause t." ask in his own words, “ Has the case been truly To strengthen Blackmore in a position which is stated ?" The century that was satisfied with but the very reverse of Johnson, there are other two editions of Shakspeare in forty-one years, authorities and circumstances, less curious, it is called for three of Paradise Lost in ten, and three true, but still of interest. “ Never any poet," of Prince Arthur in two. “ That Prince Arthur | writes Dennis, “left a greater reputation behind found readers,” says Johnson, “is certain ; for in him than Mr. Cowley, while Milton remained obtwo years it had three editions ; a very uncommon
scure, and known but to fewt.” “When Milton instance of favourable reception, at a time when first published his famous poem,” Swift writes to literary curiosity was yet confined to particular Sir Charles Wogan, “ the first edition was long classes of the nation.” But it was no uncommon going off ; few either read, liked, or understood it, instance, for the same age demanded edition after and it gained ground merely by its merit.” edition of Cowley, of Waller, of Flatman, and of But it had other assistance: “It was your lordSprat. There was no paucity of readers : the ship's encouraging," writes Hughes to Lord sale of Paradise Lost was slow because it was not Somers, “ a beautiful edition of Paradise Lost that to the taste of the times : our very plays were in first brought that incomparable poem to be generhyme ; and the public looked with wonder on rally known and esteemed 8.” This was in 1688; Shakspeare when improved by Shadwell, Ravens and such, if we may judge the present by the past, croft, and Tate. Dryden, who wrote when Cowley was then the influence of Lord Somers, that in a was in the full blaze of his reputation, and Milton dedication of Swift's Tale of a Tub to the same neglected and unknown, lived long enough to see
great man, the bookseller says with ill-concealed and tell of a distinct change in public opinion, satisfaction and in a very grateful strain, “ Your and Milton stand where Cowley had stood.
Lordship's name on the front, in capital letters, That the sale of thirteen hundred copies of a
will at any time get off one edition." Whatever three-shilling book in two years was an uncommon Somers did, the poem had made no great way till example of the prevalence of genius, Mr. Words- Philips published his Splendid Shilling, Addison worth was among the first to disprove. Yet so
his translation from Virgil, and his delightful difficult is it to eradicate an error insinuatingły papers in The Spectator, that seem to have written advanced by a popular author, that Jolinson's it into reputation. overthrown statement has been printed without
True it is, we must add, that it had been called contradiction in every edition of his Lives, and by Dryden in 1674, when its author was but has found an additional stronghold for its perpe- newly in his grave, “one of the greatest, most tuity in the Works of Lord Byron.
noble, and most sublime poems, which either the politics kept him down,” says Byron ; “but the
age or nation has produced 11;” that The State of epigram of Dryden, and the very sale of his
Innocence was suggested by it ; that Dryden, the work, in proportion to the less reading time of its publication, prove him to have been honoured by of our nation, had repeatedly published his high
most popular of living poets, and the great critic his contemporaries." But Blackmore, who wrote when literary curi- epigram in its praise ; nay more, that the Earl of
approval, and, better still, had turned his glorious osity was yet confined, if we may believe Johnson, Roscommon, who was dead in 1684, had written in to particular classes of the nation, has told us in
Milton's measure and manner 1. Yet Johnson an acknowledged work that Paradise Lost lay would have us believe that its admirers did not many years unspoken of and entirely disregarded. dare to publish their opinions ! But all were not No better testimony could possibly be wished for ; and as the passage has hitherto passed without poetry what his name would denote, could speak
of his way of thinking; and Rymer, who was in extract or allusion, we shall,quote it at length : of it in 1678, as “ that Paradise Lost of Milton's
, “ It must be acknowledged,” says Sir Richard Blackmore, “ that till about forty years ago Great Prior and Montague, of its author, in 1687, as “ a
which some are pleased to call a poem **;" and Britain was barren of critical learning, though fertile in excellent writers; and in particular had
+ Essays, 8vo. 1716. so little taste for epic Poetry, and were so unac
Familiar Letters. quainted with the essential properties and peculiar § Spenser's Works, 12mo. 1715. Dedication. beauties of it, that Paradise Lost, an admirable | Pr. Works by Malone, vol. ii. p. 397. In another work of that kind, published by Mr. Milton, the place (vol. ii. p. 403), he puts Milton on the same footing
with Homer, Virgil, and Tasso. This was in 1675. great ornament of his age and country, lay many
See page 280 of this volume. years unspoken of and entirely disregarded, till at
** Letter to Fleetwood Shepherd on the Tragedies of the * Works, vol. v. p. 15.
Last Age, p. 143.
rough unhewn fellow, that a man must sweat to encountered in the whole collected body of estaread him *."
blished clergy, that dislike which Sprat when This was the general feeling of the age; and the Dean of Westminster professed to feel at the truth is, as Sir Walter Scott has observed t, that mention of his name,-a name too odious, as he the coldness with which Milton's mighty epic was said, to be engraven on the walls of a Christian received upon the first publication, is traceable to church. What the clergy should have read, the character of its author, so obnoxious for his honoured, and encouraged for their cloth, if not share in the government of Cromwell, to the turn for their conscience' sake, was left in the same disof the language, so different from that of the age, regarded state by the laity, who did not profess or and the seriousness of a subject so discordant wish for once to be wiser than those whose duty it with its lively frivolities. A Christian poem, was to direct their minds to good and holy books, that should have found its greatest admirers and and Milton worked his way against every obstacle received its warmest advancement from the Esta- slowly but surely. No poem ever appeared in an blished Church, met there with open and avowed age less fitted or less inclined to read, like, or opposition. Milton, hateful as he was to the understand it than did Paradise Lost I. churchmen for the violence of his political tenets,
# Yet Mr. Hallam is inclined to think that the sale was * The Hind and the Panther Tranversed, &c. Bayes says great for the time, and adds, “I have some few doubts, after quoting a liquid line, “ I writ this line for the whether Paradise Lost, published eleven years since, would ladies, I hate such a rough un hewn fellow as Milton," &c. have met with a greater demand."--Lit. Hist. vol. iv.
† Misc. Pr. Works, vol. i. p. 141,
ANNE COUNTESS OF WINCHELSEA,
Was the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill of “ It is remarkable,” says Wordsworth, “ that Sidmonton in the county of Southampton, maid | excepting the Nocturnal Reverie, and a passage or of honour to the duchess of York, and wife to two in the Windsor Forest of Pope, the poetry of Heneage earl of Winchelsea. A collection of her the period intervening between the publication of poems was printed in 1713 ; several still remain Paradise Lost and The Seasons does not contain a unpublished.
single new image of external nature.”
A NOCTURNAL REVERIE.
In such a night, when every louder wind
When through the gloom more venerable shows
GENERAL INDE X.
* The Roman numerals refer to the Essay ;-the Arabic figures, to the body of the Book.
ABSENCE. Jago, 565.
Elegy on the Death of. Tickell, 367.
Specimens of, 489–494.
When it began to be English, xxx.
Specimen of his Bath Guide, 695-697.
Specimens of, 548- 550).
Poem said to have been written by, 77.
Beauty, vanity of. Gascoigne, 39.
Final cause of our pleasure in. Akenside, 491.
Mental. Akenside, 492.
Specimens of, 627.
Specimens of, 400-402.
written by, 521.
Specimens of his Poems, 85.
Specimens of his Poems, 230, 231.
Specimen of, 567-569.
Specimens of his Poems, 474.
Extracts from, 189, 190.
Specimens of his Poems, 476, 477.
Specimens of, 645—652.
His opinion of Cowper's Task, 676, note.
Epigram by, 516.
644, 674,676, notes.
Bale (Bishop), an early dramatic author, ļvii.
Robene and Makyne. Tienrysone, 20.
Hosier's Ghost. Glover, 598.
Specimens of, 689—694.
His admiration of Thomson, 403,
Critical observations on them, lxxiv.
Specimen of his Poems, 105.
Cambyses's Army, destruction of. Darwin, 685.
Specimens of, 154-157.
Specimens of, 183—185.
DANIEL (Samuel), notice and specimen of, lxiii, lav, luri,
Botanic Garden, 566.
Specimens of Gondibert, 240—242.
Specimen of his Poems, 100—102.
Critical remarks on them,
Specimens of his Poems, 160, 161.
Specimens of his Poetry, 242—246.
DESCRIPTIVE, DIDACTIC, AND PATHETIC POEMS.
On the gratification which the lover's passion receives
from the sense of hearing. Gouer, 14.
saw her. James I. King of Scotland, 19.
CHALKHILL, observations on, lxvi.
Specimen of his Poetry, Ixvii.
Specimens of, 202-208.
Specimens of his Plays, 130, 131,
His share in the tragedy of Chabot, 228, note.
Ballad by, 498.
Observations on his Poetry, xliv.
Specimens of his Poems, 6–12.
men of, 520.
Specimens of, 456–460.
Ode on a Pipe of Tobacco, in imitation of. I. H.
pared, 403 note.
Of Beaumont and Fletcher, lxxvii, note.
pado, 256, note.
Specimens of, 430–433.
His History of the Revival of Learning, 666, nole.
Sonnet by, 84.
Ode on. Harte, 541.
Song attributed to, 479.
Song by, 479.
Notice of and Extract from, lxvi, 134-136.
Specimens of, 292—297.
Specimens of his Poetry, 234-238.
loving spirit, 447.
Specimens of, 676—684.
I. H. Browne, 443, note.
Passage in his Homer, lxxxix, note.
Specimen of his Poems, 198–200.
On the identity of Thales with Savage, 572.
Life of Burns by, characterised, 643.
A lover's request for comfort. Rich. Eduards, 34.
fernal regions. The same, 48.
The same, 54.
day. A. Hume, 63.
guilty. Giles Flelcher, 81.
bert. Davenant, 240.