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reader that for some few years yet I may go on trust with him towards the payment of what I am now indebted, as being a work not to be raised from the heat of youth, or the vapours of wine, like that which flows at waste from the pen of some vulgar amorist, or the trencher fury of a rhyming parasite, nor to be obtained by the invocation of Dame Memory and her siren daughters, but by devout prayer to that Eternal Spirit who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his Seraphim with the hallowed fire of his altar to touch and purify the life of whom he pleases. To this must be added industrious and select reading, steady observation, insight into all seemly and generous acts and affairs.” 1 Here in Milton's deeply religious conception of his mission as a poet we have the true note of his character as a man ; and, as I have tried to show, the character of the man was one of the fundamental elements in that of the poet. What, then, of the poet as poet, and of his place in literature ? Concerning these questions there can be no serious dispute. Next to Shakespeare's, his is the greatest name in the long and glorious annals of our English poetry.
6. The Reason of Church Government."
The following list contains the titles of some books and essays which may be specially recommended for the further study of Milton and his work :
TEXT: “Poetical Works of John Milton," edited by Masson. (Globe edition.) “English Poems,” edited by R.C. Browne. (Clarendon Press ; 2 vols.)
The annotated school editions, by A. W. Verity, of Milton's poems (separate volumes in the Pitt Press Series) will also be found extremely useful. Milton's “Prose Works,” edited by J. A. St. John, (Bohn's Standard Library ; 5 vols.) “English Prose Writings of Milton," edited by Henry Morley. (Carisbrooke Library : Routledge.] “Prose of Milton," edited by R. Garnett. (Camelot Library.) BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM : Masson, D.: “Life and Times of John Milton (six vols.). (A very exhaustive work, containing a detailed account of Milton's age as well as of his life.)
Chapters from the Life of Milton." (Extracted from the larger work.) Pattison, M.: “ Milton." (English Men of Letters). Garnett, R.: “Life of Milton" (Great Writers). (Contains a full bibliography.) Brooke, S. :
(Classical Writers). Raleigh, W.: Milton." Arnold, M. : Milton sin “ Essays in Criticism," 2nd series). “ A French Critic on Milton" (in
"“ Mixed Essays '').
Bagehot, W.: Milton (Literary Studies).
" and Studies ").
(in “ Puritan and Anglican "I. Tullock, J.: “Milton " (in “English Puritanism and its Leaders"). Macaulay, T. B.: “ Milton” (in “Essays "'). Masson, D.: “Three Devils" (in “Three Devils and other Essays "). (The Devils in question are Luther's, Milton's, and Goethe's.) Courthope, W. J.: "History of English Poetry"
' (vol. iii.. Addison, J.: “Criticisms on 'Paradise Lost'" (reprinted in various editions, from the “Spectator"). (Despite its pedantry, this is still an interesting and helpful piece of criticism.)
The reader may also be glad to turn to two works of fiction in which Milton's home-life is dealt with : A. Manning's “ The Maiden and Married Life of Mary Powell," and its sequel, “ Deborah's Diary."
For the general history of Milton's time reference may be made to
Green, J. R. : “ Short History of the English People." Gardiner, S. R. : History of England," " History of the Great Civil War," and “ History of the Commonwealth and the Protectorate" (18 vols. in all, dealing in minute detail with the period from 1603 to 1656).
“ The First Two Stuarts and the Puritan Revolution (Epochs of Modern History).