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sold by T. Helder, at the Angel, in Little-Brittain, 1669." 4to, pp. 356. Some copies with this title-page still retain Simmons's incorrect threeline Address to the Reader, while others have the five-line Address. Rest of preliminary matter as before.

Eighth and Ninth title-pages.-Same as last, except some insignificant changes of capital letters and of pointing in the words of the title. 1669. 4to, pp. 356.

Here are at least nine distinct forms in which, as respects the title-page, complete copies were issued by the binder, from the first publication of the work about August 1667 on to 1669 inclusively; besides which there are the variations among individual copies arising from the two forms of the Printer's Advertisement, and the variations in the text of the poem arising from the indiscriminate binding together of sheets in the different states of correctness in which they were printed off. The variations of this last class are of absolutely no moment,- -a comma in some copies where others have it not, an error in the numbering of the lines, or of a with for an in in some copies rectified in others, etc. On the whole, the text of any existing copy of the First Edition is as perfect as that of any other, though there is an advantage in having a copy with the small list of Errata and the other preliminary matter. But the variations in the title-page are of greater interest. Why is the author's name given in full in the title-pages of 1667, then contracted into "J. M." in two of those of 1668, and again given in full in two of those of the same year, and in all those of 1669 ? And why, though Simmons had acquired the copyright in April 1667, and had entered the copyright as his in the Stationers' Books in August 1667, is his name kept out of sight in all the title-pages prior to that one of 1668 which is given as the Fifth in the foregoing list, and which is the first with the preliminary matter, -the preceding title-pages showing no printer's name, but only the names of three booksellers at whose shops copies might be had? Finally, why, after Simmons does think it right to appear on the title-page, are there changes in the names of the booksellers, -two of the former booksellers first disappearing and giving way to other two, and then the three of 1668 giving way in 1669 to the single bookseller, Helder of Little Britain? Very probably in some of these changes nothing more was involved than convenience to Simmons in his circumstances

at the time. Not impossibly, however, more was involved than this in so much tossing-about of the book within so short a period. May not Simmons have been a little timid about his venture in publishing a book by the notorious Milton, whose attacks on the Church and defences of the execution of Charles I. were still fresh in the memory of all, and some of whose pamphlets had been publicly burnt by the hangman after the Restoration? May not his entering the book at Stationers' Hall simply as "a Poem in Ten Books by J. M." have been a caution on his part; and, though in the first issues he had ventured on the name "John Milton" in full, may he not have found or thought it advisable, for a subsequent circulation in some quarters, to have copies with only the milder "J. M." upon them?

In any case, the first edition of Paradise Lost was a most creditably printed book. It is, as has been mentioned, a small quarto,—of 342 pages in such copies as are without the "Argument" and other preliminary matter, and of 356 pages in the copies that have this addition. But the pages

are not numbered,-only the lines by tens along the margin in each Book. In one or two places there is an error in the numbering of the lines, arising from miscounting. The text in each page is enclosed within lines,-single lines at the inner margin and bottom, but double lines at the top for the running title and the number of the Book, and along the outer margin columnwise for the numbering of the lines. Very great care must have been bestowed on the reading of the proofs, either by Milton himself, or by some competent person who had undertaken to see the book through the press for him. It seems likely that Milton himself caused page after page to be read over slowly to him, and occasionally even the words to be spelt out. There are, at all events, certain systematic peculiarities of spelling and punctuation which it seems most reasonable to attribute to Milton's own instructions. Altogether, for a book printed in such circumstances, it is wonderfully accurate; and, in all the particulars of type, paper, and general getting-up, the first appearance of Paradise Lost must have been rather attractive than otherwise to book-buyers of that day.

The selling-price of the volume was three shillings,—which is perhaps as if a similar book now were published at about IOS. 6d. From the retail-sale of 1300 copies, therefore, the

sum that would come in to Simmons, if we make an allowance for trade-deductions at about the modern rate, would be something under £140. Out of this had to be paid the expenses of printing, etc., and the sum agreed upon with the author; and the balance would be Simmons's profit. On the whole, though he cannot have made anything extraordinary by the transaction, it must have been sufficiently remunerative. For, by the 26th of April 1669, or after the poem had been published a little over eighteen months, the stipulated impression of 1300 copies had been exhausted. The proof. exists in the shape of Milton's receipt (signed for him by another hand) for the additional Five Pounds due to him on that contingency :


April 26, 1669. Received then of Samuel Simmons five pounds, being the Second five pounds to be paid mentioned in the Covenant. I say recd. by me,

Witness, Edmund Upton.


Thus, by the month of April 1669, Milton had received in all Ten Pounds for his Paradise Lost. This was all that he was to receive for it in his life. For, contrary to what might have been expected after a sale of the first edition in eighteen months, there was no second edition for five years more, or till 1674. Either the book was out of print for those five years, or what demand for it there continued to be was supplied out of the surplus of 200 copies which, for some reason or other, Simmons had been authorised to print beyond the 1300. But in 1674-the last year of Milton's life- -a second edition did appear, with the following title :

"Paradise Lost. A Poem in Twelve Books. The Author John Milton. The Second Edition Revised and Augmented by the same Author. London, Printed by S. Simmons next door to the Golden Lion in Aldersgate-street, 1674."

This edition is in small octavo, with the pages numbered, but with no marginal numbering of the lines,-the pages of the text as numbered being 333. There are prefixed two sets of commendatory verses,-one in Latin signed “S. B., M.D.," and written by a certain Samuel Barrow, a physician, and a private friend of Milton; the other in English, signed "A. M.," and written by Andrew Marvell. But the most important difference between this and the previous edition is

that, whereas the poem had been arranged in Ten Books in the first, it is here arranged in Twelve. This is accomplished by dividing what had formerly been the two longest Books of the poem-Books VII. and X.-into two Books each. There is a corresponding division in the "Arguments" of these Books; and the "Arguments," instead of being given in a body at the beginning, are prefixed to the Books to which they severally apply. To smooth over the breaks made by the division of the two Books, the three new lines were added which now form the beginning of Book VIII. and the five that begin Book XII.; and there are one or two other slight additions or alterations, also dictated by Milton, in the course of the text, besides a few verbal variations, such as would arise in reprinting. On the whole, the Second Edition, though very correct, is not nearly so nice-looking a book as the First. Four years sufficed to exhaust the Second Edition; and in 1678 (i.e. four years after Milton's death) a Third Edition appeared with this title: "Paradise Lost. A Poem in Twelve Books. The Author John Milton. The Third Edition. Revised and Augmented by the same Author. London, Printed by S. Simmons, next door to the Golden Lion in Aldersgate Street, 1678.' This Edition is in small octavo, and in other respects the same as its predecessor, save that there are a few verbal variations in the printing. It is of no independent value, the Second Edition being the last that could have been supervised by Milton himself. From the appearance of a third edition in 1678, however, it is to be inferred that by that time the second of those impressions of 1300 copies which had to be accounted for to the author was sold off (implying perhaps a total circulation up to that time of 3000 copies), and that, consequently, had the author been alive, he would have been then entitled to his third sum of Five Pounds, as by the agreement. Milton being dead, the sum was due to his widow. Whether, however, on account of disputes which existed between the widow and Milton's three daughters by his first wife as to the inheritance of his property (disputes which were the subject of a lawsuit in 1674-5), or for other reasons, Simmons was in no hurry to pay the third Five Pounds. It was not till the end of 1680 that he settled with the widow, and then in a manner of which the following receipt given by her is a record :--

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I do hereby acknowledge to have received of Samuel Symonds, Cittizen

and Stationer of London, the Sum of Eight pounds: which is in full pay. ment for all my right, Title, or Interest, which I have or ever had in the Coppy of a Poem Intitled Paradise Lost in Twelve Bookes in 8vo. By John Milton, Gent., my late husband. Witness my hand this 21st day of December, 1680.

Witness, William Yapp.

Ann Yapp.


That is to say, Simmons, owing the widow Five Pounds, due since 1678, and in prospect of soon owing her other Five Pounds on the current impression of the Poem, preferred, or consented, to compound for the Ten by a payment of Eight in December 1680. The total sum which he could in any case have been called upon to pay for Paradise Lost by his original agreement was £20 (for the agreement did not look beyond three impressions of 1300 copies each); and the total sum which he did pay was £18. If he thus got off £2, it was probably to oblige the widow, who may have been anxious to realise all she could of her late husband's property at once before leaving town. There is, indeed, a subsequent document from which it would appear as if Simmons feared having farther trouble from the widow. It is a document, dated April 29, 1681, by which she formally releases Samuel Simmons, his heirs, executors, and administrators for ever, from "all and all manner of action and actions, cause and causes of action, suits, bills, bonds, writings obligatory, debts, dues, duties, accounts, sum and sums of moneys, judgments, executions, extents, quarrels either in law or equity, controversies and demands, and all and every other matter, cause, and thing whatsoever, which against the said Samuel Simmons" she ever had, or which she, her heirs, executors, or administrators should or might have, "by reason or means of any matter, cause, or thing whatsoever, from the beginning of the world unto the day of these presents." About the most comprehensive release possible!

From 1680, accordingly, neither Milton's widow, nor his daughters, had any share or interest whatever in the sale of Paradise Lost. The sole property in it was vested in the printer Simmons. Nor did he keep it long. Shortly after his last agreement with the widow he transferred his entire interest in the poem to another bookseller, Brabazon Aylmer, for twenty-five pounds. But on the 17th of August 1683 Aylmer sold half of his right at a considerably advanced price to the

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