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corrected copy, prepared for the press, without interlineations of any kind. This portion of the volume, however, affords a proof that even the most careful transcription seldom fails to diminish the accuracy of a text; for although it is evident that extraordinary pains have been employed to secure its legibility and correctness, the mistakes which are found in this part of the manuscript, especially in the references to the quotations, are in the proportion of 14 to 1 as compared with those in the remaining three-fifths of the work. The character is evidently that of a female hand, and it is the opinion of Mr. Lemon, whose knowledge of the hand-writings of that time is so extensive that the greatest deference is due to his judgement, that Mary, the second daughter of Milton, was employed as amanuensis in this part of the volume. In corroboration of this conjecture, it may be remarked that some of the mistakes above alluded to are of a nature to induce a suspicion that the transcriber was merely a copyist, or, at most, only imperfectly acquainted with the learned languages. For instance, in p. 19, 1. 17, of the Latin volume, the following quotation occurs : Heb. iv. 13. omnia sunt nuda, et ab intimo patentia oculis ejus; where in the manuscript the word patientia is substituted for patentia. This might have been supposed an accidental oversight, occasioned by the haste of the writer ; but on turning to the Latin Bible of Junius and Tremellius, which Milton generally uses in his quotations, it will be found that the same error occurs in the edition printed at Geneva, 1630, but not in
that printed at London, 1593. This not only seems to fix the precise edition of the Bible from which the texts were copied, but, considering that the mistake is such as could hardly fail to be corrected by the most careless transcriber, provided he understood the sentence, affords a strong presumption that the writer possessed a very moderate degree of scholarship. On the other hand, a great proportion of the errors are precisely such as lead to a supposition that the amanuensis, though no scholar, was to a certain degree acquainted with the language verbally ; inasmuch as they generally consist, not of false combinations of letters, but of the substitution of one word for another of nearly similar sound or structure. Of this kind are gloriæ for gratiæ, corruentem for cor autem, nos for non, in jus for ejus, re for rex, imminuitur for innuitur, in quam for inquam, iniquam for inquam, assimulatus for assimilatus, alienæ tuæ for alienatæ, cælorum for cæcorum, decere for docere, explorentur for explerentur, examinatis for exanimatis, juraverunt for jejunarunt, errare for orare, &c. &c. Faults of this description, especially considering that very few occur of a different.class, and taken in connexion with the opinion of Mr. Lemon stated above, will perhaps remind the reader of a charge which, as Mr. Todd notices, has been brought against the paternal conduct of Milton; · I mean his teaching his children to read and pronounce Greek and several other languages, without understanding any but English."* This at least is certain, that the transcriber of this
* Some Account of the Life and Writings of Milton. Vol. I. p. 161.
part of the manuscript was much employed in Milton's service; for the hand-writing is the same as appears in the fair copy of the Latin letters, discovered, as has been mentioned, in the press which contained the present treatise. *
* It is desirable that a new edition of these letters should be published from this corrected manuscript. The text appears to differ in many instances from that of our present editions, and from the following printed advertisement, which was found in the same parcel, there can be no doubt that the collection had been carefully revised by the author or his friends, and was prepared for publication. It was intended to have been committed to the press in Holland, and was therefore probably among the papers which Skinner had left in that country. The advertisement itself is curious, as containing an indignant remonstrance against the conduct of some dishonest bookseller who had obtained a surreptitious copy of the letters, and published them in an incorrect shape.
• Innotescat omnibus cum in Academiis, tum in Londino, literatis, Bibliopolis etiam, si qui sint qui præter solitum Latine sciunt, nec non exteris quibuscunque, quod Literæ Joannis Miltoni Angli, interregni tempore scriptæ, quas bibliopola quidam Londinensis, secum habita consultatione quantam in rem famamque quantam imperfectissimum quid et indigestum ex operibus tanti viri sibi pro certo cederet, nuper in lucem irrepi fecit (præterquam quod a contemptissimo quodam et perobscuro preli quondam curatore, qui parvam schedarum manum vel emendicaverit olim abs authore, vel, quod verisimilius est, clam suppilaverit, perexiguo pretio fuerunt emptæ) sunt misere mutilæ, dimidiatæ, deformes ex omni parte ruptoque ordine confusæ, præfatiuncula spurca non minus quam infantissima dehonestatæ, cæterisque dein a numerosi. oribus chartis nequiter arreptæ. Quodque vera Literarum exemplaria, locupletiora multum et auctiora, composita concinnius et digesta, typis elegantioribus excudenda sunt in Hollandia prelo commissa. Quæ una cum Articulis Hispanicis, Portugallicis, Gallicis, Belgicis in ista rerum inclinatione nobiscum ipitis et percussis, pluribusque chartis Germanicis, Danicis, Suevicis scitissime scriptis, ne ex tam spuriis libri natalitiis, et ex tam vili præfatore læderetur author, brevi possis, humanissime lector, expectare.'
The remainder of the manuscript is in an entirely different hand, being a strong upright character, supposed by Mr. Lemon to be the hand-writing of Edward Philipps, the nephew of Milton. This part of the volume is interspersed with numerous interlineations and corrections, and in several places with small slips of writing pasted in the margin. These corrections are in two distinct hand-writings, different from the body of the manuscript, but the greater part of them undoubtedly written by the same person who transcribed the first part of the volume. Hence it is probable that the latter part of the MS. is a copy transcribed by Philipps, and finally revised and corrected by Mary and Deborah Milton from the dictation of their father, as many of the alterations bear a strong resemblance to the reputed hand-writing of Deborah, the youngest daughter of Milton, in the manuscripts preserved in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge; who is stated by Wood (Fasti Oxonienses, Part I, 1635. col. 483.) to have been
trained up by her father in Latin and Greek, and made by him his amanuensis. A lithrographic facsimile has been taken of two of the Sonnets in the Trinity manuscript, and is prefixed to this volume, by the permission of the Master and Seniors of that Society. The other plate is an accurate representation of the three hand-writings alluded to in the preceding statement.
Independently, however, of other considerations, the readers of the volume now published will find the
best proofs of its authenticity in the resemblance of its language and opinions to the printed works of Milton. Some striking specimens of this agreement are frequently given in the notes, and these illustrations might have been multiplied to a much greater extent, had it not seemed desirable, on account of the bulk of the volume, only to select such as were most remarkable for similarity of style or sentiments.
It must be acknowledged that the disqualifications of Milton for such a work as the present, were neither few nor unimportant. They were owing partly to the unhappy circumstances of the period at which he lived, and partly to that peculiar disposition of mind which led him to view every surrender of individual opinion, whether in morals or politics as an infringement on the rights of natural liberty. In his time power was abused, under pretence of religion, in a degree to which, happily for genuine Christianity, the ecclesiastical annals can scarcely afford a parallel ; and the universal prevalence of an intolerant spirit, from which his own connexions as well as himself had suffered severely, disposed him to look with an unfavourable eye, not only upon the corruptions, but on the doctrine itself and discipline of the church. His father bad been disinherited for embracing the Protestant faith. He himself had been brought up under a Puritan who was subsequently obliged to leave England on account of his religious opinions, Thomas Young of Essex, one of the six answerers of Hall's Humble Remonstrance. Hence there is some