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Mr. Milton's Agreement with Mr. Symonsfor Paradise Lost, dated 2JtA April, 1667.

These presents, made the 27th day of April, 1667, between John Milton, gentleman, of the one part, and Samuel Symons, printer, of the other part, witness That the said John Milton, in consideration of five pounds to him now paid by the said Samuel Symons, and other the considerations herein mentioned, hath given, granted, and assigned, and by these presents doth give, grant, and assign unto the said Samuel Symons, his executors and assignees, All that book, copy, or manuscript of a Poem entitled Paradise Lost, or by whatsoever other title or name the same is or shall be called or distinguished, now lately licensed to be printed, together with the full benefit, profit, and advantage thereof, or which shall or may arise thereby. And the said John Milton, for him, his executors and administrators, doth covenant with the said Samuel Symons, his executors and assignees, that he and they shall at all times hereafter have, hold, and enjoy the same and all impressions thereof accordingly, without the let or hindrance of him, the said John Milton, his executors or assignees, or any person or persons by his or their consent or privity. And that he, the said John Milton, his executors or administrators, or any other by his or their means or consent, shall not print or cause to be printed, or sell, dispose or publish the said book or manuscript, or any other book or manuscript of the same tenor or subject, without the consent of the said Samuel Symons, his executors or assignees: In consideration whereof the said Samuel Symons, for him, his executors and administrators, doth covenant with the said John Milton, his executors and assignees, well and truly to pay unto the said John Milton, his executors and administrators, the sum of five pounds of lawful English money at the end of the first impression, which the said Samuel Symons, his executors or assignees, shall make and publish of the said copy or manuscript, which impression shall be accounted to be ended when thirteen hundred books of the said whole copy or manuscript imprinted shall be sold and retailed off to particular reading customers. And shall also pay other five pounds unto the said John Milton, or his assignees, at the end of the second impression, to be accounted as aforesaid: and five pounds more at the end of the third impression, to be in like manner accounted. And that the said three first impressions shall not exceed fifteen hundred books or volumes of the said whole copy or manuscript, apiece. And further, that he, the said Samuel Symons, and his executors, administrators, and assignees, shall be ready to make oath before a Master in Chancery concerning his or their knowledge and belief of or concerning the truth of the disposing and selling the said books by retail, as aforesaid, whereby the said Mr. Milton is to be entitled to his said money from time to time, upon every reasonable request in that behalf; or, in default thereof, shall pay the said five pounds agreed to be paid upon every impression, as aforesaid, as if the same were due, and for and in lieu thereof. In witness whereof, the said parties have to this writing indented, interchangeably set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.

John Milton. (Seal.)

Sealed and delivered in j John Fisher, the presence of us, j Benjamin Greene, servant to Mr. Milton.

April 26, 1669. Received then of Samuel Symons five pounds, being the second five pounds to be paid—mentioned in the covenant. I say, received by me,

John Milton. Witness, Edmund Upton.

I do hereby acknowledge to have received of Samuel Symons, Citizen and Stationer of London, the sum of eight pounds, which is in full payment for all my right, title, or interest, which I have or ever had in the copy of a Poem entitled Paradise Lost, in twelve books, in 8vo, by John Milton, gentleman, my late husband. Witness my hand, this 21st day of December 1680.

Elizabeth Milton.

Witness, William Yopp, Ann Yopp.

Know all men by these presents, that I, Elizabeth Milton, of London, widow, late wife of John Milton, of London, gentleman, deceased, have remissed, released, and for ever quit claim and by these presents do remiss, release, and for ever quit claim unto Samuel Symons, of London, printer, his heirs, executors, and administrators, 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 money, judgments, execution, 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 Symons I ever had, and which I, my heirs, executors, or administrators shall or may have claim and challenge or demand for or by reason or means of any matters, cause, or thing whatsoever from the beginning of the world unto the day of these presents. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal the twenty-ninth day of April, in the thirty-third year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Charles, by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, and A.D. 1681.

Elizabeth Milton.
Signed and delivered
in the presence of
Jos. Leigh, Wm. Wilkins.

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I, WHO erewhile the happy garden sung,
By one man's disobedience lost, now sing
Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,
By one man's firm obedience fully tried
Through all temptation, and the tempter foil'd
In all his wiles, defeated, and repulsed,
And Eden raised in the waste wilderness.

Thou Spirit, who ledd'st this glorious eremite
Into the desert, his victorious field,
Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence
By proof the undoubted Son of God, inspire,
As thou art wont, my prompted song, else mute.
And bear through height or depth of nature's bounds,
With prosperous wing full summ'd, to tell of deeds
Above heroic, though in secret done,
And unrecorded left through many an age,
Worthy to have not remain'd so long unsung.

Now had the great Proclaimer, with a voice
More awful than the sound of trumpet, cried
Repentance, and heaven's kingdom nigh at hand
To all baptized : to his great baptism flock'd
With awe the regions round, and with them came
From Nazareth, the son of Joseph deem'd
To the flood Jordan; came, as then obscure,
Unmark'd, unknown; but him the Baptist soon
Descried, divinely warn'd, and witness bore
As to his worthier, and would have resign'd
To him his heavenly office, nor was long
His witness unconfirm'd: on him baptized
Heaven open'd, and in likeness of a dove
The Spirit descended, while the Father's voice
From heaven pronounced him his beloved Son.

That heard the adversary, who, roving still
About the world, at that assembly famed
Would not be last, and, with the voice divine
Nigh thunder-struck, the exalted man, to whom
Such high attest was given, a while survey'd
With wonder; then, with envy fraught and rage,
Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air
To council summons all his mighty peers,
Within thick clouds, and dark, ten-fold involved,
A gloomy consistory; and them amidst,
With looks aghast and sad, he thus bespake:

O ancient powers of air, and this wide world,
For much more willingly I mention air,
This our old conquest, than remember hell,
Our hated habitation ; well ye know
How many ages, as the years of men,
This universe we have possess'd, and ruled
In manner at our will, the affairs of earth,
Since Adam and his facile consort Eve
Lost Paradise, deceived by me, though since
With dread attending when that fatal wound
Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve
Upon my head; long the decrees of Heaven
Delay, for longest time to him is short;
And now, too soon for us, the circling hours
This dreaded time have compass'd, wherein we
Must bide the stroke of that long-threaten'd wound,
At least, if so we can, and, by the head
Broken, be not intended all our power
To be infringed, our freedom, and our being,
In this fair empire won of earth and air:
For this ill news I bring, the woman's Seed,
Destined to this, is late of woman born;
His birth to our just fear gave no small cause,
But his growth now to youth's full flower, displaying
All virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve
Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear.
Before him a great prophet, to proclaim
His coming, is sent harbinger, who all
Invites, and in the consecrated stream
Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them, so
Purified, to receive him pure, or rather
To do him honour as their King: all come,
And he himself among them was baptized,
Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
The testimony of Heaven, that who he is
Thenceforth the nations may not doubt. I saw
The prophet do him reverence; on him, rising
Out of the water, heaven above the clouds
Unfold her crystal doors, thence on his head
A perfect dove descend, whate'er it meant,
And out of heaven the sovereign voice I heard,

This is my Son beloved, in him am pleased.

His mother then is mortal, but his sire,

He who obtains the monarchy of heaven;

And what will he not do to advance his Son?

His first-begot we know, and sore have felt,

When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep;

Who this is we must learn, for man he seems

In all his lineaments, though in his face

The glimpses of his Father's glory shine.

Ye see our danger on the utmost edge

Of hazard, which admits no long debate,

But must with something sudden be opposed,

Not force, but well-couch'd fraud, well-woven snares,

Ere in the head of nations he appear,

Their King, their Leader, and Supreme on earth.

I, when no other durst, sole undertook

The dismal expedition to find out

And ruin Adam, and the exploit perform'd

Successfully; a calmer voyage now

Will waft me; and the way, found prosperous once,

Induces best to hope of like success.

He ended, and his words impression left
Of much amazement to the infernal crew,
Distracted and surprised with deep dismay
At these sad tidings; but no time was then
For long indulgence to their fears or grief.
Unanimous they all commit the care
And management of this main enterprise
To him their great dictator, whose attempt
At first against mankind so well had thrived
In Adam's overthrow, and led their march
From hell's deep-vaulted den to dwell in light,
Regents, and potentates, and kings, yea, gods,
Of many a pleasant realm and province wide.
So to the coast of Jordan he directs
His easy steps, girded with snaky wiles,
Where he might likeliest find this new-declared,
This man of men, attested Son of God,
Temptation and all guile on him to try;
So to subvert whom he suspected raised
To end his reign on earth so long enjoy'd:
But contrary unVeeting he fulfill'd
The purposed counsel, pre-ordain'd and fix'd,
Of the Most High, who, in full frequence bright
Of angels, thus to Gabriel smiling spake:

Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold,
Thou and all angels conversant on earth
With man or men's affairs, how I begin
To verify that solemn message late,
On which I sent thee to the virgin pure
In Galilee, that she should bear a son,
Great in renown, and call'd the Son of God;

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