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Thus, by the end of April 1669, Milton had received in all Ten Pounds for his Paradise Lost. This (worth about £35 now) was all that he was to receive for the poem 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 this 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 Aldersgatestreet, 1674.1
at least as far back as 1822. Its former history has not been traced ; but it probably came from among those papers, left by Jacob Tonson tertius, of which an account has been already given (see ante, pp. 8-9, n.) A facsimile of it was given in the Gentleman's Magazine for July 1822 ; and there is a copy of this facsimile in Mr. Leigh Sotheby's Ramblings, Plate XVIII. -Connected with the document is a curious incident, which should be a warning to purchasers of such antiquities. At the public sale, in June 1859, of the manuscript collections of the late well-known antiquary Mr. Dawson Turner, there was put up what professed to be this identical receipt of Milton to Simmons for his second Five Pounds, together with what professed to be a subsequent receipt (to be presently spoken of) by Milton's widow for a final payment by Simmons on account of Paradise Lost. These two supposed originals were bought on commission for an American collector for £43 : Is. Scarcely had they been bought, however, when a controversy arose as to their genuineness. Lady Cullum claimed to have in her possession the two original documents in question : how, then, could Mr. Dawson Turner have had them too? The matter was discussed in the columns of the Atheneum at intervals from September 1859 till February 1860. So far the mystery was cleared up. It appeared that, many years before, Sir Thomas Cullum had lent the two original documents to Mr. Dawson Turner, and that the documents put up at the sale were only copies, and not perfect copies either, of these originals ; which copies Mr. Dawson Turner had made, or caused to be made, for his own use, before returning the originals. He had neglected to label them as copies, and hence the error. The Cullum documents were thus estab. lished to be the true originals, and the sale of the others was cancelled. The body of the receipt is in the same hand as the signature ; which hand, it will be seen at once, is a totally different one from that which signed the contract with Simmons two years before. Possibly it was Milton's third wife that penned this receipt for him ; possibly it was some boy then attending him as reader and amanuensis.
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. Prefixed (in some copies, at least) is a not badly executed portrait of the author, with this inscription underneath, “W. Dolle sculpsit: Johannis Miltoni effigies, ætat. 63, 1671."1 There are also 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, viz. 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 of the volume, are prefixed to the Books to which they severally apply. These changes, we are distinctly informed,” were made by Milton himself. 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. Account will be taken of such variations in our Notes. On the whole, the Second Edition, though pretty correct, is not so nice-looking a book as the First.
As Milton's death occurred in the year in which the second edition was published, he cannot himself have witnessed any greater "success" for his poem than might be measured by the circulation of some 1500, or, at most, some 1800, copies. But that the poem had by that time made an extraordinary impression, and had recalled attention to its author as indubitably one of the greatest poets of England or of all time, is proved not only by the language employed
1 The same portrait (a copy, on a reduced scale, of Faithorne's celebrated engraving of Milton prefixed to his History of Britain in 1670) had been prefixed to Milton's Artis Logicæ Plenior Institutio, published in 1672, and also to the Second Edition of his Minor Poems, brought out in 1673.
2 Memoir of Milton by his nephew Phillips, 1694. Phillips's words respect. ing the Second Edition are: “amended enlarg’d and differently dispos'd as to the number of books, by his own hand, that is by his own appointment.” * VOL, II
by Barrow and Marvell in their commendatory verses, - language which, with all allowance for the custom of eulogy in such cases, is startling yet for its vastness,—but also by other testimonies. “Jo: “ Dreyden, Esq., Poet Laureate, who very much admired him," says Aubrey, “went to him to have leave to putt his Paradise Lost into a “ drama in rhyme. Mr. Milton received him civilly, and told him “ he would give him leave to tagge his verses.” Accordingly, some time before Milton's death, his friends were scandalised, and the whole town amused, by hearing of that extraordinary production of Dryden which he professed to have founded on Milton's epic, and which he entitled The State of Innocence, or the Fall of Man : an Opera. That the bad taste of this performance of the Laureate did not escape censure at the time might easily be proved?; but that his intention was in the highest degree respectful to Milton appears from the "Apology for Heroic Poetry and Poetic License” which he prefixed to the opera when he published it in 1674, just after Milton's death. He there tells us that the opera had been “wholly written” in one month's time, and that he had been compelled to publish it in self-defence, “many hundred copies of it," and those full of errors, having been already "dispersed abroad” without his consent. He then adds these words : “I cannot, without injury to “ the deceased author of Paradise Lost, but acknowledge that this
poem has received its entire foundation, part of the design, and
many of the ornaments, from him. What I have borrowed will be “ so easily discerned [distinguished) from my mean productions that “I shall not need to point the reader to the places; and truly I “should be sorry, for my own sake, that any one should take the “pains to compare them together,—the original being undoubtedly “one of the greatest, most noble, and most sublime poems which “either this age or nation has produced.” Such an attestation, by a man in the position of Poet Laureate, may be taken as evidence of what was then a formed opinion in the English literary world. In short, before Milton's death, such was the admiration of his Paradise Lost that the publisher Simmons may have had a reasonable pride
1 Aubrey's Lives, written about 1680, published 1813: Art. “Milton." “ Tags” were bits of silver, or other metal, at the ends of ribbons used in dress.
? There is a sneering allusion to Dryden, for the liberty he had taken with Milton's Paradise Lost, in Andrew Marvell's commendatory verses prefixed to the second edition of the poem.
See particularly lines 11-16 and 45-50.
in putting his own name on the title-page of the second edition, and in advertising his own shop, “next door to the Golden Lion in Aldersgate Street,” as the place where copies were to be bought.
Four years sufficed to exhaust the Second Edition ; and in 1678 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. 1 This edition is in small octavo, and in other respects on the model of its predecessor, save that there are a few verbal variations, due to the printer, and that, by the getting of a line or two more into the page in some parts of the third edition, there are two pages fewer in all in that edition than in the second, i.e. 331 pages instead of 333. This Third Edition 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 the dispute between the widow and Milton's three daughters by his first wife as to the inheritance of his property, 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 :
I do hereby acknowledge to have received of Samuel Symonds, Cittizen 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 Coppy of a Poem Intitled Paradise Lost in Twelve Bookes in 8vo. By John Milton Gent. : my late husband. Wittness my hand this 21st day of December, 1680.
Witness, William Yapp.
Ann Yapp. Copy, with facsimile of signature, in the Gentleman's Magazine for July 1822, and facsimile of the whole in Mr. S. Leigh Sotheby's Ramblings, Plate
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 (worth about £70 now), and the total sum which he did pay was £18 (worth about £63 now). 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 London. There is, indeed, a subsequent document from which it would appear as if Simmons feared having further 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 money, 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 begin• ing 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 property remained solely with the printer Simmons. Nor did he keep it long. Even before his last transactions with the widow, he had arranged to transfer his entire interest in the poem to another bookseller, Brabazon Aylmer, for twenty-five pounds: a sum which shows that, on the whole, he cannot have been consciously unfair in his dealings with the widow. Brabazon Aylmer, whose shop was at the sign of the Three Pigeons in Corn
XVIII. The original was lately in the possession of Lady Cullum ; and it was the late Mr. Dawson Turner's copy of this original that was put up for sale, in June 1859, along with his similar copy of Milton's receipt for the second Five Pounds, under the false impression that they were the originals (see ante, p. 16, note).
1 Copy in Gentleman's Mag. for July 1822, from the original, then in possession of Sir Thomas Gery Cullum, Bart.