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From that house they were both carried to their graves, victims perhaps of some epidemic, within three weeks of each other, in August 1638, the wife of John having died only some weeks before. Milton was then in Florence ; and not till his return home in the following autumn did he learn all the sad details. Reading his Epitaphium Damonis now, we can see Mr. Dollam's house in Blackfriars, and the burial thence, Aug. 27, 1638, distinctly in his mind as he wrote the passionate lamentation; and that house, we may be sure, was never afterwards passed by Milton, while he could behold anything in this world, without peculiar memories and musings. So well, even at such a distance, may fit research recover interesting particulars of forgotten place and time!

EDINBURGH : September, 1874.

GENERAL ESSAY ON MILTON'S

ENGLISH

WHILE much on this subject will be gathered best from the special Notes to the Poems, there are certain pervading characteristics and recurring peculiarities of which it may be well to take some account collectively in a general Essay. It is to be understood that the following remarks relate to Milton's Poetry only, any references to his Prose being but incidental. The remarks may arrange themselves under six heads :

I. Milton's Vocabulary.
II. Spelling and Pronunciation.
III. Peculiarities of Grammatical Inflection.
IV. Syntax and Idiom.

V. The Punctuation.
VI. Milton's Versification, and his place in the History of English

Verse.

1. MILTON'S VOCABULARY.

From the tolerably complete verbal Indexes that have been prepared for Milton's Poetical Works, it has been computed that Milton's total vocabulary in these works, to the exclusion of his prose-writings, consists of about 8,000 words. In this computation all separate parts of speech are counted as distinct words, but inflections of any one part of speech are not so counted. By a similar computation, on the same

1 The chief of these Indexes are :-(1) The "Verbal Index to the Poetry of Milton” which accompanied Todd's Second, or 1809, edition of Milton's Poetical Works, and which was also printed in the same year in a separate volume, containing Todd's “ Account of the Life and Writings of the Poet.” . This Index included the Greek, Latin, and Italian poems, as well as the English. (2) “A Complete Concordance to Milton's Poetical Works, by G. Lushington Prendergast,” published in twelve quarto parts at Madras in 1857-9. (3) “A Complete Concordance to the Poetical Works of John Milton, by Charles Dexter Cleveland, LL.D.," published in London in 1867: being an improvement on a Verbal Index, based on Todd's, which Mr. Cleveland had prepared for an American edition of the Poetical Works in 1853. VOL. I.

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