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MILTON'S

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SAMSON AGONISTES

WITH

INTRODUCTION AND NOTES

BY

H. M. PERCIVAL, M.A.

PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE, PRESIDENCY COLLEGE, CALCUTTA

London
MACMILLAN AND CO
AND NEW YORK

1890

[All rights reserved]

WARYARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

IN MEMORY OF LIONEL DE JERSEY HARVARD

CLASS OF 1915

cip: 12, 1926

PREFACE.

THE Text is substantially that of Masson's edition. In the Notes I have tried to bring out the resemblance between the Vocabulary and Phraseology of Elizabethan literature and those of Milton's poetry. The resemblance between Shaksperian and Miltonic Grammar needs no further proof or illustration after what Prof. Masson and Dr. Abbott have written regarding this point ; but I was unprepared for the closeness and extent of the resemblance in those two other points that an actual comparison of words and phrases has served to bring out. It has been my endeavour to make this clear by means of quotations from Elizabethan writers, specially Shakspere. A second object I have had in view has been the study of words historically. The valuable work done by the Early English Text Society has furnished a rich storehouse of materials by which this interesting study has been rendered more accurate than it was only a few years ago, and has led to results both simple and definite enough to be placed within the reach of young students of English literature. This I have tried to do in the quotations from Old English. In a few passages, explanations or allusions have been given for the first time, as far as I am aware. Some of these (those in 11. 89, 91-93, 548, 1224,

1162) were communicated to the Academy by me, and appeared in the issue for 27th July last. The interesting allusions in l. 548 I owe to Mr. C. H. Tawney. In the case of those parallel passages that have been quoted by previous commentators, I have always, I trust, acknowledged the source whence they were obtained, except in the case of a few well-known passages, the right of quoting which may be looked upon as a sort of common property. In all other cases where no source is mentioned, the parallel passages are given for the first time. I am deeply indebted throughout to Todd's Variorum Edition, and to Prof. Masson's two standard works on Milton. In the grammatical and philological portion of the Notes, I owe much to the writings of Dr. Abbott, Mr. Oliphant, and Prof. Skeat. I have also found the editions of this drama by the Rev. J. Hunter and by Mr. J. C. Collins occasionally helpful.

H. M. P.

August, 1889.

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