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... Mr. Warburton has favored me with a few other notes in manuscript ; I wish there had been more of them for the sake of the reader , for the loose hints ...
... and he appears throughout the whole to have been a very candid reader , and to have approved of more than really merits approbation .
... in the form of short notes , when the particular passages referred to came immediately under consideration , and the context lay before the reader .
... the reader must judge and determin : but it has been my study and endevor , as in the notes to comprise the flower of all other notes , so in the life ...
... as I now suppose , that the accessory might help out the principal , according to the art of “ stationers , and leave the reader con la bocca dolce .
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Chronicles the rise and fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Begins with the crowning of the Son of God, moves to Lucifer's rebellion and fall, the beginning of the Earth, the birth of Adam and Eve, and how they fell prey to Satan's fraud.
Written in 10 syllable per line prose, which must have been very difficult. Milton was blind, which makes the accomplishment even more amazing. Parts of the book were wonderfully written (the battles with Satan, Eden, the creation of the Earth, the coming events as Adam and Eve are escorted from Eden by Archangel Michael), but others are difficult with many references to Greek characters. I'm sure Milton was brilliant, but those parts don't add much for me and make it seem as though he's being pretentious. I also disliked the way all the characters addressed each other: "Lo, great angel from Heaven, graceful and true of spirit." The pictures of the story in the book, while they received vast praise in the preface, were forgettable.
Still, I can't get away from the amazing work that Milton put here. My only real compliant was the blatant sexism that Adam had for Eve, assuming she was always inferior to him. That is no longer the way of the world, and I doubt Adam would have treated Eve thusly. Sin, Death. Satan, Michael and Raphael were my favorite characters, all providing memorable lines.