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At Rome too Selvaggi made a Latin distich in honor of Milton , and Salfilsi a Latin
tetrastich , celebrating him for his Greek and Latin and Italian poetry ; and he in
return presented to Saltilli in his fickness those fine Scazons , or Iambic verses ...
... famous poem of the delivery of Jerusalem ; and in a copy of verses presented
to that nobleman before he left Naples , he intimated his intention of fixing upon
King Arthur for his hero . And in an eclogue , made foon after his return to
... Archbishop of Canterbury : so that tho ' Milton was forced to make use of
different hands to write his verses from time to ... and then followed the argument
of the several books , and the preface concerning the kind of verse , and the table
The second edition was printed in a small octavo , and was corrected by the
author himself , and the number of books was augmented from ten to twelve , with
the addition of some few verses : and this alteration was made with great
The Dutch translation is in blank verse , and printed at Harlem . The French have
a translation by Monf . Dupré de S . Maur ; but nothing showeth the weakness
and imperfection of their language more , than that they have few or no good ...
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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.