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1869, only 7

Seift og the Liberal Fraternity

of
Vanuarát Uzuiversiti.

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Milton, the least perhaps of all authors, stands in need of a Patron. But a great part of your Lordship's life has been

spent

in

wpholding the same manly and enlightened principles of freedom, which pervade the Prose Writings of the greatest of our Pocts.

Your Lordship’s own eloquence is marked by the same rapidity, fire, and splendour, which cha

racterize what may be called the forensic productions of Milton, and which now appear complete in English for the first time. From the sympathy of genius, you cannot withhold your admiration of the author. There is no one, to whom I can, with more propriety, inscribe this edition of his works.

I am, my Lord,

Your Lordship's

Most obedient humble Servant,

GEORGE BURNETT:

Bristol, Oct. 30, 1809.

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PREFACE,

THE idea of this publication might probably not have been conceived, but for a hint by the reviewer of the late edition of Milton's Prose Works in the Annual. The precise words I can not quote, as I have not the review by me, and as it is long since I read them ; but the idea suggested was, to convert the prose works also of our great poet into a popular classic, by selecting his best pieces, that is, his political writings, and giving extracts from the rest, and to print the whole in a smaller and cheaper form. Finding it adviseable, from indisposition, to retire for a while to the country, and desirous of reading with attention the prose works of Milton, which I had not done before, but in part, I recollected also the hint I have alluded to, and resolved to proceed upon it.

The chief of Milton's prose works may be referred to three general divisions, according as they relate, 1. To Ecclesiastical Law; 2. To Matrimonial Law ; 3. To the Tenure of the

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Magistrate. Two short pieces only, in the pre-
sent collection are not strictly referable to either
of these divisions: these are, Of Education, and
Areopagitica. All the pieces which comé under
either of the above general heads, respectively, I
have thought it most commodious to arrange
together, whatever the dates either of their com-
position or publication ; so that they will now be
read in succession, as so many books of the same
treatise.

The theological pieces, and those on divorce,
have been considerably abridged ; Areopagitica
a little; and Iconoclastes a good deal: the other
pieces are entire; and the whole of the second
volume is without any abridgment whatever.
This volume contains the entire controversy of
Milton with Salmasius and Morus, or More; a
controversy, which, (to use Milton's own words)
made “ All Europe ring from side to side." Of
the quantity rejected from the pieces in the
first volume I have spoken more particularly in
the introduction.

In a few instances, I have given an abstract of a page or two, to preserve the connection; and have, now and then, inserted an adverb, or conjunction, to connect passages distant in place. All such abstracts and insertions will be found ena closed in brackets.

On my beginning to arrange these productions

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