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LONDON

PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO.

NEW-STRERT SQUARE

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Instructor of Candidates for the Civil Service and other Public Examinations,

LONDON: LONGMAN, GREEN, LONGMAN, ROBERTS, & GREEN.

1864.

280. h. 45

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PREFACE.

In the Comus, L'Allegro, and Il Penseroso, we have poetry of an older kind-older both in language and sentimentthan in the Paradise Lost of the same author. Between the production of the former poems and that of the latter, an interval of about thirty years, occupied with affairs of state and with political controversy, produced a great change in the spirit with which Milton had regarded

Such sights as youthful poets dream
On summer eves by haunted stream.

To be acquainted, therefore, with the poetry of his earlier days, especially his Comus, L'Allegro, and Il Penseroso, is to possess a necessary means of duly estimating his poetical character.

The First and Second Books of Milton's Paradise Lost having been already published with Notes for the use of teachers and students, it has seemed expedient to issue with the same design the best of his Minor Poems, both as containing a treasury of thought productive of the highest utility and enjoyment to the literary mind, and as being often included among the subjects prescribed to candidates for public examinations.

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