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Described in


Render'd into PROSE.

With Historical, Philosophical ary^^lfcatory

From the French of the Ds

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NO Poem hjs had greater, or juster Praise from the most eminent "Judges of Literature, than Paradise Lost, as well for the Sublimity of the Subject and Sentiments, as the -profound and extensive Learning it is enrich'd with. It comprehends almost every Thing within the Extent of human Knowledge; but being wrote in the highest Stile of herokk Poetry, and the Thoughts, many of teem express''d by Figures of Grammar and Rhetoric, being full of Digresiions -and Sentences transposed, as well as difficult Terms in the Mathematicks, History, Astronomy, Astrology, Geography, Architecture, Navigation, Anatomy, Alchymy, Divinity, and all other human Arts and Sciences, it hath fe happened, that many Readers have been unable to fee the Beauties of the Poem, for Want of being able to come at, the proper Explication of those Things, which have been out of their Reach -, and this must happen to a great many; for how few are there who have had Leisure ar Opportunity to be Master of all the Sciences? beside? which it is necessary they should understand the Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic, Syriac, Phœnician, and Egyptian, and all the dead Languages, with the living and modern ones, in all their different Dialects: So that it ha* been a frequent Complaint of the Readers of Milton, that he has not calculated his Poem for common Eyes ,-t •who passing by the most instructive Passages, or else uncertainly guessing at their Meaning and Reading altogether doubtfully, lose the Pleasure and Benefit which might arise from the thorough Understanding os the improving Lecture, and the moral and philosophical Injlructwm

which which are to be found in tbis inimitable Book; of which may be affirmed, what cannot be said of any ether Book in the World beside, that is, it never has leen read and rightly understood by any, who have not given it the highest Encomiums. Therefore, that all English Readers may have the like Pleasure, the following Work was taken in Hand; and to help Foreigners* whose small Acquaintance with our Language, might otherwise prevent their Intelligence of the finest Poem that -ever was wrote. It was not thought sufficient to pick out Lines here and there, and explain them only, for it it impossible to know which Part may be difficult to each Reader ; for which Reason, the whole is render'd into slain and intelligible Prose, the Sense preserved, and nothing omitted that may make it clear to all Readers; Care being taken not to let any Word pass, whether proper Names of Men or Places, or technical Words, withiiut a Note, to make them appear plain, and doing the fame by all the Mythology or Fables of the Antients. It must certainly be a great Ease, to have Recourse to such a Transcript in Prose, and the Help of such a Number of explicit Notes: For this Work is not doiie to insinuate, that it is superior or any Way equal to the Poetry of Paradise Lost; but, on the contrary, designed only to make it more universally intelligible, being fully assured, that it will then be always held in Admiration •„ and if through my Means this should happen, I shall think I have been of general Service-, which is a Consideration that would be my Reward, if no other should arise from it, for then my chief End would be answered.


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The Argument.

PROPOSES the whole Subjeft, Man's Disobedience, and the Loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was plac'd. Then touches the prime Cause of his Fall; which was Satan in the Serpent; who revolting from God, and drawing to his Side many Legions of Angels, was by the Command of God, driven out of Heaven with all his Crew into the great Deep. Which Attion pafs'd over, the Author hastes into the midst of Things, presenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into Hell, described, not in the Centre (for Heaven and Earth may be supposed as not yet made, certainly not yet occurs'd) but in a Place of utter Darkness, most fitly call'd Chaos: Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning Lake, thunder-struck and astonish'd, after a certain Space recovers, as from Confusion, calls up

B * him

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