Excerpt from The Poems of John Milton, Vol. 1 of 2: With Notes
Brevity and terseness are the very soul of annotation a note should not contain a superﬂuous word Nature not having bestowed on me copiousness of language, my style is brief and condensed, hence I rarely copy the notes of others, as I can express their matter in fewer words. In reality however the greater part of these notes was written from the resources of my own mind, and it was, in general, only in dubious cases that I referred to the commentators. But whenever I have been indebted to any of them, I have given his name so also in the parallel passages, though I had my self noticed the greater number of them, I give the initials of the critics who first observed them. With respect to these passages, nothing surely can be further from my mind than the idea of making Milton a centoist; but I think it a most agreeable employment for a philosophic mind to trace how far a great poet may have been indebted for ideas or language to the authors he had read, and I quote no others. For a similar reason I have given the various readings to Comus and other poems from Milton's own manuscript.
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