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P R E F A C E
By Mr. D OD D.
HILE all read and all admire
Milton, it is confeffed that few understand him ; few, at least, of the common Readers : More learned ones frequently find themselves at a Loss, so unbounded is he in his Knowledge ; fo univerfal in his Allusions to the whole Round of Science. To elucidate his Difficulties, able and ingenious Men have applied their beft Efforts, and that with desirable Success. But as their Annotations are often large, and often critical, they perplex the common Reader, interrupt the Attention, and are
too voluminous for the Pocket, which the smaller Editions of Milton's Works so agreeably fill. It was therefore proposed to the Writer of this Preface, some time since, by a Gentleman deservedly of the first Character in the learned World, to compile a short and comprehensive Explanation of the difficult Words and Passages in Milton's poetical Works, digested in Alphabetical Order ; which might serve to the common Reader, instead of more diffuse Comments ; and might be to all a portable and familiar Attendant upon this inimitable Author.
Pleased with the Proposal, he readily embraced it : But other and more necessary Avocations preventing his Completion of the Design, he commended it to the Gentleman who hath now executed it, and, as it appears, with good Judgment and Propriety.
The Explanation of mere Words are generally taken from Mr. Johnson's very useful Dictionary, and that in reference only to the Sense wherein Milton applies them :