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result of any peculiarity in Milton's style, but merely the general style of the period, are:-

(a) The Freer Use of Inflexions to Express Degree.-These were used both in Milton's time and during the Elizabethan period much more freely than at present, and were added to adjectives, and even adverbs, regardless of the number of their syllables. In Areopagitica occur such forms as ancientest (l. 540), diligentest (l. 894), accuratest (l. 901), exquisitest (l. 941), gladlier (l. 1120).

(b) Accurate Use of Conditional Form of Verb.—The careless use of the Indicative so prevalent to-day finds no warrant from the prose of Milton, who uses the Conditional form with accuracy and judgment, e.g. :

"It had been much more expedient." (1. 481.)

"Though he were the most malicious libeller." (1.655.) "Unless their care were equal." (1.664.)

(c) Peculiar Prepositional phrases.—

"There is yet behind of what." (l. 1221.)

"Easy to refutation." (7. 1208.)

"Provided of." (l. 674.)

"We esteem not of." (l. 726.)

"Condemned of introducing licence." (l. 161.)

The last is in accordance with the Latin idiom, and all are similar to the French usage, showing the Norman-French influence.

(d) Absence of the form "its.”—This was only just coming into use in Milton's time, and is used by him only three times, and not once in this book.

(e) Use of Past Participles and Past Tenses, such as catched (l. 166), forbid (l. 261), writ (ll. 549, 877), forgot (l. 575). There seems to have been a dislike for the participial ending "en" during this period, and the correct form of the past participle had not yet been fixed.

(f) Words Used with Different Meaning.-States (7. 1), fearfulness (1.935), prevent (7. 624), censure (l. 8), remember (l. 1099), conceit (l. 306), painful (7. 119), frustrate (l. 708), let (l. 1656), vulgar (l. 783), fond (l. 666) puny (1. 886), several (l. 1689), collusion (l. 1516).

(g) Strange or Obsolete Forms.-Whenas (ll. 977, 986, etc.), laic (l. 997) obligement (l. 37), cautelous (l. 589), dispreaders (7. 594), inquisiturient (l. 355), scurril (7. 410), ding (l. 911), disinured (7. 1213), homogeneal (l. 1283), dividual (7. 1139), ambushments (l. 1527), disconformity (7. 1496).

Other peculiarities are pointed out in the Notes.

Spelling. The spelling of the text has been modernised, in order to lessen the difficulty of the student in reading it. We reproduce, however, on next page, from Arber's Reprint of the Areopagitica, in Milton's own spelling, a typical page printed in the old style.

Milton seems to have varied his spelling from that usual in his period, principally on phonetic principles, and sometimes also for etymological reasons. Thus, he writes: hauty for haughty, hight for height, schollers for scholar, lerning for learning, debters for debtors, piatza for piazza, siniories for signories, mountanous for mountainous, parlament for parliament, while sovran for sovereign, sent for scent, eremite for hermit, frontispice for frontispiece, are more nearly correct in etymology.

The form voutsafe for vouchsafe seems to be peculiar to Milton.

From Arber's Reprint of Areopagitica (p. 68).

"Lords and Commons of England, confider what Nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governours: a Nation not flow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious and piercing fpirit, acute to invent, futtle and finewy to difcours, not beneath the reach of any point the higheft that human capacity can foar to. Therefore the studies of learning in her deepest Sciences have bin fo ancient, and fo eminent among us, that Writers of good antiquity, and ableft judgement have bin perfwaded that ev'n the school of Pythagoras, and the Perfian wisdom took beginning from the old Philofophy of this Iland. And that wife and civill Roman, Julius Agricola, who govern'd once here for Cæfar, preferr'd the naturall wits of Britain, before the labour'd ftudies of the French. Nor is it for nothing that the grave and frugal Tranfilvanian fends out yearly from as farre as the mountanous borders of Ruffia, and beyond the Hercynian wildernes, not their youth, but their ftay'd men, to learn our language, and our theologic arts. Yet that which is above all this, the favour and the love of heav'n we have great argument to think in a peculiar manner propitious and propending towards us. Why elfe was this Nation chos'n before any other, that out of her as out of Sion fhould be proclam'd and founded forth the first tidings and trumpet of Reformation to all Europ. And had it not bin the obftinat perverfnes of our Prelats against the divine and admirable spirit of Wicklef, to fuppreffe him as a fchifmatic and innovator, perhaps neither the Bohemian Huffe and Jerom, no nor the name of Luther, or of Calvin had bin ever known: the glory of reforming all our neighbours had bin compleatly ours. But now, as our obdurat Clergy have with violence demean'd the matter, we are become hitherto the latest and the backwardeft Schollers, of whom God offer'd to have made us the teachers. Now once again by all concurrence of figns, and by the generall inftinct of holy and devout men, as they daily and folemnly expreffe their thoughts God is decreeing to begin fome new and great period in his Church, ev'n to the reformation of Reformation it felf."

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