Published in 1674, the year of Milton's death. It is to be hoped, therefore, that Milton never saw Dryden's work. There is a tale, obtained by Aubrey from Milton's pupil and friend Cyriac Skinner, that Dryden visited Milton and asked his leave to make this adaptation. In the collection for the Life of Milton forming No. X of the Aubrey MSS. in the Bodleian Library, where the authority for each memorandum precedes the memorandum, we have —
'Mr. Skinner who was his disciple.
' Jo. Dryden, Esq., Poet Laureate, who very much admired him and went to him to have leave to putt his Paradise Lost into a drama in rhyme. Mr. Milton received him civilly, and told him that he would give him leave to tagge his verses.'
The form of permission may be interpreted by Andrew Marvell's use of the phrase in his lines ' On Milton's Paradise Lost ':—
'Well might thou scorn thy readers to allure
With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure,
While the Town Bayes writes all the while and spells,
And, like a packhorse, tires without his bells.
Their fancies like our bushy points appear:
The poets tag them, we for fashion wear.'
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