[Commonplace book], [ca. 1708]. Manuscript on paper, in a single hand, containing about 74 entries of political prose, political and religious poetry, and religious prayers. Beinecke call number: Osborn b63.
Okay, does someone want to explain to me why “Anno Domini 1658” appears at the bottom of the page? As far as anyone knows, “A Mask” was published three times in the seventeenth century: in 1637 as a stand-alone booklet (without Milton’s name), in 1645 (as part of the “Poems of Mr. John Milton,” where it had its own title-page), and in 1673 (as part of the second ed. of the Poems, where it did not have a separate title-page). In other words, I have no idea what relation 1658 might have to the work, unless this was copied from an edition that has now been lost. I must say, it looks very much like the person copied out a printed title-page, and it is worth noting that on neither of title-pages known to have been printed for “A Mask” in the seventeenth century does it appear as “A Mask / &c. of / Mr. John Milton” (1637 says “A Maske Presented at Ludlow-Castle” and 1645 says “A Mask of the Same Author Presented at Ludlow-Castle”). Is this commonplace entry evidence of a heretofore unknown edition of “A Mask”?!