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PREFATORY NOTICE. .

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URING the summer of 1867 I had the opportunity

(which I had often wished for) of expressing in print my estimate and admiration of the works of the American poet Walt Whitman.* Like a stone dropped into a' pond, an article of that sort may spread out its concentric circles of consequences. One of these is the invitation which I have received to edit a selection from Whitman's writings: virtually the first sample of his work ever published in England, and offering the first tolerably fair chance he has had of making his way with English readers on his own showing. Hitherto, such readers—except the small percentage of them to whom it has happened to come across the poems in some one of their American editions have picked acquaintance with them only through the medium of newspaper extracts and criticisms, mostly short-sighted, sneering, and depreciatory, and rather intercepting than forwarding the candid

* See The Chronicle for 6th July 1867, article Walt Whitman's Poems.

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