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THE original plan of this work was to comprise all the beautiful Poetry in the English language, from the time of Henry VIII. and Queen Elizabeth, (when the excellence of our poets began to fix the language,) down to the present time. But the limits to which the Editor was confined, rendered it impossible; much fine poetry was unavoidably to be excluded: this has constituted one great difficulty, and must be the excuse for many of the omissions... . . The selections from:the mincr ancient poets, are chiefly taken from, a small vilure purlisled in 1790, entitled Specimens of the Early English Poets. With respect to the mooterns, he Editcr

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The arrangement which has been adopted, (tf placing all the poems of one. gusho: tegether, and classing the poets according to the time in which they flourished,) is the most obvious, and the best calculated to show the gradual alterations in our language, and the improvement in our versification, if not in our poetry. A division under se. parate heads, must generally be fanciful. The length of the selections from each poet, has been as much as possible proportioned to his excellence: and where all the fine poems of an author could not be admitted, -those have been chosen which are most generally admired. No selections from our Epic, and other long poems, are admitted,

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because it very much destroys the interest of the
whole poem, to be first acquainted with the most
beautiful parts: and even the passages selected
lose much of their beauty, when given detached
from the subject to which the poet had connected
them. But this is not the case where the parts of
a poem are unconnected; or rather, where several
distinct poems are written under one title, as the
Night Thoughts of Young. Independently of these
objections, the admission of extracts from long
poems, must have excluded too many of the en-
tire poems. -
The Editor has endeavoured as much as pos-
sible, to correct his own judgment by public
opinion; and under that idea has admitted several
poems, which he does not particularly admire.
Therefore.he.cannot hope, that any one of his

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is published at 10 Guineas,

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