Imagens da página
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Optimus Sie seres qui nouit cyngea Magistro,

Prospiciens rerum fines Melora sequutus. The Iliads of Homer, done [into Engl. Homou taller verse] by G. Chapman, with intr. ...

selain hanc Homerus

Qui sorbit Nomen MagnoPocta fuum

Scotice Nobiles



URING the last few years there has been an increasing demand

for the productions of our early literature, and the taste has been growing without a corresponding attempt to gratify it; for the reprints of early popular writers still continue to be expensive, and they are published with much diversity of plan, and in every variety of size. It is with the view of meeting this demand, under more desirable circumstances, that the present series of publica. tions has been undertaken.

Among the mass of our early literature there are many books which particularly illustrate the character and sentiments or the history of the age in which they were written ; while others are in themselves monuments of literary history, possessing beauties which entitle them to revival. If they have fallen into oblivion, it is only from the antiquity of the language, the various allusions which are not now understood by general readers, or other causes for which it was imagined there would not be a sale sufficient to make their republication profitable, while, in their original forms, they are too rare or too expensive to be generally accessible.

In the series now offered to the public, a careful selection will be made of such works, whether from manuscripts or rare printed editions, as soem, from their interest as illustrations of manners, literature, or history, or as having had a once merited reputation, more especially to deserve republication at the present day; and these will be carefully edited, with introductions and notes; and when necessary, with glossaries and indexes.

Although each work will form a distinct publication, the series will be issued uniformly, in foolscap octavo, and the price will be so moderate (from 38. to 68. a volume) as to bring them within the reach of all who take any interest in the study of our older literature.


[ocr errors]

The following works are already published, or in preparation ; several others are in contemplation, and the Publisher will gladly receive any further suggestions. The Dramatic and Poetical Works of JOHN MARSTON. Now

first collected, and edited by J. O. Halliwell. 3 vols. 158. “A poet of distinguished celebrity in his own day, no less admired for the versatility of his genius in tragedy and comedy, than dreaded for the poignancy of his satire; in the former department the colleague of Jonson, in the latter the antagonist of Hall." —Rev. P. Hall. The Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman. Edited by Thomas

Wright; a new edition, revised, with additions to the Notes

and Glossary. 2 vols. “ Like all Middle-English Poems written on the principle of alliteration, the Vision of Piers Ploughman' abounds in philological difficulties; and these are increased by the fact that no satisfactory edition of the text had yet appeared (till the present time). The poem itself is exceedingly interesting. Whoever the writer was, he wrote well. He was a keen observer of human nature; alive to the abuses which prevailed in Church and State at the period when he lived, and equally competent and willing to expose them. Along with the most pungent satire and the sternest invective there are interspersed, throughout his work, passages of a different character,-touches exhibiting a deep perception of the gentler feelings of human nature,-lines which in harmony and grace and beauty would not suffer by a comparison with the more admired productions of the courtly Chaucer." --Atheneum.

"The Vision of Piers Ploughman' is one of the most precious and interesting monuments of the English Language and Literature, and also of the social and political condition of the country during the fourteenth century. :... Its author is not certainly known, but its time of composition can, by internal evidence, be fixed at about the year 1362. On this and on all matters bearing upon the origin and object of the Poem, Mr. Wright's historical introduction gives ample information...... In the thirteen years that have passed since the first edition of the present text was published by the late Mr. Pickering, our old literature and history have been more studied, and we trust that a large circle of readers will be prepared to welcome this cheaper and carefully revised reprint." --Literary Gazette.

[Continued at the end.

« AnteriorContinuar »