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It will be observed that, in the specimens given of the earlier poets, the spelling has been modernised on the principle which has been so generally approved in its application to the text of Chaucer and of Spenser.
On a further examination of the material for Specimens and Memoirs of the less-known British Poets, it has been deemed advisable to devote three volumes to this résumé, and merely to give extracts from Cowley, instead of following out the arrangement proposed when the issue for this year was announced. In this space it has been found possible to present the reader with specimens of almost all those authors whose writings were at any period esteemed. The series will thus be rendered more perfect, and will include the complete works of the authors whose entire writings are by a general verdict regarded as worthy of preservation; together with representations of the style, and brief notices of the poets who have, during the progress of our literature, occupied a certain rank, but whose popularity and importance have in a great measure passed.
It is confidently hoped that the arrangements now made will give a completeness to the First Division of the Library Edition of the British Poets—from Chaucer to Cowper—which will be acceptable and satisfactory to the general reader.
EDINBURGH, July 1860.
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