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the approved authorities, collating the text with the best editions, and comparing the statements and opinions of the most skilful and judicious critics. Having had the advantage that results from the labours of many who have gone before him, it cannot be presumptuous in him to state that he has been enabled to correct numerous errors which had been transmitted from edition to edition.
His extracts have been made from the earliest copies of the several writers; he has therefore retained the peculiar orthography of each, and presented them as they were originally produced, rather than as their modern editors have transcribed them. He has thought it unadvisable to load his brief biographies with references to authorities; but trusts they have been compiled with care and accuracy, and that he has maturely weighed the slight criticisms he has ventured to append to them.
The Editor is bound to express his grateful thanks to the Artists who have aided him in his undertaking. To their kindness and liberality he is mainly indebted for the power to bring his volume within a reasonable rate of expense. It will be observed that he has given but one specimen of each Painter-his design being to supply examples of the Art as well as of the Poetry of Great Britain, and to obtain as much variety as was possible, in both.
The illustrations are now engraved for the first time. He has obtained the assistance of the most eminent engravers; and, he believes, the prints will be considered as among the most successful productions of
In the confident anticipation of the plan of this work receiving the sanction of the public, it is proposed to issue a second part, which will contain the poets who follow Prior.
The autographs have been copied from authentic documents. Although the most unremitting exertions were used to render the series complete, it was found impossible to procure those of Chaucer, Lydgate, James the First, Hawes, Carew, Quarles, Shirley, Habington, and Lovelace; and it may be asserted with some confidence that their existence is unknown to collectors.
It only remains for the Editor to state, that the Publishers have co-operated with him in his endeavours to produce a work which shall be worthy of public patronage.