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In the present two volumes is presented to the Reader of to-day a substantially complete edition of the English. productions of a genuine singer of the seventeenth century. Why such a piece of labour has not been upon the English market continuously we are rather at a loss to understand.
In thus offering to the public our work we should like to expatiate, if somewhat briefly, upon what we, as distinct from most editors of cheap reprints, have done for our great and neglected Poet.
Our work has been largely confined to the task of presenting the best text of our author, combined with a natural and sequential arrangement of the pieces, and printed in the orthography of the present day.
Those remarks hardly apply to our second, and previously issued, volume; which was a reprint of one of the early editions, consequently having its arrangement, etc. But for the first volume of the present set we have followed that amended-and we would fain hope more acceptable-arrangement, etc., spoken of.
We shall not offer, for the first volume, any biographical and critical remarks. Those we gave in the Introduction
to Carmen Deo Nostro, and though brief, and in some respects incomplete, we think they may serve for our limited issue of these poems. A complete and scholarly edition of Crashaw's Latin and Greek poetry would fitly follow the present edition if prepared by one well initiated in both those languages. We feel our own incapacity to deal with them satisfactorily, and so must leave that desirable labour to another or others.
It is now our duty to speak of what will follow these remarks, viz., a Guide to the study of the Poet, prepared, not upon any exhaustive bibliographical plan (that would have meant more than sufficient, and something of questionable utility, taking it all in all): but upon a principle of judicious selection, with a view of assisting the student to a full knowledge and appreciation of Crashaw. It is modelled upon an American work of similar nature, and all due acknowledgement is made for the happy suggestion, which we could not avoid imitating. Of course the material is our own, or procured by direction to several friends, whose facilities for the examination of works of reference have been easy. For the assistance rendered we tender our thanks, although had we relied upon our own resources and collection of Crashawiana we should still have been able to show an almost sufficient result for the delectation of the student and reader.
With a view of giving an air of originality to our volumes we reprint the original title-pages of 1648: the
edition forming the basis of our own as regards material and text.
The present edition will not be reprinted under any circumstances within recent time, and at the nominal price charged for so small an issue we hope to be relieved of the entire impression within a short period.
In concluding our Preface, we would say that the present issue does not profess to give every scrap, good or bad, which has been discovered during recent time as Richard Crashaw's. Such editorial labour in the present case would only have rendered our author a dis-service, and served no useful end to the reader. It was our duty likewise to cast out one "Divine Epigram " of those included in the original editions, which the extremely curious could easily discover by comparing the present edition with its predecessors. Grapes are all the better without stains, and so our edition could not receive what would have been found objectionable on several grounds. Crashaw is pure always, and in an edition of his entire works that epigram, and a few other pieces, not herein included, should certainly not be lost sight of. It was part of our care also not to include poems by other hands which had found a place in several editions of Crashaw's works.
For the graceful and accurate translation of the famous Latin epigram on the Miracle at Cana in Galilee, done by our friend, Mr. Henry Kelsey White, we would express our acknowledgements. It rounds off that little
department of the poetry, and we are pleased to be able to show our friend in the light herein shown. His faith, we know, "is large in Time, and that which shapes it to some perfect end."
Trusting that the following pages may meet with their due reward on the Poet's account-not ours. It is no small pleasure to us to be thus associated with a 'minor poet,' and we may say with our late Laureate :
"The song that nerves a nation's heart,
Is in itself a deed."
II. A GUIDE TO THE STUDY OF
CHIEF LIVES AND BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF CRASHAW: Winstanley, Wm. The Lives of the English Poets, 1687. Richard Crashaw, pp. 161, 162.
Phillips, Peregrine. Poetry by Richard Crashaw, with some account of the Author, 1785.
Gentleman's Magazine, 1793. Particulars of Crashaw's Early Life and Writings. Vol. 63, pp. 1001-1003. Biographia Britannica (Kippis' edition), vol. iv. Richard Crashaw. By Wm. Hayley, pp. 427-432.
Anderson, R. Poets of Great Britain, 1793. Life of Richard Crashaw, vol. iv., pp. 701-705.
Wood, Anthony. Fasti Oxonienses, edited by P. Bliss. Crashaw, Part ii., pp. 4, 5
Chalmers, Alexander. The Works of the English Poets,
1810. Crashaw; with a Life, vol. vi., pp. 551-599.
Headley, H. Select Beauties of Ancient English Poetry. 2 vols., 1810. Biographical Sketch of Crashaw, vol. i., p. xxxvi.
Chalmers, Alexander. The General Biographical Dictionary. Richard Crashaw, vol. x., 1813, pp. 482-485 Willmott, R. E. A. Lives of Sacred Poets. Two Series. Richard Crashaw, series i., pp. 295-325, ed. 1834. Campbell, Thomas. Essay on English Poetry; with Notices of the British Poets, 1848. Notice of
Crashaw, pp. 223-4. Gilfillan, Geo. Poetical Works of Richard Crashaw,
1857. Essay on the Life and Poetry, pp. v.-xviii. Grosart, A. B. Complete Works of Crashaw, 1872-3, containing (in vol. i., pp. xxvii.-xxxviii.) a "MemorialIntroduction"; and (in vol. ii., pp. xxi.-xc.) an "Essay on the Life and Poetry of Crashaw." Dictionary of National Biography. Crashaw, by S. L. Lee. Vol. xiii., pp. 33-36.
LEADING CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH POETS:
Samuel Butler (1612-1680).