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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