Page images
PDF
EPUB

topsy-turvy, when these authors are studied in the mass and in the order in which they appear in this work. The date of Dryden's death has been selected as a fitting close, but it is idle to represent even this as other than a more or less arbitrary choice.

All the texts, with the exception of those in the appendices, have been transcribed from the originals, without any alterations beyond the correction of obvious misprints and the revision of the punctuation in the direction of clarity and order; but a few editorial emendations have been admitted, and duly pointed out in the notes. My own interests as a scholar happen to lie chiefly in the syntheses of literary history, rather than in the textual or philological studies which are its servants. But an unfaithful servant may play havoc with any household, and here, as drudge no less than as master, I have attempted to give that scrupulous adequacy of text which must be the basis of all the higher researches and speculations of literary scholarship. My aim has been to include complete texts only; but in a few instances, such as in the case of treatises too large and not sufficiently significant to include as wholes, and especially in the case of important loci in works not wholly critical in their nature, I have been obliged to restrict myself to chapters, sections, or passages complete in themselves. It is obvious that the trend of criticism is often greatly influenced by books of this latter sort, and the dicta they contain often form part and parcel of its history. The somewhat more fragmentary character of the texts in the first volume is not accidental or arbitrary; it is highly significant in

itself, and is conditioned by the spirit and the methods of Jacobean and early Caroline criticism. On the other hand, the selection of the texts must be determined to some extent by my own conception of the critical development of the century, and this I have given in summary fashion in the general Introduction. The admirable work of Dr. Hamelius, Signor Benedetto Croce, Professor Saintsbury, Professors Gayley and Scott, M. Bourgoin, M. Brunetière, and others, has by no means exhausted the fruitful field of seventeenth-century criticism. In the notes I have tried, by rigid compression and the exclusion, so far as possible, of philological and antiquarian detail, to give such information only as will be of service to the student of the history of criticism ; but in such things, only marginal stuffings' and not ‘unlearned drudgery’l can be avoided. The third volume will contain an index.

In the prosecution of my work I have been under special obligations to my brother, Mr. A. B. Spingarn, who has continually placed at my service the stores of his bibliographical knowledge, and to Mr. W. B. Owen, who has assisted me throughout in the collation of the proof-sheets and in other ways. I am also indebted for incidental assistance to Mr. Sidney Lee, Mr. Frederic Harrison, Dr. J. E. Sandys, Professor G. Gregory Smith, Mr. W. J. Courthope, Mr. Ferris Greenslet, M. Charles Bastide, Señor D. Adolfo Bonilla y San Martín, Professor Arturo

1 i. 200.

Farinelli, Mr. Alain C. White, and Miss Carolyn Shipman, as well as to a considerable number of my Columbia colleagues. I should also like to thank Mr. Robert Hoe, Dr. C. M. Hathaway, and Mr. J. O. Wright for the use of books. The secretaries and readers of the Clarendon Press, and the officials of the Columbia University Library, especially Mr. Erb, have rendered much courteous assistance; the officials of the English and Continental libraries in which I have worked have granted me the usual formal permission to consult their treasures.

J. E. S.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY,

September, 1907.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »