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EDITED, WITH NOTES,
WILLIAM J. ROLFE, Liit. D.,
FORMERLY HEAD MASTER OF THE HIGH SCHOOL, CAMBRIDGE, MASS.
of Education Library
ENGLISH LOL ASSICS.
EDITED BY WM. J. ROLFE, Litt. D.
All 's Well that Ends Well.
The Comedy of Errors.
Antony and Cleopatra.
Measure for Measure.
Merry Wives of Windsor.
Love's Labour 's Lost.
Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Timon of Athens.
Troilus and Cressida.
Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
The Two Noble Kinsmen.
Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, etc.
Goldsmith's Select POEMS. BROWNING'S SELECT POEMS.
BROWNING's SELECT DRAMAS.
WORDSWORTH's SELECT POEMS.
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Copyright, 1876, by Harper & Brothers.
EXTRACTS FROM PREFACE TO FIRST
Many editions of Gray have been published in the last fifty years some of them very elegant, and some showing considerable editorial labor, but not one, so far as I am aware, critically exact either in text or in notes. No editor since Mathias (A.D. 1814) has given the ad line of the Elegy as Gray wrote and printed it; while Mathias's mispunctuation of the 123d line has been copied by his successors, almost without exception. Other variations from the early editions are mentioned in the
It is a curious fact that the most accurate edition of Gray's collected poems is the editio princeps of 1768, printed under his own supervision. The first edition of the two Pindaric odes, The Progress of Poesy and The Bard (Strawberry-Hill, 1757), was printed with equal care, and the proofs were probably read by the poet. The text of the present edition has been collated, line by line, with that of these early editions, and in no instance have I adopted a later reading. All the MS. variations, and the various readings I have noted in the modern editions, are given in the notes.
Pickering's edition of 1835, edited by Mitford, has been followed blindly in nearly all the more recent editions, and its many errors (see pp. 84 and 105, foot-notes) have been faithfully reproduced. Even its blunders in the • indenting” of the lines in the corresponding stanzas of the two Pindaric odes, which any careful proof-reader ought to have corrected, have been copied again and again—as in the Boston (1853) reprint of Pickering, the pretty little edition of Bickers & Son (London, n. d.), the fac-simile of the latter printed at our University Press, Cambridge (1866), etc.
Of former editions of Gray, the only one very fully annotated is Mitford's (Pickering, 1835), already mentioned. I have drawn freely from that, correcting many errors, and also from Wakefield's and Mason's editions, and from Hales's notes (Longer English Poems, London, 1872) on the Elegy and the Pindaric odes. To all this material many original notes and illustrations have been added.
I have retained most of the “parallel passages” from the poets given by the editors, and have added others, without regard to the critics who