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The object of these volumes is to present, within convenient limits, a chronological series of the Classical Poets of Great Britain, from BEN JONSON to CROLY, (a period of two centuries and a half,) accompanied with Biographical and Critical Notices of their Authors. The first volume includes the Poets from JONSON to BEATTIE; the second, those from FALCONER to SCOTT; and the third begins with SOUTHEY and ends with CROLY. The compilation was commenced by Dr. AIKIN, whose judgment and taste have influenced the selections.
The plan which was observed throughout, has been to give entire Poems instead of extracts or mutilations; and intrinsic merit so far as it has been understood by the compilers and approved by the public, was made the ground of selection.
The contents of the volumes are so comprehensive, that few poems, it is believed, are omitted, except such as are of secondary merit, or not within the scope of the work.
Book I. Of the Implements for Walking