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TABLE TALK, AND OTHER POEMS
GENIUS AND CHARACTER.
EDITOR OF THE PARADISE LOST, THOMSON'S SEASONS, ETC.,
THE NEW YORK
MOTOR, LENOX AND
Entered according to.Act. of Congress, in the year 1853,
.::BY:A: S. ŠARNES & Co., In the Clork's Offiee of the District Court of the United States for the Southern
: ::..: District of New York.
In a correspondence with the Rev. Albert Barnes, of Philadelphia, some months since, in reference to what poem it would be desirable next to illustrate, he replies: “I think, by all means, The Tast. A man who spreads that over the world is alwảýš doing good." ovo
Encouraged by this expression of opinion, as well as by the promptings of my own.mind, and by the concurrence of my publishers, in referente të tre undertaking, I have essayed to bring out an edition of Cowper, which, I hope, may serve the valuable purpose of rendering him a favorite with the young and with the general reader. While Cowper's verse is eminently perspicuous, practical, and adapted to the popular mind, it cannot be denied that the mass of readers will fail properly to understand or appreciate large portions of it, unless accompanied with explanatory and illustrative notes.
To the Task, which is acknowledged by all as the best production of Cowper's vigorous mind, I have added a few of his other poems, that seem most worthy of a place beside it, and best entitled to be preserved as memorials of his surpassing genius. In making the selection, IR have been guided by a desire to accommodate it, as far as practicable, to the taste of the young, as well as of the mature and cultivated reader; and have embraced in it
as large a number of poems as can be properly illustrated in a single volume.
The present edition has been prepared, not only for popular use, but for a place in seminaries of learning, under the strong conviction that a familiar and critical acquaintance with the best of the English poets should be made at school, and that there, under competent instruction, in the reading of those poets, with the aid of ample notes, a decided taste should be formed for such invaluable productions of human genius, not only as a means of rational enjoyment in future years, but as means of a wider usefulness.
The text of this edition :has been carefully collated with that of Dr: Soutlrey, and numerous errors found in some Americani editions: kave been corrected. It furnishes also, among the notes, those Parallel Passages in verse whích distinguished Southey's edition, and which will afford much pleasure to every reader of taste. An Index to the Task, so very useful for reference, will be found at the end of the volume, derived from the same edition. Concerning these Parallel Passages and the Index, Southey, in his preface, remarks: “An admirer of Cowper and a most attentive reader of his works, has sent me a copy of the Task, in the margin of which he has inserted such parallel passages as he supposed Cowper, while composing the text, might have had, wittingly or unwittingly, in mind. He accompanied it with a very useful index to that poem, thinking that, although the Task is one of the most popular long poems in our language, it is probably the one in which, from its discursive character, we find with most difficulty a half-remem hered passage."
For “ Table Talk” and “ Conversation” also, I have in