Excerpt from The Legendary Ballads of England and Scotland
Some modern editors and writers can still afford to look with contempt or patronage on our Ballad Literature. I have heard of one living editor who boasted that he had compiled his collection, 8zc., within the space o... f a fortnight; and another more recently, in his Introduction, made merry over the care and trouble his predecessors had taken in providing materials for his use. N 0 one who has any knowledge of the subject can afford to Speak lightly ot the value of the labours of such men as Percy, Herd, Ritson, Scott, Motherwell, Buchan, 8rc. &c.; the service they have rendered in collecting, and illustrating them, is not to be estimated. The popular novel or poem of this year may be forgotten the next, or may have the good fortune to live for a generation, but the bulk of our early Ballads must claim a more than passing attention as long as our Language and Literature endure.
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