Excerpt from The Works of the English Poets, From Chaucer to Cowper, Vol. 1 of 21: Including the Series Edited, With Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, by Dr. Samuel Johnson, and the Most Approved Translations; Chaucer
Catalogue, can at all be supposed to answer. Popularity... is here so much Out of the question, that however venerable some of the names are which occur in this part of the work, it 'will probably be impossible by any powers Of praise or criticism to give them that degree of favour with the public which they once enjoyed.
For these reasons, in selecting from this class, it was the Editor's Object to give Such a series as might tend, not. Only to. Revive genuine and undeservedly neglected poetry, but to illustrate the progress and history of the art from'the age of Chaucer to that of Cowley. What has been done so excellently by Mr. Ellis, in specimens, it was the intention to execute more amply by entire works, copied from the best editions, and as nearly as possible in a chronological succession': and a plan of this kind, to him who does not attempt to execute it, will appear to have every advantage, and not many difficulties.
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