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was printed at a provincial Press, and its punctuation is certainly far from accurate; nor can it be discerned, that much attention has been paid to this particular by subsequent Editors. To supply this defect, my best judgment and closest attention have been employed in the present
It had often occurred to me, however, that many persons of limited education have been deterred by imaginary difficulties from entering with spirit on the perusal of Mr. Gray's Poems; and that much of this was attributable to the uniform manner in which all his Stanzas have hitherto been printed, however various in metre, without any of those indentions which are so agreeable to the sight, and so properly adapted to the purpose of anticipating in the Reader's mind the change of measure. Through every edition that I have yet seen, this defect (if I am right in calling it so) has been continued. In the present Volume, however, the irregular lines of the Odes, and other alternate verses, are printed with the indentions to which I have alluded, and which I consider as being at least a relief to the eye, if not an assistance to the ear.
Prefixed or subjoined to the greater part of the Poems, is some explanation of the subject or occasion on which they were respectively written, or some observation illustrative of their character or tendency.
The Ode for Music, performed at the Installation of the Duke of Grafton as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, is printed (to give the reader an idea of its musical arrangement) with the divisions of Air, Recitative, Chorus, &c. adopted by Dr. Randolph, the Composer.
To The Descent of Odin, and The Triumphs of Owen, I have appended literal Versions of the original Poems, of which Mr. Gray's are imitations *.
In the Elegy written in a Country Church Yard, are inserted, among the Notes, some Stanzas originally designed as a part of the Poem, but omitted by the Author when he published it.
Among the PosTHUMOUS PIECES of Mr. Gray, is the Latin Fragment on the Gaurus; to which I have subjoined (for the convenience of the mere English Reader) a Transla
* See pp. 67, and 71.
tion, which appeared some years since in a respectable Periodical Publication, and the execution of which does no small credit to the talents of the unknown Writer.
With the same view to the ease of the unlearned Reader, I have annexed to the Latin Ode, written in the Album of the Grand Chartreuse, two Imitations, in different measures; the latter of which, I think, has been justly ascribed to the pen of William Seward, Esq.
At the end of the Posthumous Pieces and Fragments that have been usually published as Mr. Gray's, I have adopted Four PoEMS, which I found scattered in fugitive publications, and attributed with much probability to the same Author*.
* See pp. 153 to 160
After these I have inserted Six PoEMS ADDRESSED TO, OR WRITTEN IN MEMORY of MR. GRAY; four of which were never before collected.
With respect to the NOTES, which I hope will be found neither superabundant nor unsatisfactorily concise, they include all Mr. Gray's own illustrations, together with remarks selected from Mr. Mason, Mr. Scott, Dr. Johnson, and several anonymous commentators; and if these be found to have been culled with the necessary degree of judgment and discrimination, I have only to hope, that the occasional remarks of the Editor will not be found useless nor impertinent.
It has been usual, I know, to print the annotations, en masse, at the end of the