THIS new edition of my Father's Biographia Literaria was partly prepared for publication by his late Editor. The corrections of the text in the first nine or ten chapters of Vol. I., and in the first three or four of Vol. II., are by his hand; the notes signed "Editor" were written by him; and he drew up the Biographical Supplement (the first three chapters of it containing the Letters), which was placed at the end of the second volume. His work it has fallen to me to complete, and the task has been interesting, though full of affecting remembrances, and brought upon me by the deepest sorrow of my life. The biographical sketch I have published as I found it, with trifling alterations and omissions, filling up a few gaps and supplying the mottoes. Had the writer himself taken it up again, he would probably have improved and continued it.

I have only to add that my thanks are due to many kind friends, who have assisted me in my part of the undertaking with advice, information, or loan of books; especially my Father's dear Friend and Fellow Student, Mr. Green, Archdeacon Hare, and my brother-in-law, Mr. Justice Coleridge. I am also much indebted for help towards my work to Mr. Pickering, by whom a great number of the books referred to in the notes were placed in my hands.

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CHAP. XV. The specific symptoms of poetic power elucidated in a
critical analysis of Shakspeare's Venus and Adonis, and Rape of
. 453
CHAP. XVI. Striking points of difference between the Poets of the
present age and those of the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries-
Wish expressed for the union of the characteristic merits of both 464
CHAP. XVII. Examination of the tenets peculiar to Mr. Wordsworth
-Rustic life (above all, low and rustic life) especially unfavorable
to the formation of a human diction-The best parts of language
the product of philosophers, not of clowns or shepherds-Poetry
essentially ideal and generic-The language of Milton as much
the language of real life, yea, incomparably more so than that of
the cottager

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. 474

CHAP. XVIII Language of metrical composition, why and wherein
essentially different from that of prose-Origin and elements of
metre-Its necessary consequences, and the conditions thereby
imposed on the metrical writer in the choice of his diction

CHAP. XIX. Continuation.-Concerning the real object which, it is
probable, Mr. Wordsworth had before him in his critical preface
-Elucidation and application of this

CHAP. XX. The former subject continued-The neutral style, or
that common to Prose and Poetry, exemplified by specimens from
Chaucer, Herbert, and others

. 491



CHAP. XXII. The characteristic defects of Wordsworth's poetry,
with the principles from which the judgment, that they are de-
fects, is deduced-Their proportion to the beauties-For the
greatest part characteristic of his theory only

. 546

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