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VERY few words will suffice to explain the principles upon which this little volume has been compiled, and which will, perhaps, secure its favourable reception in schools where larger and more elaborate Selections have been found to have their disadvantages.

1. The pieces are, one and all, by well-known and approved writers; and among them are to be found many of the most beautiful short poems and extracts in the English language.

2. Great pains have been taken to select those pieces which seem most likely to arrest the attention, and dwell in the memory of young persons.

3. The Editor has carefully excluded every thing which appeared to him of a mischievous or even of a doubtful tendency, and has kept constantly in view the benefit as well as the gratification of those into whose hands the book may be placed.

4. The pieces are not arranged according to any stiff and methodical classification, but in

the order in which they are intended to be learnt. Thus, grave and gay, sacred and secular, are purposely mixed up together, in a manner which might otherwise seem objectionable. Thus, again, the easier poems are designedly placed at the beginning of the volume.

5. The common practice of interweaving numerous editorial notices, whether biographical, critical, grammatical, or explanatory, has been dispensed with, in order that the volume may be kept within its present dimensions, and sold at a comparatively low price.

The Editor wishes to express his obligation to those owners of copyright, by whose kindness he is able to insert so many modern poems. More particularly he would mention Lord Macaulay, the Rev. J. Keble, Messrs. Longman and Co., Messrs. W. Blackwood and Sons, Messrs. E. Moxon and Co., Messrs. Black, and Mr. Murray.


Midsummer, 1859.




THE HE SALE of six editions in five years is a sufficient proof that this Selection of Poetry has been found acceptable in many families and schools. The present edition has been considerably enlarged, but the price has not been increased, nor the arrangement of the original portion interfered with.


Midsummer, 1864.

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