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N undertaking the supervision of a new edition of the Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, I felt that no safer or better

guidance could be followed than that of Bishop Percy himself; and as he always strove, in the several editions published by himself, to embody therein the sum of the knowledge of his times, so I, following at a distance, have endeavoured, by gathering from many quarters particulars published since his death, to make his book still more worthy of the great reputation it has acquired.

Each edition published during the lifetime of the author contained large additions and corrections; but since the publication of the fourth edition, in 1794, no changes worth mentioning have been made, with the exception of such as occur in a revision brought out by the Rev. R. A. Willmott in 1857. His object, however, was to form a handy volume, and he there


fore cleared away all Percy's Essays and Prefaces, and added short notices of his own, founded on Percy's facts, and, in some instances, on recent information.

The desire for a new edition of the Reliques has more particularly grown since the publication of the original folio MS. in 1867, and I trust that the readers of the present edition may feel disposed to accept it as in some degree satisfying this desire.

In the preparation of the present edition, the whole of Percy's work has been reprinted from his fourth edition, which contains his last touches; and in order that no confusion should be occasioned to the reader, all my notes and additions have been placed between brackets. The chief of these are the additional prefaces to the various pieces, the glossarial notes at the foot of the page, and the collation of such pieces as are taken from the folio MS. The complete glossary, which will be appended to the third volume, might seem to render the glossarial notes unnecessary; but there may be some readers who will find them useful. With regard to the pieces taken from the folio MS., the originals have been printed after Percy's copies in those cases which had undergone considerable alterations. Readers have now, therefore, before them complete materials for forming an opinion as to the use the Bishop made of his manuscript.

After commencing my work, I found that to treat

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