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With this, the Second Edition of these Specimens, their original Editor has had nothing to do, being prevented by other engagements from resuming the task of revising them. Various inaccuracies of the former edition have been removed in this,—some silently, for it had been burdening the book with useless matter to have retained them in the text, and pointed them out in a note, -while others, that entangled a thought or gave weight to it, have been allowed to stand, but not without notes to stop the perpetuity of the error. With many of the now-discovered inaccuracies of the work in dates and mere minutiæ, Mr. Campbell is not properly chargeable: some may be laid to the excursive nature of his task; others to the imperfect information of those days compared with ours, for we cannot have lived two-and-twenty years without important additions to our literary facts.
Mr. Campbell's excellent taste in the selection of these Specimens has never been disputed; and of his Critical Disquisitions the best eulogy is in the fact that no work of any importance on our literary history has been written since they were published, without commendatory references to them; in particular, that they have been corrected and appealed to by Lord Byron, applaudingly quoted by Sir Walter Scott, and frequently cited and referred to by Mr. Hallam.