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The text of this edition of The Deserted Village, The Traveller, and the Elegy in a Country Churchyard is in each case that of the latest revised edition published during the lifetime of the author. Alterations have been limited to a few modernizations in spelling and capitalization, and to some minor changes, necessary for consistency in a school edition, in the punctuation. The aim in the various parts of the Introduction has been to give in condensed form some idea of contemporary conditions, literary and otherwise, as well as some account of the lives and works of the authors. A new feature that will add, it is believed, to the convenience, for school use, of this edition of The Deserted Village is the inclusion, in an appendix, of two passages usually read in connection with the poem; namely, the sketch of the poor parson, from Chaucer's Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, and Dryden's "Character of a Good Parson," from his Tales from Chaucer.
Obligation to preceding editions of poems so often edited as The Deserted Village, The Traveller, and the Elegy in a Country Churchyard is a matter of course, and the present editor takes this opportunity to make grateful acknowledgment. Some specific instances of indebtedness are recorded in the Notes.
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA