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I have been asked to write a few words of introduction to this poetical ephemeris; and though the quality of its matter needs no bush, the form of its presentation may give scope for the office of the interpreter. It is not uncommon to find critics objecting to selections in toto and as such. Nor is it, I hope, inconsistent, paradoxical, or profligate in one who has made not a few selections himself, and is actually engaged in recommending another, to confess a certain sympathy with these objections when they are genuine and not affected. To some lovers of literature in all moods, to all perhaps in some, selections present an opportunity of irritation. The things that one wants are not given; the things that one does not want are given ; the selections begin not as we would have them begun ; they cease at points other than those where we would have them finished.
This may be so. But there are compensating advantages