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The passages in this volume, for translation into Greek verse, are progressively arranged in the following order: (1) for Tragic Iambic or Trochaic Metre; (2) for Tragic Anapaestic Metre; (3) for Comic Metres; (4) for Epic Metre; (5) for Elegiac and Lyric Metres.
Of these classes the first contains more passages than all the others; partly as being the most usual and most profitable exercise in Greek versification, and also because many of the selections comprised in it (especially those from Virgil, Spenser, and Southey) are equally suitable for Epic verse, and others for Anapaestic.
There are few passages in the first, second, and third classes which are not capable of being rendered into Trochaic verse. Some are more suitable than others for this purpose; but the choice may fairly be left to the judgment of those who use the book.
The selections are various in style and subject; but it will be seen that a decided preference is given to our older dramatists, to the general exclusion of the frigid rant which dates from Dryden, a great name certainly, but a corrupter of the English drama.
The introduction of a considerable number of passages from a blank-verse translation of Virgil, executed by the Editor's father and brother, is, he trusts, justified by the peculiar suitableness of those extracts to the immediate purpose of the book.
Latin and French passages are occasionally interspersed: nor, indeed, can better materials for Aristophanic verse be found than parts of Plautus and Moliere, not forgetting Racine's " Plaideurs." Of the English dramatists, Jonson, Nash, Randolph, and Lyly will be found useful for the same purpose.
Shrewsbury, June 21, 1856.