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PREFACE,

elapsed since the death of the pious and excel. lent George Herbert, yet the present is the only edition in which all his works are to be found. Notwithstanding the popularity of his Temple and Country Parson, no attempt has been hitherto made to collect together all his writings, and to print them in a uniform edition. The biographers of Herbert, as well as the authors of all our bibliographical works of reference, have failed to give a correct list of the productions of his pen ; and in preparing this edition, it has been necessary to have recourse to many publications which are now forgotten, and with difficulty to be procured. To the present edition, one oration and a few letters have been added which had not before been discovered.

Notwithstanding the care which has been taken to collect all that is known, one letter by Herbert addressed to Bishop Andrewes, written in Greek, * has eluded the editor's search, yet there is little doubt of its existence, and it may hereafter be discovered in some public or private library. For the letters of Herbert contained in the Orator's book at Cambridge, the Publisher is indebted to the kindness of the Rev. Dr. Tatham, Provost of St. John's, late Public Orator.

* Walton's Life of Herbert, p. xxvi.

This volume contains the whole of Herbert's prose writings; also his life by Walton, and that by his first biographer Barnabas Oley. Another volume, similar to the present, contains his Temple and other Poems, which, together, comprise all the works known to be extant.

Concerning Herbert's exemplary character and life nothing need be added, as the pages which follow form the best testimony. But to conclude, no words can be more expressive than those of Cotton to his friend Walton, in which the sweetness and piety of Herbert's disposition are described with the admiration they deserve:

Where, with a soul composed of harmonies
Like a sweet swan, he warbles as he dies
His Maker's praise, and his own obsequies.

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