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COPYRIGHT BY

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

1882

Press of

G. P. Putnam's Sons

New York

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

I Do not purpose more in this book than a general sketch of so wide a subject as Early English Literature. It is my aim to jot down some thoughts gathered from my own reading, and to breathe into them some of my love for the study of this subject. To say any thing new I cannot hope, scarce to state any thing freshly; one fears nowadays to criticise even the simplest ballad, lest some one who loved it no better, but who fortunately wrote fifty years sooner, should have said the same things about it. And yet one is always better for a breath of fresh air; and this may perhaps excuse my venturing to speak of our earlier literature.

E. W. W.

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