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THE

POETICAL LITERATURE

OF THE

PAST HALF-CENTURY

PRINTED BY W. BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH,

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PRE FACE

THE Directors of the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution having resolved that their Lectures for the Session 1850–51 should be devoted to a review of the Social, Literary, and Scientific History of the Half-Century then just terminating, the Author was requested to undertake the six which, by their Syllabus, were to be appropriated to the Poetical Literature of the period. His first impression certainly was to decline the honour—for most assuredly he held it to be such, seeing the names with which his own was to be brought into conjunction-partly on private grounds, and more especially from a conviction of his inadequacy to do justice to the subject; nor were his scruples for some time overcome by those on whose judgment he has been accustomed to place reliance.

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