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TO THE PUBLIC.
The issue of the present edition of the poetical works of the great northern bard may indeed be said to meet a self-evident requirement. While “cheapness" in Literature is one of the “ orders of the day," it would be manifestly absurd and unjust that the matter of price should place some of the most magnificent poems in the English language beyond the reach of the millions.
The same spirit of enterprise which has given to the world the cheapest editions ever published of Shakspere's and Byron's Works, and also of the “ Arabian Nights' Entertainments," now pursues the same plan with regard to the poetical compositions of Sir Walter Scott.
As tales of chivalry, these poems are calculated to excite a lively interest in even the most placid breast: for certainly no epics of ancient or modern times contain descriptions more thrilling than the battle-scenes depicted by Scott. In exquisite contrast therewith are the pathetic portions of these metrical romances; while every one must admit that in the art of delineating scenery by the word-painting medium of verse, the northern bard was eminently successful. The Notes appended to the poems contain a variety of curious, interesting, and cdifying matter; and these, in the present edition, have been retained with as little abridgment as possible. Indeed, the pruning-knife has only been used in respect to those lengthy quotations from old authors which are well-nigh unintelligible except to the scholar who is enabled to decypher the mysteries of their quaint dialects.
No more need be said in introducing to the masses of the population the cheapest Edition of the Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott ever yet issued from the press. But the Publisher takes leave to add that this, and the other cheap editions of popular works already issued from No. 313, Strand, will soon find themselves in the goodly companionship of many other literary celebrities, all presenting similar claims on public patronage and support.