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To previous labourers in the same field of literature my obligations are numerous. Much of the information in this volume has of course been extracted from the earlier library editions; but much is also derived from contemporary sources. Nothing testifies more strongly to the enduring popularity of Pope's poetry, than the care and ability which have been expended on the cheaper editions of his works. The edition of the late Mr. Carruthers is noteworthy, not only for the extent and general accuracy of the information which it produces in a popular form, but also as being the first edition in which the conflicting evidence as to Pope's character is subjected to anything like a rigorous examination. The excellent Globe edition, the work of Professor Ward, is too well known to require notice from me; and the same may be said of the admirable notes on the Satires, written by the Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, and published by the Clarendon Press, which ought to be in the hands of every student of Pope. Of Mr. Leslie Stephen's 'Pope' in the ‘English Men of Letters' series, I have said more in my General Introduction, and while dissenting decidedly from some of his conclusions, I gladly take the opportunity of acknowledging the advantage I have derived from the great literary ability with which he has reduced very stubborn materials into a readable and popular shape. To him, as to the other writers I have mentioned,
I owe more than can appear on the surface; but whenever any of the information in my commentary has been consciously obtained solely from external sources, I have indicated the quarter from which it comes ; those notes, which, from the exercise of independent judgment, memory, or research, I have felt might be considered as my own, are left unsigned
W. J. C.