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THE

POETICAL DECAMERON,

TEN CONVERSATIONS

ENGLISH POETS AND POETRY,

PARTICULARLY oF THE

3Uetps of <£It?afatf) an& gjames I.

BY J. PAYNE COLLIER,

OF THE MIDDLE TEMPLE.

"So long they read in those antiquities,

That how the time was fled they quite forgate." ^

Spenser F. Q. B. It c. 10.

IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. I.

PRINTED FOR

ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE AND CO. EDINBURGH;

AND HURST, ROBINSON, AND CO. CHEAFSIDE, LONDON.

1820.

PREFACE.

THE intention of the author has been to treat an antiquarian subject in a popular way: he has found in his progress that he has not been able to accomplish that purpose to the extent of his wishes. If he had accomplished it, he might, perhaps, have made a better speculation, but a worse book:—it would have possessed even less substance than in its present shape belongs to it.

The general success which attended the publication of such works as Censura Literaria, the British Bibliographer, and Restituta, the numerous reprints made of late years from judiciously selected productions of our early writers, without taking into view the prices which original specimens of the poetry of our ancestors now uniformly obtain, may be considered tests of the public taste in this respect. Though the author's

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