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THE present edition was undertaken by a gentleman, with the view of presenting the public with the Poetical Works of Burns more methodically arranged, more copiously illustrated, and less expensive in the purchase, than they have yet appeared. In comparing it with others it will be found to possess several advantages.
I. It contains, besides a number of other pieces, not inserted in Dr. Currie's edition, The Jolly Beggars, a cantata replete with humorous description and discrimination of character, and inferior to no poem of the same length in the English language. It likewise comprehends Holy Willie's Prayer, a piece of satire unequalled for exquisite severity, and felicitous delineation.
II. In the editions hitherto published no regard is paid to method or classification. In this, the Poems are disposed according to their respecti e subjects, and divided into Five Books.
III. Most of the poetry of Burns, though posses ing an energy, a richness, and an ardor, 1 never fail to strike and captivate the mind. pears under great disadvantages to the En
der. Much of the fire, which warms and dazzles i native of Scotland, is to him necessarily lost by the obscurity of the language. To obviate this as much as possible, a considerable number of words have been added to the Glossary, and several of the old definitions have been corrected or enlarged. A new Life, drawn up with care and fidelity has likewise been prefixed.
Of an Edition, thus enlarged and improved, it unnecessary to say more. Should its utility be ac knowledged, the Editor will consider his exertion: sufficiently rewarded.
London, Feb. 25, 1819.