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GEO. S. APPLETON, 164 CHESNUT ST.
M DCCC L.
LITTLE or no apology need be offered to the Public for presenting it with a new edition of HUDIBRAS; the poem ranks too high in English literature not to be welcomed if it appear in a correct text, legible type, and on good paper: ever since its first appearance it has been as a mirror in which an Englishman might have seen his face without becoming, Narcissus-like, enamored of it; such an honest looking-glass must ever be valuable, if there be worth in the aphorism of nosce teipsum. May it not in the present times be as useful as in any that are past? Perhaps even in this enlightened age a little self-examination may be wholesome; a man will take a glance of recognition of himself if there be a glass in the room, and it may happen that some indication of the nascent symptoms of the wrinkles of treason, of the crows-feet of fanaticism, of the drawn-down mouth of hypocrisy, or of the superfluous hairs of selfconceit, may startle the till then unconscious possessor of such germs of vice, and afford to his honester qualities an opportunity of stifling them ere they start forth in their native hideousness, and so, perchance, help to avert the repetition of the evil times the poet satirizes, which, in whatever point they are viewed, stand a blot in the annals of Britain.
The edition in three quarto volumes of Hudibras, edited by Dr. Nasht in 1793, has become a book of high
* Prefixed to the Edition in 2 vols. 8vo. 1835.
"January 26, 1811.-At his seat at Bevere, near Worcester, "in his 86th year, Treadway Russel Nash, D. D., F. S. A., Rec"tor of Leigh. He was of Worcester College in Oxford; M. A. "1746; B. and D. D. 1758. He was the venerable Father of the Magistracy of the County of Worcester; of which he was an "upright and judicious member nearly fifty years; and a gentle"man of profound erudition and critical knowledge in the seve'ral branches of literature: particularly the History of his na"tive county, which he illustrated with indefatigable labor and
expense to himself. In exemplary prudence, moderation, affa'bility, and unostentatious manner of living, he has left no su
price and uncommon occurrence. It may justly be called a scholar's edition, although the Editor thus modestly speaks of his annotations: "The principal, if not "the sole view, of the annotations now offered to the "public, hath been to remove these difficulties, (fluctua"tions of language, disuse of customs, &c.,) and point "out some of the passages in the Greek and Roman "authors to which the poet alludes, in order to render "Hudibras more intelligible to persons of the commenta"tor's level, men of middling capacity, and limited in"formation. To such, if his remarks shall be found "useful and acceptable, he will be content, though they "should appear trifling in the estimation of the more "learned."
Dr. Nash added plates* from designs by Hogarth and La Guerre to his edition, but it may be thought without increasing its intrinsic value. The Pencil has never successfully illustrated Hudibras; perhaps the wit, the humor, and the satire of Butler have naturally, from
perior; of the truth of which remark the writer of this article "could produce abundant proof from a personal intercourse of "long continuance; and which he sincerely laments has now "an end.-R."-Gentleman's Magazine.
* Dr. Nash thus mentions them: "The engravings in this "edition are chiefly taken from Hogarth's designs, an artist "whose genius, in some respects, was congenial to that of our "poet, though here he cannot plead the merit of originality, so "much as in some other of his works, having borrowed a great "deal from the small prints in the duodecimo edition of 1710.†
"Some plates are added from original designs, and some from "drawings by La Guerre, now in my possession, and one print "representing Oliver Cromwell's guard-room, from an excellent "picture by Dobson, very obligingly communicated by my wor"thy friend, Robert Bromley, Esq., of Abberley-lodge, in Wor"cestershire; the picture being seven feet long, and four high, "it is difficult to give the likenesses upon so reduced a scale,
but the artists have done themselves credit by preserving the "characters of each figure, and the features of each face more "exactly than could be expected: the picture belonged to Mr. "Walsh, the poet, and has always been called Oliver Crom"well's guard-room: the figures are certainly portraits; but I "leave it to the critics in that line to find out the originals.
"When I first undertook this work, it was designed that the "whole should be comprised in two volumes: the first compre"hending the poem, the second the notes, but the thickness of "the paper, and size of the type, obliged the binder to divide "each volume into two tomes; this has undesignedly increased "the number of tomes, and the price of the work." [In this edition the notes are placed under the text.]
"Hogarth was born in 1698, and the edition of Hudibras, with his cuta published 1726."