Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 1 of 8 from 1860 edition

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viii
PREFACE.
many ballads of this second class have been ad­mitted as it was thought might be wished for, perhaps I should say tolerated, by the " benevo­lent reader." No words could express the dul-ness and inutility of a collection which should embrace all the Roxburghe and Pepys broadsides — a scope with which this publication was most undeservedly credited by an English journal. But while the broadside ballads have been and must have been gleaned, the popular ballads demand much more liberal treatment. Many of the older ones are mutilated, many more are mis­erably corrupted, but as long as any traces of their originals are left, they are worthy of attention and have received it. "When a ballad is extant in a variety of forms, all the most important versions are given. — Less than this would have seemed insufficient for a collection intended as a comple­ment to an extensive series of the British Poets. To meet the objections of readers for pleasure, all those pieces which are wanting in general interest are in each volume inserted in an ap­pendix.
The ballads are grouped in eight Books, nearly corresponding to the division of volumes. The arrangement in the several Books may be called chronological, by which is meant, an arrangement
the utility of this index, references are also given to many other ballads which, though not worth reprinting, may occa­sionally be inquired for.







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