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POEMS & LETTERS
H. M. MARGOLIOUTH M.A.
6-19-28 17406 2v.
N the first of these volumes I have aimed at giving a trustworthy text of Marvell's verse and a complete commentary. The text is that of the original printed editions except for the majority of the satires, where I have followed manuscript versions. Collation of all manuscript copies known to me has convinced me beyond all doubt that they provide a text which is much more accurate than that of Poems on Affairs of State. The commentary is not as complete as I could wish. The elucidation of some points has escaped my utmost endeavours, and some questions, especially of authenticity, I have raised rather than solved. Moreover no two people will agree on what exactly does and does not require annotation: some of my notes will seem unnecessary to some readers: others will seek notes where it has not occurred to me that they are required.
In the second volume a small minority of the letters is taken from the earliest printed text, but the great majority is still extant in Marvell's autograph. I have aimed at reproducing this exactly. It is probably too much to hope that in nearly four hundred letters there is not a single error of reading, transcription or printing, but all have been checked at least twice, some more often, with the originals, and I feel confident that, when allowance is made for the irreducible minimum of human error, I can present them to the historian as material on the accuracy of which he can rely. This is my chief purpose in the second volume, the notes to which are on a much less ambitious scale