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The present edition of Izaak Walton's Life of Dr. Donne was prepared for a re-edited edition of the whole of that admired writer's " Lives," with original notes; and a "new Life of the Author.” An extract from the Prospectus of that contemplated work will explain its object :
"THE CONTEMPLATIVE MAN'S LIBRARY.
FOR THE THINKING PEW.'
“ Half-a-century has elapsed since the labours of Dr. Zouch were applied to the production of an edition, distinguished for classical taste and episodal biography; but with little attempt to supply the acknowledged deficiencies of the author by resorting to the many sources of direct information that exist. The present edition, therefore, is not a re-print of that work ; though some of that learned editor's notes have been retained, and are suitably acknowledged.* The taste and the requirements of the present day, demand, that a new edition should be popular as the author had designed his work; and cheap in price to make it so. Both these circumstances have been kept in view; some care has been bestowed in its preparation for the press; and when it is stated that the new matter introduced in this edition is about equal in extent to the whole of the former, credit may be taken for an attempt that must depend on large public support for its reward. That this support will be accorded it is confidently anticipated ; and anomalous as it may seem, the faith is not second to the hope, that
" will be found a large minority of the reading public."
* Notes adopted from Dr. Zouch are marked with the letter z.
THB THINKING PEW
The preparation of the first Part discovered two objections to the plan :-1. An accumulation of original matter quite incompatible with the space proposed to be adopted. 2. The price of publication necessarily inadequate to the extended space required for the accumulation of matter that seemed almost inexhaustible. The compression (much regretted) of the first Part of the “ Contemplative Man's Library” within the arbitrary limits prescribed, however, was the result; and the immediate consequence the abandonment of a plan that would not admit of justice to the subject;-to be revived, probably, at no distant day, in a new form, under less restraint of space.