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Lectures delivered at Orford
PROFESSOR OF POETRY, OXFORD; PRINCIPAL OF THE UNITED COLLEGE,
The following pages contain twelves Lectures selected from those which I have delivered from the Chair of Poetry in Oxford during the last four years, some of which have already been published separately. To these have been added three Chapters (XI., XII., XIII.), which were not delivered as Lectures in Oxford, but which are, by the kind permission of the Proprietor, reprinted from Good Words.
Some might, perhaps, expect to find in this book a systematic theory of poetry, and a consecutive course of Lectures. But the conditions of the Professorship, which require one Lecture to be delivered during each Academic term, render it difficult, even if it were on other grounds desirable, to preserve such continuity. The audiences which listen to these Lectures change from term to term; so that a course begun before one set of hearers would have to be continued before another, and completed before a third. This renders it almost a necessity that each Lecture should be, as far as possible, complete in itself.
As to the mode of treatment pursued, I have tried to adapt it, as well as I could, to the varied character of my hearers. These consisted of Undergraduates, of