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EDITED, WITH NOTES
CAPE TOWN AND 'BOMBAY
In this volume is given a fuller collection of the poetical writings of Thomas Hood than has hitherto been published ; many as have been the editions they have varied in the way in which pieces have been overlooked or omitted from considerations of space or carelessness. Besides bringing together all that is available from earlier collections, the Editor has recovered from the periodicals for which Hood wrote a few poems which have hitherto escaped notice ; in such cases, however, he has only taken pieces that were indubitably Hood's-resisting the temptation to swell their numbers by others for which the only evidence for ascription is internal. In addition he has had the good fortune to obtain half a dozen new poems from manuscript-one of these, it is true, had been given before, but only in an incomplete form.
A few words should be said about the arrangement of the poems in this edition, an arrangement which has been the result of careful consideration consequent upon the inconsistencies met with in other collections. It has for sixty years been the custom to divide Hood's poetical writings into 'comic' and 'serious', or into 'serious poems' and ' poems of wit and humour'. This was done in Moxon's editions shortly after Hood's death, it was done by Samuel Lucas twenty years later, and the arbitrary differentiation was maintained by Canon Ainger in the two volumes of selections which he issued in the Eversley Series in 1897. That it is an arbitrary form of classification may be seen by comparing some of those earlier editions, in which we find that one editor includes poems in the 'serious' section which another allots to the comic '; and vice versa. Lucas, to cite but one example, puts ‘Miss Kilmansegg in the latter, while Ainger puts it in the former. Certain of Hood's poems are definitely comic and others are definitely serious in both thought and treatment, but many of them while deeply serious in intent are presented with all the machinery of wit and humour at his command. It has seemed therefore best to break away from this traditional and unsatisfactory method of classification, and to give the poems in a certain chronological order. That order is as follows: those poems which the author issued in collected forms are given first, and are given in the order of publication of the various volumes, ranging from the Odes and Addresses to Great People of 1825 to the Whimsicalities of 1844. These are followed by the miscellaneous poems published from time to time, but which were not