The purpose of these volumes is, to add to the stock of tales from the Italian writers; to retain as much of the poetry of the originals as it is in the power of the writer's prose to compass; and to furnish careful biographical notices of the authors. There have been several collections of stories from the Novellists of Italy, but none from the Poets; and it struck me that prose versions from these, of the kind here offered to the public, might not be unwillingly received. The stories are selected from the five principal narrative poets, Dante, Pulci, Boiardo, Ariosto, and Tasso; they comprise the most popular of such as are fit for translation; are reduced into one continuous narrative, when diffused and interrupted, as in the instances of those of Angelica, and Armida; are accompanied with critical and explanatory notes; and, in the case of Dante, consist of an abstract of the poet's whole work. The volumes are, Furthermore, interspersed with the most favourite morceaux of the originals, followed sometimes with attempts to versify them; and in the Appendix, for the Furtherance of the study of the Italian language, are given entire stories, also in the original, and occasionally rendered in like manner. The book is particularly intended for such students or Other lovers of the language as are pleased with any fresh endeavours to recommend it; and, at the same time, for such purely English readers as wish to know something about Italian poetry, without having leisure to cultivate its acquaintance.
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