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RELIQUES

OP

ANCIENT ENGLISH POETRY.

EDINBURGH: PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE AND COMPANY,

PAUL'S WORK.

OF

ANCIENT ENGLISH POETRY:

CONSISTING OF

Did Heroic Ballads, Songs,

AND OTHER PIECES OF OUR EARLIER POETS;

TOGETHER WITH SOME FEW OF LATER DATE.

BY

THOMAS PERCY,

LORD BISHOP OF DROMORE.

REPRINTED ENTIRE FROM THE AUTHOR'S LAST EDITION.

With Memoir and Critical Dissertation,

BY THE

REV. GEORGE GILFILLAN.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

EDINBURGH: JAMES NICHOL.
LONDON: JAMES NISBET & CO. DUBLIN: W. ROBERTSON:

M.DCCC.LVIII.

280. /. llo.

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LIFE OF THOMAS PERCY,

BISHOP OF DROMORE ;

WITH REMARKS ON BALLAD POETRY.

THOMAS PERCY, the indefatigable and ingenious author of the “Reliques of Ancient Poetry," was born on the 13th of April 1728, at Bridgenorth, in Shropshire. His father was a grocer. He was educated at the free school in that town, and entered Christ Church, Oxford, in July 1746, as an exhibitioner. Ten years after, he was presented to the vicarage of Easton-Mauduit, Northamptonshire, and the Earl of Sussex, about the same time, gifted him with the rectory of Wilby. Here, besides being diligent in pastoral work, he found time to cultivate literature. In 1759 he married Anne, daughter of Barton Goodriche, Esq., of Northamptonshire. This lady had acted as nurse to one of royal family. She is described as a “good creature," but ordinary both in appearance and manners, and indebted for her charms to her husband's imagination. In 1761 Percy published a Chinese novel, entitled “Hau Kiou Choaan," in four volumes. This was a translation of a real Chinese story, which a merchant named Wilkinson had brought from Canton. Percy sold it for £50. He published also “Chinese Proverbs," and a new version of “Solomon's Song.” In the notes to the novel he discovered that painstaking research which became characteristic, and qualified him to annotate the “ Ancient Minstrelsy.” In 1761

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