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INTRODUCTION.

equal value to the student. While these three publications show a certain interest in the poetry written by Englishmen in India, the date of their production makes them useless for the modern reader. The work of Richardson is inaccessible; and, if the anthologies of Manuel and Laurence were now available, they have been so badly produced and so inadequately edited, that for all save the lover of the curious, they are utterly without value.

The reader who desires some acquaintance with the poetry produced by Englishmen in India during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has no conveniently single book of reference. Unless he is prepared to spend hours of investigation in a few selected libraries, he will read none but the best known authors. He will not discover the delightful Letters of Simpkin the Second, nor revel in the Hudibrastic nonsense of Qui Hai. Tom Raw, the Griffin, will be unknown to him; and all that occasional writing, often coarsely realistic, that belongs to an age when the trick of pleasing expression in verse came as easy to the gentlemen of England as the nimble handling of a rapier. He may come across the gentle verse of Reginald Heber, and learn something of the vigour of John Leyden; but he will not make the acquaintance of Henry Meredith Parker, whose delicate humour illumines historical and topical themes. He will miss the scholarly work of David Lester Richardson, whose varied career as soldier and teacher brought him into touch with every phase of Anglo-Indian life in the first half of the nineteenth century. Sir Alfred Lyall's verse may lie to his hand, along with the Departmental Ditties. But, unless he has unusual good fortune, he will not easily find the Leviora of Thomas Francis Bignold, nor delight in that unexampled quatrain that has immortalised Eastern Bengal. In short, he will be deprived of a great amount of the pleasure to be found in the occasional verse written in and about India throughout the first three quarters of the nineteenth century.

It would be unreasonable to maintain that, apart from authors of established reputation, there is any great quantity of valuable poetical work in the English literature