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THE eighth volume of this edition completes the Works of the poet. As there is no prefatory note to volume Seven, the extension of the edition to nine, instead of eight volumes may now be explained.
It was originally intended that the Poetical Works should be completed in seven volumes, and that the eighth should be entirely devoted to the Life of Wordsworth, and a Critical Essay; but it has been found impossible, even by omitting editorial notes and other illustrative matter-as well as the prose fragments and the indexes-to condense what remained of the poems into a single volume that did not greatly exceed the others in size. In these circumstances it seemed best to close the seventh volume with the poems belonging to the year 1834; and to add the prose fragments, two indexes, and a new chronological table of the poems to the eighth.
The chronological list previously given was necessarily incomplete, important sources of information having been discovered since it was published. That which is now published may not be absolutely accurate. There is no such thing as finality in such a matter-as fresh documentary evidence may fix some dates that are uncertain, and correct others that seem reliable-but it is believed that no important error will be found in the present list.