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AS the occasion of this poem was real, and not fictitious; so the method pursued in it was rather imposed, by what spontaneously arose in the Author's mind, on that occasion, than meditated or designed, which will appear very probable from the nature of it; for it differs from the common mode of poetry, which is, from long narrations, to draw short morals. Here, on the contrary, the narrative is short, and the morality arising from it, makes the bulk of the poem. The reason of it is, that the facts mentioned, did naturally pour these moral reflections on the thought of the writer.
THIS edition of the NIGHT THOUGHTS, it is hoped, will be found more accurate than most of the late editions of that work. To render it so, much time has been spent in comparing copies of different dates, one of which was printed as early as 1758; by this comparison, many errors in modern editions were discovered and rectified. The copy selected as a standard for this edition, was published soon after Dr. YOUNG's death, and not long after his revision of his works. Lines not found in that edition, but in some others, are inserted in this, [between brackets,] or given as variations at the foot of the page. These variations are mostly confined to the four first Nights. Philadelphia, 1816.