The aim of this work is to collect all the material (save the writings of Dryden) necessary for a thorough study of the development of English criticism in the seventeenth century, and to make this development more intelligible by annotation and comment. The omission of the chief critic of the century may suggest an obvious analogy to Hamlet without the protagonist who gives it its name. But the attention of scholars has been centered too exclusively on this highly significant figure; he has overshadowed a considerable number of men whose work cannot be ignored without a loss of historical perspective. Their presence in this collection gives each an added significance as a link in the chain of English criticism. At the time of original publication in 1908 the editor, J. E. Spingarn, was Adjunct Professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York.