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A Note on the Transcriptions

In transcribing these texts I’ve kept as close as possible to the originals. The spelling and punctuation is that of the authors, or as close as I could manage. This is sometimes awkward: John Wright Wheatley I’s spelling was atrocious, and all the writers use commas and periods more or less interchangeably. I thought it was worth the trouble to be so literal, however, because of the sense of immediacy it gives. These texts were not intended for publication; they were not worked over, redrafted, or even proofread. By including the authors’ mistakes, idiosyncracies, and self-corrections, I hope that the transcriptions bring the reader a little closer to the sense of reading an original text.

Authors’ corrections appear in this form: deletions are struck through like this, and insertions are enclosed in slashes \like this/. If I’ve added anything, I’ve put it in pointed brackets <like this>; if it is my comment rather than a word or letter I think the author omitted, I’ve put it in italics <like this>. I’ve only made this sort of insertion where I thought it would help clarify the text; and these insertions are only my guess at what the author meant. If you have a better idea, please let me know.