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SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.
A NEW EDITION.
IN TEN VOLUMES.
PRINTED FOR G. OFTOR, TOWER-HILL; J. REID, BERWICK ;
J. FINLAY, NEWCASTLE; W. BARNES, NORTH SHIELDS ;
FIRST EDITION, 1779-1780.
The Booksellers having determined to publish a body of English Poetry, I was persuaded to promise them a Preface to the Works of each Author ; an undertaking, as it was then presented to my mind, not very extensive or dif. ficult.
My purpose was only to have allotted to every Poet am
Advertisement, like those which we find is the French a cellanies, containing a few dates and a general char but I have been led beyond my intention, I hon honest desire of giving useful pleasure.
listory, the succession of facts is
am not without suspicion that e placed in terong years. I
the best authority, for his
In this minute kind of History, the successis not easily discovered ; and I am not withole, some of Dryden's works are placed in the have followed Langbaine, as the best guten plays : and if I shall hereafter oblain di situs nology, will publish it; but I do not yel count is erroneous. *
oblain e kohe correct chroto not yet kur that my ac
support turlates assigned to
et legin by reference
• Langbaine's authority will not support Dryden's Plays. These are now rectified in the to the original Editions, the only guides to be
Dryden's Remarks on Rymer have been somewhere printed before.* The former edition I have not seen. This was transcribed for the press from his own manuscript.
As this undertaking was occasional and unforeseen, I must be supposed to have engaged in it with less provision of materials than might have been accumulated by longer premeditation. Of the later writers at least I might, by attention and inquiry, have gleaned many particulars, which would have diversified and enlivened my Biography.
These omissions, which it is now useless to lament, have been often supplied by the kindness of Mr. Steevens and other friends ; and great assistance has been given me by Mr. Spence's Collections, of which I consider the communication as a favour worthy of publick acknowledgment.
* In the Edition of Beaumont and Fletcher, by Mr. Colman.