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It was dispersed on Mr Luttrell's death ; but a number of the volumes, referring chiefly to the latter part of Charles the Second's reign, have fortunately become the property of Mr James Bindley of Somerset-Place, who, with the utmost urbanity, permitted the Editor the unlimited use of these, and other literary curiosities in his valuable library.-It is so much a matter of course, with
every adventurer in the field of antiquities, to acknowledge the liberality and kindness of Mr Richard Heber, that the public would probably be surprised had his extensive literary treasures escaped contribution on this occasion, particularly as it contains several additional volumes of the Luttrell collection. To both gentlemen the Editor has to offer his public 'thanks ; nor will he be tempted to diIate farther on the liberality of the one, and the tried friendship of the other. It is possible, that these researches may, by their very nature, have in some degree warped the Editor's taste, and induced him to consider that as curious which was only scarce, and to reprint quotations, from the adversaries or contemporaries of Dryden, of a length more than sufficient to satisfy the reader of their unworthiness. But, as the painter places a human figure, to afford the means of computing the elevation of the principal object in his landscape, it seemed that the giant-height of Dryden, above the poets of his day, might be best ascertained by extracts from those, who judged themselves, and were sometimes deemed by others, his equals, or his superiors. For the same reason, there are thrown into the Appendix a few indifferent verses to the poet's memory; which, while they show how much his loss was felt, point out, at the same time, the impossibility of supplying it.
In the Biographical Memoir, it would have been hard to exact, that the editor should rival the criticism of Johnson, or produce facts which had escaped the accuracy of Malone. While, however, he has availed himself of the labours of both, particularly of the latter, whose industry has removed the cloud which so long hung over the events of Dryden's life, he has endeavoured to take a different and more enlarged view of the subject than that which his predecessors have présented. The general critical view of Dryden's works being sketched by Johnson with unequalled felicity, and the incidents of his life accurately discussed and ascertained by Malone, something seemed to remain for him who should consider these literary productions in their succession, as actuated by, and operating upon,
the taste of an age, where they had so predominant influence; and who might, at the same time, connect the life of Dryden
with the history of his publications, without losing sight of the fate and character of the individual. How far this end has been attained, is not for the editor to guess,, especially when, as usual at the close of a work, he finds he is possessed of double the information he had when he commenced it. The kindness of Mr Octavius Gilchrist, who undertook a journey to Northamptonshire to examine the present state of Rushton, where Dryden often lived, and of Mr Finlay of Glasgow, who favoured the Editor with the use of some original editions, falls here to be gratefully acknowleged.
In collecting the poetry of Dryden, some hymns translated from the service of the Catholic church were recovered, by the favour of Captain MacDonogh of the Inverness Militia. * As the body of the work
By the hands of Mrs Jackson, who has honoured me with a note, stating, that they are mentioned in Butler's “ Tour
was then printed off, they were inserted in the Life of the Author; but should a second impression of this edition be required by the public, they shall be transferred to their proper place. To the Letters of Dryden, published in Mr Malone's edition of his prose
works, the Editor has been enabled to add one article, by the favour of Mrs White of Bownanhall, Glocestershire. Those preserved at Knowles were examined at the request of a noble friend, and the contents appeared unfit for públication. Dryden's translations of Fresnoy's Art of Painting, and of the Life of Xavier, are inserted without abridgment, for reasons which are elsewhere alleged. f. From
through Italy;" that after Butler's death, the translations passed into the hands of the celebrated Dr Alban, whence they were transferred to those of the present possessor.
+ Vol. I. p. 336, Vol. XVII. p. 281.