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3594, P R E FAC E. | AS
S the mind of man is ever fond of variety, no
thing seems better calculated to entertain, than a judicious colle&tion of the smaller (tho' not on that account less-labour'd) productions of eminent poets : an entertainment not unlike that which we receive from surveying a finish'd landschape, or well-dispos'd piece of shell-work: where each particular object, tho' fingly beautiful, and sufficiently striking by itself, receives an additional charm, thus (as Milton expresses it) sweetLY INTERCHANG'D.
The first miscellaneous collection of poems, that ever appear'd in Great Britain with any reputation, is that publish'd by Mr Dryden : which was afterwards continued by Tonson. There are many pieces of the highest merit in this collection by Dryden, Denham, Creech, Drayton, Garth, Marvell, and many others; yet the compilers, it is evident, were not always sufficiently scrupulous and cautious in their choice, as several pieces are admitted, among the rest, which would otherwise utterly have perished, and which had no other recommendation than that they served to swell the volume. Since this, many miscel. lanies have been published both in Scotland and Eng. land : to enumerate which would be no less tedious than useless. It will be sufficient to remark, that thro'