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HE Booksellers having de
termined to publish a Body of Englith 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 tedious or difficult.
My purpose was only to have allotted to every Poet an Advertisement, like those which we find in the French Miscellanies, containing a few dates and a general character ; but I have been led beyond my intention, I hope, by the VOL. I. * b
honest desire of giving useful pleasure.
In this minute kind of History, the succession of facts is not easily discovered; and I am not without suspicion that I have placed some of Dryden's works in wrong years. I have followed Langbaine, as the best authority for his plays; and if I shall hereafter obtain a more correct chronology, will publish it; but I do not yet know that my account is erroneous.
I had been told, that in the College of Physicians there is some memorial of Dryden's funeral, but my intelligence was not true; the story therefore wants the credit which such a testimony would have given