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NOW FIRST COLLECTED
IN EIGHTEEN VOLUMES.
HISTORICAL, CRITICAL, AND EXPLANATORY,
A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR,
SIR WALTER SCOTT, Bart.
PRINTED FOR ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE AND CO. EDINBURGH;
AND HURST, ROBINSON, AND CO. LONDON.
AFTER the lapse of more than a century since the author's death, the Works of Dryden are now, for the first time, presented to the public in a complete and uniform edition. In collecting the pieces of one of our most eminent English classics —one who may claim at least the third place in that honoured list, and who has given proofs of greater versatility of talent than either Shakespeare or Milton, though justly placed inferior to them in their peculiar provinces -- the Editor did not feel himself en
titled to reject any part of his writings; even of those which reflect little honour on the age, by whose taste they were dictated. Had a selection been permitted, he would have excluded several of the Comedies, and some part of the Translations : but this is a liberty which has not lately been indulged to editors of classical poetry. Literary history is an important step in that of man himself; and the unseductive coarseness of Dryden is rather a beacon than a temptation.
In commencing this task, the Editor had hopes of friendly assistance, which might have rendered his toil more easy, and the result more accurate. Deprived of this by a concurrence of unlucky circumstances, he has both to dread the imperfection of his labours, and the consequence of perhaps an over-zeal to render his edition complete. In the first respect, although he has many thanks to return for information