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The following Narrative was originally prefixed to the - Poetical Works” of Johnson, in the general edition of the “ Works of the British Poets, with Prefaces, Biographical and Critical,” printed in 1795.
A separate edition was printed, the same year, in octavo, accelerated so as to exclude such additions and improvements as an opportunity for a revisal might have supplied.
Both editions having been, during a considerable time, out of print, and a
new edition called for, in the intervening period, the subject has been thought not to be exhausted by the researches of which it has afforded the basis, but still likely to interest the public.
In revising the Narrative for a new edition, an opportunity has been found of supplying several deficiencies, both in the chronological series of events, and the critical account of writings, which the compendious brevity of a Preface rendered unavoidable ; and of annexing occasional annotations, illustrative of personal history, from the pen of the late Dr Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dro
The notices of the venerable Annotator concerning his illustrious friend, are printed, without any alteration, from an interleaved copy of the second edition, prepared, in the intimacy of friendship, for the use of this edition, in
1805, and distinguished by the subscription of his name.
It is impossible to suppress the reflection, that the preparation of this volume has been protracted, amidst the interruptions of sickness and sorrow, sufficiently heavy for mortality, till the amiable and learned Prelate, to whose recollections it owes its best recommendation, has sunk into the
and wants himself an affectionate memorial of his excellencies and virtues, and his eminent services to literature and religion.