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tributions of their huinble dependent; and though Smollett probably exercised the same power, it is clear that the alterations of the bookseller and his wife would not be comparable to the alterations made by an editor of Smollett's skill. I am glad to be able to state that the course I have taken and have here described meets with the entire approbation of Mr. Forster, who has studied the subject with great attention (as his enlarged "Life of Goldsmith” will confirm the public in believing), and who is himself a master in the noble art of reviewing
Another new feature in this edition is the introduction of Goldsmith's letters. His letters contain many of his happiest touches and strokes of character, and therefore well deserve a place among his Works.
In the fourth volume will be found a long and unpublished poem by Goldsmith, printed for the first time, by Mr. Bolton Corney's kind permission, from the original MS. in Goldsmith's handwriting. When in 1845 Mr. Corney edited the Poetical Works of Goldsmith, he was not aware of the existence of this MS., or he would, as he informs me, most assuredly have made use of it. Editors, it is said, are seldom liberal one to another, but the truth of the saying (if indeed there is any truth in it) is wholly disproved if applied to Mr. Bolton Corney.
The Index is greatly and importantly enlarged; while, with respect to the notes throughout, I have only to say that I hold myself reponsible for all, although to the authorship of many I can lay no claim whatever. It was once my intention to distinguish those of previous editors by their names, but I abandoned that idea because in many cases I was unable to identify the writers, while I had myself taken some liberties, either of correction or compression, with almost every note; I therefore resolved to adopt the notes of my
predecessors, with this general caution and admission, and to let my own appear without the often - recurring ostentation of my name attached to them. I have, however, to Goldsmith's own notes, added—and for the first time-Goldsmith's own name.
I cannot conclude this Preface without expressing my thanks to my friend Mr. George Daniel, of Islington, for the very curious and interesting communication which he has enabled me to publish for the first time. I allude to the account of the origin of “Retaliation,” to be found at p. 92. It is written by Garrick, and, while it supplies some important particulars about the poem itself, materially corrects the received copies of Garrick's epitaph or extempore distich on Goldsmith.
THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD.
A TALE, SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY
313 - 45
For the Contents of the several chapters, see p. 517.