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It is certainly remarkable that, during a period of more than sixty years, only one attempt, and that anonymous and confessedly imperfect, should have been made to collect together the Miscellaneous Works of a writer who has long taken his stand, both in verse and prose, as an English classic—“a man,” to use the expressions of Dr. Johnson, “ of such variety of powers, and such felicity of performance, that he always seemed to do best that which he was doing ; a man who had the art of being minute without tediousness, and general without confusion ; whose language was copious without exuberance, exact without constraint, and easy without weakness.” This neglect is mainly to be attributed to the obscurity in which all Goldsmith's earlier, and many of his later labours, were long involved ; but which, it is hoped, the researches of the present Editor have, in a great measure, removed.
The pieces now for the first time collected are numerous; but the Editor has said so much on most of them in his recent Life of Goldsmith, that any detailed account of them here will not be required. Some of them will, in his
opinion, be found of high merit; and to the rest, the lan