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In this minute kind of History, the succession of facts is not easily discovered ; and I am not without suspicion that some of Dryden's works are placed 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. *
Dryden's Remarks on Rymer have been somewhere f printed before. The former edition I have not seen. This was transcribed for the press from his own manuscript.
As this undertaking was occasional and unforeseen, I must be supposed to have engaged in it with less provision of materials than might have been accumulated by longer premeditation. Of the later writers at least I might, by attention and enquiry, have
* Langbaine's authority will not support the dates assigned to Dryden's Plays. These are now rectified in the margin by reference to the original Editions, the only guides to be relied on.
+ In the Edition of Beaumont and Fletcher, by Mr. Colman. R.
gleaned many particulars, which would have diversified and enlivened my Biography. These omissions, which it is now useless to lament, have been often supplied by the kindness of Mr. Steevens and other friends; and great assistance has been given me by Mr. Spence's Collections, of which I consider the communication as a favour worthy of public acknowledgement.*
* They were communicated by their possessor, the Duke of Newcastle.
SHEFFIELD, DUKE OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE... 440