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EDITOR'S POSTSCRIPT TO HIS PREFACE.
In the first volume of this work it was stated that some detailed reference to the strictly new information contributed to it, and first made public by its Editor, would be prefixed to the third and last volume. The following sentences, therefore, are now subjoined.
The discovery of Cowley's parentage, and a correction of all the received accounts of his birth, are here made; and his Will -hardly less beautiful or characteristic than one of his Essays—is printed for the first time. Concerning Milton (-it is difficult to glean over a field 80 well eared by earlier gleaners), the slight but not uninteresting fact that Marvell intended to have written his Life, is communicated here; and the dates of Sir John Denham's marriages have at length been made known. Here also the earliest public reference has been made to the will of Denham's father, and to the will of Waller's father, from both of which minutiæ of importance have been drawn for the illustration of their lives. The date of Waller's marriage, and the period when Butler ceased to be steward at Ludlow Castle, were first set forth by me; and whoever will look into the Lives of Roscommon and Dryden will find much that is new. I have been careful in all cases to examine the wills, where such interesting documents exist, of the poets whose Lives have been written by Johnson; and the result of this examination, besides the discovery of Cowley's, is shown in some important references, not before made, to the wills of eight of Johnson's heroes, viz. Waller, Roscommon, Garth, Blackmore, Somervile, West, Hammond, and Akenside. The final disposition contemplated by Blackmore of his money (it took a poetical turn) is new to our literary history; and it has not until now been known what John Philips received from Tonson for his poem on Oider. Four unpublished letters from Prior to his patron and friend the witty Earl of Dorset, and three unpublished letters from Swift to Arbuthnot, are to be found in print for the first time in this edition of Johnson; and a highly interesting letter, hitherto unpublished, from Sir William Temple, introEDITOR'S POSTSCRIPT TO HIS PREFACE.
ducing and describing Swift, will be found in the notes to Swift's Life. Of the friendly liking which the Whig Addison and the Tory Arbuthnou entertained for one another, I have given a new and interesting proof; and, in Parnell's Life, several entries in Swift's Journal to Stella, which his editors have wholly misunderstood, are here satisfactorily explained. To the Life of Tickell I have been enabled to add (through a descendant's kindness) some particulars that cannot fail to interest the many admirers of a true poet; and Mr. Croker's friendship has enabled me to enrich, with extracts from their unpublished correspondence, the Lives of Pope and his two assistants, Fenton and Broome. The letter from Mrs. Montagu to Herbert Croft, to which such marked allusion is made in the Life adopted by Dr. Johnson, was also first printed by me; and three long and hitherto unpublished letters from Akenside are included in the Appendix to that poet's Life. The kindness of a descendant has added some new particulars to the Life of Dyer, and my researches have brought to light some small matters of biographical importance in the Life of Gray. The date of Somervile's birth, and the county and year of Ambrose Philips's birth, are first correctly stated. That Young had a pension from the Crown rested solely on the authority of a couplet in Swift, till I had the good fortune to discover the warrant fixing the pension, the period when it was given, and the amount. To the enumeration of Thomson's works, a poem on the death of Congreve, not before known, is here added; and for the first time attention has been directed to a printed poem by Parnell, which Pope properly suffered to expire, but which no biographer will, if he does his duty, omit hereafter to mention. With no desire to make any parade of these discoveries, of which the list might be yet more enlarged, have they thus been referred to, but simply with the hope of establishing a claim to the merit of careful and conscientious diligence, exercised always, I am sure, honestly and reverentially. It is impossible to add to the popularity of Johnson's great work--but one may add to its usefulness, and this I think is here done.
I cannot, however, quit a labour of love without a concluding paragraph. Few men now alive are so competent to understand the merits of Johnson's labours, or the difficulties any editor of his best work must seek to surmount, as the author of the 'Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith :' to him therefore, having brought this labour of love to an end, I desire to dedicate it, and place together, in remembrance of two and twenty years of uninterrupted friendship and esteem, the names of MR. John FORSTER and
PETER CUNNINGHAM. Konsington, November 29, 1854.
Rora at Bardsey in Yorkshire-Educated at Kilkenny and Dublin-Entered of the Middle
Temple-Early appearance as a poet-His first dramatic labour-Obtains the patronage of Halifax-Writes "The Double Dealer,' 'Love for Love,' and 'The Mourning Bride'-HL controversy with Collier--His last play, and high poetical reputation–His government situations-Death, and burial in Westminster Abbey-Works and character.
WILLIAM CONGREVE descended from a family in Staffordshire, of so great antiquity that it claims a place among the few that extend their line beyond the Norman Conquest : and was the son of William Congreve, second son of Richard Congreve, of Congreve and Stratton.' He visited, once at least, the residence of his ancestors; and, I believe, more places than one are still shown, in groves and gardens, where he is related to have written bis · Old Bachelor.'
Neither the time nor place of his birth are certainly known ;' if the inscription apon his monument be true, he was born in 1672. For the place, it was said by himself that he owed his nativity to England, and by everybody else that he was born in Ireland. Southerne mentioned him with sharp censure, as a man that meanly disowned his native country. The biographers assigned his nativity
' to Bardsa, near Leeds in Yorkshire, from the account given by himself, as they suppose, to Jacob.
Congreve's mother (s relationship always pleasing to ascertain) was Anne, dagghter of Sir Thomas Pitzherbert, and grand-daughter of Sir Anthony, the celebrated judge, who wrote the work praised by Blackstone, 'De Naturi Brevium.'-LEIGH Hunt: Dram. Works of Wycherley, Congrede, &c., 1840, p. XXI.
* Since Johnson wrote, the following entry has been discovered :-"William, the sonne of Mr. William Congreve, of Bardsey grange, was baptised Feb. 10, 1669 ."-Register of Bardrey or Bardra, in the West Riding of York. , • Malone supposes ('Life of Dryden,'p. 227) that John Earl of Orrery, with whom Southerno lived much lo bls latter days, was Johnson's authority for this statement.
* I am in particular oblig'd to Mr. Congreve for his free and early communication of what relates to himsell.-JACOB: Pref. to Poetical Register. Jacob states (p. 41) that “Berdoa was part of the estate of Bir John Lewis, his great-uncle by his mother's side."