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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by
GEORGE P. PUTNAM, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of
PN the course of a revised edition of my
works I have come to a biographical sketch
of Goldsmith, published several years since. It was written hastily, as introductory to a selection from his writings; and, though the facts contained in it were collected from various sources, I was chiefly indebted for them to the voluminous work of Mr. James Prior, who had collected and collated the most minute particulars of the poet's history with unwearied research and scrupulous fidelity ; but had rendered them, as thought, in a form too cumbrous and overlaid with details and disquisitions, and matters uninteresting to the general reader.
When I was about of late to revise my biographical sketch, preparatory to republication, a volume was put into my hands, recently given to the public by Mr. John Forster, of the Inner Temple, who, likewise availing himself of the labors of the indefatigable Prior, and of a few new lights since evolved, has produced a biography of the poet, executed with a spirit, a feeling, a grace, and an eloquence, that leave nothing to be desired. Indeed it would have been presumption in me to undertake the subject after it had been thus felicitously treated, did I not stand committed by my previous sketch. That sketch now appeared too meagre and insufficient to satisfy public demand ; yet it had to take its place in the revised series of my works unless something more satisfactory
WOR 19 FEB 36