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WORKS OF VIRGIL.
This great work was undertaken by Dryden, in 1694, and published, by subscription, in 1697. One hundred and one subscribers gave five guineas each to furnish the engravings for the work; if indeed this was any thing more than a genteel pretext for increasing the profit of the author; for Spence has informed us, that the old plates used for Ogleby's Virgil,” were retouched for that of his great successor,
Another class of subscribers, two hundred and fifty-two in number, contributed two guineas each. As the names of those who encouraged this great national labour have some claim to distinction, the reader will find, prefixed to this edition, an accurate copy of both lists, as they stand in the first folio edition. On 28th June, 1697, the following advertisement appeared in the London Gazette :
“ The Works of Virgil ; containing his Pastorals, Georgics, and Eneis, translated into English verse, by Mr Dryden, and adorned with one hundred cuts, will be finished this week, and be ready next week to be delivered, as subscribed for, in quires, upon bringing the receipt for the first payment, and paying the second. Printed for Jacob Tonson, &c.”
In 1709, Tonson published a second edition of Dryden's “ Virgil,” with the plates reduced, in three volumes, 8vo; and various others have since appeared. In 1803, a new edition was given to the public, revised and corrected by Henry Carey, LL.D. This is so correct, that, although it has been uniformly compared with the original edition of Tonson, I have thought it advisable to follow the modern editor in some corrections of the punctuation and reading. In other cases, where I have adhered to the folio, I have placed Dr Carey's alteration at the bottom of the page. It is hardly worth while to notice, that there is a slight alteration of the arrangement of Dryden's prolegomena; the Dedication to the “ Pastorals” being placed immediately before that class of poems, instead of preceding the Life, as in the original folio. Dryden's Notes and Observations, which, in the original, are printed together at the end of the work, are, in this edition, dispersed and subjoined to the different Books containing the passages to which they refer.