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and Taste corrected and improved. To these advantages of the Third Volume, must be added a great number of fine Verses taken from the Author's Manuscriptcopies of these poems, communicated by him for this purpose to the Editor. These, when he first published the Poems, to which they belong, he thought proper, for various reasons, to omit. Some from the Manuscript-copy of the Essay on Man, which tended to difcredit fate, and to recommend the moral government of God, had, by the Editor's advice, been restored to their places in the lat Edition of that Poem. The rest, together with others of the like fort from his Manuscript. copy of the other Ethic Epistles, are here inserted at the bottom of the page, under the title of Variations..
The FOURTH Volume contains the Satires; with their Prologue, the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot; and Epilogue, the two Poems intitled M DCC XXXVIII. The Prologue and Epilogue are here given with the like advantages as the Ethic Epistles in the foregoing Volume, that is to say, with the Variations, or additional verses from the Author's Manuscripts. The Epilogue to the Catires is likewise enriched with many and large notes, now first printed from the Author's own Manuscript.
The FifrH Volume contains a correcter and com.. pleter Edition of the Dunciad than hath been hitherto published; of which, at present, I have only this further to add, That it was at my request he laid the plan of a fourth Book. I often told him, it was pity so fine a poem should remain disgraced by the meanness of its subject, the most insignificant of all Dunces, bad Rhymers and malevolent Lavillers : That he ought to raise and ennoble it by pointing his Satire agaiot the most pernicious of all, Minute-philosophers and Free-thinkers. I iinagined too, it was for the interest of Religion to have it kno.vn, that so great a Genïus had a due abhorrence of these pests of Virtue and Society. He came readily into my opinion ; but, at the same time, told me it would create him many enemies. He was not mistaken. * For though the terror of his pen kept them for some time in respect, yet on his death they rose with unrestrained fury, in numerous Coffee-house tales, and Grubstreet libels. The plan of this admirable Satire was artfully contrived to Thew, that the follies and defects of a fashionable EDUCATION naturally led to, and necessarily ended in, FREE-THINKING ; with design to point out the only remedy adequate to fo fatal an evil. It was to advance the same ends of virtue and religion, that the Editor prevailed on him to alter every thing in his moral writings that might be fufpected of having the least glance towards Fate or NATURALISM; and to add what was proper to convince the world, that he was warmly on the side of moral Government and a revealed Will, And it would be injustice to his memory not to declare that he embraced these occasions with the most unfeigned pleasure.
The sixth Volume consists of Mr Pope's miscellaneous pieces in verse and prose. Amongst the Verse several fine poems make now their first appearance in his Works. And of the Profe, all that is good, and nothing but what is exquisitely fo, will be found in this Edition,
The SEVENTH, EIGHTH, and NINTH Volumes confift entirely of his Letters. The more valuable, as. they are the only true models which we, or perhaps any. of our neighbours have, offamiliar Epiftles. This collection is now made more complete by the addition of Several new pieces. Yet, excepting a fhort explanatory letter to Col. M. and the Letters to Mr. A. and Mr. W. (the latter of which are given to thew the Editor's inducements, and the engagements he was under, to in. tend the care of this Edition) excepting these, I say,
the rest are all here published from the Author's own printed, though not published copies, delivered to the Editor.
On the whole, the Advantages of this Edition, above the preceding, are these, That it is the first complete collection which has ever been made of his original Writings; That all his principal poems, of early or later date, are here given to the Public with his last corrections and improvements; That a great number of his verses are here first printed from the Manuscript copies of his principal poems of later date; That many new notes of the Author's are here added to his Poems; and lastly, that several pieces, both in prose and verse, make now their first appearance before the Public.
The Author's Life deserves a just Volume; and the Editor intends to give it. For to have been one of the first Poets in the world is but his second praise. He was in a higher Class. He was one of the nobleft works of God. He was an honest Man *. A man who alone poffesfed more real virtue than, in very corrupt times, needing a Satirist like him, will sometimes fall to the share of multitudes. In this history of his life, will be contained a large account of his writings; a critique on the nature, force, and extent of his genius, exemplified from these writings; and a vindication of his moral character, exemplified by his more distinguished virtues ; his filial piety, his disinterested friendships, his reverence for the constitution of his country, his love and admiration of VIRTUE, and (what was the necessary effect) his hatred and contempt of vice, his extensive charity to the indigent, his warm benevolence to mankind, his supreme veneration of the Deity, and, above all, his fincere belief of Revelation. Nor shall his faults be concealed. It is not for the interests of his virtues
" A wit's a feather, and a chief's a rod,
that they should. Nor indeed could they be concealo ed, if we were so minded, for they shine through his Virtues ; no man being more a dupe to the specious appearances of Virtue in others. In a word, I mean not to be his Panegyrist, but his Historian. And may I, when Envy and Calumny take the same advantage of .my
absence (for, while I live, I will freely trust it to my Life to confute them) may I find a friend as careful of my honest fame as I have been of His! Together with his Works, he hath bequeathed me his DunCES. So that as the property is transferred, I could wish they would now let his memory
alone. The veil which Death draws over the Good is so sacred, that to throw dirt upon
the shrine scandalizes even Barbarians. And though Rome permitted her Slaves to calumniate her beit Citizens on the day of Triumph, yet the same petulancy at their funeral would have been rewarded with execration and a gibbet. The Public may be malicious; butis rarely vindi&ive or ungenerous. It would abhor these insults on a writer dead, though it had borne with the ribaldry,or even set the ribalds on work, when he was alive. And in this there was no great harm.: for he must have a strange impotency of mind whom such miserable scribblers can rufle. Of all that gross Beotian phalanx who have written scurrilously against me, I know not so much as one whom a writer of reputation would not wish to have his.enemy, or whom a man of honour would not be ashamed to own for his friend. I am indeed but slightly conversant in their works, and know little of the particulars of their defamation. To my Authorship they are heartily welcome.
Lut if any of them have been so abandoned by Truth as to attack my moral character in any instance whatsoever, to all and every one of these, and their abettors, I give the íxe in form, and in the words of honest Father Valerian, MÊATIRIS IMPUDENTISSIME.
Contents of the
of the First Volume.
VERTUMNUS and POMONA, from Ovid's Metamor-