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fact, from which the fcriblers of the times had taken occasion to asperse either his friends or himself. He therefore lay'd by the Originals, together with those of his correspondents, and caused a copy to be taken to deposite in the library of a noble friend; that in case either of the revival of flanders, or the publication of furreptitious Letters, during his life or after, a proper use might be made of them.

The next year, the posthumous works of Mr. Wycherly were printed, in a way disreputable enough to his memory. It was thought a justice due to him, to fhew the world his better judgment; and that it was his last resolution to have suppressed those poems. As some of the Letters which had passed between him and our author cleared that point, they were published in 1729, with a few marginal notes added by a friend.

If in these Letters, and in those which were printed without his consent, there appear too much of a juvenile ambition of wit, or affectation of gaiety, he may reasonably hope it will be considered to whom, and at what age, he was guilty of it, as well as how foon it was over. The reft, every judge of writing will fee, were by no means efforts of the genius, but emanations of the heart : and this alone may induce any candid reader to believe their publication an act of necessity, rather than of vanity.

It is notorious how many volumes have been published under the title of his correspondence, with promises still of more, and open and repeated offers

of encouragement to all persons who should send any letters of his for the press. It is as notorious what methods were taken to procure them, even from the publisher's own accounts in his prefaces, viz. by transacting with people in necessities, * or of abandoned + characters, or such as dealt without names in the I dark. Upon a quarrel with one of these last, he betrayed himself so far, as to appeal to the public in Narratives and Advertisements : like that Irith highway-man a few years before, who preferr'd a bill against his companion, for not sharing equally in the money, rings and watches, they had traded for in partnership upon Hounslow-heath.

Several have been printed in his name which he never writ, and addreffed to persons to whom they never were written f; counterfeited as from bishop Atterbury to him, which neither that bifhop nor be ever saw || ; and advertised even after that period when it was made felony to correspond with him.

I know not how it has been this author's fate, whom both his ficuation and his temper have all his life excluded from rivalling any man, in any pre

* See the Preface to vol, i. of a Book called Mr. Pope's Litetary Correspondence. † Poftfcript to the Preface to vol. iv. | Narrative and Anecdctes before vol. ij. s In Vol. iii. Letters from Mr. Pope to Mrs. Blount, &c.

| Vol. ii, of the fame, 8vo. pag. 20, and at the end of the Edition of his Letters in 12mo, by the booksellers of London and Westminster; and of the last Edition in 12mo, printed for T.

Cooper, 1725.

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tension, (except that of pleasing by poetry) to have been as much aspersed and written at, as any First Minister of his time : pamphlets and news papers have been full of him, nor was it there only that a private man, who never troubled either the world or common conversation, with his opinions of Religion or Government, has been represented as a dangerous member of Society, a bigotted Papist; and an enemy to the Etablishment. The unwarrantable publication of his Letters hath at least done him this service, to sew he has constantly enjoyed the friendship of worthy men; and that if a catalogue were to be taken of his friends and his enemies, he needs not to blush at either. Many of them having been written on the most trying occurrences, and all in the openness of friendship, are a proof what were his real sentiments, as they flowed warm from the heart, and fresh from the occasion ; without the least thought that ever the world should be witness to them. Had he sat down with a design to draw his own pi&ture, he could not have done it so truly; for whoever fits for it (whether to himself or another) will inevitably find the features more composed, than his appear in these letters. But if an author's hand, like a painter's, be more diftinguishable in a slight sketch than in a finished picture, this very carelessness will make them the better known from such counterfeits, as have been, and may be imputed to him, either through a mercenary or a malicious design.

We hope it is needless to say, he is not accountable for several passages in the surreptitious editions of those Letters, which are such as no man of common sense would have published himself. The errors of the press were almost innumerable, and could not bút be extremely multiplied in so many repeated edi. tions, by the avarice and negligence of piratical printers, to not one of whom he ever gave the least Title, or any other encouragement than that of not prosecuting them.

For the Chasms in the correspondence, we had not the means to supply them, the Author having deftroyed too many Letters to preserve any Series. Nor would he go about to amend them, except by the omiffion of some paffages, improper, or at least impertinent, to be divulged to the public : or of such entire Letters, as were either not his, or not approved of by him.

He has been very sparing of those of his Friends, and thought it a respect shown to their memory, to suppress in particular such as were most in his fa

As it is not to Vanity but to Friendship that he intends this Monument, he would save his enemies the mortification of showing any further how well their Betters have thought of him: and at the same time secure from their censure his living Friends, who (he promises them) shall never be put to the blush, this way at least, for their partiality to him.

But however this Collection may be received, we cannot but lament the Cause, and the Necessity of

vour.

such a publication, and heartily with no honeft man may be reduced to the same. To state the case fairly in the present situation. A Bookseller advertises his intention to publish your Letters : he openly promises encouragement, or even pecuniary rewards, to those who will help him to any; and ingages to insert whatever they fhall send. Any scandal is sure of a reception, and any enemy who sends it screened from a discovery. Any domestic or fervant who can snatch a letter from your pocket or cabinet, is encouraged to that vile practice. If the quantity falls short of a volume, any thing else shall be joined with it (more especially scandal) which the collector can think for his inte. reft, all recommended under

have not only Theft to fear, but Forgery. Any Book. feller, tho' conscious in what manner they were obtained, not caring what may be the consequence to your Fame or Quiet, will fell and disperse them in town and country. The better your Reputation is, the more your name will cause them to be demanded, and consequently the more you will be injured. The injury is of such a nature, as the Law (which does not punish for Intentions) cannot prevent; and when done, may punish, but not redress. therefore reduced, either to enter into a personal treaty with such a man (which tho' the readiest, is the meanest of all methods) or to take such other measures to suppress them, as are contrary to your

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