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The Editor hath not, for the fake of profit, fuffered the Author's Name to be made cheap by a Subfcription; nor his Works to be defrauded of their due honours by a vulgar or inelegant Impreffion; nor his Memory to be dif graced by any pieces unworthy of his talents or virtue. On the contrary, he hath, at a very great expence, ornamented this Edition with all the advantages which the best Artists in Paper, Printing, and Sculpture could bestow upon it.
If the Public hath waited longer than the deference due to it's generous impatience for the Author's writings should have suffered, it was owing to a reason which the Editor need not be ashamed to tell. It was his regard to the family-interefts of his deceased Friend. Mr. Pope, at his death, had left large impreffions of feveral parts of his Works, unfold; the property of which was adjudged to belong to his Executors; and the Editor was willing they should have time to difpofe of them to the beft advantage, before the publication of this Edition (which hath been long prepared) fhould put a stop to the fale.
But it may be proper to be a little more particular concerning the fuperiority of this Edition above all the preceding; fo far as Mr. Pope himself was concerned. What the Editor hath done, the Reader muft collect for himself.
The FIRST Volume, and the original poems in the SECOND, are here firft printed from a copy corrected throughout by the Author himself, even to the very preface: Which, with feveral additional notes in his own hand, he delivered to the Editor a little before his death. The Juvenile tranflations, in the other part of the SECOND Volume, it was never his intention to bring into this Edition of his Works, on account of the levity of fome, the freedom of others, and the little importance of all. But thefe being the property of other men, the Editor had it not in his power to follow the Author's intention.
The THIRD Volume, (all but the Essay on Man, which together with the Essay on Criticism, the Author, a little before his death, had corrected and published in Quarto, as a fpecimen of his projected Edition) was printed by him in his laft illnefs, but never published, in the manner it is now given. The difpofition of the Epistle on the Characters of Men is quite altered: that on the Characters of Women much enlarged; and the Epistles on Riches and Tafte corrected and improved. To these advantages of the THIRD Volume, must be added a great number of fine verses, taken from the Author's Manufcript-copies of these poems, communicated by him for this pur
pose to the Editor. Thefe, the Author, wheri he first published the poems, to which they belong, thought proper, for various reasons, to omit. Some, from the Manufcript-copy of the Effay 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 last Edition of that Poem. The reft, together with others of the like fort, from his Manufcript-copy of the other Ethic Epiftles, are here inferted 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 The Prologue and Epilogue are here given with the like advantages as the Ethic Epiftles in the foregoing Volume, that. is to fay, with the Variations, or additional verfes from the Author's Manufcripts. The Epilogue to the Satires is likewife inriched with many and large notes, now first printed from the Author's own Manufcript.
The FIFTH Volume contains a correcter and completer Edition of the Dunciad than hath been hitherto publifhed; of which, at prefent, I have only this further to add, That it was at my requeft he laid the plan of a fourth Book. I often told him, It was pity
fo fine a poem should remain difgraced by the meanness of its fubject, the most infignificant of all Dunces, bad Rhymers and malevolent. Cavillers: That he ought to raise and enoble it by pointing his Satire against the most pernicious of all, Minute philofophers and Free-thinkers. I imagined, too, it was for the interefts of Religion to have it known, that fo great a Genius had a due abhorrence of these pests of Virtue and Society. He came readily into my opinion; but at the fame time, told me, it would create him many Enemies. He was not mistaken. For tho' the terror of his pen kept them for fome time in refpect, yet on his death they rofe with unreftrained fury in numerous Coffee-houfe tales, and Grub-ftreet libels. The plan of this admirable Satire was artfully contrived to fhew, that the follies and defects of a FASHIONABLE EDUCATION naturally led to, and neceffarily ended in, FREE-THINKING; with design to point out the only remedy adequate to fo deftructive an evil. It was to advance the fame 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 leaft glance towards Fate or NATURALISM; and to add what was proper to convince the world that he was warmly on the fide of MORAL GOVERNMENT and a
revealed Will. And it would be great injuftice to his memory not to declare that he embraced thefe occafions with the most unfeigned pleasure.
The SIXTH Volume confifts of Mr. Pope's miscellaneous pieces in verfe and profe. Amongst the Verfe feveral fine poems make now their first appearance in his Works. And of the Profe, all that is good, and nothing but what is exquifitely 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 of familiar Epiftles. This collection is now made more complete by the addition of feveral 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 fhew the Editor's inducements, and the engagements he was under, to intend the care of this Edition) excepting these, I fay, the reft are all here published from the Author's own printed, tho' not published, copies delivered to the Editor.
On the whole, the advantages of this Edition, above the preceding, are thefe, That it is the first complete collection which has ever been made of his original Writings. That all his