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The Editor hath not, for the sake of profit, suffered the Author's Name to be made cheap by a Subscription ; nor his works to be defrauded of their due honours by a vulgar or inelegant Impression ; nor his Memory to be difgraced 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-interests of his deceased Friend. Mr. Pope, at his death, had left large imprefsions of several 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 dispose of them to the best advantage, before the publication of this Edition (which hath been long prepared) should put a stop to the fale. But it
proper to be a little more particular concerning the superiority of this Edition above all the preceding; so far as Mr. Pope himself was concerned. What the Editor hath done, the Reader must collect for himself.
of other men,
The first Volume, and the original poems in the SECOND, are here first printed from a copy corrected throughout by the Author himself, even to the very preface: Which, with several additional notes in his own hand, he delivered to the Editor a little before his death. The Juvenile translations, 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 some, the freedom of others, and the little importance of all. But these being the property the Editor had it not in his power to follow the Author's intention.
The Third Volume, (all but the Esay on Man, which together with the Elay on Criticism, the Author, a little before his death, had corrected and published in Quarto, as a specimen of his projected Edition) was printed by him in his last illness, but never published, in the manner it is now given. The disposition 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 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 Manuscript-copies of these poems, communicated by him for this pur
pose to the Editor. These, the Author, wheni he first published the poems, to which they belong, thought proper, for various reasons, to omit. Some, from the Manuscript-copy of the Esay on Man, which tended to discredit 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 rest, together with others of the like fort, from his Manuscript-copy of the other Ethic Episiles, 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
The Prologue and Epilogue are here given with the like advantages as the Etkic Epistles in the foregoing Volume, that. is to say, with the Variations, or additional verses from the Author's Manuscripts. The Epilogue to the Satires is likewise inriched with many and large notes, now first printed from the Author's own Manuscript.
The FIFTH Volume contains a correcter and completer Edition of the Dunciad than hath been hitherto published; of which, ať present, 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 disgraced by the meanness of its subject, the most insignificant 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 philosophers and Free-thinkers. " I imagined, too, it was for the interests of Religion to have it known, that so great a Genius 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
Enemies. He was not mistaken. For tho' 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 Grub-street libels. The plan of this admirable Satire was artfully contrived to'shew, 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 destructive 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 sufpected 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 great 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. A. mongst the Verse several fine poems make now their first appearance in his Works. And of the Prose, all that is good, and nothing but what is exquisitely so, will be found in this Edition.
The SEVENTH, EIGHTH, and NINTH VOlumes consift 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 Epistles. This collection is now made more complete by the addition of several new pieces. Yet, excepting a short explanatory letter to Col. M. and the Letters to Mr. A. and Mr. W. (the latter of which are given to shew the Editor's inducements, and the engagements he was under, to intend the care of this Edition) excepting these, I say, the rest 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 these, That it is the first complete collection which has ever been made of his original Writings. That all his