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But it may be 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.
The First Volume, and the original poems in the SECOND, are here 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 any. But these 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 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 EpiAtle on the Characters of Men is quite al
tered; 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 Manuscriptcopies of these poems, communicated by hiin 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 EJay 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 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 ta Dr. Arbuthnot; and Epilogue, the two poems intitled MDCCXXXVIII. 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 Epi
logue 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, 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 fo fine a poem should remain disgraced by the meanness of its subject, the most insignificant of all Dunces, bad Rymers 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 many 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 fales, and Grub-street 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 so 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 suspected 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 confifts of Mr. Pope's miscellaneous pieces in verse and prose. Amongst the Verle 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 Volumnes consist 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 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
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 noblest works of God. He was an ho