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Of the Publisher of the Surreptitious
E presume we want no apology to the reader
for this pubiication, but some may be thought needful to Mr. Pope : however he cannot think our offence so great as theirs, who first separately published what we have here but colleEted in a better form and order. As for the letters we have procured to be added, they serve but io complete, explain, and sometimes set in a true light, those others, which it was not in the .writer's or our power to recall.
This collection hath been cwing to several cabinets : fome drawn from thenie by accidents, and others (even
of those to ladies) voluntarily given. It is to one of that sex we are beholden for the while correspondence with H. C. efq. which letters being lint her by that gentleman, she took the liberty to print; as appears by the following, which we shall give at length, both as it is something curious, and as it may serve for an apology for ourselves.
To HENRY CROMWELL, Efq.
June 27, 1727.
great oppressions I have sighed under have occafioned, one is at a loss how to begin a letter to so kind a friend as yourself. But as it was always my resolution, if I must fink, to do it as decently (that is, as silently) as I could; fo when I found myself plunged into unforseen, and unavoidable rain, I retreated from the world, and in a manner buried myself in a dismal place, where I knew none, and none knew me.
In this dull unthinking way, I have protracted a lingring death (for life it cannot be called) ever since you saw me, fequeftred from company, deprived of my books, and nothing left to converse with, but the letters of my dead or absent friends; among which latter I always placed yours, and Mr. Pope's in the first rank. Í lent fome of them indeed to an ingenious person, who was so delighted with the specimen, that he importuned the for a fight of the rest, which having obtained, he conveyed them to the press, I must not fay altogether with my consent, nor wholly without it. I thought them too good to be lost in oblivion, and had no cause to apprehend the disobliging of any. The public, viz. all persons of taste and judgment, would be pleased with so agreeable an amusement; Mr. Cromwell could not be angry, fince it was but justice to his merit, to publish the solemn and private professions of love, gratitude, and veneration, made him by so celebrated an author; and sincerely Mr. Pope ought not to resent the publication, since the early pregnancy of his genius was no dishonour to his character. And yet kad either of you been asked, coinmon modesty
would have obliged you to refuse, what you would not be displeased with, if done without your knowledge. And besides, to end all dispute, you had been pleased to make me a free gift of them, to do what I pleased with them; and every one knows, that the person to whom a letter is addressed, has the same right to dispose of it, as he has of goods purchased with his money. I doubt not but your generosity and honour will do me the right, of owning by a line that I came honestly by them. I Aatter myself, in a few months I shall again be visible to the world ; and whenever thro' good providence that turn shall happen, I shall joyfully acquaint you with it, there being none more truly your obliged servant, than, Sir,
Your faithful, and
P.S. A Letter, Sir, directed to Mrs. Thomas, to be left at my house, will be safely transmitted to her, by
To Mr. POPE.
Epsom, July 6, 1727. HEN these letters were first printed, I
wondered how Curll could come by them, and could not but laugh at the pompous title; since whatever you wrote to me was humour, and familiar raillery. As soon as I came from Epsom, I heard you had been to see me, and I writ you a short letter from Will's, that I longed to see you. Mr.