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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 slanders, or the publicaof furreptitious Letters, during his life or after, a proper use might be made of them.
The next year, the posthumous works of Mr Wycherley were printed, in a way disreputable enough to his menory.
It was thought a justice due to him, to fhew the world his better judgment; and that it was his last resolution to have fuppressed 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 rest, every judge of writing will see, 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
letters of his for the press. It is as notorious what me
thods were taken to procure them, even from the publisher's own
accounts in his prefaces, viz. by transacting with people in neceffities, * or of abandoned † characters, or such as dealt without names in the I dark. Upon a quarrel with one of these laft, he betrayed himself so far, as to appeal to the public in Narratives and Advertisements: like that Irish 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-health.
Several have been printed in his name which he never writ, and addressed to persons to whom they never were written || ; counterfeited as from bishop Atterbury to him, which neither that bishop nor he
; 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 situation and his temper have all his life excluded from rivalling any man, in any pretenfion, (except that of pleasing by poetry) to have been as much afpersed and written at, as any First Mini
ever saw **
See the Preface to vol. i. of a book called Mr Pope's Lite. rary Correspondence. † Postscript to the Preface to vol. iv. of ditto.
Narrative and Annecdotes before vol. ii. of ditto, || In vol. iii. Letters from Mr Pope to Mrs Blount, &c.
** Vol. ii. of the same, 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.
fter 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 Establishment.
The unwarrantable publication of his Letters hath at least done him this service, to shew 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 picture, he could not have done it so truly ; for whoever sits for it (whether to himself or another) will inevitably find the features more compofed, than his appear in these Letters. But if an author's hand, like a painter's, be more distinguishable in a slight sketch than in a finished picture, this very carelessness will make them the better known from fuch 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 account. able for several passages in the furreptitious 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 but 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 fupply them, the Author having destroyed too many · Letters to preserve any Series. Nor would he-go about to amend them, except by the umilLion of fome passages, 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 fhown to their memory, to suppress in particular such as 'were most in his favour. 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 Necefwy of fuch à publication, and heartily wish no honest man may be reduced to the same. To state the case fairly in the present lituation. 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 engages to insert whatever
have not only Theft to fear, but Forgery. Any Bookseller, though conscious in what nranner they were obtained, not caring what may be the consequence to your Fame or Quiet, will sell 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. You are therefore reduced, either to enter into a personal treaty with such a man (which though -the readiest, is the meanest of all methods) or to take such other measures to suppress them, as are contrary to your
Inclination, or to publish them, as are contrary to your Modefty. Otherwise
Pro. perty fuffev alike; you are at once 'exposed and plundered. As an Author, you are deprived of that Power, which above all others constitutes a good one, the power of reje&ting, and the right of judging for yourfelf, what pieces it may be most useful, entertaining, or
reputable to publish, at the time and in the manner you think beft.
As a Man, you are deprived of the