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It was upon reading some of the abusive papers lately published, that my great regard to a Person, whose Friendship I esteem as one of the chief honours of my life, and a much greater respect to Truth, than to him or any man living, engaged me în inquiries, of which the inclosed Notes are the fruit.
I perceived, that most of these Authors had been (doubtless very wisely) the first aggressors. They had tried, till they were weary, what was to be got by railing at each other : Nobody was either concerned or surprized, if this or that scribbler was proved a dunce. But every one was curious to read what could be said to prove Mr. Pope one, and was ready to pay fomething for such a discovery: A stratagem, which would they fairly own, it might not only reconcile them to me, but screen them from the resentment of their lawful Superiors, whom they daily abuse, only (as I charitably hope) to get that by them, which they cannnot get from them.
I found this was not all: Ill success in that had transported them to personal abuse, either of himself, of (what I think he could less forgive) of his Friends. They had called Men of virtue and honour bad Men, long before he had either leisure or inclination to call them bad Writers : And some had been such old offenders, that he had quite forgotten their persons as well as their slanders, till they were pleased to revive them,
Now what had Mr. Pope done before, to incense them? He had published those works which are in the Lands of every body, in which not the least mention is
made of any of them. And what has hė done since? He has laughed, and written the DUNCIAD. What has that said of them? A very serious truth, which the Public had said before, that they were dull: And what it had no sooner faid, but they themselves were at great pains to procure, or even purchase room in the prints, to testify under their hands to the truth of it.
I should still have been filent, if either I had seen any inclination in my friend to be serious with such accusers, or if they had only meddled with his Writings; fince whoever publishes, puts himself on his trial by his Country. But when his Moral character was attacked, and in a manner from which neither truth nor virtue can fecure the most innocent; in a manner, which, though it annihilates the credit of the accusation with the just and impartial, yet aggravates very much the guilt of the accusers ; I mean by Authors without names; then I thought, since the danger was common to all, the concern ought to be so; and that it was an act of justice to detect the Authors, not only on this account, but as many of them are the same who for several years past have made free with the greatest names in Church and State, exposed to the world the private misfortunes of Families, abused all, even to women, and whose prostituted papers (for one or other Party, in the unhappy divisions of their Country) have insulted the Fallen, the Friendless, the Exiled, and the Dead.
Besides this, which I take to be a public concern, I have already confessed I had a private one, I am one
VI. (Ves, (6,7371, who tot é a cancer in
360 vit, on the wall stics of the Hon. ROBLET
11,64,14 stel Maki, 1727, ib. VILL, Oon Si (196#*17 Kuillin, in WeiminArt abstry,
361 1%, On (enerul HE*** WITHER), in Weft. minder abbey,
362 X. O. MI. ELIJAH FEMTON, át Easthamnstead in beky, 1739)
ib. XI. O. Mr. Car, in Westminster-abbey, 1732, 3'3 Another,
iv. XII. Intended for bir Ibaac Newton, in Westminster abbey,
364 XII. On Dr. I'mANCIATTERBURY, Bishop of
Rochetter', who died in exile at Paris 1732,
ib. NIVO EDMUND Duke of Buckingham, who
Wed in the minerecnth year of his age, 1735, 365 IV. For one who would not be buried in Wett
366 Amerika on the funny,
ib. 1. Lari WINGS Epstarten የ ነ አ 5
of that number who have long loved and esteemed Mr. Pope; and had often declared it was not his capacity or writings, (which we ever thought the least valuable part of his character,) but the honeft, open, and beneficent man, that we moft esteemed, and loved in him. Now, if what these people say were believed, I must appear to all my friends either a fool, or a knave; either imposed on myfelf, or imposing on them; fo that I am as much interested in the confutation of these calumnies, as he is himself.
I am no Author, and confequently not to be suspected either of jealousy or resentment against any of the Men, of whom scarce one is known to me by sight; and as for their Writings, I have fought them (on this one occasion) in vain, in the closets and libraries of all my acquaintance. I had still been in the dark, if a Gentleman had not procured me (I suppose from some of themselves, for they are generally much more dangerous friends than enemies) the passages I send you. I solemnly protest I have added nothing to the malice or abfurdity of them; which it behoves me to declare, fince the vouchers themselves will be so foon and fo irrecoverably lost. You may in some measure prevent it, by preserving at least their Titles a, and discovering (as far as you can depend on the truth of your information) the Names of the concealed authors.
The first objection I have heard made to the Poem is, that the perfons are too obscure for fatire. The
per. a Which we have done in a Lift printed in the Appendix.