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On the whole, the Advantages of thfc 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 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 apearance before the Public.
The Author*s life deserves a just Vb> lumej 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 nobleji works of God. He was an honeft Man *. A Man who alone possessed more real Virtue than, in very corrupt times, needing a Satirist like him, will sometimes fall to the (hare of multitudes.
"" A wit's a feather, and a chief's a rod,
trust it to my Life to confute them) may lfind a friend as careful of my honest fame as 1 have been of His! Together with his Works, he hath bequeathed me, his Dunces. So that as the property is transferred, I could wish they would now let his memory alone. The veil which Death draws over the Good is so sacred, that to throw dirt upon the Shrine scandalizes even Barbarians. And though Rome permitted her Slaves to calumniate her best Citizens on the day of Triumph, yet the fame petulancy at their Funeral would have been rewarded with execration and a gibbet. The Public may be malicious: but is rarely vindictive or ungenerous. It would abhor these insults on a writer dead, tho' it had born with the ribaldry, or even set the ribalds on work, when he was alive. And in this there was no great harm: for he must have a strange impotency of mind whom such miserable scriblers can ruffle. Of all that gross Beotian phalanx who have written fcurrilousty against me,I know not so much as one whom a writer of reputation would nbtwisti to have his enemy, or whom a matt of honour would not be ashamed to own for his friend. I am indeed but slightly conversant in their works, and know little of the particulars of their defamation, To my Authorship they are heartily welcome. But if any of them have been so abandoned by Truth as to attack my moral character in any instance whatsoever, to all and every one of these, and their abettors, 1 give the Lye in form, and in the words of honest Father Valerian, MENTIRIS IMPUDENTISSIME.