Page images

of his Works, unfold; the property of which was adjudged to belong to his Executors ; 'and the Editor was willing they should have time to dispose of them to the best advantage, before the publication of this Edition (which hath been long prepared) should put a stop to the fale.

But it may be proper to be a little more par. ticular concerning the superiority of this Edition above all the preceding ; 'fo far as Mr. Pope himself was concerned. What the Editor hath done, the Reader must colle&t 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 thiş Edition of his Works, on account of the levity of fome, the freedom of others, and the little importance of any. But

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

these being the property of other men, the Edi. tor 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 Elay 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 Epistle on the Characters of Men is quite altered : 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 Manuscript - copies of these poems, communi- . cated by him for this purpose to the Editor. These, when he first published the poems, to which they belong, he thought proper, for va. rious reasons, to omit. Some from the Manufcript-copy of the Essay on Man, which tended to discredit fare, 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 to Dr. Arbuthhot; and Epilogue, the two poems intitled, M

DCC XXXVIII. 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 Epilogue to the Satires is likewise inriched with many and large notes now firit printed from the Author's ow'n 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

[ocr errors]

should remain difgraced by the meanness of its subject, the most in fignificant of all Dunces, bad Rhymers and malevolent Cavillers : That he ought to raise and enoble it by pointing his Satire against the most pernicious of all, Minutephilosophers 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 fame time, told me it would create him many Enemies. He was not mistaken. For tho' the terror of his per kept them for some time in respect, yet on his death they rose with uprestrained fury in numerous Coffee - house tales, and Grubstreet libels. The plan of this admirable Satire was artfully contrived to Chew, that the follies and defects of a fafhionable EDUCATION naturally led to, and necessarily ended in, FREE THINKING; with design to point out the only remedy adequate to fo fatal an evil. It was to advance the fame ends of virtue and religion , that the Edi

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

tor 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 occafions with the most imfeigned pleasure.

The Sixto Volume consists of Mr. Pope's miscellaneous pieces in verse and prose. Amongst the Verse 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 so, will be found in this Edition.

The SEVENTH, EIGHTH, and NINTH VOlumes confift 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. Ai

« EelmineJätka »