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of his Works, unfold; the property of which was adjudged to belong to his Executors; and the Editor was willing they fhould have time to difpofe of them to the best advantage, before the publication of this Edition (which hath been long prepared) fhould put a stop to the fale.
But it may be proper to be a little more par ticular concerning the fuperiority of this Edition above all the preceding; fo far as Mr. Pope himself was concerned. What the Editor hath done, the Reader must collect 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 feveral additional notes in his own hand, he delivered to the Editor a little before his death. The Juvenile tranflations, in the other part of the SECOND Volume, it was never his intention to bring into this Edition of his Works, on account of the levity of fome, the freedom of others, and the little importance of any. But
thefe being the property of other men, the Editor had it not in his power to follow the Author's intention.
The THIRD Volume, all but the Effay on Man (which, together with the Effay on Criti cifm, the Author, a little before his death, had corrected and published in Quarto, as a fpecimen of his projected Edition) was printed by him in his laft illness (but never publifhed) in the manner it is now given. The difpofition of the Epistle on the Characters of Men is quite altered that on the Characters of Women, much. enlarged; and the Epifles on Riches and Tafte corrected and improved. To thefe advantages of the THIRD Volume, must be added a great number of fine verfes taken from the Author's Manufcript-copies of these poems, communicated by him for this purpofe to the Editor. Thefe, when he first publifhed the poems, to which they belong, he thought proper, for va rious reafons, to omit. Some from the Manufcript-copy of the Effay on Man, which tended to difcredit fate, and to recommend the moral
government of God, had, by the Editor's advice, been reftored to their places in the laft Edition of that Poem. The reft, together with others of the like fort from his Manufcript-copy of the other Ethic Epiftles, are here inferted at the bottom of the page, under the title of Variations.
The FOURTH Volume contains the Satires; with their Prologue, the Epiftle to Dr. Arbuth Hot; and Epilogue, the two poems intitled, M DCC XXXVIII. The Prologue and Epilogue are here given with the like advantages as the Ethic Epiftles in the foregoing Volume, that is to fay, with the Variations, or additional verfes from the Author's Manufcripts. The Epilogue to the Satires is likewife inriched with many and large notes now firtt printed from the Author's ow'n Manufcript.
The FIFTH Volume contains a correcter and completer Edition of the Dunciad than hath been hitherto publifhed; of which, at prefent, I have only this further to add, That it was at my requeft he laid the plan of a fourth Book. I often told him, It was pity fo fine a poem
fhould remain difgraced by the meanness of its subject, the most infignificant 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, Minutephilofophers and Free thinkers, I imagined, too, it was for the interefts of Religion to have it known, that fo great a Genius had a due abhorrence of thefe pefts 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 miftaken. For tho' the terror of his pen kept them for fome time in respect, yet on his death they rofe with unreftrained fury in numerous Coffee - houfe tales, and Grubftreet libels. The plan of this admirable Satire was artfully contrived to fhew, that the follies and defects of a fafhionable EDUCATION naturally led to, and necessarily ended in, FREE THINKING; with defign 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
tor prevailed on him to alter every thing in his moral writings that might be fufpected of having the leaft glance towards Fate or NATU RALISM and to add what was proper to convince the world that he was warmly on the fide of moral Government and a revealed Will. And it would be injuftice to his memory not to declare that he embraced these occafions with the moft unfeigned pleasure.
The SIXTH Volume confifts of Mr. Pope's
miscellaneous pieces in verfe and profe.
Amongst now their
And of the
the Verfe feveral fine poems make first appearance in his Works. Profe, all that is good, and nothing but what is exquifitely fo, 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 Epiftles. This collection is now made. more complete by the addition of feveral new pieces. Yet, excepting a fhort explanatory letter to Col. M. and the Letters to Mr. A.