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The FIRST Volume, and the original poems. in the SECOND, are here firft printed from a copy corrected throughout by the Author himfelf, 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 all. 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 Essay on Man, which together with the Essay on Criticifm, 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 Epistles on Riches and Tafte corrected and improved. To thefe advantages of the THIRD Volume, muft be added a great number of fine verses, taken from the Author's Manufcript-copies of these poems, communicated by him for this pur
pofe to the Editor. These, the Author, when he first published the poems, to which they belong, thought proper, for various 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 last 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 Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot; and Epilogue, the two poems intitled 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 likewise inriched with many and large notes, now firft printed from the Author's own Manufcript.
The FIFTH Volume contains a correcter and completer Edition of the Dunciad than hath been hitherto published; 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 should remain disgraced by the meanness of its fubject, the most infignificant of all Dunçes, bad Rhymers and malevolent Cavillers: That he ought to raise and enoble it by pointing his Satire against the most pernicious of all, Minute philofophers and Free-thinkI imagined, too, it was for the interests of Religion to have it known, that fo 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 pen kept them for fome time in respect, yet on his death they rofe with unreftrained fury in numerous Coffee-houfe tales, and Grub-ftreet libels. The plan of this admirable Satire was artfully contrived to fhew, that the follies and defects of a FASHIONABLE EDUCATION naturally led to, and neceffarily ended in, FREE-THINKING; with defign to point out the only remedy adequate to fo deftructive an evil. It was to advance the fame ends of virtue and religion, that the Editor prevailed on him to alter every thing in his moral writings that might be fufpected 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 fide of MORAL GOVERNMENT and a
revealed Will. And it would be great injustice to his memory not to declare that he embraced thefe occafions with the moft unfeigned pleasure.
The SIXTH Volume confifts of Mr. Pope's mifcellaneous pieces in verfe and profe. Amongst the Verfe feveral fine poems make now their first appearance in his Works. And of the 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 Epifiles. 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. and Mr. W. (the latter of which are given to fhew the Editor's inducements, and the engagements he was under, to intend the care of this Edition) excepting these, I fay, the rest are all here published from the Author's own printed, tho' not published, copies delivered to the Editor.
On the whole, the advantages of this Edition, above the preceding, are thefe, That it is the firft 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 laft corrections and improvements; That a great number of his verses are here firft printed from the Manufcript-copies of his principal poems of later date; That many new notes of the Author are here added to his Poems; and lastly, that feveral pieces, both in prose and verse, make now their first appearance before the Public.
The Author's Life deferves a juft volume; and the Editor intends to give it. For to have been one of the firft Poets in the world is but his fecond praife. He was in a higher Clafs. He was one of the nobleft works of God. He was an honest Man . A Man who alone poffeffed more real virtue than, in very corrupt times, needing a Satirift like him, will fometimes fall to the fhare of multitudes. In this history of his life, will be contained a large account of his writings; a critique on the nature, force, and extent of his genius, exemplified from thefe writings; and a vindication of his moral character, exemplified by his more diftinguished virtues; his filial piety, his difinterested friendships, his reverence for the conftitution of his country, his love and admiration of VIRTUE, and, (what was the ne
A wit's a feather and a chief's a rod,