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The Public is here presented with a Complete Edition of the Works of POPE, both in Verse and Prose, accompanied with various Notes and Illustrations. The reason for undertaking it, was the universal complaint, that Dr. Warburton had disfigured and disgraced his Edition, with many forced and far-sought interpretations, totally unsupported by the passages which they were brought to elucidate. If this was only my single opinion, nothing could have induced me to have delivered it with so much freedom; nor to have undertaken this Work after it had passed through the hands of Dr. Warburton. Many, however, of his Notes, that do not fall under this description, are here adopted. To this Edition are now added, several Poems undoubtedly of our Author's hand; and in prose, many Letters to different Correspondents, which, from the circumstances of literary history which they contain, it was thought might be entertaining; together with his Thoughts on Various Subjects ; his Account of the Madness of Dennis; the poisoning of Edmund Curl; the Essay on the Origin of Sciences; the Key to the Rape of the Lock; and that piece of inimitable humour, the Fourteenth Chapter of Scriblerus, on the Double Mistress; all of which were inserted in his own Edition in quarto, 1741. And to these is added also one of the best of his critical
compositions, his Postscript to the Odyssey.
If I have sometimes ventured, in the following remarks, to point out any seeming blemishes and imperfections in the Works of this excellent Poet, I beg it may be imputed, not to the “ dull, malignant delight,” of seeking to find out trivial faults, but merely to guard the Reader from being misled, by the example of a writer, in general, so uniformly elegant and correct.
The Notes to which the letter P. is subjoined, are by Mr. Pope himself; all which are carefully retained. Those marked W. are by Dr. Warburton. For the rest, I am answerable.
THIS is the only Portrait that was ever drawn of Mr. POPE at full length.—It was done without his knowledge, as he was deeply engaged in conversation with Mr. ALLEN in the Gallery at Prior Park, by Mr. HOARE, who sat at the other end of the Gallery.—POPE would never have forgiven the Painter had he known it-He was too sensible of the Deformity of his Person to allow the whole of it to be represented. This Drawing is therefore exceedingly valuable, as it is a Unique of this celebrated Poet.
DIRECTIONS TO THE BINDER.
The Head of Mr. Pope to front the Title Page of the First