« AnteriorContinuar »
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 reft 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 first printed from the Manufcript copies of his principal poems of later date; That many new notes of the Author's are here added to his Poems; and, laftly, that feveral pieces, both in profe and verfe, make now their first appearance before the Public.
The Author's life deserves a just Volume; and the Editor intends to give it, For to have been one of the first Poets in the world is but his fecond praise. He was in a higher Clafs. He was one of the nobleft works of God. He was an bo
neft 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 hiftory 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 these writings; and a vindication of his moral character exemplified by his more distinguifhed virtues; his filial piety, his dif interefted friendships, his reverence for the constitution of his country, his love and admiration of VIRTUE, and (what was the neceffary effect) his hatred and contempt of VICE, his extenfive charity to the indigent, his warm benevolence to mankind, his fupreme veneration of the Deity, and, above all, his fincere belief of Revelation, Nor fhall his faults be concealed. It is not for the interefts of his Virtues that they fhould. Nor indeed could they be concealed if we were fo minded, for they fine thro' his Virtues no man being more a dupe to the fpecious appearances of Virtue in others. In a
*A wit's a feather, and a chief's a rod,
666 An honeft Man's the nobleft work of God. + It will be printed in the fame form with this and every future edition of his works, fo as to make a part of them.
word I mean not to be his Panegyrift, but his Hiftorian. And And may I, when Envy and Calumny take the fame advantage of my abfence (for, while I live, I will freely truft it to my Life to confute them) may I find a Friend as careful of my honeft fame as I 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 fo facred, that to throw dirt upon the Shrine fcandalizes even Barbarians. And though Rome permitted her Slaves to calumniate her beft Citizens on the day of Triumph, yet the fame petulancy at their Funeral would have been rewarded with execration and a gibbet.
N. B. This Edition of Mr. Pope's Works is printed verbatim from the large Octavo; with all his Notes, and a felect number of the Editor's.
Winter, the fourth Paftoral,
Meffiah, a Sacred Eclogue in Imitation of Virgil's } 35
Ode on St. Cecilia's Day,
Two Chorus's to the Tragedy of Brutus,
The dying Chriftian to his Soul, an Ode.
Effay on Criticifm,
The Rape of the Lock,
Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady, 168 Prologue to Mr. Addifon's Tragedy,
Page 38. In the quotation from Virgil, 1. 1. for manifeula, r. munuscula.
51. In the imitation, for coloris, r. colonis. 91. 1. 43. for geoerations, r. generations. 110. Note, 1. 6. for modern, r. moderns.
137. Note, 1. 3.
138. Note, 1. 3.
for deferve, r. deferves.
for particularly, r. particularize. after 206. add, Quarto Edition.
AM think that both the writers of
I books, and the readers of them, are generally
not a little unreasonable in their expectations. The first seem to fancy that the world must approve whatever they produce, and the latter to imagine that authors are obliged to please them at any rate. Methinks, as on the one hand, no fingle man is born with a right of controuling the opinions of all the reft; fo on the other, the world has no title to demand, that the whole care and time of any particular perfon should be facrificed to its entertainment. Therefore I cannot but believe that writers and readers are under equal obligations, for as much fame, or pleasure, as each affords the other.
Every one acknowledges, it would be a wild notion to expect perfection in any work of man: and yet one would think the contrary was taken for granted, by the judgment commonly paft upon Poems. A Critic fuppofes he has done his part, if he proves a writer to have failed in an expreffion, or erred in any particular point: and can it then be wondered at, if the Poets in general feem refolved not to own themselves in any error? For as long as one fide will make no allowances, the other will be brought to no acknowledgments *.
For as long as
*In the former editions it was thus one fide defpifes a well meant endeavour, the other will not he fatisfied with a moderate approbation. But the author altered it, as these words were rather a confequence from the conclufion he would draw, than the conclufion itself, which he has now inferted.