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R. POPE, in his laft illness, amused himself, amidst the care of his higher concerns, in preparing a corrected and complete Edition of his Writings; and, with his usual delicacy, was even folicitous to prevent any fhare of the offence they might occafion, from falling on the Friend whom he had engaged to give them to the Public ".
"I own the late encroachments upon my con"stitution make me willing to see the end of all "further care about me or my works. I would reft "for the one in a full refignation of my being to "be difpofed of by the Father of all Mercy; and
for the other (though indeed a trifle, yet a trifle 66 may be fome example) I would commit them to the candor of a fenfible and reflecting judge, " rather than to the malice of every fhort-fighted " and malevolent critic, or inadvertent and cenfo"rious Reader. And no hand can fet them in fo "good a light, &c." Let. cxx. to Mr. W.
b" I also give and bequeath to the faid Mr. "Warburton, the property of all fuch of my Works already printed as he hath written or fhall write "Commentaries or Notes upon, and which I have
In difcharge of this truft, the Public has here a complete Edition of his Works; executed in fuch a manner, as, I am perfuaded, would have been to his fatisfaction.
The Editor hath not, for the fake of profit, fuffered the Author's Name to be made cheap by a Subfcription; nor his Works to be defrauded of their due Honours by a vulgar or inelegant Impreffion; nor his memory to be difgraced by any pieces unworthy of his talents or virtue. On the contrary, he hath, at a very great expence, ornamented this Edition with all the advantages which the best Artists in Paper, Printing, and Sculpture could bestow upon it.
If the Public hath waited longer than the deference due to it fhould have fuffered, it was owing to a reason which the Editor need not make a fecret. It was his regard to the familyinterests of his deceased Friend. Mr. Pope, at his death, left large impreffions of several parts
"not otherwise disposed of or alienated; and as he fhall publish WITHOUT FUTURE ALTERATIONS." -His Laft Will and Teftament:
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) should put a stop to the fale.
But it may be proper to be a little more particular 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 muft 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 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 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 last illness (but never published) 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 Epiftles on Riches and Tafte corrected and improved. To thefe advantages of the THIRD Volume, must be added a great number of fine verses taken from the Author's Manufcript-copies of these poems, communicated by him for this purpose to the Editor. These, when he first published the poems, to which they belong, he 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 laft Edition
of that Poem. The reft, together with others of the like fort from his Manufcript-copy of the other Ethic Epistles, 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. Arbuthnot; 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 verses from the Author's Manufcripts. The Epilogue to the Satires is likewife inriched with many and large notes now first 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 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 fhould remain difgraced by the meanness of its fubject, the most infignificant of all Dunces, bad Rhymers and malevolent Cavillers: That