Imágenes de páginas

though not published, copies delivered to the Editor.

On the whole, the Advantages of this Edition, above the preceding, are these, That it is the first complere 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 last corrections and improvements; That a great number of his verses are here first printed from the Manuscript-copies of his principal poems of later date; That many new notes of the Author's are here added to his Poems; and lastly, that several pieces, both in profe and verse, make now their first appearance before the Public.

The Author's life deserves a juft Volume ; and the Editor intends to give it. For to have been one of the first, Poets in the world is but his second praise. He was in a higher Class. He was one of the noblest works of God. He was an honest Man". A Man who alone pof

a“ A wit's a feather, and a chief's a rod, " An honest Man's the noblest work of God.

sessed more real Virtue than, in very corrupt times, needing a Satirist like him, will fometimes fall to the share 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 these writings; and a vindication of his moral character exemplified by his more distinguished virtues; his filial piety, his disinterefted friendships, his reverence for the constitution of his country, his love and admiration of virtue, and, (what was the necessary effect) his hatred and contempt of vice, his extensive charity to the indigent, his warm benevolence to mankind, his supreme 'veneration of the Deity, and, above all, his fincere belief of Revelation. Nor shall his faults be concealed. It is not for the interests of his Virtues that they should. Nor indeed could they be concealed, if we were so minded, for they Jhine thro' his Virtues; no man being more a dupe to the specious appearances of Virtue in others. In a word, I mean not to be his Panegyrist but his Historian. And may I, when Envy and Calumny take the same advantage of my absence (for, while I live, I will freely, trust it to my Life to confute them) may I find a friend as careful of my honest 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 so sacred, that to throw dirt upon the Shrine scandalizes even Barbarians. And though Rome permitted her Slaves to caluminate her best Citizens on the day of Triumph, yet the same petulancy at their Funeral would have been rewarded with execration and a gibbet. The Public may be malicious : but is rarely vindictive or ungenerous. It would abhor these insults on a writer dead, tho' it had borne with the ribaldry, or even set the ribalds on work, when he was alive. And in this there was no great harm: for he must have a firange impotency of mind whom such miserable fcriblers can ruffle. Of all that gross Beotian phalanx who have written fcurrilously against me, I know not so much as one whom a writer of

reputation would not wish to have his enemy, or whom a man of honour would not be ashamed to own for his friend. I am indeed but slightly conversant in their works, and know little of the particulars of their defamation. To my Authorship they are heartily welcome. But if any of them have been so abandoned by Truth as to attack

moral character in


instance whatsoever, to all and every one of these, and their abettors, I give the Lye in form, and in the words of honest Father Valerian, Mentiris


« AnteriorContinuar »