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he ought to raise and enoble it by pointing his Satire against the moft pernicious of all, Minutephilofophers and Free-thinkers. I imagined, too, it was for the interefts 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 miftaken. For tho' the terror of his pen kept them for fome time in refpect, yet on his death they rofe with unreftrained fury in numerous Coffee-houfe tales, and Grub-street 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 fatal 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 suspected of having the leaft glance towards Fate or NATUand to add what was proper to con
vince the world that he was warmly on the fide of moral Government and a revealed Will. And it would be injuftice to his memory not to declare that he embraced thefe occafions with the most unfeigned pleasure.
The SIXTH Volume confifts of Mr. Pope's miscellaneous pieces in verfe and profe. Amongst the Verse 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 Epiftles. 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 thefe, I fay, the rest are all here published from the Author's own printed,
though not publifhed, copies delivered to the Editor.
On the whole, the Advantages of this Edition, above the preceding, are thefe, That it is the first 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's are here added to his Poems; and laftly, 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 honeft Man". A Man who alone pof
a" A wit's a feather, and a chief's a rod,
feffed 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 these writings; and a vindication of his moral character exemplified by his more diftinguished virtues; his filial piety, his difinterefted friendfhips, his reverence for the conftitution 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 interests of his Virtues that they should. Nor indeed could they be concealed, if we were fo minded, for they Jhine thro' his Virtues; no man being more a dupe to the fpecious appearances of Virtue in others. In a word, I mean not to be his Panegyrift but his Hiftorian. 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 wifh 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 scandalizes even Barbarians. And though Rome permitted her Slaves to caluminate her beft Citizens on the day of Triumph, yet the fame 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 thefe infults on a writer dead, tho' it had borne with the ribaldry, or even fet the ribalds on work, when he was alive. And in this there was no great harm: for he must have a strange impotency of mind whom fuch miferable fcriblers can ruffle. Of all that grofs Beotian phalanx who have written fcurrilously against me, I know not fo much as one whom a writer of