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On the whole, the Advantages of this Edition, above the preceding, are these, 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 verfes are here firft 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 firft apearance 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 firft 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 boneft 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.

"A wit's a feather, and a chief's a rod,
"An honeft Man's the nobleft work of God.

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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 diftinguished virtues; his filial piety, his difinterested friendships, 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 shine thro' his Virtues; no man being more a dupe to the fpecious appearances of Virtue in others. word, I mean not to be his Panegyrist but his Hiftorian. And may I, when Envy and Calumny take the fame advantage of abfence (for, while I live, I will freely,


In a

truft it to my Life to confute them) may 1 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 scandalizes 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. The Public may be malicious: but is rarely vindictive or ungenerous. It would abhor these insults on a writer dead, tho' it had born 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 ftrange impotency of mind whom such miferable fcriblers can ruffle. Of all that grofs Beotian phalanx who have written fcurriloufly 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 flightly converfant in their works, and know little of the particulars of their defamation. To my Authorship they are heartily welcome. But if But if any of them have been fo abandoned by Truth as to attack my moral character in any instance whatfoever, to all and every one of these, and their abettors, I give the LYE in form, and in the words of honeft Father Valerian, MENTIRIS IMPUDENTISSIME.

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