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Right Honourable the LORDS
This WORK is humbly infcrib'd, by
moft obedient and
moft bumble Servant,
Directions to the Binder for pla cing the Cuts.
Frontispiece, Mr. POPE. S
Frontispiece, Mr. Pope.
Mr. Gay, p. 123.
Age 25. 1.35. for Reiterations, read Alterations
worse, r. worth; p. 66. 1. 29. r. in one's Power; P. 114. 1. 18. r. fupercilious; p. 152. 1. 28. for are, r. of P. 175. 1. 21. for extricate, r. intricate.
Alexander Pope, Efq;
HEN we concluded the First Volume, we left fpeaking of the Third Book of the Dunciad, and gave Intimation of a Fourth, which came out afterwards; before we take further Notice of that, we think it proper to introduce feveral Perfons and Things, that may fill up the Interval.
Our great Dramatick Poet, Shakespear, had in Whole, or in Part, paffed through feveral Hands; fome, who might be very reasonably thought not to VOL. II. Bb
have understood well any Part of him, much less be fit to correct or revife him.
The Friends of Mr. Pope folicited him strongly to undertake the Whole of Shakespear's Plays, and, if poffible, by comparing all the different Copies now to be procured, bring him back to his own antient Purity. To which Mr. Pope made this modeft Reply, That not having attempted any Thing in the Drama (for he had not appear'd to do it) it might in him be deem'd too much Presumption. To which he received Anfwer from a certain Earl, that this did not require great Knowledge of the Foundation and Difpofition of the Drama, feeing that must stand as it was, and that Shakespear himself, had not always paid ftrict Regard to the Rules of it; but this was to clear the Scenes from the Rubbish which Actors, and those into whofe Care they had fell, had filled them For the Players after Shakespear's Time, curtailed, blotted, tranfpos'd, added whole Scenes, nay, did any Thing, which they thought would please the lower Set of the Audience, to which Part, to this Day, that Sort of People ftill make their Court. He added, that his chief Business would be, to render the Text so that it might read, and be free from those Obfcurities, and fometimes grofs Abfurdities, that now feem to appear in it, and to explain doubtful and difficult Paffages, of which there are great Numbers: This, and marking Scene Lines, or Words only, imagined to be fpurious, was all that noble Gentleman, of a noble Tafte and Difpofition, told Mr. Pope he had to do: This was no fmall Task; how he has acquitted himself, for he complied with this Requeft, has been differently judged; the Truth we are inclined to think is, in fome Places he has fet to rights and explained him, and in fome Places again, made him more unintelli