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to his memory not to declare that he embraced thefe occafions with the moft unfeigned pleasure.
The SIXTH Volume confifts of Mr. Pope's miscellaneous pieces in verse and profe. Amongst the Verse several fine poems make now their firft 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 confist 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 several 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 these, I fay, the reft are all here published from the Author's own printed, tho' not publifhed, copies delivered to the Editor.
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 mistaken. For tho' the terror of his pen kept them for fome time in respect, yet on his death they rofe with unreftrained fury in numerous Coffee-house 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 fufpected of having the leaft glance towards Fate or NaTURALISM; and to add what was proper to convince the world that he was warmly on the fide of moral Government and a revealed Will. And it would be injuftice
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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 last 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 profe and verse, make now their firft apearance before the Public.
The Author's life deferves a juft Vo→ lume; 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 Class. He was one of the nobleft works of God. He was an honeft 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,.
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 thefe 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 interefts 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 specious appearances of Virtue in others. In a word, I mean not to be his Panegyrist but his Hiftorian. And may I, when Envy and Calumny take the fame advantage of my abfence (for, while I live, I will freely,