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remarkable promise, that “ony thing which any body « should send as Mr. Pope's or Dr. Swift's, should “ be inserted and published as theirs."
Pope Alexander's supremacy and infallibility examined, &c. By George Ducket, and John Dennis, quarto.
Dean Jonathan's Paraphrase on the ivth chapter of Genesis. Writ by E. Roome, folio, 1729.
Labeo. A paper of verses by Leonard Welfted, which after came into One Epiftle, and was published by James Moore, quarto, 1730. Another part of it came out in Welsted's own name, under the just title of Dulness and Scandal, folio, 1731.
There have been fince published, Verses on the Imitator of Horace. By a Lady (or between a Lady, a Lord, and a Court-'squire.] Printed for J. Roberts, folio.
An Epistle from a Nobleman to a Doctor of Divinity, from Hampton-court [Lord H -y.] Printed for J. Roberts also, folio.
A Letter from Mr. Cibber to Mr. Pope. Printed for W. Lewis in Covent-garden, octavo.
To the FIRST EDITION with Notes,
in Quarto, 1729.
T will be sufficient to say of this edition, that
complete copy of the Dunciad, than has hitherto appeared. I cannot answer but some mistakes may have slipt into it, but a vast number of others will be prevented by the names being now not only set at length, but justified by the authorities and reasons given. I make no doubt, the author's own motive to use real rather than feigned names, was his care to preserve the innocent from any false application; whereas in the former editions, which had no more than the initial letters, he was made, by keys printed here, to hurt the inoffensive ; and (what was worse) to abuse his friends, by an impression at Dublin.
The commentary which attends this poem was sent me from several hands, and consequently must be unequally written; yet will have one advantage over most commentaries, that it is not made upon conjectures, or at a remote distance of time: And the reader cannot but derive one pleasure from the very Obscurity of the persons it treats of, that it parVol. VI.
takes of the nature of a Secret, which most people love to be let into, tho' the men or the things be ever fo inconfiderable or trivial.
Of the Perfons it was judged proper to give some account : for fince it is only in this monument that they must expect to survive (and here furvive they will, as long as the English tongue shall remain such as it was in the reigns of Queen Anne and King George,) it feemed but humanity to bestow a word or two upon each, just to tell what he was, what he writ, when he lived, and when he died.
If a word or two more are added upon the chief offenders, 'tis only as a paper pinned upon the brcaft, to mark the enormities for which they suffered ; left the correction only should be remembered, and the erime forgotten. i In fome articles it was thought fufficient, barely to transcribe from Jacob, Curl, and other writers of their own rank, who were much better acquainted with them than any of the authors of this comment can pretend to be. Most of them had drawn each other's characters on certain occasions ; but the few here inferted are all that could be saved from the general destruction of such works.
Of the part of Scriblerus I need say nothing ; his manner is well enough known, and approved by all but those who are too much concerned to be judges.
The imitations of the Ancients are added, to
gratify thofe who either never read, or may have forgotten them; together with some of the Parodies and allusions to the most excellent of the Moderns. If, from the frequency of the former, any man think the poem too much a Cento, our poet will but appear to have done the same thing in jest which Boileau did in earnest; and upon which Vida, Fracastorius, and
of the most eminent Latin poets, profeffedly valued themfelves.
To the FIRST EDITION of The FOURTH Book of the DUNCIAD, when printed separately in the Year 1742.
E apprehend it can be deemed no injury to
the author of the three first books of the Dunciad, that we publish the Fourth. It was found merely by accident, in taking a survey of the Library of a late eminent nobleman ; but in so blotted a condition, and in so many detached pieces, as plainly shewed it to be not only incorrect, but unfinished. That the author of the three first books had a design
to extend and complete his poem in this manner, appears from the dissertation prefixed to it, where it is faid, that the design is more extensive, and that we may expect other episodes to complete it: And from the declaration in the argument to the third book, that the accomplishment of the prophefies therein would be the theme bereafter of a greater Dunciad. But whether or no he be the author of this, we declare ourselves ignorant. If he be, we are no more to be blamed for the publication of it, than Tucca and Varius for that of the last fix books of the Æneid, tho' perhaps inferior to the former.
If any person be possessed of a more perfect copy of this work, or of any other fragments of it, and will communicate them to the publisher, we shall make the next edition more complete : In which we also promise to insert any Criticisms that shall be published (if at all to the purpose) with the Names of the Authors; or any letters fent us (tho' not to the purpose) shall yet be printed under the title of Epistola Obscurorum Virorum ; which, together with some others of the same kind formerly laid by for that end, may make no unpleasant addition to the future impresfions of this poem.