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E Public is here presented with a Complete
Edition of the Works of Pope, both in Verse and Prose, accompanied with various Notes and Illustrations. The reason for undertaking it, was the universal complaint, that Dr. Warburton had disfigured and disgraced his Edition, with many forced and far-sought interpretations, totally unsupported by the pafsages which they were brought to elucidate. If this was only my single opinion, nothing could have induced me to have delivered it with so much freedom ; nor to have undertaken this Work after it had passed through the hands of Dr. Warburton. Many, however, of his Notes, that do not fall under this description, are here adopted. To this Edition are now added, several Poems undoubtedly of our Author's hand; and in prose, many Letters to different Correspondents, which, from the circumstances
of literary history which they contain, it was thought might be entertaining; together with his Thoughts on Various Subjects; his Account of the Madness of Dennis; the poisoning of Edmund Curl; the Essay on the Origin of Sciences; the Key to the Rape of the Lock; and that piece of inimitable humour, the Fourteenth Chapter of Scriblerus, on the Double Mistress; all of which were inserted in his own Edition in quarto, 1741. And to these is added, also, one of the best of his critical compositions, his Postscript to the Odyssey.
If I have sometimes ventured, in the following remarks, to point out any seeming blemishes and imperfections in the Works of this excellent Poet, I beg it may be imputed, not to the “ dull, malignant delight,” of seeking to find out trivial faults, but merely to guard the Reader from being misled, by the example of a writer, in general, so uniformly elegant and correct.
The Notes to which the letter P. is subjoined, are by Mr. Pope himself; all which are carefully retained. These marked W. are by Dr. Warburton. For the rest, I am answerable. May 1797
FIRST VOLUM E.
ERRATA in VOL. I.
Page xxxix. line 8, for Barius read Bavius
14, for A. R. M. read H. M.