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If a word or two more are added upon the chief offenders, 'tis only as a paper pinn'd upon the breast, to mark the enormities for which they suffer'd; left the correction only should be remember'd, and the crime forgotten.
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 others characters on certain occasions ; but the few here inserted are all that could be fayed from the general destruction of such works.
Of the part of Scriblerus I need say nothing ; his manner is well enough known, and approv'd by all but those who are too much concern'd to be judges.
The Imitations of the Ancients are added, to gratify those who either never read, or may have forgotten them ; together with some of the parodies and allusions to the molt excellent of the Moderns If, from the frequency of the former, any man think the poem too much a Cento, out poet will but appear to have done the same thing in jes which Boileau did in earneft ; and upon which Vida, Fracastorius, and many of the most eminent Latin poetsin profeffedly valued themselves.
To the FIRST EDITION of The FOURTH Book of the DUNCIAD,
when printed separately in the Year 1742. W
E apprehend it can be deemed no injury to the au.
thor of the three first books of the Dunciad, that we publish this Fourth. It was found merely by accia dent, in taking a survey of the Library of a late eminent nobleman; but in so blotted a condition, and in so many detach'd pieces, as plainly shew'd it to be not only incorrect, but unfinish’d. That the author of the three first books had a design to extend and complete his poem in this männer, appears from the differtation prefix'd to it, where it is said; that the defign is more extensive, and that cue may expect other episodes to complete it : And from the declaration in the argument to the third book, that the eccomplifboment of the prophecies 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 come municate them to the publisher, we shall make the next edition inore complete : In which we also promise to insert any Criticijms that shall be published if at all to the purpole) with the Names of the Authors; or any letters tent us (tho' not to the purpose) shall yet be printed under the title of F.piftola Obscurorum Virorum ; which, together with some others of the same kind formerly laid by for that end, may make no unpleaiant addition to the future impressions of this poem.
To the complete EDITION of 1743.
HAVE long had a design of giving fome sort of
Notes on the works of this poet. Before I had the happiness of his acquaintance, I had written a commentary on' his Esay on Man, and have since finished another on the Esay on Criticism. There was one already on the Dunciad, which had met with general approbation : but I still thought some additions were wanting (of a more serious kind) to the humorous notes of Scriblerus, and even to those written by Mr. Cleland, Dr. Arbuthnot, and others. I had lately the pleasure to pass some months with the author in the country, where I prevailed upon him to do what I had long desired, and favour me with his explanation of several passages in his works. It happened, that juft at that juncture was published a ridiculous book againft him, full of Personal Reflections, which furnished him with a lucky opportunity of improving This Poem, by giving it the only thing it wanted, a more confiderable Hero. He was always sensible of its defect in that par. ticular, and owned he had let it pass with the Hero it had, purely for want of a better; not entertaining the least ex. pectation that such an one was reserved for this post, as has fince obtained the Laurel: But since that had happened, he could no longer deny this justice either to him or the Dunciad.
And yet I will venture to say, there was another motive which had still more weight with our Author: This person was one, who from eyery Folly (not to say Vice) of which another would be ashamed, has conftantly derived a Vanity; and therefore was the man in the world who would leaf be hurt by it.
Printed in the JOURNALS, 1730. W
HEREAS, upon occasion of certain Pieces re. have been willing to suggest, as if they looked upon them as an abuse: we can do no less than own, it is our opi. nion, that to call these Gentlemen bad authors is no sort of abuse, but a great truth. We cannot alter this opinion without some reason; but we promise to do it in respect to every person who thinks it an injury to be represented as no Wit, or Poet, provided he procures a Certificate of his being really fuch, from any three of his companions in the Dunciad, or from Mr. Dennis fingly, who is esteemed equal to any three of the number.
Mr. DRYDEN and Mr. POPE.
Mr. DR Y DE N.
R. Dryden is a mere renegado from monarchy,
poetry, and good sense". A true republican son of a monarchical Church b. A republican Atheist. Dryden was from the beginning an αλλοπρόσαλλG-, and I doubt not will continue so to the last
In the poem call’d Absalom and Achitophel are notoriously traduced, the King, the Que En, the Lords and GENTLEMEN,not only their honourable persons exposed, but the whole Nation and its REPRESENTATIVES NOtoriously libell’d. It is scandalum magnatum, yea of MA
a Milbourn on Dryden's Virgil, 8vo. 1698.p. 6. b page 38. c pag. 192.
d pag. 8. e Whip and Key, 4to, printed for R. Janeway, 1682. Preface,