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a copy to be taken to depofite in the library of a noble friend; that in cafe either of the revival of flanders, or the publication of furreptitious Letters, during his life or after, a proper use might be made of them.

The next year, the pofthumous works of Mr. Wycherley were printed, in a way difreputable enough to his memory. It was thought a justice due to him, to fhew the world his better judgment; and that it was his last resolution to have fuppreffed those poems. As fome of the Letters which had passedbetween him and our author cleared that point, they were published in 1729, with a few marginal notes added by a friend.

If in thefe Letters, and in thofe which were printed without his confent, there appear too much of a juvenile ambition of wit, or affectation of gaiety, he may reasonably hope it will be confidered to whom, and at what age, he was guilty of it, as well as how foon it was over. The reft, every judge of writing will fee, were by no means efforts of the genius, but emanations of the heart: and this alone may induce any candid reader to believe their publication an act of neceffity, rather than of vanity.

It is notorious, how many volumes have been published under the title of his correfpondence, with promises still of more, and open and repeated offers" of encouragement to all perfons who fhould fend any letters of his for the prefs. It is as notorious what methods were taken to procure them, even from the publisher's own accounts in his prefaces, viz. by tranfacting with people in neceffities, * or of abandoned characters, or fuch as dealt without names in the dark. Upon a quarrel with one of thefe

* See the Preface to Vol. I. of a Book called Mr.Pope's Literary Correfpondence.

Poftfcript to the Preface to Vol. IV...
Narrative and Anecdotes before Vol. II.
VOL. VII,

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laft, he betrayed himfelf fo far, as to appeal to the public in Narratives and Advertisements: like that Irish highwayman a few years before, who preferr’d a bill against his companion, for not fharing equally in the money, rings and watches, they had traded for in partnerfhip upon Hounflow-heath.

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Several have been printed in his name which he never writ, and addreffed to perfons to whom they were never written*; counterfeited as from bishop Atterbury to him, which neither that bishop nor he ever faw †; and advertized even after that period when it was made felony to correspond with him.

I know not how it has been this author's fate, whom both his fituation and his temper have all his life excluded from rivalling any man, in any pretenfion, (except that of pleafing by poetry) to have been as much aspersed and written at, as any Firft Minifter of his time: pamphlets and news-papers have been full of him, nor was it there only that a private man, who never troubled either the world or common converfation with his opinions of Religion or Government, has been reprefented as a dangerous member of Society, a bigotted Papist, and an enemy to the Establishment. The unwarrantable publication of his Letters hath at least done him this fervice, to fhew he has conftantly enjoyed the friend-fhip of worthy men; and that if a catalogue were to be taken of his friends and his enemies, he needs not to blush at either. Many of them having been written on the moft trying occurrences, and all in the opennels of friendship, are a proof what were *his real fentiments, as they flowed warm from the

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*In Vol. III. Letters from Mr. Pope to Mrs. Blount,

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+ Vol. II. of the fame, 8°. p. 20. and at the end of the Edition of his Letters in 12°, by the booksellers of I ondon and Weftminfter; and of the laft Edition in 12°, printed for T. Cooper, 1725.

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heart, and fresh from the occafion; without the leaft thought that ever the world fhould be witnefs to them. Had he fate down with a design to draw his own picture, he could not have done it fo truly; for whoever fits for it (whether to himfelf cs another) will inevitably find the features more compofed, than his appear in these letters. But if an author's hand, like a painter's, be more diftinguishable in a flightfketch than in a finifhed picture, this very careleisnefs will make them the better known from fuch counterfeits, as have been, and may be imputed to him, either through a mercenary or a malicious defign.

We hope it is needlefs to fay, he is not accountable for feveral paffages in the furreptitious editions of thofe Letters, which are fuch as no man of common sense would have published himself. The errors of the prefs were almoft innumerable, and could not but be extremely multiplied in fo many repeated editions, by the avarice and negligence of piratical printers, to not one of whom he ever gave the leaft Fitle, or any other encouragement than that of not profecuting them.

For the Chafms in the correfpondence, we had not the means to fupply them, the Author having destroyed too many Letters to preserve any Series. Nor would he go about to amend them, except by the omiffion of fome paffages, improper, or at least impertinent, to be divulged to the publick: or of fuch entire Letters, as were either not his, or not approved of by him.

He has been very sparing of those of his Friends, and thought it a refpect fhown to their memory, to fupprefs in particular fuch as were moft in his favour. As it is not to Vanity but to Friendship that he intends this Monument, he would fave his enemies the mortification of fhowing any further how well their Betters have thought of him; and at the fame time

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fecure from their cenfure his living Friends, who (he promises them) fhall never be put to the blush, this way at leaft, for their partiality to him.

But however this Collection may be received, we cannot but lament the Cause, and the Neceflity of fuch a publication, and heartily wifh no honeft man may be reduced to the fame. To ftate the cafe fairly in the prefent fituation. A Bookfeller advertizes his intention to publish your Letters: he openly promifes encouragement, or even pecuniary rewards, to those who will help him to any; and ingages to infert whatever they fhall fend. Any fcandal is fure of a reception, and any enemy who sends it screened from a difcovery. Any domeftic or fervant, who can fnatch a letter from your pocket or cabinet, is encouraged to that vile practice. If the quantity falls fhort of a volume, any thing else fhall be join ed with it (more especially scandal) which the collector can think for his intereft, all recommended under your Name: you have not only Theft to fear, but Forgery. Any Bookfeller, tho' confcious in what manner they were obtained, not caring what may be the confequence to your Fame or Quiet, will fell and difperfe them in town and country. The better your Reputation is, the more your Name will caufe them to be demanded, and confequently the more you will be injured. The injury is of fuch a nature, as the Law (which does not punish for Intentions) cannot prevent; and when done, may punifh, but not redrefs. You are therefore reduced, either to enter into a perfonal treaty with fuch a man (which tho' the readieft, is the meaneft of all methods) or to take fuch other measures to fupprefs them, as are contrary to your Inclination, or to publish them, as are contrary to your Modefty. Otherwife your Fame and your Property fuffer alike; you are at once expofed and plundered. As an Author, you are deprived of that Power, which above

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all others conftitutes a good one, the power of rejecting, and the right of judging for your felf, what pieces it may be most useful, entertaining, or reputable to publish, at the time and in the manner you think beft. As a Man, you are deprived of the right even over your own Sentiments, of the privilege of every human creature to divulge or conceal them; of the advantage of your Second thoughts; and of all the benefit of your Prudence, your Candour, or your Modefty. As a Member of Society, you are yet more injured; your private conduct, your domeftic concerns, your family fecrets, your paffions, your tenderneffes, your weaknefles, are expofed to the Mifconftruction or Refentment of fome, to the Cenfure or Impertinence of the whole world. The printing private letters in fuch a manner, is the worst fort of betraying Converfation, as it has evidently the most extenfive, and the moft lafting, ill confequences. It is the higheft offence againft Society, as it renders the most dear and intimate intercourfe of friend with friend, and the moft neceffary commerce of man with man, unfafe, and to be dreaded. To open Letters is efteemed the greatest breach of honour; even to look into them already opened or accidentally dropt, is held an un-. generous, if not an immoral A&. What then can be thought of the procuring them merely by Fraud, ́ and the printing them merely for lucre? We cannot but conclude every honeft man will wifh, that, if the Laws have as yet provided no adequate remedy, one at least may be found, to prevent fo great and growing an evil.

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