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Of the Publisher of the Surreptitious
E presume we want no apology to the reader
for this publication, but some may be thought needful to Mr. Pope : however he cannot think our offence so great as theirs, who first separately published what we have here but collected in a better form and order. As for the letters we have procured to be added, they serve but to complete, explain, and sometimes set in a true light, those others, which it was not in the writer's, or our power to recall.
This collection hath been owing to several cabinets : fome drawn from thence by accidents, and others (even of those to ladies) voluntarily given. It is to one of that sex we are beholden for the whole correspondence with H. C. esq. which letters being lent her by that gentleman, she took the liberty to print ; as appears by the following, which we shall give at length, both as it is Tomething curious, and as it may serve for an apology for ourselves.
TO HENRY CROMWELL, Esq.
June 27, 1727-
great oppressions I have sighed under have occasioned, one is at a loss how to begin a letter to so kind a friend as yourfelf. But as it was always my resolution, if I must fink, to do it as decently (that is, as silently) as I could ; fo when I found myself plunged into unforeseen, and unavoidable ruin, I retreated from the world, and in a manner buried myself in a dismal place, where I knew none, and none knew me. In this dull unthinking way, I have protracted a lingring death (for life it cannot be called) ever since you saw me, sequestred from company, deprived of my books, and nothing left to converse with, but the letters of my dead cr absent friends; among which latter I always placed yours, and Mr. Pope's in the first rank. i lent some of them indeed to an ingenious person, who was so delighted with the specimen, that he importuned me for a light of the rest, which having ob
de tained, be conveyed them to the press, I must not - fay altogether with my consent, nor wholly without št. I thought them too good to be loft in oblivion, and had no cause to apprehend the disobliging of any. The public, viz. all perfons of taste and judgment, would be pleased with fo agreeable an amusement; Mr. Cromwell could not be angry, fince it was but justice to his merit, to publish the folemn and private professions of love, gratitude, and veneration, made him by fo celebrated an authur; and sincerely Mr Pope ought not to resent the publication, since the early pregnancy of his ge
kias nius was no dishonour to his character. And yet had either of you been alked, common modelly
would have obliged you to refuse, what you would not be displeased with, if done without your know-' ledge. And besides, to end all dispute, you had been pleased to make me a free gift of them, to do what I pleased with them; and every one knows, that the person to whom a letter is addressed, has the fame right to dispose of it, as he has of goods purchased with his money. I doubt not but your generosity and honour will do me the right, of owning by a line that I came honestly by them. I flatter myself, in a few months I shall again be visible to the world ; and whenever thro' good providence that turn shall happen, I shall joyfully acquaint you with it, there being rione more truly your obliged fervant, than, Sir,
Your faithful, and
most humble Servant,
P. $. A Letter, Sir, directed to Mrs. Thomas, to be left at my house, will be safely transmitted to her, by,
Epsom, July 6, 1727. HEN- these letters were first printed, I
wondered how Curll could come by them, and could not but laugh at the pompous title ; fince whatever
you wrote to me was humour, and familiar raillery. As foon as I came from Epsom, I heard you had been to see me, and I writ you a short letter from Will's, that I longed to see you. Mr.
Ds, about that time charged me with giving them to a mistress, which I positively denied : not in the least, at that time, thinking of it; but some time after, finding in the News papers Letters from Lady Packington, Lady Chudleigh, and Mr. Norris' to the fame Sappho or E.T. I began to fear that I was guilty. I have never seen these Letters of Curll's, nor would go to his shop about them; I have not seen this Sappho alias E. T. these seven years.--Her writing, That I gave her 'em, to do what I would with 'em, is ftraining the point too far. . I thought not of it, nor do I think she did then ; but severe neceffity which catches hold of a twig, has produced all this; which has lain hid, and forgot, by me so many years. Curll sent me a letter laft week, defiring a positive answer about this matter, but finding I would give him none, he went to E. T. and writ a postscript in her long romantick letter, to direct my answer to his house, but they not expeuting an answer, sent a young man to me, whose name, it seems, is Pattison. I told him I should not write any thing, but I believed it might be so as The writ in her letter. I am extremely concerned that my former indiscretion in putting them into the hands of this pretieuse, should have given you much disturbance; for the last thing I should do would be to disoblige you, for whom I have evolfer preserved the greatest esteem, and shall ever be, Sissy
le HENRY CROMWEIUL
To Mr. POPE.
August 1, 1727. HOʻ I writ my long narrative from Epsom till:
I was tired, yet was I not satisfied ; left any doubt should reft upon your mind. I could not make protestations of my innocence of a grievous crime, but I was impatient till i came to town, that I might fend you those Letters, as a clear evidence that I was a perfect stranger to all their proceeding. Should I have protested against it, after the printing, it might have been taken for an attempt to decry his purchase; and as the little exception you have taken has served him to play his game upon us for these two years, a new incident from me might enable him to play it on for two more.-The great value fhe expresses for all you write, and her passion for having them, I believe, was what prevailed upon me to let her keep them. By the interval of twelve years at least, from her possession to the time of printing them, ʼtis manifest, that I had not the least ground to apprehend such a design: but as people in great straits, bring forth their hoards of old gold and most valued jewels ; so Sappho had recourse to her hid treasure of Letters, and played off not only your's to me, but all those to herself (as the lady's last stake) into the press.-As for me, I hope, when you shall cooly consider the many thousand instances of our being deluded by the females, since that great Original of Adam by Éve, you will have a more favourable thought of the undesigning error of
Your faithful Friend,
and humble Servant, HENRY CROMWELL.
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