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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, be cannot think our offence so great as theirs, who first separately publijred 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 compleat, explain, and sometimes set in a true light those others, which it was not in the writer's, or our power to recal.
This colle&tion hath been owing to several cabinets : some 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. G. Esq; which letters being lent her by that Gentle. man, she took the liberty to print: as appears by the following, which we shall give at length, both as it is something curious, and as it may serve for an apology for ourselves.
T. HENRY CROMWELL, Efq;
June 27. 1727. FTER so long a Glence as the many
great op pressions I have lighed under have occasioned, one is at a loss how to begin a letter to so kind a friend as yourself. 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 lingering death (for life it cannot be called) ever since you saw me, fequestered from company, deprived of my books, and nothing left to converse with, but the letters of my dead or absent friends; among which latter I always placed your's, 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 iinportuned me for a Gght of the rest, which having obtained, he conveyed them to the press, I must not say, altogether with my confent, nor wholly without it. I thought them too good to be lost in oblivion, and had no cause to apprehend the disobliging of any. The public, viz. all persons of taste and judgment, would be pleased with so agreeable an amusement; Mr Cromwell could not be angry, fince it was but justice to his merit, to publish the solemn and private professions of love, gratitude and veneration, made him by so celebrated an author; and sin.q ely Mr Pope ought not to resent the publication, since the early pregnancy of his genius was no disho.
nour to his character. And yet had either of you been alked, common modesty would have obliged you to refuse, what you would not be displeased with, if done without your knowledge. 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 same 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 fatter 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 none more truly your obliged servant, than Sir,
Your faithful, and
P.S. A Letter, Sir, directed to Mrs Thomas, to be left at my house, will be safely transmitted to her, by
Your, &c. E. CURLL.
To Mr Pop E.
Epsom, July 6. 1727. 7HEN these letters
ed how Curll could come by thein, and could not but laugh at the pompous title ; since whatever you wrote to me was humour, and familiar raillery.
WHEN the letters were first printed
, I wonder