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MR, CROMWELL TO MR. POPE.
Epsom, July 6, 1727.
Whetst these letters were first printed, I wondered how Curll could come by them, and could not but laugh at the pompous title; since whatever you wrote to me was humour, and familiar raillery. As soon 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. D s, 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 same Sappho, or E. T. I begin 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 the Sappho, alias E. T.
these seven years. Her writing, That I gave her
'em, to do what she would with 'em, is straining the point too far. I thought not of it, nor do I think she did then; but severe necessity, 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 last week, desiring 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 romantic letter, to direct my answer to his house; but they not expecting 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 she 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 so much disturbance; for the last thing I should do would be to disoblige you, for whom I have ever preserved the greatest esteem, and shall ever be, Sir, Your faithful Friend, etc.
MR. CROMWELL TO MR. POPE.
.August 1, 1727.
Though I writ my long narrative from Epsom, till I was tired, yet I was not satisfied ; lest any doubt should rest 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 send 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 she 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, 'tis 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 yours to me, but all those to herself (as the lady's last stake) into the press.—As for me, I hope when you shall coolly consider the many thousand instances of our being deluded by the females, since that great original of Adam by Eve, you will have a more favourable thought of the undesigning error of
Your faithful Friend, etc.
Now shall our apology for this publication be as ill received as the lady's seems to have been by the gentlemen concerned; we shall at least have her Comfort, of being thanked by the rest of the world. Nor has Mr. P. himself any great cause to think it much offence to his modesty, or reflection on his judgment, when we take care to inform the public, that there are few Letters of his in this collection, ivhich were not written under twenty years of age: on the other hand, we doubt not the reader will be much more surprized to find, at that early period, so much variety of style, affecting sentiment, and justness of criticism, in pieces which must have been writ in haste, very few perhaps ever reviewed, and none intended for the eye of the public.
SURREPTITIOUS AND INCORRECT EDITIONS
MR. POPE'S LETTERS.
I. Familiar Letters to Henry Cromwell, Esq. by Mr. Pope, 12mo. Printed for Edmund Curl, 1727.
[In this are Verses, etc. ascribed to Mr. P. which were
II. Mr. Pope's Literary Correspondence for Thirty Years: from 1704 to 1734. Being a Collection of Letters which passed between him and several eminent Persons. Printed for E. Curl, 8vo. 1735. Two editions.
— The same in duodecimo, with cuts. The third edition.
[These contain several Letters not genuine.}
III. Mr. Pope's Literary Correspondence, Vol. II. Printed for the Same, 8vo. 1735. [In this volume are no Letters of Mr. Pope's, but a few of those to Mr. Cromwell reprinted: nor any to him, but one said to be Bishop Atterbury's, and another in that Bishop's name, certainly not his: One or two Letters from St. Omer's, advertised of Mr. Pope, but which proved to be only concerning him; some scandalous Reflections of one Le Neve on the Legislature, Courts of Justice, and Church of England, pag. 116, 117. and the Divinity of Christ expressly denied in page 123, 124. With some scandalous Anecdotes and a Narrative.]
The same in duodecimo.
IV. Mr. Pope's Literary Correspondence, Vol. III. Printed for E. Curl, 8vo. 1735. [In this is only one Letter by Mr. Pope to the Dutchess of Buckingham, which the publisher some way procured and printed against her order. It also contains four Letters, intitled, Mr. Pope's to Miss Blount, which are literally taken from an old translation of Voiture's to Mad. Rambouillet.]
The same in duodecimo.
V. Mr. Pope's Literary Correspondence, Vol. IV. Printed by the same, contains not one Letter of this Author.
The same in duodecimo.
VI. Mr. Pope's Literary Correspondence, Vol. V. containing only one Letter of Mr. P. and another of the Lord B. with a scandalous Preface of Curl's how he could come at more of their Letters, 8vo. printed for the same, 1736.
VII. Letters of Mr. Pope and several eminent Persons, Vol. I. from 1705 to 1711. Printed and sold by the booksellers of London and Westminster, 8vo. 1735.
• The same Vol. II. from 1711, etc. Printed and sold
by the booksellers of London and Westminster, 8vo. 1735.
The same in 12mo. with a Narrative.
VIII. Letters of Mr. Pope and several eminent Persons. From 1705 to 1735. Printed and sold by the booksellers of London and Westminster, 12mo. 1735.
[This edition is said in the title to contain more Letters than any other, but contains only Two, said to be the Bishop of Rochester's, and printed before by Curl.]
IX. Letters of Mr. Pope and several eminent Persons, from the year 1705 to 1735, Vol. I. and Vol. II. Printed for T. Cooper, at the Globe in Paternoster-Row, 1735, 12mo.
[In this was inserted the Forged Letter from the Bishop of