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DIRECTIONS TO THE BINDER.
The Head of Mr. Pope to front the Title Page of the First
Volume. The Full-length Portrait of Mr. Pope to front Page xi. of
All the other Engravings have the Pages marked on them against which they are to be placed.
LIFE AND WRITINGS OF POPE.
AS the Life of this distinguished Poet has been
already written, by persons so eminent for literary talents and critical acumen as Johnson and Warton, all further attempts to illustrate the incidents of his fortune, or the character of his mind, must appear superfluous ; charity also might seem to suggest, when so many years have passed since the grave closed over his virtues and his infirmities, that we should now,
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
But if any new circumstances may arise, if any
additional light, however trifling, may be thrown on the picture and features of the poet and the man, the faithful biographer will not shrink from his task. If he does not presume, farther than may be ab. solutely necessary, to advance on the ground, which has been already so ably occupied ; if he forbears, unnecessarily and wantonly, to obtrude any thing
which might injure another's fame, except where a regard to truth extorts it, or where, as in the case of Addison, it is demanded by justice, to those whose fame has suffered ; if he be conscious of being actuated folely by these feelings, he will not fear, though he approaches the talk with diffidence, to reprefent, as faithfully as he is able, the leading facts and traits in the history and character of a person, estimable indeed for many virtues, but those blended, as all human excellence must be, with shades of infirmity; distinguished for fuperior poetical talents, and pre eminently adorning the literature of his age, but memorable for merits and defects, for attachments and animofities.
NE QUID FALSI DICERE AUDEAM!
With this disposition, though in all other respects reluctant and diffident, I presume to give some further account of the Life and Writings of Pope.
Alexander, son of Alexander and Editha Pope, it is universally understood, was born in London, in the year 1688.
Much has been said respecting his father's situation in life * : Pope's adversaries have called him a hatter, &c. and Pope, who with all his affected disdain of the “ great,” was sufficiently proud of the distinction he received from them, wished to deduce his “ stem
* It feems understood by Johnson, that he was a linen-draper.