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This levity, to call it by its slightest name,

I wish to consider, though it is no palliation, as palpable and gross affectation, from which he was in no instance free *.

It may seem strange that such language could be endured ; but we must confider the character of the times. As to the Ladies, they were probably proud (particularly Martha) of the attentions of so celebrated a poet, and allowed the licentiousness of his expressions, that they might boast the honour of his correspondence.

In many instances he appears to have felt a fort of libertine love, which his passions continually prompted him to declare; but which the consciousness of his infirmities, and we ought to add his moral feelings, corrected and restrained.

If these and other parts of his character appear less amiable, let the reader constantly keep in mind the physical and moral causes which operated on a mind like his : let him remember his life, “ one long disease," the natural passions, which he must have felt in common with all the world, disappointed : his tenderness thrown back on his heart, only to gather there with more force, and more ineffectual

wishes :

1

* With regard to some few compositions admitted into this edi. tion, which were undoubtedly written by Pope, I have wished to avoid either extreme : not to admit what would be a discredit, nor to reject what readers in general would wish to see in a complete cdition of his works.

wilhes: his confined education, intrusted chiefly to those who were themselves narrow-minded * : his being used from the cradle to listen only to the voice of partial indulgence; of tenderness, almost maternal, in all who contemplated his weakness and his incipient talents t. When he has duly weighed these things, and attended to every alleviating circumstance that his knowledge of the world, or his charity, may suggest, then let him not hastily condemn what truth compels me to state; but let him rather, without presuming on his own virtues, lament the imperfection of our common nature, and leave the judgment to Him, “ who 66 knoweth whereof we are made, who remembereth

we are but dust."

* I hope this will not be thought illiberal, when it is remem. bered how much he offended some of his own persuasion, by the praise of Erasmus, in the Effay on Criticism.

+ Whatever might have been his defects, he could not be said to have many bad qualities, who never lost a friend, and whom Arbuthnot, Gay, Bathurst, Lyttelton, Fortescue, and Murray, esteemed and loved through life.

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POSTSCRIPT. .

TO the names of those to whom I am indebted for

any communications, I ought to have added that of the Rev. Mr. Bannister. His Notes, in the fifth and fixth volumes, are marked with his name, as are the respective communications of all those who have been before mentioned. The account given me of Mrs. Thomas, in Vol. vii. as copied from a MS. by my friend D. P. Okeden, I have since found in print : but the book is obscure ; and as I can trace no authentic source from which this part is derived, I think it probable that the same MS. furnished the information to the publisher.

Mr. Rogers lent me his copy of Warton's edition of Pope, with manuscript remarks in pencil by Steevens. These are constantly marked by his name.

For all observations without signature, I rely on the reader's candour.

In the Life, I have been led into a mistake, from following a date of Johnson, though I have been in general attentive to this material part of biography, The first Imitation of Horace I have dated 1731, instead of

1733, when it was published. The Imitation addressed to Bolingbroke (“ Prima dicte mihi”) was

written written in 1737, soon after Bolingbroke left England, not before. The additional letters were neither proeured nor arranged by me, except the letter of Pope to Mrs. Price, that of Martha Blount, and that of Pope, in the Life, to Christopher Smart.

If it should be thought I have in some places spoken too harshly of Pope's conduct, I can only say, I should not have considered myself an honest man if I had spoken otherwise.

WM. LISLE BOWLES.

BREMNILL Jan, 25, 1807.

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