« EdellinenJatka »
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 VOL. I.
All the other Engravings have the Pages marked on them against which they are to be placed.
LIFE AND WRITINGS OF POPE.
A$ S the Life of this distinguished Poet has been already written, by perfons fo eminent for literary talents and critical acumen as Johnson and Warton, all further attempts to illuftrate the incidents of his fortune, or the character of his mind, must appear fuperfluous; charity alfo might seem to fuggeft, when so many years have paffed fince the grave closed over his virtues and his infirmities, that we should now,
"No farther feek his merits to disclose,
" Nor draw his frailties from their dread abode.”
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 prefume, farther than may be abfolutely neceffary, to advance on the ground, which has been already fo ably occupied; if he forbears, unneceffarily 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 fuffered; if he be confcious of being actuated folely by these feelings, he will not fear, though he approaches the task with diffidence, to reprefent, as faithfully as he is able, the leading facts and traits in the history and character of a perfon, estimable indeed for many virtues, but those blended, as all human excellence muft be, with fhades 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 difpofition, though in all other respects reluctant and diffident, I prefume to give fome further account of the Life and Writings of Pope.
Alexander, fon of Alexander and Editha Pope, it is univerfally understood, was born in London, in the year 1688.
Much has been faid refpecting his father's fituation in life: Pope's adverfaries have called him a hatter, &c. and Pope, who with all his affected difdain of the "great," was fufficiently proud of the diftinction he received from them, wifhed to deduce his "stemmata”
*It feems understood by Johnson, that he was a linen-draper.