« PreviousContinue »
CRITICAL AND MISCELLANEOUS
NOW FIRST COLLECTED:
WITH NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS:
AN ACCOUNT OF THE
LIFE AND WRITINGS OF THE AUTHOR,
ORIGINAL AND AUTHENTICK DOCUMENTS;
A COLLECTION OF HIS LETTERS,
THE GREATER PART OF WHICH HAS NEVER BEFORE BEEN PUBLISHED.
BY EDMOND MALONE, Esq.
VOL. I. PART II.
PRINTED BY H. BALDWIN AND SON, NEW BRIDGE-STREET,
FOR T. CADELL, JUN, AND W. DAVIES, IN THE STRAND.
When the Letters of Pope were originally printed, they were divided into classes, under the names of his various correspondents; those to Swift being all placed together, and so of Mr. Cromwell, Wycherley, Addison, Steele, and the rest: and the same method has been adopted, I think, injudiciously, in other similar publications. If the object were, to do honour to each of those persons, by shewing the number of letters which they received from Pope, or addressed to him, this arrangement was unquestionably the best that could have been observed. But to illustrate the history of the Author himself, which is more interesting to the Reader than that of any of his correspondents, all his letters, to whomsoever written, in my opinion, ought to be arranged in strict chronological order. The same topicks must necessarily often recur in his correspondence with his various friends; and his letters, thus arranged, will, by juxtaposition, throw mutual light on each other, and become a history of his life and times; exhibiting, from week to week, and from year to year, a view, not only of his occupations, and studies, and printed works, but also of publick affairs and private occurrences, during the period in which he lived. The propriety and use of such an arrangement cannot be more clearly shewn, than by a reference to Mr. Boswell's most instructive and entertaining Life of Dr. Johnson; which derives great advantage from the author's having adopted this method.
On these grounds, I have arranged the following Letters in the order of time in which they were written, or are supposed to have been written, without regarding the persons to whom they are addressed.