Ҿ˹˹ѧ
PDF
ePub
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

WHEREAS certain Haberdashers of Points and Particles, being instigated by the spirit of Pride, and assuming to themselves the name of Critics and Restorers, have taken upon them to adulterate the common and current sense of our Glorious Ancestors, Poets of this Realm, b} clipping, coining, defacing the images, miring their own base allay, or otherwise falsifying the same ; which they publish, utter, and vend as genuine : The said Haberdashers having no right thereto, as neither heirs, erecutors, administrators, assigns, or in any sort related to such Poets, to all or any of them; Now We, having carefully revised this our Dunciad,* be

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* Read thus confidently, instead of " beginning with the word Books, and ending with the word flies," as formerly it stood. Read also, containing the entire sum of one thousand seden hundred and fifty-four verses," instead of " one thousand and twelve lines ;" such being the initial and final words, and such the true and entire contents, of this poem.

Thou art to know, reader! that the first edition thereof, like that of Milton, was never seen by the author, though living and not blind. The editor himself confessed as much in his preface; and no two poems were ever published in so arbitrary a manner. The editor of this had as boldly suppressed whole passages, yea, the entire last book, as the editor of Paradise Lost added and

augmented

ginning with the words The Mighty Mother, and ending with the words buries all, containing the entire sum of One thousand seven hundred and fifty-four verses, declare every word, figure, point, and comma of this impression to be authentic : And do therefore strictly enjoin and forbid any person or persons whatsoever, to erase, reverse, put between hooks, or by any other means, directly or indirectly, change or mangle any of them. And we do hereby eatnestly exhort all our brethren to follow this our Example, which we heartily wish our great Predecessors had heretofore set, as a remedy and prevention of all such abuses. Provided always, that nothing in this Declaration shall be construed to limit the lawful and undoubted right of every subject of this Realm, to judge, censure, or condemn, in the whole or in part, any Poem or poet whatsoever.

Given under our hand at London this third

Day of January, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred thirty and two.

Declarať cor' me, JOHN BARBER, Mayor.

augmented. Milton himself gave but ten books, his editor twelve; this author gave four books, his editor only three. But we have happily done justice to both ; and presume we shall live in this our last labour, as long as in any of our others.

BENTL.

P.

APPENDIX.

[ocr errors]

I.

PRE FACE

Prefixed to the five first imperfect Editions of the

DUNCIAD, in three books, printed at DUBLIN and London, in octavo and duodecimo, 1727.

THE PUBLISHER* TO THE READER.

It will be found a true observation, though somewhat surprising, that when any scandal is vented against a man of the highest distinction and character, either in the state or literature, the public

* The Publisher] Who he was is uncertain ; but Edward Ward tells us, in his Preface to Durgen, “ that most judges are of opinion this Preface is not of English extraction, but Hibernian," &c. He means it was written by Dr. Swift, who, whether the publisher or not, may be said in a sort to be author of the poem. For when he, together with Mr. Pope (for reasons specified in the Preface to their Miscellanies) determined to own the most trifling pieces in which they had any hand, and to destroy all that remained in their power, the first sketch of this poem was snatched from the fire by Dr. Swift, who persuaded his friend to proceed in it, and to him it was therefore inscribed.

P. But the occasion of printing it was as follows:

There was published in those Miscellanies, a Treatise of the Bathos, or Art of sinking in Poetry, in which was a chapter, where the species of bad writers were ranged in classes, and initial letters of names prefixed, for the most part at random.

But such was the number of poets eminent in that art, that some one or other took every letter to himself. All fell into so violent á fury, that for half a year, or more, the common newspapers (in

most

« ͹˹Թõ
 »