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in the instance of Sir Francis Drake, to which I have spoke in the proper place?
How just, notwithstanding, I have been in de tecting the anachronisms of my Author, and in defending him for the use of them, our late Editor seems to think, they fhould rather have slept in obscurity: and the having discovered them is sneered at, as a sort of wrong-headed fagacity.
The numerous corrections, which I made of the Poet's text in my SHAKESPEARE Restord, and which the public have been so kind to think well of, are, in the appendix of Mr. Pope's last edistión, slightingly callid Various Readings, Guesses, E C. He confesses to have inserted as many of them as he judged of any the least advantage to the Poet; but says, that the whole amounted to, about twenty-five words: and pretends to have annexed a compleat lift of the rest, which were not worth his embracing. Whoever has read my book will at one glance see, how in both these points veracity is strained, so an injury might bút be done. Malus etfi obesse non pote, tamen cogitat. 15. Another expedient, to make my work appear of a triling nature, has been an attempt to depreciate literal criticism. To this end, and to pay a fervile compliment to Mr. Pope, an anonymous writer has, like a Scotch pedlar in wit, un- braced his pack on the subject. But, that his
virulence might not seem to be levelled fingly at ime, he has done me the honour to join Dr. Bentley in the libel. I was in hopes, we should have been
both abused with smartness of satire, at least; though not with 'folidity of argument: that it might have been worth some reply in defence of the science attacked. But I may fairly fay of this author, as Falstaff does of Poins;—- Hang
him, baboon! his wit is as thick as Tewks** bury mustard ; there is no more conceit in him, * than is in a MALLET. If it be not prophanation to set the opinion of the divine Longinus against such a scribler, he tells us exprefly, “That *** to makea judgment upon Words(and Writings) -*c is the most consummate fruit of much experi* « ence.” η γαρ των λόγων κρίσις πολλης επί τπείρας τελευταίον επιγέννημα.
Whenever Words are depraved, the sense of course must be corrupted ; * and thence the readers betrayed into a fale meaning,
If the Latin and Greek languages have received the greatest advantages imaginable from the labours of the Editors and Criticks of the two last ages; by whose aid and affiftance the Grammarians have been enabled to write infinitely better in that art than even the preceding Grammarians, who wrote when those tongues flourished as living languages": I should account it a peculiar happiness; that, by the faint assay I have made in this work, a path might be chalked out, for abler hands, by which to derive the same advantages to our own tongue: a tongue, which tho' it wants none of the fundamental qualities of an universal language, yet as a noble Writer fays, lisps and
frammers as in its cradle; and has produced little more towards its polishing than complaints of its barbarity.
Having now run through all those pointsywhich I intended should make any part of this dissertation, and having in my former edition made publick acknowledgments of the affistances lent me, I shall conclude with a brief account of the methods taken in this.
The few literal errors, which had escaped notice, for want of revisals, in the former edi tion, are here reformed : and the pointing of innumerable passages is regulated, with all the accu. racy I am capable of.
I shall decline making any farther declaration of the pains I have taken upon my Author, beo cause it was my duty, as his Editor, to publich · him with my best care and judgment; and be
cause, I am fenfible,, all such declarations are construed to be laying a sort of a debt on the public. As the former edition has been received with much indulgence, I ought to make my acknowledgments to the town for their favourable. opinion of it: and I shall always be proud to think that encouragement the best payment I can hope to receive from my poor studies..