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THE Papers that compose the first of these volumes were printed about eighteen years ago, to which there are now added two or three fmall tracts; and the verfes are transferred into the fourth volume apart, with the addition of fuch others as we fince have written. The fecond and third will confift of feveral fmall treatifes in profe, in which a friend or two is concerned with us.

Having both of us been extremely ill treated by fome bookfellers, efpecially one Edmund Curll, it was cur opinion that the best method we could take for justifying ourselves, would be to publish whatever loofe papers, in profe and verfe, we have formerly written; not only fuch as have already ftolen into the world (very much to our regret, and perhaps very little to our credit) but fuch, as in any probability hereafter may run the fame fate; having been obtained from us by the inportunity, and divulged by the indifcretion of friends, although reftrained by promifes, which few of them are ever known VOL. III. b


to obferve, and often think they make us a compliment in breaking.

But the confequences have been still worfe: We have been entitled, and have had our names prefixed at length, to whole volumes of mean productions, equally of fenfive to good manners and good fense, which we never faw nor heard of till they appeared in print.

For a forgery in fetting a false name to a writing, which may prejudice another's fortune, the law punishes the offender with the lofs of his ears; but has inflicted no adequate penalty for fuch, as prejudice another's reputation in doing the fame thing in print; though all and every individual book, fo fold under a falfe name, are manifeftly so many feveral and multiplied forgeries.

Indeed we hoped, that the good nature, or at least the good judgment of the world, would have cleared us from the impuration of such things, as had been thus charged upon us by the malice of enemies, the want of judgment in friends, the unconcern of indifferent perfons, and the confident affertions of bookfellers.


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