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HE Papers that compose the first of

these volumes were printed about eighteen years ago, to which there are now added two or three small tracts; and the verses are transferred into the fourth volume apart, with the addition of such others as we since have written. The second and third will consist of several small treatises in prose, in which a friend or two is concerned with us.

Having both of us been extremely ill treated by some booksellers, especially one Edmund Curll, it was cur opinion that the best method we could take for justifying ourselves, would be to publish :vhatever loose papers, in prose and verse, we have formerly written; not only such as have already stolen into the world (very much to our regret, and perhaps very little to our credit) but such, as in any probability hereafter may run the same fate; having been obtained from us by the inportunity, and divulged by the indiscretion of friends, although restrained by promises, which few of them are ever known Vol. III.



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

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

For a forgery in setting 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 such, as prejudiceanother's reputation in doing the same thing in print; though all and every individual book, so sold under a false name, are manifestly so many several 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 impu’a tion 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 persons, and the confident assertions of booksellers.


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