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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, tigure, 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 earnestly 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
Declarat cor' me, John BARBER, Mayor.
augmented. Milton himself gave but ten books his editor: twelve; this author gave four books; his editor only threa. 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.
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 a sury, that for half a year, or more, the common newspapers (in