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One of the pretended literary discoveries have been edited as often as those of Pope, of the last quarter of a century is, that it is is Swift ; but even of Swift, Scott's (twice a mistake to reckon Pope among our Eng- printed) is the only edition that has any lish poets ; but nobody, we believe, has pretensions to be called a critical one. As yet denied him to be an English classic. for our other great prose writers—such, for The steady demand for his works that has instance, as Bacon-although the works of now maintained for the full Horatian pe- most of them have been several times colriod
lected, we can scarcely be said to possess a Est vetus atque probus centum qui perfecit annos, critical edition of any one of them. may be held as having established his right Perhaps, when the booksellers found to that title, and placed it beyond the themselves called upon for another library cavils of criticism or paradox. Since his edition of Pope, the best thing upon the death, his writings have been collected, and whole that they could do was to reproduce copiously annotated, by four successive that prepared by the late Mr. Roscoe, and editors ; of the voluminous labors of all of published in 1824. Besides being, by its whom, except one, there have been two or omission of some questionable or objectionmore authorized impressions, not to speak able matter, better suited for the use of of several irregular reprints. This is ordinary readers, if not of the more curisufficient evidence of his popularity, ous student, than either that of Warton and of something more. These critical or that of Bowles, it was free from the diseditions have been called for to be placed advantage, under which both these precedin libraries among our greatest writers, ing editions labored, of being constructed or the greatest writers of every age of upon and pervaded by the principles of a literature. Shakspeare is the only other school of criticism, which, whatever might English classic who has given so much be its merits, could not but be regarded as employment to the commentators. We heretical by the generality of the readers of have only one annotated edition (twice Pope; and out of which, indeed, it was printed) of the entire works of Dryden; somewhat unaccountable how an editor of one (also printed twice) of those of Spen-i his poetry, not to say two, should ever ser; and not as yet so much as one of have arisen—unless we are to suppose that those of Milton, any more than of those of they took to the task, as Butler makes the Chaucer. If we except Shakspeare, the old Puritans to have worshipped their only other English writer whose works Maker" for spite, and as thinking the Vol. XII. No. IV.