The so much talk'd of and expected old woman's Dunciad: Or, midwife's master-piece ... By Mary Midnight. With historical, critical, and explanatory notes, by Margelina Scribelinda Macularia.
Kenrick, W. (William), 1725?-1779.
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PREFACE

AS there are so many Impostors and Imitators Abroad, it is highly requisite the Public should be satisfied, that this is the true and genuine Dunciad of Mrs. Mary Midnight; to which End I have wrote this short Preface. The Reader, there|fore, is desir'd to attend to me with a little Patience, before he en|ters upon this great and wonderful Work. The extensive Fame our Author has gain'd, by her learned Lucubrations, in all the Courts and Universities in Europe, has excited many (who have, by some Means or other, met with some of her Fragments) to vend among them their Heaps of Trash in her Name; but it is hop'd the World will do her the Justice, to think she is not the Author of such poor paul|try, wishy, washy, shim-sham Performances.

To reward, among many others, the Authors of such Proceed|ings in a Manner due to their Deserts, Mrs. Midnight has design'd and executed this Work; but, as an Affair of so much Consequence could not but get Air in the World, several of these, who were cons|cious of their Guilt, applied to her to be excus'd a Place; or, in other Words, to be left out of her Dunciad: Among which came the celebrated Pentweazle, and meanly offer'd her five Guineas in part, on Subscription to her Miscellany of Poems, to be publish'd some Time in February next. But Mrs. Midnight being above any mercenary View, was deaf to all Overtures, however considerable, of this kind: Upon which, with their usual Assurance, her Enemies ad|vertis'd even this intended Work, the Old Woman's Dunciad, in her's and in my Name, intending to impose some Trumpery or other on the World, before this Poem could appear; and, with the most consummate Impudence, put out Advertisements against the fictitious Page  [unnumbered] Imitators of Mrs. Midnight's Works, to out-face, if possible, the very Truth itself. But we have, thro' a surprising Quickness of Ge|nius, peculiar to our Author, anticipated their Designs, to their utter Confusion: Since the World will, by reading the following Work, be convinc'd of the genuine and elevated Spirit of Mrs. Midnight, and will not, for the future, be so easily impos'd on. I shall just add a Word or two on our Author's Character in general, and on this Work in particular. As to Mrs. Midnight's Reputation as an Au|thor, notwithstanding she has made herself known but lately under that Name, yet it has been very extensive, under the more general one of Old Woman; she having had the principal Hand in most of the Performances that have been wrote within these few Years past; all which have been infallibly known by the Critics, who upon Peru||sal of them, have immediately laid them down, and crying out, the Author's an Old Woman; intimating thereby their Knowledge of her Works, and her establish'd Reputation that rais'd them above Criti|cism. As to this Poem in particular, the Publick can never enough acknowledge the Obligations they owe her, in these Improvements of our Language; which, however, fall vastly short of what she pur|poses to do, having selected several thousands of the most curious and copious in the *Gemerian or Welch Tongue, which will far exceed any Embellishment whatsoever drawn from the Greek or Latin.

MARGELINA SCRIBELINDA MACULARIA.