The Canons of Criticism, and the Sonnets printed in Dodsley's Miscellanys were so well received by the best Judges, that it is presumed the Republication of them, together with the other pieces, which the Author left behind him, and which he had prepared for the press before his last illness, will be agreeable to the Public. The twenty-seven Sonnets, which now appear for the first time, are in the same taste with those in Dodsley's volume, correct, simple, not aiming at points or turns, in the phrase and structure rather ancient, for the most part of a grave, or even of a melancholy cast; formed in short upon the model of the Italians of the good age, and of the Imitators among us, Spenser and Milton. The Trial of the letter Y is a very sensible piece of English criticism; a study, of which the Author was particularly fond, and in which few have shewn so exact a taste.
Mr. Edwards was a Barrister of Lincoln's-inn, son and Grandson of two worthy Gentlemen of the same profession; he had a liberal Education, and an independent Fortune.
For his Character we may with the strictest justice refer to his Epitaph, in the Church-yard of Ellesborough in Buckinghamshire.
Under this stone are deposited the Remains of
Thomas Edwards, Esq; of Turrick in this parish,
Where he spent the last seventeen years
of a studious, usefull life.
He was sincere and constant in the profession and
practise of Christianity, without Narrowness or Superstition;
steadily attached to the cause of Liberty,
nor less an enemy to Licentiousness and Faction;
in his Poetry simple, elegant, pathetic;
in his Criticism exact, acute, temperate;
affectionate to his Relations, cordial to his Friends.
in the general Commerce of life obliging and entertaining.
He bore a tedious and painfull distemper with a Patience,
which could only arise from a habit of Virtue and Piety;
and he quitted this life with the decent unconcern of one, whose
hopes are firmly based on a better.
He dy'd on the IId day of January MDCCLVII, aged LVIII.
and this stone is inscribed to his memory,
with the truest concern and gratitude,
by his two Nephews and Heirs, Joseph Paice and Nathanael Mason.
The Gentleman, whose assistance Mr. Edwards acknowledges in the Preface, was Mr. Roderick, Fellow of Magdalen-college in Cambridge, and of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies. He dy'd some little time before his friend, bequeathing to him such of his Papers, as related to the Canons of Criticism: And the Additions to that work from those papers are inserted in their proper places.