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HE Occasion of publishing these Imitations
was the Clamour rais'd on some of my Epiftles. An Answer from Horace was both more full, and of more Dignity, than any I could have made in my own person; and the Example of much greater Freedom in so eminent a Divine as Dr. Donne, seem'd a proof with what indignation and contempt a Christian may treat Vice or Folly, in ever so low, or ever so high a Station. Both these Authors were acceptable to the Princes and Ministers under whom they lived. The Satires of Dr. Donne I versifyed, at the desire of the Earl of Oxford while he was Lord Treasurer, and of the Duke of Shrewsbury who had been Secretary of State ; neither of whom look'd upon a Satire on Vicious Courts as any Reflection on thofe they serv'd in. And indeed there is not in the world a greater error, than that which Fools are so apt to fall into, and Knaves with good reason to encourage, the mistaking a Satirist for a Libeller ; whereas to a true Satirist nothing is so odious as a Libeller, for the same reason as to a man truly virtuous nothing is so hateful as a Hypocrite.
Uni aequus Virtuti atque ejus Amicis. P.
First Satire of the Second Book
H OR A C E
IMIT A T E D.
WHOEVER expects a Paraphrafe of Horace, or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in these IMITATIONS, will be much disappointed. Our Author uses the Roman Poet for little more than his canvas: And if the old design or colouring chance to fuit his purpose, it is well: if not, he employs his own, without scruple or ceremony. Hence it is, he is so frequently serious where Horace is in jest; and at ease where Horace is disturbed. In a word, he regulates his movements no further on his Original, than was necessary for his concurrence, in promoting their common plan of Reformation of
Had it been his purpose merely to paraphrase an ancient Satirift he had hardly made choice of Horacej with whom, as a Poet, he held little in common,
besides a comprehensive knowledge of life and manners, and a certain curious felicity of expression, which consists in using the fimplest language with dignity, and the most ornamented, with ease. For the reft, his harmony and strength of numbers, his force and splendor of colouring, his gravity and sublime of sentiment, would have rather led him to another model. Nor was his temper less unlike that of Horace, than his talents. What Horace would only smile at, Mr. Pope would treat with the grave severity of Perfius: And what Mr. Pope would strike with the caustic lightening of Juvenal, Horace would content himself in turning into ridicule.
If it be asked then, why he took any body at all to imitate, he has informed us in his Advertisement. To which we may add, that this sort of Imitations, which are of the nature of Parodies, add reflected grace and splendor on original wit. Besides, he deem'd it more modest to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Despreaux, to give the name of Satires to Imitations.