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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 creat Vice or Folly, in ever so low, or ever so high a Station. Both these Authors were acceptable to the Princes and Minifters under whom they lived. The Satires of Dr. Donne I verfified, at the defire of the Earl of Oxford while he was Lord Treasurer, and of the Duke of Shrewfoury, who had been Secretary of State; neither of whom look'd apon a Satire on Vicious Courts as any Reflection on those they servid 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 mifaking a Satirist for a Libeller ; whereas to a true Satirift nothing is so odious as a Libeller, for the fame reason as to a man truly virtuous nothing is so hate.ful as a Hypocrite.
Uni aequus. Virtuti atque ejus Amicis, P.
First Satire of the Second Book
IMITAT E D.
WHOEVER expects a Paraphraft of Horace, or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in these IMITATIONS, will be much disappoint. ed. Our Author uses the Roman Poet for little more than his canvas: An if the old design or colouring chance to suit his purpose, it is well: if not, he employs his own, without fcruple or ceremony. Hence it is, he is so frequently serious where Horace is in jeft; and at ease where Horace is difturbed. 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 manners.
Had it been his purpose merely to paraphrase an ancient Satirift he had hardly made choice of Ho. race; with whom, as a Poet, he held little in common, besides a comprehensive knowledge of life and manners, and a certain curious felicity of expreffi