« ZurückWeiter »
Motto to the first edition, published in folio, 1734: “ Neque fermonibus vulgi dederis te, nec in præmiis humanis fpem pofueris rerum tuarum ; suis te oportet illecebris ipsa virtus
trahat ad verum decus. Quid de te alii loquantur, ipfi videant, · fed loquentur tamen.”
FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS EPISTLE.
This paper is a sort of bill of complaint, begun
many years since, and drawn up by snatches, as the several occasions offered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleased some Persons of Rank and Fortune [the Authors of Verses to the Imitator of Horace, and of an Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity from a Nobleman at Hampton-Court] to attack, in a very extraordinary manner, not only my Writings (of which, being public, the Public is judge) but my Person, Morals, and Family, whereof, to those who know me not, a truer information may be requisite. Being divided between the necessity to say something of myself, and my own laziness to undertake so aukward a talk, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand to this Epistle. If it have any thing pleafmg, it will be that by which I am most desirous to please, the Truth, and the Sentiment; and if any thing offensive, it will be only to those I am least sorry LO offend, the vicious, or the ungenerouș.
Many will know their own pictures in it, there being not a circumstance but what is true; but I have for the most part spared their Names, and they may escape being laughed at, if they please.
I would have some of them know, it was owing to the request of the learned and candid Friend to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free use of theirs, as they have done of mine. However, I shall have this advantage, and honour, on my side, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can possibly be done by mine, since a nameless Character can never be found out, but by its truth and likeness.
Lady Wortley Montagu begins her Address to Mr. Pope, or his Imitation of the ist Satire of the Second Book of Horace, in these words:
“ In two large columns, on thy motley page,
Where Roman wit is strip'd with English rage;