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The first publication of this Epistle. This paper is a fort of bill of complaine, 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 Noble. man 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 ne. cellity to say something of myself, and my own laziness to undertake so aukward a task, I thought it the shortelt way to put the last hand to this Epistle. If it have any thing pleasing, 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 to offend, the vicious or the unge
Many will know their own pictures in it, there being not a circumstance but what is true;
but I have, for the most part, (pared 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 Gince a nameless character can never be found. out, but by its truth and likeness.
SA TIRE S.
P. HUT, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd l said,
Is there a parfon, much be-mus'd in beer,