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The occasion of publishing these Imitations was the clamour raisid on some of my Epistles. An answer from Horace was boch more full, and of more dignity, than any I could have made in my own person ; and the example of much greater freedom in lo eminent a divine as Dr. Donne , seem'd proof with what indignation and contempt a Christian may treat vice or folly, in ever lo low, or ever so high a station. Both these authors were acceptable to the Princes and Ministers under whom they lived. The fatires of Dr. Donne I versified, 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 those they servd 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 hypocríte.
Uni aequus virtuti atque ejus amicis , P.
WHOEVER expects a Paraphrase of Ho. race , or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in these Imitations, will be much disappointed. Our Author uses the Roman Poer for little more than his canvas : And if the old design or colouring chance to suit his purpose., it is well : if not, he employs his own, without scruple or ceremo
ný. Hence it is, he is so frequently ferious 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 manners.
Had it been his purpose merely to paraphrase an ancient Satyrist, he had hardly inade choice of Horace; with whom , as at 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 simplest language with dignity, and the most ornamented, with cale. For the rest , his harmony and strength of numbers, his force and splendor of colouring, his gravity and sublimity 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 lightning of Juvenal, Horace would content himself in turning into ridi. cule.
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, adds reflected grace and splendor on original wit. Belides, he deemed it more modest to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Delpreaux , to give the name of Satires to Imi. tations,
FOR TESCU E.
P. HER E are (I scarce can think it, but am told) There
my Satire seems too bold:
P. Not write? but then I think,
F. You could not do a worse thing for your life.
take a wife : Or rather truly, if your point be rest, Lettuce and cowslip-wine; Probatum eft. But talk with Celsus, Celsus will advise Hartshorn, or something that shall close your eyes. VOL. II,