« ZurückWeiter »
EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT
THE PROLOGUE TO THE SATIR KS.
ADVERTISEMENT To the first Publication of this Epistle. This paper is a sort of bill of complaint, begun many
years since, and drawn up hy 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 informa. tion may be requisite. Being divided between the necessity to say something of myself, and my own lazi. ness to undertake so awkward a task, I thought it the shortest 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 ungenerous. 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 to 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 thin advan. tage 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 anel likeness.
P. 'Shut, shut the door, good John,' fatigued, I
What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide ?
Is there a parson, much bemused in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a stanza when he should engross ; Is there who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls With desperate charcoal round his darken'd wallo: All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain. Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws, Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause : Poor Cornus sees his frantic wise elope, And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song)
What drop or nostrum can this plague remove?
* Nine years !' cries he, who, high in Drury-lane, Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term endo Obliged by hunger and request of friends : ' The piece, you think, is incorrect : why take it ; I'm all submission; what you'd have it make it.'
Three things another's modest wishes bound,
Pitholeon sends to me; “You know his grace;
Bless me! a packet.—""Tis a stranger sues :