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The first publication of this Epistle.
HIS 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 necesfity to say something of myself, and my own laziness to undertake so aukward a task, I thought it the Thortest 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
(4) 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 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 fide, 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.
Vol. IV. facing pas
SiSayman inv.et del:
Shut, shut the Door, good Sohn.fatigue I said
E P I S T L E
Dr. ARBUTHNOT. An Apology for himself and his Writings.
Being the Prologue to the Satire.
P. HUT, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd
5 They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide ? They pierce my thickets, thro' my Grot they glide, By land, by water, they renew the charge, They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. 10 No place is sacred, not the Church is free, Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:
Notes. VER. I. Shut, Aout the door, good John!] John Searle, his old and faithful servant : whom he has remembered, under that character, in his Will.