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First Satire of the Second Book
OF HORA СЕ
I MIT A T E D.
WHOEVER expects a Paraphrafe of Horace, or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in these IMITATIONS, will be much disappointed. Our Author uses the Roman Poet 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 ceremony, Hence it is, he is so frequently serious 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 mianners.
Had it been his purpose merely to paraphrase an ' ancient Satirist he had hardly made choice of Horace;
with whom, as a Poet, he held little in common, besides a comprehensive knowledge of life and manners, and a certain curicus felicity of expression, which consists in using the simplest language with dignity, and the most ornamented, with ease. For the rest, his harmony and strength of numbers, his force and splendor of colouring, his gravity and sublime 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 Persius: And what Mr. Pope would strike with the caustic lightening of Juvenal, Horace would content himself in turning into ridicule. · 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, add reflected grace and splendor on original wit. Besides, he deem'd it more modest to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Despreaux, to give the name of Satires to Imitations.
T. * Quiescas.
H. Ne faciam, inquis, Omnino versus?
H. Peream male, fi non Optimum erat: verum nequeo dormire.
Notes. Ver. 3. Scarce to wise Peter - Chartres) It has been commonly observed of the English, that a Rogue never goes to the Gallows without the pity of the Spectators, and their parting curses on the rigour of the Laws that brought him thither: and this has been as commonly ascribed to the good nature of the people. But it is a mistake. The true cause is their hatred and envy of power. Their compassion for Dunces and Scoundrels (when exposed by great writers to public contempt, either in jurtice to the age, or in vindication of their own Characters) has the same source. They cover their envy to a superior genius, in lamenting the severity of his Pen.