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Ludentis speciem dabit, et torquebitur.
ADVERTISEMENT. The occasion of publishing these Imitations was the clamour raised
on some of my Epistles. An answer from Horace was both moro full and of more dignity than any I could have made in my own person; and the example of much greater freedom in so eminent a divine as Dr. Donne seemed a proof with what indignation and contempt a Christian may treat vice or folly in ever so low or ever so high a station.. Both these authors were acceptable to the princes and ministers under whom they lived. The Satires 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 looked upon a satire on vicious courts as any reflection on those they served 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 hypocrite.
Uni æquus virtuti atque ejus amicis. P.
ADVERTISEMENT. Whoever expects a paraphrase 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 Ilorace 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 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 curious felicity of expression, which con. sists 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 splendour of colouring, his gravity and suSlimity 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 lightning of Juvenal, Horace would content
himself with 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 Imitation, which is of the nature of Parody, throws reflected grace and splendour on original wit. Besides, he deemed it more modest to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Despreaux, to give the name of Satires to Imitations.
BOOK II. SAT. I.
TO MR. FORTESCUE.
P. Not write? but then I think,
F. You could not do a worse thing for your life.
(verse; With arms, and George, and Brunswick, crowd the Rend with tremendous sound your ears asunder, With gun, drum, trumpet, blunderbuss, and thunder?
Or nobly wild, with Budgell's fire and force,
F. Then all your Muse's softer art display,
P. Alas few verses touch their nicer ear;
F. Better be Cibber, I'll maintain it still,
P. What should ail 'em? F. A hundred smart in Timon and in Balaam : The fewer still you name, you wound the more; Bond is but one, but Harpax is a score.
P. Each mortal has his pleasure: none deny 45 Scarsdale his bottle, Darty his ham-pie: Ridotta sips and dances till she see The doubling lustres dance as fast as she: F- loves the senate, Hockley-hole his brother, Like in all else, as one egg to another. I love to pour out all myself as plain As downright Shippen or as old Montaigne : In them, as certain to be lov'd as seen, The soul stood forth, nor kept a thought within; In me what spots (for spots I have) appear, Will prove at least the medium must be clear. In this impartial glass iny Muse intends Fair to expose myself, my foes, my friends; Publish the present age; but where my text Is vice too ligh, reserve it for the next; My toes shall wish my life a longer date, Andı very friend the less lament my fate. My head and heart rhus flowing through my quill, Verse-man or prose-man, term me which you will,
Papist or Protestant, or both between,
Satire's my weapon, but I'm too discreet
10 I only wear it in a land of Hectors, Thieves, supercargoes, sharpers, and directors. Save but our army! and let Jove incrust Swords, pikes, and guns, with everlasting rust! Peace is my dear delight--not Fleury's more: 75 But touch me, and no minister.so sore. Whoe'er offends, at some unlucky time Slides into verse, and hitches in a rhyme, Sacred to ridicule his whole life long, And the sąd burden of some merry song.
80 Slander or poison dread from Delia's rage: Hard words or hanging, if your judge be Page: From furious Sappho scarce a milder fate, P--x' by her love, or libell’d by her hate. Its proper pow'r to hurt each creature feels; 85 Bulls aim their horns, and asses lift their heels; 'Tis a bear's talent not to kick, but hug: And no man wonders he's not stung by pug. So drink with Walters, or with Chartres eat, They'll never poison you, they'll only cheat.
Then, learned sir! (to cut the matter short) Whate'er iny fate, or well or ill at court, Whether old age, with faint but cheerful ray, Attends to gild the evening of my day, Or death's black wing already be display'd, 95 To wrap me in the universal shade; Whether the darken'd room to muse invite, Or whiten’d wall provoke the skewer to write : In durance, exilc, Bedlam, or the Mint, Like Lee or Budgell I will rhyme and print. 100
F. Alas, young man, your days can ne'er be long; In flower of age you perish tor a song! Plums and directors, Shylock and his wife, Will club their testers now to take your life.
P. What arm'd for virtue when I point the pen, Brand the bold front of shameless guilty men, 106 Dash the proud gamester in his gilded car, Bare the mean heart that lurks beneath a star; Can there be wanting, to defend her cause, Lights of the church or guardians of the laws ? 110 Could pension'd Boileau lash in honest strain Flatterers and bigots ev’n in Louis' reign? Could laureat Dryden pimp and friar engage, Yet neither Charles nor James be in a rage? And I not strip the gilding off a knave,
115 Upplac'd, unpension'd, no man's heir or slave? I will, or perish in the generous cause : Hear this and tremble! you who 'scape the laws. Yes, while I live, no rich or noble knave Shall walk the world in credit to his grave: 120 To Virtue only and her friends a friend, The world beside may murmur or commend. Know, all the distant din that world can keep, Rolls o'er my grotto, and but soothes my sleep,
There my retreat the best companions grace, 125 Chiefs out of war, and statesmen out of place : There St. John mingles with my friendly bowl The feast of reason and the flow of soul: And he whose lightning pierc'd th’ Iberian lines, Now forins my quincunx, and now ranks my vines; Or tames the genius of the stubborn plain, Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain.
Envy must own I live among the great, No pimp of pleasure, and no spy of state, With eyes that pry not, tongue that ne'er repeats, Fond to spread friendships, but to cover heats: 136 To help who want, to forward who excel; This all who know ine, know; who love me, tell; And who unknown defame me, let them be Scribblers or peers, alike are mob to me. 140 This is my plea, on this I rest my causeWhat saith my counsel learned in the laws ?
F. Your plea is good; but still I say, beware! Laws are explain'd by men-so have a care.