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conscience came abroad : which if I had so soon expected, I might have spared myself the labour of writing many things which are contained in the third
of it. But I was always in some hope, that the church of England might have been perfuaded to have taken off the penal laws and the test, which was one design of the poem, when I proposed to myself the writing of it.
It is evident that some part of it was only occasional, and not first intended: I mean that defence of myself, to which every honet man is bound, when he is injuriously attacked in print: and I refer myself to the julgment of those, who have read the Answer to the defence of the late king's papers, and that of the dutchefs (in which lat I was concerned) how charitably I have been represented there. I am now informed both of the author and supervisors of this pamphlet, and will reply, when I think he can affront me : for I am of Socrates's opinion, that all creatures cannot. In the mean time let him consider whether he deserved not a more severe reprehention, than I gave him formerly, for using fo little respect to the memory of those, whom lie pretended to answer ; wd at his leisure, look out for fome original treatise of humility, written by any Proteftant in English ; I believe I may say in any other tongue : for the magnified piece of Duncomb on that fubjeci, which either he inuit mean, or none, and with which another of his fellows has upbraided me, was translated from the Spaniih of Rodriguez; though with the omillion of the seventeenth, the twenty-fourth, the 5
twenty-fifth, and the last chapter, which will be found in comparing of the books.
He would bave insinuated to the world, that her late highness died not a Roman Catholic. He declares himself to be now fatisfied to the contrary, in which he has given up the cause : for matter of fact was the principal debate betwixt us. In the mean time, he would dispute the motives of her change; how preposterously, let all men judge, when he seemed to deny the subject of the controversy, the change itself. And because I would not take up this ridiculous challenge, he tells the world
argue : but he may as well infer, that a Catholic cannot fast, because he will not take up the cudgels against Mrs. James, to confute the Protestant religion.
I have but one word more to say concerning the poem as such, and abstracted from the matters, either religious or civil, which are handled in it. The first part, consisting most in general characters and narration, I have endeavoured to raise, and give it the majestic turn of heroic poesy. The second, being matter of dispute, and chiefly concerning church authority, I was obliged to make as plain and perspicuous as possibly I could; yet not wholly neglecting the numbers, though I had not frequent occasions for the magnificence of verse. The third, which has more of the nature of domestic conversation, is, or ought to be, more free and familiar than the two former.
There are in it two episodes, or fables, which are interwoven with the main design; so that they are pro.
perly parts of it, though they are also distinct stories of themselves. In both of these I have made use of the common-places of satire, whether true or false, which are urged by the members of the one church against the other : at which I hope no reader of either party will be scandalized, because they are not of my invention, but as old, to my knowledge, as the times of Boccace and Chaucer on the one side, and as those of the Reformation on the other.
THE HIND AND THE PANTHER.
A Milk-white Hind, immortal and
Fed on the lawns, and in the forest rang'd;
Not so her young; for their unequal line
So captive Ifrael multiply'd in chains,
Panting and pensive now she rang'd alone,
The bloody bear, an independent beast,
But since the mighty ravage, which he made
What weight of antient witness can prevail,