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THE occafion of publishing these Imitations was
the Clamour on fome of my Epiftles. An Anfwer from Horace was both more full, and of more Dignity, than any I could have made in my own perand the Example of much greater Freedom in fo eminent a Divine as Dr. Donne, feemed a proof with what indignation and contempt a Christian may treat Vice or Folly, in ever fo 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 verfified, at the defire 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 Satirift nothing is fo odious as a Libeller, for the fame reafon as to a man truly virtuous nothing is fo hateful as a Hypocrite.
"Uni aequus Virtuti atque ejus Amicis.”
WHOEVER expects a Paraphrafe of Horace, or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in thefe IMITATIONS, will be much difappointed. Our Author uses the Roman Poet for little more than his canvas: And if the old defign or colouring chance to fuit his purpose, it is well; if not, he employs his own, without fcruple or ceremony. Hence it is, he is fo frequently ferious where Horace is in jeft; and at ease where Horace is difturbed. In a word, he regulates his movements no further on his Original, than was neceffary for his Concurrence in promoting their common plan of Reformation of manners.
Had it been his purpose merely to paraphrase an ancient Satirift, he had hardly made choice of Horace : with whom, as a Poet, he held little in common, befides a comprehenfive knowledge of life and manners, and a certain curious felicity of expreffion, which confifts in ufing the fimpleft language with dignity, and the most ornamented, with eafe. For the reft, his harmony and ftrength of numbers, his force and fplendor of colouring, his gravity and fublimity of fentiment, would have rather led him to another model. Nor was his temper lefs unlike that of Horace, than his talents. What Horace would only fimile at, Mr. Pope would treat with the grave severity of Perfius: and what Mr. Pope would ftrike with the cauftic lightning 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 fort of Imitations, which are of the nature of Parodies, adds reflected grace and fplendor on original wit. Befides, he deemed it more modeft to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Defpreaux, to give the name of Satires to Imitations.
To Mr. FORTESCUE.
HERE are (I scarce can think it, but am told)
a There are, to whom my Satire feems too bold :
Scarce to wife Peter complaifant enough,
And fomething faid of Chartres much too rough.
You'll give me, like a friend both fage and free,
F. d I'd write no more.
SUNT quibus in Satira videar nimis acer, et ultra
Legem tendere opus; fine nervis altera, quidquid
Quid faciam? praefcribe.
T & Quiefcas.
H. Ne faciam, inquis,
Omnino verfus ?
P. Not write? but then I think,
e And for my foul I cannot sleep a wink.
F. You could not do a worfe thing for your life. 15 Why, if the nights feem tedious-take a wife: f Or rather truly, if your point be reft, Lettuce and cowflip wine; " Probatum est.” But talk with Celfus, Celfus will advise
Hartfhorn, or fomething that fhall clofe your eyes. 20 8 Or, if you needs muft write, write Cæfar's Praise, h You'll gain at least a Knighthood, or the Bays.
P. What? like Siri Richard, rumbling, rough, and
With Arms and George and Brunfwick crowd the
Rend with tremendous found your ears afunder,
With Gun, Drum, Trumpet, Blunderbufs, and Thun
H. Peream male, fi non
Optimum erat: verum nequeo dormire.
T. f Ter uncti
Tranfnanto Tiberim, fomno quibus eft opus alto;
H. Cupidum, Pater optime, vires
Or nobly wild, with Budgell's fire and force,
F. k Then all your Mufe's fofter art display,
And sweetly flow through all the Royal Line.
It is to Hiftory he trufts for Praise.
F. m Better be Cibber, I'll maintain it still,
P. What should ail them?
F. A hundred fmart in Timon and in Balaam :
Agmina, nec fracta pereuntes cufpide Gallos,
T. Attamen et juftum poteras et fcribere fortem, Scipiadam ut fapiens Lucilius.
H. Haud mihi deero,
Cum res ipfa feret: nifi dextro tempore, Flacci.
"Cum fibi quifque timet, quamquam eft intactus, et odit,