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in removing it from themselves as far as they can; and ic is never so far, as when they can get it fixed on the be ft Characters. No wonder those who are Food for Satiriife, should rail at them as Creatures of Prey; every Beast born for our Use would be ready to call a Man so.
I know no Remedy, unless people in our Age would as little frequent the Theatres, as they begin to do the Churches; unless Comedy were forsaken, Satire silent, and every man left to do what seems good in his own Eyes, as if there were no King, no Priest, no Poet in Israel.
But I find myself obliged to touch a Point, on which I must be more serious j it well deserves I should: I mean the malicious Application of the Character of Timon3 which I will boldly fay, they would impute to the Person the most different in the World from a Man'hatert and the Person whose ¥ap and Encouragement of Wit have often been shewn in the righteji Place. The Author of that Epistle must certainly think so, if he has the fame Opinion of his own Merit as Authors generally have; for he has been favoured by this very Person.
Why, in God's Name, must a Portrait, apparently collected from twenty different Men, be applied to one only? Has it his Eye? No, it is very unlike. Has it hisiV^
er or Month? No, they are totally differing. What then, I beseech you? Why, it ha* the Mole on his Chin. Very well.; but must the Picture therefore be his, and has no other man that Blemish?
Could there be a more melancholy Instance how much the Taste of the Publicfc is vitiated, and turns the most salutary and seasonable Phylick into Poison, than if amidst the Blaze of a thousand bright Qualities in a Great Man, they should only remark there is a Shadow about him, as what Eminence is without? I am confident the Author was incapable of imputing any such to One, whose whole Life (to use his own Expression in Print of him) is a continued Series of good and generous Actions.
I know no man who would be more concerned, if he gave the least Pain or Offence to any innocent Person; and none who would be less concerned, if the Satire were challenged by any one at whom he would really aim it. If ever that happens, I dare engage he will own it, with all the Freedom of one whose Censures are _/«/?, and who sets his Name to them.
g, 1 ■ 1 ''s'--'; I ,r^'
To B<ir/ of Burlington. ■
•- . .. - . _ !, rislJ
THE Clamour rais'd about my Epistle to you, could not give me so much pain, as I receiv'd pleasure in seeing the general Zeal of the world in the cause: of a great Man who is Beneficent, and the particular Warmth of your Lordthip in that of a private Man who is innocent.
It was not the Poem that descrvM ih\sq from you; for as I had the Honour to be your Friend, I cou'd not treat you quite like a Poet: but sure the Writer deserv'dj more Candor, even from those who knew. him not, than to promote a Report, which in regard to that Noble Person was Imfertinent; in regard to me, Villainous. 'Yet I had no great cause to wonder, that a Character belonging to twenty fhou'd be1 applied to one; since, by that means, nineteen wou'd escape the Ridicule.
I was too well content with my Know-; ledge of that Noble Person's Opinion in this Affair, to trouble the publick about it. But
ince Malice and Mistake are so long a dyngy-I have taken the opportunity of-a.rkixd idition to declare His Belief, not only of My Innocence, but of Their Malignity, of the brmer of which my own heart is as con.cious* as I fear some of theirs must be of :he latter. His Humanity feels a Concern for the Injury done to Me, while his Greatness, of Mind can bear with Indifference the. Insult offer'd to Himself. *
'However,my Lord,I own, that Critics of t^ShH can intimidate me, nay half incline me to write no more:That wou'd be making the Town a Compliment which I think it deferves; and which some, I am sure, wou'd take very kindly. This way of Satire is dangerous, as long as Slander rais'd by Fools of the: lowest Rank can rind any countenance from those of a Higher. Even from the Conduct shewn on this occasion, I have learnt there are some who Wou'd rather be •wicked than ridiculous; and therefore it may be safer to attack Vices than Follies. I will therefore leave my Betters in the quiet Possession of their Idols, their Groves, and their High-Places; and change my Subject from
* Alludes to the Letter the Duke of Ch wrote to
Mr. soft op this occasion, a Copy of which, together with Mr:l'eft's to his Grace, we hope to procure for the next their Pride to their Meanness, from their Vanities to their Miseries: And as the only certain way to avoid Misconstructions, to lessen Offence, and not to multiply ill-hatur'd Applications, I may probably, in my next, make "use of Real Names and not of Fictitious Ones, -f
I am, my Lord,
2)r. Arbuthnot to Mr. Von.
Hampstead, July 17, .'j 7$; Dear Sir, _ N
ILittle doubt of your kind Concern for me, nor of that of the Lady you mention. I have nothing to repay my Friends with at present, but prayers and good 'wishes. I have the satisfaction to find that I am as officiously serv'dby my Friends, .as he that has thousands to leave in Legacies; besides the Assurance of their Sincerity. ■■ * < * . ~ - ,. ^. . ■
f This he did in his next Piece, which was theEp:ffie to the Lord Bathursi of the ulc of-Riches,. '**" <
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