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HE occafion of publishing thefe Imitations was the Clamour rais'd 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 perfon; and the Example of much greater Freedom in fo eminent a Divine as Dr. Donne, feem'd a proof with what indignation and contempt a Chriftian may treat Vice or Folly, in ever fo low, or ever so high a Station. Both these Authors were acceptable to the Princes and Minifters 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 look'd upon a Satire on Vicious Courts as any Reflection on those they serv'd in. And indeed there is not in the world a greater error, than that which Fools are fo apt to fall into, and Knaves with good reason to encourage, the mistaking a Satirift for a Libeller; whereas to a true Satirift nothing is fo odious as a Libeller, for the fame reason as to a man truly virtuous nothing is fo hateful as a Hypocrite.
First Satire of the Second Book
WHOEVER expects a Paraphrase of Horace, or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in these IMITATIONS, will be much disappoint. ed. 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 serious where Horace is in jeft; and at ease where Horace is disturbed. 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 paraphrafe 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 expreffi