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Or spite, or smut, or rhymes or blasphemies :
Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool,
the same : That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long, But stoop'd to truth, and moralized his song; That not for fame, but virtue's better end, He stood the furious foe, the timid friend, The damning critic, half-approving wit, The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit: Laugh'd at the loss of friends he never had, The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad; The distant threats of vengeance on his head, The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed; The tale revived, the lie so oft o'erthrown, The imputed trash, and dulness not his own; The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape, The libell'd person, and the pictured shape; Abuse, on all he loved, or loved him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father dead;
A. But why insult the poor, affront the great ?
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit,
Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause, While yet in Britain honour and applause) Each parent sprung--A. What fortune, pray?-P.
And better got than Bestia's from the throne.
O friend ! may each domestic bliss be thine!
! Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene, And just as rich as when he served a queen!
A. Whether that blessing be denied or given. Thus far was right; the rest belongs to Heaven.
SATIRES AND EPISTLES
OF HORACE, IMITATED.
The occasion of publishing these Imitations was the clamour raised
on some of my Epistles. An answer from Horace was both more 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 who 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 vi. cious 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 hatesul as a hypocrite.
Uni æquus virtuti atque ejus amicis.
Whoever expecís a paraphrase of Horace, or a faithful copy of his geniuz, or manner of writing, in these imitations, will be much (lisappointed. Our author uses the Roman poet fur little more than his canvass: and if the old design or colouring chance to suit his purpose, it is well; if not, he emyloys his own, without scruple or ceremony. Hence it is, he is so frequently serious where Horace is in jest, and at ease where Horace is disturbel. In a word, be regulates his movements no further on his original, than was necessary for his concurrence in promoting their common plan of refornirtion 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 orna. mented with ease. For the rest, his harmony and strength of numbers, his force and splendour of colouring, bis gravity and sublimity of sentiment, would have rather led him to another model. Nor was his temper less u like that of Horace, than his talents. What Ho. race would only smile at, Mr. Pope would treat with the grave se. verity of Persius ; and what Mr. Pope would strike with the caustic 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 sort of imitations which are of the nature of parodies, adds reflected grace and splendour on original wit. Besides, he deemed it more modest to give the name of imitations to his satire, than like Des. preaux, to give the name of satires to imitations.
BOOK II. SATIRE I.
TO MR. FORTESCUE.
P. THERE are (I scarce can think it, but am told
P. Not write ? but then I think,