« PreviousContinue »
Ambition figh'd: fhe found it vain to trust
The Medal, faithful to its charge of fame,
Theirs is the Vanity, the learning thine : Touch'd by thy hand, again Rome's glories fhine; Her Gods, and godlike Heroes rife to view, And all her faded garlands bloom a-new..
Nor blush, these studies thy regard engage;
Oh when shall Britain, confcious of her claim,
A Virgil there, and here an Addison.
Then fhall thy CRAGGS (and let me call him mine) On the caft ore, another Pollio shine;
With aspect open shall erect his head, And round the orb in lafting notes be read, "Statesman, yet friend to truth! of foul fincere, "In action faithful, and in honour clear; "Who broke no promife, ferv'd no private end, "Who gain'd no title, and who loft no friend; "Ennobled by himself, by all approv'd,
"And prais'd, unenvy'd, by the Mufe he lov'd."
The first publication of this Epiftle.
THIS paper is a fort of bill of complaint, begun many years fince, and drawn up by fnatches, as the feveral occafions offered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleased some perfons of Rank and Fortune [the Authors of Verses to the Imitator of Horace and of an Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity from a Nobleman at Hampton Court] to attack, in a very ex→ traordinary manner, not only my Writings (of which, being public, the Public is judge) but my Perfon, Morals and Family, whereof, to those who know me not, a truer information may be requifite. Being divided between the neceffity to fay fomething of myself, and my own laziness to undertake fo aukward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand to this Epistle. If it have any thing pleasing, it will be that by which I am most defirous to please, the Truth and the Sentiment; and if any thing offenfive, it will be only to those I am leaft forry to offend, the vicious or the ungenerous.
Many will know their own pictures in it, there be-ing not a circumftance but what is true; but I have for the most part, spared their Names, and they may efcape being laughed at, if they please.
I would, have fome of them know, it was owing to
the request of the learned and candid Friend to whom it is infcribed, that I make not as free ufe of theirs as they have done of mine. However, I shall have this advantage, and honour, on my fide, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abufe may be directed at any man, no injury can poffibly be done by mine, fince a nameless character can never be found out, but by its truth and likeness.