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First Satire of the Second Book
WHOEVER expects a Paraphrafe of Horace, or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in these IMITATIONS, will be much difappointed. Our Author ufes 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 so frequently serious 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
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 expreffion, which confifts in ufing the fimpleft language with dignity, and the most ornamented, with eafe. For the rest, his harmony and strength of numbers, his force and fplendor of colouring, his gravity and fublime 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 fmile at, Mr. Pope would treat with the grave severity of Perfius: And what Mr. Pope would strike with the cauftic lightening 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, add reflected grace and fplendor on original wit. Befides, he deem'd it more modeft to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Defpreaux, to give the name of Satires to Imitations.
SUNT quibus in Satira videar nimis acer, et ultra Legem tendere opus; b fine nervis altera, quidquid Compofui, pars effe putat, fimilefque meorum
Mille die verfus deduci poffe. < Trebati,
Quid faciam? praefcribe.
H. Ne faciam, inquis,
H. Peream male, fi non
Optimum erat: verum nequeo dormire.
VER. 3. Scarce to wife Peter-Chartres] It has been commonly observed of the English, that a Rogue never goes to the Gallows without the pity of the Spectators, and their parting curfes on the rigour of the Laws that brought him thither: and this has been as commonly afcribed to the good nature of the people. But it is a miftake. The true caufe is their hatred and envy of power. Their compaffion for Dunces and Scoundrels (when expofed by great writers to public contempt, either in justice to the age, or in vindication of their own Characters) has the fame fource. They cover their envy to a fuperior genius, in lamenting the feverity of his Pen.