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HE occafion of publishing these Imitations was the Clamour rais'd on fome 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 fo eminent a Divine as Dr. Donne, seem'd a proof with what indignation and contempt a Chriftian may treat Vice or Folly, in ever fo low, or ever fo high a Station. Both thefe 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 reafon to encourage, the mistaking a Satirift for a Libeller; whereas to a true Satirift nothing is fo odious as a Libeller, for the fame reafon as to a man truly virtuous nothing is fo hateful as a Hypocrite.
Uni aequus Virtuti atque ejus Amicis,
Firft 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 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 fo frequently ferious where Horace is in jeft; and at eafe 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 paraphrase 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