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Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad,
Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies;
Now high, now low, now master up, now miss,
Amphibious thing! that acting either part,
Not Fortune's worshipper nor Fashion's fool,
Welcome for thee, fair Viitue! all the past;
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome e'en the laft!
A. But why infult the poor, affront the great? 360 P. A knave's a knave to me in ev'ry state; Alike my fcorn if he fucceed or fail, Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail; A hireling fcribbler or a hireling peer, Knight of the Pott corrupt, or of the shire, If on a pillory, or near a throne, He gain his prince's ear, or lofe his own. Yet foft by nature, more a dupe than wit, Sappho can tell you how this man was bit: This dreaded fat'rift Dennis will confefs Foe to his pride, but friend to his diftrefs: So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door,
Has drunk with Cibber; nay, has rhym'd for Moore.
Three thoufand funs went down on Welfted's lie. 375
That harmless mother thought no wife a whore;
If there be force in virtue or in fong.
Of gentle blood (part shed in Honour's cause,
And better got than Beftia's from the throne.
The good man walk'd innoxious thro his age:
No courts he faw, no fuits would ever try, Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie. Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's fubtle art, No language but the language of the heart. By nature honeft, by experience wife, Healthy by temp'rance and by exercise; His life, tho' long, to sickness past unknown; His death was inftant, and without a groan. O grant me thus to live, and thus to die! Who fprung from kings fhall know lefs joy than I. Oh, friend! may each domeftic bliss be thine! Be no unpleafing melancholy mine: Me let the tender office long engage
To rock the cradle of repofing age,
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make Languor fmile, and smooth the bed of Death,
A. Whether that bleffing be deny'd or giv'n,
Ludentis fpeciem dabit, et torquebitur. HOR.
THE occafion of publishing these Imitations was the clamour raised on some of my Epiftles. An anfwer 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, feemed a proof with what indignation and contempt a Christian 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 looked upon a fatire on vicious 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 fo apt to fall into, and knaves with good reafon to encourage, the mistaking a fatirift for a libeller; whereas to a true satirist nothing is so odious as a libeller; for the fame reafon as to a man truly virtuous nothing is fo hateful as a hypocrite.
Uni æquus virtuti atque ejus amicis. P.
HOEVER expects a paraphrafe of Horace, or a faithful copy of his genius
or manner of writing, in these Imitations, will be much disappointed. Our Author uses the Roman Poet for little more than his canvas; and if the old de fign or colouring chance to fuit his purpose, it is well; if not, be employs his own without fcruple or ceremony. Hence it is he is so frequently serious where Horace is in jeft, and at eafe where Horace is diflurbed. In a word, he regulates his movements no further on his original, than was necessary 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 filicity of expreffion, which confifts in ufing the fimplefi language with dignity, and the most ornamented with ease. For the rest, his harmony and firength of numbers, his force and plendour of colouring, his gravity and fublimity of fentiment, would have rather led him to another model. Nor was his temper less unlike that of Horace than his talents. What Horace would only file at, Mr. Pope would treat with the grave severity of Perfius; and what Mr. Pope would ftrike with the caufic lightning of Juvenal, Horace would content hinfelf with turning into ridicule.
If it be afked, 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 Imitation, which is of the nature of Parody, throws reflected grace and splendour on original wit. Befides, he deemed it more modeft to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Defpreaux, to give the name of Satires to Imitations.