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Motto to the firft edition, publifhed in folio, 1734: "Neque fermonibus vulgi dederis te, nec in præmiis humanis fpem pofueris rerum tuarum; fuis te oportet illecebris ipfa virtus trahat ad verum decus. Quid de te alii loquantur, ipfi videant, fed loquentur tamen.”
FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS EPISTLE.
THIS HIS 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 pleafed fome 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 extraordinary 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 lazinefs to undertake fo aukward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the laft hand to this Epiftle. If it have any thing pleafing, 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 least sorry to offend, the vicious, or the ungenerous.
Many will know their own pictures in it, there being not a circumstance but what is true; but I have for the most part spared their Names, and they may escape 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 use of theirs, as they have done of mine. However, I fhall have this advantage, and honour, on my fide, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abuse 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.
Lady Wortley Montagu begins her Address to Mr. Pope, on his Imitation of the 1ft Satire of the Second Book of Horace, in thefe words:
"In two large columns, on thy motley page,
Where Roman wit is ftrip'd with English rage;
And modern fcandal rolls with ancient fenfe :
And on the other how he never wrote:
Who can believe, who view the bad and good,
That spirit he pretends to imitate,
Than heretofore the Greek he did tranflate?
As thou thyfelf art of the fons of men ;