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Advertisement to the first Edition, with Notes, in quarto,
Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace,
Ludentis speciem dabit, et torquebitur. HOR.
The occasion of publishing these Imitations was the clamour raised on some 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 so eminent a divine as Dr. Donne, seemed a proof with what indignation and contempt a Christian may treat vice or folly, in ever so low or ever so high a station. Both these authors were acceptable to the princes and ministers under whom they lived. The satires of Dr. Donne I versified at the desire 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 satire 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 so apt to fall into, and knaves with good reason to encourage, the mistaking a satirist for a libeller; whereas to a true satirist nothing is so odious as a libeller: for the same reason as to a man truly virtuous, nothing is so hateful as a hypocrite.
Uni æquus virtuti atque ejus amicis.
BOOK II. SATIRE I.
To Mr. Fortescue.
P. THERE are, (I scarce can think it, but am told) There are to whom my satire seems too bold;
Scarce to wise Peter complaisant enough,
And something said of Chartres much too rough.
F. I'd write no more.
P. Not write? but then I think,
F. You could not do a worse thing for your life.
With arms, and George, and Brunswick, crowd the verse;
Rend with tremendous sound your ears asunder,
P. Alas! few verses touch their nicer ear; They scarce can bear their laureat twice a year;