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He once went fo far as to write a Perfuafive to people to eat their own Children, which was fo little understood as to be taken in ill part *. He has often written against Liberty in the name of Freeman and Algernon Sidney, in vindication of the Measures of Spain under that of Raleigh, and in praise of Corruption under those of Cato and Publicola.
It is true, that at his laft departure from England, in the Reign of Queen Anne, apprehending left any of these might be perverted to the Scandal of the weak, or Encouragement of the flagitious, he cast them all, without mercy, into a Boghouse near St. James's. Some however have been with great diligence recovered, and fished up with a hook and line, by the Ministerial writers, which make at present the great Ornaments of their works.
Whatever he judged beneficial to mankind, he conftantly communicated (not only during his ftay among us, but ever since his absence) by fome method or other in which oftentation had no part. With what incredible Modefty he concealed himself, is known to numbers of those to whom he addreffed fometimes Epiftles, fometimes Hints, fometimes whole Treatifes, Advices to Friends, Projects to first Ministers, Letters to Members of Parliament, Accounts to the Royal Society, and innumerable others.
All these will be vindicated to the true Author, in the course of these Memoirs. I may venture to say they cannot be unacceptable to any, but to thofe, who will appear too much concerned as Plagiaries, to be admitted as Judges. Wherefore we warn the public, to take particular notice of all fuch as manifest any indecent Paffion at the appearance of this Work, as Perfons moft certainly involved in the Guilt.
* Swift's ironical tract on that fubject.
CHA P. I.
T hath been long (my dear Countrymen) the fubject of my concern and surprise, that whereas numberlefs Poets, Criticks, and Orators, have compiled and digested the Art of ancient Poefy, there hath not arisen among us one perfon fo publick-fpirited, as to perform the like for the Modern. Although it is univerfally known, that our every way induftrious Moderns, both in the Weight of their Writings, and in the Velocity of their Judgments, do fo infinitely excel the faid An
Nevertheless, too true it is, that while a plain and direct road is paved to their ↓os, or Sublime; no track has been yet chalked out, to arrive at our fáboç, or Profound. The Latins, as they came between the Greeks and Us, make use of the word Altitudo, which implies equally height and depth. Wherefore confidering with no fmall grief, how many promifing Geniufes of this age are wandering (as I may fay) in the dark without a guide, I have undertaken this arduous but necessary task, to lead them as it were by the hand, and step by step, the gentle down-hill way to the Bathos; the bottom, the end, the central point, the non plus ultra, of true Modern Poefy!
When I confider (my dear Countrymen) the extent, fertility, and populoufnefs of our Lowlands of Parnaf