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Each parent sprung-A. What fortune, pray?-P. Their own, 390
And better got, than Beftia's from the throne.
The good man walk'd innoxious through his age. 395
O grant me thus to live, and thus to die!
Make Languor smile, and smooth the bed of Death,
After ver. 405. in the MS.
And of myself, too, fomething must I say?
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And just as rich as when he ferv'd a Queen.
THE occafion of publishing these Imitations was the Clamour raised on fome of my Epiftles. An Anfwer from Horace was both more full, and of more Dignity, than any I could have made in my own perfon; and the Example of much greater Freedom in fo eminent a Divine as Dr. Donne, feemed a proof with what indignation and contempt a Chriftian may treat Vice or Folly, in ever so low, or ever so high a Station. Both these 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 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 fa odious as a Libeller, for the fame reafon as to a man truly virtuous nothing is so hateful as a Hypocrite.
"Uni aequus Virtuti atque ejus Amicis.”
WHOEVER expects a Paraphrafe of Horace, or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in thefe IMITATIONS, will be much disappointed. Our Author ufes the Roman Pcet for little more than his canvas: And if the old design or colouring chance to fuit his purpofe, 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 jest; and at ease where Horace is difturbed. 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 purpofe merely to paraphrafe 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 expreffion, which confifts in ufing the fimpleft language with dignity, and the most ornamented, with cafe. For the reft, his harmony and ftrength of numbers, his force and fplendor 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 fmile at, Mr. Pope would treat with the grave feverity of Perfius: and what Mr. Pope would ftrike with the cauftic lightning of Juvenal, Horace would content himself in turning into ridicule.
If it be asked 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 Imitations, which are of the nature of Parodies, adds reflected grace and fplendor 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.