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HE occasion of publishing these Imitations

was the clamour raised on some of my EpiAles. An answer from HORACE was both more fuil, 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 thefe authors were acceptable to the princes and minijlers 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 Shrewibury, who had been Secretary of State; neither of whom looked upon a satire on vitious courts as any reflection on those they served in. And in.' deed there is not in the world a greater error, Vol. II.



than that which fools are fo apt to fall into, and knaves with good reason to encourage, the mista. king a satirist for a liveller; whereas to a true satir.if nothing is fo ctious as a libeller, for the same reason as to a man truly virtuous nothing is so hateful as a hypocrite.


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many years since, and drawn up by snatches, as the several occasions offered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleafed fome persons of rank and fortune, [the authors of Verses to the imiiator of Horace, and of an Epifle to a Doctor of Divia nity from a Nobleman at Hampton-Gourt), 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 necellity to say something of myself, and my own laziness to undertake fo aukerard a talk, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand



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[ 89 to this epistle. If it has any thing pleasing, it will be that by which I am most desirous to please, the truth and the sentiment; and if any thing offensive, it will be only to those I am least forry 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 some of them know, it was owing to the request of the learned and candid friend to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free usë of theirs as they have done of mine. However, I shall have this advantage and honour on my fide, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can possibly be done by mine, since a nameless character can ne. ver be found out, but by its truth and likeness.

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HUT, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd

I said,
Tie up the knocker, fay I'm fick, I'm dead.
The dog-star rages! nay 'tis past a doubt,
All Bediam, or Parnassus, is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand, 5
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me, or what shades can

They pierce my thickets, through my grot they

Notes. ARBUTINOT.] At the time of publishing this epistle, Mr, Pope's patience was quite worn out by the impertinence of fcribblers of all ranks and conditions, as well those who courted his favour, as those who envied his reputation, so that he had revolved to quit his hands of both together, by publishing a Dunciad. This design he communicated to his friend Dr Arbuthnot; who, though, as a man of wit and learning, he might not have been displeased to see their common injuries revenged on this pernicious tribe; yet, as Mr Pope's friend and physician, was solicitous of his ease and health, and therefore unwilling he mould provoke so largely and powerful a party. Their difference of opinion occasioned this dialogue ; in which the author has interwoven an apology for his moral and poetic character.

Ver. 1. Shut, sout the door, good Yohn.] John Searl, his old and faithful fervant; whom he has remeinbered, under that character, in his will, vol. ij.



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