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N THE occasion of publishing these Imitations was the
Clamour rais' 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, seem’da 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 look'd upon a Satire on' Vicious Courts as any Reflection on those they serv'd 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 Satyrist for a Libeller i whereas to a true Satyrijt nothing is so odious as a Libeller, for the same reason as to a man truly vira tuous nothing is fo hateful as a Hypocrite.