« EelmineJätka »
The first publication of this Epistle.
HIS paper is a sort of bill of complaint
begun many years since, and drawn up
by snatches, as the several occasions offered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleased some persons of Rank and Fortune (the Authors of Verses to the Imitator of Horace, and of an Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity from a Nobleman at Hampton Court] to attack, in a very extraordinary manner, not only my Writings (of which, being public, the Public is judge) but my Person, Morals, and Family, whereof, to those who know me not, a truer information may be requisite. Being divided between the necessity to say something of mySelf, and my own laziness to undertake fo aukward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand to this Epifle. If it have any thing pleasing, it will be that by which I am most desirous to please, the Truth and the Sentiment ; and if any VOL. IV,
thing offensive, it will be only to those I am least sorry 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 use of theirs as they have done of mine. However, I Thall have this advantage, and honour, on my fide, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abuse may be directed at any man, no injury cau possibly be done by mine, since a nameless Character can never be found out, but by its truth aud likenesi.