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EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT:
PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
Neque sermonibus vulgi dederis te, nec in præmiis humanis spem posueris rerum tuarum; suis te oportet illecebris ipsa virtus trahat ad verum decus. Quid de te alii loquantur, ipsi videant, sed loquentur tamen.-CICERO.
FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS EPISTLE.
THIS 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 so awkward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand to this Epistle: 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 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 in
scribed, that I make not as free use of theirs as they have done of mine: however, I shall have this advantage and honor on my side; 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 never be found out, but by its truth and likeness.-POPE.
PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
P. SHUT, shut the door, good John! fatigued I said,
Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.
1 Shut, shut the door, good John. John Searle, Pope's footman, to whom he left a legacy. Searle's wife was still living in 1783, at the age of ninety; and remembered many circumstances of her master.
Arbuthnot, who had the perilous honor of this dedication, was perhaps the most unexceptionable of the poet's circle. Without any share of the political violences, public errors, or personal follies of the Swifts, the Bolingbrokes, or the Gays, he had talents, knowlege, and wit, unsurpassed by any of them. An eminent physician, he was distinguished in abstract science, and not less in the learning of antiquity: his "Treatise on Ancient Coins, Weights, and Measures' has not yet been superseded. But he had the higher merit of being a christian on conviction. Though living in an age when infidelity was the boast of every pretender to intellectual superiority, he disdained the shallow honors of fashion; and in the presence of the highest names of unbelief, gave a manly testimony to the truth he loved.