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FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS EPISTLE.
THIS HIS paper is a fort of bill of complaint, begun many years fince, and drawn up by fnatches, as the feveral occafions offered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleafed fome Perfons 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 Perfon, Morals, and Family, whereof, to thofe who know me not, a truer information may be requifite. Being divided between the neceffity to say something of myself, and my own laziness to undertake fo aukward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the laft hand to this Epiftle. If it have any thing pleafing, it will be that by which I am moft defirous to please, the Truth and the Sentiment; and if any thing offenfive, it will be only to those I am leaft 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 fpared their Names, and they may efcape being laughed at, if they please.
I would have fome 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 fhalt have this advantage, and honour, on my fide, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can poffibly be done by mine, fince a nameless Character can never be found out, but by its truth and likeness. P..
Lady Wortley Montague begins her Addrefs to Mr. Pope, on his Imitation of the 1ft Satire of the Second Book of Horace, in these words:
"In two large columns, on thy motly page,
Where Roman wit is ftrip'd with English rage;
· And modern fcandal rolls with antient fense:
Who can believe, who view the bad and good,
Than heretofore the Greek he did translate?
Horace can laugh, is delicate, is clear;
PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
P.SHUT, fhut the door, good John! fatigu'd I faid,
VER. 1. Shut, but the door, good John!] John Searl, his old and faithful fervant; whom he has remembered, under that character, in his Will: of whose fidelity Dodsley, from his own observation, used to mention many pleafing instances. His wife was living at Ecclefhall, 1783, ninety years old, and knew many anecdotes of Pope.
VER. 1. Shut, but the door,] This abrupt exordium is animated and dramatic. Our Poet, wearied with the impertinence and flander of a multitude of mean fcriblers that attacked him, fuddenly breaks out with this fpirited complaint of the ill-ufage he had fuftained. This piece was published in the year 1734, in the form of an Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot: It is now given as a Dialogue, in which a very small share indeed is allotted to his friend. Arbuthnot was a man of confummate probity, integrity, and sweetness of temper he had infinitely more learning than Pope or Swift, and as much wit and humour as either of them. He was an excellent mathematician and phyfician, of which his letter on the Useful