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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 pleased fome Perfons of Rank and Fortune [the Authors of Verfes 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 those who know me not, a truer information may be requifite. Being divided between the neceffity to say something of myself, and my own lazinefs 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 most defirous to please, the Truth and the Sentiment; and if any thing offenfive, 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 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.
Lady Wortley Montague begins her Address 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 sense:
And on the other how he never wrote:
Who can believe, who view the bad and good,
That fpirit he pretends to imitate,
Than heretofore the Greek he did translate?
Horace can laugh, is delicate, is clear;
But if thou fee'ft a great and gen'rous heart,
PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
P.SHUT, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd I said,
The Dog-star rages! nay, 'tis past a doubt,
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
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 whofe fidelity Dodfley, from his own observation, used to mention many pleasing inftances. 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 Epiftle 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 physician, of which his letter on the Useful