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Come then, my Friend! my Genius! come along;
And while the Muse now stoops, or now ascends,
PRINTED AND EMBELLISHED
Under the Direction of
BEING THE PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
To the 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 aukward 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 inscribed, that 1 make not as free use of theirs as they have done of mine, However, I shall have this advantage and honour 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.
P." SHUT, shut the door, good John!” fatigued, I said;
"Tie up the knocker; say I'm sick, I'm dead."
Fire in each eye, and papers in cach hand,
By land, by water, they renew the charge,
Is there a parson much be-mus'd in beer,
A clerk foredoom'd his father's soul to cross,
If foes, they write; if friends, they read me dead.
With honest anguish, and an aching head,
This saving counsel, "Keep your peace nine years." "Nine years!" cries be, who, high in Drury
Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term ends, Oblig'd by hunger and request of friends: 44 "The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it; I'm all submission; what you'd have it—inake it."