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In Six Canto's.
Hanc veniam petimusque damusque vicissim.
Hor. de A. P.
The Seventh Edition.
With several Descriptions and Episodes
never before Printed.
Printed for Facob Tonson at Shakespear's
the Strand. 1714.
A Man of your character can no more Prevent a Dedication, than he wou'd Encourage one; for Merit, like a Virgin's Blushes, is still most discover'd, when it labours most to be conceal'd. 'Tis hard, that to think well of you, shou'd be but Justice, and to tell you so, shou'd be an Offence: Thus rather than violate Your Modesty, I must be wanting to your other Virtues; and to gratifie One good Quality, do wrong to a Thousand. The World generally measures our Esteem by the Ardour of our Pretences; and will scarce believe that so much Zeal in the Heart can be consistent with so much Faintness in the Expressions; but when They reflect on our Readiness to do Good, and your Industry to hide it; on your Passion to oblige, and your Pain to hear it own'd; They'll conclude, that Acknowledgements wou'd be Ungrateful to a Person, who even seems to receive the Obligations he confers.
But tho' I shou'd persuade myself to be silent upon all Occasions; those more Polite Arts, which, till of late, have Languish'd and Decay'd, wou'd appear under their present Advantages, and own you for one of their generous Restorers: Insomuch, that Sculpture now Breaths, Painting Speaks, Musick Ravishes; and as you help to
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refine our Taste, you distinguish your Own. Your Approbation of this Poem, is the only Exception to the Opinion the World has of your Judgement, that ought to rellish nothing so much, as what you write your self: But you are resolv'd to forget to be a Critick, by remembring you are a Friend. To say more, wou'd be uneasie to you, and to say less, wou'd be unjust in
YOUR HUMBLE SERVANT.
PREFACE. ) Since this following Poem in a Manner stole into the World, I cou'd not be surpriz'd to find it uncorrect: Tho' I can no more say, I was a Stranger to its coming abroad, than that I approv'd of the Publisher's Precipitation in doing it: For a Hurry in the Execution, generally produces a Leisure in Reflection, so when we run the fastest, we stumble the oftnest. However, the Errours of the Printer have not been greater than the Candour of the Reader: and if I cou'd but say the same of the Defects of the Author, he'd need no Justification against the Cavils of some Furious Criticks, who, I am sure, wou'd have been better pleas'd if they had met with more Faults.
Their Grand Objection is, That the Fury Disease is an improper Machine to recite Characters, and recommend the Example of present Writers: But tho' I had the Authority of some Greek and Latin Poets, upon parallel Instances, to justifie the Design; yet that I might not introduce any thing that seem'd inconsistent or hard, I started this Objection myself, to a Gentleman very remarkable in this sort of Criticism, who wou'd by no means allow that the Contrivance was forc'd, or the Conduct incongruous.
Disease is represented a Fury as well as Envy: She is imagin'd to be forc'd by an Incantation from her Recess;
1) Zuerst in der 2. Auflage abgedruckt. Garth-Leicht, Dispensary.