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and to be reveng'd on the Exorcist, mortifies him with an Introduction of several Persons eminent in an Accomplishment He has made some Advances in.
Nor is the Compliment less to any Great Genius mention'd there; since a very Fiend, who naturally repines at any Excellency, is forc'd to confess how happily They've all succeeded.
Their next Objection is, That I have imitated the Lutrin of Monsieur Boileau. I must own I am proud of the Imputation; unless their Quarrel be, That I have not done it enough: But he that will give himself the trouble of examining, will find I have copy'd him in nothing but in two or three Lines in the Complaint of Molesse, Canto II, and in one in his First Canto; the Sense of which Lipe is entirely his, and I cou'd wish it were not the only good One in mine.
I have spoke to the most material Objections I have heard of, and shall tell these Gentlemen, That for ev'ry Fault they pretend to find in this Poem, I'll undertake to shew them two. One of these curious Persons does me the Honour to say, He approves of the Conclusion of it; but I suppose 'tis upon no other Reason, but because 'tis the Conclusion. However, I shou'd not be much concern'd not to be thought Excellent in an Amusement I have very little practis'd hitherto, nor perhaps ever shall again.
Reputation of this sort is very hard to be got, and very easie to be lost; its Pursuit is painful and its Possession unfruitful: Nor had I ever attempted any thing in this kind, till finding the Animosities amongst the Members of the College of Physicians encreasing daily (notwithstanding the frequent Exhortations of our Worthy President to the contrary) I was persuaded to attempt something of this nature, and to endeavour to Rally some Four dissaffected Members into a sense of their Duty,
who have hitherto most obstinately oppos'd all manner of Union; and have continu'd so unreasonably refractory, that 'twas thought fit by the College, to reinforce the Observance of the Statutes by a Bond, which some of them wou'd not comply with, tho' none of 'em had refus'd the Ceremony of the customary Oath; like some that will trust their Wives with any body, but their Money with none. I was sorry to find there cou'd be any Constitution that was not to be cur'd without Poison, and that there shou'd be a Prospect of effecting it by a less grateful Method than Reason and Persuasion.
The Original of this Difference has been of some standing tho' it did not break out to Fury and Excess till the time of erecting the Dispensary, being an Apartment in the College set up for the Relief of the Sick Poor, and manag'd ever since with an Integrity and Disinterest suitable to so Charitable a Design.
If any Person wou'd be more fully inform'd about the Particulars of so Pious a Work, I refer him to a Treatise set forth by the Authority of the President and Censors, in the Year 97. 'Tis callid A short Account of the Proceedings of the College of Physicians, London, in relation to the Sick Poor. The Reader may there not only be inform'd of the Rise and Progress of this so Publick an Undertaking, but also of the Concurrence and Encouragement it met with from the most, as well as the most Ancient Members of the Society, notwithstanding the vigorous Opposition of a few Men, who thought it their Interest to defeat so laudable a Design.
The Intention of this Preface is not to persuade Mankind to enter into our Quarrels, but to vindicate the Author from being censur'd of taking any indecent Liberty with a Faculty he has the Honour to be a Member of. If the Satyr may appear directed at any particular Person, 'tis at such only as are presum'd to be engag'd in Dishonourable Confederacies for mean and mercenary Ends, against the Dignity of their own Profession. But if there be no such, then these Characters are but imaginary, and by consequence ought to give no body offence.
The Description of the Battel is grounded upon a Feud that hapned in the Dispensary, betwixt a Member of the College with his Retinue, and some of the Servants that attended there, to dispence the Medicines; and is so far real: tho' the Poetical Relation be ficti. tious. I hope no body will think the Author scurrillous thro' the whole, who being too liable to Faults himself, ought to be less severe, upon the Miscarriages of others. If I am hard upon any one, 'tis my Reader: But some Worthy Gentlemen, as remarkable for their Humanity, as their Extraordinary Parts, have taken care to make him amends for it, by prefixing something of their own. I confess those Ingenious Gentlemen have done me a great Honour; but while they design an imaginary Panegyrick upon me, They have made a real one upon Themselves; and by saying how much this small Performance exceeds some others, They convince the World how far it falls short of theirs.
THE COPY OF AN INSTRUMENT SUSCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, CENSOR, MOST OF THE ELECTS, SENIOR FELLOWS, CANDIDATES etc. OF THE COLLEGE OF
PHYSICIANS, IN RELATION TO THE Sick Poor.")
Whereas the several Orders of the College of Physicians, London, for prescribing Medicines gratis to the Poor Sick of the Cities of London and Westminster, and parts adjacent, as also the Proposals made by the said College to the Lord Mayor, Court of Aldermen and Common Council of London, in pursuance thereof, have hitherto been ineffectual, for that no method hath been taken to furnish the Poor with Medicins for their Cure at low and reasonable rates: We therefore whose Names are here under-written, Fellows or Members of the said College, being willing effectually to promote so great a Charity, by the Counsel and good liking of the President and College declared in their Comitia, hereby (to wit, each of us severally and apart, and not the one for the other of us) do oblige our selves to pay to Dr. Thomas Burwell, Fellow and Elect of the said College, the sum of Ten Pounds a-piece of Lawful Money of England, by such proportions, and at such times as to the major part of the Suscribers hereto shall seem most convenient: Which Money when received by the said Dr. Thomas Burwel, is to be by him expended in preparing and delivering Medicins to the Poor at their intrinsick Value,
1) Zuerst in der 2. Auflage abgedruckt.
in such Manner, and at such Times, and by such Orders and Directions, as by the major part of the Suscribers hereto shall in Writing be hereafter appointed and directed for that purpose. In Wituess whereof we have hereunto set our Hands and Seals this Twenty Second Day of December, 1696.
Tho. Millington, Praeses. Tho. Burwell, Elect, and
Norris. George Colebrock. Gideon Harvey.