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either too favourably or too hardly drawn: but they are not the violent whom I desire to please. fault, on the other hand, is to extenuate, palliate, and indulge; and, to confess freely, I have endeavoured to commit it. Besides the respect which I owe his birth, I have a greater for his heroic virtues; and David himself could not be more tender of the young man's life, than I would be of his reputation. But since the most excellent natures are always the most easy, and, as being such, are the soonest perverted by ill councils, especially when baited with fame and glory, it is no more a wonder that he withstood not the temptations of Achithophel, than it was for Adam not to have resisted the two devils, the serpent, and the woman. The conclusion of the story 1 purposely forbore to prosecute, because I could not obtain from myself to shew Absalom unfortunate. The frame of it was cut out but for a picture to the waist, and if the draught be so far true, it is as much as I design'd.

Were I the inventor, who am only the historian, I should certainly conclude the piece, with the reconcilement of Absalom to David; and who knows but this may come to pass? Things were not brought to an extremity where I left the story; there seems, yet, to be room left for a composure, hereafter there may be only for pity. I have not so much as an uncharitable wish against Achithophel, but am content to be accused of a good-natured error, and to hope,

with Origen, that the devil himself may at last be saved: for which reason, in this Poem, he is neither brought to set his house in order, nor to disposé of his person afterwards, as he in wisdom shall think fit. God is infinitely merciful, and his vicegerent is only not so, because he is not infinite.

The true end of satire is the amendment of vices by correction; and he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease; for those are only in order to prevent the chirurgeon's work of an ense rescindendum, which I wish not to my very enemies. To conclude all if the body politic have any analogy to the natural, in my weak judgment an act of oblivi♪ on were as necessary in an hot distempered state, aš an opiate would be in a raging fever.

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General Monk, Duke of Albe


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The name given, through this Poem, to a Lord Chancellor in general.

Duke of Monmouth, natural son 1of King Charles II.

Anthony-Ashley Cooper, Earl of

John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave.
Sir Edmundbury Godfrey.
Mr. Seymour, Speaker of the

House of Commons.

Sir Heneage Finch, Earl of Winchelsea, and Lord Chancellor.

Duchess of Monmouth,

Sir William Waller.

A character drawn by Tate for

Dryden, in the Second Part of this Poem.

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Hebrew Priests,

Elkanah Settle, the City poet.


Sir Henry Bennet, Earl of Ar

The Popish-plot.

The land of Exile, more parti-
cularly Brussels, where King
Charles II. long resided.

The Church of England Clergy.
Earl of Feversham, a Frenchman
by birth, and nephew to Mar-
shall Turenne.

Hyde, Earl of Rochester.





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