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The POETS of GREAT BRITAIN

COMPLETE,PROM
CILATCER 10 CHURCHILL,

DRYDEN VOLIME II,
"She drew an Augel down,

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Printed for-John Bell near Exeter Exchange Strand London Mar. 191777

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POETICAL WORKS

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JOHN DRYDEN, ESQ.

VOL. II.

CONTAINING #19

ABSAL, ACHITHOPNEL,|| MEDAL, A SATIRE,
HIND AND PANTHER,

ALEXANDER'S PLAST, MACFL ECNOE

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A PO E M.

IN TWO PARTS.

TO THE READER.

It is not my intention to make an apology for ny Poem : some will think it needs no excuse, and others will receive none. The design, I am sure, is honest but he who draws his pen for one party, must expect to make enemies of the other : for wit and fool are consequents of Whig and Tory; and every man is a knave or an ass to the contrary side. There is a treasury of merits in the Fanatic church, as well as in the Popish, and a pennyworth to be had of saintship, honesty, and poetry, for the lewd, the factions, and the blockheads: but the longest chapter in Deuteronomy has not curses enough for an Anti-Bromingham, My comfort is, their manifest prejudice to my cause will render their judgment of less authority against me. Yet if a poem have genius, it will force its own reception in the world : for there is a sweetness in good verse which tickles even while it hurts; and no man can be heartily angry with him who pleases him against his will. The commendation of adversaries is the greatest triumph of a writer, because it never Volume II.

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comes unless extorted. But I can be satisfied on more easy terms ; if I happen to please the more moderate sort, I shall be sure of an honest party, and, in all probability, of the best judges; for the least concerned are commonly the least corrupt. And I confess I have laid in for those, by rebating the satire (where justice would allow it) from carrying too sharp an edge. They who can criticise so weakly as to imagine I have done my worst, may be convinced, at their own cost, that I can write severely with more ease than I can gently. I have but laughed at some men's follies, when I could have declaimed against their vices; and other men's virtues I have commended as freely as I have taxed their crimes. And now, if you are a malicious reader, I expect you should return upon me, that I affect to be thought more impartial than I am. But if men are not to be judged by their professions, God forgive you Commonwealth’s-men for professing so plausibly for the government. You cannot be so unconscionable as to charge me for not subscribing .my name, for that would reflect too grossly upon your own party, who never dare, though they have the advantage of a jury to secure them. If you like not my poem, the fault may possibly be in my writing, though it is hard for an author to judge against himself; but more probably it is in your morals, which cannot bear the truth of it. The violent on both sides will condemn the character of Absalom, as

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