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creatures cannot. In the mean time let him confider whether he deferved not á more fevere reprehenfion, than I gave him formerly, for ufing fo little respect to the memory of thofe, whom he pretended to anfwer; and at his leifure, look out for fome original treatise of humility, written by any Proteftant in English; I believe I may fay in any other tongue: for the magnified piece of Duncomb on that fubject, which either he must mean, or none, and with which another of his fellows has upbraided me, was tranflated from the Spanish of Rodriguez; tho' with the omiffion of the feventeenth, the twentyfourth, the twenty-fifth, and the last chapter, which will be found in comparing of the books.
He would have infinuated to the world, that her late highness died not a Roman Catholick. He declares himself to be now fatisfied to the contrary, in which he has given up the caufe: for matter of fact was the principal debate betwixt us. In the mean time, he would dispute the motives of her change; how prepofterously, let all men judge, when he feemed to deny the subject of the controversy, the change itself. And because I would not take up this ridiculous challenge, he tells
the world I cannot argue: but he may as well infer, that a Catholic cannot fäft, because he will not take up the cudgels against Mrs. James, to confute the Proteftant religion.
I have but one word more to fay concerning the poem as fuch, and abftracting from the matters, either religious or civil, which are handled in it. The first part, confifting moft in general characters and narration, I have endeavoured to raise, and give it the majeftic turn of heroic poefy. The fecond being matter of difpute, and chiefly concerning church authority, I was obliged to make as plain and perfpicuous as poffibly I could; yet not wholly neglecting the numbers, tho' I had not frequent occafions for the magnificence of verfe. The third, which has more of the nature of domeftic converfation, is, or ought to be, more free and familiar than the two former.
There are in it two epifodes, or fables, which are interwoven with the main defign; fo that they are properly parts of it, tho' they are alfo diftinct ftories of themfelves. In both of these I have made use of the common places of fatire, whether true or falfe, which are urged by the members of the one church against the
other: at which I hope no reader of either party will be fcandalized, because they are not of my invention, but as old, to my knowledge, as the times of Boccace and Chaucer on the one fide, and as thofe of the Reformation on the other.
HIND and the PANTHER'.
Milk-white Hind, immortal and unchang'd,
She fear'd no danger, for she knew no fin.
This piece is a defence of the roman catholic church, by way of dialogue between a hind, who represents the church of Rome, and a panther, who fuftains the character of the church of England. These two beafts very learnedly debate the principal points controverted between the two churches, as tranfubftantiation, infallibility, churchauthority, &c. This poem was immediately attacked by the wits; particularly by Montague, afterwards earl of Halifax, and Prior, who
Yet had the oft been chas'd with horns and hounds,
Not fo her young; for their unequal line
A numerous exile, and enjoy'd her pains.
'Tis true, the bounded by, and trip'd fo light,
joined in writing "The hind and panther parodied in the ftory of the country mouse and the city moufe."
But notwithstanding the feverity of thefe cenfures, and the juft exceptions which may be taken to the plan of this poem, it abounds with poetical beauties, and, in that refpect, is not unworthy of Mr. Dryden.
2 The ravages and diforders committed by the Scotch covenanters gave occafion to thefe lines.