much less concerned about fame than I durst declare till this occasion, when methinks I should find more credit than I could heretofore: since my writings have had their fate already, and it is too late to think of prepossessing the reader in their favour. I would plead it as some merit in me, that the world has never been prepared for these trifles by prefaces, biassed by recommendations, dazzled with the names of great patrons, wheedled with fine reasons and pretences, or troubled with excuses. I confess it was want of consideration that made me an author; I writ because it amused me; I corrected because it was pleasant to me to correct as to write; and I published because I was told I might please such as it was a credit to please. To what degree I have done this I am really ignorant; I had too much fondness for my productions to judge of them at first, and too much judgment to be pleased with them at last. But I have reason to think they can have no reputation which will continue long, or which deserves to do so: for they have always fallen short not only of what I read of others, but even of my own ideas of poetry.

If any one should imagine I am not in earnest, I desire him to reflect, that the ancients (to say the least of them) had as much genius as we: and that to take more pains, and employ more time, cannot fail to produce more complete pieces. They constantly applied themselves not only to that art, but to that single branch of an art, to which their talent was most powerfully bent; and it was the business of their lives to correct and finish their works for posterity. If we can pretend to have used the same industry, let us expect the same immortality: Though if we took the same care, we should still lie under a farther misfortune: they writ in languages that became universal and everlasting, while ours

are extremely limited both in extent and in duration.


mighty foundation for our pride! when the utmost we can hope, is but to be read in one island, and to be thrown aside at the end of one age.

All that is left us is to recommend our productions by the imitation of the ancients: and it will be found true, that, in every age, the highest character for sense and learning has been obtained by those who have been most indebted to them. For, to say truth, whatever is very good sense, must have been common sense in all times; and what we call learning, is but the knowledge of the sense of our predecessors. Therefore they who say our thoughts are not our own, because they resemble the ancients, may as well say our faces are not our own, because they are like our fathers: And indeed it is very unreasonable, that people should expect us to be scholars, and yet be angry to find

us so.

I fairly confess that I have served myself all I could by reading; that I made use of the judgment of authors dead and living; that I omitted no means in my power to be informed of my errors, both by my friends and enemies: but the true reason these pieces are not more correct, is owing to the consideration how short a time they, and I, have to live one may be ashamed to consume half one's days in bringing sense and rhyme together; and what critic can be so unreasonable, as not to leave a man time enough for any more serious employment, or more agreeable amusement?

The only plea I shall use for the favour of the public, is, that I have as great a respect for it, as most authors have for themselves; and that I have sacrificed much of my own selflove for its sake, in preventing not only many mean things from seeing the light, but many which I thought tolerable....

In this office of collecting my pieces, I am altogether uncertain, whether to look upon myself as a man building a monument, or burying the dead.

If time shall make it the former, may these poems (as long as they last) remain as a testimony, that their author never made his talents subservient to the mean and unworthy ends of party or self-interest; the gratification of public prejudices, or private passions; the flattery of the undeserving, or the insult of the unfortunate. If I have written well, let it be considered that 'tis what no man can do without good sense, a quality that not only renders one capable of being a good writer, but a good man. And if I have made any acquisition in the opinion of any one under the notion of the former, let it be continued to me under no other title than that of the latter.

But if this publication be only a more solemn funeral of my remains, I desire it may be known that I die in charity, and in my sense; without any murmurs against the justice of this age, or any mad appeals to posterity. I declare I shall think the world in the right, and quietly submit to every truth which time shall discover to the prejudice of these writings; not so much as wishing so irrational a thing, as that every body should be deceived merely for my credit. The Author's Preface.

4. A Panegyric upon Dogs.

THE loss of a faithful creature is something, though of ever so contemptible an one; and if I were to change my dog for such a man as the aforesaid, I should think my dog undervalued: (who follows me about as constantly here in the country, as I was us'd to do Mr. Wycherley in the town.)

Now I talk of my dog, that I may not treat of a worse subject, which my spleen tempts me to, I will give you some account of him; a thing not wholly unprecedented, since Montaigne (to whom I am but a dog in comparison) has done the same thing of his cat. Dic mihi quid melius desidiosus agam? You are to know then, that as 'tis likeness begets affection, so my favourite dog is a little one, a lean one, and none of the finest shaped. He is not much a spaniel in his fawning, but has (what might be worth any man's while to imitate him in) a dumb surly sort of kindness, that rather shows itself when he thinks me ill-us'd by others, than when we walk quietly and peaceably by ourselves. If it be the chief point of friendship to comply with a friend's motions and inclinations, he possesses this in an eminent degree; he lies down when I sit, and walks when I walk, which is more than many good friends can pretend to, witness our walk a year ago in St. James's Park.-Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends, but I will not insist upon many of them, because it is possible some may be almost as fabulous as those of Pylades and Orestes, &c. I will only say for the honour of dogs, that the two most ancient and esteemable books, sacred and prophane, extant (viz. the Scripture and Homer) have shown a particular regard to these animals. That of Toby is the more remarkable, because there seem'd no manner of reason to take notice of the dog, besides the great humanity of the author. Homer's account of Ulysses's dog Argus is the most pathetic imaginable, all the circumstances consider'd, and an excellent proof of the old bard's good-nature. Ulysses had left him at Ithaca when he embark'd for Troy, and found him at his return after twenty years (which by the way is not unnatural, as some critics have said, since I remember the dam of my dog was twenty-two years old when

she died; may the omen of longevity prove fortunate to her successors.) You shall have it in verse.


When wise Ulysses, from his native coast

Long kept by wars, and long by tempests tost,
Arriv'd at last, poor, old, disguis'd, alone,

To all his friends, and ev'n his Queen unknown;
Chang'd as he was, with age, and toils, and cares
Furrow'd his rev'rend face, and white his hairs,
In his own palace forc'd to ask his bread,
Scorn'd by those slaves his former bounty fed,
Forgot of all his own domestic crew;

The faithful dog alone his rightful master knew.
Unfed, unhous'd, neglected, on the clay,
Like an old servant now cashier'd he lay;
Touch'd with resentment of ungrateful man,

And longing to behold his ancient Lord again.
Him when he saw-he rose, and crawl'd to meet,

('Twas all he cou'd) and fawn'd, and kiss'd his feet,
Seiz'd with dumb joy-then falling by his side,

Own'd his returning Lord, look'd up, and dy'd!

Plutarch, relating how the Athenians were obliged to abandon Athens in the time of Themistocles, steps back again out of the way of his history, purely to describe the lamentable cries and howlings of the poor dogs they left behind. He makes mention of one, that followed his master across the sea to Salamis, where he died, and was honoured with a tomb by the Athenians, who gave the name of the Dog's Grave to that part of the island where he was buried. This respect to a dog in the most polite people of the world, is very observable. A modern instance of gratitude to a dog (though we have but few such) is, that the chief order of Denmark (now injuriously called the order of the Elephant) was instituted in memory of the fidelity of a dog, named Wild-brat, to one of their Kings who had been

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