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For points obscure are of small use to learn :
But common quiet is mankind's concern. 450

Thus have I made my own opinions clear,
Yet neither praise expect nor censure fear;
And this unpolished rugged verse I chose
As fittest for discourse and nearest prose;
For while from sacred truth I do not swerve, 455
Tom Sternhold's or Tom Shadwell's rhymes will serve.

THE HIND AND THE PANTHER.

A POEM.

IN THREE PARTS.

• Antiquam exquirite matrem.'

VIRG. (Æn. iii. 96.)

.Et vera incessu patuit Dea.'

[Ibid. i. 405.)

TO THE READER.

THE nation is in too high a ferment for me to expect either fair war or even so much as fair quarter from a reader of the opposite party. All men are engaged either on this side or that; and though conscience is the common word 5 which is given by both, yet if a writer fall among enemies and cannot give the marks of their conscience, he is knocked down before the reasons of his own are heard. A Preface, therefore, which is but a bespeaking of favour, is altogether useless. What I desire the reader should know concerning 10 me he will find in the body of the poem, if he have but the patience to peruse it. Only this advertisement let him take beforehand, which relates to the merits of the cause. No general characters of parties (call 'em either Sects or Churches) can be so fully and exactly drawn as to comprehend all the 15 several members of 'em; at least all such as are received under that denomination. For example: there are some of the Church by law established who envy not liberty of conscience to Dissenters, as being well satisfied that, according to their own principles, they ought not to persecute them. 20 Yet these by reason of their fewness I could not distinguish from the numbers of the rest, with whom they are embodied in one common name. On the other side, there are many of our sects, and more indeed than I could reasonably have hoped, who have withdrawn themselves from the communion 25 of the Panther and embraced this gracious Indulgence of his Majesty in point of toleration. But neither to the one nor the other of these is this Satire any way intended : 'tis aimed only at the refractory and disobedient on either side. For those who have come over to the royal party are consequently 30

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