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Quod quis deridet, quàm quod probat et veneratur.
Ver. 409. they say I bite.] If any key had been wanting to the artful irony contained in this imitation, especially in the last sixteen lines, this one verse would have been sufficient to fix the poet's intention. Neither Dr. Warburton nor Dr. Hurd take the least notice of any irony being intended in this imitation. To what motive shall we ascribe this cautious silence? Warton.
Undoubtedly to their supposing it to be impossible for any person to misunderstand it.
The Satire, however, is not directed so much against the monarch, who frequently cannot avoid the ridiculous praises and gross flatteries which are so abundantly poured out upon him, as against those writers who sacrifice their conscience and debase their talents in commending a sovereign for qualifications which he does not possess, and to which perhaps' he does not even pretend.
Besides, a fate attends on all I write,