DEDICATION TO THE PARTIAL PUBLIC

I.

To dedicate for sacred use
This Book I don't pretend,
Nor will ascribe and make address
To man, lest I offend.

II.

The Partial Public I address,
A world both broad and wide
And though some Foes may me expose,
Some Friends my faults will hide.

III.

Few things need more to be reform'd
Than dedicating books;
Such glaring flattery must offend
Each one who on it looks.

IV.

In ancient days, some to their praise
They did invoke their gods;
Their meaning was, their aid to crave
For Sentiment and Words.

V.

Such Dedications first must rise
To flatter mortal man,
And say so much unto his praise,
As if he Faults had none.

VI.

The model that should be observ'd,
Is what consists the truth:
Lay ostentations all aside,
Those corrupters of youth.

VII.

I hate to launch out in man's praise;
I'll rather him excite
To Virtue and to Wisdom's ways
Than tell he has it got.

VIII.

Some others, of a modest kind,
Did Dedicate their Book
To those who would their Works correct,
And their faults overlook.

IX.

Bad consequences must attend
This mode of Dedication;
It cannot well be justifi'd
To err it gives occasion.

X.

At first we flatt'ry contenance,
We likewise excuse lies;
For Virtues Vices often pass,
Our Patron for to please:

XI.

For flattr'y always doth supply,
By praise excessive great,
What ought to be more valu'd still,
Reason and true merit.

XII.

And who those Authors can believe,
And think they speak the truth,
While that their Book begins with lies,
And flatters with broad mouth?

XIII.

The eloquence of all the age,
By flatt'ry is corrupt;
The ornament of eloquence
Is natural sentiment.

XIV.

Those Dedications blow our stile
To a swell'd tympany,
That nat'ral beauty can't appear
With true vivacity.

XV.

Now Partial Public, all I mean
'S a lanthorn to hold out,
For to prevent those who succeed,
From splitting on that rock.

XVI.

I hope you'll not surprised be,
Why that I don't you praise;
The World I mean that's broad and wide,
That must think diff'rent ways.

XVII.

He who's for me will Partial be
In Favours of my Work;
I earnestly do him intreat,
To buy and read my Book.

XVIII.

He who's against me partial is,
Though in another sense;
I him address in gen'ral terms;
My Book I on him press;

IXX.

In which I hope a mixture is
Of Sentiment that's good;
And though that bad ones may appear,
They're not meant to be rude.

XX.

If ten good men would Sodom save
From being all destroy'd
Ten Sentiments of mine that's just,
'Gainst ill ones should provide,

XXI.

And save my Book from all the flames
Of public resentment;
And then I am content to be
The World's humble servant,

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