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“Observe his shape how clean! his locks how curl'd!
My only son, I'd have him see the world :
“His French is pure; his voice too--you shall hear.
Sir, he's your slave, for twenty pound a year.
“Mere. wax as yet, you fashion him with ease,
“ Your Barber, Cook, Upholst'rer, what you please :
A perfect genius at an Opera-song“To say too much, might do my honour wrong. “ Take him with all his virtues, on my word ; “ His whole ambition was to serve a Lord :
But, Sir, to you, with what would I not part?
“Tho' faith, I fear, 'twill break his Mother's heart.
“Once (and but once) I caught him in a lie,'
“And then, unwhipp'd, he had the grace to cry:
“ The fault he has I fairly shall reveal,
“(Could you o'erlook but that) it is to steal.”
If, after this, you took the graceless lad,
Could you complain, my Friend, he prov'd so bad?
Faith, in such case, if you should prosecute,
I think Sir Godfrey should decide the suit;
Who sent the Thief that stole the Cash away,
And punish'd him that put it in his way,
Consider then, and judge me in this light;
I told you when I went, I could not write;
You said the same; and are you discontent
With Laws, to which you gave your own assent?
Nay. worse, to ask for Verse at such a time!
D'ye think me good for nothing but to rhyme?
În ANNA's Wars, a Soldier poor and old
Had dearly earn'd a little purse of gold;
Tir'd with a tedious march, one luckless night,
He slept, poor dog! and lost it, to a doit.
This put the man in such a desp’rate mind,
Between revenge, and grief, and hunger join'd
Against the foe, himself, and all mankind,
He leap'd the trenches, scal'd a Castle-wall,
Tore down a Standard, took the Fort and all.
Prodigious well;" his great Commander cry'd,
Gave him much praise, and some reward beside.
Next pleas'd his Excellence a town to batter:
(Its name I know not, and its no great matter)
“Go on, my Friend (he cry'd), see yonder walls!
“Advance and conquer! go where glory calls !
“More honours, more rewards, attend the brave."
Don't you remember what reply he gave ?
D'ye think me, noble Gen'ral, such a Sot?
“Let him take Castles who has ne'er a groat.”
Bred up at home, full early I begun ?
To read in Greek the wrath of Peleus' son.
Besides, my Father taught me from a lad,
The better art to know the good from bad:
(And little sure imported to remove,
To hunt for Truth in Maudlin's learned grove?.)
But knottier points we knew not half so well,
Depriv'd us soon of our paternal Cell;
And certain Laws, by suff'rers thought unjust,
Deny'd all posts of profit or of trust:
Hopes after hopes of pious Papists fail'd,
While mighty WILLIAM's thund'ring arm prevail'd.
For Right Hereditary tax'd and find,
He stuck to poverty with peace of mind;
And me, the Muses help'd to undergo it;
Convict a Papist he, and I a Poet.
But (thanks to Homer) since I live and thrive,
Indebted to no Prince or Peer alive,
Sure I should want the care of ten Monroes“,
If I would scribble, rather than repose.
Years follow'ng years, steal something ev'ry day,
At last they steal us from ourselves away;
In one our Frolics, one Amusements end,
In one a Mistress drops, in one a Friend:
This subtle Thief of life, this paltry Time,
What will it leave me, if it snatch my rhyme ?
If ev'ry wheel of that unweary'd Mill,
That turn'd ten thousand verses, now stands still?
But after all, what would you have me do?
When out of twenty I can please not two;
When this Heroics only deigns to praise,
Sharp Satire that, and that Pindaric lays?
One likes the Pheasant's wing, and one the leg;
The vulgar boil, the learned roast an egg;
Hard task! to hit the palate of such guests,
When Oldfield loves, what Dartineufb detests.
But grant I may relapse, for want of grace,
Again to rhyme, can London be the place?
Who there his Muse, or self, or soul attends,
In crowds, and courts, law, business, feasts, and friends?
My counsel sends to execute a deed;
A Poet begs me, I will hear him read;
* In Palace-yard at nine you'll find me there
* At ten for certain, Sir, in Bloomsb’ry square-
• Before the Lords at twelve my Cause comes on-
There's a Rehearsal, Sir, exact at one.—'
! He had a partiality for this College in with new additions, after the Revolution which Oxford, in which he had spent many agree- seated William III. on the throne.) able days with his friend Mr Digby. Warton. 3 (See Introductory Memoir, p. xxvii.] [The spelling is in deference to academical or- * Monroes.] Dr Monroe, Physician to Bedthoépy.]
lam Hospital. P. * (The penal laws against the Roman Catholics, 5 Oldfield—Dartineuf]Two celebrated Gluttemporarily abolished by James II.'s illegal De- tons. Warburton. [Cf, as to the latter, ante, claration of Indulgence, came into force again, Bk. II. Sat. 1. V. 46.]
“Oh but a Wit can study in the streets,
"And raise his mind above the mob he meets.
Not quite so well however as one ought;
A hackney coach may chance to spoil a thought ;
And then a nodding beam, or pig of lead,
God knows, may hurt the very ablest head.
Have you not seen, at Guild-hall's narrow pass,
Two Aldermen dispute it with an Ass?
And Peers give way, exalted as they are,
Ev'n to their own S-r-y-nce in a Car?
Go, lofty Poet! and in such a crowd,
Sing thy sonorous verse—but not aloud.
Alas! to Grottos and to Groves we run,
To ease and silence, ev'ry Muse's son:
Blackmore himself, for any grand effort,
Would drink and dose at Tooting or Earl's-Court 1.
How shall I rhyme in this eternal roar?
How match the bards whom none e'er match'd before? 115
The Man, who, stretch'd in Isis' calm retreat,
To books and study gives sev'n years complete ?,
See! strew'd with learned dust, his night-ca on,
He walks, an object new beneath the sun!
The boys flock round him, and the people stare:
So stiff, so mute! some statue you would swear,
Stept from its pedestal to take the air !
And here, while town, and court, and city roars,
With mobs, and duns, and soldiers, at their doors;
Shall I, in London, act this idle part?
125 Composing songs, for Fools to get by heart?
The Temple late two brother Sergeants saw,
Who deem'd each other Oracles of Law;
With equal talents, these congenial souls
One luli'd th' Exchequer, and one stunn'd the Rolls; 130
Each had a gravity would make you split,
And shook his head at Murray, as a Wit.
“ 'Twas, Sir, your law”—and “Sir, your eloquence-"
“Yours, Cowper's 4 manner”—and “. yours, Talbot's 5 sense.'
Thus we dispose of all poetic merit,
Yours Milton's genius, and mine Homer's spirit.
Call Tibbald Shakespear, and he'll swear the Nine,
Dear Cibber! never match'd one Ode of thine.
Lord! how we strut thro' Merlin's Cave, to see
No Poets there, but Stephen?, you, and me.
Tooting-Earl's-Court.] Two villages with- of Queen Anne. Died 1723.] in a few miles of London. P.
[Charles, Lord Talbot, Lord Chancellor.] 2 [The term for completing the M.A. Degree.] 6 (Cf. Pope's note to Bk. 11. Ep. I. v. 355.)
(Alluding to the common cant of that time, ? but Stephen] Mr Stephen Duck, a modest as if this eminent and accomplished person was and worthy man, who had the honour (which more of a polite scholar than a profound lawyer. many, who thought themselves his betters in Warton. Cf. Bk. 1. Ep. VI. ante.)
poetry, had not) of being esteemed by Mr Pope. 4 [William first Earl Cowper, lord keeper in Queen Caroline chose this man for her favourite 1705, and one of the lords justices on the death poet. Warburton.
Walk with respect behind, while we at ease
Weave laurel Crowns, and take what names we please.
“My dear Tibullus !” if that will not do,
“Let me be Horace, and be Ovid you:
“Or, I'm content, allow me Dryden's strains,
“And you shall rise up Otway for your pains.”
Much do I suffer, much, to keep in peace
This jealous, waspish, wrong-head, rhyming race;
And much must flatter, if the whim should bite
To court applause by printing what I write:
But let the Fit pass o'er, I'm wise enough,
To stop my ears to their confounded stuff.
In vain bad Rhymers all mankind reject,
They treat themselves with most profound respect;
'Tis to small purpose that you hold your tongue:
Each prais'd within, is happy all day long;
But how severely with themselves proceed
The men, who write such Verse as we can read?
Their own strict Judges, not a word they spare
That wants or force, or light, or weight, or care,
Howe'er unwillingly it quits its place,
Nay tho' at Court (perhaps) it may find grace:
Such they'll degrade; and sometimes, in its stead,
In downright charity revive the dead;
Mark where a bold expressive phrase appears,
Bright thro' the rubbish of some hundred years;
Command old words that long have slept, to wake,
Words, that wise 'Bacon, or brave Raleigh spake?;
Or bid the new be English, ages hence,
(For Use will fafther what's begot by Sense)
Pour the full tide of eloquence along,
Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong,
Rich with the treasures of each foreign tongue;
Prune the luxuriant, the uncouth refine,
But show no mercy to an empty line:
Then polish all, with so much life and ease,
You think 'tis Nature, and a knack to please:
“But ease in writing flows from Art, not chance;
“ As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance?"
If such the plague and pains to write by rule,
Better (say I) be pleas'd, and play the fool;
Call, if you will, bad rhyming a disease,
It gives men happiness, or leaves them ease.
There liv'd in primo Georgii (they record)
A worthy member, no small fool, a Lord;
1 ['In Bacon's Essays... though many Latin- Origin and History of the Eng. Language.ized words are introduced, even the solecisms Raleigh is said by Aubrey (cited by Warton to are English, and the style is, in all probability, a have been accustomed to speak in a broad De fair picture of the language used at that time by yonshire dialect.] men of the highest culture, in the conversational ? (Slightly altered from Essay on Criticism, discussion of questions of practical philosophy, or Vý. 362, 3.) what the Germans call world-wisdom.' Marsh,
Who, tho' the House was up, delighted sate,
Heard, noted, answer'd, as in full debate :
In all but this, a man of sober life,
Fond of his Friend, and civil to his Wife;
Not quite a mad-man, tho' a pasty fell",
And much too wise to walk into a well.
Him, the damn’d Doctors and his Friends immur'd,
They bled, they cupp'd, they purg'd; in short, they cur’d.
Whereat the gentleman began to stare
“My Friends?” he cry'd, “p-x take you for your care! 195
That from a Patriot of distinguish'd note,
Have bled and purg'd me to a simple Vote.”
Well, on the whole, plain Prose must be my fate:
Wisdom (curse on it) will come soon or late.
There is a time when Poets will grow dull :
I'll e'en leave verses to the boys at school :
To rules of Poetry no more confin’d,
I learn to smooth and harmonize my Mind,
Teach ev'ry thought within its bounds to roll,
And keep the equal measure of the Soul.
Soon as I enter at my country door,
My mind resumes the thread it dropt before;
Thoughts, which at Hyde-park-corner I forgot,
Meet and rejoin me, in the pensive Grot.
There all alone, and compliments apart,
I ask these sober questions of my heart.
If, when the more you drink, the more you. crave,
You tell the Doctor ; when the more you have,
The more you want; why not with equal ease
Confess as well your Folly, as Disease ?
The heart resolves this matter in a thrice,
“Men only feel the Smart, but not the Vice.”
When golden Angels 2 cease to cure the Evil,
You give all royal Witchcraft to the Devil;
When servile Chaplains cry 3, that birth and place
Endue a Peer with honour, truth, and grace,
Look in that breast, most dirty D—! be fair,
Say, can you find out one such lodger there?
Yet still, not heeding what your heart can teach,
You go to church to hear these Flatt'rers preach,
Indeed, could wealth bestow or wit or merit,
A grain of courage, or a spark of spirit,
The wisest man might blush, I must agree,
If D*** lov'd sixpence more than he.
If there be truth in Law, and Use can give
1 (Cf. Moral Essays, Ep. II. v. 268. The the Book of Common Prayer; the practice was original story of this sort of madness is traced kept up by Charles I. and Charles II., and was by Warton to Aristotle and Ælian; and he com- renewed by the Pretender.] pares Boileau's version in his Fourth Satire.] 3 The whole of this passage alludes to a de
? A golden coin, given as a fee by those who dication of Mr, afterwards Bishop, Kennet to the came to be touched by the royal hand for the Duke of Devonshire to whom he was chaplain. Evil. Warton. [The scrofula. The office for Bennet. [This explains the blanks in vv. 222 the healing of the evil was originally included in and 229.]