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This the blue varnish, that the green endears, In living medals see her wars enroll'd,
Or in fair feries laureld bards be shown,
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine : Then shall thy Craggs (and let me call him mine)
And round the orb in lafting notes be read,
“ In action faithful, and in honour clear ; The verse and sculpture bore an equal part, " Who broke no promise, ferv'd 110 private end, And art reflected images to art.
" Who gain'd no title, and who loft no friend; 7@ Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim, “ Ennobied by himself, by all approv'd, Scand emulous of Greek and Roman fame? " And prais'd, unenvy'd, by the muse he lov'd"
Tais paper is a sort of bill of complaint, begun many years lnce, and drawn up by snatches, as the
several occasions offered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleased some persons of rank and fortune (the authors of verses to the imitator of Horace, and of an epistle to a Doctor of Divinity [rom a nobleman at Hampton-Court) to attack, in a very extraordinary manner, not only my writings (of which, being public, the public is judge) but my person, morals, and family, whereof, to those who know me not, a truer information may be requisite. Being divided between the necellity to say something of myself, and my own laziness to undertake so aukward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand to this epistle. If it have any thing pleasing, it will be that by which I am most desirous to please, the truth and the sentiment; and if any thing
offenfive, it will be only to those I am least sorry to offend, the vicious or the ungenerous. Many will know their own pidures in it, there being not a circumstance but what is true : but [.
have, for the most part, Spared their names; and they may escape being laughed at, if they pleasc. I would have some of them to know, it was owing to the request of the learned and candid friend
to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free use of theirs as they have done of mine. However, I shall have this advantage and honour on my side, that whereas, by their proceeding, ang abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can possibly be done by mine, since a nameless character can never be found out, but by its truth and likeness.
P. Saut, shut the door, gnod John ! fatigu'd I said, Is there a parson, much bemus'd in beer,
Who pens a stanza, when he should engross?
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Is there a bard in durance ? turn them free,
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws, A.Good friend, forbear! you dealin dangerousthings,
Keep close to ears, and those let asses prick,
'Tis nothing -- P. Nothing ? if they bite and kick ? Friend to my life (which did you not prolong, Out with it, Dunciad! let the secret pass, The world had wanted many an idle song), That secret to each fool, that he's an ass: What drop or noftrum can this plague remove? The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?) Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love? 30 The queen of Midas slept, and so may I. A dire dilemma? either way I'm sped;
You think this cruel Take it for a rule, If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead. No creature smarts so little as a fool. Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge, how wretched I? Let peals of laughter, Codrus ! round theë break, Who can't be silent, and who will not lie : Thou unconcern'd canst hear the mighty crack: To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace; Pit, box, and gallery, in convulsions hurlid, And to be grave, exceeds all power of face. Thou stand'nt unshook amidst a bursting world. I fit with sad civility; I read
Who shamesa scribbler? Break one cobweb through, With honest anguish, and an aching head; He spins the flight, felf-pleasing thread anew: ge And drop at laft, but in unwilling ears, 39 Destroy his fib or sophiltry, in vain, This saving counsel," Keep your piece nine years The creature's at his dirty work again,
Nine years. cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Thron'd on the centre of his thin designs, Lull'd by fof: zephyrs through the broken pane, Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines : Rhymes e'er he wakes, and prints before term ends, Whom have I hurt? has poet yet, or peer, Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends : Loft the arch'd eyebrow, or Parnassian sneer? “ The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it ; And has not Colly ítill his lord, and whore ? " I'm all submillion; what you'd have it, make it." His butchers Henley, his Free-malons Moor? Three things another's modell wishes bound, Docs not one table Bavius still admit?
99 My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound. Still to one bishop Philips seem a wit? [fend,
Pitholeon fends to me : “ You know his grace ; Still Sappho— . Hold; for God's sake-you'll of. “I want a patron; ask him for a place." 50 No nanes– be calm-learn prudence of a friend : Pitholeon libell'd nie." but here's a letter I too could write, and I am twice as tall ; (all. “ Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better. But fues like chefe-P. One flatterer's worse than “ Dare you resuse him ? Curll invites to dine,' Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right, “ He'll write a journal, or he'll turn divine.” It is the flaver kills, and not the bite.
Bless me! a packet-"'Tis a stranger sues, A fool quite angry is quite innocent : “ A virgin tragedy, an orphan mule.”
Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent. If I dislike it, “ furies, death and rage !"
One dedicates in high heroic prote, If I approve, “ commend it to the stage.”
And ridicules beyo. d a hundred foes : There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends, One from all Grub-street will my fame defend, The players and I are, luckily, no friends. 60 And, more abusive calls h mself my friend. Fir'd that the house reject him, " 'Sdeath! I'll This prints my letters, that expeds a bribe, “ print it,
And others s ar aloud, “ Subicribe, subscribe !" " And shame the fools-your interst, Sir, with There are, u ho to my person pay their court : Lintot."
I cough like Horace, and, though lean, am thort. Lintet, dull rogue! will think your price too much: Amnion's great fon one shoulder had too high, “ Not, Sir, if you revile it, and retouch."
Such Ovid's nose, and,“ Sir! you have an eye." All my demurs but double his attacks :
Go on, obliging creature, make me sec
'Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring And when I die, be sure you let me know (Midas, a sacred person and a king),
70 Great Homer dy'd three thouland years ago. His very minister, who spy'd them first,
Why did I write? what fin to me unknown
Ver. III, in the MS.
And others roar aloud, “ Subscribe, subscribe !" Ver. 29, in the ift Ed.
Time, praise, or money, is the least they crave; Dear doctor, tell me, is not this a curse?
Yet each declares the other fool or knave.
But,friend, this shape, which youand Curlle admire, If you refuse, he goes, as fates incline,
Came not from Ammon's son, but from my fire ti To plague Sir Robert, or to turn divine. Ver. 60, in the former Ed.
Curll set up his bead for a sign.
As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
Just writes to make his barrenness appear, I lifp'd in numbers, for the numbers came. And strains from hard-bound brains, eight lines I left no calling for this idle trade,
a-year ; No duty broke, no father disobey'd : 130 He, who, ftill wanting, though he lives on theft, 'The muse but serv'd to ease some friend, not wife; Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left: To help me through this long disease, my life; And he, who, now to sense, low nonlense leaning, To feci nd, Arbuthnot: thy art and care,
Means not, but blunders round about a meaning : And reach, the being you preferv'd, to bear. And he, whose fustian's so sublimely bad,
But why then publish ? Granville the polite, It is not poetry, but prose run mad : And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write ; All these, my modest satire bad tranfare, Well-natur'd Garth inflam'd with early praise, And own'd that nine such poets made a Tate. 190 And Congreve lov'd, and Swist endur'd my lays; How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read,
chafe! Er'o mitred Rochester would nod the head, 140 And swear, not Addison himself was fafe. And St. John's self (great Dryden's friends before), 1 Peace to all euch, but were there one whose fires With open arms receiv'd one p et more.
True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires; Happy my studies, when by these approv'd! Bleit with each calent and each art to please, Happier their author, when by these belov'd! And born to write, fonverse, and live with ease : From these the world will judge of men and should such a man, too fond to rule alone, books,
Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the ihrone, Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks. View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
Soft were my numbers : who could take offence And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rise ; 200
Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend,
A timorous foe, and a suspicious friend; I Deser answer'd, I was not in debt.
Dreading ev'n fools, by flatterers besieg'd, If want provok’d, or madness made them print, And so obliging, that he ne'er oblig'd; Iwag'd no war with bedlam or the mint.
Like Caro, give his little fenate laws, Did some more sober critic come abroad; And fit attentive to his own applause ; 216 If wrong, I smild; if right, I kiss'd the rod. While wits and templars every sentence raise, Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence, And wonder with a foolish face of praise And all they want is fpirit, taste, and sense. 160 Who but must laugh, if such a man there be ? Commas and points they fet exactly right, Who would not weep, if Atticus were he! And 'twere a fin to rob them of their mite.
What though my namie flood rubric on the walla; Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds, Or plaster'd posts, with claps, in capitals ? From flashing Bentley down to pidling Tibalds : Or sinoking forth, a hundred hawkers load, Each wight, who reads not, and but scans and spells, On wings of winds came flying all abroad? Each word-catcher, that lives on fyllables,
I sought no homage from the race that write; Ev'n such small critics some regard may claim, I kept, like Asian monarchs, from their sight; 220 Presery'd in Milton's or in Shakspeare's name. Poems I heeded (now berhym'd so long) [fong. Pretty! in amber to observe the forms
No more than thou, great George! a birth day Of hairs, or ftraws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms! I ne'er with wits or witlings pass'd my days, The things we know are neither rich nor rare, 371 To spread about the itch of verse and praise ; Bur wonder how the devil they got there. Nor, like a puppy, daggled through the town,
Were others angry: I excus'd them too; To fetch and carry sing-fong up and down ; Well might they rage, I gave them but their due. Nor at rehearsals sweat, and mouth'd, and cry'd, A man's true merit 'tis not hard to find;
With handkerchief and orange at my side ; But each man's secret standard in his mind, But, sick of fops, and poetry, and prate, That cafting-weight pride adds to emptiness, To Bufo left the whole Caftalian Itate.
230 This, who can gratify? for who can guess ?
Proud as Apollo on his sorked hill, The bard whom pilfer'd pastorals renown,
Sate full blown Bufo, puff'd by every quill; Who turns a Perlian tale for half a crown,
180 Fed with soft dedication all day long,
Horace and he went hand and hand in song.
. His metber was much cffiicied with beadachs.
His library (where bufts of poets dead
Give virtue fcandal, innocence a fear, And a true Pindar stood without a head), Or from the fost.ey'd virgin steal a tear! Receiv'd of wits an undistinguish'd race,
But he who hurts a harmless neighbour's peace, Who first his judgment ask'd, and then a place; Insults fall’n worth, or beauty in distress, Much they extoil'd his pi&ures, much his seat, Who loves a lie, lame flander helps about, And flatter'd every day, and some days eat; 240 Who writes a libel, or who copies out :
290 Tiil, grown more frugal in his riper days, (praisc. That fop, whose pride affe&s a patron's name, He paid some bards with port, and some with | Yet abfent, wounds an author's honest fame : To lome a dry rehearsal was aflign'd,
Who can your merit feltfhly approve, And others (harder fill) he paid in kind.
And show the sense of it without the love ; Dryden alone (what wonder!) came not nigh, Who has the vanity to call you friend, Dryden alone escap'd this judging eye:
Yet wants the honour, injur'd, to defend ; But still the great have kindness in reserve, Who tells whate’er you think, whate'er you say, · He help'd to bury whom he help'd to farve. And, if he lie not, mast at least betray : May lone choice patron bless each grey goose Who to the Dean and silver Bell can swear, quill!
And fees at Cannons what was never there; 300 May every Bavius have his Bufo ftill! 250 Who reads but with a lust to misapply, So when a statelman wants a day's defence, Make fatire a lampoon, and fiction lie. Or envy holds a whole week's war with sense, A lafh like mine no honest man fhall dread, Or fimple pride for flattery makes demands, But all such babbling blockheads in his stead. May dunce by punce be whittled off my hands! Let Sporus tremble~A. What? that thing of Blert be the great! for those they take away, And those they left me ; for they left me Gay : Sporus, that mere white curd of afs's milk? Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
Satire of lense, alas! can Sporus feel? Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb :
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel ? Of all thy blameless life the fole return
P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings, My verse, and Queensberry weeping o'er thy urn! This painted child of dirt, that stinks and fings;
Oh, let me live my own, and die fo too: 261 Whofe buzz the witty and the fair annoys, 310 (To live and die is all I have to do :)
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beanty ne'er enjays : Maintain a poet's dignity and ease, (please : So well-bred spaniels civilly delight And see what friends, and read what books I In mumbling of the game they dare not bice. Above a patron, though I condescend
Eterpal smiles his eniptiness betray, Sometimes to call a minister my friend.
As shallow streams run dimpling all the way. I was not born for 'courts or great affairs; Whether in fiorid impotence he speaks, I pay my debts, believe, and say my prayers;
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet fqueaks; Can sleep without a poem in my head,
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead. 270 Hall froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, 320
Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light? In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies, Heavens ! was I born for nothing but to write ? Or spite, or smut, or thymies, or blasphemies. Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave). His wit all see faw, between that and this, Have I no friend to serve, no soul to fave? Now high, now low, now master up, now miss, “ I found him close with Swift-indeed? no doubt And he himself one vile antithesis. " (Cries prating Balbus) something will come out." Amphibious thing! that, acting either part, “ 'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will.
The trifling head! or the corrupted heart, “ No, such a genius never can lie still;"
Frp at the toilet, flatterer at the board, And then for mine obligingly mistakes
Now trips a lady, and now ftruts a lord. The first lampoon Sir Will or Bubo makes. 280 Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have expreft, 330 Poor, guiltless I! and can I choose but smile, A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest. When every coscomb knows me by my style? Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will troft,
Curit be the verse, how well see'er it flow, Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the duft. That tends to make one worthy man my soe, Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool,
Not lucre's madman, nor ambition's tool,
After ver. 234, in the MS.
VARIATIONS. To bards reciting he vouchsaf'd a nod,
Be nice no more, but, with a mouth profound, And souff 'd their incense like a gracious God. As rumbling Dennis or a Norfolk hound; After ver. 270, in the MS.
(fill : With George and Frederic roughen every verse, Friendships from youth I sought, and seek them Then smooth up all, and Caroline rehearse. Fame, like the wind, may breathe where'er it wil. P. No-the high talk to lift up kings to gods, The world I knew, but made it not my school, Leave to court sermons, and to birth-day odes. And in a course of Aattery liv'd no fool.
On themes like these, superior far to thine, After ver. 282, in the MS.
Let laureld Cibber and great Arnal shine. P. What if I ling Augustus great and good ? Why write at all ?- A. Yes, silence if you keep,