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Tell me if Congreve's fools are fools indeed ? Alone deserves the favour of the great:
Or who shall wander where the Muses sing?
Who climb their mountain, or who taste their spring is bet And idle Cibber, how he breaks the laws,
How shall we fill a library with wit,
My liege! why writers little claim your though, tapi Alike to them, by pathos or by pun.
guess; and, with their leave, will tell the fault: O you! whom vanity's light bark conveys
We poets are (upon a poet's word)
To sing, or cease to sing, we never know;
And if we will recite nine hours, in ten,
A single verse, we quarrel with a friend;
Repeat unask'd; lament the wit's too fine
For vulgar eyes, and point out every line;
We needs will write epistles to the king;
Or, dubb'd historians by express command, Ever the taste of mobs, but now of lords;
T' enroll your triumphs o'er the seas and land, (Taste, that eternal wanderer, which flies
Be call’d to court to plan some work divine, From heads to ears, and now from ears to eyes.) As once for Louis, Boileau and Racine. The play stands still; damn action and discourse, Yet think, great sir! (so many virtues shown) Back fly the scenes, and enter foot and horse ; Ah, think, what poet best may make them knowo! Pageants on pageants, in long order drawn,
Or choose at least some minister of grace,
Charles, to late times to be transmitted fair,
And great Nassau to Kneller's hand decreed
To fix him graceful on the bounding steed; Let bear or elephant be e'er so white,
So well in paint and stone they judg’d of merit: The people, sure, the people are the sight!
But kings in wit may want discerning spirit. Ah, luckless poet! stretch thy lungs and roar, The hero William, and the martyr Charles, That bear or elephant shall heed thee more; One knighted Blackmore, and one pension'd While all its throats the gallery extends,
Quarles; And all the thunder of the pit ascends !
Which made old Ben and surly Dennis swear, Loud as the wolves, on Orcas' stormy steep,
“ No lord's anointed, but a Russian bear." Howl to the roarings of the northern deep,
Not with such majesty, such bold relief, Such is the shout, the long-applauding note,
The forms august, of king, or conquering chief, At Quin's high plume, or Oldfield's petticoat; E'er swellid on marble ; as in verse have shin'd Or when from court a birth-day suit bestow'd,
(In polish'd verse) the manners and the mind. Sinks the lost actor in the tawdry load.
Oh! could I mount on the Mæonian wing,
Your arms, your actions, your repose to sing!
Yet, lest you think I rally more than teach,
But not this part of the poetic state
What seas you travers d, and what fields you fought!
peace, how oft, how dearly bought!
A vile encomium doubly ridicules :
“ D’ye think me, noble general, such a sot? FLY There's nothing blackens like the ink of fools. Let him take castles who has ne'er a groat.” azt's et: If true, a woful likeness; and if lies,
Bred up at home, full early I begun
The better art to know the good from bad :
To hunt for truth in Maudlin's learned grove.) I tell the à Clothe spice, line trunks, or fluttering in a row, But knottier points we knew not half so well Befringe the rails of Bedlam and Soho.
Depriv'd us soon of our paternal cell;
And certain laws, by sufferers thought unjust,
Deny'd all posts of profit or of trust:
Dear Col'nel, Cobham's and your country's friend! While mighty William's thundering arms prevail'd. other ni You love a verse, take such as I can send.
For right hereditary tax'd and fin'd, 1, 43 4* A Frenchman comes, presents you with his boy,
He stuck to poverty with peace of mind;
And me, the Muses help'd to undergo it;
But (thanks to Homer) hence I live and thrive, Do wentut His French is pure; his voice too—you shall hear. Indebted to no prince or peer alive. dhe kings Sir, he's your slave, for twenty pound a-year.
Sure I should want the care of ten Monroes, the mal Mere wax as yet, you fashion him with ease,
If I would scribble, rather than repose. the crx. Your barber, cook, upholsterer, what you please :
Years following years, steal something every day, A perfect genius at an opera song
At last they steal us from ourselves away; seas 23:2 To say too much might do my honour wrong.
In one our frolics, one amusements end,
In one a mistress drops, in one a friend :
This subtle thief of life, this paltry time, = virtuves it But, sir, to you, with what would I not part?
What will it leave me, if it snatch my rhyme ? zake theae Though faith, I fear 'twill break his mother's heart. If every wheel of that unweary'd mill, of graces Once (and but once) I caught him in a lie,
That turn'd ten thousand verses, now stands still? y place . And then, unwhipp’d, he had the grace to cry:
But after all, what would you have me do? Esmitted is The fault he has I fairly shall reveal,
When out of twenty I can please not two;
When this heroics only deigns to praise,
Sharp satire that, and that pindaric lays ? lingerie Could you complain, my friend, he prov'd so bad ?
One likes the pheasant's wing, and one the leg; Lude's dis 'Faith, in such case, if you should prosecute,
The vulgar boil, the learned roast an egg.
Hard task! to hit the palate of such guests,
When Oldfield loves what Dartineuf detests.
But grant I may relapse, for want of
grace, Consider then, and judge me in this light;
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 With laws, to which you gave your own assent?
My counsel sends to execute a deed : (friends?
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 Bloomsbury-squareHad dearly earn'd a little purse of gold:
Before the Lords at twelve my cause comes on
There's a rehearsal, sir, exact at one.
“ 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 Guildhall'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-VR-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, every Muse's son:
Blackmore himself, for any grand effort,
Prune the luxuriant, the uncouth refine,
Better (say I) be pleas'd, and play the fool;
There liv'd in primo Georgii (they record)
Heard, noted, answer'd, as in full debate:
In all but this, a man of sober life,
Not quite a madman, though a pasty fell;
And much too wise to walk into a well. One lull’d th’exchequer, and one stunn'd the rolls; Him, the damn'd doctors and his friends immurid, Each had a gravity would make you split,
They bled, they cupp'd, they purg'd; in short they And shook his head at Murray, as a wit.
Whereat the gentleman began to stare- (cur'd: 'Twas,“ Sir, your law”-and“Sir, youreloquence,” My friends! he cry'd, p-x take you for your care! “ Your's Cowper's manner"-and your's “ Talbot's That from a patriot of distinguish'd note,
Thus we dispose of all poetic merit, [sense.” Have bled and purg'd me to a simple vote. Your's Milton's genius, and mine Homer's spirit. Well, on the whole, plain prose must be my fate: Call Tibbald Shakspeare, and he'll swear the Nine, Wisdom (curse on it) will come soon or late. Dear Cibber! never match'd one ode of thine. There is a time when poets will grow dull: Lord ! how we strut through Merlin's cave, to see I'll e'en leave verses to the boys at school: No poets there but, Stephen, you and me.
To rules of poetry no more confin'd, Walk with respect behind, while we at ease
I'll learn to smooth and harmonize my mind, Weave laurel crowns, and take what names we Teach every thought within its bounds to roll, " My dear Tibullus ! if that will not do, (please. And keep the equal measure of the soul. Let me be Horace, and be Ovid you !
Soon as I enter at my country door, Or, I'm content, allow me Dryden's strains,
My mind resumes the thread it dropp'd before; And you shall rise up Otway for your pains.” Thoughts which at Hyde-park corner I forgot, Much do I suffer, much, to keep in peace
Meet and rejoin me, in the pensive grot. This jealous, waspish, wrong-head, rhyming race;
There all alone, and compliments apart, And much must flatter, if the whim should bite I ask these sober questions of my heart. To court applause by printing what I write:
If, when the more you drink, the more you crave, But let the fit pass o'er, I'm wise enough
You tell the doctor; when the more you have, To stop my ears to their confounded stuff.
The more you want, why not with equal ease In vain bad rhymers all mankind reject,
Confess as well your folly, as disease They treat themselves with most profound respect; The heart resolves this matter in a trice, 'Tis to small purpose that you hold your tongue, “ Men only feel the smart, but not the vice." Each prais'd within, is happy all day long :
When golden angels cease to cure the evil, But how severely with themselves proceed
You give all royal witchcraft to the devil: The men, who write such verse as we can read ? When servile chaplains cry, that birth and place Their own strict judges, not a word they spare, Indue a peer with honour, truth, and grace; That wants or force, or light, or weight, or care, Look in that breast, most dirty Dean! be fair, Howe'er unwillingly it quits its place,
Say, can you find out one such lodger there? Nay though at court (perhaps) it may find grace: Yet still, not heeding what your heart can teach, Such they'll degrade; and sometimes, in its stead, You go to church to hear these flatterers preach. In doworight charity revive the dead;
Indeed, could wealth bestow or wit or merit, Mark where a bold, expressive phrase appears, A grain of courage, or a spark of spirit, Bright through the rubbish of some hundred years; The wisest man might blush, I must agree, Command old words that long have slept, to wake, If D*** lov'd sixpence, more than he. Words, that wise Bacon, or brave Raleigh spake;
If there be truth in law, and use can give Or bid the new be English, ages hence,
A property, that's your's on which you live, (For use will father what's begot by sense), Delightful Abs-court, if its fields afford Pour the full tide of eloquence along,
Their fruits to you, confesses you its lord: Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong,
All Worldly's hens, nay, partridge, sold to town, Rich with the treasures of each foreign tongue ! His venison too, a guinea makes your own:
The ship itself may make a better figure ;
But I that sail, am neither less nor bigger;
Nor strive with all the tempest in my teeth.
Heathcote himself, and such large-acred men, In power, wit, figure, virtue, fortune, plac'd
Behind the foremost, and before the last.
I wish you joy, sir, of a tyrant gone;
Does neither rage in tlame, nor fear appal ?
Not the black fear of death, that saddens all ?
Despise the known, nor tremble at th’unknown?
Survey both worlds, intrepid and entire,
Has life no sourness, drawn so near its end?
but melted the rough parts away,
As winter fruits grow mild ere they decay?
Or will you think, my friend, your business done,
When, of a hundred thorns, you pull out one? Link towns to towns with avenues of oak,
Learn to live well, or fairly make your will; Enclose whole downs in walls, 'tis all a joke! You've play'd, and lov’d, and eat, and drank your Inexorable death shall level all,
Walk sober off; before a sprightlier age (fill :
Leave such to trifle with more grace and ease,
Talk what you will of taste, my friend, you'll find EPILOGUE TO THE SATIRES. before Two of a face, as soon as of a mind.
Why, of two brothers, rich and restless one
Fr. Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in print,
And when it comes, the court see nothing in't. Why one like Bu— with pay and scorn content,
You grow correct, that once with rapture writ,
And are besides too moral for a wit,
Decay of parts, alas! we all must feel
Why now, this moment, don't I see you steal ?
'Tis all from Horace; Horace long before ye Who forms the genius in the natal hour;
Said, “ Tories call’d him Whig, and Whigs a
And taught his Romans, in much better metre,
" To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter." Each individual; his great end the same.
But Horace, sir, was delicate, was nice;
Bubo observes, he lash'd no sort of vice :
Horace would say, Sir Billy serv'd the crown,
Blunt could do business, Higgins knew the town;
In Sappho touch the failings of the sex,
In reverend bishops note some small neglects,
the Spaniard did a waggish thing, I, who at some times spend, at others spare,
Who cropt our ears, and sent them to the King. Divided between carelessness and care,
His sly, polite, insinuating style
Could please at court, and make Augustus smile : 'Tis one thing madly to disperse my store ;
that Another, not to heed to treasure more :
His friend and shame, and was a kind of screen, Glad, like a boy, to snatch the first good day,
But 'faith your very friends will soon be sore; And pleas’d, if sordid want be far away.
Patriots there are, who wish you'd jest no moremo What is't to me (a passenger God wot)
And where's the glory? 'twill be only thought Whether my vessel be first-rate or not?
IN TWO DIALOGUES.
An artful manager,
The great man never offer'd you a groat,
P. Why so if satire knows its time and place,
You still may lash the greatest--in disgrace:
For merit will by turns forsake them all;
Would you know when ? exactly when they fall. Seen him I have, but in his happier hour
But let all satire in all changes spare Of social pleasure, ill-exchang’d for power ;
Immortal S-k, Seen him uncumber'd with a venal tribe,
Silent and soft, as saints remove to Heaven,
grave DeSmile without art, and win without a bribe.
All ties dissolv’d, and every sin forgiven, Would he oblige me? let me only find,
These may some gentle ministerial wing He does not think me what he thinks mankind.
Receive, and place for ever near a king! Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt;
There, where no passion, pride, or shame transport,
Lull'd with the sweet Nepenthe of a court;
Once break their rest, or stir them from their place:
the sense of human miseries, Who never chang'd his principle, or wig ;
All tears are wip'd for ever from all eyes ;
No cheek is known to blush, no heart to throb,
And when three sovereigns dy'd, could scarce be
vext, Why answer, Lyttleton; and I'll engage
Considering what a gracious prince was next. The worthy youth shall ne'er be in a rage:
Have I, in silent wonder seen such things But were his verses vile, his whisper base,
As pride in slaves, and avarice in kings; You'd quickly find him in Lord Fanny's case. And at a peer, or peeress, shall I fret, Sejanus, Wolsey, hurt not honest Fleury,
Who starves a sister, or forswears a debt? But well may put some statesmen in a fury.
Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast; Laugh then at any, but at fools or foes ;
But shall the dignity of vice be lost?
Ye gods! shall Cibber's son, without rebuke,
Be brib'd as often, and as often lie?
Or Japhet pocket, like his Grace, a will?
Is it for Bond, or Peter, (paltry things) Judicious wits spread wide the ridicule,
To pay their debts, or keep their faith, like kings?
If Blount dispatch'd himself, he play'd the man ;
Learn, from their books, to hang himself and wife !
This, this, my friend, I cannot, must not bear; The honey dropping from Favonio's tongue,
Vice thus abus'd, demands a nation's care: The flowers of Bubo, and the flow of Young ! This calls the church to deprecate our sin, The gracious dew of pulpit eloquence,
And hurls the thevder of the laws on gin. And all the well-whipt cream of courtly sense,
Let modest Foster, it he will, excel That first was H-vy's, F's next, and then, Ten metropolitans in preaching well ; The S-te's, and then H-vy's once again,
A simple Quaker, or a Quaker's wife,
Outdo Landaff in doctrine,-yea in life:
Let low-born Allen, with an aukward shame,
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame ; All boys may read, and girls may understand!
Virtue may choose the high or low degree,
'Tis just alike to virtue, and to me; Then might I sing, without the least offence,
Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king, And all I sung should be the nation's sense ;
She's still the same belov’d, contented thing.
Vice is undone, if she forgets her birth,
Hang the sad verse on Carolina's urn,