Te Lupe, te Muti; et Genuinum fregit in illis.

LONDON: Printed for J. COOTE, at the King's Arms in Pater-noster-Row.


[Price One Shilling and Six-pence.]


THE author of the following poem is apprehensive, that neither he nor the objects of his satire, are of consequence enough to engage attention to so long a piece as he has been drawn into by the nature of his subject; but as he has been pestered with defamatory pieces for several months past, with ROSCIADS, APOLOGIES, MURPHYADS, MERETRICIADS, &c &c. &c. and as it must be imagined that the men, who have miscarried of all these libels have found encouragement from some sorts of readers, it is now hoped that they who have afforded leisure for a perusal of the pieces against the present writer, will do him the justice to hear him speak for himself. He is sorry that he has been obliged to employ his time in this sort of controversy, which he despises as a thing illiberal in itself, dishonourable to letters, and generally the mean subterfuge of those who want to make a livelihood of an author's name; but he thought the rancour discharged against him merited a retort, not for the mischief it had done, but on account of the malignity of the design. Excited by this motive, he took up the pen, and as Mr. POPE says of his imitations of Horace, he thought an answer upon BOILEAU'S model would be more full, and of more dignity than any he could have made in his own person. He has only to add, that he does not intend to maintain these peo­ple by carrying on a paper-war; for unless he has some extreme [Page]provocation, and that too with more wit than they have hitherto ex­erted, he is determined to look down upon them with a contemp­tuous silence for the future; his writings, should they attack them, will speak, though feebly, for themselves; and his morals, if tra­duced, will falsify their slander, and tell each of them aloud (to use the words adopted by a noble prelate on a similar occasion) Mentiris Impudentissime!

N. B. The Reader will observe that EXPOSTULATION stands at the Head of the Poem, though changed for another Word in the Title-Page; and this must be accounted for.—The very Men who provoked the Author to this Piece began to crouch from the Lash as soon as they heard it was hanging over them; and to weaken its Effect, they immediately advertised a Poem, called The EX­POSTULATION. It was therefore thought proper not to cancel what was then printed off, but (to prevent the Confusion of two Pieces with the same Name) to give the subsequent Poem a new Title-Page; and now the Sons of Darkness are welcome to avail themselves of their Design, truly worthy of such liberal Men!


WITH thee, thou inward spark of vital fire,
Who do'st each function and each thought inspire,
Who now impell'st me into scenes of strife,
Now wiser bid'st me seek the calms of life;
With thee, my mind, now must I converse hold,
And all I think and feel shall now be told.
Too long my indolence forbore to weed
Thy rankling faults, which now have grown to seed.
[Page 6] But since at length you've fairly rouz'd my gall;
Now hear your own, my friend, and once for all.
To hear thee in thy wild capricious vein,
At dulness rail, the cause of wit sustain;
Discourse of authors, and decide their fate,
Important master of each learn'd debate!
And boldly thunder out thy classic lore,
We'd swear above all modern fame you soar;
For just expression, and conception true,
For genius, taste, and spirit — who but you?
You, one would think, in this degen'rate time,
Alone shou'd wear the meed of sacred rhyme,
And boast, (so freely all around you deal)
No pore to smart at, and no nerve to feel.
But I, who know your very inmost part;
(Come, sit you down, and let me wring your heart!)
Yes I, who know which way your folly tends,
Who count your vices at my fingers ends;
Laugh in my sleeve, whene'er so pert and vain,
You dogmatise in high Parnassian strain;
Or, when incens'd, your neighbours faults you scan,
Forget the author, and dissect the man:
No barrister harrangues with half your spleen;
When lords refuse her, not Miss F — D so keen.
But tell me, Sir, does heav'n thy breast inspire
With emanations of aetherial fire?
[Page 7] Does that fine phrenzy in thy bosom roll
Which fires a genius, and pervades his soul?
To thee, propitious have th' Aonian maids,
Led thy young footsteps to their springs and shades?
Know, whoe'er fails Parnassus' height to climb,
And taste the well, whence flows immortal rhyme;
On wings Icarian, vain excursions tries,
And downward cleaves the unelastic skies:
Ranks not with DRYDEN on the rubric row,
But crawls with LLOYD among the weeds below.
But if advice unheard, remonstrance vain,
You needs must follow still this idle strain;
By fairer methods aim at gen'ral praise,
Nor on the thorns of satire graft your bays.
With a bold hand bid Clio sweep the string,
And sound the virtues of a British king.
Shew him with all his subjects blessings crown'd,
In war victorious, and in arts renown'd.
Tell how the Muses with a gen'rous strife,
Rouze at his voice, and waken into life.
Swell, at his word, the Rhine with Gallic blood,
And bid thy verse devolve a crimson flood.
Sing how the Indian, near the rising day,
Lays down his arms, and venerates his sway.
What, tho' Apollo should his aid refuse,
You'll shew, at least, a kind good-natur'd muse.
[Page 8] Perhaps may sell (reflect what gain 'twill bring ye)
An ounce of incense for a solid guinea;
But I, you'll say, your feeble pow'rs invite
To regions that demand an eagle's flight.
A British king should have a muse of fire;
To sing Augustus calls for Virgil's lyre:
But LLOYD and I, who, without Phoebus' aid,
Are doom'd to follow still the rhyming trade;
A theme so lofty we can ne'er rehearse,
Mere spider-spinners of a cobweb verse!
For us 'twere best not tempt forbidden lays;
Nothing dishonours like insipid praise.
At fulsome panegyrick, void of skill,
Blush, tho' the poet can't, the patron will.
And thus, my mind, thus would you hide your spleen,
And to malignity give candour's mien?
Were it not better mount in Epic bold,
And be whate'er Rome's Querno was of old?
Like him, in fustian prove the public sport,
And be the rhyming blockhead of a court,
Than strive with wit to say the piercing thing,
And dart your soul in each envenom'd sting?
Hop'st thou to rival Pope's immortal page,
And smile at folly in a future age?
Cast but your eye around you, and survey
Books once admir'd, now with'ring in decay;
[Page 9] Whole poems, for their time delightful found,
All now transferr'd to grocers by the pound.
Verse, that could once a lady's toilet grace,
'Gainst a dead wall attracts the livried race.
Else to High Holborn, or Moorfields consign'd,
'Midst other still-born embryos of the mind,
It lies for ages doom'd, in silence deep,
With Shirley's Pepin, or Black Prince, to sleep;
Where worms subsist on rhymes once counted terse,
And elegantly feed on mouldring verse.
But grant your works may share a better fate,
And taste, or true or false, prolong their date;
Grant that your foes may all well-nich'd in rhyme,
Go down ridiculous to latest time;
Yet, while you live, if mankind hate or fear,
What can avail the laurel on your bier?
Slow comes, if warfare is the author's doom,
Slow comes the praise engraven on his tomb.
What daemon then inflames your angry fits?
Why wage a war with blockheads, or with wits?
Th' envenom'd shaft they've levell'd at your name;
Has the blow reach'd you? — have they hurt your same?
And why then drag them to the public eye?
In their obscurity let libels die.
LLOYD'S poetry is quietly inurn'd,
From dirt 'twas born, and is to dirt return'd.
[Page 10] Incog, the Craftsman vented all his spite;
His perish'd essays never saw the light.
Th' Apology is number'd with the Dead;
Each trunk it decks lie lightly on its head!
In peace henceforth may ev'ry scribbling slave
Creep to oblivious slumber in his grave.
Yes, write who will; each blockhead still possess
The liberty, or licence of the press.
Each modern Curl still has his rubric post,
And ev'ry press maintains a scribbling host.
Hence England's navy oft defrauded stands,
And the soil loses its manuring hands;
Bankrupts in trade, their pens that moment dip,
As rats will issue from a sinking ship.
Each printer perks subscriptions in your face;
Proposals croud each diuretic place:
And yet no patriot reformation makes,
Nor yet, whom hunger spares, the press-act takes;
Writers abound; no bard so void of fire,
But finds his fools to purchase and admire.
You, only you remain disgusted still,
The fancied regent of the Muses hill!
But since on others works you must refine,
And trace new blemishes in ev'ry line;
Since Censor like you judge each writer's wit,
Think in your turn to what must you submit.
[Page 11] Nought can escape thy strong satyric force,
But of yourself how does the world discourse?
First, LLOYD will cry — (now estimate your fame!)
"MURPHY, or DURFEY, for 'tis all the same." *
Ev'n he, the adverb-teacher of a school,
To nonsense verse who striplings form'd by rule;
Beneath the influence of some full-orb'd moon,
Or else inspir'd by Bacchus' sprightly boon,
Shall a bag-wig with a subscription get,
And give for ready gold insolvent wit:
Then shall the birch, thirsting for youthful gore,
Stream like a meteor in his hand no more;
But at Bob Derry's for instruction still
The unfledg'd pupil shall attend his will;
There shall he to his circle, wisely drunk!
Now praise the Jealous Wife, and now a punk:
Then vent his spleen in his malignant fit,
Against thy life, thy morals, and thy wit;
His meagre cheek, 'midst his nocturnal sport
With envy pale, and his lips black with port;
Beware, he cries, of that proud haughty spirit,
Who views malignly ev'ry poet's merit.
Still fond in letter'd warfare to engage,
Some gad-fly bites, and stings him to a rage.
A fool, who thinks his notions to dispense,
The legislator of all taste and sense!
[Page 12] He runs a muck, and quite a coxcomb grown,
Hates COLMAN'S comedies, and likes his own.
At bar or senate ne'er approves a speech,
And falls asleep, tho' CHURCHILL'S self should preach.
CHURCHILL, a rough unwieldy son of earth,
Warm for his friends, and foe to other's worth;
Inflam'd with malice, in invective fierce,
A vigorous day-labourer in verse!
Who by sharp scandal hopes in wit to sway,
As Hannibal by vinegar made way;
He too shall rouze your writings to revile,
And make more desert still the Desert Isle.
He to the world shall tell the horrid story,
How Metastasio had a fawn before ye.
Th' impassion'd tear if China's Orphan drew,
The plan fresh-modell'd, the scenes chiefly new,
The whole, intrepid genius! he'll advance,
Was plunder'd from the fopperies of France.
His friend the while may alien wit attack,
And the wren mount upon an eagle's back;
From the Spectator safely may purloin,
Fine-draw each shred, and vamp, and piece, and join;
From Fielding's page raise contributions due,
And classically drunk — sing, "I love Sue;"
From bards exploded incidents may glean;
Take from Alsatia's squire a fainting scene;
[Page 13] Spunge-like absorb whate'er comes cross his way,
'Till Garrick squeeze him dry into a play;
Then how the shouts of fond applause rebound!
Each ancient laurel withers at the sound!
He ranks with all whom former ages saw;
Congreve's his brother-student of the law!
Ye moderns kneel at his thrice-honour'd shrine!
Worship the author of a work divine!
Now a new progeny shall glad our days,
A better order of succeeding plays.
New manners in high life shall strike our eyes,
And from the Irishman new bulls arise;
By him ingrafted shall the country squire,
New shapes and beauties, not his own admire.
Kneel and adore ye bards: This, this is He,
The great restorer of true comedy!
Thus Io Paean! all his friends shall sing,
From lads at school consenting shouts shall ring.
Upborne by them he'll soar aloft to fame;
But thou a helpless, an inglorious name,
With not a friend to deck thy brow with bays,
Dost thou, alas! aspire to gen'ral praise?
To draw from books in him is great, indeed;
In such as thee 'tis criminal to read.
Seated by party on the Muse's throne.
Whate'er he takes by conquest is his own.
[Page 14] If e'er he deign to shine in borrow'd lays,
For him they'll quote immortal Homer's days.
But thou presume to imitate a line,
No star Maeonian on thy head shall shine.
Whatever praise with all thy toil and pain
Thou gain'st, my friend, thou must with envy gain;
Declar'd a plagiary, proclaim'd aloud
A mere jack-daw in furtive colours proud.
Thus do they treat you; an auxiliar band
List in their cause, and thicken round the land.
"To arms, to arms," the scribbling legion cries,
"Your goosequills seize; his reputation dies."
See Shirley rushes on, devoid of fear,
And leads his Craftsman, and his Gazetteer.
In tenfold brass behold the MURPHYAD rise,
Arm'd at all points with ribaldry and lies.
See Grub-street opens her ten thousand doors,
See Billingsgate unsluices all her stores;
See essays, fables, puns, assist the fray,
Abuse descending from confed'rate SAY; *
See authors on all sides desert their dens,
New edge their blunted wits, and nib their pens;
All who in distant Hockley-Hole reside,
And they who drink, Fleet-ditch, thy sable tide!
Who in Moorfields have scrawl'd a darken'd cell,
In the King's-Bench, or in the Compter dwell;
[Page 15] On Ludgate-Hill, who bloody murders write,
Or pass in Fleetstreet supperless, the night;
The bards who doze around an alehouse fire,
Who tipple drams, or fatten with entire;
Thick as when locusts o'er the land appear,
And ruin all the promise of the year;
Thick as when pismires crawl along the plain,
Or half-starv'd crows around some ripen'd grain,
They sorm their ranks; they rail, they doom me dead,
And the press aims its thunders on my head.
Their sooty Naiads you address in vain;
Their Naiads sore will madden ev'ry brain.
And tell me, was it not a crying sin!
To represent poor Shirley drunk with gin?
Why deal on Churchill the malicious blow,
And hurl him down to grots of mud below?
Must you sor ever in new broils engage?
Must I still be a victim for your rage?
Must still your petulance mankind provoke?
Answer me fairly; for 'tis past a joke.
What can you urge? — must I then bear, you say,
To be made still the topic of the day?
Still must I hear, and never once reply,
Teaz'd as I am by all the scribbling fry?
Must I not dare resent, tormented sore
With Churchill's rumbling Rosciad o'er and o'er?
[Page 16] Shall Lloyd with fables and epistles teaze,
And dine upon me whensoe'er he please?
I never can, (and let the vermin know it)
Bear in the dog-days a reciting poet:
A bard who takes a mean clandestine aim,
To raise himself, and wound another's fame;
Or if of open combat not afraid,
Calls in his brother bravoes to his aid;
On strength of numbers his whole courage grounds,
And, whom he single dreads, with clans surrounds.
For me, I never form'd a junto yet,
Ne'er made a black conspiracy in wit.
At other's fortune never heav'd a sigh,
Nor view'd a rival with an eunuch's eye.
Ne'er sought the silent covert of the night,
To steal unseen, and stab with coward spite;
If e'er provok'd to tempt the letter'd fray,
I still, like Ajax, wish'd for open day;
And may my name stand, ay! accurs'd by men,
If e'er I hold a dark insidious pen.
Ill fare the page, tho' all the Nine should join,
To point each thought, and harmonize the line;
Ill fare the page, by envy's breath inspir'd,
And not with gen'rous emulation fir'd,
That anger bears without occasion fit,
And quarrels for the vain renown of wit;
[Page 17] In an ingenuous mind that plants a sting,
Or of young genius hurts the trembling wing:
To war with merit that would rather chuse,
Than glow with gen'rous rapture for the muse.
But shall each mean, each vulgar son of earth,
My fame attack, my morals, and my birth?
Shall groveling LLOYD deride the AUTHOR SQUIRE,
Nor I indignant kindle into fire?
Gods! shall an upstart grow up into life,
A peer's dependant by a strumpet wife;
Titles assume, free from invective spite,
And honour's sons not claim an equal right?
Still on my head shall furious Churchill's rage,
Come inexhausted foaming o'er his page?
What crime has made it my unhappy lot
To bear his phrenzy? — I provok'd him not.
When he my enemy avow'd became,
Had I e'er stain'd my volume with his name?
His bread to injure did I ever strive?
Kind heav'n! I knew not such a thing alive.
His rage announe'd him first; as bugs by night,
To warn ye of their being, stink and bite.
And thus attack'd, shall I not ward the blow?
Not bid defiance to th' insulting foe?
Shall I not tell the scurrilous divine,
The Naiads of Fleetditch inspire his line?
[Page 18] Not tell his pious leer and double chin,
That arrogance and venom dwell within?
As some huge marble goodly to the sight,
Where the blue veins meander and unite;
Where nature throws a grace on ev'ry part,
And with a casual hand outrivals art;
Soon as the workman cleaves it's pond'rous side,
And bids the mass in various parts divide,
Within the center of th' enormous load,
Strange to relate! he finds a lurking toad.
Is it injustice, is it barb'rous skill,
With his own arts the murderer to kill?
Consider well the matter, and you'll find
I only claim what's claim'd by all mankind,
The gen'rous freedom to declare my mind.
Each reader claims it, standing at a stall;
Each critic claims it, who ne'er reads at all.
Who can behold a self-applauded bard,
Whose ev'ry line doth common sense discard,
But instant cries, "The silly scribbling fool!
"Of a brib'd bookseller the venal tool!
"Or else the madman! shut from pen and ink,
"Let him of hellebore deep doses drink."
This will they say, and what do I say more?
They speak unhurt; provok'd I quit the score.
[Page 19] Is this the sign of a malignant spirit,
That views with envious eye each author's merit?
By more deliberate means know envy tends;
Saps on unseen, and with'ring gains its ends,
Hoards her designs; ne'er acts the open part;
Smiles in your face, and stabs you to the heart.
"Marcus has genius, — but I never can
"But mourn one thing — he's thought a dang'rous man."
Does Alcibiades direct the state,
Enlighten to the senate a debate?
Does he fulfil each part in private life,
True to his friends, and tender to his wife?
Envy grants all, — yet should a tale be told!
"I hope it won't, — it makes my blood run cold.
"Should I relate — you'd all in wonder fix
"How with such feelings cruelty can mix."
Thus cautious malice never once speaks out,
But nods, winks, hesitates, and hints a doubt;
Not so the honest mind — from byass free,
It courts no object, sacred truth! but thee.
For thee it searches all with stern delight,
Brings a right honourable lie to light;
Thro' each false medium darts a look severe,
And thro' his dignities can eye a peer;
Gives things their proper name with freedom brave;
A cat's a cat, and LLOYD a play-house slave.
[Page 20] In works of wit ne'er lets opinion sway,
Nor joins the current fashion of the day:
Each piece rejudges by the rules of art,
And plays o'er all an Aristarchus part,
Marks the obscure; t' o'erlook can ne'er incline
The lazy harshness of a rugged line;
Th' ambitious poverty of sounding phrase,
The mediocrity of easy lays;
The worn-out joke, the raillery unfit,
The mere rough horse-play of a clumsy wit.
With faults like these, if the work venal stand,
It marks each fault with a proscribing hand,
Pronounces sentence with a critic's fire,
And leaves the author's faction to admire.
Are there, who stoop a manager to please,
Who if he belches, can commend his ease,
Around the town who circulate his tales,
And take the freedom of the house for vails?
Is there a clerk, who writes for hire the day,
And steals at night to see a virgin play?
A bard, whose tragedy rejected lies,
And each day bathes in tears its parents' eyes;
Or else, whose Muse nine nights escap'd disgrace,
And hates with female spite a rival face?
E [...]n such, with other fops, the vain, the sad
[...]f-wits, half-beaux, half-parsons, and half-mad;
[Page 21] Whene'er they please in dread array can sit,
The self-impannell'd jury of the pit!
Annoy the play'rs, with scorn each scene dismiss,
Whistle and catcall, roar, and chafe, and hiss.
Rise from th' unfinish'd piece; the bard decry,
The only culprit that unheard must die.
A writ of error should he dare to bring,
And fly on Millar's, or on Tonson's wing,
Of ev'ry reader he becomes the slave,
The standing jest of each buffooning knave.
In humble preface he implores in vain,
Or lulls with dedication's gentle strain.
The poet's judge no soothing arts asswage;
As Jeff'ries rigid, and foul-mouth'd as Page.
And must I only then still choak with bile?
Shall men be coxcombs, nor I dare to smile?
Not dare to smile, when all around I see,
Each garret emptying its full reams on me?
On me, who heav'n be thank'd! have had the skill
To keep at bay the brethren of the quill;
Who ne'er with Shirley have a pipe enjoy'd,
Nor at Bob Derry's have got drunk with Lloyd.
Who shun the haunts of each dull scribbling fool,
And ne'er with Churchill read my works to Pool *
My writings hurt them — what, Sir? — their success?
May envy still grow pale, nor know redress!
[Page 22] My satire hurts them too! — misguided men!
Who own a wound from such a pow'rless pen.
A Muse like mine may serve, but never bites;
Who, without me, had known that Shirley writes?
Yes, yes he writes, nor has my feeble strain
Congeal'd his sense, or petrify'd his vein.
Still Churchill pours the torrent of his wit;
Yet why? — th' advice I gave was sound and fit:
"No more abroad to mend the manners roam,
"But know that charity begins at home;
"And e'er to plays and play'rs you turn your head,
"Attend your function, and inter the dead."
This was the counsel; this the kind address;
And tell me frankly, said his B—p less?
Whom have I wounded? —did I e'er with art
Aim at the innocent a poison'd dart?
On any honest head did I with skill,
A drop of venom from my pen distil?
Shew me the man, whom real genius fires,
Who pants for fame, and whom the God inspires;
Of right and wrong the bounds who still can find,
And boasts the pure recesses of the mind;
Who free from envy sees a rising youth,
His breast impregnated with gen'rous truth;
Fond to oblige, desirous to commend,
Nor for his talents jealous of a friend:
[Page 23] In his own way a rival who can eye,
Nor to subvert him, helps about a lie;
Shew such a man, my idol he shall prove,
And ev'n with JOHNSON shall divide my love.
But should there issue forth a pigmy wight,
Still flagrant from the rod, who needs must write;
Whose hand, still tingling from the usher's stroke,
Must pen an essay, and the Muse provoke;
Prate, like a CONNOISSEUR, of just and fit,
Yet want the growth of manhood and of wit;
From a friend's genius who his strength derives,
As the crab grafted on the medlar thrives;
Who thus supported can the merit claim
Ev'n from the stock, whence his nutrition came;
In self-applause who can whole hours employ,
While his fond eye consents in tears of joy;
By works of darkness hopes to rise to day,
And damns a brief, and petty-fogs a play;
Cabals, and plots, and wriggles for a name,
And shrinks and withers at a rival's fame;
Fears lest your industry with him should vie,
And seems a friend to be a surer spy;
Fond to advise you, merely to deceive,
And, if your work succeeds, the first to grieve;
Who, for his ends, mean offices can bear,
And fetch and carry letters for a play'r;
[Page 24] Who deems a MANAGER a sacred thing,
And swears who laughs at him — dislikes his king;
Far, far from me let such his talents boast,
And be the GENIUS of an Evening Post.
Farther, still farther let Crispinus stand;
Between us rise whole continents of land!
Yet e'er we part, his picture I would chuse;
Come then and sit, Crispinus, for the Muse;
The honest muse, whose hand severely kind,
Shall crayon forth each feature of thy mind.
Her work begins;— emerging from the strife
Of mingling colours, lo! he starts to life.
Is that Crispinus? — what that uncouth form!
Who seems a very monster in a storm!
Can he, or truth, or poesy, dispense?
That CALIBAN in manners as in sense!
In his fierce look, what passions scowling lie!
The downward head, and the assassin's eye.
His very youth 'gainst decency rebell'd,
From school with early infamy expell'd.
Thence comet-like irregular he flew,
And as he fled, still more eccentric grew.
Still he despis'd all order, sense, and rank,
At fairs he cudgell'd, and with porters drank;
In ev'ry low dexterity he dealt,
Broughtonian fame, and judgment at a b [...]lt *
[Page 25] At wheelbarrows for apples cogg'd the dice,
In ev'ry alehouse gather'd ev'ry vice;
'Till, wond'rous to relate! his race to crown,
He sanctify'd his scandal with a gown.
Then Tartuff-like a pulpit he attain'd,
With real malice, and devotion feign'd;
There pious leers, a satyr in disguise!
And talks of virtue with lascivious eyes.
For scanty hire the morning lecture gives,
And still a needy Bacchanalian lives.
His days of folly one continued round,
Now at the punch-house, now the skittle-ground;
Now at the billiard-room whole hours he'll sit,
Now hiss the foremost critic of the pit;
To works obscene now lend th' obscener jest,
And to a Meretriciad give a zest.
To acts of envy all his soul inclin'd,
A mere Thersites both in form and mind!
His pleasure still to join the rabble race,
And with low ribaldry each name deface.
All worth above him eager to annoy;
Mischief his pride, and malice all his joy.
Ev'n in the church, where he should truths impart,
He proves a vile apostate in his heart;
'Midst the Lord's pray's his spleen a lie can frame,
And meditate a murder of your fame;
[Page 26] 'Midst his devotion against heav'n rebel,
And ev'n his very wit can pimp for hell,
Can on detraction at the altar plod,
"Assist the fiends, and tear him from his God."
If such Crispinus, may he shun my ways,
And be his calumny my highest praise.
Thee too, Orbilius, thee my just disdain
Rejects; thou meanest of th' envenom'd train!
To thy green years if nature e'er was kind,
Grown old in youth, thou'rt now a vanish'd mind.
By drams thy faculties dissolv'd away,
Of rankling envy thou art left the prey.
He knows thy character, who sees thy face;
Thy look's a libel on the human race!
The envious sneer is thine, if Genius rise;
The ghastly smile, when patient merit sighs.
Thinking that frets, but never tends to use;
The pangs of labour, nothing that produce.
The hypocritic leer, the fawning stile,
The timid anger, and the treach'rous smile.
Rancour, that lusts each neighbour to abuse;
An unperforming pigeon-liver'd Muse!
The narrow spirit, that for pelf can pray;
Profusion, that can muddle it away.
So mean, for favours he can humbly sue,
So proud, when granted, can abuse you too:
[Page 27] Thus for a job a GENIUS he addrest,
An understrapper at his own request!
Then at his patron rail'd with ranc'rous heart,
And from accomplice play'd th' informer's part.
A figure, which the loves and joys forsake,
Which would each prostitute a vestal make;
But that all virtue still to put to flight,
He panders school-boys to the foul delight.
Despis'd by rakes, sad outcast of the schools,
Bullied by cowards, a flatt'rer to fools!
A mere — but more the Muse will not detect;
For who can bear a Maggot to dissect?
Sworn in a laegue when bards like these combine,
And rancour is th' Apollo of each line;
When half wits convenanted seize the bays,
And sing alternate one another's praise;
From others brows when ev'ry sprig they tear,
Vainly they think usurpers-like to wear;
When their own works for models they display,
And this man's poems shew, and t'other's play;
At this I burst; at this my Muse proceeds,
Not like the barber whisp'ring to the reeds,
But tells aloud, and calls the world to hear,
Each jealous scribbler wears an ass's ear.
But still I'm told, why quarrel with these fools?
Why indiscreetly wanton with edge tools?
[Page 28] Satire's a dang'rous weapon, and hath made
Adverse to Pope himself the rhyming trade.
Let your satyric Muse renounce her pen,
Or never dare to tread the stage again.
Else shall the Vandals storm you from the pit,
And with their lungs revenge their want of wit.
Must I then stand appall'd by party-zeal?
No! — to a people's judgment I appeal.
That people ever generous as brave,
From ruffian hands the virgin Muse will save:
A play of merit their protection draws,
Find but the piece, and they will find applause;
Faction with all her catcalls shall retire,
And envy, with'ring by degrees, expire:
Ev'n each false friend shall shake his head in vain,
And feel from wit the pleasure and the pain.
But still, tho' here the disappointed foe
Sounds a retreat, he aims a second blow?
Angry be foams; he roars with croaking note,
"The scenes are patchwork, like a Joseph's coat.
"The whole, a motley linsey wolsey piece,"
From old and modern Rome, from France and Greece.
Why let 'em say it? — But shall men expect
To find us scholars, then as thieves detect?
Shall I see others rifle all the spring,
Nor dare a garland for myself to bring?
[Page 29] No; let me roam thro' each poetic shade,
Taste ev'ry fount, and visit ev'ry glade;
Crop from each antient's brow the fairest flow'rs,
And follow Genius to th' Aonian bow'rs;
Still some small spark of inspiration gain,
Or from the Muse, or Muse-inspired train.
Ye sacred Nine, to whom I lowly bend,
To whom my morning orisons ascend;
With whom my earliest youth aspir'd to dwell,
And sought your visions in each pensive cell;
Give me, oh! give me purer air to breathe
In haunts where poet never cull'd a wreath;
Bid unseen images before me roll,
And stream the fair ideas on my soul:
Or if, like Philip's son, I sight in vain
For some new world's yet unexplor'd domain,
Like him, then let me make the old my own,
Its manners view, and leave no tract unknown.
Chief let the band, who warm'd a happier age,
Its manners view, and leave no tract unknown.
Chief let the band, who warm'd a happier age,
Who strung the lyre, or gave th' historic page;
Let them, Oh! let them teach their sacred lore,
And of fair wisdom open all their store;
At morn, at eve the rapture still impart,
And touch with finer sentiment the heart;
Embellish virtue, give the lash to crimes,
And be the moralists of after-times!
[Page 30] Illustrious race! if e'er I court the Muse,
Some heav'nly portion of yourselves infuse;
Nor let the flow'rs, which at your shrine I gain,
Transplanted die, and curse my barren brain;
But round my brow, ye sons of lasting praise!
With modern ivy twine one sprig of bays.
Old Homer thus could Maro's breast inspire,
And thus Menander his own Terence fire.
Moliere himself, the great Moliere, whose view
Unmask'd each object, and look'd nature thro',
In Plautus' colours could his pencil dip,
And like the bee each various fragrance sip;
Seize the true comic, each diverting whim,
And Spain and Italy both wrote for him.
On antient columns Johnson rais'd his name;
On borrow'd wings ev'n Shakespear soar'd to fame.
The manly Wycherley lov'd foreign lays,
And Steel and Vanbrugh travell'd for their bays.
On their example will I rest my cause,
Tho' niggard envy still withold applause.
Yes, while I live, it is my settled plan,
Whate'er I read to profit all I can,
Tho' dulness sons conjoin'd — friend, learn to fear.
(The voice of prudence whispers in my ear)
Why dulness sons for ever? — let the men
Just bubble up, and then sink down again;
[Page 31] Sooth'em with flatt'ry — to oppose is vain;
With all my heart — I'll sing another strain;
Bob Lloyd in fable equals La Fontain.
Colman, the comic Muse is yours entire,
And Juvenal must yield to Churchill's fire;
Flexney, and Thrush, and Pottinger, and Say,
The weekly lie, the scandal of the day,
The lurking foe, — Bravo, my mind! — proceed;
'Tis wond'rous well! — Bravissimo, indeed!
But can'st thou sooth them with this artful stile?
'Tis deep malignity beneath a smile.
This praise that damns will make'em chafe the more;
Heav'ns! how they now will fret, and rave and roar!
Hard is at best the fate of all who chuse
For idle fame to meditate the Muse;
Tapers light up to lend mankind a ray,
And unregarded waste themselves away.
Round you more various ills in ambush wait,
For you must add severity to fate.
Lo! from the Printing-House one darts his pen,
And vomits smoke, like Cacus, from his den.
St. James's Chronicle alarms the town,
And in four columns scandal marches down:
But scandal, say you, soon must droop its head,
At morn it flutters, and at eve 'tis dead.
For boys at school it helps to vamp a kite,
Or else emblazes some rejoicing night.
[Page 32] To the tale whisper'd, or the printed lie,
A life well acted, is a dread reply.
To all the harm a jealous wit can mean,
A piece well written is the worst of spleen.
It is, my mind; then let it be your rule,
To smile contempt on ev'ry scribbling fool.
What, smile in silence, and with patience bear
Fierce slander's tongue, and envy's livid glare?
No; from the lash be ev'ry witling sore,
As for their malice witches died of yore.
Alas! alas! all Grubstreet in a rage,
Will lay its harpy claws upon your page;
Your name each angry bard will still pursue;
What can the bravoes of Parnassus do?
What should I fear? — an evidence suborn'd,
and ev'ry mischief from a poet scorn'd;
Who can — what can he? — hush! — speak out — again!
Be prudent, friend, or fairly drop your pen.

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