Dixin' ego vobis, in hôc esse Atticam elegantiam? TER.
Oh me infelicem!—
—quae laudârum quantum luctus habuerint!







THE author of the following Eclogue, having requested my assist­ance to introduce it to the world; it was with more indignation than surprize I was informed of your having used your extensive influence over the press to prevent its being advertised in the News-papers. How are you, Sir, concerned in the Lamentation of Roscius for his Nyky? Does your modesty think no man entitled to the appellation of Roscius but yourself? Does Nyky resemble any nick-named fa­vourite of yours? Or does it follow, that if you have cherished an un­worthy favourite, you must bear too near a resemblance to him? Qui capit ille facit; beware of self-accusation, where others bring no charge! Or, granting you right in these particulars, by what right or privilege do you, Sir, set up for a licenser of the press? That you have long successfully usurped that privilege, to swell both your fame and fortune, is well known. Not the puffs of the quacks of Bays­water and Chelsea are so numerous and notorious: but by what au­thority do you take upon you to shut up the general channel, in which writers usher their performances to the public? If they at­tack either your talents or your character, in utrumque paratus, you are armed to defend yourself. You have, besides your ingenuous countenance and conscious innocence; Nil conscire sibi, nulla pal­lescere culpa; Besides this brazen bulwark, I say, you have a ready pen and a long purse. The press is open to the one, and the bar is ever ready to open with the other. For a poor author, not a printer will publish a paragraph, not a pleader will utter a quib­ble. You have then every advantage in the contest: It is need­less, therefore, to endeavour to intimidate your antagonists by countenancing your retainers to threaten their lives! These in­timidations, let me tell you Sir, have an ugly, suspicious look. They are besides needless; the genus irritabile vatum want no such personal provocations; Heaven knows, the life of a play-wright, like that of a spider, is in a state of the most slender dependency. It is well for my rhiming friend that his hangs not on so slight a thread. He thinks, nevertheless, that he has reason to complain, as well as the publick, of your having long preferred the flimzy, translated, patch'd-up and mis-altered pieces of your favourite com­pilers, to the arduous attempts at originality of writers, who have no personal interest with the manager. In particular, he thinks [Page iv] the two pieces, you are projecting to get up next winter, for the emolument of your favorite in disgrace, or to reimburse yourself the money, you may have advanced him, might, for the present at least, be laid aside.

But you will ask me, perhaps, in turn, Sir, what right I have to interfere with the business of other people, or with yours? I will answer you. It is because I think your business, as patentee of a theatre-royal, is not so entirely yours, but that the publick also have some concern in it. You, Sir, indeed have long be­haved as if you thought the town itself a purchased appurtenance to the theatre; but, tho' the scenes and machines are yours; nay, tho' you have even found means to make comedians and poets your property; it should be with more caution than you practise, that you extend your various arts to make so scandalous a proper­ty of the publick.

Again I answer, it is because I have some regard for my friend, and as much for myself, whom you have treated as ill perhaps as you have done any other writer; while under your auspices, some of the persons stigmatised by the satirist, have frequently combined to do me the most essential injury. But nemo me impurè lacessit. Not that I mean now to enter into particulars which may be thought to relate too much to myself and too little to the publick. When I shall have leisure to draw a faithful portraiture of Mr. Garrick, not only from his behaviour to me in particular, but from his conduct towards poets, players and the town in general, I doubt not to convince the most partial of his admirers that he hath accumulated a fortune, as manager, by the meanest and most me­retricious devices, and that the theatrical props, which have long supported his exalted reputation, as an actor, have been raised on the ruins of the English stage.

In the mean time, I leave you to amuse yourself with the follow­ing jeu d'esprit of my friend; hoping, tho' it be a severe correction for the errours of your past favouritism, it may prove a salutary guide to you for the future. With regard to the mode of its publica­tion I hope also to stand excused with the reader for thus interposing to defeat the success of those arts, which you so unfairly practise to prevent, from reaching the public eye, whatever is disagreeable to your own.

I am, Sir, Yours, &c. W. KENRICK.


WHITHER away, now, GEORGE*, into the city,
And to the village, must thou bear my ditty.
Seek NYKY out, while I in verse complain,
And court the Muse to call him back again.
Boeotian Nymphs, my favorite verse inspire;
As erst ye NYKY taught to strike the lyre.
For he like PHOEBUS' self can touch the string,
And opera-songs compose—like any thing!
What shall I do, now NYKY'S fled away?
For who like him can either sing or say?
[Page 2] For me, alas! who well compos'd the song
When lovely PEGGY *liv'd, and I was young;
By age impair'd, my piping days are done,
My memory fails, and ev'n my voice is gone.
My feeble notes I yet must strive to raise;
Boeotian Muses! aid my feeble lays:
A little louder, and yet louder still,
Aid me to raise my failing voice at will;
Aid me as loud as Hercules did bawl,
For Hylas lost, lost NYKY back to call;
While London town, and all its suburbs round
In echoes, NYKY, NYKY, back resound.
[Page 3] Whom fliest thou, frantic youth, and whence thy fear?
Blest had there never been a grenadier!
Unhappy NYKY, by what frenzy seiz'd,
Couldst thou with such a monstrous thing be pleas'd?
What, tho' thyself a loving horse-marine,
A common foot-soldier's a thing obscene.
Not fabled Nymphs, by spleen turn'd into cows,
Bellow'd to nasty bulls their amorous vows;
Tho' turn'd their loving horns upon each other,
Butting in play, as brother might with brother.
Unhappy NYKY, whither dost thou stray,
Lost to thy friends, o'er hills and far away?
[Page 4] Yet to Euryalus as Nisus true,
So shall thy ROSCIUS, NYKY, prove to you;
Whether by impulse mov'd, itself divine,
Or so I'm bound to call it, as it's mine,
A mighty feat presents itself to view,
Which for our mutual gain I yet will do.
Mean-time do thou beware, while I bemoan,
How far thou trustest seas or lands unknown.
To Tyber's stream, or to the banks of Po,
Safe in thy love, safe in thy virtue, go;
Yet even there with caution be thou kind,
And look out sharp and frequently behind.
But ah, beware, nor trust, tho' native Mud,
The banks of Liffy, or of Shannon's flood;
Or there, if driv'n by fate, be hush'd thy strain?
Nor of thy wayward lot, nor mine complain.
[Page 13] By this most precious relick, here I pledge
Myself to save him from the halter's edge:
And not myself alone, but ev'ry friend
Shall all his interest and assistance lend.
Quaint B—, beholding the rude mob with scorn,
Shall tell how Irish bards are gentle born;
Next I, to captivate the learned bench,
Will strait affirm that NYKY writes good French; *
Thy timid nature JOHNSON shall maintain,
In words no dictionary can explain.
Goldsmith, good-natur'd man, shall next defend,
His foster-brother, countryman, and friend:
Shall prove the humbler passions, now and then,
Are incidental to us little men;
[Page 14] And that the part our gentle NYKY play'd
Was but philosophy in masquerade. §
Let me no longer, then, my loss deplore,
But to his ROSCIUS, Muse, my NYK restore.
[Page 15] For who like him will patch and pilfer plays,
Yielding to me the profit and the praise?
Tho' cheap in French translations MURPHY deals;
For cheap he well may vend the goods he steals;
Tho' modest CRADDOC scorns to sell his play,
But gives the good-for-nothing thing away;
What tho' the courtly CUMBERLAND succeeds
In writing stuff no man of letters reads;
Tho' sense and language are expell'd the stage;
For nonsense pleases best a senscless age;
What tho' the author of the New Bath Guide
Up to the skies my talents late hath cried;
[Page 16] Tho' humble HIFFERNAN in pay, I keep,
Still my fast friend, when he is fast asleep;
Tho' long the Hodmandod my friend hath been,
With the land-tortoise earth'd at Turnham-Green: *
My puffs in fairest order full display;
[Page 17] Impartially insert each friendly PRO,
Suppressing ever CON of every foe;
For well I ween, they wot that cons and pros
Will tend my faults and follies to expose:
Tho' mighty TOM doth still my champion prove,
And LOCKYER'S gauntlet be a chicken glove:
[Page 18] Tho' shambling BECKET, proud to soothe my pride,
Keeps ever shuffling on my right-hand side;
What tho' with well-tim'd flatt'ry, loud he cries,
At each theatric stare, "See, see his eyes!"
What tho' he'll fetch and carry at command,
And kiss, true spaniel-like, his master's hand;
With admiration NYK ne'er heard me speak,
But press'd the kiss of love upon my cheek; *
Incessant clapp'd at th' end of every speech;
And, had I let him, would have kiss'd my b—!
Let me no longer, then, my loss deplore,
But to his ROSCIUS, Muse, my NYK restore.
But hah! what discord strikes my listening ear?
Is NYKY dead, or is some critic near?
Curse on that Ledger and that damn'd Whitehall
How players and managers they daily maul!
[Page 19] Curse on that Morning-Chronicle; whose tale
Is never known with spightful wit to fail.
Curse on that FOOTE; who in ill-fated hour
Trod on the heels of my theatric-power;
Who, ever ready with some biting joke,
My peace hath long and would my heart have broke.
Curse on his horse—one leg! but ONE to break!
"A kingdom for a horse" —to break his neck!
Curse on that STEVENS, with his Irish breeding,
While I am acting, shall that wretch be reading?
Curse on all rivals, or in same or profit;
The Fantoccini still make something of it!
[Page 20] Curse on that KENRICK, with his caustic pen,
Who scorns the hate, and hates the love of MEN;
Who with such force envenom'd satire writes,
Deeper his ink than aqua-fortis bites.
Stand his perpetual-motion § ever still;
Or, if it move, oh, let it move up hill.
The curse of Sisiphus, oh, let him feel;
The curse of Fortune's still recurring wheel
[Page 21]That upward roll'd with anxious toil and pain,
The summit almost gain'd, rolls back again.
Ne'er shall his FALSTAFF come again to life;
Ne'er shall be play'd again his WIDOW'D WIFE;
Ne'er will I court again his stubborn Muse,
But for a pageant would his play refuse.
While puff and pantomime will gull the town,
'Tis good to keep o'erweening merit down;
[Page 22] With BICKERSTAFF and CUMBERLAND go shares,
And grind the poets as I grind the players.
Curse on that KENRICK, soul of spleen and whim!
What are my puffs, and what my gains to him?
If poor and proud, can he of right complain
That wealthier men and wittier are as vain?
Why must he hint that I am past my prime,
To blast my fading laurels ere their time?
Death to my fame, and what, alas, is worse,
'Tis death, damnation, to my craving purse;
Capacious purse! by PLUTUS form'd to hold,
(The God of Wealth) the devil and all of gold.
Insatiate purse, that never yet ran o'er,
But swallows all, and gapes, like Hell, for more.
And yet, alas! how much the world will lye!
They call me miser; but no miser I;
He, brooding o'er his bags, delighted sits,
And laughs to scorn the jests of envious wits;
If fast his doors, he sets his heart at rest,
And dotes with rapture on his iron chest;
No galling paper-squibs his spirits teize,
But ev'n the boys may hoot him if they please.
[Page 23] He scorns the whistling of an empty name,
While I am torn 'twixt avarice and fame;
While I, so tremblingly alive all o'er,
Still bleed and agonize at every pore;
At ev'ry hiss am harrow'd up with fear,
And burst with choler at a critick's sneer.
Rack'd by the gout and stone, and struck with age,
Prudence and Ease advise to quit the stage;
But Fame still prompts, and Pride can feel no pain;
And Avarice bids me sell my soul for gain.
Bring NYKY back, O Muse! by verse divine,
The Trojan-Greeks were once transform'd to swine.
By verse divine B—TTI 'scap'd the rope:
Now love is known, what may not lovers hope!
Ev'n as with Griffins * stallions late have join'd
With blood-hounds goats may litter, as in kind;
[Page 24] Nay wanton kids devouring wolves may greet,
And wolves with loving lyonesses meet.
By different means is different love made known.
And each fond lover will prefer his own.
Strange lot of love! two friends, my soul's delight,
Men call that M—r, this a Catamite!
Yet bring him back; for who chaste roundelay
Shall sing, now B—ST—FF is driv'n away?
Who now correct, for modest Drury-lane,
Loose Wycherly's or Congreve's looser vein?
With nice decorum shunning naughty jokes,
Exhibit none but decent, dainty folks?
[Page 25] Ah me! how wanton wit will shame the stage,
And shock this delicate, this virtuous age!
How will Plain-dealers * triumph, to my sorrow!
And PAPHOS rise o'er SODOM and GOMORRAH!


A Certain circumstance,* to which the author of the foregoing piece was an utter stranger, having happened about the time of its publication, and given rise to rumours equally false and foreign to the writer; it appears that Roscius, or some of his friends, was pleased to insert the following queries in the Morning Chronicle of July 2d.

CANDOUR presents her compliments to Mr.—, she begs his pardon—to Dr.— Kenrick, and desires to ask him a few simple questions; to which, if he be the Plain-dealer he pretends, he will give a plain and direct answer.

  • Query I. Whether you are not the author of the eclogue, entitled, Love in the Suds, as well as of the letter prefixed to it?
  • II. Whether you did not mean, though you have artfully evaded the law, by affecting the translation of a classical cento, to throw out the most scandalous insinuations against the character of Roscius?
  • III. Whether you were not likewise the author of an infamous, anonymous paragraph in a public paper; for which that paper is un­der a just prosecution?
  • IV. Whether you have not openly acknowledged notwithstand­ing, that you really entertained a very different opinion of Roscius?
  • V. Whether any cause of dispute, that might subsist between you and Roscius, can authorize so cruel, so unmanly an attack?
  • VI. Whether the brother of Roscius did not personally wait on you to require, in his name, the satisfaction of a gentleman, which you refused him?

[Page 28]To these queries, the author judged it expedient to make the fol­lowing reply in the same paper of July 4th.



Though I think your signature a misnomer, to shew that I am no stranger to the name and quality you assume, I shall not stand on the punctilio of your being an anonymous querist; but answer your several questions explicitly.

  • I. I am the author of the eclogue you mention.
  • II. I did not mean to throw out the most scandalous insinuations on the character of Roscius, nor any insinuation more scandalous than his conduct. How far that has been so, he knows best, and is left to make the application.
  • III. An infamous paragraph I cannot write; and an anonymous one I will not write, to prejudice my greatest enemy. As to that in ques­tion, I have not, to this hour, even seen it. CALUMNY I detest; but I think vice should be exposed to infamy; nor have I so much false delicacy as to conceive, it should be treated with tenderness in propor­tion as it is abominable.
  • IV. I have not acknowledged that I entertain a very different opinion of Roscius; on the contrary, I declare, that I entertain a very indifferent opinion of him.
  • V. As to the cause of our dispute, I should be very ready to submit it to the publick, were I egotist enough to think it deserved their at­tention.
  • VI. The brother of Roscius did personally wait on me, to desire I would meet "him, the said Roscius, who would bring a friend with him; I being at liberty to do the same;" but as nothing of time, place, or weapon was mentioned, I did not look on this message as a challenge; nor well could I, as I never heard of requiring gentleman's satisfaction by letter of attorney, and the professed end of our meeting [Page 29] turned merely on a matter of business.—It is possible, indeed, the messenger, otherwise instructed, might imagine it such, especially as, it seems, his head has teemed with nothing but challenges and duels, since his magnanimous monomachy with one of his brother Roscius's candle-snuffers.—That Roscius himself, however, did not mean to send me a challenge, is plain, from his solliciting afterwards by letter, a conference in the presence only of a common friend to both: a request that would have been complied with, had not he thought proper, in a most ungentleman-like manner, to make a confidant, in the mean time, of a booby of a bookseller, who had the folly and impudence to declare that he would, on his [Roscius's] account, take an opportu­nity to do me some desperate mischief.—Lest I should be yet suppo­sed, from the purport of this last query, to have any fear of a personal encounter with the doughty Roscius, I require only that it may be on an equal footing. I am neither so extravagantly fond of life, nor think myself so consequential in it, as to fear the end of it from such an antagonist; nor, to say the truth, should I have any qualms of conscience, if nothing less will satisfy him, about putting an end to so insignificant a being as his: but, as "the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong," it is but right to provide against a mishap. Roscius has a large fortune, and little or no family to leave it to: I have a large family, and little or no fortune to leave it. Let Roscius but previously settle only half his estate on my heirs, on condition that he deprives them of a protector, and I will meet him to-morrow, and engage at his own weapons, not only him, but his brother George into the bargain.*

And now, Madam CANDOUR, give me leave to ask you a question or two, in my turn.

  • [Page 30]Qu. I. Whether, from many gross instances of misbehaviour, Ros­cius hath not long had sufficient reason to suspect the detestable cha­racter of Nyky.?
  • II. Whether, therefore, granting Roscius to be himself immaculate, he is excusable for his notorious partialities to such a character?
  • III. Whether he has any right to complain of unjust severity, in being ludicrously reproached with such partialities, by a writer, whom he hath treated, even in favour of that very wretch, with dis­respect, with insolence, with injustice.
The above pleasantry being misconstrued by some of Roscius's friends to the disadvantage of the author, the latter thought himself under the necessity of seriously acquainting the former, of his being ready, as he is, at any time, to give him such sa­tisfaction as a gentleman, who supposes himself injured, has a right to require.

Instead of candidly replying, however, to the above three queries, a very difficult task, indeed, to Roscius, he caused the Court of King's Bench to be moved for a rule to shew cause, why leave should not be given him to file an information against the author for a libel: which being granted of course, the same was exultingly anounced in the fol­lowing paragraphs inserted in all the news-papers:

Yesterday morning Mr. Dunning made a motion in the Court of King's Bench, for a rule to shew cause why an information should not be laid against the author of Love in the Suds. When the court was pleased to grant a rule for the first day of next term. The poem was read in court by the Clerk of the Crown, and afforded no small diversion when it came to that part which reflects upon a certain Chief Justice, who was present all the time.

Besides Mr. Wallace and Mr. Dunning, who are employed by a greatactor, in his prosecution of some detestable charges which have been lately urged with as much folly as wickedness against his charac­ter, Mr. Murphy and Mr. Mansfield are also engaged, and the cause now becomes a matter of much expectation with the publick.

To these paragraphs the author judged it necessary to make the following reply, in the above-mentioned Morning Chronicle; al­most all the rest of the news-papers, by the indefatigable industry [Page 31] and powerful influence of Roscius, a proprietor in most of them, being shut against him.



In reprehending the faults of other men you should ever be cau­tious of falling into the error you condemn. In yesterday's paper you indirectly charge me, among others, with having "urged a detesta­ble charge with as much folly as wickedness against a certain great actor."—What other people have done I know not, nor does it con­cern me; but I may safely defy all the Lawyers in Westminster-Hall fairly to deduce such a charge as you hint at from the eclogue in question. In this respect it is certainly as innocent as the great actor's Jubilee Ode! But granting it otherwise with any one else, how can you take upon you to say that such a charge is urged foolishly and wickedly? Can you know it to be false or groundless? And if not, on what grounds do you charge the accusers with folly and wickedness? Why does not the CANDOUR of the great actor, reply to the Queries put to him in your paper of Saturday last? But no; unable to justify himself at the bar of the publick, he flies for refuge to the quirks and quibbles of Westminster-Hall; and even this at the latter end of a term, in order to deceive the town into a notion that the court will countenance his prosecution. Why was not his motion made sooner, that cause might have been shewn in time, and the futility of it made immediately evident? Believe me, Sir, before an end is put to this business, the publick will be better enabled to judge on which side the folly and wickedness lies, than you appear to do at present.

I am, yours, &c. W. K.


K—K, whom we may justly class in
Th' envenom'd race of Scribes-assassin,
Accosts the celebrated Davy,
With "Sir, your humble—Phoebus save ye!
"A comedy I've newly written—
Curse me! if any bard in Britain
Can shew you one of equal merit;
Nay, half so full of wit and spirit.
You'll find it, Sir, all air, all life;
E'en better than my Widowed Wise.
A piece like this must always please one:
By G—d 'twill run you half the season!
Therefore, Sir Roscius, pray remember
To have it ready in November."
Garrick refus'd—Curse me, cries Ken,
I'll trounce the scoundrel with my pen.
[Page 33]Refuse my piece! I'll make him play't, or
I'll brand him for fair Beauty's traitor.
I'll have him in the Suds—I'll maul him,
And Bickerstaff's Accomplice call him.
When I have christen'd him Indorser,
His fame is gone, his acting's o'er, Sir:
The men in a tumultuous rage
Will hiss and pelt him off the stage;
Nay not one female—I'll so snap him—
Will even condescend to clap him.
So a young brim in Catharine-street
A man of sober cast will greet;
"Give me," she cries, with luring leer,
"Give me a glass of wine, my dear."
Then grasps his arm with seeming rapture,
In hopes of making him her capture.
But if in prudence he forbear
To venture on her dangerous ware,
Or to her painted beauty cold,
He force the nymph to quit her hold,
Th' indignant brim exclaims aloud,
T' exasperate the passing crowd;
And, in most diabolic spite,
Pronounces him a Sodomite.


G—K, whom men, of ev'ry class, call
A shuffling, avaricious r-sc-l,
For full five years had K —k fobb'd off,
And his fair name and fortune robb'd of;
[Page 34]Allowing Falstaff's Wedding merit,
And sworn to get it up with spirit,
Yet shrinking back, from year to year,
Thro' meanness, or invidious fear,
Lest any other should be thought
By Shakespeare's genius to be taught,
Prior engagements still pretending,
Which K—k finding still no end in;
Each mushroom produce of the season
To put off him still made a reason,
Resolv'd at length its fate to know
He claims an answer, yes, or no:
Bent, as in G—k there no trust is,
To do himself poetic justice;
To shew for whom and what rejected,
A piece approv'd is thus neglected.
G—k, who sans equivocation,
Deceit or mental reservation,
Mean subterfuge or sly suggestion,
Ne'er answer'd yet the plainest question;
Conscious of ev'ry partial trick
He others play'd, for sake of Bick,
Demurs, and threatens life and law,
If K—k dare his pen to draw;
Who rising G—k's fair accuser,
Is branded as a base traducer;
By G—k ev'ry odium thrown
On K—k's name, to save his own.
So th' outlaw'd smuggler, base invader
Of th' interests of the honest trader,
His cargo seiz'd, himself in danger,
Addresses ev'ry passing stranger;
[Page 35]To bring the officer to shame,
Brands him with an Informer's name.
Informer, vile! he cries aloud,
Informer, echoes thro' the crowd;
Boys hoot, men cuff, and women scoff;
Meanwhile the miscreant shuffles off:
Thus knaves, supported by the mob,
The private and the public rob.


SINCE, Beatrice, you've undertaken
To save a sland'rous culprit's bacon,
(A culprit of guilt's blackest roll, and
Unprincipled as Jemmy Bolland.)
By telling us how, where, and when
Dan GARRICK has ill-treated KEN;
Give me, good dame, I humbly crave you,
A hearing for my fav'rite Davy;
I've my objections—let me start 'em—
The rule is, "audi alteram partem."
Some years ago an honest fellow,
As ever with sheer sack was mellow,
Who long has plac'd his hopes, his all, in
The gains of histrionic calling,
Who now is journeyman, now master,
(Oh may he never meet disaster!
Was offer'd, for the truth ask KEN of it—
Jack Falstaff's Wedding for his benefit.
[Page 36]LOVE, who at genius is no scoffer,
Makes KEN a bow, accepts his offer.
The piece was play'd—the audience claw'd it?
Not they; nor did they much applaud it.
But as it 'scap'd the trial ordeal,
To K—k's spirits 'twas a cordial.
He bounc'd, look'd big, and swell'd: his vanity
Was not to be restrain'd by any tie:
He swore his comedy might claim a
Precedence in the British drama:
Its flights so high, its wit so attic,
'Twou'd crown him king of bards dramatic.
Happy for KEN had Drury's sultan
Esteem'd his bantling an adult one!
But—fatal to the sale of tickets!
He said the child had got the rickets;
Tho' some few features in't were sprightly,
Yet altogether 'twas unsightly.
Howe'er to soften KEN's displeasure,
For disappointed same and treasure,
He charitably stood his patron,
And brought him out the Widow'd Matron,
Than Falstaff's Wedding heavier bruited,
Yet to the reigning taste more suited.
Some years elaps'd, the doughty KEN
Applies to Drury's Chief again:
He shook his head, and screw'd his phyz hard,
(The Widow'd Wife stuck in his gizzard)
"Must I, (cries he) place in my list
"A waspish Epigrammatist?
"Accept his trash, and be the cully
"Of such a snarling, scribbling bully?
[Page 37]"I've had enough of this same squire;
"A burnt child ever dreads the fire."
KEN vow'd revenge, made same his Pandar;
Hell shudder'd at the horrid slander.
Thus, Beatrice, have I unfolded
(And fairly too, I will uphold it)
The cause of quarrel literary,
'Twixt Kenrick and renowned Garry.
But were the Manager's behaviour
(As you relate) in KEN's disfavour,
Pray could it justify to true sage
Your rancorous friend's informal usage?
In the next term, at least in Hilary,
I hope your friend will grace the pillory:
And, as he has prepar'd the Suds,
My wish is, the plebean bloods
May recompence the scribbling adder,
By giving him a hearty lather.


KEN vow'd revenge, made fame his Pandar;
Hell shudder'd at the horrid slander.
HA! Benedick! and are you there?
Caught in your own designing snare!
Doth K—k's eclogue say no more
Than common same had said before?
So horrid is't become the crime
To turn the town-talk into rhime?
[Page 38]To hint in dark and distant terms
What foul-mouth'd rumour loud affirms?
Is satire only too severe,
When more is meant than meets the ear?
So cruel is't to speak not out,
But leave avow'd report in doubt?
Fame is, we know, a lying strumpet;
And yet the muses blow her trumpet.
Your lines would else not run so glib,
At ev'ry second word a fib.
Lying, 'tis therefore plain, in thy sense,
Is founded on poetic licence.
A falshood all that you relate,
Of Falstaff's Wedding and its fate;
Of G—k's patronizing charity:
How ill bestow'd so great a rarity!
Tho' K—k e'er had too much pride
To kiss a manager's backside
Shunn'd, with vile Nyky to be seen,
In G—k's train, behind the scene;
Yet, not so far the world above
His labour to give up for Love;
His lawful right he still maintains,
To what he claim'd as honest gains.
Nor this alone the secret cause
Why K—k his dread goose-quill draws.
Let others crouch; but, while a man,
He never will forgive, nor can,
'Till full redress'd on fair confession,
A bare affront, or base oppression.
Much less will he restrain his pen,
In fear of wretches less than men:
[Page 39]That pen, which truth excites to gall
Both the great vulgar, and the small;
The scourge of guilt, when Justice claims
Its aid against the greatest names.
Much less will he its aid refuse,
Or tamely check his daring muse,
Because a stage-play'r stalks abroad,
Whose antic tricks the crowd applaud;
By his profession dead to shame,
And trusting to theatric fame;
Presumptuous that our English laws
Perverted, to avenge his cause,
The free-born muse in chains will bind,
Disgraceful unto human kind;
Of ridicule will check the vein,
And satire's wholesome power restrain;
That Vice and Folly, thus set free,
May laugh at future infamy.
No, Sir, next Term indeed, or Hillary,
May bring your Nyky to the pillory;
Securely as you think he's closetted,
And safe from law's pursuit deposited.
But think not the indignant town
Will let his farces still go down;
Or that with such a hateful croney,
You still may share the public money:
Attempt it not; lest, in a rage,
The audience drive thee from the stage.

To Dr. K—.

DOCTOR, I have been out of town, or
This packet would have reach'd you sooner.
Prithee pull off your mask; for no man
Should injure that dear creature, woman.
In Beatrice you give a handle
To fix on the dear sex a scandal.
What lady would take up goose quill in
Defence of such a slanderous villain?
At the word Fame you closely nibble,
And strive, by jesuitic quibble,
T' explain away an obvious meaning;
(An art that Ken was always keen in.)
Thus a Solicitor, who daily
Attends the sessions at Old Bailey,
In fraud deep skill'd, to law a nuisance,
Will catch a word, pervert its true sense,
To save a thorough-pac'd, and callous
Offender from his due—the gallows.
You tax as false what I relate
"Of Falstaff's Wedding, and its fate."
But will a Kenrick's ipse dixit
Blast my report, and falsehood fix it?
No, Doctor; he that knows us both,
Will trust my word before your oath.
The Comedy (howe'er you laud it)
I told you was not much applauded.
Many can witness my assertion
Is truth; not envy, nor aspersion.
Love's friends and your's were all agreed in
The celebration of Jack's Wedding;
[Page 41]Or possibly the critic clans
Had stepp'd in—to forbid the bans.
If on the town again you'd push'd it
Another audience might have crush'd it—
That play, whose only merit lies
In imitation, scarce can rise.
You rail at Bick—with all my heart:
Think you I mean to take his part?
Think you I would one distich write
T'exculpate a vile s—e?
No, on him let thy rage be hurl'd:
No—lash him naked thro' the world:
Expose in satire's keenest lays
This skulking, damn'd, detested race.
Hang up to publick scorn each brute
Who dares Love's rites to prostitute:
But never tax, in prose or rhyme,
The guiltless with so black a crime.
Your hints to celebrated Garry
Seem useless and unnecessary.
Davy is— what?—a man of prudence:
Now mark what comment I obtrude-hence—
He would deserve a cane, or thicker staff,
To favour in futuro Bickerstaff:
For should a brat the town be sibb'd on,
Father'd by Paul, compil'd by Dibden,
The secret could he hope to smother?
No; it would out some time or other:
Then hey! what havock, rage and fury,
Would reign tumultuous at old Drury!
Down go the boxes! up the benches!—
The scenes are fir'd!—how great the stench is—
[Page 42]By h—! each British fair would fly out,
And eager join the general riot:
Wives, widows, maids, turn warlike Knights,
T' avenge their broken Bill of Rights.
'Twere just; for sure no back-door cub, like
Vile Bick, should profit by the public.
Doctor, I mean this rhyming letter
The last for which you'll be my debtor.
In friendship's name I therefore crave you
To make it up with injur'd Davy.
Your heart of envious spleen a mass call,
And own yourself a sland'rous rascal.
Speak truth for once, and shame the Devil—
Shame, my old Friend? 'twould be uncivil!
Pho! he'll excuse you on that score;
You never made him blush before.
You think I'm Drury's stage-director.
Upon my honour, mere conjecture!
I've put on Benedick's disguise,
To be conceal'd from critic spies;
And Garrick knows no more than Bick,
Or Ken, the name of


THUS costive bards themselves excuse,
And lay the fault upon the muse;
A slattern, rambling up and down,
That, when they're dull, is out of town.
But, come, for once, we'll let it pass,
A witling is sometimes an ass.

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