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For Locke or Milton, 'tis in vain to look,
TO MR. Adpisov.
OCCASIONED BY HIS DIALOGUES ON MEDALS.
This was originally written in the year 1715, when Where sprawl the saints of Verrio or Laguerre,
Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of Or gilded clouds in fair expansion lie,
medals: it was some time before he was secreAnd bring all Paradise before your eye.
tary of state ; but not published till Mr. Tickell's To rest, the cushion and soft dean invite,
edition of his works; at which time his verses on Who never mentions Hell to ears polite.
Mr. Craggs, which conclude the poem, were But hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call;
added, viz. in 1720. A hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall:
As the third Epistle treated of the extremes of The rich buffet well-colour'd serpents grace,
avarice and profusion ; and the fourth took up And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face.
one particular branch of the latter, namely, the Is this a dinner? this a genial room?
vanity of expense in people of wealth and quaNo, 'tis a temple, and a hecatomb.
lity, and was, therefore, a corollary to the third ; A solemn sacrifice perform'd in state,
so this treats of one circumstance of that vanity, You drink by measure, and to minutes eat.
as it appears in the common collectors of old So quick retires each flying course, you'd swear
coins ; and is, therefore, a corollary to the Sancho's dread doctor and his wand were there.
How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears,
With nodding arches, broken temples spread ! Treated, caress'd, and tir'd, I take my leave, The very tombs now vanish'd like their dead! Sick of his civil pride from inorn to cve;
Imperial wonders rais'd on nations spoil'd, (toild: I curse such lavish cost, and little skill,
Where, mix'd with slaves, the groaning martyr And swear no day was ever pass'd so ill.
Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods, Yet hence the poor are cloth'd, the hungry fed ; Now drain'd a distant country of her floods : Health to himself, and to his infants bread,
Fanes, which admiring gods with pride survey; The labourer bears : What his hard heart denies, Statues of men, scarce less alive than they! His charitable vanity supplies.
Some felt the silent stroke of mouldering age, Another age shall see the golden ear
Some hostile fury, some religious rage.
Barbarian blindness, christian zeal conspire,
Perhaps, by its own ruins sav'd from flame,
Some bury'd marble half preserves a name; Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like Boyle? That name the learn’d with fierce disputes pursus, 'Tis use alone that sanctifies expense,
And give to Titus old Vespasian's due. And splendour borrows all her rays from sense.
Ambition sigh'd: she found it vain to trust His father's acres who enjoys in peace,
The faithless column and the crumbling bust : Or makes his neighbours glad, if he increase : Huge moles, whose shadows stretch'd from shore to Whose cheerful tenants bless their yearly toil,
shore, Yet to their lord owe more than to the soil ; Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more! Whose ample lawns are not asham'd to feed Convinc'd, she now contracts her vast design, The milky heifer and deserving steed;
And all her triumphs shrink into a coin. Whose rising forests, not for pride or show,
A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps, But future buildings, future navies, grow :
Beneath her palm here sad Judea wecps; Let his plantations stretch from down to down, Now scantier limits the proud arch confine, First shade a country, and then raise a town. And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile or Rhine ; You too proceed ! make falling arts your care,
A small Euphrates through the piece is roll’d, Erect new wonders, and the old repair ;
And little eagles wave their wings in gold. Jones and Palladio to themselves restore,
The medal, faithful to its charge of fame, And be whate'er Vitruvius was before :
Through climes and ages bears each form and name Till kings call forth the ideas of your mind,
In one short view subjected to our eye (Proud to accomplish what such hands design'd,) Gods, emperors, heroes, sages, beauties, lie. Bid harbours open, public ways extend,
With sharpen'd sight pale antiquaries pore, Bid temples worthier of the God ascend ;
Th' inscription value, but the rust adore. Bid the broad arch the dangerous flood contain, This the blue varnish, that the green endears, The mole projected break the roaring main;
The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years ! Back to his bounds their subject sea command, To gain Pescenius one employs his schemes, And roll obedient rivers through the land;
One grasps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams.
And Curio, restless by the fair-one's side,
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine
Her gods and godlike heroes rise to view,
I sit with sad civility; I read And all her faded garlands bloom anew.
With honest anguish, and an aching head; Nor blush, these studies thy regard engage : And drop at last, but in unwilling cars, These pleas'd the fathers of poetic rage :
This saving counsel, “Keep your piece nine years" The verse and sculpture bore an equal part,
“ Nine years !" cries he, who high in Drury-lane. And art reflected images to art.
Lull’d by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term ents Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame? Oblig'd by hunger and request of friends: In living medals see her wars enroll'd,
“ The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it; And vanquish'd realms supply recording gold ? I'm all submission ; what you'd have it, make it." Here, rising bold, the patriot's honest face;
Three things another's modest wishes bound, There, warriors frowning in historic brass ? My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound. Then future ages with delight shall see
Pitholeon sends to me : « You know his grace : How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agree; I want a patron; ask him for a place." Or in fair series laureld bards be shown,
Pitholeon libellid me “but here's a letter A Virgil there, and here an Addison :
Informs you, sir, 'twas when he knew no better. Then shall thy Craggs (and let me call him mine) Dare you refuse him? Curll invites to dine, On the cast ore, another Pollio, shine:
He'll write a journal, or he'll turn divine." With aspect open shall erect his head,
Bless me! a packet. —“'Tis a stranger sues, And round the orb in lasting notes be read, A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Muse." “ Statesman, best friend to truth! of soul sincere, If I dislike it, “ Furies, death, and rage !" In action faithful, and in honour clear ;
If I approve, Commend it to the stage. Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end, There (thank my stars) my whole comunission ends, Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend; The players and I are, luckily, no friends. Ennobled by himself, by all approv'd,
Fir'd that the house reject him, “ 'Sdeath! I'll prin And prais’d, unenvy'd, by the Muse he loved." And shame the fools- your interest, sir, with
“ Not, sir, if you revise it, and retouch." EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT: All my demurs but double bis attacks:
At last he whispers, “ Do; and we go snacks." BEING THE PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door,
“ Sir, let me see your works and you no more." P. SHut, shut the door, good John ! fatigu'd, I said, 'Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring, Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead. (Midas, a sacred person and a king,) The Dog-star rages ! nay, 'tis past a doubt, His very minister, who spy'd them first, All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out:
(Some say his queen,) was forc'd to speak, or burst. Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case, They rave, recite, and madden round the land. When every coxcomb perks them in my face? What walls can guard me, or what shades can A. Good friend, forbear! you deal in dangerous hide?
things, They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide. I'd never name queens, ministers, or kings; By land, by water, they renew the charge;
Keep close to ears, and those let asses prick, They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. 'Tis nothing - P. Nothing ? if they bite and kick? No place is sacred, not the church is free,
Out with it, Dunciad! let the secret pass, Ev'n Sunday shines no sabbath-day to me;
That secret to each fool, that he's an ass : Then from the mint walks forth the man of rhyme, The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?) Happy to catch me, just at dinner-time.
The queen of Midas slept, and so may I. Is there a parson, much bemus'd in beer,
You think this cruel ? Take it for a rule, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer,
No creature smarts so little as a fool. A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Let peals of laughter, Codrus, round thee break, Who pens a stanza, when he should engross? Thou unconcern'd canst hear the mighty crack: Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls Pit, box, and gallery, in convulsions hurld, With desperate charcoal round his darken'd walls ? Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world. All fly to Twit' nam, and, in humble strain, Who shames a scribbler? Break one cobweb Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
through, Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws, He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew: Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause : Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain, Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,
The creature's at his dirty work again, And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.
Thron'd on the centre of his thin designs, Friend to my life! (which did you not prolong, Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines ! The world had wanted many an idle song)
Whom have I hurt? has poet yet, or peer, What drop of nostrum can this plague remove? Lost the arch'd eyebrow, or Parnassian sneer? Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love? And has not Colly still his lord, and whore? A dire dilernma! either way I'm sped ;
His butchers Henley, his free-masons Moor? If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead. Does not one table Bavius still admit? Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge, how wretched I! Still to one bishop Philip seems a wit ? Who can't be silent, and who will not lie:
Å. Hold! for God's sake- you'll To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace ; And to be grave, exceeds all power of face. | No names – be calm- learn prudence of a friend :
I too could write, and I am twice as tall; (all. Were others angry : I excus'd them too;
But each man's secret standard in his mind,
That casting-weight pride adds to emptiness, Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent. This, who can gratify? for who can guess ? One dedicates in high heroic prose,
The bard whom pilfer'd pastorals renown, And ridicules beyond a hundred foes ;
Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown, One from all Grub-street will my fame defend, Just writes to make his barrenness appear, [year; And, more abusive, calls himself my friend. And strains from hard-bound brains, eight lines This prints my letters, that expects a bribe, He, who, still wanting, though he lives on theft, And others roar aloud, “ Subscribe, subscribe !" Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left:
There are, who to my person pay their court: And he, who, now to sense, now nonsense leaning, I cough like Horace, and, though lean, am short. Means not, but blunders round about a meaning: Ammon's great son one shoulder had too high, And he, whose fustian's so sublimely bad, Such Ovid's nose, and, “ Sir! you have an eye!" It is not poetry, but prose run mad : Go on, obliging creature, make me see
All these, my modest satire bad translate, All that disgrac'd my betters, met in me.
And own'd that nine such poets made a Tate. Say, for my comfort, languishing in bed,
How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and chafe! “ Just so immortal Maro held his head ;"
And swear, not Addison himself was safe. And when I die, be sure you let me know
Peace to all such ! but were there one whose fires Great Homer dy'd three thousand years ago. True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires ;
Why did I write? what sin to me unknown Blest with each talent and each art to please, Dipp'd me in ink, my parents', or my own? And born to write, converse, and live with ease : As yet a child, nor yet a fool to Fame,
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone, I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came. Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne, I left no calling for this idle trade,
View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes, No duty broke, no father disobey'd;
And bate for arts that caus’d himself to rise ; The Muse but serv'd to ease some friend, not wife ; \ Damn with faint praise;'assent with civil leer, To help me through this long disease, my life; And, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer ; To second, Arbuthnot! thy art and care,
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike, And teach, the being you preserv'd, to bear. Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
But why then publish ? Granville the polite, Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend, And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write ; A timorous foe, and a suspicious friend; Well-natur'd Garth inflam'd with early praise, Dreading ev'n fools, by flatterers besieg'd, And Congreve lov'd, and Swift endur'd my lays ; And so obliging, that he ne'er oblig'd; The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read, Like Cato, give his little senate laws,.. Ev’n mitred Rochester wouid nod the head, And sit attentive to his own applausc.; And St. John's self (great Dryden's friend before) While wits and templars every sentence raise, With open arms received one poet more.
And wonder with a foolish face of praise Happy my studies, when by these approv'd ! Who but must laugh, if such a man there be! Happier their author, when by these belov’d! Who would not weep, if Atticus were he! From these the world will judge of men and books, What, though my name stood rubric on the walls, Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks. Or plaster'd posts, with claps, in capitals ?
Soft were my numbers: who could take offence Or smoking forth, a hundred hawkers' load, While pure description held the place of sense ? On wings of winds came flying all abroad? Like gentle Fanny's was my flowery theme, I sought no homage from the race that write ; A painted mistress, or a purling stream.
I kept, like Asian monarchs, from their sight : Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill ;
Poems I heeded (now berhym'd so long) I wish'd the man a dinner, and sate still.
No more than thou, great George! a birth-day song. Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret :
I ne'er with wits or witlings pass'd my days, I never answer'd, I was not in debt.
To spread about the itch of verse and praise ; If want provok’d, or madness made them print, Nor, like a puppy, daggled through the town, I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint. To fetch and carry sing-song up and down;
Did some more sober critic come abroad; Nor at rehearsals sweat, and inouth’d, and cry'd,
Proud as Apollo on his forked hill,
Sate full-blown Bufo, puft'd by every quill;
And a true Pindar stood without a head)
Receiv'd of wits an undistinguish'd race, Preserv'd in Milton's or in Shakspeare's name. Who first his judgment ask'd, and then a place; Pretty! in amber to observe the forms
Much they extoll
d his pictures, much his seat, of hairs
, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms ! And flatter'd every day, and some days cat ;
we know are neither rich nor rare, Till, grown more frugal in his riper days, But wonder how the devil they got there. He paid some bards with port, and some with praise ·
To some a dry rehearsal was assign'd,
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys, And others (harder still) he paid in kind.
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys: Dryden alone (what wonder ?) came not nigh, So well-bred spaniels civilly delight Dryden alone escap'd this judging eye :
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite. But still the great have kindness in reserve, Eternal smiles his emptiness betray, He help'd to bury whom he help'd to starve. As shallow streams run dimpling all the way. May some choice patron bless each grey goose- Whether in florid impotence he speaks, quill!
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks; May every Bavius have his Bufo still !
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, So when a statesman wants a day's defence, Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, Or envy holds a whole week's war with sense, In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies, Or simple pride for flattery makes demands, Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies. May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands! His wit all see-saw, between that and this, Blest be the great! for those they take away, Now high, now low, now master up, now miss And those they left me; for they left me Gay : And he himself one vile Antithesis. Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
Amphibious thing! that, acting either part, Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb :
The trifling head! or the corrupted heart, Of all thy blameless life the sole return
Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board, My verse, and Queensberry weeping o'er thy urn! Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Oh let me live my own, and die so too! Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have express, (To live and die is all I have to do :)
A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest. Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust, And see what friends, and read what books I please: Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust. Above a patrori, though I condescend
Not Fortune's worshipper, nor Fashion's fool, Sometimes to call a minister my friend.
Not Lucre's madman, nor Ambition's tool, I was not born for courts or great affairs :
Not proud, nor servile; be one poet's praise, I pay my debts, believe, and say my prayers; That, if he pleas'd, he pleas'd by manly ways: Can sleep without a poem in my head,
That Aattery, ev'n to kings, he held a shame, Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead.
And thought a lie in verse or prose the same; Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light? That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long, Heavens! was I born for nothing but to write ? But stoop'd to Truth, and moraliz'd his song: Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave)
That not for fame, but Virtue's better end, Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save ? He stood the furious foe, the timid friend, " I found him close with Swift - Indeed? no doubt The damning critic, half-approving wit, (Cries prating Balbus) something will come out.” The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit; 'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will,
Laugh'd at the loss of friends he never had, “ No, such a genius never can lie still;"
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad; And then for mine obligingly mistakes
The distant threats of vengeance on his head, The first lampoon Sir Will or Bubo makes. The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed ; Poor, guiltless I! and can I choose but smile, The tale reviv'd, the lie so oft o’erthrowr., When every coxcomb knows me by my style? Th' imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow, The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape, That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
The libell'd person and the pictur'd shape ; Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
Abuse, on all he lov’d, or lor'd him, spread, Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear!
A friend in exile, or a father dead; But he who hurts a harmless neighbour's peace, The whisper, that, to greatness still too near, Insults fall’n worth, or beauty in distress,
Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear Who loves a lie, lame slander helps about,
Welcome for thee, fair Virtue ! all the past : Who writes a libel, or who copies out :
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the last ! That fop, whose pride affects a patron's name, A. But why insult the poor, affront the great? Yet absent, wounds an author's honest fame : P. A knave's a knave, to me, in every state : Who can your merit selfishly approve,
1 And show the sense of it without the love ;
Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail,
Sporus at court, or Japhet in a gaol ; Who has the vanity to call you friend,
A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer,
Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire;
He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit, And sees at Cannons what was never there; Sappho can tell you how this man was bit: Who reads but with a lust to misapply,
This dreaded sat'rist Dennis will confess Make satire a lampoon, and fiction lie;
Foe to his pride but friend to his distress : A lash like mine no honest man shall dread, So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door, But all such babbling blockheads in his stead. Has drunk with Cibber, nay, has rhym'd for Moor.
Let Sporus tremble- A. What? that thing of silk, | Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply? Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk? Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie. Satire of sense, alas ! can Sporus feel?
To please his mistress one aspers'd his life ; Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel ?
He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife: P. Yet let me Alap this bug with gilded wings, Let Budgell charge low Grub-street on his quill, This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stings; And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his will;
Let the two Curlls of town and court, abuse See, Nature hastes her carliest wreaths to bring,
See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance :
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears !
A. What fortune, pray ?- Lo, Earth receives him from the bending skies !
Sink down, ye mountains ! and ye valleys, rise ! And better got, than Bestia's from the throne. With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay ! Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,
Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way! Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold: Stranger to civil and religious rage,
Hear him, ye deaf! and all ye blind, behold ! The good man walk'd innoxious through his age. He from thick films shall purge the visual ray, No courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day : Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie.
'Tis he th' obstructed paths of sound shall clear, Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art, And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear : No language, but the language of the heart. The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego, By nature honest, by experience wise ;
And leap exulting like the bounding roe. Healthy by temperance, and by exercise ;
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear, His life, though long, to sickness past unknown, From every face he wipes off every tear. His death was instant, and without a groan. In adamantine chains shall Death be bound, O grant me thus to live, and thus to die !
And Hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound. Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I. As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
O friend! may each domestic bliss be thine ! Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air ; Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs, Me, let the tender office long engage,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects ; To rock the cradle of reposing age,
The tender lambs he raises in his arms, With lenjent arts extend a mother's breath,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms : Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death, Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage, Explore the thought, explain the asking eye, The promis'd father of the future age. And keep awhile one parent from the sky ! No more shall nation against nation rise, On cares like these if length of days attend, Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes, May Heaven, to bless those days, preserve my friend, Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o’er, Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more;
Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun;
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise ;
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear SACRED ECLOGUL, IN IMITATION OF VIRGIL'S POLLIO.
New falls of Nwater murmuring in his ear. Ye nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song:
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes, To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong. The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods. The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades, Waste sandy valleys, once perplex'd with thorn, The dreams of Pindus and th' Aonian maids, The spiry fir and shapely box adorn : Delight no more - O thou my voice inspire
To leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed, Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire! And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed.
Rapt into future times, the bard begun : The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead, A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son! And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead : From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet, Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies : And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet. Th’ æthereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move, The smiling infant in his hand shall take And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
The crested basilisk and speckled snake, Ye Heavens ! from high the dewy nectar pour, Pleas'd, the green lustre of the scales survey, And in soft silence shed the kindly shower! And with their forky tongue shall innocently play. The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid, Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise ! From storm a shelter, and from heat a shade. Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes! All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds shall fail; See a long race thy spacious courts adorn; Returning Justice lift aloft her scale ;
See future sons, and daughters yet unborn, Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, In crowding ranks on every side arise, And white-rob'd Innocence from Heaven descend. Demanding life, impatient for the skies ! Swift fly the years, and rise th' expected morn! See barbarous nations at thy gates attend, Oh spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born! Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend !