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Our chilling climate hardly bears
Not empire to the rising Sun
Not beggar's brat on bulk begot;
What hope of custom in the fair,
Poor starveling bard, how small thy gains !
How shall a new attempter learn
Consult yourself; and if you find
Your poem finish'd, next your care
To statesmen would you give a wipe,
Your poem in its modish dress,
Be sure at Will's, the following day,
Your secret kept, your poem sunk,
Again you fail : yet Safe's the word ;
But, though you miss your third essay,
A prince, the moment he is crown'd, Inherits every virtue round, As emblems of the sovereign power, Like other baubles in the Tower; Is generous, valiant, just, and wise, And so continues till he dies : His humble senate this professes, In all their speeches, votes, addresses. But once you fix him in a tomb, His virtues fade, his vices bloom ; And each perfection wrong imputed, Is fully at his death confuted. The loads of poems in his praise, Ascending, make one funeral blaze : As soon as you can hear his knell, This god on Earth turns devil in Hell: And lo! his ministers of state, Transform'd to imps, his leveo wait; Where, in the scenes of endless woe, They ply their former arts below; And, as they sail in Charon's boat, Contrive to bribe the judge's vote ; To Cerberus they give a sop, His triple-barking mouth to stop; Or in the ivory gate of dreams Project excise and South-sea schemes ;
Or hire the party pamphleteers
Then, poet, if you mean to thrive,
But, if you think this trade too base,
A forward critic often dupes us
At Will's you hear a poem read,
His undisputed rights extend
Two bordering wits contend for glory;
But these are not a thousandth part Of jobbers in the poet's art, Attending each his proper station, And all in sae subordination, Through every alley to be found, In garrets high, or under ground; And when they join their pericranies, Out skips a book of miscellanies. Hobbes clearly proves that every creature Lives in a state of war by nature. The greater for the smallest watch, But meddle seldom with their match. A whale of moderate size will draw A shoal of herrings down his maw; A fox with geese his belly crams; A wolf destroys a thousand lambs : But search among the rhyming race, The brave are worried by the base. If on Parnassus' top you sit, You rarely bite, are always bit. Each poet of inferior size On you shall rail and criticise, And strive to tear you limb from limb; While others do as much for him.
The vermin only tease and pinch Their foes superior by an inch. So, naturalists observe, a flea Hath smaller fleas that on him prey ; And these have smaller still to bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum. Thus every poet in his kind Is bit by him that comes behind : Who, though too little to be seen, Can tease, and gall, and give the spleen ; Call dunces fools and sons of whores, Lay Grub-street at each other's doors; Extol the Greek and Roman masters, And curse our modern poetasters; Complain, as many an ancient bard did, How genius is no more rewarded ; How wrong a taste prevails among us; How much our ancestors outsung us; Can personate an awkward scorn For those who are not poets born ; And all their brother-dunces lash, Who crowd the press with hourly trash.
O Grub-street! how do I bemoan thee, Whose graceless childreri scorn to own thee! Their filial piety forgot, Deny their country, like a Scot; Though, by their idiom and grimace, They soon betray their native place. Yet thou hast greater cause to be Asham'd of them, than they of thee, Degenerate from their ancient brood, Since first the court allow'd them food.
Remains a difficulty still,
In bulk there are not more degrees
Oh, what indignity and shame,
Fair Britain, in thy monarch blest,
Appointed sovereign judge to sit
The remnant of the royal blood
Say, poet, in what other nation Shone ever such a constellation ! Attend, ye Popes, and Youngs, and Gays, And tune your harps, and strow your bays: Your panegyrics here provide ; You cannot err on flattery's side. Above the stars exalt your style, You still are low ten thousand mile. On Lewis, all his bards bestow'd Of incense many a thousand load; But Europe mortified his pride, And swore the fawning rascals lied. Yet what the world refus'd to Lewis, Applied to George, exactly true is. Exactly true! invidious poet! 'Tis fifty thousand times below it.
Translate me now some lines, if you can, From Virgil, Martial, Ovid, Lucan. They could all power in Heaven divide, And do no wrong on either side; They teach you how to split a hair, -Give George and Jove an equal share. Yet why should we be lac'd so straight? I'll give my monarch butter-weight. And reason good ; for many a year Jove never intermeddled here: Nor, though his priests be duly paid, Did ever we desire his aid; We now can better do without him, Since Woolston gave us arms to rout him.
A DESCRIPTION OF A CITY-SHOWER.
In imitation of Virgil's Georgics.-1710. CAREFUL observers may foretell the hour (By sure pr gnostics) when to dread a shower. While rain aepends, the pensive cat gives o'er Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more. Returning home at night, you 'll find the sink Strike your offended sense with double stink. If you be wise, then go not far to dine ; You 'll spend in coach-hire more than save in wine A coming shower your shooting corns presage, Old aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage. Sauntering in coffee-house is Dulman seen ; He damns the climate, and complains of spleen.
Meanwhile the south, rising with dabbled wings,
When dust and rain at once his coat invade?
Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down,
While streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides Here various kinds, by various fortunes led,
Commence acquaintance underneath a shed.
While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits,
So when Troy chairmen bore the wooden steed,
Laocoon struck the outside with his spear,
Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow, And bear their trophies with them as they go: Filths of all hues and odors seem to tell What street they sail'd from by their sight and smell. They, as each torrent drives, with rapid force, From Smithfield or St. 'Pulchre's shape their course, And in huge confluence join'd at Snowhill ridge, Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn bridge. Sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, and
blood, Drown'd puppies, stinking sprats, all drench'd in
mud, Dead cats, and turnip-tops, come tumbling down
So, when I came up again, I found my pocket feel HORACE, BOOK III. ODE II.
But when I search'd, and miss'd my purse, Lord! I TO THE EARL OF OXFORD, LATE LORD TREASURER.
thought I should have sunk outright.
Lord! madam, says Mary, how d'ye do? Indeed, Sent to him when in the Tower, 1617.
says I, never worse :
But pray, Mary, can you tell what I have done with How blest is he who for his country dies,
my purse? Since Death pursues the coward as he flies !
Lord help me! said Mary, I never stirr'd out of The youth in vain would fly from fate's attack,
this place : With trembling knees and terror at his back;
Nay, said I, I had it in Lady Betty's charnber, that's Though fear should lend him pinions like the wind,
a plain case. Yet swifter fate will seize him from behind.
So Mary got me to bed and cover'd me up warm: Virtue repuls'd, yet knows not to repine,
However, she stole away my garters, that I might But shall with unattainted honor shine ;
do myself no harm. Nor stoops to take the staff,* nor lays it down,
So I tumbled and toss'd all night, as you may very Just as the rabble please to smile or frown.
well think, Virtue, to crown her favorites, loves to try
But hardly ever set my eyes together, or slept a Some new unbeaten passage to the sky;r
wink. Where Jove a seat among the gods will give
So I was a-dream'd, methought, that we went and To those who die for meriting to live.
search'd the folks round, Next, faithsul silence hath a sure reward ;
And in a corner of Mrs. Dukes's* box, tied in a rag, Within our breast be every secret barr'd!
the money was found. He who betrays his friend, shall never be
So next morning we told Whittle,t and he fell aUnder one roof, or in one ship, with me.
swearing : For who with traitors would his safety trust,
Then my dame Wadgert came ; and she, you know, Lest, with the wicked, Heaven involve the just ?
is thick of hearing. And, though the villain ’scape awhile, he feels
Dame, said I, as loud as I could bawl, do you know Slow vengeance, like a blood-hound, at his heels.
what a loss I have had ? Nay, said she, my Lord Colway’s ý folks are all very
For my Lord Dromedaryll comes a Tuesday without
fail. MRS. HARRIS'S PETITION.
Pugh! said I, but that's not the business that I ail. 1699.
Says Cary, I says he, I have been a servant this five.
and-twenty years, come spring, To their excellencies the lords justices of Ireland,t And in all the places I liv'd, I never heard of such the humble petition of Frances Harris,
a thing. Who must starve, and die a maid, if it miscarries ; Yes, says the steward, ** I remember, when I was
at my Lady Shrewsbury's, Humbly showeth,
Such a thing as this happen'd just about the time of That I went to warm myself in Lady Betty’si cham. gooseberries. ber, because I was cold;
So I went to the party suspected, and I found her And I had in a purse seven pounds, four shillings,
full of grief, and sixpence, besides farthings, in money (Now, you must know, of all things in the world, I and gold :
hate a thief.) So, because I had been buying things for my lady However, I am resolv'd to bring the discourse slily last night,
about; I was resolvid to tell my money, to see if it was Mrs. Dukes, said I, here's an ugly accident has right.
happen'd out : Now, you must know, because my trunk has a very 'Tis not that I value the money three skips of a bad lock,
louse ;t* Therefore all the money I have, which, God knows, But the thing I stand upon is the credit of the is a very small stock,
house. I keep in my pocket, tied about my middle, next to "Tis true, seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence, my smock.
makes a great hole in my wages : So when I went to put up my purse, as God would Besides, as they say, service is no inheritance in
have it, my smock was unript, And, instead of putting it into my pocket, down it
slipt; Then the bell rung, and I went down to put my lady
* Wife to one of the footmen. to bed ;
† Earl of Berkeley's valet. And, God knows, I thought my money was as safe 1 The old deaf housekeeper. as my maidenhead.
| The Earl of Drogheda, who, with the primate, was to
succeed the two earls. * The ensign of the lord treasurer's office.
1 Clerk of the kitchen. | The Earls of Berkeley and of Galway.
** Ferris. 1 Lady Betty Berkeley, afterwards Germaine.
# An usual saying of hers.