From one eternal fountain beauty springs,
The energy of wit, and truth of things;
That source is God! from him they downwards tend,
Flow round-yet in their native centre end.
Hence rules, and truth, and order, dunces strike;
Of arts, and virtues, enemies alike.

Some urge, that poets of supreme renown
Judge ill to scourge the refuse of the town,
Howe'er their casuists hope to turn the scale,
These men must smart, or scandal will prevail.
By these the weaker sex still suffer most;
And such are prais'd who rose at honour's cost :
The learn’d they wound, the virtuous, and the fair,
No fault they cancel, no reproach they spare ;
The random shaft, impetuous in the dark,
Sings on unseen, and quivers in the mark.
'Tis justice, and not anger, makes us write;
Such sons of darkness must be dragg’d to light:
Long-suffering nature must not always hold;
In virtue's cause 'tis generous to be bold.
To scourge the bad, the’ unwary to reclaim,
And make light flash upon the face of shame.

Others have urg'd (but weigh it and you'll find ''Tis light as feathers blown before the wind) That poverty, the curse of Providence, Atones for a dull writer's want of sense : Alas! his dulness 'twas tbat made him poor, Not vice versa: we infer no more. Of vice and folly poverty's the curse, Heaven may be rigid, but the man was worse ; By good made bad, by favours more disgrac'd, So dire the effects of ignorance misplac'd ! Of idle youth, unwatch'd by parents' eyes! Of zeal for pence, and dedication-lies!


Of conscience modell’d by a great man's looks !
And arguings in religion-from no books!

No light the darkness of that mind invades,
Where Chaos rules, enshrin'd in genuine shades;
Where, in the dungeon of the soul enclos'd
True Dulness nods, reclining and repos’d,
Sense, grace, or harmony, ne'er enter there,
Nor human faith, nor piety sincere ;
A midnight of the spirits, soul and head,
(Suspended all) as thought itself lay dead.
Yet oft a mimic gleam of transient light
Breaks through this gloom, and then they think
they write;

[fly; From streets to streets the' unnumber'd pamphlets 'Then tremble Warner, Brown, and Billingsly.*

O thou most gentle deity appear, Thou who still hears't, and yet art prone to hear : Whose eye ne'er closes, and whose brains ne'er rest, (Thy own dear Dulness bawling at shy breast) Attend, O Patience, on thy arm reclin’d, And see wit's endless enemies behind!

And ye, our Muses, with a hundred tongues, And thou, O Henley; bless'd with brazen lungs ; Fanatic Withers! fam'd for rhymes and sighs, And Jacob Behmen! most obscurely wise ; From darkness palpable, on dusky wings Ascend ! and shroud him who your offspring sings,

The first, with Egypt's darkness on his head, Thinks wit the devil, and curses books unread. For twice ten winters has he blunderd on Through heavy comments, yet ne'er lost nor won : Much


be done in twenty winters more, And let him then learn English at threescore.

Three booksellers.


No sacred Maro glitters on his shelf,
He wants the mighty Stagyrite himself.
See vast Coimbria's* comments pil'd on high,
In heaps Soncinas,t Sotus' Sanchez lie;
For idle hours, Sa'st idler casuistry.

Yet worse is he, who, in one language read,
Has one eternal jingling in his head,
At night, at morn, in bed, and on the stairs,
Talk flights to grooms, and makes lewd songs at
His pride, a pun; a guinea his reward; [pray’rs :
His critic, Gildon, Jemmy Moore his bard.

What artful hand the wretch's form can hit,
Begot by Satan on a M-ly's§ wit :
In parties furious at the great man's nod,
And hating none for nothing, but his God:
Foe to the learn'd, the virtuous, and the sage,
A pimp in youth, an atheist in old age:
Now plung’d in bawdry and substantial lies,
Now dabbling in ungodly thories :
But so, as swallows skim the pleasing food,
Grows giddy, but ne'er drinks to do him good :
Alike resolv'd to flatter or to cheat,
Nay worship onions, if they cry, 'come eat:'
A foe to faith, in revelation blind,
And impious much, as dunces are by kind.

Next see the masterpiece of flattery rise,
The' annointed son of Dulness and of Lies,
Whose softest whisper fills a patron's ear,
Who smiles unpleas'd, and mourns without a tear,

• Coimbria's comments. Colleg. Coimbricense, a society in Spain, which published tedious explanations of Aristotle. + Sonsinas, a schoolman, Sa (Eman. de.) See Paschal's Mystery of Jesuitism. Probably Mrs. Manly was here intended.

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Persuasive, though a woful blockhead he :
Truth dies before his shadowy sophistry.
For well he knows the vices of the town,
The schemes of state, and interest of the gown ;
Immoral afternoons, indecent nights,
Enflaming wines, and second appetites.

But most the theatres with dulness groan,
Embrios balf-form’d, a progeny unknown:
Fine things for nothing, transports out of season,
Effects un-caus'd, and murders without reason.
Here worlds run round, and years are taught to stay,
Each scene an elegy, each act a play.*
Can the same power such various passions move?
Rejoice or weep, 'tis every thing for love.
The self-same cause produces heaven and hell:
Things contrary as buckets in a well ;
One up, one down, one empty, and one full ;
Half high, half low, half witty, and half dull.
So on the borders of an ancient wood,
Or where some poplar trembles o’er the flood,
Arachne travels on her filmy thread,
Now high, now low, or on her feet or head.

Yet these love verse, as croakingt comforts frogs, And mire and ordure are the heaven of hogs. As well might nothing bind immensity, Or passive matter immaterials see,

* Et chaque acte en sa piece est une piece entiere. Boil.

+ When a poor genius has laboured much, he judges well not to expect the encomiums of the public : for these are not his due. Yet, for fear his drudgery should have no recompense, God (of his goodness) has given him a personal satisfaction. Thus the same deity (who is equally just in all points) has given frogs the comfort of croaking, &c.

Le Pere Gerasse Sommes Theol, L. 2. Vol. XXIX,



As these should write by reason, rhyme, and rule,
Or he turn wit, whom nature doom'd a fool.
If Dryden err'd, 'twas human frailty once,
But blundering is the essence of a Dunce.

Some write for glory, but the phantom fades;
Some write as party or as spleen invades ;
A third, because his father was well read,
And, murderer-like, calls blushes from the dead.
Yet all for morals and for arts contend-
They want 'em both, who never prais'd a friend.
More ill, than dull; for pure stupidity
Was ne'er a crime in honest Banks, or me.

See next a crowd in damasks, silks and crapes, Equivocal in dress, half belles, half trapes: A length of night-gown rich Phantasia trails, Olinda wears one shift, and pares no nails : Some in C-l's cabinet each act display, When nature in a transport dies away ; Some, more refin'd, transcribe their opera-loves On ivory tablets, or in clean white gloves ; Some of Platonic, some of carnal taste, Hoop’d, or unhoop’d, ungarter'd, or unlac'd. Thus thick in air the wing'd creation play, When vernal Phæbus rolls the light away, A motley race, half insects and half fowls, Loose-tail'd and dirty, May-flies, bats, and owls.

Gods, that this native nonsense was our worst ! With crimes more deep, 0 Albion! art thou cursd. No judgınent open profanation fears, For who dreads God, that can preserve his ears? Oh save me, Providence! from vice refin'd, That worst of ills, a speculative mind !*

* Plato calls this an ignorance of a dark and dangerous nature, under appearance of the greatest wisdom.

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