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Up didst thou look, O woful duke!
Thy mouth yet durst not ope, Certes for fear of finding there
A t-d, instead of trope.
"Lie there, thou caitiff vile!" quoth Guise;
"No shift is here to save thee:
"The casement it is shut likewise;
"Beneath my feet I have thee.
"If thou hast ought to speak, speak out."
Then Lancastere did cry,
"Know'st thou not me, nor yet thyself?
"Who thou, and who am I?
"Know'st thou not me, who (God be prais'd!)
"Have brawl'd and quarrell'd more,
"Than all the line of Lancastere,
"That battled heretofore?
"In senates fam'd for many a speech,
"And (what some awe must give ye,
"Tho' laid thus low beneath thy breech)
"Still of the council privy;
"Still of the duchy chancellor;
"Durante life, I have it
"And turn, as now thou dost on me,
"Mine a-se on them that gave it."
But now the servants they rush'd in;
And duke Nic. up leap'd he:
"I will not cope against such odds,
But, Guise! I'll fight with thee: "To morrow with thee will I fight "Under the green wood tree :"
"No, not to morrow, but to night," Quoth Guise," I'll fight with thee:"
And now the sun declining low
Bestreak'd with blood the skies;
When, with his sword at saddle bow,
Rode forth the valiant Guise.
Full gently pranc'd he o'er the lawn ;
Oft roll'd his eyes around,
And from the stirrup stretch'd to find
Who was not to be found.
Long brandish'd he the blade in air,
Long look'd the field all o'er :
At length he spied the merry-men brown,
And eke the coach and four.
From out the boot bold Nicholas
Did wave his wand so white,
As pointing out the gloomy glade
Wherein he meant to fight.
All in that dreadful hour so calm
Was Lancastere to see,
As if he meant to take the air,
Or only take a fee:
.And so he did-for to New Court
His rolling wheels did run:
Not that he shunn'd the doubtful strife;
But bus'ness must be done.
Back in the dark, by Brompton park,
He turn'd up through the Gore;
So slunk to Cambden house so high,
All in his coach and four.
Mean while duke Guise did fret and fume,
A sight it was to see,
Benumb'd beneath the evening dew
Under the greenwood tree.
Then, wet and weary, home he far'd,
Sore mutt'ring all the way,
"The day I meet him, Nic. shall rue
"The cudgel of that day.
"Mean time on every pissing-post
"Paste we this recreant's name,
"So that each passer by shall read
And piss against the same."
Now God preserve our gracious king,
And grant his nobles all
May learn this lesson from duke Nic.,
That" pride will have a fall."
IF meagre Gildon draws his venal quill,
I wish the man a dinner, and sit still:
If dreadful Dennis raves in furious fret,
I'll answer Dennis, when I am in debt.
'Tis hunger, and not malice, makes them print;
And who'll wage war with Bedlam or the Mint?
Should some more sober criticks come abroad,
If wrong, I smile; if right, I kiss the rod.
Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence;
And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense.
Inserted since, with alterations, in Mr. Pope's Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, being the prologue to the Satires, vol. ii of Pope's Works.
Commas and points they set exactly right;
And 'twere a sin to rob them of their mite:
Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd those ribalds,
From slashing Bentley down to piddling Tibalds,
Who thinks he reads when he but scans and spells;
A word-catcher that lives on syllables.
Yet e'en this creature may some notice claim,
Wrapt round and sanctified with Shakspeare's name.
Pretty in amber to observe the forms
Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms!
The thing, we know, is neither rich nor rare;
And wonder how the devil it got there.
Are others angry? I excuse them too :
Well may they rage; I gave them but their due.
Each man's true merit 'tis not hard to find;
But each man's secret standard in his mind,
That casting-weight pride adds to emptiness,
This who can gratify? for who can guess?
The wretch, whom pilfer'd pastorals renown,
Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown,
Just writes to make his barrenness appear,
And strains from hardbound brains six lines a year;
In sense still wanting, tho' he lives on theft,
Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left.
Johnson †, who now to sense, now nonsense leaning,
Means not, but blunders round about a meaning:
And he, whose fustian's so sublimely bad,
It is not poetry but prose run mad ‡ :
Should modest Satire bid all these translate,
And own that nine such poets make a Tate;
+ Author of the Victim, and Cobler of Preston,
How would they fume, and stamp, and roar, and
How would they swear not Congreve's self was safe!
Peace to all such! but were there one whose fires
Apollo kindled, and fair fame inspires:
Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to write, converse, and live with ease:
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone,
Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne;
View him with scornful, yet with fearful eyes,
And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rise;
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering teach the rest to sneer:
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend,
A tim❜rous foe, and a suspicious friend:
Dreading e'en fools, by flatterers besieg'd,
And so obliging, that he ne'er oblig'd;
Who, if two wits on rival themes contest,
Approves of each, but likes the worst the best;
Like Cato, gives his little senate laws,
And sits attentive to his own applause;
While wits and templars ev'ry sentence raise,
And wonder with a foolish face of praise-
What pity, Heaven! if such a man there be;
Who would not weep, if Addison were he!