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(5)

EPISTLE

то

Dr. ARBUTHNOT.

An Apology for himself and his Writings.

Being the Prologue to the Satire.

HUT, fhut the door, good John! fatigu'd
I faid,

P. SHUT

Tye up the knocker, fay I'm fick, I'm dead.
The Dog-star rages! nay 'tis past a doubt,
All Bedlam, or Parnaffus, is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.

5

What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide? They pierce my thickets, thro' my Grot they glide, By land, by water, they renew the charge,

They ftop the chariot, and they board the barge. 10 No place is facred, not the Church is free,

Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:

NOTES.

VER. 1. Shut, fhut the door, good John !] John Searle, his old and faithful fervant: whom he has remembered, under that character, in his Will.

Then from the Mint walks forth the Man of rhyme, Happy to catch me, just at Dinner-time.

Is there a Parfon, much be-mus'd in beer,
A maudlin Poetess, a rhyming Peer,

A Clerk, foredoom'd his father's foul to cross,
Who pens a Stanza when he should engross?

Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, fcrawls
With defp'rate charcoal round his darken'd walls?
All fly to TWIT’NAM, and in humble ftrain
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whofe giddy fon neglects the Laws,
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause :
Poor Cornus fees his frantic wife elope,

And curfes Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.

Friend to my Life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle fong)

VARIATIONS.

After y 20. in the MS.

Is there a bard in durance? turn them free,
With all their brandifh'd reams they run to me:
Is there a Prentice, having feen two plays,
Who would do fomething in his Semptrefs' praife-

NOTES.

15

20

25

VER. 13. Mint] A place to which infolvent debtors retired, to enjoy an illegal protection they were there fuffered to afford one another, from the perfecution of their creditors.

VER. 23. Arthur,] Arthur Moore, Efq,

What Drop or Noftrum can this plague remove?
Or which must end me, a Fool's wrath or love?
A dire dilemma! either way I'm fped,

If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead.
Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge, how wretched I!
Who can't be filent, and who will not lye:

30

To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace, 35 And to be grave, exceeds all Pow'r of face.

I fit with fad civility, I read

With honeft anguifh, and an aching head;
And drop at laft, but in unwilling ears,

39

This faving counfel, "Keep your piece nine years." Nine years! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Lull'd by foft Zephyrs thro' the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends, Oblig'd by hunger, and requeft of friends:

VARIATIONS.

VER. 29. in the 1st Ed.

Dear Doctor, tell me, is not this a curfe? Say, is their anger, or their friendship worse?

NOTES.

VER. 33. Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge,] Alluding to the scene in the Plain-Dealer, where Oldfox gags, and ties down the Widow, to hear his well pen'd fianzas.

VER. 38. honeft anguish,] i. e. undiffembled

Ibid. an aching head;] Alluding to the disorder he was then fo conftantly afflicted with.

VER. 43. Rhymes ere he wakes,] A pleafant allufion to those words of Milton,

Dictates to me flumb'ring, or inffires
Eafy my unpremeditated Verfe.

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