Page images








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


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.

[ocr errors]

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 stop the chariot, and they board the barge. to
No place is facred, not the Church is free,
Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:

VER. 1. Shut, but the door, good John!] John Searl, 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, juft at Dinner-time.

Is there a Parfon, much be-mus'd in beer, A maudlin Poetèfs, 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? 20
All fly to TwIT'NAM, and in humble strain

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 caufe:
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)


[blocks in formation]

After ver. 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.

VER. 29. in the 1ft Ed.

Dear Doctor, tell me, is not this a curfe?

Say, is their anger, or their friendship worse?

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

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:
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 honest anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at laft, but in unwilling ears,..


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 request of friends: "The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it, 45 "I'm all fubmiffion, what you'd have it, make it." Three things another's modeft wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound. Pitholeon fends to me: 66 you know his Grace,

"I want a Patron; afk him for a Place." Pitholeon libell'd me" but here's a letter "Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better.


VER. 49. Pitholeon] The name taken from a foolish Poet of Rhodes, who pretended much to Greek. Schol. in Horat. I. r. Dr. Bentley pretends, that this Pitholeon libelled Cæfar alfo, See notes on Hor. Sat. 10. 1, i,

[ocr errors]

"Dare you refufe him? Curl invites to dine, "He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine." Blefs me! a packet." "Tis a stranger fues, 55 "A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Mufe." If I dislike it, "Furies, death and rage!" If I approve," Commend it to the Stage." There (thank my ftars) my whole commiffion ends, The Play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends. 60 Fir'd that the house reject him, " 'Sdeath I'll print it, "And fhame the fools-Your int'reft, Sir, with


Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much:
"Not, Sir, if you revise it, and retouch."
All my demurs but double his attacks;

At laft he whispers, "Do; and we go fnacks."
Glad of a quarrel, ftrait I clap the door,
Şir, let me see your works and you no more.
"Tis fung, when Midas' Ears began to spring,
(Midas, a facred perfon and a King)

His very Minister who spy'd them first,



(Some fay his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or burft.

VER. 53. in the MS.


If you refufe, he goes, as fates incliné,

To plague Sir Robert, or to turn Divine. VER. 60. in the former Ed.

Cibber and I are luckily no friends.

VIR. 72. Queen] The story is told, by fome, of his Barber, but by Chaucer of his Queen. See Wife of Bath's Tale in Dryden's Fables.


And is not mine, my friend, a forer cafe,
When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face?
A. Good friend forbear! you deal in dang'rous things,
I'd never name Queens, Minifters, or Kings;
Keep close to Ears, and those let affes prick,
'Tis nothing-P. Nothing? if they bite and kick?
Out with it, DUNCIAD! let the fecret pafs,
That secret to each fool, that he's an Afs:
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?)
The queen of Midas flept, and fo may I.

You think this cruel? take it for a rule,
No creature fmarts fo little as a fool.


Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break, 85
Thou unconcern'd can't hear the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulfions hurl'd,
Thou stand'st unshook amidst a burfting world.
Who fhames a Scribler? break one cobweb thro',
He fpins the flight, felf-pleafing thread anew:
Destroy his fib or fophiftry, in vain,

The creature's at his dirty work again,


VER. 80. That fecret to each fool, that he's an Afs:] i, e. that his ears (his marks of folly) are visiblę.

VER. 88. Alluding to Horace,

Si fractus illabatur orbis,

Impavidum ferient ruinæ.


VER. 92. The creature's at his dirty work again,] This metamorphofing, as it were, the Scribler into a Spider is much more poetical than a comparison would have been. But Poets should be cautious how they employ this figure; for where the likeness is not very striking, instead of giving force, they become obfcure. Here, every thing concurs to make them run into one another,

« PreviousContinue »