Page images

All fly to TwIT'NAM, and in humble ftrain 21
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) What Drop or Noftrum can this plague remove? Or which must end me, a Fool's wrath or love? 30 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 lie: 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;


VER. 29. in the first Ed.

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


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

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

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

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

And drop at last, but in unwilling ears,


39 This faving counsel, "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, "I'm all fubmiffion, what you'd have it, make it." Three things another's modest wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound. Pitholeon fends to me: "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. "Dare you refuse him? Curl invites to dine, "He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine."


VER. 53. in the MS.

If you refufe, he goes, as fates incline,
To plague Sir Robert, or to turn Divine.



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


VER. 43. Rhymes ere he wakes,]

"-Dictates to me flumb'ring, or infpires
"Eafy my unpremeditated Verfe."



Bless me! a packet.--" "Tis a ftranger fues, 55 "A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Mufe."

If I diflike it, "Furies, death and rage!"

If I approve,

[ocr errors]

" Commend it to the Stage."

There (thank my stars) my whole commiffion ends, The Play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends.


Fir'd that the house reject him, "'Sdeath, I'll

[ocr errors][merged small]

"And shame the Fools--Your int'reft, Sir, with "Lintot."

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 last he whispers, "Do; and we go



Glad of a quarrel, ftrait I clap the door, Sir, let me fee your works and you no more. "Tis fung, when Midas' Ears began to spring, (Midas, a facred person and a King)


VER. 60. in the former Ed.

Cibber and I are, luckily, no friends.



VER. 69. 'Tis fung, when Midas', &c.] The Poet means, fung by Perfius; and the words alluded to are,

"Vidi, vidi ipfe, Libelle !

"Auriculas Afini Mida Rex habét."

The tranfition is fine, but obfcure: for he has here imitated the manner of that myfterious Writer, as well as taken up his

His very Minister who spy'd them first, (Some fay his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst. And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case, 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 afses prick,
'Tis nothing--P. Nothing? if they bite and kick?
Out with it, DUNCIAD! let the fecret pass,
That fecret to each fool, that he's an Afs:
The truth once told (and wherefore fhould 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, Thou unconcern'd can't hear the mighty crack : Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulfions hurl'd, Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world.


image. Our Author had been hitherto complaining of the folly and importunity of indigent Scriblers; he now infinuates he fuffered as much of both, from Poetafters of quality.

VER. 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.

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


VER. 88. "Si fractus illabatur orbis,

"Impavidum ferient ruinæ." Her. P.

Who fhames a Scribler? break one cobweb thro',
He spins the flight, felf-pleafing thread anew: 90
Destroy his fib, or fophiftry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again,
Thron'd in the centre of his thin designs,
Proud of a vaft extent of flimzy lines!
Whom have I hurt? has Poet yet, or Peer, 95
Loft the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnaffian fneer?
And has not Colly still his lord, and whore?
His butchers Henly, his free-masons Moor?
Does not one table Bavius ftill admit?

Still to one Bishop Philips feem a wit?


Still Sappho---A. Hold! for God-fake---you'll


No Names--be calm--learn prudence of a friend: I too could write, and I am twice as tall;

But foes like these---P. One Flatt'rer's worse than



VER. 92. The Creature's at his dirty work again,] This metamorphofis, as it were, of the Scribler into a Spider, is much more poetical than a con.parison would have been. But Poets fhould be cautious how they employ this figure; for where the likeness is not very striking, inftead of giving force, they become obfcure. Here every thing concurs to make them run into one another. They both fpin; not from the head [reafon] but from the guts [paffions and prejudices] and fuch a thread that can entangle none but creatures weaker than themselves. VER. 98. free-mafons Moore?] He was of this fociety, and frequently headed their proceffions.

« PreviousContinue »