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From his deep fund our Author largely draws;
Believe him, he has known the world too long,
Though Tom the poet writ with ease and pleasure,
Fame is at best an unperforming cheat;
But 'tis substantial happiness to eat.
Let ease, his last request, be of your giving,
PROLOGUE TO THOMSON'S SOPHONISBA.
[Dr. Johnson, in his Life of Pope, says, "I have been told by Savage, that of the Prologue to Sophonisba, the first part was written by Pope, who could not be persuaded to finish it, and that the concluding lines were added by Mallet"]::
WHEN learning, after the long Gothic night,
Fair o'er the western world, renew'd its light,
With arts arising Sophonisba rose;
The Tragic Muse, returning wept her woes.
What foreign theatres with pride have shown,
Britain, by juster title, makes her own.
To-night our homespun author would be true
Well pleased to give our neighbours due applause,
Whose force alone can raise or melt the heart,
OCCASIONED BY SOME VERSES OF HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
MUSE, 'tis enough: at length thy labour ends,
And thou shalt live, for Buckingham commends.
Let crowds of critics now my verse assail,
[The lines by Buckingham compliment Pope on his Iliad, and also on his worth as a companion and friend. For a notice of Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, by Pope, see Essay on Criticism, vol. ii. p. 214. This nobleman lived in great state in Buckingham House, St. James's Park. He built the mansion in 1703, and in a letter to the Duke of Shrewsbury describes minutely its fine gardens, noble terrace, park, and canal, with its magnificent apartments, pictures, sculpture, and other decorations. He dwells with pleasure on the avenues to the house along St. James's Park, "through rows of goodly elms on one hand, and gay flourishing limes on the other;" and on his book-closet at the end of the green-house, under the windows of which was a little wilderness, full of blackbirds and nightingales. Pope said the stately mansion was a country house in the summer, and a town house in the winter. Buckingham House, it is well known, was purchased by George
III., and taken down by George IV. in 1825, to make way for the present royal palace. J
WHEN simple Macer, now of high renown,
So some coarse country wench, almost decay'd, 15 Trudges to town, and first turns chambermaid; Awkward and supple, each devoir to pay;
She flatters her good lady twice a day;
Thought wondrous honest, though of mean degree,
In a translated suit, then tries the town,
With borrow'd pins, and patches not her own:
And in four months a batter'd harridan.
Now nothing left, but wither'd, pale, and shrunk,
[When first published in the Miscellanies the piece had the following note attached :-"He requested, by public advertisements, the aid of the ingenious to make up a Miscellany in 1713." Ambrose Philips seems to be the person satirized. On the accession of George I., when the Whigs obtained power, Philips was put into the commission of the peace, and appointed a Commissioner of the Lottery. He afterwards went to Ireland with Dr. Boulter, Primate of Ireland, and was made Registrar of the Prerogative Court at Dublin. The "borrowed play" was the "Distrest Mother," from Racine, which was highly successful. The allusion to simplicity" is no doubt intended to refer to Philips's Pastorals, and that to the "translated suit" to his Persian Tales, translated for Tonson. The next piece, "Umbra," refers also to Philips, or to James Moore Smythe, the "phantom Moore" of the Dunciad. As Philips was a regular frequenter of Button's Coffee-house, and intimate with Steele, Addison, Tickell, &c., he was most likely the party.]
CLOSE to the best-known author Umbra sits,
The constant index to old Button's wits.
66 Who's here?" cries Umbra: " only Johnson,"--" O!
But cries as soon, "Dear Dick, I must be gone,
Says Addison to Steele, ""Tis time to go;"
E'en sits him down and writes to honest Tickell.
OR A PROPER NEW BALLAD ON THE NEW OVID'S METAMORPHOSIS: AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE TRANSLATED BY PERSONS OF QUALITY.
[The last literary labour of Sir Samuel Garth, before his death in 1718, was engaging several " ingenious gentlemen," as he calls them, to undertake a translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Among these were Mainwaring, Croxall, Ozell, Vernon, Harvey, Leonard Welsted, &c. Garth himself translated the fourteenth book and part of the fifteenth, besides contributing a preface.]
E Lords and Commons, men of wit,
And pleasure about town;
Read this ere you translate one bit
Of books of high renown.
Beware of Latin authors all!
Though with a golden pen you scrawl,
For not the desk with silver nails,
Nor standish well japann'd, avails
To writing of good sense.
Hear how a ghost in dead of night,
With saucer eyes of fire.
In woful wise did sore affright
A wit and courtly 'squire.
Rare imp of Phoebus, hopeful youth!
Like puppy tame that uses
To fetch and carry, in his mouth,
The works of all the Muses.