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Believe him, he has known the world too long,
TO THE THREE HOURS AFTER MARRIAGE."
[This was the celebrated farce tripartite, in which Pope, Gay, and Arbuthnot engaged, in order to ridicule Dr. Woodward, and which was most meritoriously damned at the first representation. See Cibber's Letter to Pope.] Sir Walter Scott.
UTHORS are judged by strange capricious rules; The great ones are thought mad, the small ones fools:
Yet sure the best are most severely fated;
By running goods these graceless owlers gain; Theirs are the rules of France, the plots of Spain : But wit, like wine, from happier climates brought, Dash'd by these rogues, turns English common draught.
They pall Moliere's and Lopez' sprightly strain, And teach dull Harlequins to grin in vain.
How shall our author hope a gentler fate, Who dares most impudently not translate? It had been civil, in these ticklish times, To fetch his fools and knaves from foreign climes. Spaniards and French abuse to the world's end, But spare old England, lest you hurt a friend. If any fool is by our satire bit,
'Let him hiss loud, to show you all he's hit.
A common blessing! now 'tis yours, now mine.
To keep this cap for such as will, to wear.
Of course resign'd it to the next that writ)
*Shows a cap with ears.
Flings down the cap, and exit.
OR, A PROPER NEW BALLAD ON THE NEW OVID'S
AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE TRANSLATED BY PERSONS OF QUALITY.
[SIR SAMUEL GARTH, who published the Metamorphoses of Ovid, translated by "Dryden, Addison, Garth, Mainwaring, Congreve, Rowe, Pope, Gay, Eusden, Croxal, and other eminent hands," had himself no other share in the undertaking, than engaging the various translators in their task, and putting their labours into some order. The work was intended to supersede the ancient translation.
George Sandys, the old translator, (whose ghost is introduced in the verses,) was a man of great accomplishment, and pronounced by Dryden to be the best versifier of his age. The curious reader will find many particulars respecting him, and his translation of Ovid, in the Censura Literaria, volumes 4th, 5th, and 6th. He died in 1643.] Sir Walter Scott.
YE Lords and Commons, men of wit
Read this, ere you translate one bit
Beware of Latin authors all,
For not the desk with silver nails,
Nor standish well japann'd, avails
Hear how a ghost in dead of night,
Rare imp of Phoebus, hopeful youth!
Ah! why did he write poetry,
To rhyming and the devil?
A desk he had of curious work,
Now, as he scratch'd to fetch up thought,
With whiskers, band, and pantaloon,
And ruff composed most duly,
Ho! master Sam, quoth Sandy's sprite,"
I hear the beat of Jacob's * drums,
Then lords and lordlings, 'squires and knights,
Garth at St. James's, and at White's,
What Fenton will not do, nor Gay,
Nor Congreve, Rowe, nor Stanyan, Tom Burnet, or Tom D'Urfey may, John Dunton, Steele, or any one.
If justice Philips' costive head
Some frigid rhymes disburses: They shall like Persian tales be read, And glad both babes and nurses.
* Old Jacob Tonson, the editor of the Metamorphoses. +Pembroke, probably.