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, Up Starts a palace, lo ! th'obedient base
Admire we then what earth's low entrails hold, Slopes at its foot, the woods its sides embrace, Arabian fores, or Indian feas intold; The silver Thames reflects its marble face, Allthe mad trade of fools and ilaves for gold ? Now ler fome whimsy, or that Dev'l within Or popularity: our stars and strings ? Which guides all those who know not what The mob's applauses, or the gifts of kings? they mean,
Say with what eyes we ought at courts to gaze, But give the Knight (or give his Lady) spleen; And pay the great our homage of amaze ? Away, away ! take all
scaffolds down, If weak the pleasure that from these can spring, For snug's the word:my dear, we'll live in town.' The fear to want them is as weak a thing.
At am'rous Flavio is the stocking thrown; Whether we dread, or whether we defire,
In either casc, believe me, we adłnire ;
Surpriz'd at better, or surpriz'd at worse. Did ever Proteus, Merlin, any witch,
Thus, good or bad, to one extreme betray Transform theinselves to strangely as the rich ? Th’unbalanc'd mind, and snatch the inan away; Well, but the poor--the poorhave the same itch! For virtuc's self may too much zeal be had ; They change their weekly barber, weekly news, The worst of madmen is a faint run mad. Prefer a new japanner to their shoes,
Go then, and if you can admire the state Discharge their garrets, move their beds, and run Of beaming diamonds, and reflected place, (They know not whither) in a chaile and onc; Procure a taste to double the surprise,
They hire their sculler, and when once aboard, And gazc on Parian charms with learned cres: Grow fick, and damn the climate like a lord. Be struck with bright brocade, or Tyrian dye,
You laugh, half beau half sloven if I stand, Our birthday nobles fplendid livery. My wig all powder, and all snuff iny band; If not to pleas'd, at council-board rejoice, You laugh, if coat and breeches strangely vary, To see their judgments hang upon thy voice; White gloves, and linen worthy Lady Mary; From morn to night, at fenate rolls, and hall,
But when no prelate's lawn with hair-thirt lin’d Plead much, read more, dine late, or not at all. '. Is half so incoherent as iny mind,
But wherefore all this labour, all this itrife? When (cach opinion with the next at strife, For fame, for riches, for a noble wife? One ebb and flow of follies all my life) Shall one whom nature, learning, birth conspir'd I plant, root up; I build, and then confound; To form, not to admire but be admir'd, Turn round to square, and square again to round; Sigh, while his Chloe, blind to wit and worth, You never change out muscle of your face, Weds the rich dulness of some son of carth: You think this madness but a common case, Yet time ennobles or degrades cach line ; Nor once to chanc'ry, nor to Hale apply; It brighten'd Craggs's, and may darken thine : Yet hang your lip, to see a seam awry! And what is fame? The meanest have their day; *Careless how ill I with myself agree,
The greatest can but blaze, and pass away, Kind to iny dress, my figure, not to me. Grac'd as thou art, with all the pow'r of words, Is this my guide, philosopher, and friend : So known, lo honor'd, at the Houte of Lords ;. This he, who loves me, and who ought to imend? Conspicuous scene I another yet is nigh, Who ought to make me (what he can, or none) (More filent far) where kings and poets lie; That man divine who wisdom calls her own; Where Murray(long enough his country's pride) Great without title, without fortune bless'd; Shall be no more than Tully, or than Hyde ! Rich ev’n when plunder'd, honor'd while op- Rack'd with sciatics, martyr'd with the ftuire, press'd;
Will any mortal let himself alone? Lord without youth, and follow'd without power; See Ward by batter'd beaus invited over, At home, tho’exil'd; frec, tho' in the tow'c: And defp'rate misery lays hold on Dover. In short, that rcas'ning, high imınortal thing; The calc is easier in the mind's discale ; Just less than Jove, and much above a king, Thercall men may be cur’d whene'er they please. Nay, half in heav'n--except (what's mighty odd) Would ye be blest! despise low joys, low gains; A fit of vapours clouds this deini-god!
Disdain whatever Cornbury disdains :
Be virtuous, and be happy for your pains.
Bút art thou one whom new opinions rivay,
One who believes as Tindal leads the way,
Who Virtue and a church alike disowns; ** NOT to admire, is all the art I know Thinks that but words, and this but brick and * To make men happy, and to keep them so.”
stones? (Plain truth, dear Murray, needs no flow’rs of Fly then, on all the wings of wild desire, So take it in the very words of Creech. ) [speech; Admire whatc'er the maddest can admire.
This vault of air, this congregated ball, Is wealth thy pallion : Hence! from pole to poles Self-center'd fun, and stars that run and fall, Where winds can carry, or where waves can roll, There are, my friend! whose philofophic eres For Indian spices, for Peruvian gold, Look thro' and trust the Ruler with his skies; Prevent the greedy, or outbid the bold: To him cominit the hour, the day, the year, Advance thy golden mountain to the skies; And ricw this dreadful all without a fear. On the broad base of fifty thousand rise ;
Add one round hundred, and (if that's not fair) | Your country, chief, in arms abroad defend,
At home with morals, arts and laws amend;
Not for yourself, but for your fools and knaves;
But if to pow'r and place your paffion lie,
Inftructed thus, you bow, embrace, protest,
Or, if your life be one continu'd treat;
Or fhall we ev'ry decency confound,
EPISTLE I. BOOK II.
Edward and Henry, now the boast of fame,
To thee, the world its prefent homage pays,
Juft in one inftance, be it yet confeft,
Chaucer's wort ribaldry is learn'd by rote,
Tho' juftly Greece her eldest fons adinires,
We build, we paint, we fing, we dance as well;
If time improve our wits as well as wine,
And fhall we deem him ancient, right and found
Then by the rule that made the horse-tail bare
And cftimating authors by the year,
He who, to seem more deep than you or I, Befow a garland only on a bier.
Extols old bards, or Merlin's prophecy, Shakespear (whom you and ev'ry playhouse bill Mistake him not; he envies, not admires ; Style the divine, the matchless, wisat you will)
And, to debase the fons, exalts the fires. For gain, not glory, wing'd his roving flight,
Had ancient times conspir’d to disallow And grew immortal in his own delpight.
What then was new, what had been ancient now Ben, old and poor, as little scem'd to heed Or wliat remain’d, so worthy to be read The life to comc, in ev'ry poet's creed.
By learned critics of the mighty dead? Who now reads Cowley? If he pleales yet,
In days of ease, when now the weary sword His moral pleales, not his pointed wit;
Was sheath'd, and luxury with Charics restord; Forget his Epic, nay Pindaric art;
In ev'ry tatte of foreign courts improv'd, But Itill I love the language of his heart. All, by the king's example, liv'd and lov'd.'
• Yet furely, surely, there were famous men! Then peers grew proud in horseman hip t'excel. • What boy but hears the sayings of old Ben ?
Newmarket's glory role as Britain's fell; "In all debates where critics bear a part,
The soldier breath'd the gallantries of France, • Not one but nods, and talks of Jonfon's art, And ev'ry dow'ry courtier writ Romance. • Of Shakespear's nature, and of Cowley's wit; Then marble soften'd into life, grew warm, • How Beaumont's judgment check'd what And yielding metal Aow'd to human form : Fletcher writ;
Lely on animated canvass stole • How Shadwell hasty, Wycherly was Now;
The deepy eyc, that tpoke the melting foul. • But, for the passions, Southern, sure, and Rowe. No wonder then, when all was love and sport, • These, only these, support the crowded stage,
The willing muses were debauch'd at court : • From eldest Heywood down to Cibber's age.'
On each enervate ftring they taught the note All this may be; the people's voice is odd; To pant or treinble thro' an eunuch's throat, It is, and it is not, the voice of God.
But Britain, changeful as a child at play, To Gaimer Gurton if it give the bays,
Now calls in princes, and now turns away. And yet deny the Careless Hustand praise, Now Whig, now Tory, what we lov'd we hate; Or say our fathers never broke a rule;
Now all for pleasure, now for church and state ; Why then, I say, the public is a fool.
Now for prerogative, and now for laws; But let them own, that greater faults than we
Effects unhappy from a noble cause. They had, and greater virtues, I'll agree.
Time was, a fober Englishman would knock Spenser himself affects the obsolete,
His servants up, and rite by five oclock, And Sydnev's verse halts ill on Roman feet : Inftruet his family in ev'ry rule, Milton's firong pinion not not heav'n can bound;
And send his wife to church, his son to school. Now, terpene-like, in profe he sweeps the ground;
To worship like his fathers, was his care; In quitables, angel and archangel join,
To tcach their frugal virtues to his heir; And God the Father turns a Ichool-divine. To prove, that luxury could never hold; Nic that I'd lop the beauties from bis book, And place, on good fecurity, his gold. Like Raihing Bentley, with his desp'rate hook,
Now times are chang'd, and one poetic itch Or damu all Shakespear, like th’afceted fool Has seiz'd the court and city, poor and rich : At court, who hates whatc'er he read at fchool. Sons, fires, and grandfires, all will wear the bays But for the wits of either Charles's days,
Our wives read Milton, and our daughters plays ; The mob of gentlemen who wrote with cafe;
To aheatres, and to relcaríols throng;
Not's self e'er tells more fibs than I;
When fick of muse, our follics we deplore, Or lengthen'd thought that gleams thro'manya And promise our best friends to rhyme no more, Has fanctify'd whole poenis for an age.'
We wake next morning in a raging fit, I lose my patience, and I own it ton,
And call for pen and ink, to fhow our wit. When works are centur'd not as bad, but now; He ferv'd a 'prenticeship who sets up shop; While, if our elders break all rearon's law's, Ward try'd on puppies and the poor his Drop 3 These fools demand not pardon, but applausc.
Ev'n! Radclif's doctors travel first to France, On Avon's bank, avhere Howissetcrial blow, Nor dare to practise till they've learn’d to dance. If I but ask, if any wecd can gioit';
Who builds a bridge that never drove a pile ! One tragic fentence if I dare deride,
(Should Ripley venture, all the world would Which Betterton's grave action lignify'd,
fimile) Or wall-mouth’s Booth with emphasis proclaims But thote who cannot write, and thofe who can, (Tho' but, perheps, a mufier roll of na:ncs). All rhyine, and scrawl, and scribble, to a man. Hlow will our fathers rise up in a rage,
Yet, fir, reflect, the mischicf is not great; And livear, all theine is loft in George's age!
These madmen nerer hurt the church or state; You'd think no fools disgrac'd the former reign, Sometimes the fully benefits mankind; Did not some grave examples yot remain, Al rely av’rice taints the runeful mind. Who scorn a iad Nould teach his father skill, Allonskú but his plaything of a pen, And, having once been wrong, will be to still. He be'ci rebels, or plots, like other men:
Flight of cashiers, or mobs, he'll never mind; At length, by wholesome dread of statutes bound And knows no lofles while the muse is kind. The poets learn’d to pleale, and not to wound : To cheat a friend, or ward, he leaves to Peter ; Mott warp'd to fatt’ry's fide; but fome more nice, The good man heaps up nothing but mere metre; Preferv'd the freedom, and forbure the vice. Enjoys his garden and his book in quiet; Hence satire rose, that just the medium hit, And then a perfect hermit in his diet.
And bacals with imorals what it hurts with wir. Of little ute the man you may suppose, We conquer'd France, and felt our captive's Who says in verle what others say in prose;
charms; Yet let me show, a poet's of some weight, Her arts victorious triumph'd o'er our arms; And (tho' no soldier) useful to the state. Britain to soft refinement lets a foe, What will a child learn sooner than a song ? Wit grew polite, and numbers learn'd to flow. What better teach a foreigner the tongue ? Waller was limooth; but Dryden taught to join What's long or fort each accent where to place, The varying verle, the full refourding line, And speak in public with some sort of grace. I scarce can think him luch a worthless thing,
Tho' ftill fome traces of our rustic vein Unless he praise some monster of a king; And 1playfoot verse remain'd, and will remain. Or virtue, or religion turn to sport,
Late, very late, correctness grew our care, To please a lewd, or unbelieving court. When the tir'd nation breath'd from civil war. Unhappy Dryden! In all Charles's days, Exact Racinc, and Corneille's nobie fire, Rofcommon only boaits unspotted bays; Show'd us that France had tomething to admire. And in our own (excuse from courtly stains) Not but the tragic spirit was our own, No whiter page than Additon remains.
And full in Sha' e pcar, fair in Otuvay Phone : He, from the taste obscene, reclaims our youth, Put Otway faild to polish or refine, And sets the passions on the fidc of truth, And Auent Shaketpcar scarce effac'd a line; Forms the soft bofoin with the gentlest art, Ev'ı copious Dryden wanted, or forgot, And pours each human virtue in the heart. The latt and greatett art, the art to blor. Let Ireland tell, how wit upheld her cause, Some doubt, if equal pains, or equal fire Her trade supported, and supply'd her laws;
The humbler muli of comedy require. And leave on Swift this grateful verse engrav'd, But in known images of life, I guess • The rights a court attack'd, a poet fav’d.' The labour grcater, as th’indulgence less. Behold the hand that wrought a nation's cure, Obferve how feldom ev'n the bcit fucceed: Stretch'd to relieve the idiot and the poor, Tell me if Congreve's Fools are fools indeed! Proud vice to brand, or injur'd worth adorn, What pert low dialogue has Farquhar writ! And stretch'd the ray to ages yet unborn. How Van wants grace, who never wanted wit! Not but there are, who merit other palins ; The stage how loosely does Aftræa tread, Hopkins and Sternbold glad the heart with Who fairly puts all characters to bed! psalms :
And idle Cibber, how he breaks the laws, The boys and girls whom charity maintains, To make poor Pinkey eat with vast applause; Implore your help in there pathetic ftrains : But fill their purse, our poet's work is done : How could devotion touch the country pews,
Alike to them, by pathos or by pun. Unless the Gods beftow'd a proper mufc ?
O you ! whom vanity's light bark conveys Verle cheers their leiture, verse alhits their work, On fame's mad voyage by the wind of praiie, Verse prays for peace, or fings down Pope and with what a shifting gale your course you ply; Turk.
For ever sunk too low, or borne too high! The filenc'd preacher yields to potent strain, Who pants for glory finds but short repose; And feels that grace his prayor befought in vain; A breath revives him, or a breath o'erthroivs, The bletling thrills thro' all the lab'ring throng, Farewell the fage ! if just as thrives the play And heav'n is won by violence of fong. The Hilly bard grow's fat, or falls away. Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
There will remains to inortify a wit, Patient of labour when the end was reft, The many-headed monter of the pit; Indulg'd the day that hous'd their annual grain, | A fenfeless, worthless, and unhonor'd crowd; With feafts and off'rings, and a thankful strain: Who, to disturb their berters mighty proud. The jov their wives, their sons, and servants share, Clatt'ring their sticks before'ten lines are spoke, Ease of their toil, and partners of their care : Call for the farce, the Bear, or the Black Joke. The laugh, the jest, attendants on the bowl, What dear delight to Britons farce affords ! Smooth'd every brow, and open'd ev'ry foul : Ever the tafte of inobs, but now of lords ! With growing years the pleafing licence grew, (Tafte, that cternal wanderer, which flics And taunts alternate innocently flew,
From heads to ears, and now from ears to eyes) But tiines corrupt, and nature íll-inclin'd, The play stands till; damn action and discourtea Procluc'd the point that left the sting behind ; Back fly the scenes, and enter foot and horte; Till friend with friend, and families at strife, Pagcants on pageants, in long order drawn, Triumphant malice rag'd thro' private life. Peers, heralds, bishops, crmin, gold, and lawn's Who felt the wrong, or fear'd it, took th'alarm, The champion too! and, to complete the jeit, Appealid to law, and jukice lent her arm, Old Edward's armour beams on Cibber's breaft!
With laughter, fure, Democritus had dy'd,
Let me for once prefume t'inftruct the times,
Of all mankind, the creatures moft abfurd :
Yet think, great Sir! (fo many virtues shown)
So well in paint and stone they judg'd of merit: But Kings in wit may want difcerning fpirit. The Hero William, and the Martyr Charles, One knighted Blackmore, and one penfion'd Quarles;
Which made old Ben and furly Dennis fwear,
Your country's peace, how oft,howdearly bought!
EPISTLE II. BOOK II.
DEAR col'nel, Cobham's, and your country' You love a verse, take fuch as I can fend. [ friend! A Frenchman comes, prefents you with his boy, Bows and begins- This lad, Sir, is of Blois: Obferve his fhape how clean! his locks how My only fon, I'd have him fee the world: [curl'd! His French is pure; his voice too--you fhall hear. Sir, he's your flave for twenty pounds a year. Mere wax as yet, you fashion him with cafe, "Your barber, cook, upholft'rer, what you pleafe A perfect genius at an op'ra fong
To fay too much, might do my honour wrong, Take him with all his virtues, on my word; 'His whole ambition was to ferve a lord: 'But, Sir, to you, with what would I not part? "Tho' faith, I fear 'twill break his mother's heart. 'Once (and but once) I caught him in a lye,
And then, unwhipp'd, he had the grace to cry. The fault he has I fairly fhall reveal; '(Could you o'erlook but that) it is to fteal.' If, after this, you took the graceless lad, Could you complain, my friend, he prov'd fo bad Faith, in fuch cafe, if you should profecute, I think Sir Godfrey should decide the fuit;