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HUT, fhut the door, good John! fatigu'd
P. SHUT, faid,
Tye up the knocker, fay I'm fick, I'm dead,
What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide?
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. 10
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, just at Dinner-time.
Is there a Parfon, much be-mus'd in beer, A maudlin Poetefs, a rhyming Peer,
A Clerk, foredoom'd his father's foul to cross,
Arthur, whofe giddy fon neglects the Laws,
And curfes Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my Life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle fong)
After ver. 20. in the MS:
Is there a Bard in durance? turn them free,
VER. 29. in the 1st 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 afford one another, from the perfecution of their creditors.
What Drop or Noftrum can this plague remove?
If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead.
With honeft anguish, and an aching head;
This faving counfel, "Keep your piece nine years."
"The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it, 45
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. 1. 1. Dr. Bentley pretends, that this Pitholeon libelled Cæfar alfo. See notes on Hor. Sat. 10. I. i.
"Dare you refuse him? Curl invites to dine, "He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine." Bless me a packet." "Tis a ftranger fucs, 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 stars) my whole commiffion ends, The players 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 revife it, and retouch."
All my demurs but double his attacks ;
At laft he whispers, "Do; and we go fnacks."
His very Minister who spy'd them first,
(Some fay his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst.
VER. 53. in the MS.
If you refufe, he goes, as fates incline,
To plague Sir Robert, or to turn Divine.
Cibber and I are luckily no friends.
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.
And is not mine, my friend, a forer cafe,
A, Good friend forbear! you deal in dang’rous things,
'Tis nothing-P. Nothing? if they bite and kick?
That fecret to each fool, that he's an Afs:
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?) of Midas flept, and so 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
Deftroy 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 vifible.
VER, 88. Alluding to Horace,
Si fractus illabatur orbis,
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 fhould be cautious how they employ this figure; for where the likeness is not very ftriking, instead of giving force, they become obfcure. Here, every thing concurs to make them run into one another.