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The joy their wives, their fons, and fervants, fhare,
Fafe of their toil and partners of their care:
The laugh, the jeít, attendants on the bowl,
Smooth'd ev'ry brow, and open'd ev'ry foul:
With growing years the pleafing licence grew,
And I taunts alternate innocently flew.


But times corrupt, and 2 nature ill-inclin'd,
Produc'd the point that left a fting behind;
Till friend with friend, and families at strife,
Triumphant malice rag'd thro' private life.
Who felt the wrong, or fear'd it, took th' alarm, 255
Appeal'd to Law, and Juftice lent her arm.

At length by wholesome 3 dread of statutes bound,
The poets learn'd to please, and not to wound :
Moft warp'd to 4 Flatt ry's fide; but fome, more nice,
Preferv'd the freedom, and forebore the vice.
Hence Satire rofe, that juft the medium hit,
And heals with morals what it hurts with wit.


5 We conquer'd France, but felt our captives' charms, Her arts victorious triumph'd o'er our arms; Britain to foft refinements lefs a foe,

Wit grew polite, and 6 numbers learn'd to flow.

Tellurem porco, filvanum lacte piabant,
Floribus et vino Genium memorem brevis ævi.
Fefcennina per hunc inventa licentia morem
1 Verfibus alternis opprobria ruftica fudit;
Libertafque recurrentes accepta per annos
Lufit amabiliter: 2 donec jam fævus apertain
In rabiem verti cœpit jocus, et per honeftas
Ire domos impune minax. doluere cruento
Dente faceffiti: luit intactis quoque cura
Conditione fuper communi; 3 quin etiam lex
Poenaque lata, malo que nollet carmine quemquam
Defcribi. vertere modum, formidine fuftis
Ad 4 bene dicendum, delectandumque reducti.

5 Græcia capta, ferum victorem cepit, et artes
Intulit agrefti Latio, fic horridus ille


Defluxit numerus Saturnius, et grave virus
Munditiæ pepulere: fed in longum tamen ævum


Waller was fmooth; but Dryden taught to join
The varying verfe, the full-refounding line,
The long majestic march, and energy divine;
Tho' ftill fome traces of our 1 ruftic vein
And play foot verfe remain'd, and will remain.
Late, very late, correctnefs grew our care,
When the tir'd nation 2 breath'd from civil war.
Exact 3 Racine and Corneille's noble fire



Show'd us that France had fomething to admire. 275
Not but the 4 tragic fpirit was our own,

And full in Shakespeare, fair in Otway, fhone;
But Otway fail'd to polish or refine,

And 5 fluent Shakespeare scarce effac'd a line.
E'en copious Dryden wanted, or forgot,
The laft and greatest art, the art to blot.
Some doubt if equal pains or equal fire
The humbler Mufe of Comedy require.
But in known images of life I guess


The labour greater as the indulgence lefs.
7 Obferve how seldom e'en the best fucceed;
Tell me if 8 Congreve's fools are fools indeed?
What pert low dialogue has Farquhar writ!
How Van. wants grace, who never wanted wit!
The ftage how 9 loofely does Aftrea tread,
Who fairly puts all characters to bed!




Manierunt, hodieque manent, I vestigia ruris.
Serus enim Græcis admovit acumina chartis;
Et poft
2 Punica belia quietus, quærere cœpit,
Quod 3 Sophocles et Thefpis et Æfchylus utile ferrent:
Tentavit quoque rem fi digne vertere posset ;
Et placuit fibi, natura fublimis, et acer:
Nam 4 fpirat tragicum fatis, et feliciter audet:
Sed 5 turpem putat in fcriptis metuitque lituram.
Creditur, ex medio quia res arceffit, habere
Sudoris minimum; fed habet comœdia tanto
Plus oneris, quanto veniæ minus. 7 afpice, Plautus
Quo pacto 8 partes tutetur amantis ephebi,

Ut patris attenti, lenonis ut infidiofi;

Quantus fit Doffennus 9 edacibus in parafitis;


And idle Cibber, how he breaks the laws,
To make poor Pinkey eat with vast applause!
But fill their purfe, our poet's work is done;
Alike to them by Pathos or by Pun.

O you! whom 3 Vanity's light bark conveys
On Fame's mad voyage by the wind of praise,
With what a shifting gale your course you ply,
For ever funk too low, or borne too high!
Who pants for glory finds but short repofe;
A breath revives him, or a breath o'erthrows.
4 Farewell the ftage! if juft as thrives the play
The filly bards grow fat or fall away.



5 There ftill remains, to mortify a wit, The many-headed monfter of the pit ;

A fenfelefs, worthlefs, and unhonour'd crowd,
Who, 6 to disturb their betters mighty proud,
Clatt'ring their sticks before ten lines are spoke,
Call for the Farce, 7 the Bear, or the Black-Joke.
What dear delight to Britons farce affords!
Ever the taste of mobs, but now 8 of lords;
(Tafte! that eternal wanderer, which flies
From heads to ears, and now from ears to eyes.)


Quam non aftricto percurrat pulpita focco:



Gettit 2 enim nummum in loculos demmittere; poft hoc Securus, cadat, an recto ftet fabula talo.

Quem tulit ad fcenam 3 ventofo gloria curru, Exanimat lentus fpectator, fedulus inflat: Sic leve, fic parvum eft, animum quod laudis avarum Subruit aut reficit. 4 valeat res ludicra, fi me Palma negata macrum, donata reducit opimum.

5 Sæpe etiam audacem fugat hoc terretque poetam ; Quod numero plures, virtute et honore minores, Indocti, ftolidique, et 6 depugnare parati,

Si difcordet eques, media inter carmina pofcunt
Aut 7 urfum aut pugiles: his nam plebecula gaudet.
Verum equitis quoque jam migravit ab aure voluptas
Omnis, ad incertos oculos, et gaudia vana.
Quatuor aut plures aulæa pr.muntur in horas;

The play ftands itill; damn action and discourse;
Back fly the scenes, and enter foot and horse;
Pageants on pageants, in long order drawn,
Peers, heralds, bithops, ermine, gold and lawn;
The champion too! and, to complete the jeft,
Old Edward's armour beams on Cibber's breast.
With laughter fure Democritus had dy’d
Had he beheld an audience gape fo wide.



Let bear or 3 elephant be e'er fo white,

The people, fure, the people are the fight!

Ah, luckless 4 Poet! itretch thy lungs and roar,

That bear or elephant fhall heed thee more;


While all its 5 throats the gallery extends,
And all the thunder of the pit afcends!
Loud as the wolves on Orcas' ftormy steep
Howl to the roarings of the northern deep;
Such is the fhout, the long-applauding note,
At Quin's high plume, or Oldfield's 7 petticoat;
Or when from Court a birth-day fuit bestow'd
Sinks the loft actor in the tawdry load.
Booth enters hark' the universal peal
"But has he he spoken?" Not a fyllable.



Dum fugiunt equitum turmæ, peditumque catervæ:
Mox trahitur manibus regum fortuna retortis;
Effeda feftinant, pilenta, petorrita, naves;
Captivum portatur ebur, captiva Corinthus.
2 Si foret in terris, rideret Democritus; seu
Diverfum confufa genus panthera camelo,
Sive 3 elaphas albus vulgi converteret ora.
Spectaret populum ludis attentius ipfis,
Ut fibi præbentem mimo fpectacula plura :
Scriptores autem 4 narrare putaret afello
Fabellam furdo. nam quæ 5 pervincere voces
Evaluere fonum, referunt quem noftra theatra ?
6 Garganum, mugire putes nemus, aut mare Tufcum;
Tanto cum ftrepitu ludi fpectantur, et artes,


7 Divitiæque peregrina: quibus oblitus actor Cum ftetit in fcena, concurrit dextera lævæ.

Dixit adhuc aliquid? Nil fane. Quid elacet ergo?


"What shook the stage, and made the people ftare?"
Cato's long wig, flow'r'd gown, and lacker'd chair.
Yet, left you think I rally more than teach,
Or praife malignly arts I cannot reach,
Let me for once prefume t'inftruct the times,
To know the poet from the man of rhymes.
'Tis he who gives my breaft a thousand pains,
Can make me feel each paffion that he feigns;
Enrage, compofe, with more than magic art,
With pity and with terror tear my heart,

And fnatch me o'er the earth, or thro' the air,
To Thebes, to Athens, when he will and where.
3 But not this part of the poetic state

Alone deferves the favour of the great.
Think of these authors, Sir, who would rely
More on a reader's fenfe than gazer's eye.
Or who shall wander where the Mufes fing?



Who climb their mountain, or who taste their spring?
How fhall we fill 4 a library with wit,
When Merlin's cave is half unfurnish'd yet?


My Liege why writers little claim your thought

I guefs, and with their leave will tell the fault.
We 5 poets are (upon a poet's word)

Of all mankind the creatures most abfurd:

I Lana Tarentino violas imitata veneno.

Ac ne forte putes, me, quæ facere ipfe recufem, Cum recte tractent alii, laudare maligne;


Ille per extentum funem mihi poffe videtur meum qui pectus inaniter angit, Irritat, mulcet, falfis terroribus implet,

Ire poeta,

Ut magus; et modo me Thebis, modo ponit Athenis. 3 Verum age, et his, qui se lectori credere malunt, Quam fpectatoris faftidia ferre fuperbi,

Curam redde brevem; fi 4 munus Apolline dignum
Vis complere libris, et vatibus addere calcar,
Ut ftudio majore petant Helicona virentem.

5 Multa quidem nobis facimus mala fæpe poetæ, (Ut vineta egomet cædam mea) cum tibi librum

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