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Thine was the sway ere heav'n was form'd, or earth, Ere fruitful thought conceiv'd creation's birth,

Or midwife word gave aid,and spoke the infant forth.

Then various elements against thee join'd,
In one more various animal combin'd,

And fram'd the clamorous race of busy humankind.

The tongue mov'd gently first, and speech was low,
Till wrangling science taught it noise and show,
And wicked wit arose, thy most abusive foe.

But rebel wit deserts thee oft in vain :
Lost in the maze of words he turns again,

And seeks a surer state, and courts thy gentle reign.

Afflicted sense thou kindly dost set free,

Oppress'd with argumental tyranny,

And routed reason finds a safe retreat in thee.

With thee in private modest dulness lies,
And in thy bosom lurks in thought's disguise!
Thou varnisher of fools, and cheat of all the wise!

Yet thy indulgence is by both confess'd;
Folly by thee lies sleeping in the breast,

And 'tis in thee at last that wisdom seeks for rest.

Silence! the knave's repute, the whore's good name, The only honour of the wishing dame;

The very want of tongue makes thee a kind of fame.

But couldst thou seize some tongues that now are free,

How church and state should be oblig'd to thee! At senate and at bar how welcome wouldst thou be!

Yet speech, e'en there, submissively withdraws
From rights of subjects, and the poor man's cause:
Then pompous silence reigns,and stills the noisy laws.
Past services of friends, good deeds of foes,
What favourites gain, and what the nation owes,
Fly the forgetful world, and in thy arms repose.
The country wit, religion of the town,

The courtier's learning, policy o' the' gown,
Are best by thee express'd, and shine in thee alone.
The parson's cant, the lawyer's sophistry,
Lord's quibble, critic's jest; all end in thee;
All rest in peace at last, and sleep eternally.



THOUGH Artemisia talks by fits
Of councils, classics, fathers, wits;

Reads Malbranche, Boyle, and Locke:
Yet in some things methinks she fails:-
'Twere well if she would pare her nails,
And wear a cleaner smock.

Haughty and huge as High Dutch bride,
Such nastiness and so much pride
Are oddly join'd by fate :

On her large squab you find her spread,
Like a fat corpse upon a bed,

That lies and stinks in state.

She wears no colours (sign of grace)
On any part except her face;

All white and black beside:

Dauntless her look, her gesture proud, Her voice theatrically loud,

And masculine her stride.

So have I seen, in black and white,
A prating thing, a magpie hight,
Majestically stalk;

A stately worthless animal,

That plies the tongue, and wags the tail, All flutter, pride, and talk.


PHRYNE had talents for mankind;
Open she was and unconfin'd,

Like some free port of trade: Merchants unloaded here their freight, And agents from each foreign state Here first their entry made.*

Her learning and good breeding such,
Whether the' Italian or the Dutch,
Spaniards or French, came to her;
To all obliging she'd appear;
Twas Si Signior, 'twas Yaw Mynheer,
"Twas S'il vous plait, Monsieur.
Obscure by birth, renown'd by crimes,
Still changing names, religions, climes,
At length she turns a bride :

In di'monds, pearls, and rich brocades,
She shines the first of batter'd jades,
And flutters in her pride.

So have I known those insects fair (Which curious Germans hold so rare)

Still vary shapes and dyes;

Still gain new titles with new forms;

First grubs obscene, then wriggling worms,
Then painted butterflies.



PARSON, these things in thy possessing
Are better than the bishop's blessing:
A wife that makes conserves; a steed
That carries double when there's need;
October store, and best Virginia,
Tythe pig, and mortuary guinea;
Gazettes sent gratis down and frank'd,
For which thy patron's weekly thank'd;
A large concordance, bound long since;
Sermons to Charles the First, when prince;
A chronicle of ancient standing;

A Chrysostom to smooth thy band in:
The Polyglot-three parts-my text,
Howbeit-likewise-now to my next :
Lo, here the Septuagint-and Paul,
To sum the whole-the close of all.

He that has these may pass his life,
Drink with the 'squire, and kiss his wife;
On Sundays preach, and eat his fill,
And fast on Fridays-if he will;

Toast church and queen, explain the news,
Talk with churchwardens about pews,

Pray heartily for some new gift,

And shake his head at Doctor S-t.





This paper is a sort of bill of complaint, begun many years since, and drawn up by snatches, as the several occasions offered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleased some persons of rank and fortune [the authors of "Verses to the Imitator of Horace,' and of an Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity from a Nobleman at Hampton-Court'] to attack, in a very extraordinary manner, not only my writings (of which, being public, the public is judge) but my person, morals, and family; whereof, to those who know ine not, a truer information may be requisite. Being divided between the necessity to say something of myself, and my own laziness to undertake so awkward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the last haud to this epistle. If it have any thing pleasing, it will be that by which I am most desirous to please, the truth and the sentiment; and if any thing offensive, it will be only to those I am least sorry to offend, the vicious or the ungenerous.

Many will know their own pictures in it, there being not a circumstance but what is true; but I have, for the most part, spared their names, and they may escape being laughed at if they please.

I would have some of them know, it was owing to the request of the learned and candid friend, to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free use of theirs as they have done of mine. However, I shall have this advantage and honour on my side, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can possibly be done hy mine, since a nameless character can never be found out but by its truth and likeness.

P. 'SHUT, shut the door, good John!' fatigued, I 'Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead,' {said;

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