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THE Essay on Man was intended to have been comprised in four books;
The first of which, the author has given us under that title, in four epistles.
The second was to have consisted of the same number: 1. Of the extent and limits of human reason. 2. Of those arts and sciences, and of the parts of them, which are useful. and therefore attainable together with those which are unuseful, and therefore unattainable. 3. Of the nature, ends, use, and application of the different capacities of men. 4. Of the use of learning, of the science of the world, and of wit; concluding with a satire against a misapplication of them, illustrated by pictures, characters, and examples.
The third book regarded civil regimen, or the science of politics, in which the several forms of a republic were to be examined and explained; together with the several modes of religious worship, as far forth as they affect society; between which the author always supposed there was the most interesting relationand closest connection; so that this part would have treated of civil and religious society in their full extent.
The fourth and last book concerned private ethics, or practical morality, considered in all the circumstances, orders, professions, and stations of human life.
The scheme of all this had been maturely digest ed, and communicated to lord Bolingbroke, Dr. Swift, and one or two more, and was intended for the only work of his riper years; but was, partly through ill health, partly through discourage ments from the depravity of the times, and partly on prudential and other considerations, interrupted, postponed, and, lastly, in a manner laid aside.
But as this was the author's favourite work, which more exactly reflected the image of his strong capacious mind, and as we can have but a very imperfect idea of it from the disjecta membra poetæ, that now remain, it may not be amiss
to be a little more particular concerning each of these projected books.
The first, as it treats of man in the abstract, and considers him in general under every of his relations, becomes the foundation, and furnishes out the subjects, of the three following; so that
The second book was to take up again the first and second epistles of the first book, and treats of man in his intellectual capacity at large, as has been explained above. Of this only a small part of the conclusion (which, as we said, was to have contained a satire against the misapplication of wit and learning) may be found in the fourth book of the Dunciad, and up and down, occasionally, in the other three.
The third book, in like manner, was to reassume the subject of the third epistle of the first, which treats of man in his social, political, and religious capacity. But this part the poet afterwards conceived might be best executed in an epic poem, as the action would make it more animated, and the fable less invidious; in which all the great principles of true and false governments and religions should be chiefly delivered in feigned examples.
The fourth and last book was to pursue the subject of the fourth epistle of the first, and treats of ethics, or practical morality; and would have consisted of many members; of which the four following epistles were detached portions; the two first, on the characters of men and women, being the introductory part of this concluding
TO SIR RICHARD TEMPLE, L. COBHAM.
OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND CHARACTERS OF MEN.
THAT it is not sufficient for this knowledge to consider man in the abstract: books will not serve the purpose, not yet our own experience singly, ver. 1. General maxims, unless they be formed upon both, will be but notional, ver. 10. Some peculiarity in every man, characteristic to himself, yet varying from himself, ver. 15. Difficulties arising from our own passions, fancies, faculties, &c. ver. 31. The shortness of life to observe in, and the uncertainty of the principles of action in men to observe by, ver. 37. &c. Our own principle of action often hid from ourselves, ver. 41. few characters plain, but in general confounded, dissembled, or inconsistent, ver. 51. The same man utterly different in different places and seasons, ver. 71. Unimaginable weaknesses in the greatest, ver. 70, &c. Nothing constant and certain but God and nature, ver. 95. judging of the motives from the actions; the same actions proceeding from contrary motives, and the same motives influencing contrary actions, ver. 100. II. Yet, to form characters, we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree: the utter uncertainty of this, from nature itself, and from
policy, ver. 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, ver. 135. And some reason for it, ver. 140. Education alters the nature, or at least character of many, ver. 149. Actions, passions, opinions, manners, humours, or principles, all subject to change. No judging by nature, from ver. 158. to ver. 178. III. It only remains to find (if we can) his ruling passion: that will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all his actions, ver. 175. Instanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, ver. 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all possibility of the knowledge of mankind, ver. 210. Examples of the strength of the ruling passion, and its continuation to the last breath, ver. 222, &c.
Yes, you despise the man to books confin'd,
Who from his study rails at human-kind;
Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance
Some general maxims, or be right by chance.
The coxcomb bird, so talkative and grave,
That from his cage cries cuckold, whore, and knave,
Though many a passenger he rightly call,
You hold him no philosopher at all.
And yet the fate of all extremes is such,
Men may be read, as well as books, too much. 10
To observations which ourselves we make,
We grow more partial for th' observer's sake;
To written wisdom, as another's, less:
Maxims are drawn from notions, these from guess.
There's some peculiar in each leaf and grain,
Some unmark'd fibre, or some varying vein :
Shall only man be taken in the gross?
Grant but as many sorts of mind as moss.
That each from other differs, first confess;
Next, that he varies from himself no less;
Add nature's, custom's, reason's, passion's strife,
And all opinion's colours cast on life.
Our depths who fathoms, or our shallows finds,
Quick whirls, and shifting eddies, of our minds?
On human actions reason though you can,
It may be reason, but it
His principle of action once explore,
That instant 'tis his principle no more.
Like following life through creatures you dissect,
You lose it in the moment you detect.
Yet more; the difference is as great between
The optics seeing, as the objects seen.
All manners take a tincture from our own ;
Or come discolour'd through our passions shown.
Or Fancy's beam enlarges, multiplies,
Contracts, inverts, and gives ten thousand dyes.
Nor will life's stream for observation stay,
It hurries all too fast to mark their way:
In vain sedate reflections we would make,
When half our knowledge we must snatch, not take.
Oft, in the passion's wild rotation tost,
Our spring of action to ourselves is lost :
Tir'd, not determin'd, to the last we yield,
And what comes then is master of the field.
As the last image of that troubled heap,
When sense subsides and fancy sports in sleep,
(Though past the recollection of the thought)
Becomes the stuff of which our dream is wrought:
Something as dim to our internal view,
Is thus, perhaps, the cause of most we do.
True, some are open, and to all men known;
Others, so very close, they're hid from none;
(So darkness strikes the sense no less than light)
Thus gracious Chandos is belov'd at sight;
And every child hates Shylock, though his soul
Still sits at squat, and peeps not from its hole.
At half mankind when generous Manly raves,
All know 'tis virtue, for he thinks them knaves:
When universal homage Umbra pays,
All see 'tis vice, an itch of vulgar praise.
When flattery glares, all hate it in a queen,
While one there is who charms us with his spleen.
But these plain characters we rarely find:
Though strong the bent, yet quick the turns of mind:
Or puzzling contraries confound the whole;
Or affectations quite reverse the soul.
The dull, flat falsehood serves, for policy;
And in the cunning, truth itself's a lie:
Unthought-of frailties cheat us in the wise;
The fool lies hid in inconsistencies.
See the same man, in vigour, in the gout;
Alone, in company; in place, or out;
Early at business, and at hazard late;
Mad at a fox-chase, wise at a debate;
Drunk at a borough, civil at a ball;
Friendly at Hackney, faithless at Whitehall.
Catius is ever moral, ever grave.
Thinks who endures a knave, is next a knave,
Save just at dinner-then prefers, no doubt,
A rogue with venison to a saint without.
Who would not praise Patricio's high desert, His hand unstain'd, his uncorrupted heart, His comprehensive head! all interests weigh'd, All Europe sav'd, yet Britain not betray'd. He thanks you not, his pride is in piquette, Newmarket-fame, and judgment at a bett. What made (say, Montagne, or more sage CharOtho a warrior, Cromwell a buffoon? A perjured prince a leaden saint revere, A godless regent tremble at a star? The throne a bigot keep, a genius quit, Faithless through piety, and dup'd through wit? Europe a woman, child, or dotard rule, And just her wisest monarch made a fool?
Know, God and Nature only are the same: In man, the judgement shoots a flying game; A bird of passage! gone as soon as found, Now in the Moon perhaps, now under ground. In vain the sage, with retrospective eye, Would from th' apparent what conclude the why, Infer the motive from the deed, and shew, That what we chanc'd, was what we meant to do. Behold if Fortune or a mistress frowns, Some plunge in business, others shave their crowns: To ease the soul of one oppressive weight, This quits an empire, that embroils a state : The same adust complexion has impell'd Charles to the convent, Philip to the field.
Not always actions show the man: we find Who does a kindness, is not therefore kind : Perhaps prosperity becalm'd his breast, Perhaps the wind just shifted from the east:
After ver. 86. in the former editions,
Triumphant leaders at an army's head,
Hemm'd round with glories, pilfer cloth or bread;
As meanly plunder as they bravely fought,
Now save a people, and now save a groat.
Not therefore humble he who seeks retreat,
Pride guides his steps, and bids him shun the great:
Who combats bravely is not therefore brave,
He dreads a death-bed like the meanest slave:
Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise,
His pride in reasoning, not in acting, lies.
But grant that actions best discover man;
Take the most strong, and sort them as you can.
The few that glare, each character must mark, 121
You balance not the many in the dark.
What will you do with such as disagree?
Suppress them, or miscall them policy?
Must then at once (the character to save)
The plain rough hero turn a crafty knave?
Alas! in truth the man but chang'd his mind,
Perhaps was sick, in love, or had not din'd.
Ask why from Britain Cæsar would retreat?
Cæsar himself night whisper, he was beat,
Why risk the world's great empire for a punk?
Cæsar perhaps might answer, he was drunk.
But, sage historians! 'tis your task to prove
One action, conduct; one, heroic love.
'Tis from high life high characters are drawn :
A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn;
A judge is just, a chancellor juster still;
A gownman learn'd; a bishop, what you will;
Wise, if a minister; but, if a king, [thing. 140
More wise, more learn'd, more just, more every
Court-virtues bear, like gems, the highest rate,
Born where Heaven's influence scarce can penetrate:
In life's low vale, the soil the virtues like,
They please as beauties, here as wonders strike,
Though the same Sun with all diffusive rays
Blush in the rose, and in the diamond blaze,
We prize the stronger effort of his power,
And justly set the gem above the flower.
'Tis education forms the common mind;
Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclin'd.
Boastful and rough, your first son is a 'squire;
The next a tradesman, meek, and much a lyar,
Tom struts a soldier, open, bold and brave;
Will sneaks a scrivener, an exceeding knave:
Is he a churchman? then he's fond of power:
A quaker? sly: a presbyterian? sour:
A smart free-thinker? all things in an hour.
Ask men's opinions: Scoto now shall tell
How trade increases, and the world goes well;
Strike off his pension, by the setting sun,
And Britain, if not Europe, is undone.
That gay free thinker, a fine talker once,
What turns him now a stupid, silent dunce?
Some god, or spirit, he has lately found;
Or chanc'd to meet a minister that frown'd,
Judge we by nature? habit can efface,
Interest o'ercome, or policy take place:
By actions? those uncertainty divides:
By passions? these dissimulation hides:
Ver. 129. in the former editions:
Ask why from Britain Cæsar made retreat? Cæsar himself would tell you he was beat. The mighty Czar what mov'd to wed a punk? The mighty Czar would tell you he was drunk. Altered as above, because Cæsar wrote his Commentaries of this war, and does not tell you he was beat. As Cæsar too afforded an instance of both cases, it was thought better to make him the single example.
Opinions? they still take a wider range:
Find, if you can, in what you cannot change.
Manners with fortunes, humours turn with climes,
Tenets with books, and principles with times.
Search then the ruling passion: there, alone,
The wild are constant, and the cunning known;
The fool consistent, and the false sincere;
Priests, princes, women, no dissemblers here.
This clue once found, unravels all the rest,
The prospect clears, and Wharton stands confest.
Wharton, the scorn and wonder of our days, 180
Whose ruling passion was the lust of praise;
Born with whate'er could win it from the wise,
Women and fools must like him, or he dies:
Though wondering senates hung on all he spoke,
The club must hail him master of the joke.
Shall parts so various aim at nothing new?
He'll shine a Tully and a Wilmot too.
Then turns repentant, and his God adores
With the same spirit that he drinks and whores;
Enough if all around him but admire,
And now the punk applaud, and now the friar.
Thus with each gift of Nature and of Art,
And wanting nothing but an honest heart;
Grown all to all, from no one vice exempt;
And most contemptible, to shun contempt;
His passion still, to covet general praise;
His life, to forfeit it a thousand ways;
A constant bounty, which no friend has made;
An angel tongue, which no man can persuade;
A fool, with more of wit than half mankind, 200
Too rash for thought, for action too refin'd:
A tyrant to the wife his heart approves ;
A rebel to the very king he loves;
He dies, sad outcast of each church and state,
And, harder still! flagitious, yet not great.
Ask you why Wharton broke through every rule?
'Twas all for fear the knaves should call him fool.
Nature well known, no prodigies remain,
Comets are regular, and Wharton plain.
Yet, in this search, the wisest may mistake, 210
If second qualities for first they take.
When Catiline by rapine swell'd his store;
When Cæsar made a noble dame a whore ;
In this the lust, in that the avarice,
Were means, not ends; ambition was the vice.
That very Cæsar, born in Scipio's days,
Had aim'd like him, by chastity, at praise.
Lucullus, when frugality could charm,
Had roasted turnips in the Sabine farm.
In vain the observer eyes the builder's toil,
But quite mistakes the scaffold for the pile.
In this one passion man can strength enjoy,
As fits give vigour, just when they destroy.
Time, that on all things lays his lenient hand,
Yet tames not this; it sticks to our last sand.
Consistent in our follies and our sins,
Here honest Nature ends as she begins.
Old politicians chew on wisdom past,
And totter on in business to the last;
As weak, as earnest; and as gravely out,
As sober Lanesborow dancing in the gout.
Behold a reverend sire, whom want of grace
Has made the father of a nameless race,
In the former editions, ver. 208.
Nature well known, no miracles remain.
Altered, as above, for very obvious reasons.
Shov'd from the wall perhaps, or rudely press'd
By his own son, that passes by unbless'd :
Still to his wench he crawls on knocking knees,
And envies every sparrow that he sees.
A salmon's belly, Helluo, was thy fate;
The doctor call'd, declares all help too late: [240
"Mercy" cries Helluo, " mercy on my soul !
Is there no hope?-Alas!-then bring the jowl,"
The frugal crone, whom praying priests attend,
Still strives to save the hallow'd taper's end,
Collects her breath, as ebbing life retires,
For one puff more, and in that puff expires,
"Odious! in woollen ! 'twould a saint provoke,"
(Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke)
No, let a charming chiutz and Brussel's lace,
Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face:
One would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead-
And-Betty-give this cheek a little red," [250
The courtier smooth, who forty years had shin'd
An humble servant to all human-kind, [stir,
Just brought out this, when scarce his tongue could
"If-where I'm going-I could serve you, sir!”
"I give and I devise" (old Euclio said,
And sigh'd) "my lands and tenements to Ned."
Your money, sir?" My money, sir, what all?
"Why,—if I must"-(then wept) "I give it Paul."
The manor, sir?" The manor! hold, he cry`d.
"Not that,—I cannot part with that,"—and dy'd.
And you! brave Cobham, to the latest breath,
Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death:
Such in those moments as in all the past, [last.
“Oh, save my country, Heaven!" shall be your
OF THE CHARACTERS OF WOMEN,
THERE is nothing in Mr. Pope's works more highly
finished than this epistle: yet its success was in
no proportion to the pains he took in composing
it. Something he chanced to drop in a short
advertisement prefixed to it, on its first publica-
tion, may perhaps account for the small atten-
tion given to it. He said that no one character
in it was drawn from the life. The public be-
lieved him on his word, and expressed little
curiosity about a satire, in which there was
NOTHING SO true as what you once let fall,
"Most women have no characters at all."
Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear,
And best distinguish'd by black, brown, or fair.
How many pictures of one nymph we view,
All how unlike each other, all how true!
Arcadia's countess, here, in ermin'd pride,
Is there, Pastora by a fountain side.
Here Fannia, leering on her own good man,
And there, a naked Leda with a swan.
Let then the fair-one beautifully cry,
In Magdalene's loose hair, and lifted eye,
Or drest in smiles of sweet Cecilia shine,
With simpering angels, palms, and harps divine;
Whether the charmer sinner it, or saint it,
If folly grow romantic, I must paint it.
Rufa, whose eye, quick glancing o'er the Park,
Attracts each light gay meteor of a spark,
Agrees as ill with Rufa studying Locke,
As Sappho's diamonds with her dirty smock;
Or Sappho at her toilet's greasy task,
With Sappho fragrant at an evening mask:
So morning insects, that in muck begun,
Shine, buzz, and fly-blow in the setting-sun,
How soft is Silia! fearful to offend;
The frail-one's advocate, the weak-one's friend. 30
To her Calista prov'd her conduct nice;
And good Simplicius asks of her advice.
Sudden, she storms! she raves! You tip the wink,
But spare your censure; Silià does not drink.
All eyes may see from what the change arose,
All eyes may see a pimple on her nose.
Papillia, wedded to her amorous spark,
Sighs for the shades-" How charming is a park!"
A park is purchas'd, but the fair he sees
All bath'd in tears-" Oh odious, odious trees!" 40
Ladies, like variegated tulips, show,
"Tis to their changes half their charms we owe ;
Fine by defect, and delicately weak,
Their happy spots the nice admirer take.
'Twas thus Calypso once each heart alarm'd,
Aw'd without virtue, without beauty charm'd;
Her tongue bewitch'd as oddly as her eyes,
Less wit than mimic, more a wit than wise;
Strange graces still, and stranger flights she had,
Was just not ugly, and was just not mad;
Yet ne'er so sure our passion to create,
As when she touch'd the brink of all we hate.
Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild,
To make a wash, would hardly stew a child;
Has ev'n been prov'd to grant a lover's prayer,
And paid a tradesman once to make him stare;
Gave alms at Faster, in a Christian trimm,
And made a widow happy, for a whim.
Why then declare good-nature is her scorn,
When 'tis by that alone she can be borne?
Why pique all mortals, yet affect a name?
A fool to pleasure, yet a slave to fame:
Now deep in Taylor and the Book of Martyrs,
Now drinking citron with his grace and Chartres;
Now conscience chills her, and now passion burns
And atheism and religion take their turns;
A very Heathen in the carnal part,
Yet still a sad good Christian at her heart.
See Sin in state, majestically drunk,
Proud as a peeress, prouder as a punk;
Chaste to her husband, frank to all beside,
A teeming mistress, but a barren bride.
What then? let blood and body bear the fault,
Her head's untouch'd, that noble seat of thought;
Such this day's doctrine-in another fit
She sins with poets through pure love of wit.
What has not fir'd her bosom or her brain?
Cæsar and Tall-boy, Charles and Charlemagne.
As Helluo, late dictator of the feast,
10 The nose of Haut-gout, and the tip of Taste,
Critiqu'd your wine, and analyz'd your meat,
Yet on plain pudding deign'd at home to eat;
So Philomedé, lecturing all mankind
On the soft passion, and the taste refin'd,
Come then, the colours and the ground prepare!
Dip in the rainbow, trick her off in air;
Chuse a firm cloud, before it fall, and in it
Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute.
Ver. 77. What has not fir'd, &c.] In the MS.
In whose mad brain the mix'd ideas roll,
Of Tall-boy's breeches, and of Cæsar's soul.
Th' address, the delicacy-stoops at once,
And makes her hearty meal upon a dunce.
Flavia's a wit, has too much sense to pray;
To toast our wants and wishes, is her way;
Nor asks of God, but of her stars, to give
Atossa, curs'd with every granted prayer,
Childless with all her children, wants an heir.
To heirs unknown descends th' unguarded store,
Or wanders, Heaven-directed, to the poor.
Pictures, like these, dear madam, to design,
The mighty blessing, "while we live, to live." 90 Asks no firm hand, and no unerring line;
Then all for death, that opiate of the soul!
Lucretia's dagger, Rosamonda's bowl.
Say, what can cause such impotence of mind?
A spark too fickle, or a spouse too kind.
Wise wretch! with pleasures too refin'd to please;
With too much spirit to be e'er at ease;
With too much quickness ever to be taught;
With too much thinking to have common thought:
You purchase pain with all that joy can give,
And die of nothing but a rage to live.
Turn then from wits; and look on Simo's mate,
No ass so meek, no ass so obstinate.
Or her, that owns her faults, but never mends,
Because she's honest, and the best of friends.
Or her, whose life the church and scandal share,
For ever in a passion, or a prayer.
Or her, who laughs at Hell, but (like her grace)
Cries, "Ah! how charming, if there's no such
Or who in sweet vicissitude appears
Of mirth and opium, ratafie and tears,
The daily anodyne, and nightly draught,
To kill those foes to fair-ones, time and thought.
Woman and fool are two hard things to hit;
For true no-meaning puzzles more than wit.
Some wandering touches, some reflected light,
Some flying stroke alone can hit them right:
For how should equal colours do the knack?
Chameleons who can paint in white and black?
"Yet Chloe sure was form'd without a spot."——
Nature in her then err'd not, but forgot.
"With every pleasing, every prudent part, [160
Say, what can Chloe want?"-She wants a heart.
She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought;
But never, never reach'd one generous thought.
Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour,
Content to dwell in decencies for ever.
So very reasonable, so unmov'd,
As never yet to love, or to be lov'd.
She, while her lover pants upon her breast,
Can mark the figures on an Indian chest ;
And when she sees her friend in deep despair,
Observes how much a chintz exceeds mohair. 170
Forbid it Heaven, a favour or a debt
She e'er should cancel-but she may forget.
110 Safe is your secret still in Chloe's ear;
But none of Chloe's shall you ever hear.
Of all her dears she never slander'd one,
But cares not if a thousand are undone.
Would Chloe know if you're alive or dead?
She bids her footman put it in her head.
Chloe is prudent-Would you too be wise?
Then never break your heart when Chloe dies. 180
One certain portrait may (I grant) be seen,
Which Heaven has varnish'd out, and made a queen :
The same for ever! and describ'd by all
With truth and goodness, as with crown and ball.
Poets heap virtues, painters gems at will,
And show their zeal, and hide their want of skill.
"Tis well-but, artists! who can paint or write,
To draw the naked is your true delight.
That robe of quality so struts and swells,
None see what parts of Nature it conceals:
Th' exactest traits of body or of mind,
We owe to models of an humble kind.
If Queensberry to strip there's no compelling,
'Tis from a handmaid we must take a Helen.
From peer or bishop 'tis no casy thing
To draw the man who loves his God, or king:
Alas! I copy (or my draught would fail)
From honest Mah'met, or plain parson Hale.
But grant, in public men sometimes are shown,
A woman's seen in private life alone:
But what are these to great Atossa's mind?
Scarce once herself, by turns all womankind!
Who, with herself, or others, from her birth
Finds all her life one warfare upon Earth:
Shines, in exposing knaves, and painting fools,
Yet is, whate'er she hates and ridicules.
No thought advances, but her eddy brain
Whisks it about, and down it goes again."
Full sixty years the world has been her trade,
The wisest fool much time has ever made.
From loveless youth to unrespected age,
No passion gratify'd, except her rage,
So much the fury still outran the wit,
The pleasure mist her, and the scandal hit.
Who breaks with her, provokes revenge from
But he's a bolder man who dares be well.
Her every turn with violence pursued,
Nor more a storm her hate than gratitude:
To that each passion turns, or soon or late;
Love, if it makes her yield, must make her hate:
Superiors? death! and equals? what a curse
But an inferior not dependant? worse.
Offend her, and she knows not to forgive;
Oblige her, and she'll hate you while you live:
But die, and she'll adore you-Then the bust
And temple rise-then fall again to dust.
Last night, her lord was all that's good and great;
A knave this morning, and his will a cheat.
Strange! by the means defeated of the ends,
By spirit robb'd of power, by warmth of friends,
By wealth of followers! without one distress
Sick of herself, through very selfishness!
After ver. 122, in the MS.
Oppress'd with wealth and wit, abundance sad!
One makes her poor, the other makes her mad.
After ver. 148, in the MS.
This Death decides; nor lets the blessing fall
On any one she hates, but on thein all.
Curs'd chance! this only could afflict her more,
If any part should wander to the poor.
After ver. 198, in the MS.
Fain I'd in Frivia spy the tender wife;
I cannot prove it on her for my life:
And, for a noble pride, I blush no less,
Instead of Berenice to think on Bess.
Thus while immortal Cibber only sings [kings,
(As Clarke and Hoadly preach) for queens and
The nymph that ne'er read Milton's mighty line,
May, if she love and merit verse, have mine.