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All fly to TwIT'NAM, and in humble strain 21
If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead.
I fit with fad civility, I read
With honest anguish, and an aching head;
VER. 29. in the first Ed.
Dear Doctor, tell me, is not this a curfe?
Say, is their anger, or their friendship worse ?
VER. 23. Arthur,] Arthur Moore, Efq;
VER. 33. Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge,] Alluding to the fcene in the Plain-Dealer, where Oldfox gags, and ties down the Widow, to hear his well-penn'd flanzas.
VER. 38. honeft anguish,] i. e. undiffembled.
Ibid. an aching head;] Alluding to the disorder he was then fo conftantly afflicted with.
And drop at last, but in unwilling ears, This faving counsel, "Keep your piece nine years." Nine years! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Lull'd by foft Zephyrs thro' the broken pane, Rhymes.ere he wakes, and prints before Termends, Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends : 44 "The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it, “I'm all fubmiffion, what you'd have it, make it.” Three things another's modest wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound.
Pitholeon fends to me: "You know his Grace, "I want a Patron; afk him for a Place." 50 Pitholeon libell'd me" but here's a letter "Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better. "Dare you refuse him? Curl invites to dine, "He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine."
VER. 53. in the MS.
If you refufe, he goes, as fates incline,
VER. 49. Pitholeon] The name taken from a foolish Poet of Rhodes, who pretended much to Greek. Schol. in Horat. 1. i. Dr. Bentley pretends, that this Pitholeon libelled Cæfar alfo. See notes on Hor. Sat. 10. l. i.
VER. 43. Rhymes ere he wakes,]
"Dictates to me flumb'ring, or infpires
Blefs me! a packet.--" "Tis a ftranger fues, 55 "A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Mufe." If I diflike it, "Furies, death and rage rage!" If I approve, " Commend it to the Stage." There (thank my stars) my whole commiffion ends, The Play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends. Fir'd that the house reject him, " print it,
"And fhame the Fools--Your int'rest, Sir, with
Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much :
"Not, Sir, if
"Tis fung, when Midas' Ears began to spring, (Midas, a facred perfon and a King)
VER. 60. in the former Ed.
Cibber and I are, luckily, no friends.
VER. 69. 'Tis fung, when Midas', &c.] The Poet means, fung by Perfius; and the words alluded to are,
"Vidi, vidi ipfe, Libelle !
"Auriculas Afini Mida Rex habét."
The tranfition is fine, but obfcure: for he has here imitated the manner of that myfterious Writer, as well as taken up his
His very Minifter who fpy'd them first,
I'd never name Queens, Minifters, or Kings;
You think this cruel? take it for a rule,
image. Our Author had been hitherto complaining of the folly and importunity of indigent Scriblers; he now infinuates he fuffered as much of both, from Poetafters of quality.
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.
VER. 80. That fecret to each fool, that he's an Afs:] i. c. that his ears (his marks of folly) are visible.
VER. 88. Si fractus illabatur orbis,
"Impavidum ferient ruinæ." Her. P.
Who fhames a Scribler? break one cobweb thro',
Still to one Bishop Philips feem a wit?
No Names--be calm--learn prudence of a friend:
VER. 92. The Creature's at his dirty work again,] This metamorphofis, as it were, of the Scribler into a Spider, is much more poetical than a con.parison would have been. But Poets fhould be cautious how they employ this figure; for where the likeness is not very striking, instead of giving force, they become obfcure. Here every thing concurs to make them run into one another. They both fpin; not from the head [reafon] but from the guts [paffions and prejudices] and fuch a thread that can entangle none but creatures weaker than themselves.
VER. 98. free-mafons Moore?] He was of this fociety, and frequently headed their proceffions.