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Fanes, which admiring gods with pride survey;
Ambition sigh’d: she found it vain to trust
shore, Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more! Convinc'd, she now contracts her vast design, And all her triumphs shrink into a coip. A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps, Beneath her palm here sad Judea weeps. Now scautier limits the proud arch confine, And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile or Rhine; A small Euphrates through the piece is rolld, And little eagles wave their wings in gold.
The medal faithful to its charge of fame, Through climes and ages bears each form and name : In one short view subjected to our eye, Gods, emperors, heroes, sages, beauties, lie. With sharpen'd sight pale antiquaries pore, Th'inscription value, but the rust adore. This the blue varnish, that the green endears, The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years ! To gain Pescennius one employs his schemes, One grasps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams. Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour'd, Can taste no pleasure since his shield was scour'd; And Curio, restless by the fair-one's side, Sighs for an Otho, and neglects his bride.
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine: Touch'd by thy hand, agaiu Rowe's glories shine ;
Her gods and godlike heroes rise to view,
Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
This paper is a sort of bill of complaint, begua
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 publicis judge) but my person, morals, and family; whereof, to those who know me 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 hand 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 unge
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 to know, it was owing
to the request of the learned and candid friend to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free uso 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 by mine, since a nameless character can never be found out but by its truth and likeness.
P.SHUT, shut the door, good John !' fatigu'd, I
Is there a parson, much bemus'd in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a stanza when he should engross? Is there who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls With desperate charcoal round his darken'd walls? All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws,
Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong,
* Nine years ! cries he, who, high in Drury-lane, Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term ends, Oblig'd by hunger and request of friends : * The piece, you think, is incorrect: why take it, I'm all submission ; what you'd have it -make it.'
Three things another's modest wishes bound, My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound.
Pitholeon sends to me: You know his grace: I want a patron ; ask him for a place.' Pitholeon libell'd me.. but here's a letter Informs you, sir, 'twas when he knew no better. Dare you refuse him ? Curll invites to dine, He'll write a journal, or he'll turn divine.' Bless me! a packet.---' 'Tis a stranger sues, A virgin tragedy, an orphan muse.' If I dislike it, . Furies, death, and rage !' If I approve, . Commend it to the stage.' There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends, The players and I are, luckily, no friends. [it, Fii'd that the house reject him, ' 'Sdeath! I'll print Aad shame the fools--- your interest, sir, with Lintot.'