Page images



[ocr errors]

The rest, some farm the poor-box, some the pews;
Some keep assemblies, and would keep the stews;
Some with fat bucks on childish dotards fawn;

To Mr. Alurray.
Some win rich widows by their chine and brawn;
While with the silent growth of ten per cent. “ Not to admire, is all the art I know
In dirt and darkness, hundreds stink content. “ To make men happy, and to keep them so.".

Of all these ways, if each pursues his owil, (Plain truth, dear Murray! needs no flow'rs of Satire, be kind, and let, the wretch alone :

speech; But show ine one who has it in bis pow'r So take it in the very words of Creech). To act consistent with himself an hour.

This vault of air, this congregated ball, Sir Job sail'd forth, the eveuing bright and still, Self-centred sun, and stars that rise and fall, “ No place on earth (he cried) like Greenwich There are, my friend! whose philosophic eres “ hill?"

Look thro' and trust the Ruler with his shies; Up starts a palace, lo! th' obedient base To him commit the hour, the day, the year, Slopes at its foot, the woods its sides en brace And view this dreadful all without a fear. 'The silver Thames reflects its marble face. Admire we then what caril's low entrails Now let some whimsy, or that devil within Arabian shores, or Indian sexs infold: (hold, Which guides all those who know not what All the mad trade of fools and slaves for gold? they mean,

Or popularity, or stars and strings? But give the Knight (or give his Ladv) spleen, The mob's applauses, or the gifts of kings?

Away, away! take all your scaffolds down, Say with what eyes we ought at counts to gaze, • For snug’s the word: my dear! we 'll live in And pay the great our homage of amaze? town.'

If weak the pleasure that from these can spring, At an'rous Flavio is the stocking thrown; The fear to want thein is as weak a thing. That very night he longs to lie alone. Whether we dread, or whether we desire, The fool whose wife elopes some thrice a quarter, In either case, believe me, we admire ; For matrimonial solace dies a martyr.

Whether we joy or grieve, the same the curse, Did cver Proteus, Merlin, any witch, Surpris'd at better, or surpris'd at worse. Transform themselves so strangely as the rich? Thus, good or bad to one extreme betray Well

, but the poor-the poorhaveihe sameirch;S Tli' unbalanc'd mind, and snatch the man away, They change their weekly barber, weekly news, For virtuc's self may 100 much zeal be had ; Prefer a new japanner to their shoes, The worst of madmen is a saint run mad. Discharge their garrets, move their beds, and run Go then, and if you can, admire the state (They know not wither) in a chaise and one ; Of beaming dianionds, and reflected plate: They hire their sculler, and when once aboard Procure a taste to double the surprise. Grow sick, and damn the climate like a lord. And gaze on Parian charms with learned eves :

You laugh, half bean, half sloven, if I stand, Be struck with bright brocade, os Tyrian dye, My wig all powder, and all snuff my band; Our birth-clay nobles' splendid livery. You langh, if coat and breeches strangely vary, If not so pleas'd, at council board rejoice, White gloves, and linen worthy lady Mary. To see thicir judgements hang upon thy voice; But when no prelate's lawn with hair-shirt lin'd From morn io night, at senaie, rolls, and hall, Is half so incoherent as my mind,

Plead much, read more, dine late, or not at all. When (each opinion with the next at strife, But wherefore all this labor, all this strife? One ebb and flow of follies all my life)! For faine, for riches, for a noble wife? I plant, root up; I build, and then confound; Shallone whom nature, learning, birth conspir'd Turn round to square, and square again to round, To form, not to admire bui lie admir'd, You never change one muscle of your face, Sigh while his Chloe, blind to wit and worth, You think this madness but a common case, Weds the rich dullness of some son of earth? Nor once to Chancery nor to Hale apply ; Yet time ennobles or degrades cach line; Yet hang your lip, to see a seam awry! It brighten'd Craggs's, and may darken thine : Careless how ill I with myself agree,

And what is fame? the meanest have their day; Kind to my dress, my figure, not to me. The greatest can but blaze, and pass away. Is this my guide, philosopher, and friend? Grac'd as thou art with all the pow'r of worls; This he who loves me, and who ought to mend; So known, so honor'd, at the House of Lords . Who ought to make me (what he can, or none) Conspicuous scene ! another yet is nigh, That man divine whom wisdom calls her own; (More silent far) where king and poets lie: Great without title, without fortune blest ; [prest; Where Murray (longenough his country's pride) Rich even when plunder'd, honor'd while op- Shall be no more than Tully, or an Hyde ! Lov'd without yoath, and follow'dwithout pow'r; Rack'l with sciatics, martyr'd with the stone, At home, tho' exild; free, tho’ in the Tow'r: Will any mortal let hinself alone? In short, that reas'ning, high, immortal thing; See Ward by batter'd beaus invited over, Just less than Jore, and much above a king, And desp'rate mis'ry lays hold on Dover. Nav, halfin heaven-except (what's mighty odd) The case is casier in the mind's disease ; 4. * of vapors clouds this demi-god? There all men may becur'd whene'er they please



BOOK 11.

Would ye be blest? despise low joys, low gains; 7 From Latian Syrens, French Circærian feasts,
Disdain' whatever Cornbury disdains ; Return'd well travelld, and transformi'd to beasts;
Be virtuous, and be happy for your pains. Or for a titled punk, or foreign faine,

But art thou one whom new opinions sway, (Renounce our country and degrade our name?
One who believes as Tindal leads ihe way; If, after all, we must with Wilmot own,
Who virtue and a church alike disowns ; The cordial drop of life is love alone,
Thinks that but words, and this but brick and And Swift cry wisely, “ Vire la Bagatelle!"

The man that loves and laughs may sute do well.
Fly then on all the wings of wild desire, Adieu— if this advice appear the worst,
Admire what 'er the maddest can admire. Ev'n take the counsel which I gave you first;
Is wealth thy passion? Hence! froin pole to pole, Or, letter precepts if you can impart;
Where winds can carry, or where waves can roll, Why do ; I'll follow them with all my heart.
For Indian spices, for Beruvian gold,
Prevent the greedy, or outbid the bold :

EPISTLE I. Advance thy gol:len mountain to the skies ;

To Augustus. On the broad base of fifty thousand risc, Add, one round hundred, and (if that's not fair) While you, great patron of mankind ! sustain Add fifty more, and bring it to a square.

The balanc'd world, and open all the main ; For, mark th' advantage, just so many score Your country, chief, in arms abroad defend, Will gain a wife with half as many more ;

At home with morals, arts, and laws amend ; Procure her beauty, make that beauty chaste; How shall the Muse from such a monarch steal And then such friends- -as cannot fail to last. An hour, and not defraud the public weal? A man of wealth is dubb'd a man of worth ; Edward and Henry now the boast of fame, Venus shall give hin form, and Anstis youth. And virtuous Alfred, a more sacred name, (Believe ine, many a German prince is worse, After a life of gen'rous toils endur'd Whv, proud of pedigree, is poor of purse)

The Gaul subdued, or property secur’d, His wealth brave Timon gloriously confounds; Ambition humbled, mighly cities storm'd, Askd for a groat, lie gives a hundred pounds; Or laws establish’d, and ihe world reformid; Or if three ladies like a luckless play, Clos'd their long glories with a sigh, to find Takes the whole house upou the poet's day. Th’ unwilling gratitude of base mankind !

Now in such exigences not to need, All human virtue, to its latest breath, Upon my word, you must be rich indeed; Finds envy never conquer'd but by death. A noble superfluity it craves,

The great Alcides, ev'ry labor past,
Not for yourself

, but for your fools and knaves; Had still this monster to subdue at last.
Something, which foryour honor they may cheat, Sure fate of all, beneath whose rising ray
And which it much becomes you to forget. Each star of meaner merit fades away!
If wealih alone then inake and keep us blest, Opprest we feel the beam directly beat,
Sull, still be getting ; ncver, never rest.

Those suns of glory please not till they set. But if to pow'r and place your passion lie,

To thee the world its present homage pays, If in the poinp of life consists the joy, The harvest early, but mature the praise : Then hire a slave, or (if you will) a lord,

Great friend of liberty! in kings a name To do the honors, and to give the word : Above all Greek, above all Roman fame : Tell at yonr levee, as the crowds approach, Whose word is truth, as sacred and rever'd To whom to nod, whom take into your coach, As Heaven's own oracles from altars heard. Whom honor with your hand: to make remarks Wonder of kings ! like whom to mortal eyes Who rules in Cornwall, or who rules in Berks: None e'er as risen, and none e'er shall rise.

This may be troublesome, is near the chair; Just in one instance, be it yet confest, " That makes three members, this can choose Your people, sir, are partial in the rest : “a may’r."

Foes to all living worth except your own, Instructed thus, you bow, embrace, protest,

And advocates for folly dead and gone. Adopt him son, or cousin at the leasi, Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old, Then turn about, and laugh at your own jest. It is the rust we value not the gold.

Or if your life be one continued treat, Chaucer's worst ribaldry is learn'd by rote, If to live well means nothing but to eat, And beastly Skelton heads of houses

quote :
Up, up! cries Gluttony, 'tis break of day; One likes no language but the Fairy een ;
Go, drive the deer, and drag the finny prey, A Scot will fight for Christ's kirk o'er the Green:
With hounds and horns go hunt an appetite- And each irue Briton is to Ben so civil,
So Russel did, but could not eat at night; He swears the Muses met him at the Devil.
Call'd happy dog" the beggar at his door; Tho' justly Greece her eldest sons admires,
And envied thirst and hanger to the pour. Why should not we be wiser than our sires ?

Or shall we every decency confound, In ev'ry, public virtue we excel ;
Thro' taverns, stews, and bagnios takeour round; We build, we paint, we sing, we dance as well:
Go dine with Chartres, in each vice outdo And learned Athens to our art must stoop,
K-I's lewd cargo, or Ty~ y's crew,

Could she behold us trembling thro' a hoop.

a page,


If time improve our wits as well as wine, One simile, that solitary shines Say at what age a poet grows dirine ? In the dry desart of a thousand lines, Shall we, or shall we not, account him so, Or lengthen'd thought that gleams thro' mang Who died, perhaps au hundred years ago? Enul all dispute, and fix the year precise

Ilas sanctified whole prems for an age. When British bards begin t'immortalize? I lose my patience, and I own it too,

“ Who lasts a century can bave no Aaw? When works are censurid not as bail, but new; " I hold that wit a classic, good in law." While, if our elders break all reason's laws,

Suppose he wants a year, will you compound: These fools demand not pardon, but applause. And shall we decin him antiënt, riglii, and On Avon's hank, where fow'rs eternal blow, Or damn to all eternity at once, sound? If I but ask if any weed can grow; At ninety-nine, a modern and a dance One tragic sentence if I dare deride,

“ We shall not quarrel for a year or two; Which Betterton's grave action dignified, “ By courtesy of England he may do.” [bare, Or well-mouth'd Booth with emphasis proclaims

Then, by ihe rule that made the horse-tail Tho' but, perhaps, a muster-roll of names,) I pluck out year by year, as hair by hair, How will our fathers rise up in a rage, And melt down antients like a heap of snow, And swear all shame is lost in George's age ! While you, to measure merits, look in Stowe; You'd think no fools disgrac'd the former reign, And, estimating authors by the year,

Did not some grave examples yet remain, Bestow a garland only on a bier. [bill Who scorn a lad should teach his father skill,

Shakspeare (whom you and ev'ry playhouse And, having once been wrong, will be so still. Siyle the divine, the matchless, what you will) He, who to seen more deep ihan you or I, For gain, not glory, wing'd his roving fight, Extols old bards, or Merlin's prophecy, grew

immortal in his own despite. Mistake him not; be envies, noi admires; Ben, old and poor, as little secund io heed And, io vlebase the sons, exalts the sires. The life to coine, in ev'ry poci'n creed. Had antient times conspir'd to disallow W'ho now reads Cowley? If he pleases yet, What then was new, what had been antient His moral pleases, not his pointer wit; Or what remain'd so werthy to be rend (now? Forgot his epic, nay Pindaric art!

By learned critics of the mighty dead? But still I love the language of his heart. 'In days of ease, when now the weary sword

“ Yet surely, surely, these were famous men! Was sheathi'd, and luxury with Charles restor'd; “What boy but hears the sayings of old Ben? In ev'ry taste of foreign courts improv'd, “ In all debates where critica bear a part, “ All, by the king's example, livd and lov'd."

Net one but nous, and talks of Jonsen's art, Then peers grew proud in horsemanship t'ex" Of Shakspeare's nature, and of Cowley's wit; Newmarket's glory rose, as Britain's fell; (cel; " How Beaumont's judgernent checkd what The soldier breach'd the gallantries of France, .“ Fletcher writ;

And ev'ry flow'ry courtier writ Romance. • How Shadwell hasty, Wycherly was slow, Then marble, soften'd into life, grew warm;

But, for the passions, Southern sure and Rowe. And yielding metal flow'd to human form :

These, only these, support the crowded stage, Lely on animated canvas stole " From cldest Heywood down to Cibber's age." |The sleepy eye that spoke the melting soul.

All this may be ; the people's voice is old; No wonder then, when all was love and sport, It is, and it is not, the voice of God.

The willing Muses were debauch'd at court: To Gammer Gurton if it gives the bays, On each enervare string they taught the note And yet deny the Careless Ilusband praise, To panı or tredible thro' an eunuch's throat. Or say, our fathers never broke a rule; But Britain, changeful as a child at play, Why then, I say, the public is a fool. Now calls in princes, and now turns away: But let them own that greater faults than we Now Whiy, now Tory, what we lov'd we trate: They had, and greater virtues, I'll agree. Now all for pleasure, now for church and state; Spencer himself inspects the obsolete,

Now for prerogative, and now for laws; And Sydney's verse halıs ill on Roman feet: Effects unhappy! from a noblo cause. Milton's strong pinion now not heavencanbound, Tiine was, a sober Englishman would knock Now, serpent-like, in prose hesweeps the ground; His servants up, and rise by five o'clock, In quibbles, angel and archangel joins Instruct his family in ev'ry rule, And God the Father turns a school-divine. And send his wife to church, his son to schon! Not that I'd lop the beauties from his book, To worship like his Fathers was his care; Like flashing Bentley, with his desp'rate hook ; To teach their frugal virtues to his heir; Or damn all Shakspeare, like th' affected fool

that luxury could never hold; Al court, who hates whate'er he reaci at school. And place, on good security, his gold.

But for the wits of either Charles's days, Now times are changed, and one poetic iteh The mob of gentlemen who wrote with ease ; Has seis'd the court and city, poor and rich: Sprat, Carew, Sedley, and a hundred more Sons, sires, and grandsires, all will wear the bays, (Like twinkling stars the miscellanies o'er), Our wives read Milton, and our daughters play:

To prove,

To theatres and to rehearsals throng; | Verse cheers their leisure, verse assists their work, And all our grace at table is a song!

Verse pravs for peace, or sings duwu Pope and 1, who so oft renounce the Muses, lie;

Turk. Not -'s self e'er tells more fils than I : The silenc'd preacher yields to potent strain, When, sick of muse, our follies we deplore, and feels that grace his pray'r besonelit in vain ; And promise our best friends to rhynie no more. The blessing ulirills thro' all the laboring throng, We wake next morning in a raging fit,

Aud heaven is won by violence of son,5. And call for pen and ink to show our wit. Our rural ancestors, with little blest, He seri'd a 'prenticeship who sets up slimp;

Patient of labor when the end was rest, Ward tried on puppies, and the poor, his drop; Induled the day that hous'd their annual grain Even Radcliffe's doctors travel first in France, Wich feasts and oil rings, and a thaykiul strain : Nordare to practise till they've leam'd to dance. The joy their wives, heir sons, and servants share, Who builds a bridge that never drove a pile? Ease of their toil, and partners of their care: (Should Ripley ventire, ail the world would The latighs, the jest, attendants on the bowl.. smil.)

Smooth'd every brow, and open'd ev'ry soul: But those who cannot write, and those who can, With growing years the pleasing license grew, All rhyme, and scrawl, and scribble to a man. And taunts alternate innocently Hew.

Yet Sir, reflect, the mischict is not great ; But times corrupt, and nature ill-inclind, These madmen never hurt the church or state ; | Produc'd the point that left the sting behind; Sometimes the folly benefits mankind;

Till friend with friend, and families at strife, And rarely arrice laints the tuneful mind. Triumphant malice rång'd thro' private life. Allow hin bat his plaything of a per,

Whofclt the wrong, or fear'd it, took th' alarm, lle ne'er rebels, nor plois, like other men: Appeald to law, and justice lent her arm. Flight of cashiers, or mobs, he'll never minds Ailength by whoksome dread of statutes bound, And knows no lusses while the muse is kind. The poets learn'd to please, and not to wound: To cheat a friend, or ward, he leaves to Peter, Most warp'd to flatt'ry's side ; but some, more The good man heaps up nothing but mere metre; Preserv'd the freedom, and forborethevice. [nice, Enjoys his gurren and his book in quiet; llence Satire rose, that just the medium hit, And then -a perfect herniit in his diet. And heals with morals what it herts by wit. Oflitue use ihe man you inay suppose,

We conquer'd France, but felt our captive's Who says in verse what others say iu prose :

charins ; Yet let ine show, a poet's of some weight, Her arts victorious triumph'd o'er our arms; And (tho' no soldier) useful to the state. Britain to soft refinement less a foe, What will a child learn sooner than a song? Wit grew polite, and numbers learn'd to fow. What better teach a foreigner the tongue,

Waller wassmooth; bụt Dryden taught to join What's long,or short,each accent where to place. The varying rerse, the full resounding line, And speak in public with some sort of grace? The long majestic march, and energy divine. I scarce can think him such a worthless thing, Tho'still some traces of our rustic vein Unless he praise some monster of a king; Ansplayfoot verse remaind and will remain; Or virtue or religion turn to sport,

Late, very late, correctness grew our care, To please a lewd or unbelieving court.

When the tir'd nation breath'd from civil war. Unhappy Dryden! in all Charles' days, Exact Racine, and Corneille's noble fire, Roscommon only boasts unspotted bass; Show'd us that France had something to admire! And in our own (excuse from courtly' stains)

Not but the tragic spirit was onir own, No whiter page than Addison reinains. And full in Shakspeare, fair in Qtway shone : He from the taste obscene reclaims our youth, But Otway fail'd to polish or refine, And sets the passions on the side of truth; And fluent Shakspeare scarce effac'd a line. Forms the soft bosom with the gentlest art, Even copious Dryden wanted, or forgoi, And pours each human virtue in the heart. Tha last and grcátest art, the art to blot. Let Ireland tell, how wit upheld her eause,

Some doubt if equal pains or equal fire Her trade supporied, and supplied her laws;

The humbler muse of comedy require. And leave on Swift this grateful verse engrav'd: But, in known inages of life, I guess “ The rights a court attack’d, a poet sav'd." The labor greater, as th' indulgence less. Behold the hand that wrought a nation's cure, Observe how seldom even the best succeed: Stretch'd to relieve the idiot and the poor,

Tell me if Congreve's Fools are fools indeed.? Proad vice to brand, or injur'd worth avlorn, What pert low dialogue has Farquhar writ! And streteh the ray to ages yet unborn. How Van wants grace who never wanted wit! Not but there are who merit other palms; The stage how loosely does Astrea tread, HopkinsandSternhold ylad the heart with psalms: Who fairly puts all characters to bed! The boys and girls whom charity maintains, And idle Cibber, how he breaks the laws, Implore your help in these pathetic strains.: To make poor Pinkey eat with vast applause! How could devotion touch ihe country pews, But fill their purse, our poets' work is done; Unles: the Gods bestow'd a proper muse? Alike to theni, by Pathos or by Pun.


O you! you! whom vanity's light bark convey's The season when to come and when to go, On fame's mal voyage by the wind of praise, To sing or cease tossing, we never know ; With what a shifting gale your course you ply, And, if we will recite nine hours in ten, For ever sunk too low, or borne too high! You lose your patience just like other men. Who pants for glory finds but short repose; Then too we hurt ourselves, when, to defend A breath revives hiin, or a breath o'erthrow's. A single verse, we quarrel with a friend; Farewell the stage! if

, just as thrives the play, Repeat unaskod; lament, the wit's too fine The silly bard grows fat, or falls away. For vulgar eyes, and point out ev'ry line.

There still remains, to mortify a wit, But most when, straining with too weak a wing, The many-headed monster of the Pit; We needs will write epistles to the King; A senseless, worthlese, and unhonor'd crowd, And from the moment we oblige the town, Who, to disturb their betters mighty proud, Expect a place, or pension from the Crown ; Clatt'ring their sticks before ten lines are spoke, Ordubb’d Historians by express command, Call for ihe Farce, the Bear, or the Black Joke. T'evroll your triumplis o'er the seas and land; What dear delight to Britons farce affords ! Be call’d to Court to plan some work divine, Ever the taste of mobs, but now of lords As once, for Louis, Boileau, and Racine. (Taste, that eternal wanderer! which Aies Yet think, great Sir! (so many virtues shown) From heads to ears, and now from ears to eyes)! Ah think what Poet best may make them known! The play stands still! damu action and discourse, Or choose at least some Minister of Grace, Back fly the scenes, and enter foot and horse ; Fit to bestow the Laureat's weighty place. Pageanis on pageants, in long order drawn, Charles, to late times to be transmitted fair, Peers, heraldls, bishops, erwine, gold, and lawn; Assign'd his figure to Bernini's care ; The champion too! and, to coniplete the jest, And great Nassau to Kueller's hand decreed Old Edward's armor beans on Cibber's breast. To fix him graceful on the bounding steed; With laughter sure Democritus had died, So well in paint and stone they judg‘d of merit: Had he beheld an audience gape so wide. But Kings in Wit may want discerning Spirit. Let bear or elephant be e'er so white,

The Hero William, and the Martyr Charles, The people, sure the people, are the sight! One knighted Blackmore, and one pension'd Ah, luckless poet! stretch thy lungs and roar, Quarles ; That bear or elephant shall heel thee more;

Which made old Ben and surly Dennis swear, While all its throats the gallery extends, “ No Lord's anointed, but a Russian Bear." And all the thunder of the pit a-cends ! Not with such majesty, such bold relief, Loud as the wolves, on Orcas, stormy steep, The forins august of King or conq'ring Chief Howl to the roarings of the northern deep, E'er swellid on marble, as in verse hare shin'd Such is the shout, the long-applauding wote, (In polish'd verse) the Manners and the Mind. At Quin's high plume, or Oldfield's petticoat : Oh! could I mount on the Mæonian wing, Or when from Court á birth-day suit bestow'd Your Arms, your Actions, your Repose to sing! Sinks the lost Actor in the tawdry load. What seas you travers d, and what fields you Booth enters — hark! the universal peal !


[bought! " But has he spoken?" Not a syllable. Your country's peace how oft, how dearly “What shook the stage and madeihepeoplestare?" How barb'rouse rage subsided at your word, Cato'slong wig, flower'd gown,andlacquer dchair. And nations wonder'd while they dropp'd the Yet, lest you think I rally more than teach,

sword! Or praise malignly arts I cannot reach, How when you nodded, o'er the land and deep Let me for once presume t'instruct the times, Peacc stole her wing, and wrapp'd the world in To kuow the Poet from the man of rhymnes :

sleep; "Tis he who gives my breast a thousand pains, Till earth's extremes your mediation own, Can make me feel each passion that he feigns ; And Asia's Tyrants třemble at your Throne. Enrage, compose, with more than magic art, But Verse! alas! your Majesty disdains; With pity and with terror tear my heart; And I'm not used to Panegyric strains : And snatch me o'er the earth, or ihro' the air, The Zeal of Fools offends at any time, To Thebes, to Athens, when he will, and where. But most of all the Zeal of Fools in rhyme.

But not this part of the poetic state Besides, a fate attends on all I write; Alone deserves the favor of the Great: That, when I aim at praise, they say I bite. Think of those Authors, Sir, who would rely A vile Encomium doubly ridicules : More on a Reader's sense, than Gazer's eye. There's nothing blackens like the ink of tools. Or who shall wander where the Vnses sing? If true, a woeful likeness; and if lies, Who climb their mountain, or who taste their “ Praise undeservd is satire in disguise :" How shall we fill a library with writ, . , [spring? Well may he blush who gives it or receives ; When Merlin's cave is half unfurnish't yet? And, when I fatter, let my dirty leaves My Liege! why writers little claim your thought, (Like Journals, Odes, and such forgotten things I guess; and, with their leave, will tell the fault: As Eusden, Philips, Settle, writ of Kings) We Poets are (upon a Poct's word)

Clothe spice, line trunks, or futt'ring in a row Of all mankind the creatures most absurd : Befringe the rails of Bedlam and Soho.


« EelmineJätka »