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Blefs me! a packet.---" "Tis a stranger fues,55

"A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Muse."

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There (thank my ftars) my whole commiffion ends, The Play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends.

Fir'd that the house reject him,


'Sdeath I'll print it,

"And shame the fools---Your int'reft, Sir, with


Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much: "Not, Sir, if you revise it, and retouch."

All my demurs but double his attacks;

At laft he whifpers, Do; and we go

65 fnacks."

Glad of a quarrel, ftrait I clap the door, Sir, let me fee your works and you no more. 'Tis fung, when Midas' Ears began to fpring, (Midas, a facred person and a King)


VER. 60. in the former Edd.

Cibber and I are luckily no friends.



VER. 69. 'Tis fung, when Midas' &c.] The Poet mean; fung by Perfius; and the words alluded to are,

Vidi, vidi ipfe, Libelle!

Auriculas Afini Mida Rex habet.

The tranfition is fine, but obfcure: for he has here imitated the manner of that myfterious writer, as well as taken up his image. Our Author had been hitherto complaining of the folly

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His very

Miniter who spy'd them first, (Some fay his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst. And is not mine, my friend, a forer case, When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face? A.Good friend forbear! you deal in dang 'rous things. I'd never name Queens, Ministers, or Kings; 76 Keep close to Ears, and those let affes prick,

"Tis nothing---P. Nothing? if they bite and kick?


Out with it, DUNCIAD! let the fecret pass,
That fecret to each fool, that he's an Afs:
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?)
The queen of Midas flept, and fo may I.

You think this cruel? take it for a rule,

No creature smarts fo little as a fool.

Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break, 85
Thou unconcern'd canst hear the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulfions hurl'd,
Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world.


and importunity of indigent Scriblers; he now infinuates he suffered as much of both, from Poetafters of Quality.

VER. 72. Queen] The ftory 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. e. that his ears (his marks of folly) are visible.

VER. 88. Alluding to Horace,

Si fractus illabatur orbis,

Impavidum ferient ruinæ,


Who shames a Scribler? break one cobweb thro', He spins the flight, felf-pleafing thread anew: 99 Destroy his fib or fophiftry, in vain,


The creature's at his dirty work again,
Thron'd in the centre of his thin designs,
Proud of a vast extent of flimzy lines!
Whom have I hurt? has Poet yet, or Peer,
Loft the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnaffian fneer?
And has not Colly ftill his lord, and whore?
His butchers Henley, his free-masons Moor?
Does not one table Bavius ftill admit ?
Still to one Bishop Philips feem a wit?
Still Sappho--A.Hold; for God-fake--you'll offend,
No Names---be calm---learn prudence of a friend;
I too could write, and I am twice as tall;
But foes like thefe---P.OneFlatt'rer's worse than all.



VER. 92. The creature's at his dirty work again,] This metamorphofing, as it were, the Scribler into a Spider is much more poetical than a comparison would have been. But Poets should be cautious how they employ this figure; for where the likeness is not very ftriking, inftead of giving force, they become obfcure. Here, every thing concurs to make them run into one another. They both pin; 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 Moor?] He was of this fociety, and frequently headed their proceffions,

Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right, 105

It is the flaver kills, and not the bite.

A fool quite angry is quite innocent:

Alas! 'tis ten times worfe when they repent.

One dedicates in high heroic prose,

I 10

And ridicules beyond a hundred foes:
One from all Grubftreet will my fame defend,
And more abufive, calls himself my friend.
This prints my Letters, that expects a bribe,
And others roar aloud,

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Subfcribe, fubfcribe." There are, who to my perfon pay their court:115 I cough like Horace, and, tho' lean, am fhort, Ammon's great fon one shoulder had too high, Such Ovid's nofe, and " Sir! you have an Eye--Go on, obliging creatures, make me fee

All that difgrac'd my Betters, met in me.


VER. 111. in the MS.

For fong, for filence some expect a bribe;
And other roar aloud, "Subscribe, subscribe."
Time, praife, or money, is the least they crave;
Yet each declares the other fool or knave.



VER. 118. Sir, you have an Eye] It is remarkable that amongst these compliments on his infirmities and deformities, he mentions his eye, which was fine, fharp, and piercing. It was done to intimate, that flattery was as odious to him when there was fome ground for commendation, as when there was none.

Say for my comfort, languishing in bed,
"Juft fo immortal Maro held his head:"
And when I die, be fure you let me know
Great Homer dy'd three thousand years ago.
Why did I write? what fin to me unknown 125
Dipt me in ink, my parents', or my own?
As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
I lifp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.


After 124. in the MS.


But, friend, this shape, which You and Curl admire,
Came not from Ammon's fon, but from my Sire:
And for my head, if you'll the truth excufe,
I had it from my Mother, not the Muse.
Happy, if he, in whom these frailties join'd,
Had heir'd as well the virtues of the mind.

a Curl fet up his head for a fign. b His Father was crooked. < His Mother was much afflicted with head-achs.


VER. 127. As yet a child, &c.] He ufed to fay, that he began to write verses further back than he could remember. When he was eight years old, Ogilby's Homer fell in his way, and delighted him extremely; it was followed by Sandys' Ovid; and the raptures these then gave him were so strong, that he spoke of them with pleafure ever after. About ten, being at fchool at Hide-park-corner, where he was much neglected, and fuffered to go to the Comedy with the greater boys, he turned the tranfactions of the Hiad into a play, made up of a number of speeches from Ogilby's tranflation, tacked together with verfes of his own. He had the address to perfuade the upper boys to act it; he even prevailed on the Master's Gardener to reprefent Ajax; and contrived to have all the actors dreffed after the pictures in his favourite Ogilby. At twelve he went with VOL. IV.


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