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OCCASIONED BY SOME VERSES OF HIS GRACE
THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.*
MUSE, 'tis enough; at length thy labour ends
The verses referred to, are the first among the Commendatory Poems in the preceding volume.
WHEN Simple Macer, now of high renown,
Ver. 1. When simple Macer,] Said to be the character of James Moore Smith, author of the Rival Modes, a comedy, in 1726. He pilfered verses from Pope. He joined in a political paper with the Duke of Wharton, called The Inquisitor, written with such violence against government, that he was soon obliged to drop it. This character was first printed in the Miscellanies of Swift and Pope 1727.
Dr. Warton thinks this character was intended for J. Moore Smith; but it seems to me more likely that Phillips, Pope's redoubted rival in Pastoral, was intended. My reasons for thinking so are, he is elsewhere called lean Phillips,
"Lean Phillips and fat Johnson."
"Macer" certainly alludes to this. He began his literary career with worshipping" Steele" and Addison. He "borrow'd" a play from Voltaire, the Distrest Mother; "Simplicity," is applied to the 66 Pastorals," and "Translated Suit," to the translation of the Persian Tales:
"And turns a Persian tale for half-a-crown!"