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And is not mine, my friend, a forer cafe,
things, I'd never name queens, ministers, or kings; Keep close to ears, and those let afses prick, 'Tis nothing.--P. Nothing? if they bite and kick? Out with it, DUNCIAD! let the secret pass, That secret to each fool, that he's an Ass :
80 The truth once told, (and wherefore should we lie) The Queen of Midas slept, and so may I.
You think this cruel? take it for a rule, No creature smarts so little as a fool.
84 Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break, Thou unconcern'd_canst hear the mighty crack : Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulsions hurid, Thou stand'ft unshook amidst a bursting world. Who shames a fcribbler ? break one cobweb thro', He spins the flight, felf-pleasing thread anew: 90 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 flimsy lines ! Whom have I hurt ? has poet yet, or peer,
95 Loft the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnassian sneer? And has not Colley still his lord, and whore? His butchers Henley, his free-mafons Moore?
Notes. Ver. 80. That secret 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 ruine." Ver. 98. Free-mafons Moore.?] He was of this society, and frequently headed their processions.
Does not one table Bavius still admit?
---be calm,---learn prudence of a friend : I too could write, and I am twice as tall; But foes like these ---P. One flatt'rer's worse than
Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right, 10$
One dedicates in high heroic prose;
110 One from all Grubstreet will my fame defend, And more abusive, calls himself my
are, who to my person pay their court :
For song, for filence some expect a bribe;
Go on, obliging creatures, make me fee
just fo immortal Maro held his head :” And when I die, be sure you let me know Great Homer dy'd three thousand years ago.
Why did I write ? what fin to me unknown Dipt me in ink, my parents', or my own? 126 As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lifp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.
NOTÊS. Ver. 127. As yet a child, &c.) Mr Pope began to write verses farther back than he could remember. When he was eight years old, Ogilby's Homer fell in his way, and delighted him extremely; and soon after Sandys Ovid. He was then so charmed with these books, that he spoke of them with pleasure ever after. About ten, he turned the transactions of the Iliad into a play, made up of speeches from Ogilby's translation, tacked together with verses of his own; and had the address to persuade his school-fellows to act it. At twelve he went with his father into Windsor-forest; and then got first acquainted with the wri. tings of Waller, Spenser, and Dryden. On the first fight of Dryden, he found he had what he wanted. His poems were never out of his hands; they became his model; and from them alone he learned the whole magic of his versification. In that year he began an epic poem, which Bp. Atterbury long afterward persuaded him to burn. He
But, friend, this Mape, which you and Curll * admire,
Had heir'd as well the virtues of the mind. * Curll set up his head for a sign. t His father was crooked. | His mother was much afflicted with head-achs.
I left no calling for this idle trade,
But why then publish ? Granville the polite, And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write; Well-natur'd Garth inflam'd with early praise, And Congreve lov'd, and Swift endur'd my lays; The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read, Ev’n mitred Rochester would nod the head, 14.
Notes. wrote too, in those early days, a comedy and tragedy, the latter taken from a story in the legend of St Genevieve; both which underwent the same fate. As he began his pa. ftorals foon after, he used to say pleasantly, that he had ļiterally followed the example of Virgil, who says, “ Cum canerem reges et prælia,” &c. Ecl. 6. ver. 3. &c.
Ver. 130. no father disobey'd] When Mr Pope was yet a child, his father, though no poet, would set him to make English verfes. He was pretty difficult to please, and would. often send the boy back to new-turn them. When they were to his mind, he took great pleasure in them, and would say, “ These are good rhymes,"
Ver. 139. Talbot, &c.] All these were patrons or admirers of Mr Dryden; though a scandalous libel against him, entitled, Dryden's satire to his muse, has been printed in the name of the Lord Somers, of which he was wholly ignorant.
These are the persons to whose account the author charges the publication of his first pieces: Persons with whom he was conversant (and he adds beloved) at fixteen or seventeen years of age; an early period for such acquaintance. The catalogue might be made more illustrious, had he not confined it to that time when he writ the Pastorals and Windfor-forest, on which he passes a sort of censure in the Knes following, While pure description held the place of sense? &c.
And St John's self (great Dryden's friends before)
145 Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks.
Soft were my numbers; who could take offence While pure description held the place of fense? Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme, A painted mistress, or a purling fream. 150 Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill; I wish'd the man a dinner, and sat still. Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret; I never answer'd, I was not in debt. If want provok'd, or madness made them print, I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint. 156
Did fome more sober critic come abroad; If wrong, I smil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod. Pains, reading, study, are their juft pretence; And all they want, is fpirit, taste, and sense. 16 Commas and points they fet exactly right, And 'twere a fin to rob them of their mite,
Notes. Ver. 146. Burnets, &c.] Authors, says Mr Pope, of secret and scandalous history;-----but by no means, says Mr Warburton, of the same class, though the violence of party might hurry them into the same mistake. If the first (adds he) offended this way, it was only through an honest warmth of temper, that allowed too little to an excellent undera standing. The other two, with very bad heads, had hearts still worse.
Ver. 150. A painted meadow, or 4 purling stream, is a verse of Mr Addison,