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And is not mine, my friend, a forer cafe,
When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face? 74
A. Good friend, forbear! you deal in dang❜rous

I'd never name queens, minifters, or kings;
Keep close to ears, and thofe 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 Ass:
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 fmarts fo little as a fool.
Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break,
Thou unconcern'd_canft hear the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulfions hurl'd,
Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world.
Who fhames a fcribbler? break one cobweb thro',
He fpins the flight, felf-pleafing thread anew: 90
Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again,
Thron'd in the centre of his thin defigns,
Proud of a vast extent of flimfy lines!
Whom have I hurt? has poet yet, or peer,
Loft the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnaffian fneer?
And has not Colley ftill his lord, and whore?
His butchers Henley, his free-mafons Moore?



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."

Ver. 98. Free-mafons Moore ?] He was of this fociety, and frequently headed their proceffions.


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Does not one table Bavius still admit ?
Still to one bishop Philips feem a wit?
Still Sappho----A. Hold; for God's fake----you'll


No names---be calm,---learn prudence of a friend;
I too could write, and I am twice as tall ;

But foes like thefe----P. One flatt'rer's worse than



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 profe;
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, "Subscribe! fubfcribe!""
There are, who to my perfon pay their court:
I cough like Horace, and, tho' lean, am fhort;
Ammon's great fon one shoulder had too high, 114
Such Ovid's nofe, and, "Sir, you have an eye----


Ver. III. in the MS.

For fong, for filence fome expect a bribe;
And others roar aloud, "Subfcribe, fubfcribe!"
Time, praife, or money, is the least they crave;
Yet each declares the other fool or knave.

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Ver. 118. Sir, you have an eye----] It is remarkable, that amongst these compliments on his infirmities and deformi ties, 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.


Go on, obliging creatures, make me fee
All that difgrac'd my betters, met in me.
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
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.

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Ver. 127. As yet a child, &c.] Mr Pope began to write verfes farther back than he could remember. When he was eight years old, Ogilby's Homer fell in his way, and delighted him extremely; and foon after Sandys' Ovid. He was then fo charmed with these books, that he spoke of them with pleasure ever after. About ten, he turned the tranfactions of the Iliad into a play, made up of speeches from Ogilby's tranflation, tacked together with verfes of his own; and had the address to perfuade his school-fellows to act it. At twelve he went with his father into Windfor-forest; and then got firft acquainted with the wri tings of Waller, Spenfer, 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 verfification. In that year he began an epic poem, which Bp. Atterbury long afterward perfuaded him to burn.


VARIATIONS. After ver. 124. in the MS.

But, friend, this fhape, which you and Curll* admire, Came not from Ammon's fon, but from my fire t: And for my head, if you'll the truth excufe, I had it from my mother ‡, not the mufe. Happy, if he in whom these frailties join'd, Had heir'd as well the virtues of the mind. Curll fet up his head for a fign. t His father was crooked. His mother was much afflicted with head-achs.


I left no calling for this idle trade,
No duty broke, no father difobey'd.
The mufe but ferv'd to ease fome friend, not wife,
To help me thro' this long difeafe, my life,
To fecond, ARBUTHNOT! thy art and care,
And teach, the being you preferv'd, to bear. 134
But why then publish? Granville the polite,
And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write;
Well-natur'd Garth inflam'd with early praife,
And Congreve lov'd, and Swift endur'd my lays;
The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read,
Ev'n mitred Rochester would nod the head, 140


wrote too, in thofe early days, a comedy and tragedy, the latter taken from a story in the legend of St Genevieve; both which underwent the fame fate. As he began his pa ftorals foon after, he used to fay pleasantly, that he had literally 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 fet him to make English verfes. He was pretty difficult to please, and would often fend the boy back to new-turn them. When they were to his mind, he took great pleasure in them, and would fay, "Thefe are good rhymes."

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Ver. 139. Talbot, &c.] All these were patrons or admirers of Mr Dryden; though a fcandalous libel against him, entitled, Dryden's fatire to his mufe, 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: Perfons with whom he was converfant (and he adds beloved) at fixteen or seventeen years of age; an early period for fuch acquaintance. The catalogue might be made more illuftrious, had he not confined it to that time when he writ the Paftorals and Windfor-foreft, on which he paffes a fort of cenfure in the Kines following,

While pure defcription held the place of fense? &c.


And St John's felf (great Dryden's friends before) With open arms receiv'd one poet more. Happy my ftudies, when by thefe approv'd! Happier their author, when by these belov'd! From these the world will judge of men and books, 145

Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks.

Soft were my numbers; who could take offence While pure defcription held the place of fenfe? Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme, A painted miftrefs, or a purling fream. Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill; I wish'd the man a dinner, and fat still. Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret; I never anfwer'd, I was not in debt. If want provok'd, or madnefs made them print, I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint.


Did fome more fober critic come abroad; If wrong, I fmil'd; if right, I kifs'd the rod. Pains, reading, ftudy, are their just pretence; And all they want, is fpirit, tafte, and fenfe. 160 Commas and points they fet exactly right, And 'twere a fin to rob them of their mite.



Ver. 146. Burnets. &c.] Authors, fays Mr Pope, of fecret and scandalous history ;-----but by no means, fays Mr Warburton, of the fame clafs, though the violence of party might hurry them into the fame miftake. If the firft (adds he) offended this way, it was only through an honest warmth of temper, that allowed too little to an excellent underRanding. The other two, with very bad heads, had hearts ftill worse.

Ver. 150. A painted meadow, or a purling stream, is a verie of Mr Addison.


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