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Again you fail: yet Safe's the word ;
Or hire the party pamphleteers Take courage, and attempt a third.
To set Elysium by the ears. But first with care employ your thoughts
Then, poet, if you mean to thrive, Where critics mark'd your former faults ; Employ your Muse on kings alive : The trivial turns, the borrow'd wit,
With prudence gathering up a cluster The similes that nothing fit;
Of all the virtucs you can muster, The cant which every fool repeats,
Which, form'd into a garland sweet, Town jests and coffee-house conceits :
Lay humbly at your monarch's feet; Descriptions tedious, flat and dry,
Who, as the odors reach his throne, And introduc'd the Lord knows why :
Will smile, and think them all his own; Or where we find your fury set
For law and gospel both determine Against the harmless alphabet;
All virtnes lodge in royal ermine : On A's and B's your malice vent,
(I mean the oracles of both, While readers wonder whom you meant;
Who shall de pose it upon oath.) A public or a private rubber,
Your garland in the following reign, A slatesman, or a South-sea jobber ;
Change but the names, will do again. A prelate who no God believes ;
But, if you think this trade too base, A parliament or den of thieves ;
(Which seldom is the dunce's case,) A pick-purse at the bar or bench;
Put on the critic's brow, and sit A duchess, or a suburb-wench:
At Will's the puny judge of wit. Or oft, when epithets you link
A nod, a shrug, a scornful smile, In gaping lines to fill a chink;
With caution us’d, may serve awhile. Like stepping-stones to save a stride,
Proceed no further in your part, In streets where kennels are too wide ;
Before you learn the terms of art; Or like a heel-piece, to support
For you can never be too far gone A cripple with one foot too short;
In all our modern critic's jargon : Or like a bridge, that joins a marish
Then talk with more authentic face To moorlands of a different parish :
Of unities, in time and place ; So have I seen ill-coupled hounds
Get scraps of Horace from your friends, Drag different ways in miry grounds.
And have them at your fingers' ends; So geographers in Afric maps
Learn Aristotle's rules by rote, With savage pictures fill their gaps,
And at all hazards boldly quote ; And o'er unhabitable downs
Judicious Rymer oft review, Place elephants for want of towns.
Wise Dennis, and profound Bossu ; But, though you miss your third essay, Read all the prefaces of Dryden, You need not throw your pen away.
For these our critics much confide in, Lay now aside all thoughts of fame,
(Though merely writ at first for filling, To spring more profitable game.
To raise the volume's price a shilling.) From party-merit seek support;
A forward critic often dupes us The vilest verse thrives best at court.
With sham quotations peri hupsous ; A pamphlet in Sir Bob's defence
And if we have not read Longinus, Will never fail to bring in pence :
Will magisterially outshine us. Nor be concern'd about the sale,
Then, lest with Greek he overrun ye, He pays his workmen on the nail.
Procure the book for love or money, A prince, the moment he is crown'd,
Translated from Boileau's translation, Inherits every virtue round,
And quote quotation on quotation. As emblems of the sovereign power,
At Will's you hear a poem read, Like other baubles in the Tower;
Where Battus, from the table head, Is generous, valiant, just, and wise,
Reclining on his elbow-chair, And so continues till he dies :
Gives judgment with decisive air; His humble senate this professes,
To whom the tribe of circling wits In all their speeches, votes, addresses.
As to an oracle submits. But once you fix him in a tomb,
He gives directions to the town, His virtues fade, his vices bloom;
To cry it up or run it down; And each perfection wrong imputed,
Like courtiers, when they send a note Is fully at his death confuted.
Instructing members how to vote. The loads of poems in his praise,
He sets the stamp of bad and good, Ascending, make one funeral blaze:
Though not a word be understood. As soon as you can hear his knell,
Your lesson learn'd, you 'll be secure This god on Earth turns devil in Hell:
To get the name of connoisseur : And lo! his ministers of state,
And, when your merits once are known, Transform’d to imps, his levee wait;
Procure disciples of your own. Where, in the scenes of endless woe,
For poets (you can never want 'em) They ply their former arts below;
Spread through Augusta Trinobantum, And, as they sail in Charon's boat,
Computing by their pecks of coals, Contrive to bribe the judge's vote ;
Amount to just nine thousand souls: To Cerberus they give a sop,
These o'er their proper districts govern His triple-barking mouth to stop;
Of wit and humor judges sovereign. Or in the ivory gate of dreams
In every street a city-bard Project excise and South-sea schemes;
Rules, like an alderman, his ward ;
Appointed sovereign judge to sit
The remnant of the royal blood
Say, poet, in what other nation
Translate me now some lines, if you can,
A DESCRIPTION OF A CITY SHOWER.
In imitation of Virgil's Georgics.-1710.
Meanwhile the south, rising with dabbled wings
While the first drizzling shower is borne aslope :
Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down,
Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow,
mud, Dead cats, and turnip-topa, come tumbling down
So, when I came up again, I found my pocket feel HORACE, BOOK III. ODE II.
But when I search'd, and miss'd my purse, Lord! I TO THE EARL OF OXFORD, LATE LORD TREASURER.
thought I should have sunk outright.
Lord ! madam, says Mary, how d'ye do? Indeed, Sent to him when in the Tower, 1617.
says I, never worse :
But pray, Mary, can you tell what I have done with How blest is he who for his country dies,
my purse? Since Death pursues the coward as he flies !
Lord help me! said Mary, I never stirr'd out of The youth in vain would fly from fate's attack,
this place : With trembling knees and terror at his back;
Nay, said I, I had it in Lady Betty's chamber, that's Though fear should lend him pinions like the wind,
a plain case. Yet swifter fate will seize him from behind.
So Mary got me to bed and cover'd me up warm: Virtue repuls'd, yet knows not to repine,
However, she stole away my garters, that I might But shall with unattainted honor shine;
do myself no harm. Nor stoops to take the staff,* nor lays it down, So I tumbled and toss'd all night, as you may very Just as the rabble please to smile or frown.
well think, Virtue, to crown her favorites, loves to try
But hardly ever set my eyes together, or slept a Some new unbeaten passage to the sky;
wink. Where Jove a seat among the gods will give
So I was a-dream'd, methought, that we went and To those who die for meriting to live.
search'd the folks round, Next, faithful silence hath a sure reward;
And in a corner of Mrs. Dukes*8* box, tied in a rag, Within our breast be every secret barr'd!
the money was found. He who betrays his friend, shall never be
So next morning we told Whitlent and he fell aUnder one roof, or in one ship, with me.
swearing : For who with traitors would his safety trust,
Then my dame Wadgert came; and she, you know, Lest, with the wicked, Heaven involve the just ?
is thick of hearing. And, though the villain 'scape awhile, he feels
Dame, said I, as loud as I could bawl, do you know Slow vengeance, like a blood-hound, at his heels.
what a loss I have had ? Nay, said she, my Lord Colway's V folks are all very For my Lord Dromedaryll comes a Tuesday without
fail. MRS. HARRIS'S PETITION.
Pugh! said I, but that's not the business that I ail. 1699.
Says Cary, I says he, I have been a servant this five
and-twenty years, come spring, To their excellencies the lords justices of Ireland,t And in all the places I liv'd, I never heard of such the humble petition of Frances Harris,
a thing Who must slarve, and die a maid, if it miscarries ; Yes, says the steward, ** I remember, when I was
at my Lady Shrewsbury's, Humbly showeth,
Such a thing as this happen'd just about the time of That I went to warm myself in Lady Betty'sj
gooseberries. ber, because I was cold;
So I went to the party suspected, and I found her And I had in a purse seven pounds, four shillings,
full of grief, and sixpence, besides farthings, in money (Now, you must know, of all things in the world, I and gold :
hate a thief.) So, because I had been buying things for my lady However, I am resolv'd to bring the discourse slily last night,
about; I was resolv'd to tell my money, to see if it was Mrs. Dukes, said I, here's an ugly accident has right.
happen'd out: Now, you must know, because my trunk has a very 'Tis not that I value the money three skips of a bad lock,
louse ;tt Therefore all the money I have, which, God knows, But the thing I stand upon is the credit of the is a very small stock,
house. I keep in my pocket, tied about my middle, next to 'Tis true, seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence,
makes a great hole in my wages : So when I went to put up my purse, as God would Besides, as they say, service is no inheritance in
have it, my smock was unript, And, instead of putting it into my pocket, down it
slipt; Then the bell rung, and I went down to put my lady
* Wife to one of the footmen. to bed ;
† Earl of Berkeley's valet. And, God knows, I thought my money was as safe 1 The old deaf housekeeper. as my maidenhead.
| The Earl of Drogheda, who, with the primate, was to
succeed the two earls. * The ensign of the lord treasurer's office.
Clerk of the kitchen. | The Earls of Berkeley and of Galway.
** Ferris. | Lady Betty Berkeley, afterwards Germaine. H An usual saying of hers.
Now, Mrs. Dukes, you know, and every body un
derstands, That though 'tis hard to judge, yet money can't go
without hands. The devil take me! said she (blessing herself) is
ever I saw't! So she roar'd like a Bedlam, as though I had callid
her all to naught. Sn, you know, what could I say to her any more? I e'en left her, and came away as wise as I was be
fore. Well; but then they would have had me gone to
the cunning man! No, said I, 'tis the same thing, the chaplain will be
here anon. So the chaplain* came in. Now, the servants say
he is my sweetheart, Because he's always in my chainber, and I always
take his part. So, as the devil would have it, before I was aware,
out I blunder'd: Parson, said I, can you cast a nativity, when a body's
plunder'd ? (Now, you must know, he hates to be callid parson
like the devil!) Truly, says he, Mrs. Nab, it might become you to
be more civil; If your money be gone, as a learned divine says,
d'ye see, You are no text for my handling ; so take that from
Knows every prince in Europe's face, Flies like a squib from place to place, And travels not, but runs a race.
From Paris gazette à-la-main,
A messenger comes all a-reek, Mordanto at Madrid to seek; He left the town above a week.
Next day the post-boy winds his horn, And rides through Dover in the morn: Mordanto's landed from Leghorn.
Mordanto gallops on alone;
I was never taken for a conjurer before, I'd have
you to know. Lord ! said I, don't be angry, I am sure I never
thought you so; You know I honor the cloth; I design to be a
parson's wife; I never took one in your coat for a conjurer, in all
His body active as his mind, Returning sound in limb and wind, Except some leather lost behind.
A skeleton in outward figure,
With that he twisted his girdle at me like a rope,
as who should say, Now you may go hang yourself for me! and so went
away Well: I thought I should have swoon'd. Lord !
said I, what shall I do? I have lost my money, and shall lose my true love
too! Then my lord call'd me: Harry,t said my lord,
Heroic actions early bred in,
I'll give you something towards thy loss; and, says
my lady, so will I. Oh! but, said I, what if, after all, the chaplain
won't come to ? For that, he said, (an't please your excellencies,) I
must petition you. The premises tenderly consider'd, I desire your
excellencies' protection, And that I may have a share in next Sunday's col.
lection; And over and above, that I may have your excellen
cies' letter, With an order for the chaplain aforesaid, or, instead
of him, a better : And then your poor petitioner, both night and day, Or the chaplain (for 'tis his trade), as in duty bound,
shall ever pray.
THE PROGRESS OF POETRY.
The farmer's goose, who in the stubble
But, when she must be turn'd lo graze, And round the barren common strays,
• Dr. Swift. # A cant word of Lord and Lady B. to Mrs. Harris.