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The Drama's laws the Drama's patrons give,

For we that live to please, must please to live.

Prologue (Spoken by Garrick).


Let observation, with extensive view,

Survey mankind, from China to Peru;

Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life.

Lines 1-4.


There mark what ills the scholar's life assail,
Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail;
See nations slowly wise, and meanly just,
To buried merit raise the tardy bust.

Lines 159-162.

* This line was originally written—

"Toil, envy, want, the garret, and the jail;" but when Johnson was disappointed of the patronage of Lord Chesterfield, the word patron was used; he never forgot the neglect with which he had been treated; his memorable criticism on Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his Son will not soon pass into oblivion. "They teach the morals of a prostitute, and the manners of a dancing master." His lordship, in his Letters, speaks of the chaa respectable Hottentot," which term has been supposed to have referred to Johnson.

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He left the name, at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.*

Lines 221, 222.

New forms arise, and different views engage,
Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage,
Till pitying nature signs the last release,
And bids afflicted worth retire to peace.

Lines 307-310.

Catch then, O catch, the transient hour;
Improve each moment as it flies ;
Life's a short summer-man a flower-
He dies-alas! how soon he dies.

Hell is paved with good intentions.†

Winter. An Ode.

Boswell's Life, Age 66.

Period, April 14, 1775.

Of all the griefs that harass the distress'd,
Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest.

Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart,
Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.

London. Lines 165-168.

* Charles XII., the celebrated king of Sweden, is here alluded to.

"Hell is full of good meanings and wishings."HERBERT'S Jacula Prudentum.

This mournful truth is everywhere confess'd,
Slow rises worth by poverty depress'd.

London. Lines 175, 176.

Studious to please, yet not asham'd to fail.

Prologue to the Tragedy of Irene.

He touch'd nothing which he did not adorn. *

Epitaph on Goldsmith.

Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat. †

* "Nullum quod tetigit non ornavit."

† A good deal of controversy has occurred on this line, the history of which is thus recorded in Boswell's Life of Johnson (tat. 75, period 1784) :-" Johnson was present when a tragedy was read, in which occurred this line—

'Who rules o'er freemen should himself be free.'

The company having admired it much, I cannot agree with you,' said Johnson; it might as well be said—

'Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat.""

The tragedy alluded to was Henry Brooke's "Gustavus Vasa," the first edition of which contained the line

"Who rules o'er freemen should himself be free."

The Rev. Charles Kingsley, in the preface to his recently revised edition of Brooke's "Fool of Quality," says,


(i.e. Johnson's) silly parody on a fine line in Gustavus— 'Who rules o'er freemen should himself be free,'

is well enough known;

'Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat,'

answered Johnson, laughing, he only knew why, at the sentiment."



In summer's heat, and winter's cold,
He fed his flock, and penn'd the fold.

My tongue within my lips I rein,


For who talks much must talk in vain.

Whence is thy learning? hath thy toil
O'er books consum'd the midnight oil?



Cowards are cruel, but the brave

Love mercy, and delight to save.

Fable 1.

Where yet was ever found a mother,
Who'd give her booby for another.

Fable 3.

No author ever spared a brother;

Wits are gamecocks to one another.

Fable 10.

In every age and clime we see,

Two of a trade can ne'er agree.

Fable 21.

Who friendship with a knave hath made,
Is judg'd a partner in the trade.

'Tis thus that on the choice of friends, Our good or evil name depends.

Is there no hope? the sick man said ;

Fable 23.


The silent doctor shook his head:
And took his leave with signs of sorrow,

Despairing of his fee to-morrow.

Fable 27.

"While there is life, there's hope," he cried,

"Then why such haste?" so groaned and died. Ibid.

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