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An Apology for himself and his Writings.
Being the Prologue to the Satire. SHUT
HUT, shut the door, good John! fatigu’d
5 They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide? They pierce my thickets, thro' my Grot they glide, By land, by water, they renew the charge, They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. 10 No place is facred, not the Church is free, Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:
Notes. Ver. 1. Shut, fout the door, good John!] John Searle, his old and faithful servant : whom he has remembered, under that character, in his Will.
Then from the Mint walks forth the Man of rhyme, Happy! to catch me, just at Dinner-time.
Is there a Parfon, much be-mus'd in beer, 15 A maudlin Poetess, a rhyming Peer, A Clerk, foredoom'd his father's foul to cross, Who pens a Stanza when he should engross? Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls With desp'rate charcoal round his darken'd walls ? All fly to TWIT'NAM, and in humble strain Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain. Arthur, whose giddy fon neglects the Laws, Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause: Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,
25 And curfes Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my Life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song)
Is there a bard in durance ? turn them free,
NOTES. VER. 13. Mint] A place to which insolvent debtors setired, to enjoy an illegal protection they were there fuffered to afford one another, from the persecution of their creditors.
VER. 23. Arthur,] Arthur Moore, Esq.
What Drop or Nostrum can this plague remove ?
39 This saving counsel, “ Keep your piece nine years. "
Nine years ! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Lull'd by soft Zephyrs thro' the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends, Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends :
VARIATIONS. Ver. 29. in the iit Ed.
Dear Doctor, tell me, is not this a curse ? Say, is their anger, or their friendship worse?
Nores. VER, 33. Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge,] Alluding to the scene in the Plain-Dealer, where Oldfux gags, and cies down the Widow, to hear his well pen'd fianzas.
Ver. 38. honest anguis,] i.e. undiflembled.
Ibid. an aching head;} Alluding to the disorder he was then so constantly afflicted with.
VER. 43. Rhymes ere be wakes,] A pleasant allogon to those words of Milton,
Dietales to me flumb'rinz, or inspires