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To laugh were want of goodness and of grace,
*Nine years!' cries he, who, high in Drury-lane, Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term ends, Obliged by hunger and request of friends : * The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it, I'm all submission; what you'd have it—make it.'
Three things another's modest wishes bound;• My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound.'
Pitholeon sends to me: “You know his grace: I want a patron; ask him for a place.' Pitholeon libell’d me- - But here's a letter Informs you, sir, 'twas when he knew no better. Dare you
refuse him ? Curll invites to dine; He'll write a journal, or he'll turn divine.' Bless me! a packet.— 'Tis a stranger sues, A virgin tragedy, an orphan Muse.' If I dislike it, . Furies, death, and rage! If I approve, Commend it to the stage.? There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends, The players and I are, luckily, no friends. [it, Fired that the house rejects him, “'Sdeath, I'll print And shame the fools-your interest, sir, with
Lintot. Lintot, dull rogue, will think your price too much:
Not, sir, if you revise it, and retouch.' All my
demurs but double his attacks; At last he whispers, ' Do, and we go snacks.'
Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door;
'Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a king) His very minister who spied them first (Some say his queen) was forced to speak or burst. And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case, When every coxcomb perks them in my face? A. Good friend, forbear! you deal in dangerous
things; I'd never name queens, ministers, or kings; Keep close to ears, and those let asses 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: 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. Let peals of laughter, Codrus, round thee break, Thou unconcern’d canst hear the mighty crack: Pit, box, and gallery, in convulsions hurl'd, Thou stand’st unshook amidst a bursting world. Who shames a scribbler ? break one cobweb
through, He spins the slight self-pleasing thread anew : Destroy his fib, or sophistry, in vain; The creature's at his dirty work again, Throned on the centre of his thin designs, Proud of a vast extent of Aimsy lines ! Whom have I hurt? has poet yet or peer Lost the arch'd eyebrow or Parnassian sneer? And has not Colley still his lord and whore? His butchers Henley? his free-masons Moore ?
Does not one table Bavius still admit?
One dedicates in high heroic prose,
friend. This prints my letters, that expects a bribe, And others roar aloud, •Subscribe, subscribe!
There are who to my person pay their court: I cough like Horace; and, though lean, am short; Ammon's great son one shoulder had too high, Such Ovid's nose, and · Sir! you have an eye-i' Go on, obliging creatures! make me see All that disgraced my betters met in me. Say, for my comfort, languishing in bed,
Just so immortal Maro held his head :' And, when I die, be sure you let me know Great Homer died three thousand years ago.
Why did I write? what sin to me unknown Dipp'd me in ink, my parents', or my own? As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came : I left no calling for this idle trade, No duty broke, no father disobey'd : The Muse but served to ease some friend, not wife, To help me through this long disease, my life;
To second, Arbuthnot! thy art and care,
But why then publish ? Granville the polite,
Soft were my numbers; who could take offence While pure description held the place of sense? Like gentle Fanny's was my flowery theme,
A painted mistress, or a purling stream.' 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 provoked, or madness made them print, I waged no war with Bedlam or the Mint.
Did some more sober critic come abroad; If wrong, I smiled; if right, I kiss'd the rod. Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence, And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense. Commas and points they set exactly right, And 'twere a sin to rob them of their mite; Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel graced these ribalds, From slashing Bentley down to piddling Tibbalds: Each wight who reads not, and butscans and spells, Each word-catcher that lives on syllables,
E'en such small critics some regard may claim,
Were others angry: I excused them too;
Peace to all such! But were there one whose fires True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires, Bless'd with each talent and each art to please, And born to write, converse, and live with ease; Should such a man, too fond to rule alone, Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne; View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes, And hate for arts that caused himself to rise ;