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And drop at last, but in unwilling ears, 39
Three things another's modest wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound. Pitholeon fends to me: "You know his Grace, "I want a Patron; afk him for a Place." 50 Pitholeon libell'd me---" but here's a letter
Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better. "Dare you refuse him? Curl invites to dine, "He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine."
VER. 53. in the MS.
If you refufe, he goes, as fates incline,
To plague Sir Robert, or to turn Divine.
VER. 43. Rhymes ere he wakes,] A pleasant allufion to those words of Milton,
Dictates to me flumb'ring, or infpires
Easy my unpremeditated Verfe.
VER. 49. Pitholeon] The name taken from a foolish Poet of Rhodes, who pretended much to Greek. Schol in Horat. I. i. Dr. Bentley pretends, that this Pitholeon libelled Cæfar also. See notes on Hor. Sat. 10. 1. i.
If I diflike it, CC
Bless me! a packet.---" "Tis a stranger fues,55 "A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Muse." Furies, death and rage!" If I approve, " Commend it to the Stage." There (thank my stars) my whole commiffion ends, The Play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends. 60 Fir'd that the house reject him, " 'Sdeath I'll print it, "And fhame the fools---Your int'reft, 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; 65 At last he whispers,." Do; and we “Do; and we go fnacks.” Glad of a quarrel, ftrait I clap the door,
Sir, let me fee your works and you no more. "Tis fung, when Midas' Ears began to spring, (Midas, a facred person and a King)
VER. 60. in the former Edd.
Cibber and I are luckily no friends.
VER. 69. 'Tis fung, when Midas' &c.] The Poet mean fung by Perfius; and the words alluded to are,
Vidi, vidi ipfe, Libelle!
Auriculas Afini Mida Rex habet.
The tranfition is fine, but obfcure: for he has here imitated. the manner of that myfterious writer, as well as taken up his image. Our Author had been hitherto complaining of the folly
His very Minister who spy'd them first,
(Some fay his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or burft.
You think this cruel? take it for a rule, No creature smarts fo little as a fool.
Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break,8
and importunity of indigent Scriblers; he now infinuates he suffered as much of both, from Poetafters of Quality.
VER. 72. Queen] The story is told, by fome, of his Barber, but by Chaucer of his Queen. See Wife of Bath's Tale in Dryden's Fables.
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,
Who fhames a Scribler? break one cobweb thro',
Still to one Bishop Philips feem a wit?
But foes like thefe---P.OneFlatt'rer's worse than all.
VER. 92. The creature's at his dirty work again,] This metamorphofing, as it were, the Scribler into a Spider is much more poetical than a comparison would have been. But Poets fhould be cautious how they employ this figure; for where the likeness is not very ftriking, inftead of giving force, they become obfcure. Here, every thing concurs to make them run into one another. They both fpin; not from the head [reafon] but from the guts [paffions and prejudices] and fuch a thread that can entangle none but creatures weaker than themselves.
VER. 98. free-mafons Moor?] He was of this fociety, and frequently headed their proceffions.
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:
There are, who to my perfon pay their court: 115 I cough like Horace, and, tho' lean, am short, Ammon's great fon one shoulder had too high, Such Ovid's nose, and " Sir! you have an Eye--Go on, obliging creatures, make me fee All that difgrac'd my Betters, met in me.
VER. III. in the MS.
For fong, for filence fome expect a bribe;
VER. 118. Sir, you have an Eye] It is remarkable that amongst these compliments on his infirmities and deformities, 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.