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Still Sappho-A. Hold! for God-fake-you'll offend,
One dedicates in high heroic prose,
110. One from all Grubftreet will my fame defend, And more abusive, calls himself my friend. This prints my Letters, that expects a bribe, And others roar aloud, “ Subscribe, subscribe.”
There are, who to my person pay their court: 115 I cough like Horace, and, tho' lean, am short, Ammon's great son one shoulder had too high, Such Ovid's nose, and “ Sir! you have an EyeGo on, obliging creatures, make me fee All that disgrac'd my Betters, met in me. Say for my comfort, languishing in bed, “ Just so immortal Maro held his head :"
For song, for filence some expect a bribe ;
And when I die, be sure you let me know :
Why did I write? what fin to me unknown' 125
130 The Muse but serv'd to ease some friend, not Wife, To help me thro’ this long disease, my Life, To fecond, ARBUTHNOT! thy Art and Care, And teach, the Being you preserv’d, to bear.
But why then publish ? Granville the polite, 135 And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write ; Well-natur'd Garth inflamd with early praise, :, And Congreve lovod, and Swift endur'd my lays;
But, Friend, this shape, which You and Curl a admire,
* Curl set up his head for a lign. ' " His Father was crooked. . His mother was much afflicted with head-achs.
The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read,
Notes. Ver. 139. Talbot, &c.] All these were Patrons or Admirers of Mr. Dryden ; though a scandalous libel against him, entitled, Dryden's Satyr to his Mufe, has been printed in the name of the Lord Somers, of which he was wholly ignorant.
These are the persons to whose account the Author charges the publication of his first pieces : persons, with whom he was conversant (and he adds beloved) at 16 or 17 years of age'; an early period for such acquaintance. The catalogue might be made yet more illustrious, had he not confined it to that time when he writ the Pastorals and Windsor Fores, on which he passes a sort of Cenfure in the lines following, While pure Description held the place of Sense? &c. P.
Ver. 146. Burrets, &c.] Authors of secret and scandalous History.
Ibid. Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks.] By no means Authors of the same class, though the violence of party might hurry them into the same mistakes. But if the first offended this way, it was only through an honest warmth of temper, that allowed too little to an excellent understanding. The other two, with very bad heads, had hearts Atill worse.
Soft were my numbers ; who could take offence While pure Description held the place of Sense? Like gentle Fanny's was iny flow'ry theme, A painted mistress, or a purling stream. Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill; I wilh'd the man a dinner, and late still. Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret; I never answer'd, I was not in debt. If want provok'd, or madness made them print, 155 I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint.
Did some more sober Critic come abroad; If wrong, I smild ; if right, I kiss’d the rod. Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence, And all they want is fpirit, taste, and sense. 16 Comma's and points they set exactly right, And ’twere a fin to rob them of their mite. Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds, From flashing Bentley down to pidling Tibalds :
Notes. Ver. 150. A painted meadow, or a purling stream, is a verse of Mr. Addison.
Ver. 164. flashing Bentley] This great man, with all his faults, deserved to be put into better company. The following words of Cicero describe him not amiss. “ Ha" buit à natura genus quoddam acuminis, quod etiam arte “ limaverat, quod erat in reprehendendis verbis versutum “ et sollers: fed fæpe ftomachosum, nonnunquam frigi. “ dum, interdum etiam facetum."
Each wight; who reads not, and but scans and spells,
Were others angry: I excus’d them too;
Notes. Ver. 169. Pretty! in amber to observe the forms, &c.] Our Poet had the full pleasure of this amusement foon after the publication of his Shakespear. Nor has his Friend been less entertained since the appearance of his edition of the same poet. The liquid Amber of whose Wit has lately licked up, and enrolled such a quantity of these Infeets, and of tribes so grotesque and various, as would have puzzled Reaumur to give names to. Two or three of them it may not be amiss to preserve and keep alive. Such as the Rev. Mr. J. Upton, Thomas Edwards, Esq; and, to make up the Triumvirate, their learned Coadjutor, that very respectable personage, Mr. TheOPHILUS CIBBER.As to the poetic imagery of this passage, it has been much and justly admired ; for the most deteftable things in nature, as a toad, or a beetle, become pleasing when well represented in a work of Art. But it is no less eminent for the beauty of the thought. For though a scribler exifts by being thus incorporated, yet he exists intombed, a lasting monument of the wrath of the Muses.
VER. 173. Were others angry:] The Poets.