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much better gratify’d by employing not your own, but some of those low and ignoble pens to do you this mean office. I dare engage you'll have them for less than I gave Mr. Broom, if your friends have not rais'd the market: Let them drive the bargain for you, my Lord; and you may depend on seeing, every day in the week, as many (and now and then as pretty) Verses, as these of your Lordship.
And would it not be full as well, that my poor person should be abus'd by them, as by one of your rank and quality ? Cannot Curl do the same? nay has he' not done it before your Lordship, in the same kind of Language, and almost the same words? I cannot but think, the worthy and discreet Clergyman himself will agree, it is improper, nay unchriftian, to expose the personal defects of our brother that both such perfect forms as yours, and such unfortunate ones as mine, proceed from the hand of the fame Maker, who fashioneth his Vefsels as he pleaseth, and that it is not from their shape we can tell whether they are made for honour or dishonour. In a word, he would teach you Charity to your greatest enemies ; of which number, my Lord, I cannot be reckon'd, fince, tho' a Poet, I was never your
flatterer. Next, my Lord, as to the Obscurity * of my Birth (a reflection copy'd also from Mr. Curl and his brethren) I am sorry to be obliged to such a presumption as to name my Family in the same leaf with your Lordship’s : but my Father had the honour in one instance to resemble you, for he was a younger Brother. He did not indeed think it a happiness to bury his elder Brother, tho’ he had one, who wanted some of those good qualities which yours pofsest. How sincerely glad could I be, to pay to that young Nobleman's memory the debt I Hard as thy Heart, and as 'thy Birth obscure. 04.
ow'd to his friendship, whose early death depriv'd your family of as much Wit and Honour as he left behind him in any branch of it. But as to my Father, I could assure you, my Lord, that he was no mechanic (neither a hatter, nor, which might please your Lordihip yet better, a Cobler) but in truth, of a very tolerable family: And my Mother of an ancient one, as well born and educated as that Lady, whom your Lordship made choice of to be the Mother of your own Children; whose merit, beauty, and vivacity (if transmitted to your pofterity) will be a better present than even the noble blood they derive only from you. A Mother, on whom I was never oblig'd so far to reflect, as to say, the spoiled me * And a Father, who never found himself oblig'd to say of me, that he disapprovd my Conduft. In a word, my Lord, I think it enough, that my Parents, such as they were, never cost me a Blub; and that their Son, such as he is, never coft them a Tear.
I have purposely omitted to consider your Lordship's Criticisms on my Poetry. As they are exactly the same with thofe of the foremention'd Authors, I apprehend they would justly charge me with partiality, if I gave to you what belongs to them; or paid more distinction to the same things when they are in your mouth, than when they were in theirs. It will be lhewing both them and you (my Lord) a more particular respect, to observe how much they are honour'd by your Imitation of them, which indeed is carried thro' your whole Epistle. I have read somewhere at School (tho I make it no Vanity to have forgot where) that Tully naturaliz'd a few phrases at the instance of some of his friends. Your Lordship has done more in hoc * A noble Father's heir spoild by his Mother. His Lordship's account of himself. p. 7.
hour of these Gentlemen
have authoriz'd not only their Affertions, but their Style. For example, A Flow that wants skill to restrain its ardour,-a Dictionary that gives us nothing at its own expence. -As luxuriant branches bear but little fruit, so Wit unprun'd is but raw fruit-While you rehearse ignorance, you still know enough to do it in Verse-Wits are but glittering ignorance.--The account of how we pass our time--and, The weight on Sir R. W-'s brain. You can ever receive from no head more than such a head (as no head) has to give : Your Lordship would have said never receive instead of ever, and any head instead of no head: but all this is perfectly new, and has greatly enrich'd our language.
You are merry, my Lord, when you say, Latin and Greek
Have quite deserted your poor John Trot-head,
And left plain native English in their flead. for (to do you justice) this is nothing less than plain English. And as for your John Trot-head, I can't conceive why you should give it that name ; for by fome * papers I have signd with that name, it is certainly a head very different from your Lordship’s.
Your Lordship seems determined to fall out with every thing you have learn’d at school : you com. plain next of a dull Dictionary,
That gives us nothing at its own expence,
But a few modern words for ancient Sense. Your Lordship is the first man that ever carried the love of Wit so far, as to expect a witty Diftionary. A Dictionary that gives us any thing but words, must not only be an expensive but a very
* See fome Treatises printed in the Appendix to the Craftsman, about that time,
extravagant Dictionary t. But what does your Lordship mean by its giving us but a few modern words for ancient Sense? If by Sense (as I suspect) you mean words (a mistake not unusual) I must do the Dictionary the justice to say, that it gives us just as many modern words as ancient ories. Indeed, my Lord, you have more need to complain of a bad Grammar, than of a dull Dictionary.
Doctor Freind, I dare answer for him, never taught you to talk
of Sapphic, Lyric, and lambic Odes. Your Lordship might as well bid your present Tutor, your Taylor, make you a Coat, Suit of Cloaths, and Breeches ; for you must have forgot your Logic, as well as Grammar, not to know, that Sapphic and lambic are both included in Lyric; that being the Genus, and those the Species.
For all cannot invent who can translate,
No more than those who cloath us, can create. Here your Lordship seems in labour for a mean ing. Is it that you would have. Translations, Originals ? for 'tis the common opinion, that the business of a Translator is to translate, and not to invent, and of a Taylor to cloath, and not to create. But why should you, my Lord, of all mankind, abuse a Taylor ? not to say blafpheme him; if he can (as. some think) at least go halves with God Almighty in the formation of a Beau. Might not Doctor Sherwin rebuke you for this, and bid you Remember your Creator in the days of your Youth?
From a Taylor, your Lordship proceeds (by a beautiful gradation) to a Silkman."1907
+ Yet we have seen many of these extravagant Dictionaries, and are likely to fee niany more, in an age so abounding in science.
Thus P-pe we find The gaudy Hinchcliff of a beauteous mind. Here too is some ambiguity. Does your Lordship use Hinchcliff as a proper name? or as the Ladies say a Hinchcliff or a Colmar, for a Silk or a Fan? I will venture to affirm, no Critic can have a perfect taste of your Lordship’s works, who does not under, stand both your Male Phrase and your Female Phrase.
Your Lordship, to finish your Climax, advances up to a Hatter ; a Mechanic, whose Employment you inform us, is not (as was generally imagined) to cover people's heads, but to dress their brains *. A most useful Mechanic indeed! I can't help wishing to have been one, for some people's fake. But this too may be only another Lady-Phrase: Your Lordship and the Ladies may take a Head-dress for a Head, and understand, that to adorn the Head is the same thing as to dress the Brains,
Upon the whole, I may thank your Lordship for this high Panegyric: For if I have but dress’d up Homer, as your Taylor, Silkman, and Hatter have equipp'd your Lordship, I must be own'd to have dress'd him marvellously indeed, and no wonder if he is admir'd by the Ladies t.
After all, my Lord, I really wish you would learn your Grammar. What if you put yourself awhile under the 'Tuition of your Friend Wm? May not I with all respect say to you, what was said to another Noble Poet by Mr. Cowley, Pray, Mr. Howard I, if you did read your Grammar, what harm would it do you? You yourself with all Lords
For this Mechanic's, like the Hatler's pains,
Are but for dressing other peo;le's brains. + by Girls admir'd. p. 6. I The Honourable Mr. Edward Howard, celebrated
for his poetry