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You too proceed! make falling arts your care,
TO MR. ADDISON.
OCCASIONED BY HIS DIALOGUES ON MEDALS.
This was originally written in the year 1715, when Mr. Addison intended to pnblish his book of medals; it was some time before he was Secretary of State; but not published till Mr. Tickell's edition of his works: at which time the verses on Mr. Craggs, which conclude the poem, were added, viz., in 1720.
SEE the wild waste of all-devouring years!
Perhaps, by its own ruins saved from flame,
Ambition sigh'd: she found it vain to trust
The medal, faithful to its charge of fame,
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine:
Oh when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
Then future ages with delight shall see
EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT,
THE PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
This paper is a sort of bill of complaint, begun many years since, and drawn up by snatches, as the several occasions offered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleased some persons of rank and fortune (the authors of Verses to the Imitator of Horace, and of an Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity from a Nobleman at Hampton-court) to attack, in a very extraordinary manner, not only my writings (of which, being publio, the public is judge), but my person, morals, and family, whereof, to those who know me not, a truer information may be requisite. Being divided between the necessity to say something of myself, and my own laziness to undertake so awkward & task, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand to this epistle. If it have anything pleasing, it will be that by which I am most desirous to please, the truth, and the sentiment; and if anything offensive, it will be only to those I am least sorry to offend, the vicious, or the ungenerous.
Many will know their own pictures in it, there being not a circum. stance but what is true; but I have for the most part spared their names, and they may escape being laughed at, if they please.
I would have some of them know, it was owing to the request of the learned and candid friend to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free use of theirs, as they have done of mine. Hovever, I shall have this advantage and honour on my side, that whereas, by their proceed. ing, any abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can possibly be done by mine, since a nameless character can never be found out, but by its truth and l?...us's
P. Saut, shut the door, good John! fatigued I said, Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead. The Dog-star rages! nay, 'tis past a doubt, All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out: Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand, They rave, recite, and madden round the land. What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide? They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide, By land, by water, they renew the charge, They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. No place is sacred, not the church is free, Even Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me: Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme, Happy! to catch me, just at dinner-time.
Is there a parson much be-mused in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a stanza, when he should engross? Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls With desperate charcoal round his darken'd walls? All fly to TWIC'NAM, and in humble strain Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain. Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws, Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause: Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope, And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song) What drop or nostrum can this plague remove? Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love? A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped, If foes, they write,--if friends, they read me dead. Seized and tied down to judge, how wretched I! Who can't be silent, and who will not lie: To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace, And to be grave, exceeds all power of face. I sit with sad civility, I read With honest anguish, and an aching head; And drop at last, but in unwilling ears, This saving counsel, “Keep your piece nine years."
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? Curl 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. Fired that the house reject him,“ 'Sdeath, I'll print it, 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, Sir, let me see your works and you no more.
'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 dang’rous things,
You think this cruell take it for a rule,