Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Still Sappho--A. Hold! for God-fake--you'll offend,
No Names-be calm--learn prudence of a friend :
I too could write, and I am twice as tall;
But foes like these P. One Flatt'rer's worse than all.
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:
Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent.

One dedicates in high heroic prose,
And ridicules beyond a hundred foes :

IIO 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.

120 Say for my comfort, languishing in bed, “ Just so immortal Maro held his head :"

VARIATIONS.
VER. 111. in the MS.

For song, for filence fome expect a bribe ;
And others roar aloud," Subscribe, subscribe."
Time, praise, or money, is the least they crave;
Yet each declares the other fool or knave.

And when I die, be sure you let me know
Great Homer dy'd three thousand years ago.

Why did I write? what sin to me unknown 125
Dipt mein 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.

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 inflam'd with early praise, And Congreve lov'd, and Swift endur'd my lays ;

VARIATIONS,

After x 124. in the MS.

But, Friend, this Chape, which You and Curl a admire,
Came not from Ammon's son, but from my Sire b:
And for my head, if you'll the truth excuse,
I had it from my Mother C, not the Muse.
Happy, if he, in whom these frailties join'd,
Had heir'd as well the virtues of the mind.

• 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,
Ev’n mitred Rochester would nod the head, 140
And St. John's self (great Dryden's friends before)
With open arms receiv'd one Poet more.
Happy my studies, when by these approv'd!
Happier their author, when by these belov'd!
From these the world will judge of men and books,
Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks. 146

Nores.

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 perfons 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 Forest, on which he passes a sort of Cenfure in the lines following,

While pure Description held the place of Sense? Egr. P.

VER. 146. Burnets, &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 fame mistakes. But if the first offended this

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 fill worse.

way,

Soft were my numbers; who could take offence While pure Description held the place of Sense? Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme, A painted mistress, or a purling stream.

15 Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill; I wilh'd the man a dinner, and sate 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 spirit, 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.

P. Ver. 164. Nashing 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 follers : fed fæpe ftomachosum, nonnunquam frigi“ dum, interdum etiam facetum."

Each wight, who reads not, and but fcans and spells,
Each Word-catcher, that lives on fyllables, 166
Ev’n such small Critics fome regard may claim,
Preserv'd in Milton's or in Shakespear's name.
Pretty! in amber to observe the forms 169
Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms!
The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil they got there.

Were others angry: I excus’d them too;
Well might they rage,

I gave them but their due. As man's true merit 'tis not bard to find ; 175 But each man's secret standard in his mind,

Notes. VER. 169. Pretty! in amber to observe the forms, &c.] Our Poet had the full pleasure of this amusement soon after the publication of his Shakespear. Nor has his Friend been less entertained since the appearance of his edition of the same poct. 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 ĆIBBER. 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 seribler 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.

« ZurückWeiter »