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Smile on our author then, if he has shown
A jolly nut-brown baftard of your own.
Ah! happy you, with ease and with delight,
Who act those follies, Poets toil to write!
The fweating Mufe does almost leave the chace;
She puffs, and hardly keeps your Protean vices pace.
Pinch you but in one vice, away you fly
To fome new frisk of contrariety.
You roll like fnow-balls, gathering as you run;
And get feven devils, when difpoffefs'd of one.
Your Venus once was a Platonic queen;
Nothing of love befide the face was seen ;
But every inch of her you now uncase,
And clap a vizard-mask upon the face:
For fins like thefe, the zealous of the land,
With little hair, and little or no band,
Declare how circulating peftilences
Watch, every twenty years, to fnap offences.
Saturn, ev'n now, takes doctoral degrees;
He'll do your work this fummer without fees.
Let all the boxes, Phoebus, find thy grace,
And, ah, preferve the eighteen-penny place!
But for the pit confounders, let them go,
And find as little mercy as they fhow:
The Actors thus, and thus thy Poets pray;
For every critic fav'd, thou damn'st a play.
TO THE HUSBAND HIS OWN CUCKOLD.
IKE fome raw fophifter that mounts the pulpit, So trembles a young poet at a full pit. Unus'd to crowds, the Parfon quakes for fear, And wonders how the devil he durft come there; Wanting three talents needful for the place. Some beard, fome learning, and fome little grace: Nor is the puny Poet void of care.
For authors, fuch as our new authors are,
Have not much learning nor much wit to spare:
And as for grace, to tell the truth, there's fcarce one,
But has as little as the very Parfon:
Both fay, they preach and write for your inftruction:
But 'tis for a third day, and for induction.
The difference is, that though you like the play,
The Poet's gain is ne'er beyond his day.
But with the Parfon 'tis another cafe,
He, without holinefs, may rife to grace;
The Poet has one disadvantage more,
That, if his play be dull, he's damn'd all o'er,
Not only a damn'd blockhead, but damn'd poor.
But dulness well becomes the fable garment;
I warrant that ne'er spoil'd a Priest's preferment:
Wit's not his business; and as wit now goes,
Sirs, 'tis not so much yours as you suppose,
For you like nothing now but nauseous beaux.
You laugh not, gallants, as by proof appears,
At what his beauship says, but what he wears;
So 'tis your eyes are tickled, not your ears;
The taylor and the furrier find the stuff,
The wit lies in the dress, and monftrous muff.
The truth on 't is, the payment of the pit
Is like for like, clipt money for clipt wit.
You cannot from our abfent author hope
He fhould equip the ftage with fuch a fop:
Fools change in England, and new fools arife,
For though th' immortal species never dies,
Yet every year new maggots make new flies.
But where he lives abroad, he fcarce can find
One fool, for millions that he left behind.
PROLOGUE TO THE PILGRIM.
Revived for our Author's Benefit, Anno 1700.
HOW wretched is the fate of those who write!
Brought muzzled to the ftage, for fear they bite. Where, like Tom Dove, they ftand the common foe; Lugg'd by the critic, baited by the beau. Yet, worse, their brother Poets damn the play, And roar the loudest, though they never pay. The fops are proud of scandal, for they cry, At every lewd, low character,-That's I. He, who writes letters to himself, would fwear, The world forgot him, if he was not there. VOL. XIX. U
What fhould a Poet do? "Tis hard for one
To pleasure all the fools that would be shown:
And yet not two in ten will pafs the town.
Moft coxcombs are not of the laughing kind;
More goes to make a fop, than fops can find.
Quack Maurus, though he never took degrees In either of our univerfities;
Yet to be shown by some kind wit he looks,
Because he play'd the fool and writ three books.
But, if he would be worth a Poet's pen,
He must be more a fool, and write again :
For all the former fustian stuff he wrote,
Was dead-born doggrel, or is quite forgot:
His man of Uz, ftript of his Hebrew robe,
Is just the proverb, and As poor as Job.
One would have thought he could no longer jog;
But Arthur was a level, Job's a bog.
There, though he crept, yet ftill he kept in fight;
But here, he founders in, and finks downright.
Had he prepar'd us, and been dull by rule,
Tobit had firft been turn'd to ridicule:
But our bold Briton, without fear or awe,
O'er-leaps at once the whole Apocrypha;
Invades the Pfalms with rhymes, and leaves no room
Vandal Hopkins yet to come.
But when, if, after all, this godly geer
Is not fo fenfelefs as it would appear;
Our mountebank has laid a deeper train,
His cant, like Merry Andrew's noble vein,
Cat-calls the fects to draw them in again.
At leisure hours, in epic fong he deals,
Writes to the rumbling of his coach's wheels,
Prescribes in hafte, and seldom kills by rule,
But rides triumphant between ftool and ftool.
Well, let him go; 'tis yet too early day,
To get himself a place in farce or play.
We knew not by what name we should arraign him.
For no one category can contain him;
A pedant, canting preacher, and a quack,
Are load enough to break one afs's back:
At laft grown wanton, he prefum'd to write,
Traduc'd two kings, their kindness to requite;
One made the doctor, and one dubb'd the knight.
EPILOGUE TO THE PILGRIM.
PERHAPS the Parfon stretch'd a point too far,
When with our Theatres he wag'd a war.
you, that this very moral age
Receiv'd the first infection from the stage.
But fure, a banish'd court, with lewdness fraught,
The feeds of open vice, returning, brought.
Thus lodg'd (as vice by great example thrives)
It firft debauch'd the daughters and the wives.
London, a fruitful foil, yet never bore
So plentiful a crop of horns before.
The Poets, who muft live by courts, or ftarve,
Were proud, fo good a government to ferve;