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How index-learning turns no student pale,
Yet holds the eel of science by the tail;
How, with less reading than makes felons 'scape,
Less human genius than God gives an ape,
Small thanks to France and none to Rome or Greece,
A vast, vamped, future, old, revived, new piece,
'Twixt Plautus, Fletcher, Shakespear, and Corneille,
Can make a Cibber, Tibbald, or Ozell.

The goddess then, o'er his anointed head,
With mystic words, the sacred opium shed.
And lo! her bird (a monster of a fowl,
Something betwixt a heideggre and owl)
Perched on his crown. “All hail! and hail again,
My son! the promised land expects thy reign.
Know Eusden thirsts no more for sack or praise;
He sleeps among the dull of ancient days;
Safe, where no critics damn, no duns molest,
Where wretched Withers, Ward, and Gildon rest,
And high-born Howard, more majestic sire,
With fool of quality completes the quire.
Thou, Cibber, thou, his laurel shalt support;
Folly, my son, has still a friend at court.
Lift up your gates, ye princes, see him come!
Sound, sound, ye viols; be the cat-call dumb!
Bring, bring the madding bay, the drunken vine;
The creeping, dirty, courtly ivy join!
And thou, his aide-de-camp, lead on my sons,
Light-armed with points, antitheses, and puns.
Let Bawdry, Billingsgate, my daughters dear,
Support his front, and Oaths bring up the rear;
And under his, and under Archer's wing,
Gaming and Grub Street skulk behind the King.
Oh, when shall rise a monarch all our own,
And I, a nursing mother, rock the throne ?
'Twixt prince and people close the curtain draw,
Shade him from light, and cover him from law ?
Fatten the courtier, starve the learned band,
And suckle armies, and dry-nurse the land,
Till senates nod to lullabies divine,
And all be sleep, as at an ode of thine?"

She ceased. Then swells the cbapel-royal throat:

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"God save King Cibber!” mounts in ev'ry note.

320 Familiar White's "God save King Colley !” cries; “God save King Colley !" Drury Lane replies. To Needham's quick the voice triumphal rode, But pious Needham dropt the name of God. Back to the Devil the last echoes roll,

325 And "Coll!" each butcher roars at Hockley Hole. So when Jove's block descended from on high (As sings thy great forefather Ogilby), Loud thunder to its bottom shook the bog, And the hoarse nation croaked, “God save King Log!” 330 1726.

1728.

EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT

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IO

P. Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigued, I said.
Tie up the knocker! say I'm sick, I'm dead.
The Dog-star rages ! nay, 't is 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;
Ev'n 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, foredoomed his father's soul to cross,
Who pens a stanza when he should engross?
Is there who, locked from ink and paper, scrawls
With desp'rate charcoal round his darkened walls?
All fly to Twit'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 damned works the cause.
Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,
And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.

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oken pane,

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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,
Lulled by soft zephyrs through the
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 libelled me—“But here's a letter
Informs you, sir, 't was when he knew no better.
Dare you refuse him? Curll invites to dine;
He'll write a 'Journal,' or he 'll turn divine."
Bless me! a packet: “T is 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 intrest, 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 :

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“Sir, let me see your works and you no more !"

'T is sung, when Midas' ears began to spring (Midas, a sacred person and a king),

70 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 dangerous things; 75 I'd never name queens, ministers, or kings. Keep close to ears, and those let asses prick; 'T is nothing-P. Nothing ? if they bite and kick? Out with it, “Dunciad !” let the secret pass, That secret to each fool, that he's an ass.

80 The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?), The queen of Midas slept; and so may I.

You think this cruel? Take it for a rule,
No creature smarts so little as a fool.
Let peals of laughter, Codrus, round thee break,
Thou unconcerned canst hear the mighty crack;
Pit, box, and gall’ry in convulsions hurled,
Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world.
Who shames a scribbler ? break one cobweb through,
He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew :

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Destroy his fib or sophistry-in vain!
The creature's at his dirty work again,
Throned in the center of his thin designs,
Proud of a vast extent of Aimsy lines !
Whom have I hurt? has poet yet or peer

95 Lost the arched eyebrow or Parnassian sneer?... Does not one table Bavius still admit? Still to one bishop Philips seem a wit? Still Sappho—A. Hold! for God's sake-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 slaver kills and not the bite. A fool quite angry is quite innocent: Alas! 't is ten times worse when they repent.

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

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One from all Grub Street 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:

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I cough like Horace, and though lean am short;
Ammon's great son one shoulder had too high;
Such Ovid's nose; and “Sir, you have an eye"-
Go on, obliging creatures; make me see
All that disgraced my betters met in me.
Say for my comfort, languishing in bed,
"Just so immortal Maro held his head”;
And when I die, be sure you let me know
Great Homer died three thousand years ago.

Why did I write? what sin to me unknown
Dipped me in ink, my parents' or my own?
As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came.
I left no calling for this idle trade,
No duty broke, no father disobeyed;

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The Muse but served to ease some friend, not wife,
To help me through this long disease, my life,
To second, Arbuthnot, thy art and care,
And teach the being you preserved to bear.

A. But why, then, publish? P. Granville the polite, 135 And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write; Well-natured Garth inflamed with early praise; And Congreve loved and Swift endured my lays; The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield, read; Ev'n mitred Rochester would nod the head,

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And St. John's self (great Dryden's friends before)
With open arms received one poet more.
Happy my studies when by these approved !
Happier their author when by these beloved !
From these the world will judge of men and books, 145
Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cookes.

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.

150 Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill;

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