« PreviousContinue »
Long lay the Critic's work, with trifles ford,
Admir'd in Latin, but in Greek ador’d.
Men, so well read, who confidently wrote, 165
Their readers could have sworn, were men of note :
To pass upon the croud for great or rare,
Aim not to make them knowing, make them ftare.
For thefe blind votaries good Bentley griev'd,
Writ English notes-apd mankind undeceiv'd : 170
In such clear light the serious folly plac'd,
Ev’n thou, Browne Willis, thou may'st see the jelt.
But what can cure our vanity of mind,
Deaf to reproof, and to discovery blind?
Let Crooke, a Brother-Scholiaft Shakespeare call, 375
Tibbald, to Hefiod-Cooke returns the ball.
So runs the circle still : in this, we fee
I he lackies of the Great and Learn'd agree.
If Britain's nobles mix in high debate,
Whence Europe, in suspense, attends her fate ;
180 In mimic session their
Reduce an army, or equip a fleet :
And, rivaling the critic's lofty ftile,
Mere Tom and Dick are Stanhope and Argyll.
Yet those, whom pride and dulness join to blind, 189
To narrow cares in 'narrow space confin'd,
Though with big titles each his fellow greets,
Are but to wits, as scavengers to streets :
The humble black-guards of a Pope or Gay,
To brush off dust, and wipe their spots away.
190 Or, if not trivial, harmful is their art; Fume to the head, or poison to the heart.
Where ancient Authors hint at things obscene,
The Scholiast speaks out broadly what they mean.
Disclosing each dark vice, well-loft to fame, 195
And adding fuel to redundant flame,
He, fober pimp to lechery, explains
What Capreæ's Ille, or V *'s Alcove contains:
Why Paulus, for his sordid temper known,
Was lavish, to his father's wife alone :
Why those fond female visits duly paid
To tuneful Incuba; and what her trade :
How modern love has made fo many martyrs,
And which keeps oftnest, Lady C*, or Chartres.
But who their various follies can explain?
The tale is infinite, the talk were vain.
'Twere to read new-year odes in search of thought;
To fum the libels Pryn or Withers wrote ;
To guess, ere one epistle saw the light,
many dunces met, and club'd their mite;
To vouch for truth what Welsted prints of Pope,
Or from the brother-boobies steal a trope.
That be the part of persevering Waffe,
pen of lead; or, Arnall, thine of brass ;
V. 209. See a Poem published fome time
under that title, said to be the production of several ingenious and prolific heads; one contributing a similé, another a character, and a certain gentleman four shrewd lines wholly made up of asterisks.
V. 213. See the Preface to his edition of Sallust; and read, if you are able, the Scholia of fixteen annotators by him collected, befides his own.
A text for Henley, or a glofs for Hearne, 215
Who loves to teach, what no man cares to learn.
How little, knowledge reaps from toils like these!
Too doubtful to direct, too poor to please.
Yet, Critics, would your tribe deserve a name,
And, fairly useful, rise to honest fame;
First, from the head, a load of lumber move,
And, from the volume, all yourselves approve:
For patch'd and pilfer'd fragments, give us fense,
Or learning, clear from learn'd impertinence,
Where moral meaning, or where taste presides, 225
And wit enlivens but what reason guides :
Great without swelling, without meanness plain;
Serious, not filly; sportive, but not vain;
On trifles flight, on things of use profound,
In quoting sober, and in judging found.
VERSEs presented to the Prince of ORANGE, on
his visiting OXFORD, in the Year 1734.
ECEIVE, lov'd prince, the tribute of our praise,
This hasty welcome, in unfinish'd lays.
At beft, the pomp of song, the paint of art,
Display the genius, but not speak the heart;
And oft, as ornament must truth supply,
Are but the splendid colouring of a lye.
These need not here ; for to a foul like thine,
Truth, plain and simple, will more lovely shine.
The truly good but wish the verse fincere :
They court no flattery, who no cenfure fear.
Such Nassau is, the faireft, gentlest mind,
In blooming youth the Titus of mankind.
Crouds, who to hail thy wish'd appearance ran,
Forgot the prince, to praise and love the man.
Such fenfe with sweetness, grandeur mix'd with ease!
Our nobler youth will learn of thee to please :
Thy bright example fhall our world adorn,
And charm, in gracious princes, yet unborn.
Nor deem this verse from venal art proceeds,
That vice of courts, the soil for baneful weeds.
Her candor dwells; here honest truths are taught,
To guide and govern, not disguise, the thought.
See these enlighten'd Sages, who preside
O’er learning's empire; see the youth they guide :
Behold, all faces are in transport drest !
But those most wonder, who discern thee beft.
At fight of thee, each free-born heart receives.
A joy, the fight of princes rarely gives;
From tyrants sprung, and oft themselves designd,
By Fate, the future Neroes of their kind :
But though thy blood, we know, transmitted springs.
From laurel'd heroes, and from warrior-kings,
Through that high series, we, delighted, trace
The friends of liberty, and human race !
Oh, born to glad and animate our Ille!
For thee, our heavens look pleas'd, our seasons Smile.
For thee, late object of our tender fears,
When thy life droop'd, and Britain was in tears,
All-chearing Health, the goddess rosy-fair,
Attended by soft füns, and vernal air,
Sought those * fam'd fprings, where, each aMictive hour,
Disease, and age, and pain, invoke her
She came; and, while to thee the current flows,
Pour'd all herself, and in thy cup arose.
Hence, to thy cheek, that instant bloom deriv'd!
Hence, with thy health, the weeping world reviv'd!
Proceed to emulate thy race divine:
A life of action, and of praise, be thine.
Affert the titles genuine to thy blood,
By Nature, daring; but by reason, good,
So great, fo glorious thy forefathers thone,
No son of theirs must hope to live unknown:
Their deeds will place thy virtue full in fight;
Thy vice, if vice thou hast, in stronger light.
If to thy fair beginnings nobly true,
Think what the world may claim, and thou must do:
The honours, that already grace thy name,
Have fix'd thy choice, and force thee into fame.
Ev'n fhe, bright Anna, whom thy worth has won,
Inspires thee what to seek and what to fhun :
Rich in all outward grace, th'exalted fair
Makes the foul's beauty her peculiar care.
O, be your nuptials crown'd with glad encreafe
Of fons, in wár renown'd, and great in peace;
Of daughters, fair and faithful, to supply
The patriot-race, till Nature's self thall die !