« PreviousContinue »
Then from the Mint walks forth the Man of rhyme,
Friend to my Life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle fong)
Is there a bard in durance ? turn them free,
Notes. Ver. 13. Mint] A place to which insolvent debtors retired, to enjoy an illegal protection they were there suffered to afford one another, from the persecution of their creditors.
Ver. 23. Arthur,] Arthur Moore, Esq:
What Drop or Noftrum can this plague remove?
39 This saving counsel, “ Keep your piece nine years.
Nine years ! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Lull’d by soft Zephyrs thro' the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends, Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends :
VARIATIONS. Ver. 29, in the iit Ed.
Dear Doctor, tell me, is not this a curse? Say, is their anger, or their friendship worse?
Notes. Ver. 33. Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge,] Alluding to the scene in the Plain-Dealer, where Oldfux gags, and ties down the Widow, to hear his well-pen'd fantas.
VER. 38. honest anguish,] i. e. undissembled.
Ibid. an aching head;) Alluding to the disorder he was then so constantly afflicted with.
VER. 43. Rhymes ere be wakes,] A pleasant alldien to those words of Milton,
Distates to me llumb'ring, or inspires
« The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it, 45 “ I'm all fubmiffion, what you'd have it, make it."
Three things another's modest wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound.
Picholeon sends to me: " You know his Grace, « I want a Patron; ask him for a Place."
50 Pitholeon libelld me 66 but here's a letter 66-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 fues, 55 “ 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 commiffion ends, The Play’rs and I are, luckily, no friends. 60
Ver. 53. in the MS.
If you refuse, he goes, as fates incline,
To plague Sir Robert, or to turn Divine. Ver. 60, in the former Edd.
Cibber and I are luckily no friends.
Ver. 49. Pitholeon] The name taken from a foolish Poet of Rhodes, who pretended much to Greek. Schol. in Horat. 1. i. Dr. Bentley pretends, that this Pitholeon libelled Cæfar also. See notes on Hor. Sat. 10. 1. i.
Fir'd that the house reject him, “'Sdeath I'll print it, “ And shame the fools-Your int'reft, 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 ;
65 At last he whispers, “ Do; and we go fnacks.” Glad of a quarrel, ftrait I clap the door, Sir, let me see your works and you no more.
'Tis fung, when Midas' Ears began to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a King)
70 His very Minister who spy'd them first, (Some say his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst. And is not mine, my friend, a forer case, When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face? A. Good friend forbear! you deal in dang’rous things. I'd never name Queens, Ministers, or Kings; Keep close to Ears, and those let asses prick, 'Tis 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
VER. 72. Queen] The story is told, by fome, of his Barber, but by Chaucer of his Queen. See Wife of Bath's Tale in Dryden's Fables.
VER. 80. That secret to each fool, that he's an Ass :) i. c. that his ears (his marks of folly) are visible.
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie ?) The Queen of Midas flept, and to 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, 85 Thou unconcern’d canst hear the mighty crack: Pit, box, and gall’ry in convulsions hurld, Thou stand'ft unshook amidst a bursting world. Who Thames a Scribler ? break one cobweb thro', He spins the flight, self-pleasing thread anew :
90 Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain, The creature's at his dirty work again, Thron’d in the centre of his thin designs, Proud of a vast extent of Aimzy lines ! Whom have I hurt? has Poet yet, or Peer, 95 Loft the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnaffian sneer ? And has not Colly still his lord, and whore? His butchers Henley, his free-masons Moor? Does not one table Bavius still admit? Still to one Bishop Philips seem a wit?
Si fractus illabatur orbis,
P. Ver. 96. arch'd eye-brow,] The eye-brow is raised in the expression of insolent contempt.
Ver. 98. free-mafons Moor?] He was of this society, and frequently headed their procellions.