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The love of arts lies cold and dead
In Halifax's urn;
Has yet the grace to mourn.
My friends, by turns, my friends confound,
Betray, and are betray'd :
And B-115 is a jade.
Why make I friendships with the great,
When I no favour seek ?
I need but once a week.
Still idle, with a busy air,
Deep whimseys to contrive; The gayest valetudinaire,
Most thinking rake alive.
Solicitous for others' ends,
Though fond of dear repose; Careless or drowsy with my friends, And frolic with my
Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell
For sober, studious days! And Burlington's delicious meal,
For salads, tarts, and pease!
5 Eustace Budgell.
Adieu to all but Gay alone,
Whose soul, sincere and free,
And so may starve with me.
PROLOGUE, DESIGNED FOR MR. D’URFEY'S
Grown old in rhyme, 'twere barbarous to discard
He says, poor poets lost, while players won,
PROLOGUE TO THE “THREE HOURS AFTER
AUTHORS are judg’d by strange capricious rules : The great ones are thought mad, the small ones
fools : Yet sure the best are most severely fated ; For fools are only laugh'd at, wits are hated. Blockheads with reason men of sense abhor ; But fool 'gainst fool, is barbarous civil war. Why on all others then should critics fall ? Since some have writ, and shown no wit at all. Condemn a play of theirs, and they evade it ; Cry, “ Damn not us, but damn the French, who
made it." By running goods these graceless owlers gain; Theirs are the rules of France, the plots of Spain.
1 See Memoir prefixed to these volumes, p. Ixi.
But wit, like wine, from happier climates brought, Dash'd by these rogues, turns English common
draught. They pall Moliere's and Lopez' sprightly strain, And teach dull harlequins to grin in vain.
How shall our author hope a gentler fate, Who dares most impudently not translate ? It had been civil, in these ticklish times, To fetch his fools and knaves from foreign climes. Spaniards and French abuse to the world's end, But
spare old England, lest you hurt a friend. If
any fool is by our satire bit, Let him hiss loud, to show you all he's hit. Poets make characters, as salesmen clothes ; We take no measure of your fops and beaux; But here all sizes and all shapes you meet, And fit yourselves like chaps in Monmouth Street.
Gallants, look here! this fool's cap2 has an air,
for such as will, to wear.
2 Shows a cap with ears. 8 Flings down the cap, and exit.
METAMORPHOSES: AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE TRANSLATED
BY PERSONS OF QUALITY.2
Ye Lords and Commons, men of wit
And pleasure about town,
Of books of high renown.
Beware of Latin authors, all,
Nor think your verses sterling,
And scribble in a Berlin.
For not the desk with silver nails,
Nor bureau of expense,
To writing of good sense.
1 George Sandys, the old, and as yet unequalled, translator of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
2 A note prefixed to this poem in Roscoe's ed. of Pope's Works informs us that “ Sir Samuel Garth, who published the Metamorphoses of Ovid, translated by · Dryden, Addison, Garth, Mainwaring, Congreve, Rowe, Pope, Gay, Eusden, Croxal, and other eminent hands,' had himself no other share in the undertaking, than engaging the various translators in their task, and putting their labours into some order.” The fact is, Sir Samuel translated the whole of the 14th Book, and the story of Cippus in the 15th Book of the Metamorphoses.