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You honour me much' - The honour is mine.'. The servants amaz’d are scarce ever able • 'Twas a sad rainy night'— But the morning is To keep off their eyes, as they wait at the table; fine.'
[service.' And Molly and I have thrust in our nose Pray how does my lady?'- My wife 's at your To peep at the captain all in his fire co'es. • I think I have seen her picture by Jervas.' Dear madam, be sure he's a fine-spoken man, • Good morrow, good captain. I'll wait on you Do but hear on the clergy how glib his tongue ran; down.'
(clown :') And, madam,' says he, if such dinners you give, • You sha'n't stir a foot.'. - You 'll think me a You 'll ne'er want for parsons as long as you live. • For all the world, captain -'- Not half an inch I ne'er knew a parson without a good nose; farther.'
[Arthur! But the Devil's as welcome wherever he goes: • You must be obey'd! • Your servant, Sir G-d-n me! they bid us reform and repent, My humble respects to my lady unknown.' But, z—s! by their looks they never keep Lent. • I hope you will use my house as your own. Mister curate, for all your grave looks, I'm afraid
“Go bring me my smock, and leave off your prate, You cast a sheep's eye on her ladyship's maid : Thou hast certainly gotten a cup in thy pate. I wish she would lend you her pretty white hand
“ Pray, madam, be quiet; what was it I said ? In mending your cassoc, and smoothing your band. You had like to have put it quite out of my head. (For the Dean was so shabby, and look'd like a ninny, Next day, to be sure, the captain will come, That the captain suppos'd he was curate to Jinny.) At the head of his troops, with trumpet and drum. Whenever you see a cassoc and gown, Now, madam, observe how he marches in state: A hundred to one but it covers a clown. The man with the kettle-drum enters the gate : Observe how a parson comes into a room; Dub, dub, adub, dub. Thė trumpeters follow,
G-d-n me! he hobbles as bad as my groom; Tantara, tantara ; while all the boys hollow. A scholard, when just from his college breke loost, See now comes the captain all daub'a with gold lace : Can hardly tell how to cry bo to a goose; O la! the sweet gentleman ! look in his face; Your Noveds, and Bluturcks, and Omurst, and stuff, And see how he rides like a lord of the land, By G-, they don't signify this pinch of snuff. With the fine flaming sword that he holds in his hand; To give a young gentleman right education, And his horse, the dear creter, it prances and rears; The army's the only good school in the nation : With ribbons in knots at its tail and its ears : My school master call’d me a dunce and a fool, At last comes the troop by the word of command, But at cuffs I was always the cock of the school; Drawn up in our court; when the captain cries, I never could take to my book for the blood o' me, STAND!
And the puppy confess'd he expected no good o' me. Your ladyship lifts up the sash to be seen
He caught me one morning coquetting his wife; (For sure I had dicen'd you out like'a queen). But he maul'd me, I ne'er was so maul'd in my life: The captain, to show he is proud of the favour, So I took to the road, and what 's very odd, Looks up to your window, and cocks up his beaver. The first man I robb'd was a parson, by G(His beaver is cock'd; pray, madam, mark that, Now, madam, you 'll think it a strange thing to say, For a captain of horse never takes off his hat, But the sight of a book makes me sick to this day.' Because he has never a hand that is idle ;
“ Never since I was born did I hear so much wit, For the right holds the sword, and the left holds the And, madam, I laugh'd till I thought I should split bridle :)
So then you look'd scornful, and snift at the Dean, Then flourishes thrice his sword in the air,
As who should say, Now, am I skinny and lear? | As a compliment due to a lady so fair ;
But he durst not so much as once open his lips, (How I tremble to think of the blood it hatb spilt ;) And the doctor was plaguily down in the hips Then he lowers down the point, and kisses the hilt. Thus merciless Hannah ran on in her talk, Your ladyship smiles, and thus you begin :
Till she heard the Dean call, “ Will your ladyship • Pray, captain, be pleas’d to alight and walk in.'
walk?" The captain salutes you with congee profound, Her ladyship answers, “ I'm just coming down :" And your ladyship curtsies half way to the ground. Then, turning to Hannah, and forcing a frown, * Kit, run to your master, and bid him come to us; Although it was plain in her heart she was glad, I'm sure he 'll be proud of the honour you do us. Cry'd, “ Hussy, why sure the wench is gone mad! And, captain, you 'll do us the favour to stay, How could these chimeras get into your brains ? And take a short dinner here with us to-day : Come hither, and take this old gown for your pains You 're heartily welcome ; but as for good cheer, But the Dean, if this secret should come to his ears, You come in the very worst time of the year : Will never have done with his gibes and his jeers : If I had expected so worthy a guest
For your life, not a word of the matter, I charge ye: • Lord ! madam! your ladyship sure is in jest : Give me but a barrack, a fig for the clergy." You banter me, madam ; the kingdom must grant"You officers, captain, are so complaisant !" “Hist, hussy, I think I hear somebody coming—"
ON POETRY: A RHAPSODY. 1798. “ No, madam; 'tis only Sir Arthur a-humming. To shorten my tale (for I hate a long story), The captain at dinner appears in his glory;
All human race would fain be wits,
And millions miss for one that hits.
Young's universal passion, pride,
Was never known to spread so wide.
Say, Britain, could you ever boast, The parsons for envy are ready to burst.
Three poets in an age at most ?
+ Ovids, Plutarchs, Homers. * Dr. Jinny, a clergyman in the neighbourhood. F.
Nick-names for my lady.
Our chilling climate hardly bears
Consult yourself; and if you find A sprig of bays in fifty years ;
A powerful impulse urge your mind, While every fool his claim alleges,
Impartial judge within your breast As if it grew in common hedges.
What subject you can manage best; What reason can there be assign'd
Whether your genius most inclines For this perverseness in the mind ?
To satire, praise, or humorous lines, Brutes find out where their talents lie :
To elegies in mournful tone, A bear will not attempt to fly ;
Or prologue sent from hand unknown. A founder'd horse will oft debate,
Then, rising with Aurora's light, Before he tries a five-barr'd gate;
The Muse invok’d, sit down to write; A dug by instinct turns aside,
Blot out, correct, insert, refine, Who sees the ditch too deep and wide.
Enlarge, diminish, interline; But man we find the only creature
Be mindful, when invention fails, Who, led by folly, combats nature;
To scratch your head, and bite your nails. Who, when she loudly cries, forbear,
Your poem finish’d, next your care With obstinacy fixes there;
Is needful to transcribe it fair. And, where his genius least inclines,
In modern wit, all printed trash is Absurdly bends his whole designs.
Set off with numerous breaks and dashes. Not empire to the rising Sun
To statesmen would you give a wipe, By valour, conduct, fortune won;
You print it in italic type. Not highest wisdom in debates
When letters are in vulgar shapes, For framing laws to govern states;
'Tis ten to one the wit escapes : Not skill in sciences profound,
But, when in capitals exprest, So large to grasp the circle round;
The dullest reader smokes the jest : Such heavenly influence require,
Or else perhaps he may invent As how to strike the Muse's lyre.
A better than the poet meant; Not beggar's brat on bulk begot;
As learned commentators view Not bastard of a pedlar Scot ;
In Homer more than Homer knew, Not boy brought up to cleaning shoes,
Your poem in its modish dress, The spawn of Bridewell or the stews;
Correctly fitted for the press, Not infants dropt, the spurious pledges
Convey by penny-post to Lintot, Of gypsies littering under hedges ;
But let no friend alive look into 't. Are so disqualified by fate
If Lintot thinks 'twill quit the cost, To rise in church, or law, or state,
You need not fear your labour lost : As he whom Phæbus in his ire
And how agreeably surpris'd Hath blasted with poetic fire.
Are you to see it advertis'd! What hope of custom in the fair,
The hawker shows you one in print, While not a soul demands your ware ?
As fresh as farthings from the mint : Where you have nothing to produce
The product of your toil and sweating ; For private life, or public use?
A bastard of your own begetting. Court, city, country, want you not ;
Be sure at Will's, the following day, You cannot bribe, betray, or plot.
Lie snug, and hear what critics say ; For poets, law makes no provision;
And, if you find the general vogue The wealthy have you in derision:
Pronounces you a stupid rogue, Of state affairs you cannot smatter ;
Damns all your thoughts as low and little, Are awkward when you try to flatter :
Sit still, and swallow down your spittle. Your portion, taking Britain round,
Be silent as a politician, Was just one annual hundred pound;
For talking may teget suspicion : Now not so much as in remainder,
Or praise the judgment of the town, Since Cibber brought in an attainder ;
And help yourself to run it down. For ever fix'd by right divine
Give up your fond paternal pride, (A monarch's right) on Grub-street line.
Nor argue on the weaker side : Poor starveling bard, how small thy gains ! For poems read without a name How unproportion’d to thy pains !
We justly praise, or justly blame; And here a simile comes pat in:
And critics have no partial views, Though chickens take a month to fatten,
Except they know whom they abuse : The guests in less than half an hour
And, since you ne'er provoke their spite, Will more than half a score devour.
Depend upon 't their judgment 's right. So, after toiling twenty days
But if you blab, you are undone : To earn a stock of pence and praise,
Consider what a risk you run: Thy labours, grown the critic's prey,
You lose your credit all at once ; Are swallow'd o'er a dish of tea;
The town will mark you for a dunce ; Gone to be never heard of more,
The vilest doggrel Grub-street sends, Gone where the chickens went before.
Will pass for yours with foes and friends; How shall a new attempter learn
And you must bear the whole disgrace, Of different spirits to discern,
Till some fresh blockhead takes your place. And how distinguish which is which,
Your secret kept, your poem sunk, The poet's vein, or scribbling itch?
And sent in quires to line a trunk, Then hear an old experienc'd sinner
If still you be dispos'd to rhyme, Instructing thus a young beginner.
Go try your hand a second time,
Again you fail : yet Safe's the word;
But, though you miss your third essay,
A prince, the moment he is crown'd, Inherits every virtue round, As emblems of the sovereign power, Like other baubles in the Tower ; Is generous, valiant, just, and wise, And so continues till he dies : His humble senate this professes, In all their speeches, votes, addresses. But once you fix him in a tomb, His virtues fade, his vices bloom; And each perfection wrong imputed, Is fully at his death confuted. The loads of poems in his praise, Ascending, make one funeral blaze : As soon as you can hear his knell, This god on Earth turns devil in Hell: And lo! his ministers of state, Transform'd to imps, his levee wait; Where, in the scenes of endless woe, They ply their former arts below; And, as they sail in Charon's boat, Contrive to bribe the judge's vote; To Cerberus they give a sop, His triple-barking mouth to stop ; Or in the ivory gate of dreams Project excise and South-sea schemes;
Or hire the party pamphleteers
Then, poet, if you mean to thrive,
But, if you think this trade too base,
A forward critic often dupes us
At Will's you hear a poem read,
His indisputed rights extend
O Grub-street ! how do I bemoan thee, Through all the lane, from end to end ;
Whose graceless children scorn to own thee! The neighbours round admire his shrewdness Their filial piety forgot, For songs of loyalty and lewdness ;
Deny their country, like a Scot; Outdone by none in rhyming well,
Though, by their idiom and grimace,
They soon betray their native place.
Yet thou hast greater cause to be
Asham'd of them, than they of thee, And this for epics claims the bays,
Degenerate from their ancient brood, And that for elegiac lays:
Since first the court allow'd them food. Some fam'd for numbers soft and smooth,
Remains a difficulty still, By lovers spoke in Punch's booth ;
To purchase fame by writing ill. And some as justly fame extols
From Flecknoe down to Howard's time, For lofty lines in Smithfield drolls.
How few have reach'd the low sublime ! Bavius in Wapping gains renown,
For when our high-born Howard dy'd, And Mævius reigns o'er Kentish-town:
Blackmore alone his place supply'd : Tigellius, plac'd in Phæbus' car,
And, lest a chasm should intervene, From Ludgate shines to Temple-bar;
When Death had finish'd Blackmore's reign, Harmonious Cibber entertains
The leaden crown devolv'd to thee, The court with annual birth-day strains;
Great poet of the hollow tree. Whence Gay was banish'd in disgrace;
But ah! how unsecure thy throne! Where Pope will never show his face;
A thousand bards thy right disown: Where Young must torture his invention
They plot to turn, in factious zeal, To flatter kruves, or lose his pension.
Duncenia to a common weal; But these are not a thousandth part
And with rebellious arms pretend Of jobbers in the poet's art,
An equal privilege to descend. Attending each his proper station,
In bulk there are not more degrees And all in due subordination,
From elephants to mites in cheese, Through every alley to be found,
Than what a curious eye may trace In garrets high, or under ground;
In creatures of the rhyming race. And when they join their pericranies,
From bad to worse, and worse, they fall ; Dut skips a book of miscellanies.
But who can reach the worst of all ? Hobbes clearly proves that every creature
For though, in nature, depth and height Lives in a state of war by nature.
Are equally held infinite ; The greater for the smallest watch,
In poetry, the height we know ; But meddle seldom with their match.
'Tis only infinite below. A whale of moderate size will draw
For instance : when you rashly think, A shoal of herrings down his maw ;
No rhymer can like Welsted sink, A fox with geese his belly crams;
His merits balanc'd, you shall find A wolf destroys a thousand lambs :
The laureat leaves him far behind. But search among the rhyming race,
Concannen, more aspiring bard, The brave are worry'd by the base.
Soars downwards deeper by a yard. If on Parnassus' top you sit,
Smart Jemmy Moor with vigour drops: You rarely bite, are always bit.
The rest pursue as thick as hops. Each poet of inferior síze
With heads to points the gulph they enter, On you shall rail and criticise,
Link'd perpendicular to the centre; And strive to tear you limb from limb;
And, as their heels elated rise, While others do as much for him.
Their heads attempt the nether skies The vermin only tease and pinch
Oh, what indignity and share, Their foes superior by an inch.
To prostitute the Muse's name ! So, naturalists observe, a flea
By flattering kings, whom Heaven design'd Hath smaller fleas that on him prey;
The plagues and scourges of mankind; And these have smaller still to bite 'em,
Bred up in ignorance and sloth, And so proceed ad infinitum.
And every vice that nurses both. Thus every poet in his kind
Fair Britain, in thy monarch blest, Is bit by him that comes behind :
Whose virtues bear the strictest test; Who, though too little to be seen,
Whom never faction could bespatter, Can tease, and gall, and give the spleen;
Nor minister nor poet flatter ; Call dunces fools and sons of whores,
What justice in rewarding merit ! Lay Grub-street at each other's doors ;
What magnanimity of spirit! Extol the Greek and Roman masters,
What lineaments divine we trace And curse our modern poetasters;
Through all his figure, mien, and face! Complain, as many an ancient bard did,
Though peace with olive bind his hands, How genius is no more rewarded;
Confess'd the conquering hero stands. How wrong a taste prevails among us;
Hydaspes, Indus, and the Ganges, How much our ancestors outsung us ;
Dread from his hand impending changes. Can personate an awkward scorn
From him the Tartar and Chinese, For those who are not poets born;
Short by the knees, entreat for peace. And all their brother-dunces lash,
The consort of his throne and bed, Who crowd the press with hourly trash.
A perfect goddess born and bred,
Candrut observers may fòrtell the hour
Appointed sovereign judge to sit
A DESCRIPTION OF A CITY-SHOWER, Our eldest hope, divine lülus, (Late, very late, oh may he rule us !)
IN IMITATION OF VIRGIL's GEORGICS. 1710. What early manhood has he shown, Before his downy beard was grown! Then think, what wonders will be done, (By sure prognostics) when to dread a shower. By going on as he begun,
While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er An heir for Britain to secure
Her frolics, and pursues her tail nò more. As long as Sun and Moon endure.
Returning home at night, you 'll find the sink The remnant of the royal blood
Strike your offended sense with double stink. Comes pouring on me like a flood :
If you be wise, then go not far to dine ; Bright goddesses, in number five;
You ’ll spend in coach-hire more than save in wine. Duke William, sweetest prince alive,
A coming shower your shooting corns presage, Now sing the minister of state,
Old aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage Who shines alone without a mate.
Sauntering in coffee-house is Dulman seen; Observe with what majestic port
He damns the climate, and complains of spleet. This Atlas stands to prop the court :
Meanwhile the south, rising with dabbled wings, Intent the public debts to pay,
A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings, Like prudent Fabius, by delay.
That swill'd inore liquor than it could contain, Thou great vicegerent of the king,
And, like a drunkard, gives it up again. Thy praises every Muse shall sing !
Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope, In all affairs thou sole director,
While the first drizzling shower is borne aslope : Of wit and learning chief protector ;
Such is that sprinkling which some careless quean Though small the time thou hast to spare, Flirts on you from her mop, but not so clean : The church is thy peculiar care.
You fly, invoke the gods ; then, turning, stop Of pious prelates what a stock
To rail ; she, singing, still whirls on her mop. You choose, to rule the sable flock !
Not yet the dust had shunn'd th' unequal strife, You raise the honour of the peerage,
But aided by the wind, fought still for life; Proud to attend you at the steerage.
And, wafted with its foe by violent gust, You dignify the noble race,
'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was dust. Content yourself with humbler place.
Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid, Now, learning, valour, virtue, sense,
When dust and rain at once his coat invade? To titles give the sole pretence.
Sole coat! where dust cemented by the rain St. George beheld thee with delight
Erects the nap, and leaves a cloudy stain ! Vouchsafe to be an azure knight,
Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down, When on thy breasts and sides Herculean Threatening with deluge this devoted town. He fix'd the star and string cerulean.
To shops in crowds the daggled females fly, Say, poet, in what other nation
Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy. Shone ever such a constellation !
The templar spruce, while every spout 's abroacting Attend, ye Popes, and Youngs, and Gays, Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a coach. And tune your harps, and strow your bays. The tuck’d-up sempstress walks with hasty strides, Your panegyrics here provide ;
While streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides You cannot err on flattery's side.
Here various kinds, by various fortunes led, Above the stars exalt your style,
Commence acquaintance underneath a shed. You still are low ten thousand mile.
Triumphant Tories and desponding Whigs On Lewis, all his bards bestow'd
Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs Of incense many a thousand load;
Box'd in a chair, the beau impatient sits, But Europe mortify'd his pride,
While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits, And swore the fawning rascals ly’d.
And ever and anon with frightful din Yet wbat the world refus'd to Lewis,
The leacher sounds; he trembles from within. Apply'd to George, exactly true is.
So when Troy chairmen bore the wooden steeds Exactly true! invidious poet !
Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed, 'Tis fifty thousand times below it.
(Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do, Translate me now some lines, if you can, Instead of paying chairmen, ran them through,) From Virgil, Martial, Ovid, Lucan.
Laocoon struck the outside with his spear, They could all power in Heaven divide, And each imprison'd hero quak'd for fear. And do no wrong on either side ;
Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow, They teach you how to split a hair,
And bear their trophies with them as they go : Give George and Jove an equal share.
Filths of all hues and odours seem to tell Yet why should we be lac'd so straight? What street they sail'd from by their sight and sme!!. I'll give my monarch butter-weight.
They, as each torrent drives, with rapid force, And reason good; for many a year
From Smithfield or St. 'Pulchre's shape their cours, Jove never intermeddled here:
And in huge confluence join'd at Snowhill ridge, Nor, though his priests be duly paid,
Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn bridge. Did ever we desire his aid :
Sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, an We now can better do without him,
(mu'. Since Woolston gave us arms to rout bin Drown'd puppies, stinking sprats, all drench'd is Cætera desiderantur.
Dead cats, and turnip-tops, come tumbling dow"