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My offers of peace you ill understood :
Friend Sheridan, when will you know your own good?
'Twas to teach you in modester language your duty ;
For, were you a dog, I could not be rude t'ye:
As a good quiet soul, who no mischief intends
To a quarrelsome fellow, cries, Let us be friends.
But we like Antæus and Hercules fight,
The oftener you fall, the oftener you write ;
And I 'll use you as he did that overgrown clown,
I'll first take you up, and then take you down :
And, 'tis your own case, for you never can wound
The worst dunce in your school, till he 's heav'd from
the ground. I beg your pardon for using my left-hand, but I was in great haste, and the other hand was employed at the same time in writing some letters of business. - I will
the rest when I have leisure: but pray come to dinner with the company you met here last.
A MOTTO for Mr. JASON HASARD,
WOOLLEN-DRAPER in DUBLIN;
Whose Sign was the GOLDEN-Fleece.
ASON, the valiant prince of Greece,
From Colchos brought the Golden Fleece:
We comb the wool, refine the stuff,
For modern Jason, that 's enough.
Oh! could we tame yon watchful* Dragon,
Old Jason would have less to brag on.
TO DR. SHERIDAN. 1718.
WHAT E'E R your predecessors taught us,
I have a great esteem for Plautus ;
And think your boys may gather there-hence
More wit and humour than from Terence.
But as to comic Aristophanes,
The rogue too vicious and too prophane is.
I went in vain to look for Eupolis
Down in the Strand *, just where the New Pole is;
For I can tell you one thing, that I can
(You will not find it in the Vatican).
He and Cratinus us’d, as Horace says,
To take his greatest grandees for alles.
Poets, in those days, us’d to venture high;
But these are lost full many a century.
Thus you may fee, dear friend, ex pede hence,
My judgement of the old Comedians.
Proceed to Tragicks : first, Euripides
(An author where I sometiines dip a-cays)
Is rightly censur'd by the Stagirite,
Who says, his numbers do not fadge aright.
A friend of mine that author despises
So much, he swears the very best piece is,
For aught he knows, as bad as Thefpis's ;
And that a woman, in these tragedies,
Commonly speaking, but a fad jade is. -
* The fact may be true; but the rhyme coit me some trouble. SWIFI.
At least, I 'm well assur'd, that no folk lays
The weight on him they do on Sophocles.
But, above all, I prefer Æschylus,
Whose moving touches, when they please, kill us.
And now I find my Muse but ill able,
To hold out longer in Trissyllable.
I chose those rhymes out for their difficulty ;
Will you return as hard ones if I call t’ye ?
STELLA this day is thirty-four,
MARCH 13, 1718-19.
(We sha’n’t dispute a year or more) :
However, Stella, be not troubled,
Although thy size and years are doubled,
Since first I saw thee at fixteen,
The brightest virgin on the green:
So little is thy form declin'd ;
up so largely in thy mind.
Oh, would it please the gods to split
Thy beauty, size, and years, and wit !
could furnish out a pair
Of nymphs so graceful, wise, and fair ;
With half the lustre of your eyes,
With half your wit, your years, and size,
And then, before it grew too late,
How should I beg of gentle Fate
(That either nymph might have her swain)
To split iny worship too in twain !
DR. SHERIDAN TO DR. SWIFT. 1719. DEA
EAR Dean, fince in cruxes and puns you and I deal,
Pray why is a woman a fieve and a riddle ?
'Tis a thought that came into my noddle this morning,
In bed as I lay, Sir, a-toffing and turning.
You 'll find, if you read but a few of your histories,
All women as Eve, all women are mysteries.
To find out this riddle I know you 'll be eager,
And make every one of the sex a Belphegor.
But that will not do, for I mean to commend them:
I swear without jest I an honour intend them.
In a fieve, Sir, their antient extraction I quite tell,
In a riddle I give you their power and their title.
This I told you before: do you know what I mean, Sır?
“ Not I, by my troth, Sir.” Then read it again, Sir.
The reason I send you these lines of rhymes double
Is purely through pity, to save you the trouble
Of thinking two hours for a rhyme as you did last;
When your Pegasus canter'd it triple, and rid fast.
As for my little nag, which I keep at Parnassus,
With Phoebus's leave, to run with his affus,
Now and sure, and he never is jaded,
While your fiery steed is whipp’d, fpurr’d, bastinaded.
THE DEAN'S ANSWER. N reading your letter alone in my hackney,
Your damnable riddle my poor brains did rack nigh. And when with much labour the matter I crackt, I found you mistaken in matter of fact.
A woman 's no fieve (for with that you begin),
Because she lets out inore than e'er she takes in.
And that she's a riddle, can never be right,
For a riddle is dark, but a woman is light.
But, grant her a fieve, I can íay something archer:
Pray what is a man? he's a fine linen learcber.
Now tell me a thing that wants interpretation,
What name for maid, was the first man's damnation?
If your worship will please to explain me this rebus,
I swear from henceforward you shall be my Phæbus.
From my hackney-coach, Sept. 11,
1719, past 12 at noon.
STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY, 1720.
LL travelers at first incline
Where-e'er they see the faireft fign;
And, if they find the chambers neat,
And like the liquor and the meat,
Will call again, and recommend
The Angel-inn to every friend.
What though the painting grows decay'd,
The house will never lose its trade :
Nay, though the treacherous tapster Thomas
Hangs a new Angel two doors from us,
As fine as daubers' hands can make it,
In hopes that strangers may mistake it,