« ПредишнаНапред »
In Dialogue betwixt the Poer and his FRIEND
OW anxious are our cares, and yet how vain
The bent of our desires !
Friend. Thy spleen contain:
For none will read thy fatires.
Perhus. This to me? Friend. None; or what's next to none, but two or three. 'Tis hard, I grant.
Perfius. 'Tis nothing; I can bear Thạt paltry scribblers have the public ear: That this vaft universal fool, the town, Should cry up Labeo's stuff, and cry me down. They damn themselves; nor will my Muse descend To clap with such, who fools and knaves commend : Their smiles and censures are to me the same : I care not what they praise, or what they blame. In full assemblies let the crow prevail : I weigh no merit by the common scale. The conscience is the test of
cvery *5 Seek not thyself, without thyself, to find,"
But where's that Roman? Somewhat I would say,
But fear; - let fear, for once, to truth give way,
Truth lends the Stoick courage : when I look
On human acts, and read in Nature's book,
From the first pastimes of our infant-age,
To elder cares, and man's feverer page ;
When stern as tutors, and as uncles hard,
We lash the pupil, and defraud the ward :
Then, then I say, - or would say, if I durft-
But thus provok'd, I must speak out, or burt.
Friend. Once inore forbear.
Perfius. I cannot rule my spleen;
My scorn rebels, and tickles me within.
First, to begin at home: our authors write
In lonely rooms, secur’d from public fight;
Whether in prose, or verse, 'tis all the fame:
The profe is fustian, and the numbers lame.
All noise, and empty pomp, a storm of words,
Labouring with found, that little sense affords.
They comb, and then they order every hair:
A gowo, or whate, or scour'd to whiteness, wear:
A birth-day jewel bobbing at their ear.
Nexi, gargle well their throats, and thus prepar'd,
They mount, a God's name, to be seen and heard.
From their high scaffold, with a trumpet cheek,
And ogling all their audience ere they speak.
The nauseous nobles, ev'n the chief of Rome,
With gaping mouths to these rehearsals come,
And pant with pleasure, when some lusty line
Ilze marrow pierces, and invades the chine.
At open fulsome bawdry they rejoice,
And Dimy jest applaud with broken voice,
Base prostitute, thus dost thou gain thy bread?
Thus dost thou feed their ears, and thus art fed ?
At his own filthy stuff he grins and brays :
And gives the sign where he expects their praise.
Why have I learn’d, say'st thou, if, thus confin'd,
I choke the noble vigour of my mind?
Know, my wild fis-tree, which in rocks is bred,
Will split the quarry, and shoot out the head.
Fine fruits of learning! old ambitious fool,
Dar'it thou apply that adage of the school :
As if 'tis nothing worth that lies conceal’d,
And “ science is not science till reveald ?”
Oh, but 'tis brave to be adınir'd, to see
The crowd, with pointing fingers, cry, That's he:
'That's he whole wondrous poem is become
A lecture for the noble youth of Rome!
Who, by their fathers, is at feasts renown'd ;
And often quoted when the bowls go round.
Full gorg’d and Auth'd, they wantonly rehearse;
And add to wine the luxury of verse.
One, clad in purple, not to lose his time,
Eats, and recites foine lamentable rhyme :
Some fenseless Phillis, in a broken note,
Snuffling at nose, and croaking in his throat :
Then graciously the mellow audience nod:
Is not th' immortal author made a God ?
Are not bis manes blest, such praise to have ?
Lies not the turf more lightly on his grave?
And roses (while his loud applause they sing)
Stand ready from his fepulchre to spring ?
All these, you cry, but light objections are;
Meer malice, and you drive the jest too far.
For does there breathe a man, who can reject
A general fame, and his own lines neglect ?
In cedar tablets worthy to appear,
That need not fish, or frankincense, to fear?
Thou, whom I make the adverse part, to bear,
Be answer'd thus: If I by chance succeed
In what I write, (and that's a chance indeed)
Know, I am not so stupid, or so hard,
Not to feel praise, or fame's deserv'd reward :
But this I cannot grant, that thy applause
work's ultimate, or only cause.
Prudence can ne'er propose so mean a prize ;
For mark what vanity within it lies.
Like Labeo's Iliads, in whole verse is found
Nothing but trifling care, and empty found :
Such little elegies as nobles write,
Who would be poets, in Apollo's spight.
Them and their woeful works the Muse defies :
Products of citron-beds, and golden canopies.
To give thee all thy due, thou hast the heart
To make a fupper, with a fine dessert;
And to thy thread-bare friend, a cast old suit impart.
Thus brib'd, thou thus bespeak'st him, Tell me
frierxl, (For I love truth, nor can plain speech offend,)
What says the world of me and of my Muse ?
dare nothing tell but flattering news :
But shall I speak? Thy verse is wretched rhyme;
And all thy labours are but loss of time.
Thy strutting belly swells, thy paunch is high;
Thou writ'st not, but thou pisseft poetry.
All authors to their own defects are blind;
Hadft thau but, Janus like, a face behind,
To see the people, what fplay-mouths they make;
To mark their fingers, pointed at thy back :
Their tongues lollid out, a foot beyond the pitch,
When most a-thirst of an Apulian bitch :
But noble scribblers are with flattery fed ;
For none dare find their faults, who eat their bread.
To pass the poets of patrician blood,
What is ’t the common reader takes for good ?
The verse in fashion is, when numbers flow,
Soft without sense, and without fpirit flow :
So smooth and equal, that no sight can find
The rivet, where the polish'd piece was join'd.
So even all, with such a steady view,
As if he shut one eye to level true.
Whether the vulgar vice his fatire ftings,
The people's riots, or the rage of kings,
The gentle poet is alike in all ;
His reader hopes to rise, and fears no fall.
Friend. Hourly we fee, some raw pin-ieather'd thing Attempt to mount, and fights and heroes fing; Who, for false quantities, was whipt at school 7tt' other day, and breaking grammar-rule,