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* Parliamenteering is a sort of itch,
That will too oft unwary knights bewitch.
Two good estates fir Harry Clodpole spent;
Sate thrice, but spoke not once, in parliament;
Two good estates are gone-Who'll take his word?
Oh! Ahould his uncle die, he'd spend a third ;
He'd buy a house his happiness to crown,
Within a mile of some good borough-town;
Tag, rag, and bobtail to fir Harry's run,
Men that have votes, and women that have none;
Sons, daughters, grandsons, with his honour dine;
He keeps a publick-house without a fign.
Coblers and smiths extol th’ ensuing choice,
And drunken taylors boast their right of voice,
Dearly the free-born neighbourhood is bought,
They never leave him while he's worth a groat :
So leeches stick, nor quit the bleeding wound,
Till off they drop with skinfuls to the ground.
Ut mala quem fcabies aut morbus regius urguet,
dicam, Siculique Poëte
Nec femel hoc fecit, nec fa retraétus erit, jam
Fiet homo, & ponet famofæ mortis amorem.
Indoctum doctumque fugat recitator acerbus.
Quem vero arripuit, tenet, occiditque legendo,
Non misura cutem, nifi plena cruoris, hirudo.
Of Mr. Pope's on that Subject.
Hoe'er he be that to a Taste aspires,
Let him read this, and be what he desires.
In men and manners vers’d from life I write,
Not what was once, but what is now polite.
Those who of courtly France have made the tour,
Can scarce our English aukwardness endure.
But honeft men who never were abroad,
Like England only, and its Taste applaud.
Strife still fubfifts, which yields the better goût;
Books or the world, the many or the few.
True Taste to me is by this touchstone known,
That's always best that's nearest to my own.
To fhew that my pretensions are not vain,
My father was a play’r in Drury-lane.
Pears and pistachio-nuts my mother fold,
He a dramatick poet, she a scold.
His tragic Muse could countesses affright,
His wit in boxes was my lord's delight.
No mercenary prieft e'er join'd their hands,
Uncramp'd by wedlock's unpoetick bands.
Pindarick parents matter'd not,
So I was tragi-comically got.
My infant tears a fort of measure kept,
I squall'd in distichs, and in triplets wept.
No youth did I in education wafte,
Happy in an hereditary Tafte.
Writing ne'er cramp'd the finews of my thumb,
Nor barbarous birch e'er brush'd
My guts ne'er fuffer'd from a college cook,
My name ne'er enter'd in a buttery-book.
Grammar in vain the sons of Prifcian teach,
Good parts are better than eight parts of speech :
Since these declin'd, those undeclin’d they call,
I thank my stars, that I declin'd them all.
To Greek or Latin tongues without
I trust to mother wit and father fense.
Nature's my guide, all fciences I scorn,
Pains I abhor, I was a poet born.
Yet is my goût for criticism such,
I've got some French, and know a little Dutch.
Huge commentators grace my learned shelves,
Notes upon books out, do the books themselves.
Criticks indeed are valuable men,
But hyper-criticks are as good agen.
Tho' Blackmore's works my soul with raptures fill,
With notes by Bentley they'd be better ftill.
The Boghouse-Miscellany's well design'd.
To ease the body, and improve the mind.
Swift's whims and jokes for my resentment call,
For he displeases me that pleases all.
Verse without rhyme I never could endure,
Uncouth in numbers, and in sense obscure.
To him as nature, when he ceas'd to fee,
Milton's an universal blank to me.
Confirm'd and settled by the nation's voice,
Rhyme is the poet's pride, and people's choice.
Always upheld by national support,
Of market, university, and court :
Thomson, write blank; but know that for that reason,
These lines shall live when thine are out of season.
Rhyme binds and beautifies the poet's lays,
As London ladies owe their shape to stays.
Had Cibber's self the Careless Husband wrote,
He for the laurel ne'er had had my vote :
But for his epilogues and other plays,
He thoroughly deserves the modern bays.
It pleases me, that Pope unlaureli'd goes,
While Cibber wears the bays for play-house profe :
So Britain's monarch once uncover'd fate,
While Bradshaw bully'd in a broad-brimm'd hat.
Long live old Curl ! he ne'er to publish fears
The speeches, verses, and last will of peers.
How oft has he a publick spirit shewn,
And pleas'd our ears, regardless of his own ?
But to give merit due, though Curl's the fame,
Are not his brother book-sellers the same?
Can statutes keep the British press in awe,
While that sells beft, that's most against the law ?
Lives of dead play’rs my leisure hours beguile,
And Sessions-papers tragedize my ftile.
'Tis charming reading in Ophelia's life,
So oft a mother, and not once a wife :
She could with just propriety behave,
Alive with peers, with monarchs in her grave :
Her lot how oft have envious harlots wept,
By prebends bury'd, and by generals kept.
T’improve in morals Mandevil I read,
And Tyndal's scruples are my settled creed.
I travelld early, and I soon saw through
Religion all, ere I was twenty-two,
Shame, pain, or poverty shall I endure,
When ropes or opium can my ease procure ?
When money's gone, and I no debts can pay,
Self-murder is an honourable way.
As Pasaran directs I'd end my life,
And kill myself, my daughter, and my wife.
Burn but that Bible which the parson quotes,
And men of spirit all fall cut their throats.