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He gives the foes he slew, at each vain word,
Of boasting more than of a bomb afraid,
Were there no tongue to speak them but his own, Augustus'* deeds in arms had ne'er been known; Augustus' deeds ? if that ambiguous name Confounds my reader, and misguides his aim, Such is the prince's worth of whom I speak, The Roman would not blush at the mistake.
TO MR. POPE,
CONCERNING THE AUTHORS OF THE AGE.
Whilst you at Twickenham plan the future wood,
Applied to George the First.
Letters, essays, sock, buskin, satire, song,
O Pope! I burst; nor can, nor will refrain;
Pope! if like mine or Codrus' were thy style, The blood of vipers had not stain'd thy file ; Merit less solid less despite had bred; They had not bit, and then they had not bled. Fame is a public mistress none enjoys, But, more or less, his rival's peace destroys: With fame, in just proportion, envy grows ; The man that makes a character makes foes. Slight peevish insects round a genius rise, As a bright day awakes the world of flies; With hearty malice, but with feeble wing, (To show they live) they flutter, and they sting; But as by depredations wasps proclaim The fairest fruit, so these the fairest fame.
Shall we not censure all the motley train, Whether with ale irriguous or champagne ? Whether they tread the vale of prose, or climb, And whet their appetites on cliffs of rhyme ; The college sloven, or embroider'd spark; The purple prelate, or the parish clerk; The quiet quidnunc, or demanding prig ; The plaintiff Tory, or defendant Whig ; Rich, poor, male, female, young, old, gay, or sad; Whether extremely witty, or quite mad;
Profoundly dull, or shallowly polite ;
Hail, fruitful Isle! to thee alone belong
What glorious motives urge our authors on
Another writes because his father writ,
Has Lico learning, humour, thought profound ?
them just: Genius directly from the gods descends, And who by labour would distrust his friends ? Thus having reason’d with consummate skill, In immortality he dips his quill; And, since blank paper is denied the press, He mingles the whole alphabet by guess ; In various sets, which various words compose, Of which he hopes mankind the meaning knows.
So sounds spontaneous from the sibyl broke, Dark to herself the wonders which she spoke; The priests found out the meaning if they could, And nations stared at what none understood.
Clodio dress'd, danced, drank, visited, (the whole And great concern of an immortal soul!) Oft have I said, “Awake! exist! and strive For birth! nor think to loiter is to live!' As oft I overheard the demon say, Who daily met the loiterer in his way, [replies, "I'll meet thee, youth! at White's. The youth
I'll meet thee there;' and falls his sacrifice : His fortune squander'd, leaves his virtue bạre To every bribe, and blind to every snare.
Clodio for bread his indolence must quit,
O the just contrast! O the beauteous strife! 'Twixt their cool writings and Pindaric life : They write with phlegm, but then they live with
They cheat the lender, and their works the buyer.,
I reverence misfortune, not deride; I pity poverty, but laugh at pride: For who so sad but must some mirth confess At gay Castruchio's miscellaneous dress? Though there's but one of the dull works he wrote, There's ten editions of his old laced coat.
These, Nature's commoners, who want a home, Claim the wide world for their majestic dome; They make a private study of the street, And, looking full on every man they meet, Run souse against his chaps, who stands amazed To find they did not see, but only gazed. How must these bards be rapt into the skies ! You need not read, you feel their ecstasies.
Will they persist? 'tis madness. Lintot, run, See them confined. O, that's already done.' Most, as by leases, by the works they print, Have took, for life, possession of the Mint. If you mistake, and pity these poor men ; • Est ulubris, they cry, and write again..