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He gives the foes he slew, at each vain word,
A sweet revenge, and half absolves his sword.

Of boasting more than of a bomb afraid,
A soldier should be modest as a maid.
Fame is a bubble the reserved enjoy;
Who strive to grasp it, as they touch, destroy:
'Tis the world's debt to deeds of high degree,'
But if you pay yourself, the world is free.

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.

YOUNG,

TO MR. POPE,

CONCERNING THE AUTHORS OF THE AGE.

1730.

Whilst you at Twickenham plan the future wood,
Or turn the volumes of the wise and good,
Our senate meets ; at parties parties bawl,
And pamphlets stun the streets and load the stall :
So rushing tides bring things obscene to light,
Foul wrecks emerge, and dead dogs swim in sight;
The civil torrent foams, the tumult reigns,
And Codrus’ prose works up, and Lico's strains.
Lo! what from cellars rise, what rush from high,
Where Speculation roošted near the sky;

Applied to George the First.

*

Letters, essays, sock, buskin, satire, song,
And all the garret thunders on the throng !

O Pope! I burst; nor can, nor will refrain;
I'll write; let others, in their turn, complain.
Truce, truce, ye Vandals : my tormented ear
Less dreads a pillory than pamphleteer:
I've heard myself to death; and, plagued each hour,
Shan't I return the vengeance in my power?
For who can write the true absurd like me ?
Thy pardon, Codrus! who, I mean, but thee?

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;

VOL. V.

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Profoundly dull, or shallowly polite ;
Men that read well, or men that only write;
Whether peers, porters, tailors tune the reeds,
And measuring words to measuring shapes suc-

ceeds;
For bankrupts write when ruin'd shops are shut,
As maggots crawl from out a perish'd nut:
His hammer this, and that his trowel quits,
And, wanting sense for tradesmen, serve for wits.
By thriving men subsists each other trade;
Of every broken craft a writer's made:
Thus his material, paper, takes its birth
From tatter'd rags of all the stuff on earth.

Hail, fruitful Isle! to thee alone belong
Millions of wits, and brokers in old song;
Thee well a land of Liberty we name,
Where all are free to scandal and to shame;
Thy sons, by print, may set their hearts at ease,
And be mankind's contempt whene'er they please;
Like trodden filth, their vile and abject sense
Is unperceived but when it gives offence:
Their heavy prose our injured reason tires;
Their verse immoral kindles loose desires :
Our age they puzzle, and corrupt our prime,
Our sport and pity, punishment and crime.

What glorious motives urge our authors on
Thus to undo, and thus to be undone?
One loses his estate, and down he sits,
To show (in vain) he still retains his wits :
Another marries, and his dear proves keen;
He writes, as an hypnotic for the spleen:
Some write, confined by physic; some, by debt;
Some, for 'tis Sunday; some, because 'tis wet:
Through private pique some do the public right,
And love their king and country out of spite :

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Another writes because his father writ,
And proves himself a bastard by his wit.

Has Lico learning, humour, thought profound ?
Neither; wny write then? he wants twenty pound!
His belly, not his brains, this impulse give;
He'll grow immortal, for he cannot live :
He rubs his awful front, and takes his ream,
With no provision made, but of his theme:
Perbaps a title has his fancy smit,
Or a quaint motto, which he thinks has wit:
He writes, in inspiration puts his trust,
Though wrong his thoughts, the gods will make

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,
Or turn a soldier, or commence a wit.
Such heroes have we! all but life they stake;
How must Spain tremble, and the German shake!
Such writers have we! all but sense they print;
E'en George's praise is dated from the Mint.
In arms contemptible, in arts profane,
Such swords, such pens disgrace a monarch's reign.
Reform your lives before ye thus aspire,
And steal (for you can steal) celestial fire.

O the just contrast! O the beauteous strife! 'Twixt their cool writings and Pindaric life : They write with phlegm, but then they live with

fire;

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..

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