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Such wits their nuisance manfully expose,
And then pronounce just judges learning's foes.
O frail conclusion! the reverse is true;
If foes to learning, they'd be friends to you:
Treat them, ye judges! with an honest scorn:
And weed the cockle from the generous corn :
There's true good nature in your disrespect;
In justice to the good, the bad neglect:
For immortality if hardships plead,
It is not theirs who write, but ours who réad.

But, O! what wisdom can convince a fool
But that 'tis dulness to conceive him dull?
'Tis sad experience takes the censor's part,
Conviction not from reason, but from smart.

A virgin author, recent from the press,
The sheets yet wet, applauds his great success;
Surveys them,reads them, takes their charms to bed,
Those in his hand, and glory in his head ;
'Tis joy too great; a fever of delight!
His heart beats thick, nor close his eyes all night;
But rising the next morn to clasp his fame,
He finds that without sleeping he could dream.
So sparks, they say, take goddesses to bed,
And find next day the devil in their stead.

In vain advertisements the town o'erspread; They're epitaphs, and say the work is dead.” Who press for fame, but small recruits will raise ; 'Tis volunteers alone can give the bays.

A famous author visits a great man, Of his immortal work displays the plan, And says, “Sir, I'm your friend; all fear dismiss; Your glory and my own shall live by this; Your power is fix’d, your fame through time

convey'd, And Britain Europe's queen—if I am paid.?

A statesman has his answer in a trice;

Sir, such a genius is beyond all price ; What man can pay for this ?'—Away he turns, His work is folded, and his bosom burns : His patron he will patronize no more, But rushes like a tempest out of door. Lost is the patriot, and extinct his name! Out comes the piece, another, and the same; For A, his magic pen evokes an 0, And turns the tide of Europe on the foe: He rams his quill with scandal and with scoff, But 'tis so very foul it won't go off : Dreadful his thunders, while unprinted, roar, But when once publish'd, they are heard no more: Thus distant bugbears fright; but nearer draw, The block's a block, and turns to mirth your awe. Can those oblige whose heads and hearts are

No: every party's tainted by their touch.
Infected persons fly each public place,
And none, or enemies alone, embrace:
To the foul fiend their every passion's sold;
They love and hate, extempore, for gold.
What image of their fury can we form?
Dulness and rage, a puddle in a storm.
Rest they in peace? If you are pleased to buy,
To swell your sails, like Lapland winds they fly.
Write they with rage? the tempest quickly flags;
A state Ulysses tames them with his bags :
Let him be what he will, Turk, Pagan, Jew,
For Christian ministers of state are few.

Behind the curtain lurks the fountainhead,
That pours his politics through pipes of lead,
Which far and near ejaculate and spout,
O'er tea and coffee, poison to the rout;

But when they have bespatter'd all they may,
The statesman throws his filthy squirts away!

With golden forceps these another takes,
And state elixirs of the vipers makes.

The richest statesman wants wherewith to pay A servile sycophant, if well they weigh How much it costs the wretch to be so base ; Nor can the greatest powers enough disgrace, Enough chastise, such prostitute applause, If well they weigh how much it stains their cause.

But are our writers ever in the wrong? Does virtue ne'er seduce the venal tongue? Yes; if well bribed, for Virtue's self they fight; Still in the wrong, though champions for the right: Whoe'er their crimes for interest only quit, Sin on in virtue, and good deeds commit.

Nought but inconstancy Britannia meets, And broken faith in their abandon'd sheets. From the same hand how various is the page! What civil war their brother pamphlets wage! Tracts battle tracts, self-contradictions glare ; Say, is this lunacy?-I wish it were. If such our writers, startled at the sight, Felons may bless their stars they cannot write!

How justly Proteus' transmigrations fit The monstrous changes of a modern wit! Now such a gentle stream of eloquence, As seldom rises to the verge of sense; Now, by mad rage, transform’d into a flame, Which yet fit engines, well applied, can tame; Now, on immodest trash, the swine obscene Invites the Town to sup at Drury Lane; A dreadful lion, now be roars at power, Which sends him to his brothers at the Tower:

He's now a serpent, and his double tongue
Salutes, nay licks the feet of those he stung.
What knot can bind him, his evasion such?
One knot he well deserves which might do much.

The flood, fiame, swine, the lion, and the snake,
Those fivefold monsters modern authors make.
The snake reigns most; snakes, Pliny says, are bred
When the brain's perish'd in a human head.
Ye groveling, trodden, whipp'd, stripp'd, turncoat

things, Made up of venom, volumes, stains, and stings ! Thrown from the tree of knowledge,like you,cursed To scribble in the dust, was snake the first.

What if the figure should in fact prove true? It did in Elkanah *, why not in you? Poor Elkanah, all other changes pass'd, For bread in Smithfield dragons hiss'd at last, Spit streams of fire to make the butchers gape, And found his manners suited to his shape. Such is the fate of talents misapplied ; So lived your prototype, and so he died. The' abandon'd manners of our writing train May tempt mankind to think religion vain; But in their fate, their habit, and their mien, That gods there are is eminently seen: [pen, Heaven stands absolved by vengeance on their And marks the murderers of fame from men : Through meagre jaws they draw their venal breath, As ghastly as their brothers in Macbeth : Their feet through faithless leather meet the dirt, And oftener changed their principles than shirt: The transient vestments of these frugal men Hasten to paper for our mirth again :

* Elkanah Settle, the city poet.

Too soon (O merry melancholy fate!)
They beg in rhyme, and warble through a grate:
The man lampoon'd forgets it at the sight;
The friend through pity gives, the foe through spite;
And though full conscious of his injured purse,
Lintot relents, nor Curll can wish them worse.
So fare the men who writers dare commence
Without their patent, probity, and sense.

From these their politics our quidnuncs seek,
And Saturday's the learning of the week :
These labouring wits, like paviors, mend our ways
With heavy, huge, repeated, flat essays; [dull,
Ram their coarse nonsense down, though ne'er so
And hem at every thump upon your scull:
These stanch-bred writing hounds begin the cry,
And honest Folly echoes to the ļie.
0, how I laugh when I a blockhead see
Thanking a villain for his probity;
Who stretches out a most respectful ear,
With snares for woodcocks in his holy leer:
It tickles through my soul to hear the cock's
Sincere encomium on his friend the fox,
Sole patron of his liberties and rights!
While graceless reynard listens—till he bites.
As when the trumpet sounds, the' o'erloaded

state Discharges all her poor and profligate, Crimes of all kinds dishonour'd weapons wield, And prisons pour their filth into the field; Thus Nature's refuse and the dregs of men Compose the black militia of the pen.


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