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I

HAVE been long of Opinion, that there

is not a more general and greater Mistake, or of worse Consequences through the Commerce of Mankind, than the wrong Judgments they are apt to entertain of their own Talents. I knew a stuttering Alderman in London, a great Frequenter of Coffee-Houses ; who, when a fresh News-Paper was brought in, constantly seized it first, and read it aloud to his Brother-Citizens ; but in a Manner as little intelligible to the Standers-by, as to himself. How many Pretenders to Learning expose themselves by chusing to discourse on those very Parts of Science wherewith they are least acquainted ? It is the same Case in

every

other Qualification. By the Multitude of those who deal in Rhimes from half a Sheet to twenty, which come out every Minute, there must be at least five hundred Poets in the City and Suburbs of London ; half as many Coffee-house Orators, exclusive of the Clergy; forty thoufand Politicians; and four thousand five hundred profound Scholars; not to mention the Wits, the Railliers, the smart Fellows, and Criticks; all as illiterate and impudent as a fuburb Whore. What are we to think of the fine dressed Sparks, proud of their own personal Deformities, which appear the more hideous by the Contrast of wearing Scarlet and

Gold,

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L 3

Gold, with what they call * Toupees on their Heads, and all the Frippery of a modern Beau, to make a Figure before Women ; some of them with Hump-Backs, others hardly five Feet high, and every Feature of their Faces distorted. I have seen many of these insipid Pretenders entering into' Conversation with Persons of Learning, constantly making the grossest Blunders in every Sentence, without conveying one single Idea fit for a rational Creature to spend a Thought on; perpetually confounding all Chronology and Geography even of present Times. I compute, that Lone don hath eleven native Fools of the Beau and Puppy-kind, for one among us in Dublin ; besides two-thirds of ours transplanted thither, who are now naturalized; whereby that overgrown Capital exceedeth ours in the Article of Dunces by forty to one ; and what is more to our further Mortification, there is not one diftinguished Fool of Irish Birth or Education, who maketh any

Noise in that famous Metropolis, unless the London Prints be very partial or defective ; whereas London is feldom without a Dozen of their own educating, who engross the Vogue for half a Winter together, and are never heard of more, but give Place to a new Sett. This hath been the constant Progress for at least thirty Years past, only allowing

for the Change of Breed and Fashion. * Wigs with long black Tails, worn for fome Years past. November 1738.

The

The following Poem is grounded upon the

universal Folly in MANKIND of mistaking their TALENTS ; by which the AUTHOR doth a great Honour to his own Species, almost equalling them with certain Brutes; wherein, indeed, he is too partial, as he freely confesseth : And

yet

he hath low as he well could, by specifying four Animals, the WOLF, the Ass, the SWINE, and the APE all equally mischievous, except the last, who outdoes them in the Article of Cunning. "So GREAT IS THE PRIDE OF Man.

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Τ Η Ε

Beasts CONFESSION

TO THE

PRIEST, 8c.

HEN Beasts could speak, (the W

Learned say
They still can do so every Day)

It seems, they had Religion then, .
As much as now we find in Men.
It happen'd when a Plague broke out,
(Which therefore made them more devout)
The King of Brutes (to make it plain,
Of Quadrupeds I only mean)
By Proclamation gave Command,
That ev'ry Subject in the Land
Should to the Priest confess their Sins
And thus the pious Wolf begins :

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Good Father, I must own with Shame,
That, often I have been to blame :
I must confess, on Friday last,
Wretch that I was, I broke my Fast:
But, I defy the basest Tongue
To
prove

I did my Neighbour wrong ;
Or ever went to seek

my

Food
By Rapine, Theft, or Thirst of Blood.

The Ass approaching next, confest,
That in his Heart he lov'd a Jest:
A Wag he was, he needs must own,
And could not let a Dunce alone :
Sometimes his Friend he would not spare,
And might perhaps be too severe ;
But yet, the worst that could be said,
He was a Wit both born and bred ;

And

And, if it be a Sin or Shame,
Nature alone must bear the Blame.
One Fault he hath, is sorry for't,
His Ears are half a Foot too short;
Which could he to the Standard bring,
He'd shew his Face before the K-
Then, for his Voice, there's none disputes
That he's the Nightingale of Brutes.

The Swine with contrite Heart allow'd,
His Shape and Beauty made him proud :
In Diet was perhaps too nice,
But Gluttony was ne'er his Vice:
In ev'ry Turn of Life content,
And meekly took what Fortune sent :
Inquire thro' all the Parish round,
A better Neighbour ne'er was found :
His Vigilance might some displease ;
'Tis true he hated Sloth like Pease.

The mimick APE began his Chatter,
How evil Tongues his Life bespatter :
Much of the cens’ring World complain'd,
Who said his Gravity was feign'd:
Indeed, the Strictness of his Morals
Engag'd him in an hundred Quarrels :
He saw, and he was griev'd to see't,
His Zeal was sometimes indiscreet :

He

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