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Poets and women have an equal right

To hate the dull, who, dead to all delight, S.ACRED MAJESTY THE QUEEN-MOTHER. Feel pain alone, and have no joy but spite.

'Twas impotence did first this vice begin; ON THE DEATH OF MARY, PRINCESS OF ORANGE. Fools censure wit, as old men rail at sin:

Who envy pleasure which they cannot taste,
RESPITE, great queen, your just and basty fears: And, good for nothing, would be wise at last.
There's no infection lodges in our tears.

Since therefore to the women it appears,
Though our unhappy air be arm'd with death, That all the enemies of wit are theirs,
Yet sighs have an untainted guiltless breath.

Our poet the dull herd no longer fears.
Oh! stay a while, and teach your equal skill Whate'er his fate may prove, 'twill be his pride
To understand, and to support our ill.

To stand or fall with beauty on his side.
You that in mighty wrongs an age have spent,
And seem to have out-liv'd ev'n banishment;
Whom traitorous Mischief sought its earliest prey,
When to most sacred blood it made its way,

And did thereby its black design impart,
To take his head, that wounded first his heart:
You that, unmov'd, great Charles's ruin stood, Well, sir, 't is granted; I said Dryden's rhymes
When three great nations sunk beneath the load; Were stolen, unequal, nay, dull, many times :
Then a young daughter lost, yet balsam found

What foolish patron is there found of his, To stanch that new and freshly-bleeding wound;

So blindly partial to deny me this? And, after this, with fixt and steady eyes

But that his plays, embroider'd up and down Beheld your noble Gloucester's obsequies; With wit and learning, justly pleas'd the town, And then sustain'd the royal princess' fall :

In the same paper as freely own. You only can lament her funeral.

Yet, having this allow'd, the heavy mass But you will hence remove, and leave behind

That stuffs up his loose volumes, must not pass; Our sad complaints lost in the empty wind; For by that rule I might as well admit Those winds that bid you stay, and loudly roar Crown's tedious scenes for poetry and wit. Destruction, and drive back to the firm shore; 'Tis therefore not enough, when your false sense Shipwreck to safety, and the envy fly

Hits the false judgment of an audience Of sharing in this scene of tragedy:

Of clapping fools, assembling, a vast crowd, While sickness, from whose rage you post away, Till the throng'd play-house crack'd with the dull Relents, and only now contrives your stay;

load; The lately fatal and infectious ill

Though ev'n that talent merits, in some sort, Courts the fair princess, and forgets to kill: That can divert the rabble and the court, In rain on ferers curses we dispense,

Which blundering Settle never could obtain, And vent our passion's angry eloquence:

And puzzling Otway labours at in vain : In vain we blast the ministers of late,

But within due proportion circumscribe And the forlom physicians imprecate;

Whate'er you write, that with a flowing tide Say they to Death new poisons add and fire, The style may rise, yet in its rise forbear Murder securely for reward and hire;

With useless words t'oppress the weary'd ear. Art basilisks, that kill whome'er they see,

Here be your language lofty, there more light, And truly write bills of mortality,

Your rhetoric with your poetry unite. Wbo, lest the bleeding corpse should them betray, For elegance sake, sometimes allay the force First drain those vital speaking streams away. Of epithets, 'twill soften the discourse : And will you, by your flight, take part with these? A jest in scorn points out and hits the thing Become yourself a third and new disease?

More home, than the remotest satire's sting. If they have caus'd our loss, then so have you, Shakspeare and Jonson did in this excel, Who take yourself and the fair princess too: And might herein be initated well, For we, depriv'd, an equal damage have

Whom refin'd Etherege copies not at all, When France doth ravish hence, as when the grave: But is himself a sheer original. But that your choice th’unkindness doth improve, Nor that slow drudge in swift Pindaric strains, And dereliction adds to your remove.

Flatman, who Cowley imitates with pains,
ROCHESTER, And rides a jaded Muse, whipt, with loose reins.
Of Wadham College. When Lee makes temperate Scipio fret and rave,

And Hannibal a whining amorous slave,
I laugh, and wish the hot-brain'd fustian fool

In Busby's hands, to be well lash'd at school.

Of all our modern wits, none seem to me

Once to have touch'd upon true comedy, Some few, from wit, have this true maxim got, But hasty Shadwell, and slow Wycherley. " That 'tis still better to be pleas'd than not ;" Shadwell's unfinish'd works do yet impart And therefore never their own torment plot. Great proofs of force of Nature, none of Art; While the malicious critics still agree

With just bold strokes he dashes here and there, To loath each play they come and pay to see. Showing great mastery with little care, The first know 'tis a meaner part of sense

Scorning to varnish his good touches o'er, To find a fault, than taste an excellence :

To make the fools and women praise them more. Therefore they praise, and strive to like, while these But Wycherley earns hard whate'er he gains, Are dully vain of being hard to please.

He wants no judgment, and he spares no pains :

He frequently excels, and, at the least,

Or when the poor-fed poets of the town Makes fewer faults, than any of the rest.

For scabs and coach-room cry my verses down! Waller, by Nature for the bays design'd,

I loath the rabble; 't is enough for me With force and fire, and fancy uncontin'd,

If Sedley, Shadwell, Shephard, W'ycherlev, In panegyric does excel inankind.

Godolphin, Butler, Buckhurst, Buckingham, He best can turn, enforce, and soften things, And some few more, whom I omit to warne, To praise great conquerors, and flatter kings. Approve my sense: I count their censure fame. For pointed satire I would Buckhurst choose,

Tine best good man, with the worst-natur'd Muse. . For songs and verses mannerly obscene, That can stir Nature up by springs unseen,

TO SIR CAR SCROPE'. And, without forcing blushes, warm the queen; To rack and torture thy unmeaning brain, Sedley has that prevailing gentle art,

In Satire's praise, to a low untun'd strain, That can with a resistless power impart

In thee was most impertinent and vain. The loosest wishes to the chastest heart,

When in thy person we more clearly see Raise such a conflict, kindle such a fire,

That satire's of divine authority, Betwixt declining virtue and desire,

For God made one on man when he made thee; Till the poor vanquish'd inaid dissolves away,

To show there were some men, as there are apes, In dreams all night, in sighs and tears all day.

Fram'd for mere sport, who difler but in shapes: Dryden in vain try'd this nice way of wit;

In thee are all these contradictions join'd, For he, to be a tearing blade, thought fit

That make an ass prodigious and refin'd. To give the ladies a dry bawdy bob,

A lump deform'd and shapeless wert thou born, And thus he got the name of Poet Squab.

Begot in Love's despight and Nature's scorn; But, to be just, 't will to his praise be found,

And art grown up the most ungrateful wight, His excellencies more than faults abound:

Harsh to the car, and hideous to the sight; Nor dare I from his sacred temples tear

Yeć Love 's thy business, Beanty thy delight. The laurel, which he best deserves to wear.

Curse on that silly hour that first inspir'd
But does not Dryden find e'en Jonson dull ?

Thy madness, to pretend to be admir'd ;
Beaumont and Fletcher uncorrect, and full
Of lewd lines, as he calls them? Shakspeare's style And all those awkward follies that express

To paint thy grisly face, to dance, to dress,
Stiff and affected? To his own the while

Thy loathsome love, and tilthy daintiness. Allowing all the justice that his pride

Who needs wilt be an ugly beau-garçon, So arrogantly had to these deny'd ?

Spit at, and shunn'd by every girl in town; And may not I have leave impartially

Where dreadfully Love's scarecrow thou art plavid, To search and censure Dryden's works, and try

To fright the tender flock that long to taste: If those gross faults his choice pen doth commit

While every coming maid, when you appear, Proceed from want of judgment, or of wit ?

Starts back for shame, and straight turns chasta Or if his lumpish fancy does refuse

for fear; Spirit and grace to his loose slattern Muse? Five hundred verses every morning writ,

For none so poor or prostitute bave prov'd, Prove bim no more a poet than a wit;

Where you made love, t'endure to be belov'd.

T were labour lost, or else I would advise; Such scribbling authors have been seen before;

But thy half wit will ne'er let thee be wise. Mustapha, the Island Princess, forty more,

Half witty, and half mad, and scarce half brave, Were things perhaps compos'd in half an hour.

Half honest (which is very much a knave) To write what may securely stand the test

Made up of all these halves, thou canst not pass Of being well read over thrice at least,

For any thing entirely, but an ass.
Compare each phrase, examine every line,
Weigh every word, and every thought refine;
Scorn all applause the vile rout can bestow,
And be content to please those few who know.

Canst thou be such a vain mistaken thing,
To wish thy works might make a play-house ring

As charms are nonsense, nonsense seems a charm, With the unthinking laughter and poor praise.

Which hearers of all judgment does disarm; Of fops and ladies, factious for thy plays ?

For songs and scenes a double audience bring, Then send a cunning friend to learn thy doom And durgrel takes, which smiths in satin sing. From the shrewd judges in the drawing-room.

Now to machines and a dull mask you run; I've no ambition on that idle score,

We find that Wit 's the monster you would shun, But say with Betty Morice heretofore,

And by my troth 'tis most discreetly done. When a court lady call'd her Buckhurst's whore'; For since with vice and folly Wit fed, “ I please one man of wit, am proud on 't too, Through mercy 'tis most of you are not dead. Let all the coxcombs dance to bed to you." Players furn puppets now at your desire, Should I be troubled when the purblind knight, In their mouth 's nonsense, in their tail 's a wire, Who squints more in his judgment than his sight, They fly through crowds of clouts and showers of Picks silly faults, and censures what I write ?


I The same probably who is celebrated by lord Buckhurst (or Dorset) in his poems. See Gent. Mag. 1780, p. 218.

' Sir Car Scrope, who thought himself reflected on at the latter end of the preceding poein, published a poem, In Defence of Satire, which occasioned this reply.


EPILOGUE... ELEGY ON THE EARL OF ROCHESTER. 251 A kind of losing Loadum is their game,

Then rail not here, though you see reason for 't; Where the worst writer has the greatest fame. If Wit can find itself no better sport, To get vile plavs like theirs shall be our care ; Wit is a very foolish thing at court. But of such awkward actors we despair.

Wit's business is to please, and not to fright; Fale taught at first

'Tis no wit to be always in the right; Like bonis ill-biass'd, still the more they run, You 'll find it none, who dare be so to-night. They 're further off than when they first begun.

Few so i!l-bred will venture to a play, In comedy their unweigh'd action mark,

To spy out faults in what we women say. There 's one is such a dear familiar spark,

For us, no matter what we speak, but how: He rawns, as if he were but half awake,

How kindly can we say I hate you now ! And fribbling for free-speaking does mistake; And for the men, if you 'll laugh at them, do; False acient and neglectful action too:

They mind themselves so much, they 'll ne'er mind They have both so nigh good, yet neither true, But why do I descend to lose a prayer [you. That both together, like an ape's mock-face, On those small saints in wit? the god sits there! By near resembling man, do man disgrace. Thorough-pac'd ill actors may, perhaps, be cur'd; Half players, like half wits, can't be endurd.

To you, great sir, my message hither tends, Yet these are they, who durst expose the age From Youth and Beauty, your allies and friends; Of the great wonder of the English stage; See my credentials written in my face, Whom Nature seem'd to form for your delight, They challenge your protection in this place; And bid him speak, as she bid Shakspeare write. And hither come with such a force of charms, Those blades indeerd are cripples in their art, As may give check ev'n to your prosperous arms. Mimic his foot, but not his speaking part.

Villions of Cupids hovering in the rear, Let them the Traitor or Volpone try,

Like eagles following fatal troops, appear: Could they

All waiting for the slaughter which draws nigh, Rage like Cethegus, or like Cassius die,

Of those bold gazers who this night must die. They ne'er had sent to Paris for such fancies, Nor can you 'scape our soft captivity, As monsters heads and Merry-Andrew's dances. From which old age alone must set you free. Wither'd, perhaps, not perish’d, we appear; Then tremble at the fatal consequence, [prince, But they are blighted, and ne'er came to bear. Since 'tis well known, for your own part, great Th'old poets dress'd your mistress Wit before; 'Gainst us you still have made a weak defence. These draw you on with an old painted whore, Be generous and wise, and take our part: And sell, like bawds, patch'd plays for maids twice Remember we have eyes, and you a heart; o'er.

Else you may find, too late, that we are things Yet they may scorn our house and actors too, Born to kill vassals, and to conquer kings. Since they have swellid so high to hector you. But oh, to what vain conquest I pretend ! They cry,

“ Pox o' these Corent-Garden men, While Love is our commander, and your friench Dann them, not one of them but keeps out ten. Our victory your empire more assures, Where they once gone, we for those thundering For Love will ever make the triumph yours.

Should have an audience of substantial trades,
Who love our muzzled boys and tearing fellows,
My lord, great Neptune, and great nephew Łolus."

O how the merry citizen 's in love

Psyche, the goddess of each field and grove.
He cries, “ l' faith, methinks 'tis well enough;"

Deep waters silent roll; so grief like mine
But you roar ont, and cry, “ 'Tis all damn'd stuff!" | Tears never can relieve, nor words define.
So to their house the graver fops repair,

Stop then, stop your vain source, weak springs of While men of wit find one another here,

Let tears flow from their eyes whom tears relieve.
They from their heads show the light trouble there,
Could my heart weep, its sorrows 'twould declare:

When drops of blood, my Heart, thou'st lost; thy


The cause of all thy hopes and fears, thy guide!
He would have led thee right in Wisdom's way,
And 'twas thy fault whene'er thou went'st astray:



Wit has of late took up a trick t appear
l'nmannerly, or at the best, severe:
And poets share the fate by which we fall,
When kindly we attempt to please you all.
"Tis hard your scorn should against such prevail,
Whose ends are to divert you, though they fail.
You men would think it an ill-natur'd jest,
Should we laugh at you when you do your best.

I See in p. 71 and 80, Mr. Waller's verses on the elegy here printed; and verses also on Mrs. Wharton's Paraphrase on the Lord's Prayer. Waller's two cantos of Divine Poesy were “

occasioned upon sight of the 53d chapter of laiah, turned into verse by Mrs. Wharton.” Her Verses to Mr. Waller are mentioned by Ballard; and her translation of Penelope to Ulysses is printed in Torison's edition of Ovid's Epistles. For futher particulars of this lady, see Select Collection of Miscellaneous Poems, 1780, vol. i. p. 51. vol. ii. p. 319.

? Major Mohun.

And since thou stray'dst when guided and led on, His lively wit was of himself a part,
Thou wilt be surely lost now left alone.

Not, as in other men, the work of Art;
It is thy elegy I write, not his :

For, though his learning like his wit was great, He lives immortal and in highest bliss,

Yet sure all learning came below bis wit; But thou art dead, alas ! my Heart, thou 'rt dead: As God's immediate gifts are better far He lives, that lovely soul for ever fed,

Than those we borrow from our likeness here, But thou ’mongst crowds on Earth art buried. He was—but I want words, and ne'er can tell, Great was thy loss, which thou canst ne'er express, Yet this I know, he did mankind excel. Nor was th' insensible dull nation's less;

He was what no man ever was before, He civiliz'd the rude, and taught the young, Nor can indulgent Nature give us more, Made fools grow wise; such artful magic hung For, to make him, she exhausted all her store. Upon his useful, kind, instructing tongue.




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