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BEING THE

PROLOGUE

TO THE

S A TIRE S.

P.
SHUT;
HUT, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd

I said,
Tye up the knocker, fay I'm sick, I'm dead,
The Dog-star rages ! nay 'tis past a doubt,
All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out :
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand, 5
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide ?
They pierce my thickets, thro' my Grot they glide,
By land, by water, they renew the charge,
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. 1.
No place is facred, not the Church is free,
Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:

Ver. 1. Sbut, fout the door, good John !] John Searl, his old and faithful servant: whom he has remembered, under that character, in his Will.

Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme, Happy! to catch me, just at Dinner-time.

Is there a Parson, much be-mus'd in beer, 15 A maudlin Poetess, a rhyming Peer, A Clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a Stanza, when he should engross? Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls With desp’rate charcoal round his darken’d walls ? 20 All fly to Twit'NAM, and in humble strain Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain. Arthur, whose giddy fon neglects the Laws, Imputes to me and my damn’d works the cause : Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,

25 And curses Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.

Friend to my Life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song)

VARIATIONS.
After ver. 20. in the MS:

Is there a Bard in durance ? turn them free,
With all their brandish'd reams they run to me :
Is there a Prentice, having seen two plays,

Who would do something in his Semptress' praise--VER, 29. in the ist Ed.

Dear Doctor, tell me, is not this a curse ?

Say, is their anger, or their friendship worso ? Ver, 13. Mint.) A place to which infolvent debtors retired, to enjoy an illegal protection, which they were there suffered to afford one another, from the persecution of their creditors.

What Drop or Nofirum can this plague remove ?
Or which must end me, a Fool's wrath or love? 30*
A dire dilemma! either

way

I'm sped. If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead. Seiz’d and ty'd down to jindge, how wretched I! Who can't be silent, and who will not lye : To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace, 35 And to be grave, exeeeds all Power of face. I fit with sad civility, I read With honest anguish, and an aching head; And drop at last, but in unwilling cars,

39 This faving counsel, “ Keep your piece nine years.”

Nine years ! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Lull’d by soft Zephyrs thro’ the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term- ends, Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends : “ The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it, 45 " I'm all submission, what you'd have it, make it.”

Three things another's modest wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound. Pitholeon sends to me : " You know his Grace,

I want a Patron; ask him for a Place.” 50 Pitholeon libell'd me" but here's a letter

Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better.

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VER. 49. Pitboleon] The name taken from a foolish Poet of Rhodes, who pretended much to Greek. Schol. in Horat. 1. 1. Dr. Bentley pretends, that this Pitholeon libelled Cæsar allo. See notes on Hor. Sat, 10, 1, i.

“ Dare you refuse him ? Curl invites to dine,
“ He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine.”

Bless me! a packet." 'Tis a stranger sucs, 55
A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Muse."
If I dislike it, “ Furies, death and rage !"
If I approve,

“ Commend it to the Stage.” There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends, The players and I are, luckily, no friends. 60 Fir'd that the house reject him, “ 'Sdeath I'll print it, “ And shame the foolsYour int'rest, Sir, with

Lintot." Lintot, dull rogue ! will think your price too much : Not, Sir, if you revise it, and retouch.” All my demurs but double his attacks ;

65 At last he whispers, “Do; and we go snacks.” Glad of a quarrel, ftrait I clap the door, Sir, let me see your works and you no more.

'Tis fung, when Midas' Ears began to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a King) His

very Minister who spy'd them first, (Some say his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or burit.

VARIATIONS. VER. 53. in the MS.

If you resuse, he goes, as fates incline,

To plague Sir Robert, or to turn Divine. Ver. 60. in the former Ed.

Cibber and I are luckily no friends. VER. 72. Queen] The story is told, by fome, of his Barber, but by Chaucer of his Queen. See Wife of Bath's Tale in Dryden's Fables,

70

!

And is not mine, my friend, a forer case,
When ev'ry co.xcomb perks them in my face?
A. Good friend forbear! you deal in dang'rous things,
I'd never name Queens, Ministers, or Kings; 76
Keep close to Ears, and those let affes prick,
'Tis nothing-P. Nothing ? if they bite and kick?
Out with it, Dunciad! let the secret pass,
That secret to each fool, that he's an Ass : 80
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?)
The queen of Midas slept, and so may I.

You think this cruel ? take it for a rule,
No creature smarts so little as a fool.
Let peals of laughter, Codrus ! round thee break, 85
Thou unconcern’d canst hear the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall’ry in convulsions hurld,
Thou stand'st unfhook amidst a bursting world.
Who shames a Scribler ? break one cobweb thro',
He spins the slight, felf-pleasing thread anew : 90
Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again,

Ver. 80. That secret to each fool, that be's an Ass :] i. e. that his ears (his marks of folly) are visible. VER. 88. Alluding to Horace, Si fractus illabatur orbis, Impavidum ferient ruinæ.

P. Ver. 92. The creature's at bis dirty work again,] This meiamorphofing, as it were, the Scribler into a Spider is much more. poetical than a comparison would have been. But Poets should be cautious how they employ this figure; for where the likeness is not very striking, instead of giving force, they become obscure. Here, every thing concurs to make them run into one another.

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