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Immortal Shades,” said he, “if aught be


LAUDER,—thy authors Dutch, and German, To my attempts 't is owing all to you:”

There is no need to disinter, man: Then took the laurels, fresh’ning from his hand,

To search the mould'ring anecdote, And crown'd the temples of the sacred band.

For source of all that Milton wrote:

We'll own from these, and mauy more, Others, in crowds, stood muttering behind, " Who is the guest?-He looks as he were

The bard enrich'd his ample sture. blind

Phoebus himself could not escape 0! this is Milton, to be sure the man

The tricks of this poetic ape; That stole, from others, all his rhymeless plan; For, to complete his daring vole', “ From those conceited gentlemen, perchance,

From his enliven'd wheels he stole, That rush to hail him with such complaisance;

Prometheus-like, the solar ray, Ay—that's the reason of this fawning fuss;

That animated all his clay.
I like him not-he never stole from us.

Prometheus-like, then chain him down;

Prey on his vitals of renown;

With critic talons, and with beak, CRIME in a poet, sirs, to steal a thought?

Upon his fame thy vengeance wreak: No, that 't is not; if it be good for aught :

It grows again at ev'ry hour, 'Tis lawful theft; 't is laudable to boot;

Fast as the vulture can devour.
Tis want of genius if he does not do 't:
The fool admires—the man of sense alone

SEVENTH LAD. Lights on a happy thought-and makes it all his Multonum, vir, O facinus nefarium! own;

Exagitavit tanquam plagiarium: Flies, like a bee, along the Muses' field,

Miramur, hanc qui protulisset thesin, Peeps in, and tastes what any flow'r can yield,

Quid esse, Momus, crederet poesin. Free, from the various blossom that he meets,

Num, quæso, vult ut, hâc obstetricante, To pick, and cull, and carry home the sweets;

Dicendum sit quod nemo dixit ante? While, saunt'ring out, the heavy, stingless drone

O admirandam hominis versuti
Amidst a thousand sweets-makes none of 'em Calliditatem, quâ volebat uti!
his own.

Dixisset ipse, nimium securus,

Quod nemo dicet præsens, aut futurus,

Dum felis ungues persequentur murem,
A CRITIC, once, to a Miltonian, made

Miltonum, scilicet, fuisse furem.
Of Milton's plagiarisms a long parade;
To prove his work not owing to his genius,

Exulent ergo, (cjus ex effatis)
But to Adamus Exul, and Masenius;

Quicunque nomen usurparint vatis; That he had stoln the greater part, by much, Nullum vocemus, prorsus, ad examen Both of his plan, and matter, from the Dutch: Eorum sensum, vim, aut modulamen;

Furantur omnes habeamus verum
His Abdiel, bis fine characters, he took,

Poetam, exhinc, unicum Lauderum!
And heav'nly scenes, from such and such a book;
His hellish too the same; from such a one
He stole his Pandemonium,--and so on-
Till Milton's friend cri'd out, at last, quite giddy,
“Poh! hold thy tongue-he stole the Devil, did


J. What ills, dear Phebe, would it not prevent, FIFTH LAD.

To learn this one short lesson“ be content !" WHEN Oxford saw, in her Radclivian dome, No very hard prescription, in effect, Greek skill, and Roman rival'd here at home; This same content; and yet, thro’its neglect, Wond'ring she stood; 'till one judicious spark What mighty evils do we human elves, Address'd the crowd, and made this sage re- As Prior calls us, bring upon ourselves! mark

Evils that Nature never meant us for, “ The most unlicens'd plagiary--this Gibbs~ The vacuums, that she really does abhor: Nothing in all his pile, but what he cribs. Of all the ways of judging things amiss,

No instance shows our weakness more than this, “The ground be builds upon is not his own

That men on Earth won't set their hearts at rest, I know the quarry whence he had his stone

When God in Heaven does all things for the best: The forest too where all bis timber grow'd

What strange, absurd perverseness! -
The forge wherein bis fused mctals flow'd
In short, survey the edifice entire,

P. Hold, good brother, 'T is all a borrow'd work, from base to spire." Don't put yourself, I pray, in such a pother;

'T is a fine thing to be content; why, true; Thus, with our epic architect, he deals,

'T is just, and right, we know, as well as you; Who says that Milton in his poem steals:

And yet, to be so, after all this rout, Steals, if he will—but, without licence? no;

Sometimes has puzzled you yourself, I doubt. Pedlars in verse, unmeaningly, Him Phæbus licens'd; and the Muses Nine Help'd the rare thief to raise up-a design.

| From the French word vol, signifying theft.

do so:

Polks in the rigour of their health, and strength, P. Why, for this reason-tho'it should be true, May rail at discontent, in words at length;

That what is just and right, is easy too, Who yet, when disappointed of their wishes, Such ease is nothing of a talking kind, Will put you off with surly humphs, and pishes; But of right will, that likes to be resign'd, “ Let's be content and easy;"--gen'ral stuff! And cherishes a grace which, with regard Your happy people are content enough;

To the unpractis'd, may sometimes be hard:
If you would reason to the purpose, show, You treat content as if it were a weed,
How they who are unhappy may be so;

Of neither cost, vor culture; when indeed,
How they who are in sickness, want, or pain, It is as fine a flower as can be found
May get their health, estate, and ease again: Within the mind's best cultivated ground;
How they

Where, like a seed, it must have light and air

To help its growt!), according to the care J. Nay, Phebe, don't go on so fast; l'hat owners take, whose philosophic skill Your just rebuke now suits yourself at last; Will much depend upon the weather still;

[bad Methinks you wander widely from the fact Good should not make them careless, nor should "T is not how you, or I, or others act,

That we are talking of, but how we shou'd-
A rule, tho' ill observ'd, may still be good:

J. Right, provided it be had,
Nor did I say that a contented will

I'll not dispute; but own, what you have said Wou'd hinder all, but many sorts of ill:

Has hit the nail, directly, on the head: This it will do; and, give me leave to say, Easy or hard, all pains, within our pow'r, Much lessen such as it can't take away;

Are well bestow'd on such a charming flow'r.
You said yourself, 't was just, I think you did
P. Yes, yes; I don't deny it
J. Sense forbid

That e'er you should; it's practice then, per- As Tom the porter went up Ludgate hill,

Is monstrous hard, in many a circumstance

A swinging show'r oblig'd him to stand still;

So, in the right-hand passage thro' the gate, P. Monstrous? why monstrous? let that word | He pitch'd his burthen down, just by the grate, be barr'd,

From whence the doleful accent sounds away, And I shau't stick to say, I think it hard, “ Pity--the poord hungry-debtors-pray." And very hard, nay, I could alınost add,

To the same garrison, from Paul's ChurchThat, in some cases, 't is not to be had


An half-drown'd soldier ran to mount the guard: J. Not to be had! content! it costs us nought; Now Tom, it seems, the Ludgateer, and he 'T is purchas'd only with a little thought; Were old acquaintance, formerly, all three; We need not fetch it from a distant clime, And as the coast was clear, by cloudy weather, It may be found at home, at any time;

They quickly fell into discourse together. Our very cares contribute to its growth,

"T was in December, when the Highland clans It knows no check, but voluntary sloth;

Had got to Derbyshire from Preston Pans; None but ourselves can rob us of its fruit; And struck all London with a general panic It finds, whene'er we use it, fresh recruit; But mark the force of principles Britannic. The more we gather, still the more it thrives, The soldier told 'em fresh the city news, Fresh as our hopes, and lasting as our lives:

Just piping hot from stockjobbers, and Jews; Not to be bad is wrong ;-but I forgot,

Of French Meets landing, and of Dutch neutrality; You did not say quite absolutely not,

Of jealousies at court amongst the quality; But could almost have said so; the almost,

Of Swarston-bridge, that never was pull'd down; Perhaps, was meant against a florid boast

Of all the rebels in full march to town; Of such content as, when a trial came

And of a hundred things beside, that made Severe enough, would hardly own its name

Lord may'r himself, and aldermen afraid ; P. Perhaps it was, and now your fire is spent,

Painting with many an oath the case in view,

And ask'd the porter—what he thought to do? You can reflect, I find, that this content,

“Do?" says he, gravely—'what I did before; Which you are fond of celebrating so,

What I have done these thirty years, and more; May, now and then, be difficult to show,

Carry, as I am like to do, my pack,
So difficult that

Glad to maintain my belly by my back;
J. Hold a bitor ten

If that but hold, I care not; for my part,
To one the chance, that I shall fire again;

Come as come will,'t shall never break my heart; 'Tis just and right, you own, as well as me; I don't see folks that fight about their thrones, Now, for my part, I rather choose to see

Mind either soldiers' Aesh, or porters' bones; The easiness of what is just and right,

Whoe'er gets better, when the battle's fought, Which makes it more encouraging to sight, Thy pay nor mine will be advanc'd a groatThan scarecrow hardships, that almost declare But to the purpose--now we are met here, Content an un-come-at-able affair;

I'll join, if t'will, for one full mug of beer.” And, consequently, tempt one to distrust,

The soldier, touch'd a little with surprise For difficulties, what is right and just:

To see bis friend's indifference, replies Thus I object to hardship; if you please,

“ What you say, Tom, I own is very good, Show for what reason you object to ease But our religion !” (and be du'd his blood)

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“ What will become of our religion !"_" True!" You may remember, when you first began'
Says the jail-bird-"and of our freedom too? To learn the truly tachygraphic plan,
If the Pretender" (rapt he out) coines on,

How tracing, step by step, the simplest line,
Our liberties and properties are gone !"

We grounded, rais'd, and tinish'd our design:
And so the soldier and the pris'ner join'd Hw we examin'd language, and its pow'rs,
To work up Tom into a better mind;

And then adjusted ev'ry stroke to ours:
He staring, dumb, with wonder struck and pity, Whilst the same method, follow'd, in the main,
Took up his load, and trudy'd into the city. Made other matters more concisely plain;

Made English, French, Italian-Hebrew too-
Appear the clearest in a short-hand view;
Which, in all points, where language was con-


Explain'd how best, and soonest they were learn'd;

Show'd where to end, as well as to commence, ON THE ART OF ENGLISH POETRY. At that one central point of vies-good sense.

There fix your eye then,--if you mean to write
The art of English poetry, I find,

Verse that is fit to read, or to recite:
At present, Jenkins, occupies your mind; A poet, slighting this initial rule,
You have a vast desire to it, you say,

Is but, at best, an artificial fool;
And want my help to put you in the way; Of learning verse quite needless the expense,
Want me to tell what books you are to read; Plain prose might serve to show his want of sense.
How to begin, at first, and how proceed-

But you, who have it, and would give to prose
Now, tho’in short-hand I may well pretend The grace, that English poetry bestows,
To give directions, my Salopian friend,

Consider how the short-hand scheme, in part,
As having had the honour to impart

May be apply'd to the poetic art:
Its full perfection to that English art;

To write, or read in that, you understood,
Which you, and many a sagacious youth, There must be sense, and sense that must be
By sure experience, know to be the truth;

good; Yet how, in matters of poetic reach,

The more that words were proper and exact, Untaught myself, shall I pretend to teach? In book, or speech, the more we could contract: Well I remember that my younger breast

The hand, you know, became a kind of test,
The same desire, that reigns in yours, possest; In this respect, what writings were the best.
Me, numbers flowing to a measur'd time,

If incorrect the language, or absurd,
Me, sweetest grace of English verse, the rhyme, It cost the fuller noting of each word;
Choice epithet, and smooth descriptive line, But, when more apt, grammatical, and true,
Conspiring all to finish one design,

Full oft a letter for a word would do.
Smit with delight, full negligent of prose,

Form to yourself, directly, the design
And, thro' mere liking, tempted to compose, Of so constructing a poetic line;
To rate, according to my schoolboy schemes, That it may cost, in writing it our way,
Ten lines in verse worth half a hundred themes. The least expense of ink, as one may sas;
Without one living person to consult,

That word, or phrase-in measure that you
The years went on, from tender to adult;

And, as for poring to consult the dead,

May come the nearest to prosaic ease :
Truly, that never came into my head:

You 'll see the cases from the rule exempt,
Not Homer, Virgil, Horace! (if you ask)

Whilst it directs, in gen’ral, your attempt;
Why, yes, the rod would send me to the task; How word, or sentence, you may oft transposer
But all the consultation that came out

And verse be, still, as natural as prose.
Had its own end-to 'scape the whipping bout. As natural-for, tho' we call it art,
Beside, if subject wanted to be sung,

The worth in poetry is Nature's part:
The Muse was question'd in the vulgar tongue; Here-artis est celare artem-here,
Who, if she could not answer well in that, Art must be hid that Nature may appear;
Would hardly mend herself in Greek or Lat. So lie conceal'd behind the shining glass,

Bat poor encouragement for you to hope That Nature's image may the best repass:
That my instructions will attain the scope: All o'er, indeed, must quicksilver be spread,
Yet since the help, which you are pleas'd to seek, But all its uscless motion must lie dead.
Does not concern the Latin, or the Greek; The art of swimming next that comes to
In ancient classics, tho' but little read,

I know and care as little what they said,

Perhaps may show you what is here desigud: In plain, familiar English, for your sake,

A young beginner struggling, you may see, This untry'd province I will undertake;

With all his might--t was so at least with me And rules for verse as readily instill,

With all the splutter of his tinibs to swim, As if ability had equall'd will:

And keep his brains, and breath, above the brim; Fair stipulation, first, on either side,

Whiist, the inore eager he to gain his art, In form, and manner, here annex'd, imply'd- The sooner ev'ry linb is thrown athwart;

Conditions are-that, if the Muse should err, Till by degrees he learns, with less ado,
You gave th’occasion, and must pardon her: And gentler stroke, the purpose to pursue ;
If aught occur, on sitting down to try,

To Nature's motions poising he conforms,
That may deserve the casting of your eye; Nor puts th' unwilling element in storins ;
If bint arise, in any sort, to suit
With your intcut-you shall be welcome to't,

Taught, as the smoother wave sha! yield, to yield,
And rule the surface of the watry field.

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Soon as you can then, learn to lay aside Begin with me, and construe what I write, All wild endeavours against Nature's tide; Not to preclude your judgment, but excite; Which way she bends take notice, and comply; Just as you once examin'd what I taught, The verse that will not, burn, or throw it by: Proin first to last, with unaddicted thought, May be the subject does not suit your skill- So while, at your request, I venture here Disiniss, dismiss-till one comes up that will: To play the master, see that all be clear; If sense, if Nature succour not the theme,

Preserve the freedom, which you always took, All art and skill is strise against the stream; Nor, if it teach amiss, regard the book. If they assist to waft your verses o'er,

Thus, unencumber'd, let us move along, Stretch forward, and possess the wish’d-for shore. As road sball lead us, to the mount of song;

T was from a certain native sense, and wit, Still keeping, so far by agreement ty’d, That cane--Poeta nascitur, non lit

Good verse in prospect, and good sense for guide. Adage forbidding any rhyming blade, That was not born a poet, to be made; For if to sing, (in music) or to hear,

SENSE presuppos'd, and resolute intent Require a natural good voice, or ear;

To regulate thereby poetic bent,
If art and rule but awkwardly advance,

Let us examine language once again,
Without a previous, pliant shape, to dance, As erst we did to regulate the pen;
Well may the Muse, before she can inspire, And then observe how the peculiar frame
Versatile force of subtle wit require.

Of words, in English, may assist your aim. Of this if critics should demand a sign,

The end of speech, vouchsaf'd to human kind, Strong inclination should be one of mine;

Is to express conceptions of the mind : A fair desire is seldom known to spring,

By painted speech, or writing's wond'rous aid, But where there is some fitness for the thing: The lines of thought are legibly display'd ; Tho', by untoward circumstances check'd,

In any place, at any time appear, There lies a genius, but without effect;

And silent figure speaks to mental ear; Many a fine plant, uncultivated, dies;

Surprising permanence of meaning, found And worse, with more encouragement, may rise: For distant voice, and momentary sound : Des Mecænates hat bad Maro been,

Whether by Heav'n, at first, the huge effect Had not Mecænas rais'd the Muse within ? Reveal'd, or by inventive wit-reflect

Yours, honest pupil, when you are inclin'd, What good may follow, if a man exert May versify, according to your mind;

The talent right, what ill, if he pervert; She has no reason, to no patron ty'd,

And to exertion, whether good, or bad, To prostitute her favours to a side;

What strength engaging poetry may add; Nor to false taste, if any such the age

That, if successful in your present drift, Shall run into, to sacrifice her page;

You may not risk to desecrate the gift. Much less, with any vicious topic vile,

You see, in speaking, or by sound, or ink, An art of chaster off-pring to defile:

The grand inceptive caution is—to think; All verse unworthy of an English Muse,

To measure, ponder, ruminate, digest, Of short-hand race, she may, and must refuse. Or phrase whatever, that betokens best Ancient and modern aptitude to run

A due attention to make art, and skill, Into some errours, which you ought to shun, Turn all to good, or least of all to ill; Will now and then occasion, I foreset,

Never to give, on any warm pretence, In place, or out, a præcipe from me:

To just observers cause of just offence: When this shall happen, never stand to try To truth, to good, undoubtedly, belong The where of its appearance, but the why; The skill of poets, and the charms of song. Lest, by authorities, or old, or new,

In verse, or prose, in nature, or in art, You should be tempted to incur them too; The head begins the movement, or the heart; Since the most celebrated names infer

If both unite, if both be clear and sound, No sort of privilege in you to err:

Then may perfection in a work be found; Far from it-even, where they may excel, Then does the preacher, then the poet shine, Barely to imitate is not so well;

And justly take the title of divine. Much less should their authority prevail,

By common sense the word has been all led Or warrant you to follow, where they sail. To make distinction of the heart and head;

'Tis not to search for precedents alone, Distinction worthy of your keenest ken, But how to forin a judgment of your own; In passing judgment upon books, and men; In writing verse that is your main affair,

Upon yourself, before you shall submit Main end of all my monitory care,

To other judges what yourself has writ. Who hate servility to common law,

The heart, the head, it may suffice to note, That keeps an equitable right in awe;

Two diff'rent kinds of poetry promote; By use and custom justifies its lot,

One more sublime, more sacred, and severe, Its mødes, and fashions, whether right, or not; That shines in Poetry's celestial sphere; Cramps the free genius, clips the Muse's wing, One of an useful, tho’an bumbler birth, And to one poet ties another's string;

That ornaments its iwwer globe of Earth; Producing, from their hardiy various lines, These we shall here ascribe, if you think fit, So many copies, and so few designs.

One to good sense, the other to good wit; By neither names, nor numbers, be deterr'd; And grant that, whichsoever be display'd, Nor yield to mix amongst the servile herd: It must have something of the other's aid; Exert the liberty, which all avow,

Without some wit solidity is dull, Tho' slaves in practice and begin just now, As bad the sprightly nonscose, to the full.

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To clothe them both in language, and by rule, Write what the good may praise, as they peruse,
Let us again revise the short-hand school,

And bless, with no unfruitful fame, the Muse.
And trace the branching stamens of discourse A youthful Muse, a sprightly one, may crave
From their most plain and primmerly resource. To intermix the cheerful with the grave
Four parts of speech, you know, we us'd to make Indulge her choice, nor stop the flowing stream,
The best arrangement, for inquiry's sake;

Where rerse adorns an inoffensive theme.
And how, spontaneous, to determine those, Unwill'd endeavour is the same as faint,
The noun, and adnoun, verb, and adverb rose. And brisk will languish if it feel constraint:
Occurring hints, but to no stissness ty'd

From task impos'd, from any kind of force,
Of formal method, let these four divide;

A stiff, and starch'd production comes, of course;
They do, in fact, partition out, you know, Unless it suit, as it may chance to do,
The sense of words, as far as words can go; The present humour of the Muse, and you:
For of a thing the clear ideal sense,

Sooner, so ask'd, that willing numbers flow,
The properties that really spring from thence, The more acceptable, and a-propos;
Actions, and modes of action that ensue,

Tho' prompt, if proper the occasion rise,
Must all unite to make the language true; Her nimbier aid no gen'rous Muse denies;
If false, some one or other of these four

But if a fair and friendly call invite,
Unveils delusion ent'ring at its door;

Speeds on the verse to opportune delight;
But-wonted lessons I shall here pass by,

Cuts all delays to satisfaction short,
Trusting to your remembrance-and apply. When friends and seasons are in temper fort:

The noun, the name, the substantive, the thing, As, by this present writing, one may see,
Let represent the subject that you sing:

Dear Muse of mine, is just the case with thee.
The main, essential matter, whereupon

A gen'rous Muse, I must again repeat,
You mean to set the Muse at work anon:

Disdains the poor, poetical conceit
E'er you begin the verse that you intend, Of poaching verse, for personal repute,
Respice finem-tbink upon its end;

And writing only to be thought to do 't;
One single point, on which you are to fix, Without regarding one of its chief ends,
Must gorern all that you shall intermix; At once to profit, and to pleasure friends.
Before you quest for circumstances round, Tho' to the bard she dictate first the line,
Peg down, at first, the centre of your ground; The reader's benefit is her design:
Each periodic incident when past,

Mistaken poets seek for private fame;
Examine gently whether that be fast:

”T is gen’ral use that sanctifies the name.
How can you help, if it should e'er come out, Be free, and choose what subject then you will,
Mistaking quite the point you are about?

But keep your readers in remembrance still,
How, with no tether fix'd to your designs,

Your future judges—tho' 't is in your choice
Help incoherent, loose, unmeaning lines?

In wbat committees who shall have a voice:
You need not ask of classic Rome, or Greece, Their satisfaction if the Muse prefers,
Whether your work should all be of a piece; And their esteem, who justly merit hers,
The thing is plain and all that rule can tell They who do not, however prompt of throat,
Is-Memorandum to observe it well;

Stand all excluded from the legal vote.
To frame, whatever you shall intersperse
Of decoration, well connected verse;

Verse any readers, for whom verse is writ,
That shall, whatever may across be spread,

May to the press, or to the flames commit:
From end to end, maintain an equal thread;.

A poet signs the judgment on his verse,

If readers, worthy to be pleas'd, rehearse;
That botch, or patch, or clumsy, awkward seam But, when the blockheads meddle in the cause,
Mar not poetic unity of theme.
This theme, ar subject, for your English Muse

Laughs at their blame, and smiles at their apo

Belongs, of right, to you and her to choose :
Your own unbiass'd inclinations best

'T will add to future versifying ease
The freer topics for a verse suggest;

To think on judges, whom you ought to please ;
All, within bound of innocence, is free;

To fancy some of your selected friends
And you may range, without consulting me,

Discussing points, to which a subject tends;
The just, delightful, and extensive sphere;

By whom you guess it would be well discuss'd, All else,- what need of caution to forbear?

And judgment form'd, that you might safely trust;
None-if the bards, and some of them renown'd, Hints, what is fit to add, or to retrench,

If you conceive them sitting on the bench,
Had not transgrest, and overleap'd the bound;
This may indeed bid you to have a care,

Anticipating Fancy may supply,
Me, to renew the warning, to beware;

And save the trouble to the real eye:
While, unrestrain'd, you set yourself the task,

Judgment awaken'd may improve the theme
Let it be harmless, and 't is all I ask.

With righter verdict, tho' the court 's a dream.
Some, to be sure, more excellent, and grand,
Your practis'd genius may in time demand;
To these in view, no doubt, you may, in will,
Devete, at present, your completer skill;

And whilst, in little essays, you express,
Or clothe a thought in versifying dress,

On fair ideas they may turn, and just,
And pave the way to something more august:

I heard two neighbours talk, the other night,
If well your earlier specimens intend,

About this new distemper-giving plan,
From small beginpings you may greatly end;

Which some so wrong, and others think so right;

Short was the dialogue--md thus it ran,

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