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Who slow and leisurely rehearse,
As loath t'enrich you with their verse ;
Just as a still, with simples in it,
Betwixt each drop stays half a minute.
(That simile is not my own,
But lawfully belongs to Donne;
You see how well I can contrive a
To Brocas' lays no more you listen
Than to the wicked works of Whiston ;
In vain he strains to reach your ear
With what it wisely will not hear :
You bless the Powers who made that organ
Deaf to the voice of such a Gorgon,
For so one sure may call that head,
Which does not look, but read, men dead.
I hope you think me none of those
Who show their parts, as Pentlow does ;
I but lug out to one or two
Such friends, if such there are, as you,
Such, who read Heinsius and Masson,
And as you please to pass their doom,
(Who are to me both Smith and Johnson)*
So seize them flames, or take them' Tonson.
But, sir, from Brocas, Fowler, me,
In vain you think to 'scape rhyme-free;
When was it known one bard did follow
Whig maxims, and abjure Apollo?
Sooner shall Major-General cease
To talk of war, and live in peace;
Yourself for goose reject crow-quill,
And for plain Spanish quit Brazil ;
Sooner shall Rowe lampoon the Union,
Tydcombe take oaths on the communion ;
The Granvilles write their name plain Greenfield,
Nay, Mr. Wycherley see Binfield.
I'm told, you think to take a step, some
Ten miles from town, t a place callid Epsom,
To treat those nymphs like yours of Drury,
With—I protest and I'll assure ye ;
But though from flame to flame you wander,
Beware; your heart's no salamander !
But burnt so long, may soon turn tinder.
And so be fir’d by any cinder-
(-Wench, I'd have said, did rhyme not hinder.)
Should it so prove, yet who'd admire ?
'Tis known, a cookmaid roasted Prior,
Lardella fir'd a famous author,
And for a butcher's well-fed daughter
Great Dennis roar'd, like ox at slaughter.
(Now if you're weary of my style,
Take out your box of right Brazil,
First lay this paper under, then
Snuff just three times, and read again.)
I had to see you some intent,
But for a curst impediment,
Which spoils full many a good design,
That is to say, the want of coin :
For which, I had resolv'd almost
To raise Tiberius Gracchus' ghost;
To get, by once more murdering Caius,
As much as did Septimuleius;
But who so dear will buy the lead
That lies within a poet's head,
As that which in the hero's pate
Deserv'd of gold an equal weight?
Sir, you're so stiff in your opinion,
I wish you do not turn Socinian ;
prove reviver of a schism,
By modern wits call'd Quixotism.
What mov'd you, pray, without compelling,
Like Trojan true, to draw for Helen?
Quarrel with Dryden for a strumpet
(For so she was, as e’er show'd rump yet,
Though I confess, she had much grace,
Especially about the face.)
Virgil, when callid Pasiphae Virgo
(You say) he'd more good breeding; ergo-
Well argu'd, faith! Your point you urge
As home as ever did Panurge:
And one may say of Dryden too,
(As once you said of you know who)
He had some fancy, and could write ;
Was very learn'd, but not polite.
However from my soul I judge
He ne'er, good man, bore Helen grudge,
But lov'd her full as well, it may be,
As e'er he did his own dear Lady.
6 Dryden married Lady Elizabeth Howard.
You have no cause to take offence, sir,
Zounds, you're as sour as Cato Censor!
Ten times more like him, I profess,
Than I'on like Aristophanes.
To end with news—the best I know,
Is, I've been well a week or so.
The season of green pease is fled,
And artichokes reign in their stead.
Th' Allies to bomb Toulon prepare;
God save the pretty ladies there!
One of our dogs is dead and gone,
And I, unhappy, left alone!
If you have
T'administer on this occasion,
Send it, I pray, by the next post,
Before my sorrow be quite lost.
The twelfth or thirteenth day of July, But which I cannot tell you truly.
DEAR, damn’d, distracting town, farewell!
Thy fools no more I'll tease: This year in peace, ye critics, dwell,
Ye harlots, sleep at ease!
Soft B- -s and rough C
-s,' adieu ! Earl Warwick, make your moan; The lively H-k and you
May knock up whores alone.
To drink and droll be Rowe allow'd
Till the third watchman's toll ; Let Jervas gratis paint, and Frowde?
Save threepence and his soul.
Farewell Arbuthnot's raillery
learned sot; And Garth, the best good Christian he,
Although he knows it not.
Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go;
Farewell, unhappy Tonson ! Heaven gives thee for thy loss of Rowe 8
Lean Philips and fat Johnson.
Why should I stay? Both parties rage;
My vixen mistress squalls ; The wits in envious feuds engage;
And Homer (damn him !) calls.