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An Apology for himself and his Writings.
Being the Prologue to the Satire.
HUT, fhut the door, good John! fatigu'd
Tye up the knocker, fay I'm fick, I'm dead.
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 ftop the chariot, and they board the barge. 10 No place is facred, not the Church is free,
Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:
VER. 1. Shut, fhut the door, good John !] John Searle, his old and faithful fervant: 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 Parfon, much be-mus'd in beer,
A Clerk, foredoom'd his father's foul to cross,
Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, fcrawls
And curfes Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my Life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle fong)
After y 20. in the MS.
Is there a bard in durance? turn them free,
VER. 13. Mint] A place to which infolvent debtors retired, to enjoy an illegal protection they were there fuffered to afford one another, from the perfecution of their creditors.
VER. 23. Arthur,] Arthur Moore, Efq,
What Drop or Noftrum can this plague remove?
If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead.
To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace, 35 And to be grave, exceeds all Pow'r of face.
I fit with fad civility, I read
With honeft anguifh, and an aching head;
This faving counfel, "Keep your piece nine years." Nine years! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Lull'd by foft Zephyrs thro' the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends, Oblig'd by hunger, and requeft of friends:
VER. 29. in the 1st Ed.
Dear Doctor, tell me, is not this a curfe? Say, is their anger, or their friendship worse?
VER. 33. Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge,] Alluding to the scene in the Plain-Dealer, where Oldfox gags, and ties down the Widow, to hear his well pen'd fianzas.
VER. 38. honeft anguish,] i. e. undiffembled
Ibid. an aching head;] Alluding to the disorder he was then fo conftantly afflicted with.
VER. 43. Rhymes ere he wakes,] A pleafant allufion to those words of Milton,
Dictates to me flumb'ring, or inffires