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FIRST adventure', with fool-hardy might, To tread the steps of perilous despight: I first adventure, follow me who list, And be the second English Satyrist. Envy wayts on my backe, Truth on my side: Envy will be my page, and truth my guide. Envy the margent holds, and truth the line : Truth doth approve, but envy doth repine. For in this smoothing age who durst indite Hath made his pen a hyred parasite, To claw the back of him that beastly lives, And pranck: base men in proud superlatives. Whence damned vice is shrouded quite from shame And crown'd with virtue's meed, immortal name! Infamy dispossest of native due, Ordain'd of old on looser life to sue : The world's eye bleared with those shameless lyes, Mask'd in the shew of meal-mouth'd poesies. Go, daring Muse, on with thy thanklesse taske, And do the ugly face of vice unmaske: And if thou canst not thine high flight remit, So as it mought a lowly Satyre fit, Let lowly Satyres rise aloft to thee: Truth be thy speed, and truth thy patron bee.
i I first adventure-Book ii. Sat. 7, our author implies the previous existence of other Satirists.
-Thou brain-sick tale
The black bronds of SOME SHARPER SATYRIST? That he introduced Genuine Satire among us, may be readily granted ; but not that he was the First Satirist. E. It appears, however, from his Postscript, that he had seen no English Satires; and only those of Ariosto and “ one base French Sa. tire," of modern writers.
* Pranck-Dress out.
Nor ladie's wanton love, nor wand'ring knight,
scornfull Muse abide
i From this Satire we learn what kind of pieces were then most in fashion, and in what manner they were written. They seem to have been Tales of Love and Chivalry, Amatorial Sonnets, Tragedies, Comedies, and Pastorals. W.
Legend—To write fabulously. 3 Of mightie Mahound, and great Termagaunt. Warton, in his commentary on the Fairy Queen, was persuaded that our author had here a passage of that poem in view
- The whiles the carle did fret
F. Q. B. vi. C. 7. St. 47. These were, however, common Saracen oaths; and introduced in many parts of the Fairy Queen. E. See Todd's Spenser, vol. vii. p. 27.
* To paint some Blowesse with a bor row'd grace. In modern ballads, Blousilinda, or Blousibella. Johnson interprets Blowze, a ruddy fat-faced wench. W.
s Hungrie-Perhaps the true reading is angrie : that is, impassioned. W. • Avayle-Advantage.
? Such hunger-starven, trencher-poetry. Poetry written by hirelings for bread. W.
Nor under every bank and every tree,
WHILOME " the Sisters Nine were vestall maides,
Trumpet, and recds, and socks, and buskins fine,
Their living temples likewise laurell-bound.
Heliconidasque pallidamque Pyrenen
Hedere sequaces. E. I them bequeath—The Oxford Editor refers this to the Earl of Surrey, Wyat, Sid. ney, Dyer, &c.
Whose statues wandring twine &c.
Whose stalues th' wand'ring twine &c. W. circlen-encircle. 19 They haunt the tyded Thumes and salt Medway,
Ere since the fame of their late bridall day : Alluding to Spenser's beautiful episode, in the Fairy Queen, B. iv. Canto 11, on the marriage of the Thames and Medway. E.
12 forlore--forlorn. 13 In this Satire our author poetically laments that the Nine Muses are no longer Vestal Virgins.
W. * Whilome-formerly.
Of faire Parnassus, that two-headed hill,
-apple-squire.--A cant term, formerly in use to denote a pimp. “Of her gentleman-usher I became her Apple-Squire, to hold the door, and keep centinel at taverns.” Nabbe's Microcosmus, quoted by Mason in his Supplement to Johnson.