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BEING THE

PROLOGUE

TO THE

SATIRE S.

HUT, fhut the door, good John! fatigu'd

P. SHUT, faid,

Tye up the knocker, fay I'm fick, I'm dead,
The Dog-star rages! nay 'tis past a doubt,
All Bedlam, or Parnaffus, is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.

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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. 10
No place is facred, not the Church is free,
Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:

VER. 1. Shut, but the door, good John !] John Searl, 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 maudlin Poetefs, a rhyming Peer,

15

A Clerk, foredoom'd his father's foul to cross,
Who pens a Stanza, when he should engross ?
Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, fcrawls
With defp'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, whofe giddy fon neglects the Laws,
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause :
Poor Cornus fees his frantic wife elope,

And curfes Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.

25

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

VARIATIONS.

After ver. 20. in the MS:

Is there a Bard in durance? turn them free,
With all their brandifh'd reams they run to me:
Is there a Prentice, having feen two plays,
Who would do something in his Semptress' praise---

VER. 29. in the 1st Ed.

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

Say, is their anger, or their friendship worse ?

VER. 13. Mint.] A place to which infolvent debtors retired, to enjoy an illegal protection, which they were there fuffered to afford one another, from the perfecution of their creditors.

What Drop or Noftrum can this plague remove?
Or which must end me, a Fool's wrath or love?
A dire dilemma! either way I'm fped.

If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead.
Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge, how wretched I!
Who can't be filent, and who will not lye :
To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace,
And to be grave, exeeeds all Pow'er of face.
I fit with fad civility, I read

With honeft anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at last, but in unwilling cars,

30

35

39

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 request of friends:

"The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it, 45
"I'm all fubmiffion, what you'd have it, make it.”
Three things another's modest wishes bound,
My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound.
Pitholeon fends to me: "You know his Grace,
"I want a Patron; afk him for a Place."

Pitholeon libell'd me-" but here's a letter

66

50

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

VER. 49. Pitholeon] 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 Cæfar alfo. See notes on Hor. Sat. 10. I. 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 ftranger fucs, 55 "A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Mufe."

If I dislike it," Furies, death and rage!"

If I approve, " Commend it to the Stage." There (thank my stars) my whole commiffion ends, The players and I are, luckily, no friends. 60 Fir'd that the house reject him, "'Sdeath I'll print it, "And fhame the fools-Your int'reft, Sir, with

Lintot."

Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much : "Not, Sir, if you revife it, and retouch."

All my demurs but double his attacks ;

At laft he whispers, "Do; and we go fnacks."
Glad of a quarrel, ftrait I clap the door,
Sir, let me fee your works and you no more.
'Tis fung, when Midas' Ears began to spring,
(Midas, a facred person and a King)

His very Minister who spy'd them first,

65

70

(Some fay his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst.

VARIATIONS.

VER. 53. in the MS.

If you refufe, 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.

And is not mine, my friend, a forer cafe,
When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face?

76

A, Good friend forbear! you deal in dang’rous things,
I'd never name Queens, Ministers, or Kings;
Keep close to Ears, and those let affes prick,

'Tis nothing-P. Nothing? if they bite and kick?
Out with it, DUNCIAD! let the fecret país,

That fecret to each fool, that he's an Afs:

The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?) of Midas flept, and so may I.

The

queen

You think this cruel? take it for a rule, No creature fmarts fo little as a fool.

80

Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break, 85
Thou unconcern'd canst hear the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulfions hurl'd,
Thou ftand'ft unshook amidst a bursting world.
Who fhames a Scribler? break one cobweb thro',
He fpins the flight, felf-pleafing thread anew:

Deftroy his fib or fophiftry, in vain,

The creature's at his dirty work again,

90

VER. 80. That fecret to each fool, that he's an Afs:] i. e. that his ears (his marks of folly) are vifible.

VER, 88. Alluding to Horace,

Si fractus illabatur orbis,
Impavidum ferient ruinæ.

P.

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

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