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POEMS

OF

DAVID MALLET.

OF

TO THE FIRST AND SECOND EDITIONS.

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"Tis thine, O Pope, who choose the better part,

To tell how false, how vain, the scholiast's art,
VERBAL CRITICISM.

Which nor to taste, nor genius has pretence,
And, if 'tis learning, is not common sense.

In errour obstinate, in wrangling loud,
For trides eager, positive, and proud;

Deep in the darkness of dull authors bred,
ADVERTISEMENT

With all their refuse lumberd in his head,
What every dunce from every dunghill drew

Of literary offals, old or new,
As the design of the following poem is to rally the Forth steps at last the self-applauding wight,

avuse of verbal criticism, the author could not, Of points and letters, chaff and straws, to write:
without manifest partiality, overlook the editor Sagely resolv'd to swell each bulky piece
of Milton, and the restorer of Shakspeare. With With venerable toys, from Rome and Greece;
regard to the latter, he has read over the many | How oft, in Homer, Paris curl'd his bair;
and ample specimens with which that scholiast If Aristotle's cap were round or square;
has already obliged the public : and of these, If in the cave, where Dido first was sped,
and these only, he pretends to give his opinion. To 'Tyre she turn'd her heels, to Troy her head.
But, whatever he may think of the critic, not Such the choice anecdotes, profound and vain,
bearing the least ill-will to the man, he deferred That store a Bentley's and a Burman's brain :
printing these verses, though written several Hence, Plato quoted, or the Stagyrite,
months ago, till he heard that the subscription To prove that lame ascends, and show is white:

for a new edition of Shakspeare was closed. Hence, much hard study, without sense or breeding, He begs leave to add likewise, that this poem was And all the grave impertinence of reading.

undertaken and written entirely without the If Shakspeare says, the noon-day Sun is bright,
knowledge of the gentleman to whom it is ad- His scholiast will remark, it then was light;
dressed. Only as it is a public testimony of his Turn Caxton, Winkin, each old Goth and Hun,
in violable esteem for Mr. Pope, on that account, To rectify the reading of a pun.
particularly, he wishes it may not be judged to Thus, nicely trifling, accurately dull,
increase the number of mean performances, with How one may toil, and toil—to be a fool!
shich the town is almost daily pestered.

But is there then no honour due to age ?
No reverence to great Shakspeare's noble page?
And he, who half a life has read him o'er,

His mangled points and commas to restore,
Among the numerous fools, by Pate design'd Meets he such slight regard in nameless lays,
Oft to disturb, and oft divert, mankind,

Whom Bufo treats, and lady Would-be pays ?
The reading coxcomb is of special note,

Pride of his own, and wonder of this age,
By mle a poet, and a judge by rote:

Who first created, and yet rules, the stage,
Grave sm of idle Industry and Pride,

Bold to design, all-powerful to express,
When learning but perverts, and books misguide. Shakspeare each passion drew in every dress:

O fam'd for judging, as for writing well, Great above rule, and imitating none;
That rarest science, where so few excel;

Rich without borrowing, Nature was his own.
Whose life, severely scann'd, transcends thy lays, Yet is his sense debas'd by gross allay :
Fur wit supreme is but thy second praise:

As gold in mines lies inix'd with dirt and clay.

Now, eagle-wing'd, his heavenward flight he takes; In this the critic's follv most is shown:
The big stage thunders, and the soul awakes : Is there a genius all-unlike his own,
Now, low on earth, a kindred reptile creeps; With learning elegant, with wit well bred,
Sad Hamlet quibbles, and the hearer sleeps. And, as in books, in men and manners read;

Such was the poet : next the scholiast view; Him-elf with poring eruditio: blind,
Faint through the colouring, yet the features true. Unknowing, as unknown of human kind;

Condemn’d to dig and dang a barren soil, That writer he selects, with aukward aim Where hardly tares will grow with care and toil, His sense, at once, to mimic and to maim. He, with low industry, goes gleaning on

So Florio is a fop, with half a pose : From good, from bad, from mean, neglecting none: So fat West Indian planters dress as beaux. His brother book-worm so, in shelf or stall, Thus, gay Petronius was a Dutchinan's choice, Will feed alike on Woolston and on Paul.

And Horare, strange to say, tun'd Fentley's voice. By living clients hopeless now of bread,

Horace, whom all the Graces taught to please, He pettyfogs a scrap from authors dead :

Mix'd mirth with morals, eloquence with ease; See him on Shakspeare pore, intent to steal His genius social, as his judgment clear; Poor farce, by fragments, for a third-day meal. When frolic, prudent; smiling when severe; Such that grave bird in northern seas is found, Secure, each temper, and each taste to hit, Whose name a Dutchman only knows to sound. His was the curious happiness of wit. Where'er the king of fish moves on before,

Skill'd in that noblest science, how to live; This humble friend attends from shore to shore; Which learning may direct, but Heaven must give; With eye still earnest, and with bill inclin'd, Grave with Agrippa, with Mæcenas gay ; He picks up what his patron drops behind, Among the fair, but just as wise as they : With those choice cates his palate to regale, First in the friendships of the great enroll’d, And is the careful Tibbald of a whale'.

The St. Johns, Boyles, and Lytteltons, of old. Blest genius! who bestows his oil and pains While Bentley, long to wrangling schools confin'd, On each dull passage, each dull book contains; And, but by books, acquainted with mankind, The toil more grateful, as the task more low: Dares, in the fulness of the pedant's pride, So carrion is the quarry of a crow.

Rhyme, though no genius; though no judge, decide. Where his fam'd author's page is flat and poor, Yet he, prime pattern of the captious art, There, most exact the reading to restore;

Out-tibbalding poor Tibbald, tops his part : By dint of plodding, and by sweat of face, Holds high the scourge o'er each fam'd author's A bull to change, a blunder to replace :

head; Whate'er is refuse critically gleaning,

Nor are their graves a refuge for the dead. And mending nonsense into doubtful meaning. To Milton lending sense, to Horace wit, For this, dread Dennis, (and who can forbear, He makes them write what never poet writ: Dunce or not dunce ?, relating it, to stare?) The Roman Muse arraigns his mangling pen; His head though jealous, and his year's fourscore, And Paradise, by him, is lost again*. Ev’n Dennis praises 3, who ne'er prais'd before ! Such was his doom impos’d by Heaven's decree, For this, the scholiast claims bis share of fame, With ears that hear not, eyes that shall not see, And, modest, prints his own with Shakspeare's name: The low to swell, to level the sublime, How justly, Pope, in this short story view; To blast all beauty, and beprose all rhyme. Which may be dull, and therefore should be true. Great eldest-burn of Dullness, blind and bold !

A prelate, fam'd for clearing each dark text, Tyrant! more cruel than Procrustes old; Who sense with sound, and truth with rhetoric mixt, Who, to his iron-bed, by torture, fits, Once, as his moving theme to rapture warm'd, Their nobler part, the souls of suffering wits. Inspird himself, his happy hearers charm’d. Snch is the man, who heaps his bead with bays, The sermon o'er, the crowd remain'd bebind, And calls on hainan kind to sound his praise, And freely, man or woman, spoke their mind : For points transplac'd with curious want of skill, All said they lik'd the lecture from their sonl, For fattend sounds, and sense amended ill. And each, remembering something, prais'd the So wise Caligula, in dars of yore, At last an honest sexton join'd the throng; (whole. His helmet fillid with pebbles on the shore, (For as the theme was large, their talk was long) Swore he had rifled Ocean's rich spoils, "Neighbonrs," he cry'd,“my conscience bids me tell, and claim'd a trophy for his martial toils. Though 'twas the doctor preach'd--I told the bell.” Yet be his merits, with his faults, confest:

Fair-dealing, as the plainest, is the best. ' This remarkable bird is called the Strundt- Long lay the critic's work, with trifles stord, Jager. Here you see how he purchases his food : Admir'd in Latin, but in Greek ador’d. and the same author, from whom this account is taken, tells us further, how he comes by his drink. 4 This sagacious scholiast is pleased to create an You may see him, adds the Dutchman, frequently imaginary editor of Milton; who, he says, by his pursning a sort of sea-mew, called Kulge-Gehef, blunders, interpolations, and vile alterations, lost whom he torments incessantly to make him void Paradise a second time. This is a postulatum an excrement; which, being liquid, serves bim, I which surely none of his readers can have the heart imagine, for drink. See a Collection of Voyages to deny him; because otherwise he would have to the North.

wanted a fair opportunity of calling Milton him..... Quis talia fando

self, in the person of this phantom, fool, ignorant, Myrmidonum, Dolopumve, &c. Virg.

idiot, and the like critical compellations, which be

plentifully bestows on him. But, though he had 3 See the Dedication of his Remarks on the Dun- no taste in poetry, he was otherwise a man of very ciad to Mr. Lewis Theobald.

considerable abilities, and of great erudition.

Men, so well read, who confidently wrote,

Where moral meaning, or where taste presides, Their readers conld bave sworn, were men of note: And wit enlivens but what reason guides : To pass upon the crowd for great or rare,

Great without swelling, without meanuess plain, Aim not to make them knowing, make them stare. Serious, not silly; sportive, but not vain; For these blind votaries good Bentley griev'd, On trides slight, on things of use profound, Writ English notes-and mankind undeceiv'd: In quoting sober, and in judging sound. la sach clear light the serious folly plac'd, Ev'n thou, Browne Willis, thou may'st see the jest.

But what can cure our vanity of mind,
Deaf to reproof, and to discovery blind?

VERSES
Lt Crooke, a brother scholiast Shakspeare call,
Tibbald, to Hesiod-Cooke returns the ball.

PRESENTED TO THE PRINCE OF ORANGE, ON HIS VISITING So runs the circle still: in this, we see

OXFORD, IN THE YEAR 1734.
The lackies of the great and learn'd agree.
If Britain's nobles mix in high debate,

Receive, lov'd prince, the tribnte of our praise,
Whenee Europe, in suspense, attends her fate; This hasty welcome, in unfinish'd lays.
In mimic session their grave footmen meet, At best, the pomp of song, the paint of art,
Reduce an army, or equip a feet:

Display the genius, but pot speak the heart; And, rivalling the critic's lofty style,

And oft, as ornament must truth supply, Mere Tom and Dick are Stanhope and Argyll. Are but the splendid colouring of a lie.

Yet those, whom pride and dulness join to blind, These need not here ; for to a soul like thine, To narrow cares in narrow space confin'd,

Truth, plain and simple, will more lovely shine. Though with big titles each his fellow greets, The truly good but wish the verse sincere: Are but to wits, as scavengers to streets :

They court no flattery, who no censure fear,
The humble black-guards of a Pope or Gay,

Such Nassau is, the fairest, gentlest mind,
To brush off dnst, and wipe their spots away. In blooining youth the Titus of mankind,
Or, if not trivial, harmful is their art;

Crowds, who to hail thy wish'd appearance ran, Fame to the head, or poison to the heart.

Forgot the prince, to praise and love the man. Where ancient authors hint at things obscene, Such sense with sweetness, grandeur mix'd with ease! The scholiast speaks out broadly what they mean. Our nobler youth will learn of thee to please : Disclosing each dark sice, well lost to fame, Thy bright example shall our world adorn, And adding fuel to redundant flame,

And charm, in gracious princes, yet unborn. He, sober pimp to Lechery, explains

Nor deem this verse from venal art proceeds, What Caprer's Isle, or V--'s Alcore contains : That vice of courts, the soil for baneful weeds. Why Panlus, for his sordid temper known, Here Candour dwells; here honest truths are taught, Was lavish, to his father's wife alone :

To guide and govern, not disguise, the thought. Why those food female visits duly paid

See these enlighten'd sages, who preside To tunetul Incuba; and what her trade:

O’er Learning's empire; see the youth they guide: Fly modern love has made so many martyrs, Behold, all faces are in transport drest! And which keeps oftenest, lady C-, or Chartres. But those most wonder, who discern thee best.

But who their various follies can explain? At sight of thee, each free-born heart receives The tale is infinite, the task were vain.

A joy, the sight of princes rarely gives; 'Tsere to read new-year odes in search of thought; From tyrants sprung, and oft themselves design'd, To s'ım the libels Pryn or Withers wrote;

By Fate, the future Neroes of their kind: To guess, ere one epistle saw the lights,

But though thy blood, we know, transmitted, springs Hos many dunces met, and club'd their mite; From laurell'd heroes, and from warrior-kings, To couch for truth what Welsted prints of Pope, Through that high series, we, delighted, trace Or from the brother-boob es steal a trope.

The friends of liberty, and human race ! That be the part of persevering Wass",

Oh, born to glad and animate our isle ! With pen of lead; or, Arnall, thine of brass; For thee, our heavens look pleas'd, our seasons smile: text for Henley, or a gloss for Hearne,

For thee, late object of our tender fears, Who loves to teach, what no man cares to learn. When thy life droop'd, and Britain was in tears,

fl* little, knowledge reaps from toils like these! All-cheering Health, the goddess rosy-fair, To doubtful to direct, too porr to picase.

Attended by soft suns, and vernal air, Thonr, Yet, critics, would your tribe deserve a name, Sought those fam'd springs', where, each afflictive In l, fairly useful, rise to hovest fame;

Disease, and Age, and Pain, invoke her power: First, from the head, a load of luinber move, She came; and, while to thee the current flows, And, from the volume, all yourselves approve:

Pour'd all herself, and in thy cup arose. Por patch'd and pilter'd fragments, give us sense, Hence, to thy cheek, that instant bloom deriv'd: Or learning, clear from learn’d impertinence, Hence, with thy health, the weepiug world revivid !

Proceed to emulate thy race divine: s Sec a poem published some time ago under A life of action, and of praise, be thine. that title, said to be the production of several in

Assert the titles genuine to thy blood, pamous and prolific heads; one contributing a si

By nature, daring; but by reason, good. faile, another a character, and a certain gentleman No son of theirs must hope to live unknowư:

So great, so glorious thy forefathers shone, fuur shrewd lines wholly made up of asterisks.

Their deeds will place thy virtue full in sight; 6 See the preface to his edition of Sallust; and Thy vice, if vice thou hast, in stronger light. read, if you are able, the Scholia of sixteen annotators by him collected, besides his own.

1 Bath.

12

If to thy fair beginnings nobly true,

These, thy best wealth, with curious choice combind, Think what the world may claim, and thou must do: Now treasur'd here, shall form the studious mind : The honours, that already grace thy name, To wits unborn the wanted succours give, Have fix'd thy choice, and force thee into fame. And fire the bard, whom Gepjus means to live. Ev'n she, bright Anna, whom thy worth has won, “ But, teach thy sons the gentle laws of peace; Inspires thee what to seek and what to shun: Let low Self-love and pedaut Discord cease: Rich in all outward grace, th' exalted fair

Their object truth, utility their aim,
Makes the soul's beauty her peculiar care.

One social spirit reign, in all the same.
0, be your nuptials crown'd with glad increase Thus aided arts shall with fresh vigour shoot ;
Of sons, in war renown'd, and great in peace; Their cultur'd blossoms ripen'd into fruit;
Of daughters, fair and faithful, to supply

Thy faded star dispense a brighter ray,
The patriot-race, till Nature's self shall die ! And each glad Muse renew her noblest lay.”

SPOKEN BY LORD SANDWICH.

PROLOGUE
VERSES

TO THE SIEGE OF DAMASCUS.
OCCASIONED BY DR. FRAZER'S REBUILDING PART OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN.
In times long past, ere Wealth was Learning's foe, Spread wide their influence o'er this happy isle;

When arts and arms, beneath Eliza's smile,
And dard despise the worth he would not know;

A golden reign, uncurst with party rage, Ere mitred Pride, which arts alone had rais'd,

That foe to taste, and tyrant of our age; Those very arts, in others saw, unprais'd ;

Ere all our learning in a libel lay, Friend to mankind', a prelate, good and great,

And all our talk, in politics, or play: The Muses courted to this safe retreat:

The statesman oft would soothe his toils with wit, Fix'd each fair virgin, decent, in her cell,

What Spenser sung, and Nature's Shakspeare writ; With learned Leisure, and with Peace to dwell.

Or to the laurell’d grove, at times, retire, The fabric finish'd, to the sovereign's fame ?,

There, woo the Muse, and wake the moving lyre. His own neglecting, he transferred his claim.

As fair examples, like ascending morn, Here, by successive worthies, well was taught

The world at once enlighten and adorn; Whate'er enlightens, or exalts the thought.

From them diffus'd, the gentle arts of peace With labour planted, and improv'd with care,

Shot brightening o'er the land, with swift increase : The various tree of knowledge flourish'd fair :

Rough Nature soften'd into grace and ease;
Soft and serene the kindly seasons roll’d,
And Science long enjoy'd her age of gold.

Sense grew polite, and Science songbt to please.

Reliev'd from yon rude scene of party-din, Now, dire reverse ! impaird by lapse of years,

Where open Baseness vies with secret Sin, A falling waste the Muses' seat appears.

And safe embower'd in Woburn's 3 airy groves, O’er her gray roofs, with baneful ivy bound,

Let us recall the times our taste approves;
Time, sure destroyer, walks his hostile round:

Awaken to our aid the inourning Muse;
Silent, and slow, and ceaseless in his toil,
He mines each wall, he moulders every pile!

Through every bosom tender thought infuse;

Melt angry Faction into moral sense,
Ruin hangs hovering o'er the fated place:
And dumb Oblivion comes with mended pace.

And to his guests a Bedford's soul dispense.

And now, while Spring extends her smiling reign, Sad Learning's genius, with a father's fear, Beheld the total desolation near:

Green on the mountain, flowery in the plain;

While genial Nature breathes, from bill and dale, Beheld the Muses stretch the wing to fly;

Health, fragrance, gladness, in the living gale; And fix'd on Heaven his sorrow-streaming eye!

From Heaven, in that dark hour, commission'a The various softness, stealing through the heart, Mild Charity, ev'n there the foremost name. [came Wheu sad Eudocia pours her hopeless woe,

Impressions sweetly social, will impart. Swift Pity flew before her, softly bright;

The tear of pity will unbidden Aow ! At whose felt influence, Nature smild with light. “Hear, and rejoice!"—the gracious power begun— Hulds up himself, a mirror for mankind;

When erring Phocyas, whom wild passions blind, “ Already, fir'd by me, thy favourite son This ruin'd scene remarks with filial eyes;

An equal eye on our own hearts we turn,

Where frailties lurk, where fond affections burn; And, from its fall, bids fairer fabrics rise. behold! where crumbling fragments gray, We mourn the guilty, while the guilt we blame!

And, conscious, Nature is in all the same,
In dust deep-bury'd, lost to memory lay,
The column swells, the well-knit arches bend,
The round dome widens, and the roofs ascend !
“ Nor ends the bounty thus: by him bestow'd,

EPILOGUE
Here, Science shall her richest stores unload.
Whate'er, long-bid, Philosophy has found;

TO THE BROTHERS,
Or the Muse sung, with living laurel crown'd;

A TRAGEDY, BY DR. YOUNG.
Or History descry'd, far-looking sage,
In the dark doubtfulness of distant age;

To woman, sure, the most severe affiction

Is, from these fellows, point-blank contradiction. * Bishop Elphinstone.

Calling it King's College, in compliment to 3 The Siege of Damascus was acted at Woburn, James II.

by the duke of Bedford, the earl of Sandwich, and

Ev'n now,

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WITH A VERY YOUNG CHILD.

Our bard, without- I wish he would appear- Guilt's hapless servant sinks into a slave; ld! I would give it him—but you shall hear- And Virtue's last sad strugglings cannot save.

“Good sir!" quoth I-and curtsey'd as I spoke- “ As such our fair attempt, we hope to see * Our pit, you know, expects and loves a joke, Our judges, here at least-from influence free: Twere fit to humour them: for, right or wrong, One place, -unbiass’d yet by party-rage, True Britons never like the same thing long, Where only Honour votes—the British stage. To day is fair-they strut, huff, swear, harangue:- We ask for justice, for indulgence sue: To morrow's fou!--they sneak aside, and hang: Our last best licence must proceed from you.” Is there a war-peace ! peace! is all their cry: The peace is made-then, blood ! they'll fight

and die."
Gallants, in talking thus, I meant no treason :

IMPROMPTU,
I would have brought, you see, the man to reason.
But with some folks, 'tis labour lost to strive:

ON A LADY, WHO HAD PASSED SOME TIME IN PLAYING
A reasoning mule will neither lead nor drive.
He hummd, and haw'd; then, waking from his Why, on this least of little misses,
dream,

Did Celia waste so many kisses? Cred, I must preach to you his moral scheme.

Quoth Love, who stood behind and smil'd,
A scheme, forsooth! to benefit the nation!

“ She kiss'd the father in the child.”
Some queer, odd whim of pious propagation'!
Lond! talk so, here-the man must be a widgeon:-
Drury may propagate-but not Religion.

Yet, after all, to give the Devil his due,
Our author's scheme, though strange, is wholly new:

EPIGRAM,
Well, shall the novelty then recommend it ?

ON SEEING TWO PERSONS PASS BY IN VERY DIFFERENT If not from liking, from caprice befriend it. For drums and routs, make him a while your passion, A little while let virtue be the fashion:

In modern as in ancient days, Ani, spite of real or imagin'd blunders,

See what the Muses have to brag on: Ev'n let bim live, nine days, like other wonders. The player in his own post-chaise ;

The poet in a carrier's waggon!

EQUIPAGES.

PROLOGUE

EPIGRAM,
TO MR. THOMSON'S AGAMEMNON 2.

ON A CERTAIN LORD'S PASSION FOR A SINGER.
When this decisive night, at length, appears, Nerina's angel-voice delights;
The night of every author's hopes and fears,
What shifts to bribe applause, poor poets try!

Nerina's devil-face affrights:

How whimsical her Strephon's fate,
In all the forms of wit they court and lie:

Condemn'd at once to like and hate !
These meanly beg it, as an alms; and those,
By boastful bluster dazzle and impose,

But be she cruel, be she kind,

Love! strike her dumb, or make him blind.
Nor poorly fearful, nor securely vain,
Ours would, by honest ways, that grace obtain ;
Would, as a free-born wit, be fairly try'd :
And then-let Candour, fairly too, decide.

A SIMILE IN PRIOR,
He courts no friend, who blindly comes to praise;
He dreads no foe-but whom his faults may raise.

APPLIED TO THE SAME PERSON.
Indulge a generous pride, that bids bim own,
He aims to please, by noble means alone;

Dear Thomas, didst thou never pop
By what may win the judgment, wake the heart, Thy head into a tinman's shop?
Inspiring Nature, and directing Art;

There, Thomas, didst thou never see
By scenes, so wrought, as may applause command 'Tis but by way of simile-
More from the judging head, than thundering hand. A squirrel spend its little rage,
Important is the moral we would teach-

In jumping round a rolling cage ?
Oh may this island practise what we preach- Mov'd in the orb, pleas'd with the chimes,
Vice in its first approach with care to shun; The foolish creature thinks it climbs;
The wretch, who once engages, is undone.

But here or there, turn wood or wire,
Crimes lead to greater crimes, and link so strait, It never gets two inches higher.
What first was accident, at last is fate :

So fares it with this little peer,

So busy and so bustling here; some other persons of distinction, in the month of For ever flirting up and down, May, 1743.

And frisking round his cage, the town. 'The profits arising from this play were intended A world of nothing in his chat, to be given, by the author, to the Society for pro- of who said this, and who did that: pagating Christian Knowledge.

With similies, that never hit; : See the prologue to Sophonisba, a joint pro- | Vivacity, that has no wit; duction of Pope and Mallet's, in the twelfth volume Schemes laid this hour, the next forsaken; of this collection.

Advice oft ask'd, but never taken:

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