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Such writers have we! all, but fense, they print;
Ev'n GEORGE's praise is dàted from the Mint.
In arms contemptible, in arts profane,
Such swords, such pens, disgrace a monarch's reign.
Reform your lives before you thus aspire,
And steal (for you can steal) celestial fire.
0! the just contrast ! O the beauteous strife!
'Twixt their cool writings, and pindaric life:
They write with phlegm, but then they live with fire;
They cheat the lender, and their works the buyer.
I reverence misfortune, not deride;
I pity poverty, but laugh at pride:
For who so fad, but must some mirth confess
CASTRUCĦ10's miscellaneous dress ?
Though there's but one of the dull works he wrote,
There's ten editions of his old lac'd coat.
These, nature's commoners, who want a home,
Claim the wide world for their majestic dome;
They make a private study of the street ;
And looking full on every man they meet,
Run fouse against his chaps ; who stands amaz’d
To find they did not fee, but only gaz’d.
How must these bards be rapt into the skies !
You need not read, you feel their ecftafies.
Will they perfift?' 'Tis madness; Lintot, run,
See them confin'd- " that's already done.".
Most, as by leases, by the works they print,
Have took, for life, poffeffion of the Mint.
If you mistake, and pity these poor men,
Ex Ulubris, they cry, and write again.
Such wits their nuisance manfully expose,
And then pronounce juft judges learning's foes;
frail conclusion; the reverse is true ; If foes to learning, they'd be friends to you:
Treat them, ye judges ! with an honest scorn,
And weed the cockle from the generous corn:
There's true good-nature in your disrespect;
In justice to the good, the bad neglect:
For immortality, if hardships plead,
It is not theirs who write, but ours who read.
But, O! what wisdom can convince a fool,
But that 'tis dulness to conceive him dull ?
'Tis fad experience takes the censor's part,
Conviction, not from reason, but from fmart.
A virgin-author, recent from the press,
The sheets yet wet, applauds his great success;
Surveys them, reads them, takes their charms to bed,
Those in his hand, and glory in his head ;
'Tis joy too great; a fever of delight !
His heart beats thick, nor close his eyes all night:
But rising the next morn to clasp his fame,
He finds that without sleeping he could dream:
So sparks, they say, take goddesses to bed,
And find next day the devil in their stead.
In vain advertisements the town o'erspread;
They're epitaphs, and say the work is dead.
Who press for fame, but small recruits will raise ;
'Tis volunteers alone can give the bays.
A famous author visits a great man, Of his immortal work displays the plan, And says, “ Sir, I'm your friend; all fears dismiss ; “ Your glory, and my own, shall live by this ; “ Your pow'r is fixt, your fame thro' time convey'd, “ And Britain Europe's Queen-if I am paid.” A Statesman has his answer in a trice; « Sir, such a genius is beyond all price; • What man can pay for this ?"-Away he turns ; His work is folded, and his bosom burns :
His patron he will patronize no more;
Bụt rushes like a tempeft out of door.
Loft is the patriot, and extinct his name !
Out comes the piece, another, and the same;
For A, his magic pen evokes an O,
And turns the tide of Europe on the foe :
He rams his quill with scandal, and with scoff;
But 'tis so very foul, it won't go off :
Dreadful his thunders, while unprinted, roar ;
But when once publish'd, they are heard no more.
Thus diftant bugbears fright, but, nearer draw,
The block's a block, and turns to mirth your awe.
Can those oblige, whose heads and hearts are such ?
No; every party's tainted by their touch.
Infected persons fly each public place ;
And none, or enemies alone, embrace :
To the foul fiend their every passion's sold :
They love, and hate, extempore, for gold:
What image of their fury can we form?
Dulness and rage, a puddle in a storm.
Reft they in peace? If you are pleas'd to buy,
To swell your fails, like Lapland winds, they fly:
Write they with rage? The tempeft quickly flags;
A State-Ulysses tames 'em with his bags ;
Let him be what he will, Turk, Pagan, Jew:
For Christian ministers of state are few.
Behind the curtain lurks the fountain head,
That pours his politics through pipes of lead,
Which far and near ejaculate, and spout
O'er tea and coffee, poison to the rout:
But when they have bespatter'd all they may,
The statesman throws his filthy squirts away!
With golden forceps, these, another takes,
And state elixirs of the vipers makes.
The richest statesman wants wherewith to pay
A servile sycophant, if well they weigh
How much it costs the wretch to be so base ;
Nor can the greatest pow’rs enough difgrace,
Enough chastise, tuch prostitute applause,
If well they weigh how much it ftains their cause.
But are our writers ever in the wrong?
Does virtue ne'er seduce the venal tongue?
Yes; if well-brib'd, for virtue self they fight;
Still in the wrong, tho' champions for the right :*
Whoe'er their crimes for interest only quit,
Sin on in virtue, and good deeds commit.
Nought but inconstancy Britannia meets,
And broken faith in their abandon'd sheets;
From the same hand how various is the
page e !
What civil war their brother pamphlets wage!
Tracts battle tracts, self-contradictions glare;
Say, is this lunacy ?-I wish it were.
If such our writers, startled at the fight,
may bless their stars they cannot write!
How juftly Proteus' transmigrations fit
The monstrous changes of a modern wit ?
Now, such a gentle stream of eloquence
As seldom rises to the verge of sense ;
Now, by mad rage, transform'd into a flame,
Which yet fit engines, well apply'd, can tamě;
Now, on immodeft trash, the fwine obscene,
Invites the town to sup at Drury-lane ;
A dreadful lion, now he roars at pow'r,
Which sends him to his brothers at the Tow'r;
He's now a serpent, and his double tongue
Salutes, nay licks, the feet of those he ftung;
What knot can bind him, his evasion such ?
One knot he well deserves, which might do much.
The flood, Aame, swine, the lion, and the snake, Those fivefold monsters, modern authors make : The Snake reigns moft ; Snakes, Pliny says, are bred, When the brain's perifh'd in a human head. Ye grov'ling, trodden, whipt, ftript, turncoat things, Made
up of 'venom, volumes, ftains, and stings ! Thrown from the Tree of Knowledge, like you, curst To scribble in the dust, was Snake the first.
What if the figure should in fact prove true !
It did in EL.KENAH, why not in you?
Poor ELKENAH, all other changes past,
For bread in Smithfield dragons hift at laft,
Spit streams of fire to make the butchers gape,
And found his manners suited to his shape :
Such is the fate of talents misapply'd;
So liv'd your Prototype ; and so he dy'd.
Th' abandon'd manners of our writing train
May tempt mankind to think religion vain;
But in their fate, their habit, and their mien,
That gods there are is eminently seen:
Heav'n stands absolv'd by vengeance on their pen,
And marks the murderers of fame from men:
Through meagre jaws they draw their venal breath,
As ghaftly as their brothers in Macbeth:
Their feet through faithless leather meet the dirt,
- And oftner chang'd their principles than shirt.
The transient vestments of these frugal men,
Haftens to paper for our mirth again :
Too foon ( O merry-melancholy fate !)
They beg in rhyme, and warble through a grate :
The man lampoon'd forgets it at the fight;
The friend through pity gives, the foe through spite;
And though full conscious of his injur'd purse,
Lintot relents, nor CURLL can with them worse.