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That pity only checks your growing spite Not so, my little Rock! your preacher fly, To erring man, and prompts you still to Norwaste the time no worldly wealth can buy;
But let the decent maid and sober clown That your choice-works on humble stalls Pray for these idlers of the sinful town:
This day, at least, on nobler themes bestow, Or vainly grace the windows of the trade; Nor give to Woodfall, or the world below. Be ye my friends, if friendship e'er can warm Those rival bosoms whom the Muses charm: Think of the common cause, wherein we go, But, Sunday past, what numbers flourish Like gallant Greeks against the Trojan foe;
then, Nor let one peevish chief his leader blame, What wond'rous labours of the press and pen! Till, crown' with conquest, we regain our Diurnal most, some thrice each week affords,
Some only once;-0 avarice of words! And let us join our forces to subdue When thousand starving minds such manna This bold assuming but successful crew.
seek, To drop the precious food but once a week.
Endless it were to sing the powers of all, I sing of News, and all those vapid sheets Their names, their numbers; how they rise The rattling hawker vends through gaping
and fall : streets;
Like baneful herbs the gazer's eye they seize, Whate'er their name, whate'er the time they Rush to the head, and poison where they fly,
please : Damp from the press, to charm the reader's Like idle flies, a busy, buzzing train,
They drop their maggots in the trifler's For, soon as morning dawns with roseate hue,
brain : The Herald of the morn arises too; That genial soil receives the fruitful store, Post after Post succeeds, and, all day long, And there they grow and breed a thousand Gazettes and Ledgers swarm, a noisy throng: When evening comes, she comes with all
her train Of Ledgers, Chronicles, and Posts again, Now be their arts display'd, how first Like bats, appearing, when the sun goes
they choose down,
A cause and party, as the bard his muse; From holes obscure and corners of the town. Inspired by these, with clamorous zeal they Of all these triflers, all like thesc, I write;
cry, Oh! like my subject could my song delight, And through the town their dreams and The crowd at Lloyd's one poet's name should
omens fly: raise,
So the Sibylline leaves were blown about, And all the Alley echo to his praise. Disjointed scraps of fate involved in doubt; In shoals the hours their constant numbers So idle dreams, the journals of the night,
Are right and wrong by turns, and mingle Like insects waking to th' advancing spring;
wrong with right.Which take their rise from grubs obscene Some champions for the rights that prop that lie
the crown, In shallow pools, or thence ascend the sky: Some sturdy patriots, sworn to pull them Such are these base ephemeras, so born
down; To die before the next revolving morn. Some neutral powers, with secret forces Yet thus they differ : insect-tribes are lost
fraught, In the first visit of a winter's frost; Wishing for war, but willing to be bought: While these remain, a base but constant While some to every side and party go,
Shift every friend, and join with every foe; Whose swarming sons their short-lived sires Like sturdy rogues in privateers they strike
This side and that, the foes of both alike; No changing season makes their number less, A traitor-crew, who thrive in troubled times, Nor Sunday shines a Sabbath on the press ! Fear'd for their force, and courted for their Then lo! the sainted Monitor is born,
crimes. Whose pious face some sacred texts adorn : Chief to the prosperous side the numbers As artful sinners cloak the secret sin,
sail, To veil with seeming grace the guile within; Fickle and false, they veer with every gale; So Moral Essays on his front appear, As birds that migrate from a freezing shore, But all is carnal business in the rear; In search of warmer climes, come skimming The fresh-coin'd lie, the secret whisper'd last,
o'er, And all the gleanings of the six days past. Some bold adventurers first prepare to try With these retired, through half the Sab- The doubtful sunshine of the distant sky;
But soon the growing Summer's certain sun The London-lounger yawns his hours away: Wins more and more, till all at last are won:
So, on the early prospect of disgrace, Brookes' and St. Alban's boasts not, but, Fly in vast troops this apprehensive race;
instead, Instinctive tribes! their failing food they Stares the Red Ram, and swings the Roddread,
ney's Head:And buy, with timely change, their future Hither, with all a patriot's care, comes he
Who owns the little hut that makes him free;
Of mightier men, and never waste the while; Such are our guides; how many a peace- Who feels his freehold's worth, and looks ful head,
elate, Born to be still, have they to wrangling led! A little prop and pillar of the state. How many an honest zealot, stoln from Here he delights the weekly news to con,
And mingle comments as he blunders on; And factious tools of pious pastors made! To swallow all their varying authors teach, With clews like these they tread the maze To spell a title and confound a speech:
Till with a muddled mind he quits the news, These oracles explore, to learn our fate; And claims his nation's licence to abuse; Pleased with the guides who can so well Then joins the cry: That all the courtly race
Are venal candidates for power and place; Who cannot lie so fast as they believe. Yet feels some joy, amid the general vice,
That his own vote will bring its wonted price,
These are the ills the teeming press supplies, Oft lend I, loth, to some sage friend an The pois'nous springs from learning's foun
tain rise ; (For we who will not speak are doom'd to Not there the vise alone their entrance find, hear),
Imparting useful light to mortals blind; While he, bewilder'd, tells his anxious But, blind themselves, these erring guides thought,
hold ont Infections fear from tainted scribblers Alluring lights, to lead us far about;
Screen'd by such means, here Scandal whets Or idiot hope; for each his mind assaila,
her quill, As Lloyd's court-light or Stockdale's gloom Here Slander shoots unseen, whene'er she prevails.
will; Yet stand I patient while but one declaims, Here Fraud and Falsehood labour to deceive, Or gives dull comments on the speech he And Folly aids them both, impatient to maims :
believe. Bat oh! ye Muses, keep your votary's feet From tavern-haunts where politicians meet; Where rector, doctor, and attorney pause, Such, sons of Britain ! are the guides ye First on each parish, then each public cause :
trust; Indited roads and rates that still increase ; So wise their counsel, their reports so just :The murmuring poor, who will not fast in Yet, though we cannot call their morals pure,
Their judgment nice, or their decisions sure; Election-zeal and friendship, since declined; Merit they have to mightier works unknown, A tax commuted, or a tithe in kind; A style, a manner, and a fate their own. The Dutch and Germans kindling into strife; We, who for longer fame with labour strive, Dull port and poachers vile! the serious ills Are pain'd to keep our sickly works alive;
Studious we toil, with patient care refine, Here comes the neighbouring justice, pleased Nor let our love protect one languid line.
Severe ourselves, at last our works appear, His little club, and in the chair preside. When, ah! we find our readers more severe; la private business his commands prevail, For after all our care and pains, how few On public themes his reasoning turns the Acquire applause, or keep it if they do!
Not so these sheets, ordain'd to happier fate, Assenting silence soothes his happy ear, Praised through their day, and but that day And, in or out, his party triumphs here.
their date; Their careless authors only strive to join
As many words, as make an even line; Nor here th' infectious rage for party As many lines, as fill a row complete;
As many rowe, as furnish up a sheet: But flits along from palaces to shops ; From side to side, with ready types they run, Our weekly journals o'er the land abound, The measure's ended, and the work is done; And spread their plagues and influenzas round; Oh, born with ease, how envied and how blest! The village, too, the peaceful, pleasant Your fate to-day and your to-morrow's rest.
To you all readers turn, and they can look Breeds the Whig-farmer and the Tory-swain; Pleased on a paper, who abhor a book ;
Those, who ne'er deign'd their Bible to | A master-passion is the love of news,
Not music so commands, nor so the Muse: Would think it hard to be denied their news; Give poets claret, they grow idle soon; Sinners and saints, the wisest with the weak, Feed the musician, and he's out of tune; Here mingle tastes and one amusement seek; But the sick mind, of this disease possest, This, like the public inn, provides a treat, Flies from all cure and sickens when at rest. Where each promiscuous guest sits down
to eat; And such this mental food, as we may call Now sing, my Muse, what various parts Something to all men and to some men all
compose These rival sheets of politics and prose.
First, from each brother's hoard a part Next, in what rare production shall we
they draw, trace
A mutual theft that never fear'd a law; Such various subjects in so small a space? Whate'er they gain, to each man's portion fall
, As the first ship upon the waters bore And read it once,you read it through them all: Incongruous kinds who never met before ; For this their runners ramble day and night, Or as some curious virtuoso joins,
To.drag each lurking deed to open light; In one small room, moths, minerals, and coins, For daily bread the dirty trade they ply, Birds, beasts, and fishes; nor refuses place Coin their fresh tales and live upon the lie: To serpents, toads, and all the reptile race: Like bees for honey, forth for news they So here, compressid within a single sheet,
spring, Great things and small, the mean and Industrious creatures! ever on the wing;
mighty meet: Home to their several cells they bear the 'Tis this which makes all Europe's business
Cull'd of all kinds, then roam abroad for more. Yet here a private man may place his own; And, where he reads of Lords and Com
No anxious virgin flics to fair Tweed-side; May tell their honours that he sells rappee. No injured husband mourns his faithless Add next th' amusement which the motley
No duel dooms the fiery youth to bleed; Affords to either sex and every age: But through the town transpires each Lo! where it comes before the cheerful fire.
vent'rous deed. Damps from the press in smoky curls aspire (As from the earth the sun exhales the dew), Ere we can read the wonders that ensue: Should some fair frail-one drive her pranThen eager every eye surveys the part,
cing pair, That brings its favourite subject to the heart; Where rival peers contend to please the fair Grave politicians look for facts alone, When, with new force, she aids her con And gravely add conjectures of their own:
quering eyes, The sprightly nymph, who never broke her and beauty decks with all that beanty buys
Quickly we learn whose heart her influenc For tottering crowns, or mighty lands
Whose acres melt before her glowing wheels Finds broils and battles, but neglects them all To these a thousand idle themes succeed. For songs and suits, a birth-day, or a ball: Deeds of all kinds and comments to each deed The keen warm man o'erlooks each idle tale Here stocks, the state-barometers, we view For Money's wanted' and Estates on Sale' That rise or fall, by causes known to few While some with equal minds to all attend, Promotion's ladder who goes up or down; Pleased with each part and grieved to find Who wed, or who seduced, amuse the town
What heir exults, his father now at rest : So charm the News; but we, who, far That ample list the Tyburn-herald gives,
from town, And each known knave, who still for Tybur Wait till the postman brings the packet down,
lives. Once in the week, a vacant day behold, And stay for tidings, till they're three days
So grows the work, and now the print. That day arrives; no welcome post appears,
tries But the dull morn a sullen aspect wears ; His powers no more, but leans on his allir We meet, but ah! withont our wonted kmile, To talk of headaches, and complain of bile; Sullen we ponder o'er a dall repast,
When lo! the advertising tribe succeed Nor feast the body while the mind must fast. Pay to be read, yet find but few will real
And chief th' illustrious race, whose drops Your former features, airs, and arts assume, and pills
Circassian virtues, with Circassian bloom. Have patent powers to vanquish human illa: Come, batter'd beaux, whose locks are These, with their cures, a constant aid
turn'd to gray, remain,
And crop Discretion's lying badge away; To bless the pale composer's fertile brain; Read where they vend these smart engaging Fertile it is, but still the noblest soil
things, Requires some pause, some intervals from These flaxen frontlets with elastic springs; toil;
No female eye the fair deception sces,
The Muse impartial must her sons condemn:
And puff a lazy Pegasus along:
Wish us to call them smart Friseurs from Could stop one slander ere it found its way,
France; And gave to public scorn its helpless prey. That he who builds a chop-house, on his By the same aid the Stage invites her friends,
door And kindly tells the banquet she intends ; Paints The true old original Blue Boar! Thither from real life the many run, These are the arts by which a thousand live, With Siddons weep, or laugh with Abingdon; Where Truth may smile and Justice may. Pleased in fictitious joy or grief, to see
forgive: The mimic passion with their own agree; But when, amid this rabble-rout, we find To steal a few enchanted hours away A puffing poet to his honour blind; From care, and drop the curtain on the day. Who silly drops quotations all about, But who can steal from self that wretched Packet or Post, and points their merit out; wight,
Who advertises what reviewers say, Whose darling work is tried, some fatal With sham editions every second day ; night?
Who dares not trust his praines out of sight, Most wretched man! when, bane to every But hurries into fame with all his might; bliss,
Although the verse some transient praise He hears the serpent-critic's rising hiøs;
obtains, Then groans succeed: not traitors on the Contempt is all the anxious poet gains.
wheel Can feel like him, or have such pangs to feel. Nor end they here: next day he reads lois fall Now puffs exhausted, advertisements past, In every paper; critics are they all; Their correspondents stand exposed at last; He sees his branded name, with wild affright, These are a numerous tribe, to fame And hears again the cat-calls of the night.
unknown, Who for the public good forego their own;
Who volunteers in paper-war engage, Such help the Stageaffords: a larger space with double portion of their party's rage: Is fill'a by Popes and all the puffing race. Such are the Bruti, Decii, who appear Physic had once alone the lofty style, Wooing the printer for admission here ; The well-known boast, that ceased to raise Whose generous, souls can condescend to a smile:
pray Now all the province of that tribe invade, For leave to throw their precious time away. And we abound in quacks of every trade.
Oh! cruel WOODPALL! when a patriot The simple barber, once an honest name,
draws Cervantes fonnded, Fielding raised his fame : His gray-goose-quill in his dear country's Barber no more-a gay perfumer comes,
cause, On whose soft cheek his own cosmetic To vex and maul a ministerial race,
Can thy stern soul refuse the champion place? Here he appears, each simple mind to move, Alas! thou knowst not with what anxious And advertises beauty, grace, and love:
heart Come, faded belles, who would your youth He longs his best-loved labours to impart ;
How he has sent them to thy brethren round, And learn the wonders of Olympian dew; And still the same unkind reception found : Restore the roses that begin to faint, At length indignant will he damn the state, Nor think celestial washes vulgar paint;
Turn to his traile and leave as to our fate.
These Roman souls, like Rome's great You take a name; Philander's odes are seen,
sons, are known Printed, and praised, in every magazine: To live in cello on labours of their own. Diarian sagen greet their brother sage, Thus Milo, could we see the noble chief, And your dark pages please th' enlighten'd Feeds, for his country's good, on lege of beef:
age.Camillus copies deeds for sordid pay, Alas! what years you thus consume in vain, Yet fights the public battles twice a day: Ruled by this wretched bias of the brain ! E'en now the godlike Brutus views his score Scroll’d on the bar-board, swinging with
Go! to your deské and counters all return; Where, tippling punch, grave Cato's self Your Sonnets scatter, your Acrostics burn;
you'll see, Trade, and be rich; or, should your careful And Amor Patriæ vending smuggled tea.
sires Bequeath you wealth, indulge the nobler
fires : Last in these ranks, and least, their art's Should love of fame your youthful heart disgrace,
betray, Neglected stand the Muses' meanest race;
Pursue fair fame, but in a glorious way, Scribblers who court contempt, whose verse Nor in the idle scenes of Fancy's painting
Of all the good that mortal men pursue, Unlike that corner where true poets lie, The Mase has least to give, and gives to few; These cannot live, and they shall never die; Like some coquettish fair she leads us on, Hapless the lad whose mind such dreams With smiles and hopes, till youth and peace invade,
are gone; And win to verse the talents due to trade. Then, wed for life, the restless wrangling pair
Forget how constant one and one how fair:
Meanwhile, Ambition, like a blooming bride, Curb then, O youth! these raptures as Brings power and wealth to grace her lover's they rise,
side; Keep down the evil spirit and be wise ; And though she smiles not with such flatFollow your calling, think the Muses foes,
tering charms, Nor lean upon the pestle and compose.
The brave will sooner win her to their arms.
I know your day-dreams, and I know the Then wed to her, if Virtue tie the bands,
Go spread your country's fame in hostile Hid in your flow'ry path, and cry: Beware!
lands; Thoughtless of ill and to the future blind, Her court, her senate, or her arms adorn, A sudden couplet rushes on your mind; And let her foes lament that you were born : Here you may nameless print your idle Or weigh her laws, their ancient rights rhymes,
defend, And read your first-born work a thousand Though hosts oppose, be theirs and Reason's times;
friend; Th’infection spreads, your couplet grows Arm’d with strong powers, in their defence apace,
engage, Stanzas to Delia's dog or Celia's face: And rise the THURLow of the future age.