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for the most part spared their Names, and they may escape being laughed at, if they please.

I would have some of them know, it was owing to the request of the learned and candid friend to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free use of theirs, as they have done of mine. However, I shall have this advantage, and honour, on my side, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can possibly be done by mine, sincn a nameless character can never be found out, but by its truth and likeness.

Pope.

EPISTLE

TO

DR. ARBUTHNOT,

BEING

THE PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES.

P. SHUT, shut the door, good John ! fatigu'd I said,

Tye up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead. The dog-star rages! nay, 'tis past a doubt, All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out: Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,

5 They rave, recite, and madden round the land. What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide ? They pierce my thickets, through 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 sacred, not the church is free, Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me: Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme, Happy! to catch me, just at dinner-time.

Is Ver. I. Shut, sbut the door, good Jobn!] Jahn Searl, his old and faithful servant, whom he has remembered, under that character, in his will; of whose fidelity Dodsley, from his own observation, used to mention many pleasing instances.

VOL. III.

21

Is there a parson much be-mus'd in beer,

15 A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a stanza when he should

engross?
Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls
With desp’rate charcoal round his darken'd walls ?
All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws,
Imputes to me and my damn’d works the cause :
Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,
And curses wit, and

poetry,

and Pope. Friend to my life! (which, did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song) What drop or nostrum can this plague remove ? Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love? 30 A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped, 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 silent, and who will not lie :

To

25

VER. 13. Mint] A place in Southwark to which insolvent debtors retired, to enjoy an illegal protection, which they were there suffered to afford to one another from their creditors. Afier Ver. 20. in the MS.

Is there a bard in durance ? turn them free,
With all their brandish'd reams they run to me:
Is there a 'prentice, having seen two plays,

Who woulj do something in his sempstress' praise
VER. 23. Arthur,] Arthur Moore, Isq.
VER. 29. in the first edit.

Dear Doctor, tell me, is not this a curse?
Say, is their anger, or their friendship worse;

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To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace, 35
And to be grave, exceeds all pow'r of face.
I sit with sad civility, I read,
With honest anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at last, but in unwilling ears,
This saving counsel, “ Keep your piece nine years."

Nine years! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, 41 Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term ends, Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends :

44 “ The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it, “ I'm all submission, what you'd have it, make it.”

Three things another's modest wishes bound, My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound.

Pitholeon sends to me: You know his Grace, « I want a patron ; ask him for a place." 50 Pitholeon libell'd me but here's a letter 6 Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better. “ Dare you refuse him ? Curl invites to dine, “ He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn divine.”

Bless me! a packet. .66 'Tis a stranger sues, 55 “ A Virgin tragedy, an orphan muse."

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Ver. 49. Pitholeon] The name taken from a foolish poet of Rhodes, who pretended much to Greek. VER. 53 in the MS.

If you refuse, he goes, as fates incline,

To plague Sir Robert, or to turn divine. Ver. 54. He'll write a Journal,] Meaning the London Journal; a paper in favour of Sir R. Walpole's ministry. Bishop Hoadley wrote in it, as did Dr. Bland.

rage !"

If I dislike it, “ Furies, death and
If I
approve,

“ Commend it to the stage.” There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends, The play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends. 60 Fir'd that the house reject him, “ 'Sdeath, I'll print it, “ And shame the fools- Your int’rest, Sir, with

“ Lintot.” Lintot, dull rogue ! will think your price too much: “ Not, Sir, if you

revise it and retouch.” All my demurs but double his attacks ;

65 At last he whispers, “ Do; and we go snacks.” Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door, Sir, let me see your works and you no more.

'Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a king,) His very minister who spy'd them first, (Some say hiś queen,) was forc'd to speak, or burst. And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case, When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face? A. Good friend, forbear! you deal in dang'rous

things. I'd never name queens, ministers, and kings ;

Keep

70

VER. 55. A packet.] Alludes to a tragedy called the Virgin Queen, by Mr. R. Barford, published 1729, who displeased Pope by daring to adopt the fine machinery of his sylphs in an heroicomical

poem called the Assembly. 1,26. Ver. 60 in the former edit.

Cibber and I are, luckily, no friends.

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