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My friends, by turns, my friends confound,
Betray, and are betray'd ; Poor Y -- rs sold for fifty pounds,
And B---- Il is a jade.
Why make I friendships with the great,
When I no favour seek ?
Still idle, with a busy air,
Deep whimsies to contrive; The gayest valetudinaire,
Most thinking rake alive.
Solicitous for other ends,
Though fond of dear repose ; Careless or drowsy with my friends,
And frolic with my foes.
Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell,
For sober, studious days! And Burlington's delicious meal,
For salads, tarts, and pease !
Adieu to all but Gay alone,
Whose soul, sincere and free, Loves all mankind, but flatters none,
And so may starve with me.
DESIGNED FOR MR. D'URFEY'S LAST PLAY.
(From Pope and Swift's Miscellanies.)
[Poor Tom D'Urfey, who stood the force of so much wit, was a play-wright and song-writer. He appears to have been an inoffensive, good-humoured, thoughtless character, and was endured and laughed at by Dryden, and by Steele, who recommended his benefit nights to the attention of the public, through the medium of the Tatler and Guardian, and at length by Pope, who in a spirit betwixt contempt and charity, wrote a prologue for his last play.)
Sir Walter Scott. Grown old in rhyme, 'twere barbarous to discard Your persevering, unexhausted bard; Damnation follows death in other men, But your damn'd poet lives and writes again. The adventurous lover is successful still, Who strives to please the fair against her will : Be kind, and make him in his wishes easy, Who in your own despite has strove to please ye. He scorn'd to borrow from the wits of yore, But ever writ, as none e'er writ before. You modern wits, should each man bring his claim, Have desperate debentures on your fame; And little would be left you, I'm afraid, If all your debts to Greece and Rome were paid. From this deep fund our author largely draws, Nor sinks his credit lower than it was. Though plays for honour in old time he made, 'Tis now for better reasons—to be paid.
Believe him, he has known the world too long,
THREE HOURS AFTER MARRIAGE.”
[This was the celebrated farce tripartite, in which Pope, Gay, and Arbuthnot engaged, in order to ridicule Dr. Woodward, and which was most meritoriously damned at the first representation. See Cibber's Letter to Pope.]
Sir Walter Scott. Authors are judged by strange capricious rules ; The great ones are thought mad, the small ones
fools : Yet sure the best are most severely fated; For fools are only laugh'd at, wits are hated. Blockheads with reason men of sense abhor; But fool 'gainst fool, is barbarous civil war, Why on all authors then should critics fall ? Since some have writ, and shown no wit at all. Condemn a play of theirs, and they evade it; Cry, “Damn not us, but damn the French, who By running goods these graceless owlers gain; Theirs are the rules of France, the plots of Spain: But wit, like wine, from happier climates brought, Dash'd by these rogues, turns English common
draught. They pall Moliere's and Lopez sprightly strain, And teach dull Harlequins to grin in vain.
How shall our author hope a gentler fate, Who dares most impudently not translate ? It had been civil, in these ticklish times, To fetch his fools and knaves from foreign climes. Spaniards and French abuse to the world's end, But spare old England, lest you hurt a friend. If any fool is by our satire bit, Let him hiss loud, to show you all he's hit. Poets make characters, as salesmen clothes; We take no measure of your fops and beaus; But here all sizes and all shapes you meet, And fit yourselves like chaps in Monmouth Street.
Gallants, look here! this fool's cap* has an air. Goodly and smart, with ears of Issachar. Let no one fool engross it, or confine A common blessing! now ’tis yours, now mine. But poets in all ages had the care To keep this cap for such as will, to wear. Our author has it now (for every wit Of course resign'd it to the next that writ) And thus upon the stage 'tis fairly thrown;t Let him that takes it wear it as his own.
* Shows a cap with ears.
+ Flings down the cap, and exit.
OR, A PROPER NEW BALLAD ON THE NEW OVID'S
AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE TRANSLATED BY PERSONS OF QUALITY.
[Sir Samuel Garth, who published the Metamorphoses of Ovid, translated by “ Dryden, Addison, Garth, Mainwaring, Congreve, Rowe, Pope, Gay, Eusden, Croxal, and other eminent hands," had himself no other share in the undertaking, than engaging the various translators in their task, and putting their labours into some order. The work was intended to supersede the ancient translation.
George Sandys, the old translator, (whose ghost is introduced in the verses,) was a man of great accomplishment, and pronounced by Dryden to be the best versifier of his age. The curious reader will find many particulars respecting him, and his translation of Ovid, in the Censura Literaria, volumes 4th, 5th, and 6th. He died in 1643.
Sir Walter Scott.
Ye Lords and Commons, men of wit
And pleasure about town,
Of books of high renown.
Beware of Latin authors all,
Nor think your verses sterling, Though with a golden pen you scrawl,
And scribble in a Berlin: