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A few good works gain fame; more sink their price;
Mankind are fickle, and hate paying twice :
They granted you writ well, what can they more,
Unless you let them praise for giving o'er?
Do boldly what you do ; and let your page
Smile, if it smiles, and if it rages, rage.
So faintly Lucius censures and commends,
That Lucius has no foes, except his friends.
Let satire less engage you than applause ;
It shews a generous mind to wink at flaws :
Is genius yours? Be yours a glorious end,
Be your king's, country's, truth's, religion's friends,
The public glory by your own beget;
Run nations, run posterity, in debt.
And since the fam'd alone make others live,
First have that glory you presume to give.
If satire charms, strike faults, but spare the man
'Tis dull to be as witty as you can.
Satire recoils whenever charg'd too high ;
Round your own fame the fatal splinters fly.
As the soft plume gives swiftness to the dart,
Good-breeding sends the fatire to the heart.
Painters and surgeons may the siructure scan ;,
Genius and morals be with you the man :
Defaults in those alone should give offence !
Who strikes the person, pleads his innocence.
My narrow-minded satire can't extend
To Codrus' form ; I'm not so much his friend :
Himself should publish that (the world agree)
Before his works, or in the pillory..
Let him be black, fair, tall, sort, thin, or fat,
Dirty or clean, I find no theme in that.
Is that call'd bumour ? It has this pretence,
Tis neither virtue, breeding, wit, or sense.
you boast the genius of a Swift, Beware of humour, the dull rogue's last mift.
Can others write like you? Your talk give o'er,
'Tis printing what was publish'd long before.
If nought peculiar through your labours run,
They ’re duplicates, and twenty are but one.
Think frequently, think close, read nature, turn
Mens manners o'er, and half your volumes burn;
To nurse with quick reflexion be your strife,
Thoughts born from present obje&ts, warm from life;
When moft unfought, such inspirations rise,
Slighted by fools, and cherish'd by the wife :
Expect peculiar fame from these alone ;
These make an author, these are all your own.
Life, like their bibles, coolly men turn o'er ;
Hence unexperienc'd children of threescore.
True, all men think of course, as all men dream ;
And if they slightly think, 'tis much the same.
Letters admit not of a half-renown;
They give you nothing, or they give a crown.
No work e'er gain'd true fame, or ever can,
But what did honour to the name of man.
Weighty the subject, cogent the discourse,
Clear be the style, the very found of force;
Easy the conduet, fimple the design,
Striking the moral, and the foul divine :
Let nature art, and judgment wit, exceed;
O’er learning reason reign; o'er that, your
Thus virtue's feeds, at once, and laurel's, grow;
Do thus, and rise a Pope, or a Despreau :
And when your genius exquisitely shines,
to the full lustre of your lines :
Parts but expose those men who virtue quit;
A fallen angel is a fallen wit;
And they plead Lucifer's detested cause,
Who for bare talents challenge our applause.
restore just honours to the pen ? From able writers rise to worthy men.
" Who's this with nonsense, nonsense would restrain? " Who 's this (they cry) so vainly schools the vain ?. " Who damns our trash, with so much trash replete ? “ As, three ells round, huge Cheyne rails at meat ?''
Shall I with Bavius then my voice exalt,
And challenge all mankind to find one fault?
With huge examens overwhelm my page,
And darken reason with dogmatic rage ?
As if, one tedious volume writ in rhyme,
In prose a duller could excuse the crime ?
Sure, next to writing, the most idle thing
Is gravely to harangue on what we fing.
At that tribunal stands the writing tribe,
Which nothing can intimidate or bribe,
Time is the judge; Time has nor friend nor foe;
False fame must wither, and the true will grow.
Arm’d with this truth, all critics I defy;
Før if I fall, by my own pen I die ;
While snarlers strive with proud but fruitless pain,
To wound immortals, or to pay the fair.
Sore prest with danger, and in awful dread
Of twenty pamphlets leveld at my head,
Thus have I forg'd a buckler in my brain,
Of recent form, to serve me this campaign;
And safely hope to quit the dreadful field
Delug’d with ink, and leep behind my
Unless dire Codrus rouses to the fray
In all his might, and damns me--for a day.
As turns a flock of geefe, and, on the green,
Poke out their foolish necks in aukward spleen,
(Ridiculous in rage !) to biss, not bite,
So war their quills, when fons of dulness write.
To trace the various workings of the mind,
And rule the secret fprings, that rule mankind;
(Rare gift!) yet, Walpole, wilt thou condescend
To listen, if thy unexperienc'd friend
Can aught of use impart, though void of skill,
And win attention by sincere good-will;
For friendship, sometimes, want of parts supplies,
furnish what the head denies. As when the rapid Rhone, o’er swelling tides, To grace old Ocean's court, in triumph rides, Though rich his source, he drains a thousand springs, Nor scorns the tribute each small rivulet brings.
So thou shalt, hence, absorb each feeble ray, Each dawn of meaning, in thy brighter day; Shalt like, or, where thou canst not like, excuse, Since no mean interelt thall prophane the Muse, VOL. ΙΙΙ.