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SCRIBBLING AGAINST GENIUS.
BY EDWARD ROLLE, B. D.
No single rule 's more frequently enjoin'd
This Verro's fault, by frequent praises fir'd, He several parts had try'd, in each admir'd. That Verro was not ev'ry way complete, 'Twas long unknown, and might have been so yet : But music-mad, th' unhappy man pursu'd That only thing heav'n meant he never should; And thus his proper road to fame neglected, He's ridicul'd for that he but affected. Would men but act from nature's secret call, Or only, where that fails, not act at all : If not their skill, they'd shew at least good sense, They'd get no fame-nor would they give offence.
Not that where some one merit is deny'd, Men must be every way unqualify'd; Nor hold we, like that wrong-concluding wight, A man can't fish-because he could not write. View all the world around : each man design'd And furnish’d for some fav’rite part you find. That, sometimes low: yet this, so small a gift, Proves nature did not turn him quite adrift. The phlegmatic, dull, aukward, thick, gross-witted, Have all some clumsy work for which they're fitted. 'Twas never known, in men a perfect void, Ev’n I and Tibbald might be well employ'd ; Would we our poverty of parts survey, And follow as our genius led the way.
What then? obedient to that turn of mind
But Cibber, faithless to his bias see,
'Mongst all the instances of genius crost,
full speed. 'Tis heav'n, incens'd by some prodigious crime, Thus for mens sins determines them to rhyme. Bad men, no doubt; perhaps 'tis vengeance due For shrines they've plunder'd, or some wretch they
Ev'n I, whose genius seems as much forgot,
With all the guilt of impotence in view, Griev'd for past sins, but yet committing new ; Whate'er the wits may say, or wise may think, Am fooling every way with pen and ink. When all who wish me best, begin t' advise, • That being witty, is not being wise ; • That if the voice of int'rest might be heard, ¢ For one who wears a gown,-would be preferr'd'Incorrigibly deaf, I feign a yawn; And mock their just conclusions, ere they're drawn,
If to my practice, they oppos’d my theme;
You ask me, Sir, why thus by phantoms aw'd,
'Twould wrong your judgment, should I fairly say Dist or weakness caus'd the cold delay : Hint the small diff'rence, till we touch the lyre, 'Twixt real genius and too strong desire; The human slips, or seeming slips pretend, That rouze the critic, but escape the friend; Nay which, though dreadful when the foe pursues, You pass, and smile, and still provoke the Muse.