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THE AUTHOR AND A FRIEND.
Tirst thought to rin " for't; (for bi kind
Which held them baith, till o'er a dyke A bare's nae fechter '3, ye maun mind '^) A herd came stending "" wi his tyke, But seeing, that wi" aw its strength
And fill'd poor Maukin, sairly rueen,
Whan forc'd to drink of her ain brewin43,
“ Here take your papers. "_"llave you look'd To rin a mile of up-bill grund
them o'er?” Before it gets a rig-braid frae 34"
“ Yes, half a dozen times, I think, or more." The place its in, though doon the brael." “And will they pass ?"-"They'll serve but for a Mawkin wi this began to frisk,
day; And thinkin 36 there was little risk,
few books can now do more: you know the way; Clapt baith ber feet on Partan's back,
A trifle's puff’d till one edition's sold, And turn'd him awald n in a crack.
In half a week at most a book grows old. To see the creature sprawl, her sport
The penny turn'd 's the only point in view, Grew twice as good, yet prov'd but short.
So ev'ry thing will pass if 'tis but new. For patting wi her fit88, in play,
“ By what you say I easily can guess Just wbar the Partan's nippers lay,
You rank me with the drudges for the press; He gript it fast, which made her squeel,
Who from their garrets show'r Pindarics down, And tbink she bourded 39 wi the deil.
Or plaintive elegies to Jull the town.”. She strave to rin, and made a fistle:
“You take me wrong: I only meant to say, The tither catch'd a tough bur thristleto: That ev'ry book that's new will have its day;
The best no more: for books are seldom read; vowel e which comes in place of a is by a meta
The world's grown dull, and publishing, a trade. thesis put between ibe consonants & and 1 to
Were this not so, cou'd Ossian's deathless strains, soften the sound.
Of high leroic times the sole remains, " Rin] Run.
Strains which display perfections to our view, 13 Fechier] Fighter.
Which polish'd Greece and Italy ne'er knew, ** Ye mann mind] You must remember.
With modern epics share one common lot, * Wiaw] With all.
This day applauded and the next forgot?” 28 A rether length] The length of a rope used
“ Enough of this; to put the question plain, to confine cattle when they pasture to a particu- Will men of sense and taste approve my strain ?
Will my old-fashion'd sense and comic ease 7 Baulder] Bolder.
With better judges have a chance to please?” 18 Feckless) Feeble. Feckful and feckless “The question's plain, but hard to be resolvd; signify strong and weak, I suppose from the very One little less important can be solvd : to effect.
The men of sense and taste, believe it true, Kens, or am mistaen] Knows, or I am in a Will ne'er to living authors give their due. mistake.
They 're candidates for fame in diff'rent ways; so Gang) Go.
One writes romances and another plays, 91 Its lane] Alone, or without assistance, A third prescribes you rules for writing well, 32 Steitters] Walks iu a weak stumbling way.
Yet bursts with envy if you shou'd excel. 5 All be bund] I will be bound.
Through all fame's walks, the college and the * A rig-braid frae] The breadth of a ridge
court, from. In Scotland about four fathoms.
The field of combat and the field of sport; 35 Brae) An ascent or descent. It is worth The stage, the pulpit, senate-house and bar, observing, that the Scotch when they mention a
Merit with merit lives at constant war.” rising ground with respect to the whole of it,
“ All who can judge affect not public fame; they call it a knau if small, and a hill if great; of those that do the paths are not the same: but if they respect only one side of either, they a grave historian hardly needs to fear call it a brae: wbich is probably a corruption of The rival glory of a sonnelles: the English word brow, according to the analogy The deep philosopher, who turns mankind I mentioned before.
Quite inside outwards, and dissects the mind, 36 Thinkin) Thinking. When polysyllables Wou'd look but whimsical and strangely out, terminate in ing, the Scotch almost always neg- Togrudge some quack his treatise on the gout.”lect the g, which softens the sound. Awald] Topsy-turvy.
superfluous consonants to roughen the sound, 39 Fil] Foot.
when such sounds are more agreeable to the 30 Bourded] To bourd with any person is to roughness of the thing represented. attack him in the way of jest.
* Stending] Leaping. * Thristle) Thistle. The Scotch, though
4. Tyke] Dog. they commonly affect soft sounds, and throw out Brewin] Brewing. “ To drink of one's consonants and take in vowels in order to obtain own brewing,” is a proverbial expression for sufthem, yet in some cases, of which this is an ex-fering the effects of one's own misconduct. The ample, they do the very reverse: and bring in English say, “As they bake, so let them brew."
“ Hold, hold, my friend, all this I know, and At first’ when savage men in quest of food, more;
Like lions, wolves and tigers, rang'd the wood, An ancient bard' has told us long before; They had but just what simple nature craves, And by examples easily decided,
Their garments skins of beasts, their houses That folks of the same trades are most divided. But folks of diff'rent trades that hunt for fame
When prey abounded, from its bleeding dam Are constant rivals, and their ends the same: Pity would spare a kidling or a lamb, It needs do proof, you'll readily confess, Which, with their children nurs'd and fed at That merit envies merit more or less:
home, The passion rules alike in those who share Soon grew domestic and forgot to roam : Of public reputation, or despair.
From such beginnings flocks and berds were seer Varrus has knowledge, humour, taste, and sense, To spread and thicken on the woodland green: Cou'd purchase laurels at a small expense; With property, injustice soon began, (man. But wise and learn'd, and eloquent in vain, And they that prey'd on beasts now prey'd of He sleeps at ease in pleasure's silken chain : Communities were fram’d, and laws to bind Will Varrus help you to the Muse's crown, In social intercourse the human kind. Which, but for indolence, might be his own? These things were new, they had not got their 'Timon with art and industry aspires
Conclusions in morality or law,
Much more at length to manage a dispute,
Toclear, inforce, illustrate and confute; So finely couch'd, their value to enhance, Fable was then found out, 'tis worth your heed- . That all are pleas'd, yet think they're pleas'd by And answer'd all the purposes of pleading. (ing, chance;
It won the head with unsuspected art, Rather than blab such secrets to the throng,, And touch'd the secret springs that more the He'd lose a finger, or bite off his tongue.
heart: Narcissus is a beau, but not an ass,
With this premis'd, I add, that men delight He likes your works, but most his looking-glass; To have their first condition still in sight. Will he to serve you quit his favourite care, Long since the sires of Brunswick's line forsook Turn a book-pedant and offend the fair ? The hunter's bow, and dropt the shepherd's Clelia to taste and judgment may pretend;
crook : She will not blame your verse, nor dares com- | Yet, 'midst the charms of royalty, their race mend :
Still loves the forest, and frequents the chase. A modest virgin always shuns dispute;
The high-born maid, whose gay apartments shine Soft Strephon likes you not, and she is mute. With the rich produce of each Indian mine, Stern Aristarchus, who expects renown
Sighs for the open fields, the past'ral hook, From ancient merit rais'd, and new knock'd | To sleep delightful near a warbling brook ; down,
And loves to read the ancient tales that tell For faults in every syllable will pry,
How queens themselves fetch'd water from the Whate'er be finds is good he'll pass it by.”
Of patriarchal life in former days,
“But say, will vulgar readers like my lays ? Wisdom's first dress to court the op'ning mind." When such approre a work, they always praise." “You reason well, cou'd nature hold her course,
“To speak my sentiments, your tales I fear Where vice exerts her tyranny by force : Are but ill suited to a vulgar ear.
Are natural pleasures suited to a taste, Will city readers, us'd to better sport,
Where nature's laws are alter'd and defac'd ? The politics and scandals of a court, (pore, The healthful swain who treads the dewy mead, Well vouch'd from Grub-street, on your pages Enjoys the music warbled o'er his head; For what they ne'er can know, or knew before? Feels gladness at his heart while he inhales Many have thought, and I among the rest, The fragrance wafted in the balmy gales. That fables are but useless things at best : Not so Silenus from his night's debauch, Plain words without a metaphor may serve Fatigu'd and sick, he looks upon his watch To tell us that the poor must work or starve.
With rheumy eyes and forehead aching sore, We need no stories of a cock and bull
And staggers home to bed to belch and snore; To prove that graceless scribblers must be dull. Por such a wretch in vain the morning glows, Thai hope deceives; that never to excel,
For him in vain the vemal zephyr blows: 'Gainst spite and envy is the only spell All this, without an emblem, I suppose
2 The author speaks of those only who upon Might pass for sterling truth in verse or prose,".
the dispersion of mankind fell into perfect barba• Sir, take a seat, my answer will be long ;
rism, and emerged from it again in the way Yet weigh the reasons and you'll find then strong. which he describes, and not of those who had
laws and arts from the beginning by divine tra. i Hesiod.
Gross pleasures are his taste, his life a chain While moon-struck poets in a wild-goose chase Of feverish joys, of lassitude and pain.
Pursue contempt, and begg'ry, and disgrace.” Trust not to nature in such times as these, “ Be't so; I claim by precedent and rule When all is off the hinge, can nature please? A free-born Briton's right, to play the fool : Discard all useless scruples, be not nice; My resolution's fix'd, my course I'll hold Like some folks laugh at virtue, flatter vice, In spite of all your arguments when told : Boldly attack the mitre or the crown;
Whether I'm well and up, or keep my bed, Religion shakes already, push it down :
Am warm and full, or neither cloth'd nor fed, Do every thing to please ? You shake your head: Whether my fortune's kind, or in a pet, Why then 'tis certain that you'll ne'er succeed : Am banish'd by the laws, or fed for debt; Dismiss your Muse, and take your full repose; Whether in Newgate, Bedlam, or the Mint, What none will read 'tis useless to compose." I'll write as long as publishers will print."
“ A good advice ! to follow it is hard. “ Unhappy lad, who will not spend your time Quote one example, name me but a bard To better purpose than in useless rhyme: Who ever hop'd Parnassus' heights to climb, Of but one remedy your case admits, That dropt his Muse, till she deserted him. The king is gracious, and a friend to wits; A cold is caught, this med'cine can expel, Pray write for him, nor think your labour lost, The dose is thrice repeated, and you're well. Your verse may gain a pension or a post." In man's whole frame there is no crack or flaw "May Heav'n forbid that this auspicious reign But yields to Bath, to Bristol, or to Spa : Shou'd furnish matter for a poet's strain : No drug poetic frenzy can restrain,
The praise of conduct steady, wise, and good, Ev'n hellebore itself is try'd in vain :
In prose is best express'd and understood. 'Tis quite incurable by human skill;
Nor are those sov'reigns blessings to their age And though it does but little good or ill, Whose deeds are sung, whose actions grace the Yet still it meets the edge of reformation,
stage. Like the chief vice and nuisance of the nation. A peaceful river, whose soft current feeds The formal quack, who kills his man each day, The constant verdure of a thousand meads, Passes uncensur'd, and receives his pay. Whose shaded banks afford a safe retreat Old Aulus, nodding 'midst the lawyers strife, From winter's blasts and summer's sultry heat, Wakes to decide on property and life.
From whose pure wave the thirsty peasant drains Yet not a soul will blame him, and insist
Those tides of health that flow within his veins, That he should judge to purpose, or desist. Passes unnotic'd ; while the torrent strong At this address how would the courtiers laugh! Which bears the shepherds and their flocks along, My lord, you're always blundering: quit your Arm'd with the vengeance of the angry skies, staff:
Is view'd with admiration and surprise ; You've lost some reputation, and 'tis best Employs the painter's hand, the poet's quill, To shift before you grow a public jest.'
And rises to renown by doing ill. This none will think of, though 'tis more a crime Verse form’d for falshood makes ambition shine, To mangle state-affairs, than murder rhyme. Dubs it immortal, and almost divine; The quack, you'll say, has reason for his killing, But qualities which fiction ne'er can raise Hecannot eat unless he earns his shilling. It always lessens when it strives to praise." The worn-out lawyer clambers to the bench “ Then take your way, 'tis folly to contend That he may live at ease, and keep his wench; With those who know their faults, but will not The courtier toils for something higher far,
mend." And hopes for wealth, new titles and a star;