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If any factious fpirit should rebel,
Our sex with ease can every rising quell.
Then, as you hope we mould your failings hide,
An honest jury for our play provide.
Whigs at their poets never take offence;
They fave dull culprits, who have murder'd fense.
Tho' nonsense is a nauseous heavy mass,
The vehicle callid Faction makes it pass.
Faction in play's the commonwealth-man's bribe;
The leaden farthing of the canting tribe :
Tho'void in payment laws and ftatutes make it,
The neighbourhood, that knows the man, will take it.
'Tis faction buys the votes of half the pit;
Their's is the penfion-parliament of wit.
In city-clubs their venom let them vent;
For there 'tis safe, in its own element.
Here, where their madness can have no pretence,
Let them forget themselves an hour of sense.
In one poor isle, why should two factions be ?
Small diff'rence in your vices I can see:
In drink and drabs both sides too well agree.
Would there were more preferments in the land :
If places fell, the party could not stand :
of this damn'd grievance ev'ry Whig complains ;
They grunt like hogs till they have got their grains,
Mean time you see what trade our plots advance;
We send each year good money into France ;
And they that know what merchandize we needy
Send o'er true Protestants to mend our breed.
Spoken by Mr. Hart, at the Acting of the
HAT Greece, when learning flourish'd, only
Athenian judges, you this day renew.
Here too are annual rites to Pallas done,
And here poetic prizes loft or won.
Methinks I see you, crown'd with olives, fit,
And strike a sacred horror from the pit.
A day of doom is this of your decree,
Where even the best are but by mercy
A day, which none but Jonson durft have wilh'd to foce.
Here they, who long have known the useful ftage,
Come to be taught themselves to teach the age,
commissioners our poets go,
To cultivate the virtue which you
In your Lycæum first themselves refin'd,
And delegated thence to human-kind.
But as ambassadors, when.long from home,
For new instructions to their princes come;
So poets, who your precepts have forgot,
Return, and beg they may be better taught:
Follies and faults elsewhere by them are shown,
But by your manners they correct their own.
Th’illiterate writer, em peric-like, applies
To minds diseas’d, unsafe, chance, remedies :
The learned in schools, where knowledge first began,
Studies with care the anatomy of man;
Sees virtue, vice, and passions in their cause,
And fame from science, not from fortune, draws.
So Poetry which is in Oxford made
An art, in London only is a trade.
There haughty dunces, whole unlearned peni
Could ne'er spell grammar, would be reading men.
Such build their
the Lucretian way;
huddled atoms make a play;
And if they hit in order by some chance,
They call that nature, which is ignorance.
To such a fame let mere town-wits aspire,
And their gay nonsense their own cits admire.
Our poet, could he find forgiveness here,
Would with it rather than a plaudit there.
He owns no crown from those Prætorian bands,
But knows that right is in the fenate's hands,
Not impudent enough to hope your praise,
Low at the Muses feet his wreath he lays,
And, where he took it up, refigns his bays.
Kings make their poets whom themselves think fit,
But 'tis your suffrage makes authentic wit.
O poor Dutch peasant, wing'd with all his fear,
Flies with more hafte, when the French
Than with our poetic train come down,
For refuge hither, from th’infected town :
Heaven for our sins this summer has thought fit
To visit us with all the plagues of wit.
A French troop first swept all things in its way;
But those hot Monsieurs were too quick to stay:
Yet, to our cost, in that short time, we find
They left their itch of novelty behind.
Th’Italian merry-andrews took their place,
And quite debauch'd the stage with lewd grimace:
Instead of wit and humours, your delight
Was there to see two hobby-horses fight;
Stout Scaramoucha with rush lance rode in,
And ran a tilt at centaur Arlequin.
For love you heard how amorous asses bray'd,
And cats in gutters gave their serenade.
Nature was out of countenance, and each day
Some new-born monfter fewn you for a play.
But when all fail'd, to strike the stage quite dumb,
Those wicked engines call’d machines are come.
Thunder and lightning now for wit are play'd,
And shortly scenes in Lapland will be laid :
Art magic is for poetry profest ;
And cats and dogs, and each obscener beast,
To which Ægyptian dotards once did bow;
Upon our English stage are worshipp'd now :
Witchcraft reigns there, and raises to renown
Macbeth and Simon Magus of the town,
Fletcher's despis’d, your Jonson’s out of fasnion,
And wit the only drug in all the nation.
In this low ebb our wares to you are shown;
By you those staple authors worth is known;
For wit’s a manufacture of your own.
When you, who only can, their scenes have prais’d,
We'll boldly back, and say, their price is rais’d.
Spoken at OXFORD, by Mrs. MARSHALL.
FT has our poet with’d, this happy seat.
I wonder'd at his wish, but now I find
He fought for quiet, and content of mind ;
Which noiseful towns, and courts can never know,
And only in the shades like laurels grow,
Youth, ere it sees the world, here studies rett,
And age returning thence concludes it beft,
What wonder if we court that happiness
Yearly to share, which hourly you poffefs,
Teaching e’en you, while the vext world we show,
Your piece to value more, and better know?
'Tis all we can return for favours past,
Whose holy memory shall ever laft,
For patronage from him whose care presides
O'er every noble art, and every science guides :
Bathurst 4, a name the learn’d with reverence know?
And scarcely more to his own Virgil owe ;
Whofe age enjoys but what his youth deferv’d,
To rule those Muses whom before he serv'd.
His learning, and untainted manners too,
We find, Athenians, are deriv’d to you:
Such antient hospitality there refts
In yours, as dwelt in the first Grecian breasts,
Whose kindness was religion to their guests.