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Thus, waiting my turn to be serv'd, I connd o'er,
Of paper consign'd to such use, the old store;
When, dusty, at length from the heap forth I took
Sir Noodle's choice labours, that blazon this book;
Which the vender of sundries, to science quite blind,
For Two-pence, mine All, to my hand straight con-
Thus, Copyright mine, let the Trade frown, I scoff it;
The Publishers, d-n'em, shall not filch the profit ;
Since, gluttons for pelf, they will never knock under;
A phalanx of Harpies, intent upon plunder;
Just deaf to the wailings of genius and merit, (g)
As mentally 'reft of one germ of true spirit:
A race which no venom can too much bespatter;
Whose deeds deserve lash of the most poignant
Mere jugglers, subjecting the toils of the press,
To issue forth nonsense in fine wire-wove dress.
(g) The above term is peculiar to many gentlemen of the Trade who
possess no feeling for any one but themselves, having the most rooted predeliction for the old adage, that charity begins at home.
For let them but once, as they wish-feel their way,
Obscenity, falsehood, and trash they'll display.
Style-Genius, mere nothings :-since Dryden sub-
Might starve with his pathos, while fashion's dull
Is palm’d forth, and thus public feeling debas'd;
Since publishers heed neither judgment nor taste,
Two requisites hackney'd—not worthy a thought
Of moderns ;-with far diff'rent acumen fraught.
To booksellers thus, and the press, we all owe
Of science profound the complete overthrow;
But such as lack proofs, soon as conn'd are my
Will find asses rank on a par with the sages;
So affirms wise Sir Noodle; and who dares deny him?
If such recreant now lives, I as champion defy him.
Mediocribus esse poetis
Non Dii, non homines, non concessere columnæ.
With poets mediocrity is not allowable, either by gods, or men, or the pillars which support the shops of the booksellers.
My prelude thus ended, I next, by degrees,
Must enact all the toils of renown'd Hercules ;
For the theme is so copious of Scribblecumdash,
I already feel symptoms bespeaking me rash;
Since to bring in one focus all scribes- I'ın less able,
Than to jabber with each tribe of workmen at Babel.
We're told a faint heart will not fair lady win ;
Thus I ne'er shall conclude, if I never begin :
Then at it, my Pegasus, here's whip and rein,
Tally ho! Tally ho! dash it bold o'er the plain;
Extol in thy race ev'ry son of Apollo,
And spurn with thine hoofs sconces all that are
Be justice the symbol that marks thy career,
For the organ of Truth is disdainful of fear:
I'faith, I've no rancour, nor mean I to show it;
In person I scarce know e'en one living Poet.
Their labours I've studied, and act from cool
Thus folly and sense share due comments in season. The flights of bold fancy shall first claim the
stricture, For poets stand foremost on Noodle's grand picture, From high vaunted Scot that has caus'd hue and
To Rickman, self-dubb’d after great Mistress Clio.
IME was, when a man dar'd an Epic essay, He cautious survey'd stumbling-blocks in his way; So first made enquiry if Phoebus had bless'd him,
And whether the Muses united caress'd him :
(h) This gentleman's voluminous productions seem to have been written with a view to the display of his universal reading, rather than of annexing to his name the title of a great and lasting poet: he has been esteemed a follower of Wordsworth's