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In Imitation of HORACE's ART of POETRY.

Humano capiti cervicem pictor equinam
Jungere si velit, & varias inducere plumas,
Undique collatis membris; ut turpiter atrum
Definat in piscem mulier formosa superne:
Spectatum admissi, risum teneatis, amici?
Credite, Pisones, isti tabulae fore librum
Persimilem, cujus, velut aegri somnia, vanae
Fingentur species. Pictoribus atque Poetis
Quilibet audendi semper fuit aequa potestas;
Scimus, & hanc veniam petimusque damusque vicissim;
Sed non ut placidis coëant immitia, non ut
Serpentes avibus geminentur, tigribus agni.
IF to an human face sir James shou'd draw
2 A horse's mane, and feathers of maccaw,
3 A lady's bosom, and a tail of cod,
4 Who could help laughing at a sight so odd?
5 Just such a monster, Sirs, pray think before ye,
6 When you behold one man both Whig and Tory.
7 Not more extravagant are drunkards dreams,
8 Than Low-church politicks with High-church schemes.
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9 Painters, you'll say, may their own fancies use,
10 And free-born Britons may their party chuse:
11 That's true, I own: but can one piece be drawn
12 For dove and dragon, elephant and fawn?
Incoeptis gravibus plerumque & magna professis
Purpureus, late qui splendeat, unus & alter
Assuitur pannus; cum lucus, & ara Dianae,
Aut properantis aquae per amoenos ambitus agros,
Aut flumen Rhenum, aut pluvius describitur arcus.
Sed nunc non erat his locus: & fortasse cupressum
Scis simulare quid hoc, si fractus enatat exspes
Navibus, aere dato qui pingitur? amphora coepit
Institui; currente rota cur urceus exit?
Denique sit quidvis, simplex duntaxat & unum.
Speakers profess'd, who gravity pretend,
14 With motly sentiments their speeches blend;
15 Begin like patriots, and like courtiers end.
16 Some love to roar, the constitution's broke,
17 And others on the nation's debts to joke;
18 Some rail, (they hate a commonwealth so much,)
19 Whate'er the subject be, against the Dutch;
20 While others, with more fashionable fury,
21 Begin with turnpikes, and conclude with Fleury.
22 Some, when th' affair was Blenheim's glorious battle,
23 Declaim'd against importing Irish cattle:
24 But you, from whate'er side you take your name,
25 Like Anna's motto, always be the same.
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Decipimus specie recti; brevis esse laboro,
Obscurus fio; sectantem levia nervi,
Deficiunt animique; professus grandia, turget,
Qui variare cupit rem prodigaliter unam.
Delphinum sylvis appingit, fluctibus aprum.
In vitium ducit culpae fuga, si caret arte.
Aemilium circa ludum faber imus & ungues
Exprimet, & molles imitabitur aere capillos;
Infelix operis summa, quia ponere totum
Nesciet; hunc ego me, si quid componere curem.
Non magis esse velim, quam pravo vivere naso
Spectandum nigris oculis nigroque capillo.
Outsides deceive, 'tis hard the truth to know,
27 Parties from quaint denominations flow,
28 As Scotch and Irish antiquaries show.
29 The low are said to rake Fanaticks parts,
30 The high are bloody Papists in their hearts.
31 Caution and fear to highest faults have run;
32 In pleasing both the parties, you please none.
33 Who in the house affects declaiming airs,
34 Whales in Change-alley paints: in Fish-street bears.
35 Some metaphors, some hankerchiefs display,
36 These peep in hats, while those with buttons play,
37 And make me think it Repetition day;
38 There knights haranguing hug a neighb'ring post,
39 And are but quorum orators at most.
40 Sooner than thus my want of sense expose,
41 I'll deck out bandy-legs with gold-clock'd hose,
42 Or wear a toupet-wig without a nose.
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43 Nay, I would sooner have thy phyz, I swear,
44 Surintendant des plaisirs d'Angleterre.
* All Mr. Heydegger's letters come directed to him from abroad, A Monsieur, Monsieur Heydegger, surintendant des plaisirs d'Angleterre.
Sumite materiam vestris, qui scribitis aequam
Viribus; & versate diu, quid ferre recusent,
Quid valeant humeri: cui lecta potenter erit res,
Nec facundia deseret hunc, nec lucidus ordo.
Ordinis haec virtus erit & Venus, aut ego fallor,
Ut jam nunc dicat, jam nunc debentia dici,
Pleraque differat, & praesens in tempus omittat.
Dixeris egregie, notum si callida verbum
Reddiderit junctura novum; si forte necesse est
Indiciis monstrare recentibus abdita rerum
Fingere cinctutis non exaudita Cethegis
Continget dabiturque licentia sumpta pudenter.
Et nova fictaque nuper habebunt verba fidem, si
Graeco fonte cadant.
Ye weekly writers of seditious news,
46 Take care your subjects artfully to chuse,
47 Write panegyrick strong, or boldly rail,
48 You cannot miss preferment, or a goal.
49 Wrap up your poison well, nor fear to say
50 What was a lye last night is truth to-day.
51 Tell this, sink that, arrive at Ridpath's praise,
52 Let Abel Roper your ambition raise.
53 To lie fit opportunity observe,
54 Saving some double meaning in reserve;
55 But oh! you'll merit everlasting fame,
56 If you can quibble on Sir Robert's name.
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57 In state-affairs use not the vulgar phrase,
58 Talk words scarce known in good queen Besse's days,
59 New terms let war or traffick introduce,
60 And try to bring persuading-ships in use.
61 Coin words: in coining ne'er mind common sense,
62 Provided the original be French.
Licuit, semperque licebit
Signatum praesente not a producere nomen.
Ut sylvae foliis pronos mutantur in annos:
Prima cadunt, it a verborum vetus interit aetas.
Debemur morti nos nostraque; sive receptus
Terrâ Neptunus, classes aquilonibus arcet,
Regis opus; sterilisve diu palus aptaque remis
Vicinas urbes alit, & grave sentit aratrum;
Seu cursum mutavit iniquum frugibus amnis
Doctus iter melius: mortalia facta peribunt,
Nedum sermonum stet honos, & gratia vivax:
Multa renascentur quae jam cecidere, cadentque
Quae nunc sunt in honore vocabula, si volet usus,
Quem penes arbitrium est & jus & norma loquendi.
Like South-sea stock, expressions rise and fall:
64 King Edward's words are now no words at all.
65 Did aught our predecessors genius cramp?
66 Sure every reign may have its proper stamp.
67 All sublunary things of death partake;
68 What alteration does a cent'ry make?
69 Kings and comedians are all mortal found,
70 Caesar and Pinkethman are underground.
71 What's not destroy'd by Time's devouring hand?
72 Where's Troy, and where's the may-pole in the Strand?
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73 Pease, cabbages, and turnips once grew, where
74 Now stands New Bond-street, and a newer square;
75 Such piles of buildings now rise up and down,
76 London itself seems going out of town.
77 Our fathers cross'd from Fulham in a wherry,
78 Their sons enjoy a bridge at Putney-ferry.
79 Think we that modern words eternal are?
80 Toupet and Tompion, Cosins, and Colmar
81 Hereafter will be call'd, by some plain man,
82 A wig, a watch, a pair of stays, a fan.
83 To things themselves if time such change affords,
84 Can there be any trusting to our words?
Res gestae regumque ducumque, & tristia bella
Quo scribi possent numero, monstravit Homerus,
Versibus impariter junctis querimonia primum,
Post etiam inclusa est voti sententia compos.
Quis tamen exiguos elegos emiserit auctor,
Grammatici certant, & adhuc sub judice lis est.
To screen good ministers from publick rage,
86 And how with party madness to engage,
87 We learn from Addison's immortal page.
88 The Jacobite's ridiculous opinion
89 Is seen from Tickell's letters to Avignon.
90 But who puts Caleb's Country-Craftsman out,
91 Is still a secret, and the world's in doubt.
Musa dedit fidibus Divos puerosque Deorum,
Et pugilem victorem, & equum certamine primum,
Et juvenum curas, & libera vina referre.
Not long since parish clerks, with saucy airs,
93 Apply'd king David's psalms to state affairs.
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94 Some certain tunes to politicks belong,
95 On both side drunkards love a party-song.
Descriptas servare vices operumque colores
Cur ego si nequeo ignoroque, poeta salutor?
Cur nescire, pudens prave, quam discere malo?
If full across the Speaker's chair I go,
97 Can I be said the rules o' th' House to know?
98 I'll ask, nor give offence without intent,
99 Nor through mere sheepishness be impudent.
Versibus exponi tragicis res comica non vult:
Indignatur item privatis, ac prope socco
Dignis carminibus narrari coena Thyestae.
Interdum tamen & vocem Comoedia tollit,
Iratusque Chremes tumido dilitigat ore.
Telephus & Peleus, cum pauper & exsul uterque
Projicit ampullas & sesquipedalia verba.
In acts of Parliament avoid sublime,
101 Nor e'er address his Majesty in rhyme;
102 An Act of Parliament's a serious thing,
103 Begins with year of Lord and year of King;
104 Keeps close to form, in every word is strict,
105 When it would pains and penalties inflict.
106 Soft words suit best petitioner's intent;
107 Soft words, O ye petitioners of Kent!
Non satis est pulchra esse Poemata, dulcia sunio.
Ut ridentibus arrident, ita flentibus adsunt
Humani vultus: si vis me stere, dolendum est
Primum ipse tibi: nunc tua me infortunia laedent.
Telephe, vel Peleu, mole si mandata loquêris,
Aut dormitabo, aut ridebo.
Whoe'er harangues before he gives his vote,
109 Should send sweet language from a tuneful throat.
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110 Pultney the coldest breast with zeal can fire,
111 And Roman thoughts by Attick stile inspire;
112 He knows from tedious wranglings to beguile
113 The serious house into a cheerful smile;
114 When the great patriot paints his anxious fears
115 For England's safety, I am lost in tears.
116 But when dull speakers strive to move compassion,
117 I pity their poor hearers, not the nation:
118 Unless young members to the purpose keep,
119 I fall a laughing, or I fall asleep.
Format enim natura prius nos intus ad omnem
Fortunarum habitum, &c.
Post effert animi motus interprete linguâ.
tristia moestum
Vultum verba decent, &c.
Si dicentis erunt fortunis absona dicta
Romani tollent equites peditesque cachinnum.
Can men their inward faculties controul?
121 Is not the tongue an index to the soul?
122 Laugh not in time of service to your God,
123 Nor bully, when in custody o' th' rod;
124 Look grave, and be from jokes and grinning far,
125 When brought to sue for pardon at the bar:
126 If then you let your ill-tim'd wit appear,
127 Knights, citizens, and burgesses will sneer.
Intererit multum Davusne loquatur, an Heros:
Mercatorne vagus, cultorne virentis agelli;
Colchus, an Assyrius; Thebis nutritus, an Argis.
For land, or trade, not the same notions fire
129 The city-merchant, and the country-'squire;
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130 Their climes are distant, tho' one cause unites
131 The lairds of Scotland, and the Cornish knights.
Aut famam sequere, aut sibi convenientia finge,
Scriptor honoratum si forte reponis Achillem,
Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer,
Jura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis;
Sit Medea ferox invictaque, flebilis Ino,
Perfidus Ixion, Io vaga, tristis Orestes.
To likelihood your characters confine;
133 Don't turn Sir Paul out, let Sir Paul resign.
134 In Walpole's voice (if factions ill intend)
135 Give the two universities a friend;
136 Give Maidstone wit, and elegance refin'd;
137 To both the Pelhams give the Scipio's mind;
138 To Cart'ret learning, eloquence, and parts;
139 To George the second, give all English hearts.
Si quid inexpertum scenae committis, & audes
Personam formare novam, servetur ad imum
Qualis ad incepto processerit, & sibi constet.
Sometimes fresh names in politicks produce,
141 And factions yet unheard of introduce;
142 And if you dare attempt a thing so new,
143 Make to itself the flying squadron true.
Difficile est proprie communia dicere: tuque
Rectius Iliacum carmen deducis in actus,
Quam si proferres ignota indictaque primus.
Publica materies privati juris erit, si
Nec circa vilem patulumque moraberis orbem.
Nec verbum verbo curabis reddére fidus
Interpres; nec desilies imitator in arctum,
Unde pedem proferre pudor vetet, aut operis lex.
To speak is free, no member is debarr'd;
145 But funds and national accounts are hard:
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146 Safer on common topicks to discourse,
147 The malt-tax, and a military force.
148 On these each coffee-house will lend a hint,
149 Besides a thousand things that are in print.
150 But steal not word for word, nor thought for thought,
151 For you'll be teaz'd to death, if you are caught.
152 When factious leaders boast increasing strength,
153 Go not too far, nor follow every length:
154 Leave room for change, turn with a grace about,
155 And swear you left 'em, when you found 'em out.
Nec si incipies, ut scriptor Cyclicus olim,
"Fortunam Priami cantabo & nobile bellum."
Quanto rectius hic, qui nil molitur inepte,
"Dic mihi Musa virum, captae post tempora Trojae,
"Qui mores hominum multorum vidit & urbes.
With art and modesty your part maintain;
157 And talk like Col'nel Titus, not like Lane.
158 The trading knight with rants his speech begins,
159 Sun, moon, and stars, and dragons, saints, and kings:
160 But Titus said, with his uncommon sense,
161 When the exclusion-bill was in suspence,
162 I hear a lion in the lobby roar;
163 Say, Mr. Speaker, shall we shut the door
164 And keep him there, or shall we let him in
165 To try if we can turn him out again?
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Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem
Some mighty blusterers impeach with noise,
167 And call their private cry, the publick voice.
Quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu?
Parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.
From folio's of accounts they take their handles,
169 And the whole ballance proves a pound of candles;
170 As if Paul's cupola were brought to bed,
171 After hard labour, of a small pin's head.
Nec reditum Diomedes ab interitu Meleagri,
Nec gemino bellum Trojanum orditur ab ovo;
& quae
Desperat tractata nitescere posse, relinquit;
Atque ita mentitur, sic veris falsa remiscet,
Primum ne medium, medio ne discrepet imum.
Some Rufus, some the Conqueror bring in,
173 And some from Julius Caesar's days begin.
174 A cunning speaker can command his chops,
175 And when the house is not in humour, stops;
176 In falsehood probability imploys,
177 Nor his old lies with newer lies destroys.
Tu, quid ego & populus mecum desideret, audi;
Si plausoris eges aulaea manentis, & usque
Sessuri donec cantor, Vos plaudite, dicat:
Aetatis cujusque notandi sunt tibi mores
Mobilibusque decor naturis dandus & annis.
If when you speak, you'd hear a needle fall,
179 And make the frequent hear-hims rend the wall,
180 In matters suited to your taste engage,
181 Rememb'ring still your quality and age.
182 Thy task be this, young knight, and hear my song,
183 What politicks to ev'ry age belong.
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Reddere qui voces jam scit puer, & pede certo
Signat humum, jestis paribus colludere, & iram
Colligit ac ponit temere, & mutatur in horas.
When babes can speak, babes should be taught to say
185 King George the second's health, huzza, huzza!
186 Boys should learn Latin for Prince William's sake,
187 And girls Louisa their example make.
Imberbis juvenis, tandem custode remoto,
Gaudet equis canibusque, & aprici gramine campi;
Cereus in vitium flecti, monitoribus asper,
Utilium tardus provisor, prodigus aeris,
Sublimis cupidusque, & amata relinquere pernix.
More loves the youth, just come to his estate,
189 To range the fields, than in the house debate;
190 More he delights in fav'rite Jowler's tongue,
191 Than in Will Shippen, or Sir William Yonge:
192 If in one chase he can two horses kill,
193 He cares not two-pence for the land-tax bill:
194 Loud in his wine, in women not o'er nice,
195 He damns his uncles if they give advice;
196 Votes as his father did when there's a call,
197 But had much rather never vote at all.
Conversis studiis, aetas animusque virilis;
Quaerit opes & amicitias, inservit honori;
Commisisse cavet quod mox mutare laboret.
We take a different turn at twenty-six,
199 And lofty thoughts on some lord's daughter fix;
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200 With men in pow'r strict friendship we pursue,
201 With some considerable post in view.
202 A man of forty years to change his note,
203 One way to speak, and t'other way to vote;
204 Careful his tongue in passion to command,
205 Avoids the bar, and speaker's reprimand.
Multa senem circumveniunt incommoda; vel quod
Quaerit, & inventis miser abstinet, ac timet uti.
Dilator spe longus, iners, avidusque futuri;
Difficilis, querulus, laudator temporis acti
Se puero, censor castigatorque minorum.
Multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum,
Multa recedentes adimunt; ne forte seniles
Mandentur juveni partes, pueroque viriles;
Semper in adjunctis aevoque morabimur aptis.
In bags the old man lets his treasure rust,
207 Afraid to use it, or the funds to trust;
208 When stocks are low he wants the heart to buy,
209 And through much caution sees them rise too high;
210 Thinks nothing rightly done since seventy-eight,
211 Swears present members do not talk, but prate:
212 In Charles the second's days, says he, ye prigs,
213 Tories were Tories then, and Whigs were Whigs.
214 Alas! this is a lamentable truth,
215 We lose in age, as we advance in youth:
216 I laugh when twenty will like eighty talk,
217 And old Sir John with Polly Peachum walk.
Aut agitur res in scenis, aut acta refertur.
Segnius irritant animos demissa per aures,
Quàm quae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, & quae
Ipse sibi tradit spectator.
Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi.
Now as to double, or to false returns,
219 When pockets suffer, and when anger burns;
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220 O thing surpassing faith! knight strives with knight
221 When both have brib'd, and neither's in the right,
222 The bailiff's self is sent for in that case,
223 And all the witnesses had face to face.
224 Selected members soon the fraud unfold,
225 In full committee of the house 'tis told;
226 Th' incredible corruption is destroy'd,
227 The chairman's angry, and th' election void.
Neve minor, neu sit quinto productior actu
Fabula, quae posci vult, & spectata reponi;
Nec Deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus
Inciderit; nec quarta loqui persona laboret.
Those who would captivate the well-bred throng,
229 Should not too often speak, nor speak too long:
230 Church, nor church-matters ever turn to sport,
231 Nor make St. Stephen's chapel, Dover-court.
Actoris partes Chorus officiumque virile
Defendat: neu quid medios intercinat actus,
Quod non proposito conducat & haereat apte:
Ille bonis faveatque, & concilietur amicis,
Et regat iratos, & amet peccare timentes;
Ille dapes laudet mensae brevis; ille salubrem
Justitiam, legesque, & apertis otia portis;
Ille tegat commissa, Deosque precetur & oret,
Ut redeat miseris, abeat fortuna superbis.
The speaker, when the commons are assembled,
233 May to the Graecian chorus be resembled;
234 'Tis his the young and modest to espouse,
235 And see none draw, or challenge in the house:
236 'Tis his old hospitality to use,
237 And three good printers for the house to chuse;
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238 To let each representative be heard,
239 And take due care the chaplain be preferr'd;
240 To hear no motion made that's out of joint,
241 And when he spies his member, make his point.
Tibia non, ut nunc Orichalcho vincta, tubaeque
Aemula, sed tenuis simplex foramine pauco
Aspirare, & adesse choris erat utilis, &c.
Postquam coepit agros extendere victor, & urbem
Latior amplecti murus, &c.
Accessit numerisque modisque licentia major;
Sic etiam fidibus voces crevere severis,
Et tulit eloquium insolitum facundia praeceps:
Utilium sagax rerum & divina futuri
Sortilegis non discrepuit sententia Delphis.
To knights new chosen in old time would come
243 The country trumpet, and perhaps a drum;
244 Now when a burgess new elect appears,
245 Come trainbands, horseguards, footguards, grenadeers;
246 When the majority the town-clerk tells,
247 His honour pays the fiddles, waits, and bells:
248 Harangues the mob, and is as wise and great,
249 As the most mystick oracle of state.
Carmine qui tragico vilem certavit ob hircum,
Incolumi gravitate jocum tentavit, eo quod
Illecebris erat & grata novitate morandus
Spectator, functusque sacris, & potus, & exlex.
When the duke's grandson for the county stood,
251 His beef was fat, and his october good;
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252 His lordship took each ploughman by the fist,
253 Drank to their sons, their wives, their daughters kiss'd;
254 But when strong beer their free-born hearts inflames,
255 They sell him bargains, and they call him names.
256 Thus it is deem'd in English nobles wise
257 To stoop for no one reason but to rise.
Effutire leves indigna Tragoedia versus,
Ut festis matrona moveri jussa diebus,
Intererit Satyris paulum pudibunda protervis.
Election matters shun with cautious awe,
259 O all ye judges learned in the law;
260 A judge by bribes as much himself degrades,
261 As duchess-dowager by masquerades.
Non ego inornata & dominantia nomina solum,
Verbaque, Pisones, Satyrorum scriptor amabo;
Nec sic enitar Tragico differre colori,
Ut nihil intersit Davusque loquatur, & audax
Pythias, emuncto lucrata Simone talentum:
An custos famulusque Dei Silenus alumni.
Try not with jests obscene to force a smile,
263 Nor lard your speech with mother Needham's stile:
264 Let not your tongue to Ωλδφιελδισμυς run,
265 And Κιββερισμυς with abhorrence shun;
266 Let not your looks affected words disgrace,
267 Nor join with silver tongue a brazen face;
268 Let not your hands, like tallboys be employ'd,
269 And the mad rant of tragedy avoid.
270 Just in your thoughts, in your expression clear,
271 Neither too modest, nor too bold appear.
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Ut sibi quivis
Speret idem, sudet multum, frustraque laboret.
Others in vain a like success will boast,
273 He speaks most easy, who has study'd most.
Ne nimium teneris juvenentur versibus unquam,
Aut immunda crepent ignominiosaque dicta:
Offenduntur enim quibus est equus, & pater & res,
Nec si quid fricti ciceris probat, & nucis emptor,
Aequis accipiunt animis, donantve corona.
A peer's pert heir has to the commons spoke
275 A vile reflection, or a bawdy joke:
276 Call'd to the house of lords, of this beware,
277 'Tis what the bishops' bench will never bear.
278 Among the commons is such freedom shown,
279 They lash each other, and attack the throne;
280 Yet so unskilful or so fearful some,
281 For nine that speak there's nine-and-forty dumb.
At nostri proavi Plautinos & numeros &
Laudavêre sales; nimium patienter utrumque,
Nec dicam stulte, mirati; si modo ego & vos
Scimus inurbanum lepido seponere dicto,
Legitimumque sonum digitis callemus & aure.
When James the first, at great Britannia's helm,
283 Rul'd this word-clipping and word-coining realm,
284 No word to royal favour made pretence,
285 But what agreed in sound and clash'd in sense.
286 Thrice happy he! how great that speaker's praise,
287 Whose ev'ry period look'd an hundred ways.
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288 What then? we now with just abhorrence shun
289 The trifling quibble, and the school-boy's pun;
290 Tho' no great connoisseur, I make a shift
291 Just to find out a Durfey from a Swift;
292 I can discern with half an eye, I hope,
293 Mist from Jo Addison; from Eusden, Pope:
294 I know a farce from one of Congreve's plays,
295 And Cibber's opera from Johnny Gay's.
Ignotum Tragicae genus invenisse Camoenae
Dicitur, & plaustris vexisse poëmata Thespis,
Quae canerent agerentque peruncti faecibus ora
Post hunc personae pallaeque repertor honestae
Aeschylus, & modicis instravit pulpita tignis,
Et docuit magnumque loqui, nitique cothurno.
Successit vetus his Commoedia, non sine multa
Laude: sed in vitium libertas excidit, & vim
Dignam lege regi: lex est accepta, chorusque
Turpiter obticuit sublato jure nocendi.
When pert Defoe his saucy papers writ,
297 He from a cart was pillor'd for his wit:
298 By mob was pelted half a morning's space,
299 And rotten eggs besmear'd his yellow face;
300 The Censor then improv'd the list'ning isle,
301 And held both parties in an artful smile.
302 A scribbling crew now pinching winter brings,
303 That spare no earthly nor no heav'nly things,
304 Nor church, nor state, nor treasurers, nor kings.
305 But blasphemy displeases all the town;
306 And for defying scripture, law, and crown,
307 Woolston should pay his fine, and lose his gown.
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Nil intentatum nostri liquêre Poëta;
Nec minimum meruêre decus, vestigia Graeca
Ausi deserere, & celebrare domestica facta:
Nec virtute foret clarisve potentius armis,
Quàm linguâ, Latium, si non offenderet unum -
quemque Peëtarum limae labor & mora.
It must be own'd the journals try all ways
309 To merit their respective party's praise:
310 They jar in every article from Spain;
311 A war these threaten, those a peace maintain:
312 Tho' lie they will, to give them all their due,
313 In foreign matters, and domestick too.
314 Whoe'er thou art that would'st a Postman write
315 Enquire all day, and hearken all the night.
316 Sure, Gazetteers and writers of Courants
317 Might soon exceed th' intelligence of France:
318 To be out-done old England should refuse,
319 As in her arms, so in her publick news:
320 But truth is scarce, the scene of action large,
321 And correspondence an excessive charge.
Ingenium miserâ quia fortunatius arte
Credit, & excludit sanos Helicone Poëtas
Democritus, bona pars non ungues ponere curat,
Non barbam
Nanciscetur enim pretium nomenque Poëtae,
Si tribus Anticyris caput insanabile nunquam
Tonsori Licino commiserit.
There are who say, no man can be a wit
323 Unless for Newgate, or for Bedlam sit;
324 Let pamphleteers abusive satire write,
325 To shew a genius is to shew a spite:
[Page 275]
326 That author's work will ne'er be reckon'd good,
327 Who has not been where Curll the printer stood.
O ego laevus,
Qui purgor hilem sub verni temporis horam:
Non alius faceret meliora poëmata, verum
Nil tanti est: ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum
Reddere quae ferrum valet, exsors ipsa secandi;
Munus & officium, nil scribens ipse, docebo;
Unde parentur opes, quid alat formetque Poëtam:
Quid deceat, quid non: quò virtus, quò ferat error.
Alas poor me! you may my Fortune guess:
329 I write, and yet humanity profess:
330 (Though nothing can delight a modern judge,
331 Without ill-nature and a private grudge)
332 I love the king, the queen, and royal race:
333 I like the government, but want no place
334 Too low in life to be a justice I,
335 And for a constable, thank God, too high:
336 Was never in a plot, my brain's not hurt;
337 I politicks to poetry convert,
Scribendi recte, sapere est & principium & fons:
Rem tibi Socraticae poterunt ostendere chartae,
Verbaque provisam rem non invita sequentur.
Qui didicit, patriae quid debeat, & quid amicis,
Quo sit amori parens, quo frater amandus, et hospes,
Quod sit conscripti, quod judicis officium, quae
Partes in bellum missi ducis; ille profectò
Reddere personae scit convenientia cuique.
A politician must (as I have read)
339 Be furnish'd, in the first place, with a head:
340 A head well fill'd with Machiavelian brains,
341 And stuff'd with precedents of former reigns:
[Page 276]
342 Must journals read, and magna charta quote;
343 But acts still wiser, if he speaks by note:
344 Learn well his lesson, and ne'er fear mistakes;
345 For ready-money ready-speakers makes.
346 He must instructions and credentials draw,
347 Pay well the army, and protect the law:
348 Give to his country what's his country's due,
349 But first help brothers, sons, and cousins too.
350 He must read Grotius upon war and peace,
351 And the twelve judges' salary increase.
352 He must oblige old friends and new allies,
353 And find out ways and means for fresh supplies.
354 He must the weavers grievances redress,
355 And merchants wants in merchants words express.
Respicere exemplar vitae morumque jubebo
Doctum imitatorem, & veras hinc ducere voces.
Fabula, nullius veneris, sine pondere & arte,
Valdius oblectat populum, meliusque moratur,
Quam versus inopes rerum, nugaeque canorae.
Dramatick poets that expect the bays,
357 Should call our histories for party plays;
358 Wickford's Embassador should fill their head,
359 And the State-trials carefully be read:
360 For what is Dryden's muse and Otway's plots,
361 To th' earl of Essex or the queen of Scots?
[Page 277]
Graiis ingenium, Graiis dedit ore rotundo
Musa loqui, &c.
Romani pueri longis rationibus assem
Discunt in partes centum diducere. Dicat
Filius urbani, si de quincunce remota est
Uncia, quid superest? poteras dixisse, triens. Eu!
Rem poteris servare tuam.
redit uncia, quid fit?
Semis. Ad haec animos aerugo & cura peculî
Cum semel imbuerit, speramus carmina fingi
Posse linenda cedro, & laevi servanda cupresso?
'Tis said that queen Elizabeth could speak,
363 At twelve years old, right Attick full-mouth'd Greek;
364 Hence was the student forc'd at Greek to grudge,
365 If he would be a bishop or a judge.
366 Divines and lawyers now don't think they thrive,
367 'Till promis'd places of men still alive:
368 How old is such a one in such a post?
369 The answer is, he's seventy-five almost:
370 Th' archbishop and the master of the rolls?
371 Neither is young, and one's as old as Paul's.
372 Will men that ask such questions, publish books
373 Like learned Hooker's, or chief justice Coke's?
Quicquid praecipies, esto brevis; ut cito dicta
Percipiant animi dociles, teneantque fideles;
Omne supervacuum pleno de pectore manat.
On tender subjects with discretion touch,
375 And never say too little or too much.
376 On trivial matters flourishes are wrong,
377 Motions for candles never should be long:
[Page 278]
378 Or if you move in case of sudden rain,
379 To shut the windows, speak distinct and plain.
380 Unless you talk good English, downright sense,
381 Can you be understood by serjeant Spence?
Ficta voluptatis causâ, sint proxima veris:
Nec, quodcunque volet, poscat sibi fabula credi;
Neu pransae Lamiae vivum puerum extrahat alvo.
New stories always should with truth agree,
383 Or truth's half sister, probability:
384 Scarce could Toft's rabbits and pretended throes
385 On half the honourable house impose.
Centuriae seniorum agitant expertia frugis;
Celsi praetereunt austera poëmata Rhamnes.
Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci,
Lectorem delectando, pariterque monendo.
Hic meret aera liber Sosiis, hic & mare transit,
Et longum noto scriptori prorogat aevum.
When Cato speaks, young Shallow runs away,
387 And swears it is so dull he cannot stay:
388 When rakes begin on blasphemy to border,
389 Bromley and Hanmer cry aloud to order.
390 The point is this, with manly sense and ease
391 T' inform the judgment, and the fancy please.
392 Praise it deserves, nor difficult the thing,
393 At once to serve one's country, and one's king.
394 Such speeches bring the wealthy Tonsons gain,
395 From age to age they minuted remain,
396 As precedents for George the twentieth's reign.
[Page 279]
Sunt delecta tamen, quibus ignovisse velimus;
Non semper feriet quodcunque minabitur arcus:
Verum ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis
Offendar maculis, quas aut incuria fudit.
Aut humana parum cavit natura. Quid ergo est?
Ut scriptor si peccat idem librarius usque,
Quamvis est monitus, venia caret: & Citharaedus
Ridetur, chordâ qui semper oberrat eâdem:
Sic mihi, qui multùm cessat, fit Choerilus ille,
Quem bis terque bonum, cum risu miror: & idem
Indignor qnandoque bonus dormitat Homerus:
Verum opere in longo fas est obrepere somnum.
Is there a man on earth so perfect found,
398 Who ne'er mistook a word in sense or sound?
399 Not blund'ring, but persisting is the fault;
400 No mortal sin is Lapsus Linguae thought:
401 Clerks may mistake; considering who 'tis from,
402 I pardon little slips in Cler. Dom. Com.
403 But let me tell you I'll not take his part,
404 If ev'ry Thursday he date Die Mart
405 Of sputt'ring mortals, 'tis the fatal curse,
406 By mending blunders still to make them worse.
407 Men sneer when gets a lucky thought,
408 And stare if Wyndham should be nodding caught.
409 But sleeping's what the wisest men may do,
410 Should the committee chance to sit till two.
Ut pictura Poësis erit; quae, si propius stes,
Te capiet magis: & quaedam, si longius abstes.
Haec amat obscurum, volet haec sub luce videri;
Haec placuit semel, haec decies repetita placebit.
Not unlike paintings, principles appear,
412 Some best at distance, some when we are near.
[Page 280]
413 The love of politicks so vulgar's grown,
414 My landlord's party from his sign is known:
415 Mark of French wine, see Ormond's head appear,
416 While Marlb'rough's face directs to beer and beer;
417 Some Buchanan's, the Pope's head some like best,
418 The Devil tavern is a standing jest.
O major juvenum hoc tibi dictum
Tolle memor, certis medium & tolerabile rebus
Recte concedi
Mediocribus esse Poëtis
Non homines, non Dii, non concessêre columnae.
Sic animis natum inventumque Poëma juvandis
Si paulum a summo decessit, vergit ad imum.
Whoe'er you are that have a seat secure,
420 Duly return'd, and from petition sure,
421 Stick to your friends in whatsoe'er you say;
422 With strong aversion shun the middle-way;
423 The middle-way the best we sometimes call,
424 But 'tis in politicks no way at all.
425 A Trimmer's what both parties turn to sport,
426 By country hated, and despis'd at court.
427 Who would in earnest to a party come,
428 Must give his vote not whimsical, but plumb.
429 There is no medium; for the term in vogue,
430 On either side is, honest man, or rogue.
431 Can it be difficult our minds to shew,
432 Where all the difference is, yes, or no?
[Page 281]
Ludere qui nescit, campestribus abstinet armis:
Indoctusque pilae, discive, trochive, quiescit,
Ne spissae risum tollant impunè coronae;
Qui nescit, versus tamen audet fingere.
Quid ni?
Liber & ingenuus praesertim census equestrem
Summam nummorum, vitioque remotus ab omni.
Membranis intus positis, delere licebit
Quod non edideris: nescit vox missa reverti.
In all professions, time and pains give skill;
434 Without hard study dare physicians kill?
435 Can he that ne'er read statutes or reports,
436 Give chamber counsel, or urge law in courts?
437 But ev'ry whipster knows affairs of state,
438 Nor fears on nicest subjects to debate.
439 A knight of eighteen hundred pounds a year
440 Who minds his head, if his estate be clear?
441 Sure he may speak his mind, and tell the house,
442 He matters not the government a louse.
443 Lack-learning knights, these things are safely said
444 To friends in private, at the Bedford-head;
445 But in the house, before your tongue runs on,
446 Consult sir James, lord William's dead and gone.
447 Words to recall is in no member's power,
448 One single word may send you to the Tower.
Sylvestres homines sacer interpresque Deorum
Caedibus & victu foedo deterruit Orpheus.
Fuit haec sapientia quondam,
Publica privatis secernere, sacra profanis:
Concubitu prohibere vago, dare jura maritis;
Oppida moliri, leges incidere ligno.
Dictae per carmina sortes,
Et vitae monstrata via est, & gratia regum
Pieriis tentata modis: ludusque repertus
Et longorum operum finis:
ne forte pudori
Sit tibi Musa lyrae solers, & cantor Apollo.
The wrong'd to help, the lawless to restrain,
450 Thrice ev'ry year in ancient Egbert's reign,
[Page 282]
451 The members to the Mitchelgemot went,
452 In after-ages called the Parliament;
453 Early the Mitchelgemot did begin
454 T' inroll their statutes on a parchment skin:
455 For impious treason hence no room was left,
456 For murder, for polygamy, or theft:
457 Since when the senate's power both sexes know
458 From hops and claret, soap and callico.
459 Now wholsome laws young senators bring in
460 'Gainst goals, attorneys, bribery, and gin.
461 Since such the nature of the British state,
462 The power of parliament so old and great,
463 Ye 'squires and Irish lords, 'tis worth your care
464 To be return'd for city, town, or shire,
465 By sheriff, bailiff, constable, or mayor.
Natura fieret laudabile carmen, an arte,
Quaesitum est; ego nec studium sine divite venâ,
Nec rude quid profit video ingenium: alterius sic
Altera poscit opem res, & conjurat amice.
Some doubt, which to a seat has best pretence,
467 A man of substance, or a man of sense:
468 But never any member feats will do,
469 Without a head-piece and a pocket too;
[Page 283]
470 Sense is requir'd the depth of things to reach,
471 And money gives authority to speech.
Qui studet optatam cursu contingere metam,
Multa tulit fecitque puer; sudavit & alsit,
Abstinuit venere & vina.
Nunc satis est dixisse, Ego mira poëmata pango:
Occupet extremum scabies, mihi turpe relinqui est,
Et, quod non didici, sane nescire fateri.
A man of bus'ness won't till ev'ning dine,
473 Abstains from women, company, and wine:
474 From Fig's new theatre he'll miss a night,
475 Tho' cocks, and bulls, and Irish women fight:
476 Nor sultry sun, nor storms of soaking rain,
477 The man of bus'ness from the house detain:
478 Nor speaks he for no reason but to say,
479 I am a member, and I spoke to-day.
480 I speak sometimes, you'll hear his lordship cry,
481 Because some speak that have less sense than I.
Assentatores jubei ad lucrum ire Poëta,
Dives agris, dives positis in foenore nummis.
Si vero est unctum qui recte ponere possit,
Et spondere levi pro paupere, & eripere atris
Litibus implicitum, mirabor, si sciet inter -
noscere mendacem verumque beatus amicum.
Tu seu donaris, seu quid donare voles cui,
Nolito ad versus tibi factos ducere plenum
Laetitiae: clamabit enim, Pulchre, bene, recte!
si carmina condes,
Nunquam te fallant animi sub vulpe latentes.
The man that has both land and money too,
483 May wonders in a trading borough do:
484 They'll praise his ven'son, and commend his port,
485 Turn their two former members into sport,
486 And, if he likes it, satirize the court.
[Page 284]
487 But at a feast 'tis difficult to know
488 From real friends an undiscover'd foe;
489 The man that swears he will the poll secure,
490 And pawns his soul that your election's sure,
491 Suspect that man: beware, all is not right,
492 He's, ten to one, a corporation-bite.
Quintilio si quid recitares, corrige, sodes,
Hoc, aiebat, & hoc: melius te posse negares,
Bis terque expertum frustra, delere jubebat.
Si defendere delictum, quam vertere, malles,
Nullum ultra verbum, aut operam sumebat inanem,
Quin sine rivali teque & tua solus amares.
Alderman Pond, a downright honest man,
494 Would say, I cannot help you, or I can:
495 To spend your money, sir, is all a jest;
496 Matters are settled, set your heart at rest:
497 We've made a compromise, and, sir, you know,
498 That sends one member high, and t'other low.
499 But if his good advice you would not take,
500 He'd scorn your supper, and your punch forsake,
501 Leave you of mighty interest to brag,
502 And poll two voices like sir Robert Fag.
[Page 285]
Ut mala quem scabies aut morbus regius urguet,
dicam, Siculique Poëtae
Narrabo interitum
Nec semel hoc fecit, nec si retractus erit, jam
Fiet homo, & ponet famosae mortis amorem.
Indoctum doctumque fugat recitator acerbus.
Quem vero arripuit, tenet, occiditque legendo,
Non missura cutem, nisi plena cruoris, hirudo.
Parliamenteering is a sort of itch,
504 That will too oft unwary knights bewitch.
505 Two good estates sir Harry Clodpole spent;
506 Sate thrice, but spoke not once, in parliament;
507 Two good estates are gone Who'll take his word?
508 Oh! should his uncle die, he'd spend a third;
509 He'd buy a house his happiness to crown,
510 Within a mile of some good borough-town;
511 Tag, rag, and bobtail to sir Harry's run,
512 Men that have votes, and women that have none;
513 Sons, daughters, grandsons, with his honour dine;
514 He keeps a publick-house without a sign.
515 Coblers and smiths extol th' ensuing choice,
516 And drunken taylors boast their right of voice,
517 Dearly the free-born neighbourhood is bought,
518 They never leave him while he's worth a groat:
519 So leeches stick, nor quit the bleeding wound,
520 Till off they drop with skinfuls to the ground.


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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): THE ART of POLITICKS, In Imitation of HORACE's ART of POETRY.
    Themes: politics
    Genres: heroic couplet; satire; imitation
    References: DMI 22851

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. I. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 256-285. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163)

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    The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.