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Safe, where no Critics damn, no Duns moleft, 295
* See on ver. 146.
+ Charles Gildon, a writer of criticisms and libels of the last age, bred at Șt. Omer's with the Jesuits; but repouncing popery, he published Blount's pooks against the Divinity of Christ, the Oracles of Reason, etc.
He signalzed himself as a critic, having written fome very bad plays ; abused Mr. P. very scandaloufly in an anonymous pamphlet of the Life of Mr. Wycherley, printed by Curl ; in another, called the New Rehearsal, printed in 1714 ; in a third, entitled the Complete Art of English Poetry, in two volumes ; and others.
# Hon. Edward Howard, author of the British Princes, and a great number of wonderful pieces, celebrated by the late earls of Dorset and Ruchester, duke of Buckingham, Mr. Waller, etc.
§ When the statute against gaming was drawn up, it was represented, that the king, by ancient cuftoni, plays at (Hazard one night in the year ; and therefore a clause was inserted, with an exceprion as to that particular. Under this pretence, the groom porter liad a room appropriated to gaming all the summer the court was at Kensington, which his majesty accidentally being acquainted with, with a juit indignation prohibited. It is reported the fame practice is yet continued wherever the court resides, and the Hazard Table there'open to all ihe professed gamelters in town. Greatest and justest Sov'REIGN; know you
this? “ Alas! no more, than Thames' calm bead can know, 66 Whose meads his arms drown, or whose corn o'erflow.
Donne to Queen Eliz.
O! when shall rise a monarch all our own, And I, a nursing-mother, rock the throne ; 'Twixt prince and people close the curtain draw, Shade him from light, and cover him from law; Fatten the courtier, starve the learned band, 315 And suckle armies, and dry-nurse the land; Till fenates nod to Lullabies divine, And all be sleep, as at an Ode of thine."
She ceas'd. Then swells the chapel-royal * throat : God lave king Cibber! mounts in ev'ry note, 320 Familiar White's, God save king Colley! cries.; God save king Colley! Drury-lane replies: To Needham's quick the voice triumphal rode, But pious Needham + dropt the name of God; Back to the Devil the lait echoes roll,
325 And Coll! each butcher roars at Hockley-hole,
So when Jove's block descended from on high (As fings thy great forefather Ogilby) Loud thunder to its bottom shook the bog, And the hoarse nation croak’d, God save king Log $!
* The voices and instruments used in the service of the Chapel-royal being also employed in the performances of the Birth day, and New-year Odes.
† A matron of gr?at fame, and very religious in her way; whose conNant prayer it was, that the might“ get enough by her profession to leave it “ off in time, and make her peace with God.” But her fate was not fo happy; for being conviétud, and fit in the pillory, the was (to the lasting Mame of all her great friends and votaries) so ill used by the populace, that is put an end to her days
The Devil Tavern in Fleet-street, where these Odes were usuallyrehearsed before they were performed at couri. l'pon which a Wit of those times niade this Epigram, " When Laureates make Odes, do you ask of what sort ?
“ Do you ask if they're good, or are evil?
“ And go frm the court to the Devil.” $ See Ogilby's Ætop's Fables, where, in the story of the Frogs and their King, this excellent hemistic is to be found.
Our author manifests h-re, and elsewhere, a prodigious tenderness for the bad writers. We see he selects the only good passage, per in all that cver Ogilby writ; which shews how candid and patient a reader he must have
been. What can be more kind and affectionate than these words in the preface to his poems, where he labours to call up all our humanity and forgiveness toward these unlucky men, by the most moderate representation of their case that has ever been given by any author ? “ Much may be said to exte
nuate the fault of bad poets : what we call a genius is hard to be distinguish“ ed, by a man himself, from a prevalent inclination : and if it be never “ so great, he can at first discover it no other way than by that strong pro“ pensity which renders him the more liable to be mistaken. He has no
other method but to make the experiment, by writing, and so appealing
to the judgment of others : and if he happens to write ill (which is cer“ tainly no sin in itself) he is immediately made the object of ridicule! I “ with we had the humanity to reflect, that even the worst authors might " endeavour to please us, and, in that endeavour, deserve something at our 6 hands. We have no cause to quarrel with them, but for their obstinacy in " persisting, and even that may admit of alleviating circumstances : for " their particular friends may be either ignorant, or unsincere ; and the rest o of the world too well-bred to shock them with a truth which generally " their booksellers are the first that inform them of."
But how much all indulgence is lost upon these people may appear from the just refcction made on their constant conduct and constant fate, in the following Epigram :
" Ye little Wits, that gleam'd a while,
" When Pope vouchfaf’d a ray,
“ How soon ye fade away!
" To compass Phæbus' car about,
“ Thus empty vapours rise ;
" That rear'd him to the skies.
Alas! chofe skies are not your sphere ;
" There he shall ever burn :
" Aod must to Earth return.
The END of the First Book,
THE King being proclaimed, the solemnity is graced
with public games and sports of various kinds; not instituted by the Hero, as by Æneas in Virgil, but for greater honour by the Goddess in person (in like manner as the games Pythia, Isthmia, &c. were anciently said to be ordained by the Gods, and as Thetis herself appearing, according to Homer, Odysf. xxiv. proposed the prizes in honour of her son Achilles.) Hither flock the Poets and Critics, attended, as is but just, with their Patrons and Booksellers. The Goddess is first pleased, for her disport, to propose games to the Booksellers, and setteth up the phantom of a Poet, which they contend to overtake. The races described, with their divers accidents. Next, the game for a Poetess. Then follow the exercises for the Poets, of tickling, vociferating, diving : The first holds forth the arts and practices of Dedicators, the second of Disputants and fuftian Poets, the third of profound, dark, and dirty Party-writers. Lastly, for the Critics, the Goddess proposes (with great propriety) an exereise, not of their parts, but their patience, in hearVol. II. Dd