Page images
PDF
EPUB

A PROLOGUE

By Mr. POPE, To a Play for Mr. Dennis's Benefit, in

1733, when he was old, blind, and in great Distress, a little before his

" Death.

A S when that Hero, who in each Campaign, M Had brav’d the Goth, and many a Vandal

lain,
Lay Fortune-struck, a spectacle of Woe!
Wept by each Friend, forgiv’n by ev'ry Foe:
Was there a gen'rous, a reflecting mind,
But pitied EELISARIUS old and blind?

5

NOTE 5. Ver. 6. But fitied Belisariis, etc.] Nothing could be more happily imagined than this allusion, or finelier conducted. And the continued pleasantry so delicately touched, that it took nothing from the fuf fatisfaction the Critic, who heard it, had in his merit, or the Audience in their charity With so malterly a hund has the Poct profecut d, in this benevolent irony, that end, which he supposed Dennis himself, had he tie wit to fe, would have the ingenuity to approve.

This dreaded Satrist, Dennis will confess,
Foe to his pride, but Fri.rid to bis Distriss.

Was there a Chief but melted at the Sight?
A common Soldier, but who clubb'd his Mite?
Such, such emotions should in Britons rise, 9
When press'd by want and weakness Dennis lies;
Dennis, who long had warr’d with modern Huns,
Their Quibbles routed, and defy'd their Puns ;
A desp’rate Bulwark, sturdy, firm, and fierce
Against the Gothic Sons of frozen verse:
How chang’d from him who made the boxes
groan,

15 And shook the stage with Thunders all his own! Stood up to dalh each vain Pretender's hope, Maul the French Tyrant, or pull down the Pope! If there's a Briton then, true bred and born, 19 Who holds Dragoons and wooden shoes in scorn;

NOTE S. VER. 7. Was there a Chief, etc.] The fine figure of the Commander in that capital Picture of Belisarius a: Chiswick, supplied the P et with this I eautiful idei.

Ver. 12. Their Quibbles routed, and defy'd their Puns ;] See Dunciad, Note on v. 63. B. I.

Ver. 13. A desp'rate Bulwark, etc.] See Dunc. Note on V. 268. B. II.

VER. 16. And fork the Stare with Thunders all his own!! See run:. Note on v. 226. B II.

VER. 17. Sto d up to dash, etc.] See Dunc. Note on v. 173. B III.

VER. 18. Maul the French Tyrant -] See Dunc. Note on V. 413 B. II. Ibid. or pull down the Pope !] See Dunc. Note on v. 63. B. I. NOTES. VER. 23. If there's a critic of distinguisti di age.] Sec Du.. Notes on v. lut. B I.

If there's a Critic of distinguish'd rage;
If there's a Senior, who contemns this age;
Let him to night his just affittance lenů,
And be the Critic's, Briton's, Old Man's Friend.

(69)
M A CER:

А

CH A R A C T E R.

Was

W H EN simple Macer, now of high renown,

VV Firft sought a Poet's Fortune in the Town, 'Twas all th’ Ambition his high soul could feel, To wear red stockings, and to dine with Steel. Some Ends of verse his Betters might afford, 5 And gave the harmless fellow a good word. Set up with these he ventur’d on the Town, And with a borrow'd Play, out-did poor Crown. There he stop'd short, nor since has writ a tittle, But has the wit to make the most of little: 10 Like stunted hide-bound Trees, that just have got Sufficient fap at once to bear and rot. . Now he begs Verse, and what he gets commends, Not of the Wits his foes, but fools his friends. 14

So some coarse Country Wench, almost decay’d, Trudges to town, and first turns Chambermaid;

Aukward and suppie, each devoir to pay;
She flattters her good Lady twice a day;
Thought wondrous honest, tho’ of mean degree,
And strangely lik'd for her Simplicity: 20
In a trauslated Suit, then tries the Town,
With borrow'd l'ins, and Patches not her own:
But just endur'd the Winter the began,
And in four Months a batter'd Harridan. 24
Now nothing left, but wither'd, pale, and shrunk,
To Lawd for others, and go Thares with Punk.

« PreviousContinue »