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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.

S when that Hero, who in each Campaign,

Had brav'd the Goth, and many a Vandal flain, 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,

5 But pitied BELISARIUs old and blind? Was there a Chief but melted at the Sight? A common Soldier, who but clubb’d his Mite?

NOTES. Ver. 6. But pitied Belisarius, etc.] Nothing was ever more happily imagined than this allation, or finelier conducted. And the continued pleasantry so delicately touched, that it took nothing from the felf satisfaction the Critic had in his merit, or the Audience in their charity. With so much mastery has the Poet executed, in this be. nevolent irony, that which he supposed Dennis himself, had he the wit to see, would have the ingenuity to own:

This dreaded Sat'rift, Dennis will confefs,

Foe to his pride, but Friend to his Distress. Ver. 7. Was there a Chief, etc.] The fine figure of the Commander in that capital Picture of Belisarius at Chiswick, fupplied the Poet with this beautiful idea.

Such

I E 4

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:

14 How chang’d from him who made the boxes groan, And shook the stage with Thunders all his own ! Stood up to dash 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 ; If there's a Critic of distinguish'd rage; If there's a Senior, who contemns this age; Let him to night his just affistance lend, And be the Critic's, Briton's, Old Man's Friend,

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

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

VER. 16. And shook the Stage with Thunders all bis own!] See Dunc. Note on v. 226. B. II.

VER. 17. Stood 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.

Ver. 21. If there's a critic of distinguish'd rage] See Dunc. Notes on v. 106. B. I,

MACER

M A C E R:

A

CHARACTE R.

,

, First fought a Poet's Fortune in the Town, 'Twas all th' Ambition his high foul 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 ftunted hide-bound Trees, that just have got
Sufficient sap 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 supple, each devoir to pay; She flatters her good Lady twice a day; Thought wond'rous honeft, tho’ of mean degrec, And strangely lik'd for her Simplicity : In a translated Suit, then tries the Town, With borrow'd Pins, and Patches not her own: But just endur'd the winter she began, And in four months a batter'd Harridan.

24 Now nothing left, but wither’d, pale, and shrunk, To bawd for others, and go fhares with Punk.

20

To Mr. JOHN MOORE,

AUTHOR of the celebrated WORM

POWDER

Ho by

Ow much, egregious Moore, are we

Deceiv’d by shews and forms! Whate'er we think, whate'er we fee,

All Humankind are Worms.

Man is a very Worm by birth,

Vile, Reptile, weak, and vain ! A while he crawls upon the earth,

Then shrinks to earth again.

That Woman is a Worm, we find

E’re fince our Grandame's evil? She first convers’d with her own kind,

That ancient Worm, the Devil.

The Lcarn’d themselves we Book-worms name,

The Blockhead is a Slow-worm; The Nymph whose tail is all on fiame,

Is aptly term'd a Glow-worm:
The Fops are painted Butterflies,

That flutter for a day;
First from a Worm they take their rise,

And in a Worm decay.

The

The Flatterer an Earwig grows;

Thus Worms suit all conditions ;
Misers are Muck-worms, Silk-worms Beaus,

And Death-watches Physicians.

That Statesmen have the Worm, is seen,

By all their winding-play;
Their Conscience is a Worm within,

That gnaws them night and day.
Ah Moore! thy skill were well employ’d,

And greater gain would rise,
If thou could'ft make the Courtier void

The Worm that never dies !

O learned Friend of Abchurch-Lane,

Who sett'st our entrails free?
Vain is thy Art, thy Powder vain,

Since Worms shall eat ev’n thee.

Our Fate thou only can’st adjourn

Some few short years, no more!
Ev'n Button's Wits to Worms shall turn,

Who Maggots were before.

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