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When simple Macer, now of high renown, First sought a Poet's Fortune in the Town,
Ver. 1. When simple Macer,] Said to be the character of James Moore Smyth, author of the Rival Modes, a comedy, in 1726. He pilfered verses from Pope. He joined in a political paper with the Duke of Wharton, called The Inquisitor, written with such violence against government, that he was soon obliged to
This character was first printed in the Miscellanies of Swift and Pope, 1727, concerning which the following anecdote is transcribed from Dr. Birch's manuscripts in the British Museum :
" August 17, 1749. Mr. George Faulkner, of Dublin, told me, that Dr. Swift had long conceived a mean opinion of Mr. Pope, on account of his jealous, peevish, avaricious temper. The Doctor gave Mr. Pope the property of his Gulliver, which he sold the copy of for three hundred pounds; and gave up to him, in 1727, his share of the copy of the three volumes of their Miscellanies, which came to one hundred and fifty pounds. The Doctor was angry with Mr. Pope for his satire upon Mr. Addison, whom the former esteemed as an honest, generous, and friendly man. Worsdale the painter was employed by Mr. Pope to go to Curl in the habit of a clergyman, and sell him the printed copies of his Letters. Mr. Pope sent to Ireland to Dr. Swift, by, Mr. Gerrard, an Irish gentleman, then at Bath, a printed copy of their letters, with an anonymous letter, which occasioned Dr. Swift to give Mr. Faulkner leave to reprint them at Dublin, though Mr. Pope's Edition was published first."
I would observe, on this anecdote, that it is not very probable that Swift should condemn Pope's Verses on Addison, as they were first printed in the Miscellanies, which publication was their joint work ; and the verses themselves are mentioned in the preface to these Miscellanies.
'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 stopp'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 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.
So some coarse Country Wench, almost decay'd, Trudges to town, and first turns Chambermaid ; 16 Awkward and supple, each devoir to pay; She flatters her good Lady twice a day; Thought wondrous honest, though of mean degree, And strangely lik'd for her Simplicity :
20 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 shares with Punk.
Ver. 4. To wear red stockings,] I remember old Demoivre told me, above fifty years ago, that all he remembered of Corneille was, that he had seen him in red stockings at the theatre. TO MR. JOHN MOORE,
AUTHOR OF THE CELEBRATED WORM-POWDER.
How much, egregious Moore, are we
Deceiv'd by shows and forms ! Whate’er we think, whate'er we see,
All Humankind are Worms,
Man is a very Worm by birth,
Vile, reptile, weak and vain!
Then shrinks to earth again.
That Woman is a Worm, we find
E’er since our Grandame's evil ; She first convers’d with her own kind,
That ancient Worm the Devil.
The learn’d themselves we Book-worms name,
The Blockhead is a Slow-worm; The Nymph whose tail is all on flame,
Is aptly term'd a Glow-worm.
The Fops are painted Butterflies,
That flutter for a day;
And in a Worm decay.
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;
That gnaws them night and day.
Ah Moore! thy skill were well employ'd,
And greater gain would rise,
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 canst adjourn
Some few short years, no more! Ev'n Button's Wits to Worms shall turn,
Who Maggots were before.
BY A PERSON OF QUALITY.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1733.
Flutt'ring spread thy purple Pinions,
Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart; I a Slave in thy Dominions ;
Nature must give Way to Art.
Mild Arcadians, ever blooming,
Nightly nodding o'er your Flocks, , See my weary Days consuming,
All beneath yon flow'ry Rocks.
Thus the Cyprian Goddess weeping,
Mourn'd Adonis, darling Youth : Him the Boar, in Silence creeping,
Gor'd with unrelenting Tooth.
Fair Discretion, string the Lyre;
Bright Apollo, lend thy Choir.