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called up the Shades of Sejanus, Buckingham, and Wolfey, to compare them to one who mortifies me by laughing at the Comparison? How long shall I stíll press on one, whom I continually call Stateplunderer, and wicked Minister? Perhaps till the World will maliciously liken me to a Taylor's Goofet, which is at once hot and heavy. Rather than ftand out of Play, I have penned Panegyricks in Mift or Fog on Rich's Pantoinimes, and Theobald's Shakespeare Restored. I am always lifted by Mr. Lun the Harlequin, to hils the first Night at any of the Drury-Lane Performances. Sometimes I draw up Challenges for the Champions of Mr. Figg's Amphitheatre, and sometimes for the Difputants of Mr. Henley's Oratory.

I have an excellent Knack at Birth-day Odes, Elegies, Acrosticks, Anagrams, ' Epithalamiums, Prologues, Recommendatory Poems, Rhimes for Almanack-Makers; and witty Distichs for the Signs of Country-inns and Ale-houses. When with an audible Voice I spout forth my own Verses, marvellous is their Effect! The very Bell-man has been touched with Envy-An Author, who like Mr. Ralph *, has distinguished himself by Night; the Shrillness of my clamorous, durning Landlady has been charmed into a ftill Attention! Nay, the very Bailiff, in act to rulli upon me, has stoppd short to listen, and for a Minute suspended the rapacious Palm that was to fall upon my Shoulders !

I have well perused the Writings of Luke Milbourn, Shadwell, Settle, Blackmore, and many others of our Stamp, notable for falt Wit upon Drylen. From these I have extracted curious Hints to afliit Welsted in his new Satire against Pope, which was once (he told mej to have been christened Labeo,

+ A Comprison of Dr. 'outh's.
* Author of a Poem called Night.
Vol. III.


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"l'is yet an Embrio, and there are divers Opinions about the Birth of it. Some expect it will spring from his wife Noddle, like Minerva from the Head of Jupiter, and work Wonders. Others, that it will resemble Milton's Figure of Sin coming from the Brain of the Father of Lies. Then, say they it will damn its Parent's Reputation. But most are of Opinion, that my Brother has no Reputation to lore, and therefore the Brat will be still-born, 'Tis poffible also, he may miscarry of his second Epiftle to Mr. Pope, though James Moore Smythe, Esq. is to officiate Man-Mid-wife.

When a Man of Quality is distinguished for a Wit, or an Encourager of it, I endeavour to strike him for a Dedication ; but I have generally been so unhappy as to disgust my Patrons, by praising them in the Wrong Place. For want of being acquainted with polite Life, I have unwittingly complimented a Person for an illuftrious Birth, who really owed his Rise entirely to his Merit. Thus have I caused his Enemies to sneer, and, perhaps, to libel him for my squab Compliment; when, had I left him to his Choice, he had rather chose my Satire than my Panegyrick.

I am as famous as one of the Suitors in Homer's Odyley, for dead-born Jefts. Many a Sonnet of mine, and several Bouts Riinez that were filled up by me, has Moore read, with his usual Modesty, at White's and the Drawing-Room, for his own; but as they were mere Slips of my Pen, and could be of no Advantage to my Reputation (low as it stands) I am contented to humour his Vanity, and forbear to claim them I aflisted in a pretty Play of Words on the Letter P, and the Advertisement of the Lady's Writing-Desk. Soon after I chopp'd Sides, and wrote the History of the Norfolk Dumpling, the Verses on the Norfolk Lanthorn, Robin's Reign, Robin's Game, The Fall of Mortimer, and many other 2


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popular Libels on Persons who least deserved them but the Reason of that was, because they were of the Ministry

Now is the Session of Parliament, and the Poetical Quarrels must give way to the Political. Confequently the Affairs of State (as Abel in the Play of the Committee observes) will lie heavy upon my Neck and Shoulders. It is a Custom among great Generals to fend Spies into an Enemy's Camp, and among Politicians, to employ them in foreign Courts. I have therefore (as I am determined to oppose the Ministry) settled a secret Correspondence with several Gentlemen of the Party-coloured Cloth; Men of Dignity! such as have no less an Honour than that of holding a Plate in the Presence of some certain Knights of the Blue Ribbon. My Bribe is a Pot of Ale, and my Intelligence the Scraps of Conversation that fall at the Table of great MiniIters. By these I am enabled to discuss the Matters in Debate at the House of Commons, and the Congress of Soiljons, to state the Debts of the Nation, to arraign the Conduct of those at the Helm, and to hold the Balance of Europe, with as much Ease as a Monkey does a Chesnut, in my own Paw.

The Time has been, when, after an Evening's hard Boofing, my Brother Bards (who have been what we call feedy, or crop-lick) have bilked the publick House, and barbarously left me in Pawn for the Reckoning. On this Emergency I have written an Account of a harp and bloody Fight; a Vision in the Air, or a Wonderful Prophecy to be hawked about the Streets : And (would you believe it?) even these Productions of mine have passed for designed Wit, and I have filently sneered, to find the Merit of them claimed and boasted of by Jemmy Moore.

I have sometimes taken it in iny Head, that I might make a Fortune by writing for the Stage. As a Proof that I have an excellent Talte, I always de

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spised spised the Tragedies of Shakespeare, Otway, Young, and Thomson ; and preferred with Admiration a certain Person's Operas at the Hay-Market. I wonder that the Success of the latter should be applied to Mr. Handell's Musick, or the Performances of Senesino, Faustina, and Cutzoni : The Town in this have been thamefully blind to the Merit of that Gentleman. He has followed the Ancients fo closely in the Propriety of his Conduct, the Unity of his Characters, the natural Variety of Paffions, the Strength of Sentiment, and the Elegance of Dic. tion, that I here invite him to join with me in an English Tragedy on an Opera Plan.

If the Gentleman thinks this too arduous an Undertaking, let us venture at a lower Cast! without any Recourse to Wit, Humour, Natural Dialogue, Songs aptly introduced, or any other of those Trifles with which the Beggar's Opera abounds, we have one sure Comfort ; that is, we cannot fall sort of many late Performances of that Kind, nor be excelled by Roome and lis Led Captain Concanen. Roome cannot excel me, unless he excels himself,

I have tried all Means (but that which Fools call honeftones) for a Livelihood. I offered my Service for a fecret Spy to the State ; but had not Credit enough even for that. When it was indeed very low with me, I printed proposals for a Subscription to my Works, received Money, and gave Receipts, without any Intention of delivering the Book. Though I have been notoriously prophane, and was never at an University, I once aimed to be admitted into Orders; but being obliged to abfcond lately from the Parish-Officers, on account of a Bastard 'Child, and falling besides into an unlucky Salivation, my Character was so scandalous, that I could not prevail even on the lowest of the Fleet-Prison Parsons to sign my Testimonials,


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* My last Attempt was to have been a travelling Tutor to fome young Gentleman. If I am deficient in Claffick Learning, I could yet have instructed him in the Laws of his own Country; for though I never studied Coke upon Littleton, yet I have conversed with Bailiffs and petty-fogging Attornies; nay, I have conned over the Abridgments of Giles Jacob; I could also have read him Lectures of Politicks from Essays of my own in Weekly Journals, What, though I wanted Knowledge to make Difsertations upon the Languages, Manners, Histories, Statues, Coins, Paintings, Architecture, or any other Curiosities, ancient or modern, of foreign Climes? What, though I could not have traced out any one Country in a Map? could I not have pillaged Voyage-Writers, and have taken the Reports of Inn-keepers or Postillions, to have told where there were good Wine, good Beds, buxom Girls, and tall Steeples ? Few foreign Tutors understand the dead Languages; but if they play at Cards, dance, talk of Things they never saw ; or, having seen, could not understand; if they put on the swaggering Air of Half-pay Captains, and swear French military Oaths with a bon Grace, will they not pass for Men of Wit, Experience and Knowledge? I should have made a very fashionable Tutor, I would have spirited up my Pupil to run away with a Nun; and, if he aimed at smaller Game, not scrupled being Pimp. I have studied Phyfick under the Anodyne Necklace Doctor, and would have prepared and exported a whole Cargo of Anti-venereal Pills for his Safety. No one, I am persuaded, will blame me if I took this opportunity of feathering my own Neft. I should perhaps have made him pay Ten per Cent, for his own Money, when I difbursed it, and a Guinea on many Occasions for his Honour; Twenty Shillings of which I might have put in my own Pocket. Who knows but I might Q3


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