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Oh, where's the Bard, who at one view Cou'd look the whole creation through, Who travers'd all the human heart, Without recourse to Grecian art? He scorn'd the modes of imitation, Of altering, pilfering, and translation, Nor painted horror, grief, or rage, From models of a former age; The bright original he took, And tore the leaf from Nature's book. 'Tis Shakespeare, thus, who stands alone -But why repeat what you have shown? How true, how perfect, and how well, The feelings of our hearts must tell.

AN EPISTLE

то

C. CHURCHILL,

Author of the Rosciad.

Ir at a Tavern, where you'd wish to dine,
They cheat your palate with adulterate wine,
Would you, resolve me, critics, for you can,
Send for the master up, or chide the man?
The man no doubt a knavish business drives,
But tell me what's the master who connives?
Hence you'll infer, and sure the doctrine's true,
Which says, no quarter to a foul Review.
It matters not who vends the nauseous slop,
Master or prentice; we detest the shop.

Critics of old, a manly liberal race, Approv'd or censur'd with an open face:

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Boldly pursu'd the free decisive task,
Nor stabb’d, conceal'd beneath a ruffian's mask;
To works not men, with honest warmth, severe,
Th' impartial judges laugh'd at hope or fear:
Theirs was the noble skill, with gen’rous aim,
To fan true genius to an active flame;
To bring forth merit in its strongest light,
Or damn the blockhead to his native night.

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But, as all states are subject to decay,
The state of letters too will,nielt away ;
Smit with the harlot charms of trilling sound
Softness now wantons e'en on Roman ground;
Where Thebans, Spartans, sought their honour'd

graves,
Behold a weak enervate race of slaves.
In classic lore, deep science, language dead,
Tho' modern witlings are but scantly read,
Professors, fail not, who will loudly bawl
In praise of either, with the want of all:
Hail'd mighty critics to this present hour,
-The tribune'sname surviv'd the tribune's pow'r.

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Now Quack and Critic differ but in name, Empirics frontless both, they mean, the same;

This raw in Physic, that in Letters fresh,
Both spring, like warts, excrescence from the flesh.
Half form’d, halfbred in printers' hireling schools,
For all professions have their rogues and fools,
Tho' the pert witling, or the coward knave,
Casts no reflection on the wise or brave.

Yet, in these leaden times, this idle age, When, blind with dulness, or as blind with rage, Author 'gainst author rails with venom curst, And happy He who calls out blockhead first; From the low earth aspiring genius springs, And sails triumphant, born on eagle wings. No toothless spleen, no venom'd critic's aim, Shall rob thee, Churchill, of thy proper fame; While hitch'd for ever in thy nervous rhyme, Fool lives, and shines out fool to latest time.

Pity perhaps might wish a harmless fool
To scape th' observance of the critic school;
But if low malice, leagu'd with folly, rise,
Arm'd with invectives, and hedg'd round with lies;
Should wakeful dulness, if she ever wake,
Write sleepy nonsense but for writing's sake,
And, stung with rage, and piously severe,
Wish bitter comforts to your dying ear;

If some small wit, some silk-lin'd verseman, rakes
For quaint reflections in the putrid jakes,
Talents usurp'd demand a censor's rage,
A dunce is dunce proscrib'd in ev'ry age.

Courtier, physician, lawyer, parson, cit, All, all are objects of theatric wit. Are ye then, Actors, privileg'd alone, To make that weapon, ridicule, your own? Professions bleed not from his just attack, Who laughs at pedant, coxcomb, knave, or quack; Fools on and off the stage are fools the same, And every dunce is satire's lawful game. Freely you thought, where thought has free'st room, Why then apologize for what? to whom?

Though Gray's-Inn wits with authorsquires unite, And self-made giants club their labour'd mite, Though pointless satire make its weak escape, In the dull babble of a mimic ape, Boldly pursue where genius points the way, Nor heed what monthly puny critics say. Firm in thyself, with calm indifference smile, When the wise Vet'ran knows you by your stile, With critic scales weighs out the partial wit, What I, or You, or He, or no one writ;

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