Gatech satire and ironic assignment

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timer Asked: Feb 27th, 2019
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Question Description

It should be 3-4 pages long (double-

spaced). Concentrate on creating a real argument, not just listing observations about the works (I

should be able to disagree with your paper, while still thinking it’s good work).

Many of the works we have chosen, as the focus of satire, one of the two following topics:

1. CLASS

2. PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

Choose ONE of these two topics, and show how it functions in at least two works from our reading

list. For this class, I would like you to end your introductory paragraph with a question, and then

answer that question in your concluding paragraph.

Some ideas to consider, as you’re thinking of how to structure your argument:

Which works do you think satirize class/physical appearance most effectively or

convincingly as part of a larger social argument? Least effectively or convincingly?

Which works do you think satirize class/physical appearance most effectively or

convincingly in terms of a personal attack? Least effectively or convincingly? How so?

Given that readers/listeners could be sensitive about class/physical appearance, what

techniques/strategies do authors come up with to be able to satirize class/physical

appearance without alienating an audience? Which works do this most effectively/least

effectively?

To answer the question, you will need to set out what you think are the goals of your chosen works

and then show how one work engages with your chosen topic to meet those goals.

As an example: under the category of “class” you might compare and contrast Swift’s and Twain’s

use of class in their larger satires of colonialism/imperialism: both men essentially argue that

colonial/imperial subjects exist outside (and below) the normal class system, making them

essentially disposable. Swift satirizes this tendency in a more ironic manner; Twain in an angrier

and more explicit manner. Which do you think is more effective and why?

Horace, from “Satire 2.6” This is what I prayed for ! -- a piece of land not so very large, where there would be a garden, and near the house a spring of ever-flowing water, and up above these a bit of woodland. More and better than this have the gods done for me. I am content. Nothing more do I ask, O son of Maia, save that thou make these blessings last my life long. If I have neither made my substance larger by evil ways, nor mean to make it smaller by excesses or neglect; if I offer up no such foolish prayers as these: "O if there could be added that near corner, which now spoils the shape of my little farm! O that some lucky strike would disclose to me a pot of money, like the man who, having found a treasure-trove, bought and ploughed the self-same ground he used to work on hire, enriched by favour of Hercules!" -if what I have gives me comfort and content, then thus I pray to thee: make fat the flocks I own, and all else save my wit, and, as thou art wont, still be my chief guardian! So, now that from the city I have taken myself off to my castle in the hills, to what should I sooner give renown in the Satires of my prosaic Muse? Here no wretched placehunting worries me to death, nor the leaden scirocco, nor sickly autumn, that brings gain to hateful Libitina. Father of the dawn, or Janus, if so thou hearest rather, from whom men take the beginnings of the work and toil of life -- such is Heaven's will -- be thou the prelude of my song! At Rome thou hurriest me off to be surety: "Come! bestir yourself, lest someone answer duty's call before you." Whether the North-wind sweeps the earth, or winter drags on the snowy day in narrower circle, go I must. Later, when I have said in clear and certain tones what may work me harm, I must battle in the crowd and do damage to the slow of pace." What do you mean, madman? What are you driving at?" So some ruffian assails me with angry curses: "You would jostle everything in your way, should you be posting back to Maecenas, thinking only of him." That gives pleasure and is like honey, I'll not deny. But as soon as come to the gloomy Esquiline, a hundred concerns of others dance through my head and all about me: "Roscius begs you to meet him to-morrow at Libo's Wall, before seven o'clock." "The clerks beg you, Quintus, to be sure to return to-day on some fresh and important business of common interest." "Have Maecenas put his seal to these papers." If you say, "I'll try," "You can, if you will," he adds insistently. The seventh year -- nay, nearer the eighth – will soon have sped, since Maecenas began to count me among his friends -- merely thus far, as one he would like to take in his carriage when on a journey, and confide to his ears trifles like this: "What's the time?" "Is the Thracian Chicken a match for Syrus?" "The morning frosts are nipping now, if people are careless," and such chat as is safely dropped into a leaky ear. For all these years, every day and hour, our friend has been more and more the butt of envy. Has he viewed the games, or played ball in the Campus with Maecenas? "Fortune's favourite!" all cry. Does a chilly rumour run from the Rostra through the streets? Whoever comes my way asks my opinion: "My good sir, you must know -- you come so much closer to the gods: you haven't heard any news about the Dacians, have you?" "None whatever." "How you will always mock at us!" But heaven confound me, if I have heard a word! "Well, is it in the three-cornered isle, or on Italian soil, that Caesar means to give the soldiers their promised lands?" When I swear I know nothing, they marvel at me as, forsooth, the man of all men remarkably and profoundly reticent. Amid such trifling, alas! I waste my day, praying the while: O rural home: when shall I behold you! When shall I be able, now with books of the ancients, now with sleep and idle hours, to quaff sweet forgetfulness of life's cares! O when shall beans, brethren of Pythagoras, be served me, and with them greens well larded with fat bacon ! O nights and feasts divine! When before my own Lar we dine, my friends and I, and feed the saucy slaves from the barely tasted dishes. Each guest, as is his fancy, drains cups big or small, not bound by crazy laws, whether one can stand strong bumpers in gallant style, or with mild cups mellows more to his liking. And so begins a chat, not about other men's homes and estates, nor whether Lepos dances well or ill; but we discuss matters which concern us more, and of which it is harmful to be in ignorance -- whether wealth or virtue makes men happy, whether selfinterest or uprightness leads us to friendship, what is the nature of the good and what is its highest form. Now and then our neighbour Cervius rattles off old wives' tales that fit the case. Thus, if anyone, blind to its anxieties, praises the wealth of Arellius, he thus begins: "Once on a time -- such is the tale -- a country mouse welcomed a city mouse in his poor hole, host and guest old friends both. Roughly he fared, frugal of his store, yet could pen his thrifty soul in acts of hospitality. In short, he grudged not his hoard of vetch or long oats, but bringing in his mouth a dried raisin and nibbled bits of bacon he served them, being eager by varying the fare to overcome the daintiness of a guest, who, with squeamish tooth, would barely touch each morsel. Meanwhile, outstretched on fresh straw, the master of the house himself ate spelt and darner, leaving the titbits to his friend. At last the city mouse cries to him: "What pleasure can you have, my friend, in living so hard a life on the ridge of a steep wood? Wouldn't you put people and the city above these wild woods? Take my advice: set out with me. Inasmuch as all creatures that live on earth have mortal souls, and for neither great nor small is there escape from death, therefore, good sir, while you may, live happy amid joys; live mindful ever of how brief your time is!" These words struck home with the rustic, who lightly leaped forth from his house. Then both pursue the journey as planned, eager to creep under the city walls by night. And now night was holding the mid space of heaven, when the two set foot in a wealthy palace, where covers dyed in scarlet glittered on ivory couches, and many courses remained over from a great dinner of the evening before, in baskets piled up hard by. So when the town mouse has the rustic stretched out on purple covers, he himself bustles about in waiter-style, serving course after course, and doing all the duties of the home-bred slave, first tasting everything he serves. The other, lying at ease, enjoys his changed lot, and amid the good cheer is playing the happy guest, when of a sudden a terrible banging of the doors tumbled them both from their couches. In panic they run the length of the hall, and still more terror-stricken were they, as the lofty palace rang with the barking of Molossian hounds. Then says the rustic: "No use have I for such a life, and so farewell: my wood and hole, secure from alarms, will solace me with homely charm." Juvenal, from “Satire III” Here spoke Umbricius:- "Since there is no room," quoth he, "for honest callings in this city, no reward for labour; since my means are less to-day than they were yesterday, and tomorrow will rub off something from the little that is left, I purpose to go to the place where Daedalus put off his weary wings while my white hairs are recent, while my old age is erect and fresh, while Lachesis has something left to spin, and I can support myself on my own feet without slipping a staff beneath my hand. Farewell my country! Let Artorius live there, and Catulus; let those remain who turn black into white, to whom it comes easy to take contracts for temples, rivers or harbours, for draining floods, or carrying corpses to the pyre, or to put up slaves for sale under the authority of the spear. These men once were horn-blowers, who went the round of every provincial show, and whose puffed-out cheeks were known in every village; to-day they hold shows of their own, and win applause by slaying whomsoever the mob with a turn of the thumb bids them slay; from that they go back to contract for cesspools, and why not for any kind of thing, seeing that they are of the kind that Fortune raises from the gutter to the mighty places of earth whenever she wishes to enjoy a laugh? "What can I do at Rome? I cannot lie; if a book is bad, I cannot praise it, and beg for a copy; I am ignorant of the movements of the stars; I cannot, and will not, promise to a man his father's death; I have never examined the entrails of a frog; I must leave it to others to carry to a bride the presents and messages of a paramour. No man will get my help in robbery, and therefore no governor will take me on his staff: I am treated as a maimed and useless trunk that has lost the power of its hands. What man wins favour nowadays unless he be an accomplice-one whose soul seethes and burns with secrets that must never be disclosed? No one who has imparted to you an innocent secret thinks he owes you anything, or will ever bestow on you a favour; the man whom Verres loves is the man who can impeach Verres at any moment that he chooses. Ah! Let not all the sands of the shaded Tagus, and the gold which it rolls into the sea, be so precious in your eyes that you should lose your sleep, and accept gifts, to your sorrow, which you must one day lay down, and be for ever a terror to your mighty friend! "And now let me speak at once of the race which is most dear to our rich men, and which I avoid above all others; no shyness shall stand in my way. I cannot abide, Quirites, a Rome of Greeks; and yet what fraction of our dregs comes from Greece? The Syrian Orontes has long since poured into the Tiber, bringing with it its lingo and its manners, its flutes and its slanting harp-strings; bringing too the timbrels of the breed, and the trulls who are bidden ply their trade at the Circus. Out upon you, all ye that delight in foreign strumpets with painted headdresses! Your country clown, Quirinus, now trips to dinner in Greek-fangled slippers, and wears niceterian ornaments upon a ceromatic neck! One comes from lofty Sicyon, another from Amydon or Andros, others from Samos, Tralles or Alabanda; all making for the Esquiline, or for the hill that takes its name from osier-beds; all ready to worm their way into the houses of the great and become their masters. Quick of wit and of unbounded impudence, they are as ready of speech as Isaeus, and more torrential. Say, what do you think that fellow there to be? He has brought with him any character you please; grammarian, orator, geometrician; painter, trainer, or rope-dancer; augur, doctor or astrologer:'All sciences a fasting monsieur knows, And bid him go to Hell, to Hell he goes! ' In fine, the man who took to himself wings was not a Moor, nor a Sarmatian, nor a Thracian, but one born in the very heart of Athens! "Must I not make my escape from purple-clad gentry like these? Is a man to sign his name before me, and recline upon a couch better than mine, who has been wafted to Rome by the wind which brings us our damsons and our figs? Is it to go so utterly for nothing that as a babe I drank in the air of the Aventine, and was nurtured on the Sabine berry? "What of this again, that these people are experts in flattery, and will commend the talk of an illiterate, or the beauty of a deformed, friend, and compare the scraggy neck of some weakling to the brawny throat of Hercules when holding up Antaeus high above the earth; or go into ecstasies over a squeaky voice not more melodious than that of a cock when he pecks his spouse the hen? We, no doubt, can praise the same things that they do; but what they say is believed. Could any actor do better when he plays the part of Thais, or of a matron, or of a Greek slave-girl without her pallium? You would never think that it was a masked actor that was speaking, but a very woman, complete in all her parts. Yet, in their own country, neither Antiochus nor Stratocles, neither Demetrius nor the delicate Haemus, will be applauded: they are a nation of play-actors. If you smile, your Greek will split his sides with laughter; if he sees his friend drop a tear, he weeps, though without grieving; if you call for a bit of fire in winter-time, he puts on his cloak; if you say 'I am hot,' he breaks into a sweat. Thus we are not upon a level, he and I; he has always the best of it, being ready at any moment, by night or by day, to take his expression from another man's face, to throw up his hands and applaud if his friend gives a good belch or piddles straight, or if his golden basin make a gurgle when turned upside down. "Besides all this, there is nothing sacred to his lusts: not the matron of the family, nor the maiden daughter, not the as yet unbearded son-in-law to be, not even the as yet unpolluted son; if none of these be there, he will debauch his friend's grandmother. These men want to discover the secrets of the family, and so make themselves feared. And now that I am speaking of the Greeks, pass over the schools, and hear of a crime of a larger philosophical cloak; the old Stoic who informed against and slew his own friend and disciple Barea was born on that river bank where the Gorgon's winged steed fell to earth. No: there is no room for any Roman here, where some Protogenes, or Diphilus, or Hermarchus rules the roast--one who by a defect of his race never shares a friend, but keeps him all to himself. For when once he has dropped into a facile ear one particle of his own and his country's poison, I am thrust from the door, and all my long years of servitude go for nothing. Nowhere is it so easy as at Rome to throw an old client overboard. "And besides, not to flatter ourselves, what value is there in a poor man's serving here in Rome, even if he be at pains to hurry along in his toga before daylight, seeing that the praetor is bidding the lictor to go full speed lest his colleague should be the first to salute the childless ladies Albina and Modia, who have long ago been awake? Here in Rome the son of free-born parents has to give the wall to some rich man's slave; for that other will give as much as the whole pay of a legionary tribune to enjoy the chance favours of a Calvina or a Catiena, while you, when the face of some gay-decked harlot takes your fancy, scarce venture to hand Chione down from her lofty chair. At Rome you may produce a witness as unimpeachable as the host of the Idaean Goddess.--Numa himself might present himself, or he who rescued the trembling Minerva from the blazing shrine--the first question asked will be as to his wealth, the last about his character: 'how many slaves does he keep?' 'how many acres does he own?' 'how big and how many are his dessert dishes?' A man's word is believed in exact proportion to the amount of cash which he keeps in his strong-box. Though he swear by all the altars of Samothrace or of Rome, the poor man is believed to care naught for Gods and thunderbolts, the Gods themselves forgiving him. 'And what of this, that the poor man gives food and occasion for jest if his cloak be torn and dirty; if his toga be a little soiled; if one of his shoes gapes where the leather is split, or if some fresh stitches of coarse thread reveal where not one, but many a rent has been patched? Of all the woes of luckless poverty none is harder to endure than this, that it exposes men to ridicule. 'Out you go! for very shame,' says the marshal; 'out of the Knights' stalls, all of you whose means do not satisfy the law.' Here let the sons of panders, born in any brothel, take their seats; here let the spruce son of an auctioneer clap his hands, with the smart sons of a gladiator on one side of him and the young gentlemen of a trainer on the other: such was the will of the numskull Otho who assigned to each of us his place. Who ever was approved as a son-in-law if he was short of cash, and no match for the money-bags of the young lady? What poor man ever gets a legacy, or is appointed assessor to an aedile? Romans without money should have marched out in a body long ago! "It is no easy matter, anywhere, for a man to rise when poverty stands in the way of his merits: but nowhere is the effort harder than in Rome, where you must pay a big rent for a wretched lodging, a big sum to fill the bellies of your slaves, and buy a frugal dinner for yourself. You are ashamed to dine off delf; but you would see no shame in it if transported suddenly to a Marsian or Sabine table, where you would be pleased enough to wear a cape of coarse Venetian blue. "There are many parts of Italy, to tell the truth, in which no man puts on a toga until he is dead. Even on days of festival, when a brave show is made in a theatre of turf, and when the well-known afterpiece steps once more upon the boards; when the rustic babe on its mother's breast shrinks back affrighted at the gaping of the pallid masks, you will see stalls and populace all dressed alike, and the worshipful aediles content with white tunics as vesture for their high office. In Rome, every one dresses smartly, above his means, and sometimes something more than what is enough is taken out of another man's pocket. This failing is universal here: we all live in a state of pretentious poverty. To put it shortly, nothing can be had in Rome for nothing. How much does it cost you to be able now and then to make your bow to Cossus? Or to be vouchsafed one glance, with lip firmly closed, from Veiento? One of these great men is cutting off his beard; another is dedicating the locks of a favourite; the house is full of cakes--which you will have to pay for. Take your cake, and let this thought rankle in your heart: we clients are compelled to pay tribute and add to a sleek menial's perquisites. "Who at cool Praeneste, or at Volsinii amid its leafy hills, was ever afraid of his house tumbling down? Who in modest Gabii, or on the sloping heights of Tivoli? But here we inhabit a city supported for the most part by slender props: for that is how the bailiff holds up the tottering house, patches up gaping cracks in the old wall, bidding the inmates sleep at ease under a roof ready to tumble about their ears. No, no, I must live where there are no fires, no nightly alarms. Ucalegon below is already shouting for water and shifting his chattels; smoke is pouring out of your third-floor attic, but you know nothing of it; for if the alarm begins in the ground-floor, the last man to burn will be he who has nothing to shelter him from the rain but the tiles, where the gentle doves lay their eggs. Codrus possessed a bed too small for the dwarf Procula, a sideboard adorned by six pipkins, with a small drinking cup, and a recumbent Chiron below, and an old chest containing Greek books whose divine lays were being gnawed by unlettered mice. Poor Codrus had nothing, it is true: but he lost that nothing, which was his all; and the last straw in his heap of misery is this, that though he is destitute and begging for a bite, no one will help him with a meal, no one offer him lodging or shelter. "But if the grand house of Asturicus be destroyed, the matrons go dishevelled, your great men put on mourning, the praetor adjourns his court: then indeed do we deplore the calamities of the city, and bewail its fires! Before the house has ceased to burn, up comes one with a gift of marble or of building materials, another offers nude and glistening statues, a third some notable work of Euphranor or Polyclitus, or bronzes that had been the glory of old Asian shrines. Others will offer books and bookcases, or a bust of Minerva, or a hundredweight of silver-plate. Thus does Persicus, that most sumptuous of childless men, replace what he has lost with more and better things, and with good reason incurs the suspicion of having set his own house on fire. "If you can tear yourself away from the games of the Circus, you can buy an excellent house at Sora, at Fabrateria or Frusino, for what you now pay in Rome to rent a dark garret for one year. And you will there have a little garden, with a shallow well from which you can easily draw water, without need of a rope, to bedew your weakly plants. There make your abode, a friend of the mattock, tending a trim garden fit to feast a hundred Pythagoreans. It is something, in whatever spot, however remote, to have become the possessor of a single lizard! "Most sick people here in Rome perish for want of sleep, the illness itself having been produced by food lying undigested on a fevered stomach. For what sleep is possible in a lodging? Who but the wealthy get sleep in Rome? There lies the root of the disorder. The crossing of wagons in the narrow winding streets, the slanging of drovers when brought to a stand, would make sleep impossible for a Drusus--or a sea-calf. When the rich man has a call of social duty, the mob makes way for him as he is borne swiftly over their heads in a huge Liburnian car. He writes or reads or sleeps inside as he goes along, for the closed window of the litter induces slumber. Yet he will arrive before us; hurry as we may, we are blocked by a surging crowd in front, and by a dense mass of people pressing in on us from behind: one man digs an elbow into me, another a hard sedan-pole; one bangs a beam, another a wine-cask, against my head. My legs are beplastered with mud; soon huge feet trample on me from every side, and a soldier plants his hobnails firmly on my toe. "See now the smoke rising from that crowd which hurries as if to a dole: there are a hundred guests, each followed by a kitchener of his own. Corbulo himself could scarce bear the weight of all the big vessels and other gear which that poor little slave is carrying with head erect, fanning the flame as he runs along. Newly-patched tunics are torn in two; up comes a huge fir-log swaying on a wagon, and then a second dray carrying a whole pine-tree; they tower aloft and threaten the people. For if that axle with its load of Ligurian marble breaks down, and pours an overturned mountain on to the crowd, what is left of their bodies? Who can identify the limbs, who the bones? 'The poor man's crushed corpse wholly disappears, just like his soul. At home meanwhile the folk, unwitting, are washing the dishes, blowing up the fire with distended cheek, clattering over the greasy flesh-scrapers, filling the oil-flasks and laying out the towels. And while each of them is thus busy over his own task, their master is already sitting, a new arrival, upon the bank, and shuddering at the grim ferryman: he has no copper in his mouth to tender for his fare, and no hope of a passage over the murky flood, poor wretch. "And now regard the different and diverse perils of the night. See what a height it is to that towering roof from which a potsherd comes crack upon my head every time that some broken or leaky vessel is pitched out of the window! See with what a smash it strikes and dints the pavement! There's death in every open window as you pass along at night; you may well be deemed a fool, improvident of sudden accident, if you go out to dinner without having made your will. You can but hope, and put up a piteous prayer in your heart, that they may be content to pour down on you the contents of their slop-basins! "Your drunken bully who has by chance not slain his man passes a night of torture like that of Achilles when he bemoaned his friend, lying now upon his face, and now upon his back; he will get no rest in any other way, since some men can only sleep after a brawl. Yet however reckless the fellow may be, however hot with wine and young blood, he gives a wide berth to one whose scarlet cloak and long retinue of attendants, with torches and brass lamps in their hands, bid him keep his distance. But to me, who am wont to be escorted home by the moon, or by the scant light of a candle whose wick I husband with due care, he pays no respect. Hear how the wretched fray begins--if fray it can be called when you do all the thrashing and I get all the blows! The fellow stands up against me, and bids me halt; obey I must. What else can you do when attacked by a madman stronger than yourself? 'Where are you from?' shouts he; 'whose vinegar, whose beans have blown you out? With what cobbler have you been munching cut leeks and boiled wether's chaps?--What, sirrah, no answer? Speak out, or take that upon your shins! Say, where is your stand? In what prayer-shop shall I find you?' Whether you venture to say anything, or make off silently, it's all one: he will thrash you just the same, and then, in a rage, take bail from you. Such is the liberty of the poor man: having been pounded and cuffed into a jelly, he begs and prays to be allowed to return home with a few teeth in his head! "Nor are these your only terrors. When your house is shut, when bar and chain have made fast your shop, and all is silent, you will be robbed by a burglar; or perhaps a cut-throat will do for you quickly with cold steel. For whenever the Pontine marshes and the Gallinarian forest are secured by an armed guard, all that tribe flocks into Rome as into a fish-preserve. What furnaces, what anvils, are not groaning with the forging of chains? That is how our iron is mostly used; and you may well fear that ere long none will be left for plough-shares, none for hoes and mattocks. Happy, you would say, were the forbears of our great-grandfathers, happy the days of old which under Kings and Tribunes beheld Rome satisfied with a single jail! "To these I might add more and different reasons; but my cattle call, the sun is sloping and I must away: my muleteer has long been signaling to me with his whip. And so farewell; forget me not. And if ever you run over from Rome to your own Aquinum to recruit, summon me too from Cumae to your Helvine Ceres and Diana; I will come over to your cold country in my thick boots to hear your Satires, if they think me worthy of that honour." Haut facile emergunt quorum virtutibus opstat res angusta domi, sed Romae durior illis conatus: magno hospitium miserabile, magno servorum ventres, et frugi cenula magno. It is no easy matter, anywhere, for a man to rise when poverty stands in the way of his merits: but nowhere is the effort harder than in Rome, where you must pay a big rent for a wretched lodging, a big sum to fill the bellies of your slaves, and buy a frugal dinner for yourself.
Dryden, “Macflecknoe” All human things are subject to decay, And when fate summons, monarchs must obey. This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young Was call'd to empire, and had govern'd long; In prose and verse, was own'd, without dispute, Through all the realms of Nonsense, absolute. This aged prince, now flourishing in peace, And blest with issue of a large increase; Worn out with business, did at length debate To settle the succession of the state: 10 And, pondering which of all his sons was fit To reign, and wage immortal war with wit, Cried, 'Tis resolved; for nature pleads, that he Should only rule, who most resembles me. Shadwell alone my perfect image bears, Mature in dulness from his tender years: Shadwell alone, of all my sons, is he Who stands confirm'd in full stupidity. The rest to some faint meaning make pretence, But Shadwell never deviates into sense. 20 Some beams of wit on other souls may fall, Strike through, and make a lucid interval; But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray, His rising fogs prevail upon the day. Besides, his goodly fabric fills the eye, And seems design'd for thoughtless majesty: Thoughtless as monarch oaks, that shade the plain, And, spread in solemn state, supinely reign. Heywood and Shirley[140] were but types of thee, Thou last great prophet of tautology. 30 Even I, a dunce of more renown than they, Was sent before but to prepare thy way; And, coarsely clad in Norwich drugget, came To teach the nations in thy greater name. My warbling lute, the lute I whilom strung, When to king John of Portugal I sung, Was but the prelude to that glorious day, When thou on silver Thames didst cut thy way, With well-timed oars before the royal barge, Swell'd with the pride of thy celestial charge; 40 And big with hymn, commander of an host, The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets toss'd. Methinks I see the new Arion sail, The lute still trembling underneath thy nail. At thy well-sharpen'd thumb, from shore to shore The trebles squeak for fear, the basses roar: Echoes from Pissing-Alley, Shadwell call, And Shadwell they resound from Aston-Hall. About thy boat the little fishes throng, As at the morning toast that floats along. 50 Sometimes, as prince of thy harmonious band, Thou wield'st thy papers in thy threshing hand. St Andre's feet ne'er kept more equal time, Not even the feet of thy own Psyche's rhyme: Though they in number as in sense excel; So just, so like tautology, they fell, That, pale with envy, Singleton forswore The lute and sword, which he in triumph bore, And vow'd he ne'er would act Villerius more. Here stopp'd the good old sire, and wept for joy, 60 In silent raptures of the hopeful boy. All arguments, but most his plays, persuade, That for anointed dulness he was made. Close to the walls which fair Augusta bind (The fair Augusta much to fears inclined), An ancient fabric raised to inform the sight, There stood of yore, and Barbican it hight: A watch-tower once; but now, so fate ordains, Of all the pile an empty name remains: From its old ruins brothel-houses rise, 70 Scenes of lewd loves, and of polluted joys, Where their vast courts the mother-strumpets keep, And, undisturb'd by watch, in silence sleep. Near these a Nursery erects its head, Where queens are form'd, and future heroes bred; Where unfledged actors learn to laugh and cry, Where infant punks their tender voices try, And little Maximins the gods defy. Great Fletcher never treads in buskins here, Nor greater Jonson dares in socks appear; 80 But gentle Simkin just reception finds Amidst this monument of vanish'd minds: Pure clinches the suburban muse affords, And Panton waging harmless war with words. Here Flecknoe, as a place to fame well known, Ambitiously design'd his Shadwell's throne. For ancient Decker prophesied long since, That in this pile should reign a mighty prince, Born for a scourge of wit, and flail of sense: To whom true dulness should some Psyches owe, 90 But worlds of Misers from his pen should flow; Humourists and hypocrites it should produce, Whole Raymond families, and tribes of Bruce. Now Empress Fame had publish'd the renown Of Shadwell's coronation through the town. Roused by report of fame, the nations meet, From near Bunhill, and distant Watling Street. No Persian carpets spread the imperial way, But scatter'd limbs of mangled poets lay: From dusty shops neglected authors come, 100 Martyrs of pies, and reliques of the bum. Much Heywood, Shirley, Ogleby there lay, But loads of Shadwell almost choked the way. Bilk'd stationers for yeomen stood prepared, And Herringman was captain of the guard. The hoary prince in majesty appear'd, High on a throne of his own labours rear'd. At his right hand our young Ascanius sate, Rome's other hope, and pillar of the state. His brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace, 110 And lambent dulness play'd around his face. As Hannibal did to the altars come, Sworn by his fire, a mortal foe to Rome; So Shadwell swore, nor should his vow be vain, That he till death true dulness would maintain; And, in his father's right, and realm's defence, Ne'er to have peace with wit, nor truce with sense. The king himself the sacred unction made, As king by office, and as priest by trade. In his sinister hand, instead of ball, 120 He placed a mighty mug of potent ale; Love's Kingdom to his right he did convey, At once his sceptre and his rule of sway; Whose righteous lore the prince had practised young, And from whose loins recorded Psyche sprung. His temples, last, with poppies were o'erspread, That nodding seem'd to consecrate his head. Just at the point of time, if fame not lie, On his left hand twelve reverend owls did fly. So Romulus, 'tis sung, by Tiber's brook, 130 Presage of sway from twice six vultures took. The admiring throng loud acclamations make, And omens of his future empire take. The sire then shook the honours of his head, And from his brows damps of oblivion shed, Full on the filial dulness: long he stood, Repelling from his breast the raging god; At length burst out in this prophetic mood: Heavens bless my son, from Ireland let him reign To far Barbadoes on the western main; 140 Of his dominion may no end be known, And greater than his father's be his throne; Beyond Love's kingdom let him stretch his pen!-He paused, and all the people cried, Amen. Then thus continued he: My son, advance Still in new impudence, new ignorance. Success let others teach, learn thou from me Pangs without birth, and fruitless industry. Let Virtuosos in five years be writ; Yet not one thought accuse thy toil of wit. 150 Let gentle George in triumph tread the stage, Make Dorimant betray, and Loveit rage; Let Cully, Cockwood, Fopling, charm the pit, And in their folly show the writer's wit. Yet still thy fools shall stand in thy defence, And justify their author's want of sense. Let them be all by thy own model made Of dulness, and desire no foreign aid; That they to future ages may be known, Not copies drawn, but issue of thy own. 160 Nay, let thy men of wit too be the same, All full of thee, and differing but in name. But let no alien Sedley interpose, To lard with wit thy hungry Epsom prose. And when false flowers of rhetoric thou wouldst cull, Trust nature, do not labour to be dull; But write thy best, and top; and, in each line, Sir Formal's oratory will be thine: Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill, And does thy northern dedications fill. 170 Nor let false friends seduce thy mind to fame, By arrogating Jonson's hostile name. Let Father Flecknoe fire thy mind with praise, And uncle Ogleby thy envy raise. Thou art my blood, where Jonson has no part: What share have we in nature, or in art? Where did his wit on learning fix a brand, And rail at arts he did not understand? Where made he love in prince Nicander's vein, Or swept the dust in Psyche's humble strain? 180 Where sold he bargains, whip-stitch, kiss my a--e, Promised a play, and dwindled to a farce? When did his muse from Fletcher scenes purloin, As thou whole Etheridge dost transfuse to thine? But so transfused, as oil and waters flow, His always floats above, thine sinks below. This is thy province, this thy wondrous way, New humours to invent for each new play: This is that boasted bias of thy mind, By which one way to dulness 'tis inclined: 190 Which makes thy writings lean on one side still, And, in all changes, that way bends thy will. Nor let thy mountain-belly make pretence Of likeness; thine's a tympany of sense. A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ, But sure thou'rt but a kilderkin of wit. Like mine, thy gentle numbers feebly creep; Thy tragic muse gives smiles, thy comic sleep. With whate'er gall thou sett'st thyself to write, Thy inoffensive satires never bite. 200 In thy felonious heart though venom lies, It does but touch thy Irish pen, and dies. Thy genius calls thee not to purchase fame In keen Iambics, but mild Anagram. Leave writing plays, and choose for thy command, Some peaceful province in Acrostic land. There thou mayst wings display and altars[159] raise, And torture one poor word ten thousand ways. Or, if thou wouldst thy different talents suit, Set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute. 210 He said; but his last words were scarcely heard: For Bruce and Longville[160] had a trap prepared, And down they sent the yet declaiming bard. Sinking he left his drugget robe behind, Borne upwards by a subterranean wind. The mantle fell to the young prophet's part, With double portion of his father's art. Pope, from “Epistle to Arbuthnot” Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd, I said, Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead. The dog-star rages! nay 'tis past a doubt, All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out: Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand, They rave, recite, and madden round the land. What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide? They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide; By land, by water, they renew the charge; They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. No place is sacred, not the church is free; Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me: Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme, Happy! to catch me just at dinner-time. Is there a parson, much bemus'd in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a stanza, when he should engross? Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls With desp'rate charcoal round his darken'd walls? All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain. Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws, Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause: Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope, And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope. Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song) What drop or nostrum can this plague remove? Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love? A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped, If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead. Seiz'd and tied down to judge, how wretched I! Who can't be silent, and who will not lie; To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace, And to be grave, exceeds all pow'r of face. I sit with sad civility, I read With honest anguish, and an aching head; And drop at last, but in unwilling ears, This saving counsel, "Keep your piece nine years." "Nine years!" cries he, who high in Drury-lane Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends, Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends: "The piece, you think, is incorrect: why, take it, I'm all submission, what you'd have it, make it." Three things another's modest wishes bound, My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound. Pitholeon sends to me: "You know his Grace, I want a patron; ask him for a place." Pitholeon libell'd me—"but here's a letter Informs you, sir, 'twas when he knew no better. Dare you refuse him? Curll invites to dine, He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine." Bless me! a packet—"'Tis a stranger sues, A virgin tragedy, an orphan muse." If I dislike it, "Furies, death and rage!" If I approve, "Commend it to the stage." There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends, The play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends. Fir'd that the house reject him, "'Sdeath I'll print it, And shame the fools—your int'rest, sir, with Lintot!" "Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much." "Not, sir, if you revise it, and retouch." All my demurs but double his attacks; At last he whispers, "Do; and we go snacks." Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door, "Sir, let me see your works and you no more." 'Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a king) His very minister who spied them first, (Some say his queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst. And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case, When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face? "Good friend, forbear! you deal in dang'rous things. I'd never name queens, ministers, or kings; Keep close to ears, and those let asses prick; 'Tis nothing"—Nothing? if they bite and kick? Out with it, Dunciad! let the secret pass, That secret to each fool, that he's an ass: The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?) The queen of Midas slept, and so may I. You think this cruel? take it for a rule, No creature smarts so little as a fool. Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break, Thou unconcern'd canst hear the mighty crack: Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulsions hurl'd, Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world. Who shames a scribbler? break one cobweb through, He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew; Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain, The creature's at his dirty work again; Thron'd in the centre of his thin designs; Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines! Whom have I hurt? has poet yet, or peer, Lost the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnassian sneer? And has not Colley still his lord, and whore? His butchers Henley, his Free-masons Moore? Does not one table Bavius still admit? Still to one bishop Philips seem a wit? Still Sappho— "Hold! for God-sake—you'll offend: No names!—be calm!—learn prudence of a friend! I too could write, and I am twice as tall; But foes like these!" One flatt'rer's worse than all. Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right, It is the slaver kills, and not the bite. A fool quite angry is quite innocent; Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent. One dedicates in high heroic prose, And ridicules beyond a hundred foes; One from all Grub Street will my fame defend, And, more abusive, calls himself my friend. This prints my Letters, that expects a bribe, And others roar aloud, "Subscribe, subscribe." There are, who to my person pay their court: I cough like Horace, and, though lean, am short, Ammon's great son one shoulder had too high, Such Ovid's nose, and "Sir! you have an eye"— Go on, obliging creatures, make me see All that disgrac'd my betters, met in me: Say for my comfort, languishing in bed, "Just so immortal Maro held his head:" And when I die, be sure you let me know Great Homer died three thousand years ago. Why did I write? what sin to me unknown Dipp'd me in ink, my parents', or my own? As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came. Soft were my numbers; who could take offence, While pure description held the place of sense? Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme, A painted mistress, or a purling stream. Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill; I wish'd the man a dinner, and sat still. Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret; I never answer'd, I was not in debt. If want provok'd, or madness made them print, I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint. Did some more sober critic come abroad? If wrong, I smil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod. Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence, And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense. Commas and points they set exactly right, And 'twere a sin to rob them of their mite. Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds, From slashing Bentley down to pidling Tibbalds. Each wight who reads not, and but scans and spells, Each word-catcher that lives on syllables, Ev'n such small critics some regard may claim, Preserv'd in Milton's or in Shakespeare's name. Pretty! in amber to observe the forms Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms; The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, But wonder how the devil they got there? Were others angry? I excus'd them too; Well might they rage; I gave them but their due. A man's true merit 'tis not hard to find, But each man's secret standard in his mind, That casting weight pride adds to emptiness, This, who can gratify? for who can guess? The bard whom pilfer'd pastorals renown, Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown, Just writes to make his barrenness appear, And strains, from hard-bound brains, eight lines a year: He, who still wanting, though he lives on theft, Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left: And he, who now to sense, now nonsense leaning, Means not, but blunders round about a meaning: And he, whose fustian's so sublimely bad, It is not poetry, but prose run mad: All these, my modest satire bade translate, And own'd, that nine such poets made a Tate. How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and chafe? And swear, not Addison himself was safe. Peace to all such! but were there one whose fires True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires, Blest with each talent and each art to please, And born to write, converse, and live with ease: Should such a man, too fond to rule alone, Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne, View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes, And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rise; Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer; Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike, Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike; Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend, A tim'rous foe, and a suspicious friend; Dreading ev'n fools, by flatterers besieg'd, And so obliging, that he ne'er oblig'd; Like Cato, give his little senate laws, And sit attentive to his own applause; While wits and templars ev'ry sentence raise, And wonder with a foolish face of praise. Who but must laugh, if such a man there be? Who would not weep, if Atticus were he? Let Sporus tremble—"What? that thing of silk, Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk? Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel? Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?" Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings, This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings; Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys, Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'r enjoys, So well-bred spaniels civilly delight In mumbling of the game they dare not bite. Eternal smiles his emptiness betray, As shallow streams run dimpling all the way. Whether in florid impotence he speaks, And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks; Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies, Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies. His wit all see-saw, between that and this , Now high, now low, now Master up, now Miss, And he himself one vile antithesis. Amphibious thing! that acting either part, The trifling head, or the corrupted heart, Fop at the toilet, flatt'rer at the board, Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord. Eve's tempter thus the rabbins have express'd, A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest; Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust, Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust. Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool, Not lucre's madman, nor ambition's tool, Not proud, nor servile, be one poet's praise, That, if he pleas'd, he pleas'd by manly ways; That flatt'ry, even to kings, he held a shame, And thought a lie in verse or prose the same: That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long, But stoop'd to truth, and moraliz'd his song: That not for fame, but virtue's better end, He stood the furious foe, the timid friend, The damning critic, half-approving wit, The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit; Laugh'd at the loss of friends he never had, The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad; The distant threats of vengeance on his head, The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed; The tale reviv'd, the lie so oft o'erthrown; Th' imputed trash, and dulness not his own; The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape; The libell'd person, and the pictur'd shape; Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread, A friend in exile, or a father, dead; The whisper, that to greatness still too near, Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear:— Welcome for thee, fair Virtue! all the past: For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the last! "But why insult the poor? affront the great?" A knave's a knave, to me, in ev'ry state: Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail, Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail, A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer, Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire; If on a pillory, or near a throne, He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.

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