[Page 29]



A DIALOGUE betwixt a POET and his FRIEND.
1 GOOD friend, forbear the world will say 'tis spite,
2 Or disappointment goads you thus to write
3 Some lord hath frown'd; some bishop past dispute
4 At surly distance spurn'd your eager suit,
5 Prefer'd a dull vile clod of noble earth,
6 And left neglected genius, wit, and worth.
7 Regards it me what snarling critics say?
8 'Tis honest indignation points the way.
9 Thanks to my stars my infant sleeps are o'er,
10 And dreams delusive catch my thoughts no more.
[Page 30]
11 Let clumsy DOGMATUS, with simp'ring face,
12 Supply the nurse's, or the footman's place,
13 Make coffee, when my lady calls, or whey,
14 And fetch, and carry, like a two-leg'd tray;
15 Let blust'ring GNATHO swear with patriot rage,
16 To poor, old, tott'ring TIMON bent with age,
17 "Had you, my lord, the horse at MINDEN led,
18 "'Sdeath, what destruction would your grace have made?
19 "Like Wantley's dragon you had roar'd, and thunder'd,
20 "And eat'n up Frenchmen hundred after hundred; "
21 Thus mean and vile let others live, not I,
22 Who scorn to flatter, and who fear to lye.
23 What honest man
23 Stop, or you ne'er can thrive
24 Sure you're the strangest, squeamish wretch alive!
25 What, in the name of wonder, friend, have you,
26 In life's low vale, with honesty to do?
27 'Tis a dead weight, that will retard you still,
28 Oft as you strive to clamber up the hill.
29 Strip, and be wise strip off all bashful pride,
30 Throw cumbrous honour, virtue, truth aside,
31 Trust up, and girt like VIRRO, mend your pace,
32 The first, the nimblest scoundrel in the race.
33 Go copy TREBIUS
33 Copy TREBIUS? Hum
34 And forfeit peace for all my life to come.
35 Should I devote my sister's virgin charms
36 To the vile lewdness of a patron's arms,
[Page 31]
37 Too sure my father's injur'd ghost would rise,
38 Rage on his brow, and horrour in his eyes;
39 Would haunt, would goad me in the social hall,
40 Or break my rest tho' slumb'ring in a stall.
41 Oh gracious God, of what thin flimsy gear
42 Is some men's conscience?
42 Hold, you're too severe
43 Think when temptations ev'ry sense assail,
44 How strong they prove, and human flesh how frail!
45 When satan came, by righteous heav'n ordain'd
46 To tempt the leader of the Christian band,
47 He drew, he caught him from the barren waste,
48 And on the temple's tow'ring summit plac'd;
49 And nowadays, or sage experience lies,
50 From church preferments great temptations rise.
51 Spare TREBIUS then e'en you yourself may yield
52 Not, friend, 'till vanquish'd reason quits the field:
53 Then I, poor madman, 'midst the mad and vain,
54 May Judas-like betray my God for gain;
55 At HELLUO's board, where smokes th' eternal treat,
56 And all the fat on earth bow down, and eat,
57 A genuine son of LEVI may adore
58 The golden calf, as AARON did before.
59 Then welcome the full levee, where resort
60 Crouds of all ranks to pay their morning court,
61 The well-rob'd dean with face so sleek, and fair,
62 And tatter'd CODRUS pale and wan with care,
[Page 32]
63 Whose yearly-breeding wife, in mean attire,
64 To feed her hungry brats must spin for hire.
65 Hail medley dome, where like the ark we find
66 Clean, and unclean, of ev'ry sort and kind!
67 Hail medley dome, where three whole hours together,
68 (Shiv'ring in cold, and faint in sultry weather)
69 We brook, athirst and hungry, all delay,
70 And wear in expectation life away!
71 But hush! in comes my lord important, big,
72 Squints thro' his glass, and bustling shakes his wig,
73 Whose saucy curls, confin'd in triple tye,
74 With constant work his busy hands supply.
75 He stops, bows, stares and whispers out aloud
76 "What spark is you, that jostles thro' the croud?"
77 Sir William's heir "enough my dear, good friend,
78 "Sir William liv'd I think at Ponder's end;
79 "Yes yes Sir William liv'd" Then on he goes,
80 And whispering this grand secret crams his nose
81 Into your wig, and squeezing every hand,
82 "'Tis mine to serve you, Sir Your's to command"
83 Thus kindly breathing many a promise fair,
84 He feeds two rows of gaping fools with air;
85 Unmeaning gabbles set rotines of speech,
86 As papists pray, or prelates us'd to preach,
87 Makes himself o'er in trust, to keep his ground,
89 With warm delight his words poor CODRUS hears,
90 Sweet as the fancy'd music of the spheres;
91 Then trudges jocund home thro' mire and clay,
92 While pleasing thoughts beguile the long long way;
[Page 33]
93 A snug warm living skims before his eyes,
94 His tythe pig gruntles, and his grey goose flies;
95 His lonely shatter'd cot, all patcht with mud,
96 And hem'd around by many a fragrant flood,
97 Chang'd to a neat, and modern house he sees,
98 Built on high ground, and shelter'd well with trees;
99 Spacious in front the chequer'd lawns extend,
100 With useful ponds, and gardens at the end,
101 Where art and nature kindly join to bring
102 The fruits of Autumn, and the flowers of Spring.
103 No more a sun-burnt bob the preacher wears,
104 Or coat of serge, where ev'ry thread appears:
105 Behold him deckt in spruce and trim array,
106 With cassock short, and vest of raven-grey;
107 In powder'd pomp the spacious grizzle flows,
108 And the broad beaver trembles o'er his nose.
109 Ah dear delusions tempt his thoughts no more,
110 Leave him untortur'd by desire, though poor!
111 What can advance, in these degenerate days,
112 When gold, or int'rest all preferment sways,
113 A wretch unblest by Fortune, and by birth?
114 Alas, not TERRICK's parts, or TALBOT's worth!
115 Else long, long since had honest BUTLER shone
116 High in the church religion's spotless sun;
117 Had beam'd around his friendly light to chear
118 The lonely, wayworn, wandring traveller;
119 Chac'd errour's black and baleful shades away,
120 And pour'd thro' every mind resistless day.
121 Alas, the change! far in a lowly vale,
122 'Midst straggling huts, where some few peasants dwell,
[Page 34]
123 He lives in virtue rich, in fortune poor,
124 And treads the path his master trod before.
125 Oh great, good man, to chear without request
126 The drooping heart, and sooth the troubled breast;
127 With cords of love the wayward sheep to hold,
128 And draw the lost, and wandring to the fold;
129 To spend so little, yet have some to spare;
130 To feed the hungry, and to cloath the bare;
131 To visit beds of sickness in the night,
132 When rains descend, and rolling thunders fright,
133 There death deprive of all his terrours foul,
134 And sing soft requiems to the parting soul!
135 Blush, blush for shame! Your heads, ye Pastors, hide,
136 Ye pamper'd sons of luxury and pride,
137 Who leave to prowling wolves your helpless care,
138 And truck preferments at the public fair;
139 In whose fat corps the soul supinely lies,
140 Snug at her ease, and wondrous loth to rise!
141 Friend, friend, you're warm why this is downright spleen,
142 You flout the fat, because yourself are lean:
143 Yet laugh to see behind the silver mace
144 Black-brow'd CORNUTUS with his starveling face,
145 A wretch so worn with penury and pride,
146 His very bones stand staring thro' his hide.
147 Why chuse the church, if petulant and vain
148 You proudly shun the paths that lead to gain,
149 Yet rack'd with envy, when your brethren rise,
150 Revile the prudent arts that you despise?
[Page 35]
151 Better some dirty, vile, mechanic trade,
152 Cobler, or smith a fortune might be made;
153 The cross-leg'd wretch, who stitches up the gown,
154 Is of more worth than half the clerks in town:
155 And laughs with purse-proud insolence to see
156 The needy curate's full-sleev'd dignity.
157 Why chuse the church? A father's prudent voice
158 Determin'd, friend, and dignify'd the choice:
159 To thee, religion, thro' the tranquil road,
160 Himself with honour and with virtue trod,
161 He led me on and know, no slave to gain,
162 Undow'r'd I took thee, and undow'r'd retain.
163 What? Durst the blind philosopher of yore
164 Chuse thy half-sister Virtue, vile and poor,
165 Chuse her begirt with all the ghastly train
166 Of ills, contempt, and ridicule, and pain?
167 And shall not I, O dear celestial dame,
168 Love thee with all my soul's devoutest flame?
169 Shall I not gaze, and doat upon thy charms,
170 And fly to catch the heav'n within thy arms?
171 O my fair mistress, lovelier to be seen
172 Than the chaste lily, opening on the green;
173 Sweet as the blushing rose in SHARON's vale,
174 And soft as IDUMEA's balmy gale!
175 Of thee enamour'd martyr'd heroes stood
176 Firm to their faith, and constant ev'n to blood;
177 No views of fame, no fears of sad disgrace,
178 Had pow'r to tear them from thy lov'd embrace,
[Page 36]
179 Wrapt up in thee, tho' harlots stalkt abroad,
180 And persecution shook her iron rod!
181 Peace to their souls! But tell me, gentle maid,
182 Oh tell me are thy beauties all decay'd?
183 Hath time's foul canker ev'ry grace devour'd?
184 Thy virgin charms hath ignorance deflow'r'd?
185 That thus thou wander'st helpless and forlorn,
186 Of knaves the hatred, and of fools the scorn!
187 Still knave, and fool? For God's sake, Sir, refrain!
188 This petulance of pride will prove your bane.
189 What! you're averse to dash thro' thick and thin?
190 Try cleaner ways 'tis done, if you begin.
191 Go with soft flattery, studious to oblige,
192 Some dull, and self-admiring lord besiege,
193 And like the dove, to MECCA's prophet dear,
194 Pick a good living from your patron's ear:
195 GULLION succeeded thus, and so may you
196 But railing, railing! Friend, it ne'er can do.
197 Good heav'n forbid that I a plain blunt man,
198 Who cannot fawn, and loath the wretch who can,
199 Should brook a trencher-chaplain at the board,
200 The loud horse-laugh, and raillery of my lord;
201 Slave to his jokes, his passion, and his pride,
202 A dull tame fool for lacquies to deride,
203 Who snort around to hear the wretch abuse
204 My person, morals, family, and muse!
205 Shall I such base Egyptian bondage bear,
206 And eat my heart thro' sorrow, grief, and care?
[Page 37]
207 For twice sev'n tedious years wait, watch, ride, run,
208 Nor dare to live, or speak, or think my own?
209 Observe with awe that fickle vane his mind,
210 That shifts, and changes with the changeful wind?
211 Read ev'ry look, each twinkling of his eye,
212 And thence divine the doubtful augury?
213 No PHARAOH no! Here in this calm retreat,
214 Where ev'ry muse, and virtue fix their seat,
215 Here let me shun each lordling proud and vain,
216 And scorn the world ere scorn'd by it again!
217 Ye happier few, that in this stately dome
218 Where still the soul of NEWTON deigns to roam,
219 Inspires each youthful candidate for fame,
220 His noonday vision, and his midnight dream;
221 Ye happier few, by regal bounty fed,
222 Here eat in privacy and peace your bread;
223 Nor tempt the world, that monster-bearing deep,
224 Where husht in grim repose the tempests sleep,
225 Where rocks, and sands, dread ministers of fate,
226 To whelm the pilot's hopes in ambush wait.
227 On a huge hill, that braves the neighbouring sky,
228 Washt by the sable gulph of infamy,
229 Preferment's temple stands; the base how wide,
230 How steep the top, how cragged ev'ry side!
231 Compact of ice the dazzling mountain glows,
232 Like rocks of crystal, or Lapponian snows,
233 While all around the storm-clad whirlwind rides,
234 Dread thunder breaks, and livid lightning glides,
235 Hither by hope enliven'd crouds repair,
236 Thick as the noontide swarms that float in air;
[Page 38]
237 Dean jostles dean, each suffragan his brother,
238 And half the jealous mob keeps down the other.
239 Ah little knows the wretch, that hath not try'd,
240 What hell it is this shouldring throng to bide,
241 Where garish art, and falsehood win the day,
242 And simple single truth is spurn'd away:
243 Where round, and round, with painful steps and slow,
244 Whoe'er would scale the sudden height must go;
245 Catch ev'ry twig, each brake and op'ning trace,
246 Pull down his friend, nay father from his place,
247 And raise himself by others foul disgrace.
248 Yet some there are, gay Folly's flutt'ring train,
249 That free from care and toil the summit gain,
250 Sublimely soar on fortune's partial wind,
251 And leave the sons of Science far behind.
252 Thus straws and feathers easily can fly,
253 And the light scale is sure to mount on high;
254 Thin air-blown bubbles with each breath are born,
255 And wind will raise the chaff, that leaves the corn.
256 Others again with crouds contentious strive,
257 And thro' mere dint of opposition thrive;
258 Stiff in opinion, active, restless wights,
259 They rise against the wind like paper kites:
260 'Twas thus proud RAMUS to the mitre flew,
261 Opposing, and oppos'd
261 And thus must you
262 If opposition, faction, broils prevail,
263 Take courage, friend, for sure you ne'er can fail.
[Page 39]
264 Misguided youth, is satyre thus your turn!
265 Haste while the baleful flames of party burn,
266 In hist'ry read go join the grand dispute,
267 And give one hireling more to PITT, or BUTE.
268 Oh would you paint his lordship's jerkin o'er
269 With imps, and fiends (like base inquisitor)
270 Then boldly hang him out to public view,
271 The scorn and laughter of the gaping crew,
272 How G**A's sons would
272 What?
272 Exult for joy,
273 And lift your grateful praises to the sky.
274 Her sons exult? your men of parts and skill
275 Change like their dress, their principles at will,
276 Where Mammon calls with haste obsequious run,
277 And bow like Persians to the rising sun.
278 Too long alas o'er Britain's bleeding land
279 Hath fell corruption wav'd her iron hand,
280 Too long possest a monarch's patient ear,
281 While all the sons of freedom shrunk with fear.
282 Is there then one, whose breast religion warms,
283 And virtue decks with all her brightest charms;
284 Whose fiery glance the loathsome den pervades,
285 Where vice, and foul corruption sculk in shades;
286 True to his king, and to the public just,
287 No dupe to passion, and no slave to lust;
288 Whom all the good revere, the vile abuse,
289 A friend to learning, and the gentle muse;
[Page 40]
290 Scotchman, or Teague be this his patriot view,
291 I'll praise him, love him, friend, and so shall you.
292 Curst be the lines (tho' ev'ry THESPIAN maid
293 Come uninvoked, and lend her timely aid,
294 View them, like THETIS, with a mother's eye,
295 And dip them o'er in dews of CASTALY)
296 Curst be the lines, that pow'rful vice adorn,
297 Or treat fair virtue, and her friends with scorn:
298 Let 'em cloath candles, wrap up cheese, line trunks;
299 Or flutt'ring on a rail, 'midst rogues and punks,
300 Ne'er meet the mild judicious critic's praise,
301 But die, like those that FANNY sings or says:
302 FANNY, dull wight, to whom the ghost appears
303 Of murder'd HORACE, pale and wan with tears;
304 FANNY, dull wight, a Mammon-serving slave,
305 Half politician, atheist, parson, knave,
306 That drunk each night, and liquor'd ev'ry chink,
307 Dyes his red face in port, and his black soul in ink.
308 No sly fanatic, no enthusiast wild,
309 No party tool, beguiling and beguil'd,
310 No slave to pride, no canting pimp to pow'r,
311 Nor rigid churchman, nor dissenter sour,
312 No fawning flatterer to the base and vain,
313 No timist vile, or worshipper of gain;
314 When gay not dissolute, grave not severe,
315 Tho' learn'd no pedant, civil tho' sincere;
316 Nor mean nor haughty, be one preacher's praise
317 That if he rise, he rise by manly ways:
318 Yes, he abhors each sordid selfish view,
319 And dreads the paths your men of art pursue;
[Page 41]
320 Who trust some wand'ring meteor's dubious ray,
321 And fly like owls from truth's meridian day.
322 Alas, Alas! I plainly, friend, foresee
323 In points like these we never shall agree.
324 Too sure debar'd from all the joys of life,
325 From heav'n's best gifts, a living, and a wife,
326 Chain'd to a college you must waste your days,
327 (Wrapt up in monkish indolence, and ease,)
328 In one dull round of sleeping, eating, drinking,
329 A foe to care, but more a foe to thinking.
330 There when ten lustrums are supinely spent
332 When not one friend, one comfort more remains;
333 But slowly creeps the cold blood thro' your veins,
334 And palsy'd hands, and tott'ring knees betray
335 An helpless state of nature in decay;
336 While froward youth derides your squalid age,
337 And longs to shove you trembling off the stage;
338 Then then you'll blame your conduct but too late,
339 And curse your enemies, and friends, and fate.
340 Better be worn with age, with ills opprest,
341 Distrest in fame, in fortune too distrest;
342 Better unknown, and unlamented die,
343 With no kind friend to close the parting eye,
344 (So all is calm, and undisturb'd within)
345 Than feel, and fear the biting pangs of sin.
346 For oh what odds, the curtain once withdrawn,
347 Betwixt a saint in rags, and rev'rend knave in lawn?


  • TEI/XML [chunk] (XML - 914K / ZIP - 83K) / ECPA schema (RNC - 357K / ZIP - 73K)
  • Plain text [excluding paratexts] (TXT - 16K / ZIP - 7.9K)

Facsimile (Source Edition)

(Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Harding C 148].)



All Images (PDF - 6.0M)

About this text

Author: James Scott
Themes: religion
Genres: heroic couplet; dialogue; satire
References: DMI 31232

Text view / Document view

Source edition

Mendez, Moses. A collection of the most esteemed pieces of poetry: that have appeared for several years. With variety of originals, by the late Moses Mendez, Esq; and other contributors to Dodsley's collection. To which this is intended as a supplement. London: printed for Richardson and Urquhart, 1767, pp. 29-41. [8],320p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T124631; DMI 1073; OTA K099398.000) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Harding C 148].)

Editorial principles

The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.