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OCCASIONED BY SOME VERSES OF HIS GRACE
THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.*
Muse, 'tis enough; at length thy labour ends
• The verses referred to, are the first among the Commendatory Poems in the preceding volume.
When simple Macer, now of high renown,
gave the harmless fellow a good word.
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
Ver. 1. When simple Macer,] Said to be the character of James Moore Smith, 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 drop it. This character was first printed in the Miscellanies of Swift and Pope 1727.
Warton. Dr. Warton thinks this character was intended for J. Moore Smith; but it seems to me more likely that Phillips, Pope's redoubted rival in Pastoral, was intended. My reasons for thinking so are, he is elsewhere called lean Phillips,
“ Lean Phillips and fat Johnson.” “Macer" certainly alludes to this. He began his literary career with worshipping “ Steele” and Addison. He" borrow'd” a play from Voltaire, the Distrest Mother; "Simplicity," is applied to the “ Pastorals,” and “ Translated Suit,” to the translation of the Persian Tales :
“ And turns a Persian tale for half-a-crown!" Bowles.
Like stunted hide-bound Trees, that just have got
So some coarse Country Wench, almost decay'd,
TO MR. JOHN MOORE,
AUTHOR OF THE CELEBRATED WORM-POWDER.
How much, egregious Moore, are we
Deceiv'd by shews 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,
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;
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.