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If any factious spirit fhould rebel,
Our fex with ease can every rifing quell.
Then, as you hope we fhould your failings hide,
An honeft jury for our play provide.
Whigs at their poets never take offence;
They fave dull culprits, who have murder'd fense.
Tho' nonfenfe is a naufeous heavy mass,
The vehicle call'd Faction makes it pafs.
Faction in play's the commonwealth-man's bribe;
The leaden farthing of the canting tribe:
Tho' void in payment laws and ftatutes make it,
The neighbourhood, that knows the man, will take it.
"Tis faction buys the votes of half the pit ;
Their's is the penfion-parliament of wit.
In city-clubs their venom let them vent ;
For there 'tis safe, in its own element.
Here, where their madness can have no pretence,
Let them forget themselves an hour of fenfe.
In one poor ifle, why fhould two factions be?
Small diff'rence in your vices I can fee:
In drink and drabs both fides too well agree.
Would there were more preferments in the land:
If places fell, the party could not stand:
Of this damn'd grievance ev'ry Whig complains;
They grunt like hogs till they have got their grains,
Mean time you fee what trade our plots advance;
We fend each year good money into France;
And they that know what merchandize we need,
Send o'er true Proteftants to mend our breed.
To the UNIVERSITY of OXFORD,
Spoken by Mr. HART, at the Acting of the SILENT WOMAN.
'HAT Greece, when learning flourish'd, only knew,
Athenian judges, you this day renew.
Here too are annual rites to Pallas done,
And here poetic prizes loft or won.
Methinks I fee you, crown'd with olives, fit,
And ftrike a facred horror from the pit.
A day of doom is this of your decree,
Where even the best are but by mercy free:
A day, which none but Jonson durft have wish'd to fee.
Here they, who long have known the useful stage,
Come to be taught themselves to teach the age.
As your commiffioners our poets go,
To cultivate the virtue which you fow ;
In your Lycæum firft themselves refin❜d,
And delegated thence to human-kind.
But as ambaffadors, when long from home,
For new inftructions to their princes come;
So poets, who your precepts have forgot,
Return, and beg they may be better taught:
Follies and faults elsewhere by them are shown,
But by your manners they correct their own.
Th' illiterate writer, emperic-like, applies
To minds difeas'd, unfafe, chance, remedies:
The learned in fchools, where knowledge firft began,
Studies with care the anatomy of man;
Sees virtue, vice, and paffions in their cause,
And fame from fcience, not from fortune, draws.
So Poetry which is in Oxford made
An art, in London only is a trade.
There haughty dunces, whofe unlearned pen
Could ne'er fpell grammar, would be reading men.
Such build their poems the Lucretian way;
So many huddled atoms make a play;
And if they hit in order by fome chance,
They call that nature, which is ignorance.
To fuch a fame let mere town-wits afpire,
And their gay nonsense their own cits admire.
Our poet, could he find forgiveness here,
Would wish it rather than a plaudit there.
He owns no crown from those Prætorian bands,
But knows that right is in the senate's hands,
Not impudent enough to hope your praise,
Low at the Mufes feet his wreath he lays,
And, where he took it up, refigns his bays.
Kings make their poets whom themselves think fit,
But 'tis your fuffrage makes authentic wit..
O poor Dutch peafant, wing'd with all his fear,
Flies with more hafte, when the French arms
Than with our poetic train come down,
For refuge hither, from th' infected town :
Heaven for our fins this fummer has thought fit
To vifit us with all the plagues of wit.
A French troop firft fwept all things in its way;
But thofe hot Monfieurs were too quick to ftay:
Yet, to our coft, in that short time, we find
They left their itch of novelty behind.
Th' Italian merry-andrews took their place,
And quite debauch'd the ftage with lewd grimace:
Inftead of wit and humours, your delight
Was there to fee two hobby-horses fight;
Stout Scaramoucha with rufh lance rode in,
And ran a tilt at centaur Arlequin.
For love you heard how amorous affes bray'd,
And cats in gutters gave their ferenade.
Nature was out of countenance, and each day
Some new-born monfter fhewn you for a play.
But when all fail'd, to ftrike the stage quite dumb,
Those wicked engines call'd machines are come.
Thunder and lightning now for wit are play'd,
And shortly scenes in Lapland will be laid:
Art magic is for poetry profeft;
And cats and dogs, and each obscener beast,
To which Ægyptian dotards once did bow;
Upon our English stage are worshipp'd now :
Witchcraft reigns there, and raises to renown
Macbeth and Simon Magus of the town,
Fletcher's defpis'd, your Jonfon's out of fashion,
And wit the only drug in all the nation.
In this low ebb our wares to you are shown;
By you thofe ftaple authors worth is known;
For wit's a manufacture of
When you, who only can, their scenes have prais'd, We'll boldly back, and fay, their price is rais'd.
Spoken at OXFORD, by Mrs. MARSHALL.
FT has our poet wifh'd, this happy feat.
I wonder'd at his wifh, but now I find
He fought for quiet, and content of mind;
Which noifeful towns, and courts can never know,
And only in the fhades like laurels grow.
Youth, ere it fees the world, here ftudies reft,
And age returning thence concludes it beft.
What wonder if we court that happiness
Yearly to fhare, which hourly you poffefs,
Teaching e'en you, while the vext world we show,
Your piece to value more, and better know?
"Tis all we can return for favours past,
Whofe holy memory fhall ever laft,
For patronage from him whofe care prefides
O'er every noble art, and every science guides:
Bathurst 4, a name the learn'd with reverence know?
And scarcely more to his own Virgil owe;
Whofe age enjoys but what his youth deferv'd,
To rule thofe Mufes whom before he ferv'd.
His learning, and, untainted manners too,
We find, Athenians, are deriv'd to you:
Such antient hofpitality there refts
In yours, as dwelt in the firft Grecian breafts,
Whofe kindness was religion to their guests.
4 Dr. Ralph Bathurst, prefident of Trinity College, Oxford, and Dean of Wells, a very loyal gentleman, and of great abilities. He died the 14th of June, 1704, in the 84th year of his age. See his life written by the ingenious Mr. Wharton, printed in 1761.