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But calling Hermes to his aid,
Half pleas'd, half angry, thus he said:
Where mind ('tis for the author's fame)
That Matthew call'd, and Hermes came.
In danger heroes, and in doubt,
Poets find gods to help them out.
Friend Richard, I begin to see
That you and I shall scarce agree.
Observe how oddly you behave;
The more I grant, the more you crave:
But, comrade, as I said just now,
I should affirm, and you allow.
We system-makers can sustain
The thesis which you grant was plain,
And with remarks and comments teaze ye,
In case the thing before was easy:
But in a point obscure and dark,
We fight as Leibnitz did with Clarke ;
And when no reason we can show
Why matters this or that way go,
The shortest way the thing we try,
And what we know not, we deny:
True to our own o'erbearing pride,
And false to all the world beside.
" That old philosopher grew cross, Who could not tell what motion was; Because he walk'd against his will, He fac'd men down that he stood stil). And he who reading on the heart (When all his quodlibets of art Could not expound its pulse and heat) Swore he had never felt it beat. Chrysippus, foil'd by Epicurus, Makes bold (Jove bless him!) to assure as,
That all things which our mind can view
May be at once both false and true,
And Malbranche has an odd conceit
As ever enter'd Frenchman's pate:
Says he, “ So little can our mind
Of matter or of spirit find,
That we by guess, at least, may gather
Something which may be both or neither."
Faith, Dick, I must confess 'tis true
(But this is only entre nous)
That many knotty points there are
Which all discuss, but few can clear;
As Nature slily had thought fit,
For some by-ends to cross-bite wit:
Circles to square, and cubes to double,
Would give a man excessive trouble:
The longitude uncertain roams,
In spite of Whiston and his bombs.
What system, Dick, has right averr'd
The cause why woman has no beard?
Or why, as years our frame attack,
Our hairs grow white, our teeth grow black?
In points like these we must agree
Our barber knows as much as we:
Yet still unable to explain,
We must persist the best we can;
With care our systems still renew,
And prove things likely, though not true.
'I could, thou see'st, in quaint dispute,
By dint of logic, strike thee mute;
With learned skill now push, now parry,
From Darü to Bocardo vary,
And never yield, or, what is worst,
Never conclude the point discours'd:
Yet that you, hic et nunc, may know
How much you to my candour owe,
I'll from the disputant descend,
To show thee I assume the friend:
I'll take thy notion for my own-
(So most philosophers have done)
It makes my system more complete :
Dick, can it have a nobler fate?
• Take what thou wilt, (said Dick) dear friend,
But bring thy matters to an end.'
'I find, (quoth Mat) reproof is vain;
Who first offend will first complain.
Thou wishest I should make to shore,
¥et still putt’st in thy thwarting oar.
What I have told thee fifty times
In prose, receive for once in rhymes.
A huge fat man in country-fair
Or city-church, (no matter where)
Labour'd and push'd amidst the crowd,
Still bawling out extremely loud,
“ Lord save us! why do people press !"
Another marking his distress,
Friendly replied; “ Plump gentleman,
Get out as fast as e'er you can;
Or cease to push or to exclaim ;
You make the very crowd you blame”?
Says Dick, - Your moral does not need
The least return, so e'en proceed :
Your tale, howe'er applied, was short :
So far, at least, I thank you for't.'
Mat took his thanks, and in a tone
More magisterial thus went on:
“Now Alma settles in the head, As has before been sung or said:
And here begins this farce of life ;
Enter Revenge, Ambition, Strife;
Behold on both sides men advance,
To form in earnest Bays's dance.
L'Avare, not using half his store,
Still grumbles that he has no more ;
Strikes not the present tun, for fear
The vintage should be bad next year,
And eats to-day with inward sorrow,
And dread of fancied want to-morrow
Abroad if the surtout you wear
Repels the rigour of the air,
Would you be warmer if at home?
You had the fabric and the looin?
And if two boots keep out the weather,
What need you have two hides of leather?
Could Pedro, think you, make no trial
Of a sonata on his viol,
Unless he had the total gut
Whence every string at first was cut?
"When Rarus shows you his Cartone,
He always tells you, with a groan,
Where two of that same hand were torn,
Long before you or he were born.
• Poor Vento's mind so much is cross'd, For part of his Petronius lost, That he can never take the pains To understand what yet remains.
• What toil did honest Curio take, What strict inquiries did he make, To get one medal, wanting yet, And perfect all his Roman set? 'Tis found: and, o, his happy lot! 'Tis bought, lock'd up, and lies forgot:
Of these no more you hear him speak;
He now begins upon the Greek.
These rang’d and show'd, shall in their turns
Remain obscure as in their urns.
My copper lamps at any rate,
For being true antique, I bought,
Yet wisely melted down my plate,
On modern models to be wrought,
And trifles I alike pursue,
Because they're old, because they're new.
• Dick, I have seen you with delight
For Georgy* make a paper kite,
And simple odes, too many, show ye
My servile complaisance to Chloe.
Parents and lovers are decreed
By Nature fools' That's brave indeed!
(Quoth Dick) such truths are worth receiving :'
Yet Still Dick look'd as not believing.
Now, Alma, to divines and prose
I leave thy frauds, and crimes, and woes,
Nor think to-night of thy ill-nature,
But of thy follies, idle creature,
The turns of thy uncertain wing,
And not the malice of thy sting.
Thy pride of being great and wise
I do but mention to despise ;
I view with anger and disdain
How little gives thee joy or pain:
A print, a bronze, a flower, a root, i
A shell, a butterfly, can do't:
Even a romance, a tune, a rhyme,
Help thee to pass the tedious time,