The Art of Politicks by Bramston, James

[** Transcriber's Notes: -[oe] ligatures have been replaced with straight oe, -Greek transliterations have an "=" sign before and after -each stanza has a number footnote, e.g. [1], to a corresponding excerpt from Horace's The Art of Poetry. **]






_Introduction by_




GENERAL EDITORS William E. Conway, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles David S. Rodes, University of California, Los Angeles

ADVISORY EDITORS James L. Clifford, Columbia University Ralph Cohen, University of Virginia Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago Louis A. Landa, Princeton University Earl Miner, Princeton University Samuel H. Monk, University of Minnesota Everett T. Moore, University of California, Los Angeles Lawrence Clark Powell, William Andrews Clark Memorial Libr James Sutherland, University College, London H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles Robert Vosper, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY Beverly J. Onley, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


The meagre information known about James Bramston's life has been ably summarized by F. P. Lock in his introduction to _The Man of Taste_ (ARS 171). For our present purposes, we need only add that Bramston seems to have been acquainted with Pope, who saw _The Art of Politicks_ before it was printed and thought it "pretty".[A] Bramston quite likely met Pope through John Caryll, whose Sussex estate, Lady-Holt, was in the neighborhood of Bramston's parishes.

_The Art of Politicks_, Bramston's first English poem, was published anonymously in 1729 and advertised in the Monthly Chronicle of 8 December. Several reimpressions followed, as did another London edition, one from Edinburgh, and two from Dublin, all dated 1729, and a London edition of 1731.[B] It was reprinted in Robert Dodsley's _Collection of Poems, by Several Hands_ (1748), where it was attributed to Bramston, and in John Bell's _Classical Arrangement of Fugitive Poetry_, Volume 5 (1789), with a few notes.[C] Horace Walpole's copy of Dodsley's _Collection_, with a few rather uninformative manuscript notes, is now in the British Library (C.117.aa.16).

It seems likely that the poem was completed in the summer of 1729. The most recent events that Bramston alludes to are Thomas Woolston's trial for blasphemy of 4 March (p. 27) and Sir Paul Methuen's resignation as Treasurer of the King's Household, which was reported in May (p. 13).[D]

* * * * *

Horace's _Ars Poetica_ was one of the most fertile sources for eighteenth-century imitations and adaptations. Some were completely serious attempts to marry one art to another or to show that all arts share the same fundamental principles; an example of this type is John Gwynn's _Art of Architecture_ (1742; ARS 144). Others, like William King's _Art of Cookery_ (1708) are downright burlesques.

Bramston's usual method falls somewhere between these extremes. He often uses the dignity of poetry to show up the indignity of politics or political writing, as on pp. 5-6 where Horace's advice on choice of subject is transformed into advice to "_Weekly Writers_ of seditious _News_," or on page 7, where the rise and fall of South Sea stock fills the place of Horace's famous comparison of archaic and new-coined words to the leaves of the forest. But Bramston's poem more often aspires to the same level as its model; in this respect it resembles _Absalom and Achitophel_ more than _Mac Flecknoe_.

Several factors help to bring _Ars Poetica_ and _The Art of Politicks_ together. Perhaps most important, Bramston conceives of politics primarily as a verbal art, the use of speech to persuade others to a course of action. Bribes and other crasser incentives appear in the poem, of course, but they are clearly the result of declining standards. For Bramston, rhetoric should govern politics; the House of Commons is a reincarnation of a Roman senate or courtroom. Bramston's inclusion of political writing as well as politics itself in his poem also helps to keep him in Horace's orbit. On Horace's side, his conception of poetry is basically rhetorical and persuasive; it should instruct and delight, move to laughter or tears. Horace's readiness to digress into literary history gives Bramston many opportunities to bring in political history. The _Ars Poetica_ is very much concerned with the world of men; poets are seen in their social roles, and Horace's standards of literary decorum are usually based on social norms: young men in plays should behave the way young men are observed to behave in real life. The _Ars Poetica_ also contains several sharp satiric darts; Horace's contrast between the eloquence of ancient Greece and the commercial arithmetic of modern Rome slides easily into a contrast between Elizabethan learning and Hanoverian place-hunting (pp.32-33). Finally, Horace's urbane and chatty style is as suitable for other subjects as it is for poetry. To appreciate Horace's adaptability, one need only imagine the difficulty of writing an art of politics in imitation of Archibald MacLeish's "Ars Poetica" or Aristotle's _Poetics_.

Though he does not pretend to Pope's image of himself as a new Horace bringing the whole weight of Roman tradition to bear on contemporary society, Bramston is very clever on the local level at transposing Horace for his own purposes. Horace recounts the increasing complexity and sophistication of theatrical music, Bramston the increasingly elaborated musical celebrations of victorious candidates (pp. 22-23), and Horace's implication that the sophistication of taste is really a decline--"an impetuous style brought in an unwonted diction" (217)--constitutes an unspoken comment on Bramston's subject.[E] Bramston's page 27 corresponds to Horace's brief history of the theatre, from Thespis's tragedies that he staged on wagons to the silencing of the excessively outspoken chorus of Old Comedy (275-84). Bramston replaces Thespis with Defoe, and the wagon-mounted stage with the cart and pillory. Instead of deploring the silencing of the chorus, Bramston applauds the silencing of Woolston. The contrast between Thespis and Defoe is clearly mock-heroic, but Bramston implies that Woolston's similarity to an ancient satyr is a decline from the character expected of a modern clergyman.

Sometimes the mere fact of changing from a poetic to a political context produces the satire or humour. What is praiseworthy in a poet--the ability to mingle fact and fiction skillfully (151)--becomes highly ironic when applied to a politician who

In Falsehood Probability imploys, Nor his old Lies with newer Lies destroys. (p. 16)

Horace's "ut pictura poesis" (361) produces this bland but destructive couplet:

Not unlike Paintings, Principles appear, Some best at distance, some when we are near. (p. 36)

More humourous than satirical is the relation between Horace's declaration that there's no place for a mediocre poet (372-73) and Bramston's

The Middle way the best we sometimes call. But 'tis in Politicks no way at all.

* * * * *

There is no Medium: for the term in vogue On either side is, Honest Man, or Rogue. (pp. 37-38)

The conclusion of the poem involves a somewhat more complex transformation. Horace closes with a humourously self-deprecating description of the "poetic itch": the afflicted poet stumbles into ditches as he babbles his verses aloud; people flee from him, and with good reason; if he catches anyone, he hangs on like a leech and reads his victim to death. Bramston describes another "sort of itch," parliamenteering. Sir Harry Clodpole knows better than to make speeches to the electors; he solicits their votes by feasting them, and they run _towards_ him (or his table), not away. They, not he, are the leeches; "they never leave him while he's worth a groat" (p. 45).

* * * * *

Bramston--it seems an excessive refinement to speak of a persona or narrator--presents himself as a rather simple, naive political observer who yearns for clear-cut distinctions between parties; he wants to know where politicians stand on issues. The confusion, the blurring of old party lines, in present-day England is like the monster in the frontispiece. Though simple, he is also well informed. He seems to have a good knowledge of British history since the Restoration, referring casually to the Exclusion Crisis of 1680-81 (p. 15), the Kentish Petition of 1701 (p. 10), and the South Sea Bubble of 1720 (p. 7). All these past events are used to reinforce present lessons. He is up-to-date, as shown by his reference to the recent events in the careers of Methuen and Woolston. He professes familiarity with the characters of the leading politicians and also knows something about what is going on in the constituencies. He knows, or claims to know, how different kinds of listeners will react to different kinds of speeches.

For a son of Christ Church, one of the most Tory Colleges of Tory Oxford, he seems remarkably non-partisan, though his Opposition biases do show through. When he says that "Addison's immortal Page" shows us how "to screen good Ministers from Publick rage" (p. 9), he is clearly aiming at Walpole, known as the "Screenmaster General" since his success in shielding many of the perpetrators of the South Sea Bubble in 1720. (I have not been able to discover the passage of Addison that Bramston had in mind.) When the aspiring orator is urged not to "join with silver Tongue a brazen Face" (p. 24), Walpole is again present by innuendo, for "brazen-face" was another of his nicknames. On the other hand, Bramston also makes fun of the "everlasting Fame" that results from quibbling on Sir Robert's name (p. 6). Bramston perhaps has it both ways here; while ridiculing commonplace puns, he also invites us to remember that "Robin" does indeed sound very much like "robbing."

Sometimes he is more subtle and ironic. This subtlety caused difficulty for at least one contemporary reader, and may do the same for us. Consider the following passage, which parallels Horace's advice always to show Achilles wrathful, Orestes mourning, and the like:

To _Likelihood_ your _Characters_ confine; Don't turn _Sir Paul_ out, let _Sir Paul_ resign. In _Walpole_'s Voice (if Factions Ill intend) Give the two _Universities_ a Friend; Give _Maidston_ Wit, and Elegance refin'd; To both the _Pelhams_ give the _Scipios_ Mind; To _Cart'ret_, Learning, Eloquence, and Parts; To _George_ the _Second_, give all _English_ Hearts. (p. 13)

One of Bramston's early readers found his poem very faulty, and many of his complaints were directed against the passage just quoted.

Such artless art did ever mortal see, Or politicks so void of policy?

* * * * *

What bard but this could Pelham's train compare To Roman Scipio's thunder-bolts of war? Did e'er their wars enrich their native isle, With foreign treasures and with Spanish spoil? But hark! and stare with all your ears and eyes! Walpole is friend to Universities!

* * * * *

Hail politician bard! we ask not whether A whig or tory; thou art both and neither. Poultney and Walpole each adorn thy lays, Which one for love, and one for money praise. Alike are mention'd, equally are sung Will. Shippen staunch, and slight Sir Wm. Young. Bromley and Wyndham share the motley strain, With Cart'ret, Maidstone, and the Pelhams twain.[F]

This critic finds two main faults in the poem: misinformation and confusion about particular individuals and, more generally, an inability to distinguish Whigs from Tories and give each their due. This last complaint of course mocks Bramston's lament at the beginning of the poem about the current lack of distinction between parties.

To what extent is this critique justified? What is Bramston trying to do in this passage? There is no problem with the second line: Sir Paul Methuen did indeed resign his office, and one gets the impression from Hervey (pp. 101-2, 250) that he never let anyone forget that he resigned. Thus we have here the most conventional of truisms. Walpole is more difficult. He was certainly no friend of the universities, which were Tory hotbeds. On the other hand, he was reluctant to try to reduce their privileges or bring them more closely under government control, for fear of rousing them to keener opposition. Nowhere else did he follow so faithfully his policy of letting sleeping dogs lie.[G] In a certain sense, then, he might be called a friend of the universities. I have been unable to determine whom Bramston means by "Maidston"--perhaps one of the Finches, the most prominent family in the area of Maidstone, Kent. Bramston's critic is certainly right about the Pelhams: they have nothing whatever in common with the Scipios. Scipio Africanus Major (236-184/3) was one of the most illustrious Roman heroes, consul during the Second Punic War and an outstanding military tactician. Scipio Africanus Minor (c. 185-129) was not only a consul and a military hero but a great patron of letters whom Cicero considered the greatest Roman of them all.[H] Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1693-1768), Walpole's chief election manager, was notoriously muddle-headed, nervous, embarrassed, swamped in petty detail, suspicious, fretful, pompous, and indecisive.[I] His brother, Henry Pelham (1695?-1754), was much less well known; reserved and withdrawn, he preferred to work in the background, and his tactical and organizational abilities were not recognized until considerably later.[J] As far as their public image was concerned, then, no two men could be less like the Scipios. Most contemporaries agreed with Bramston's praise of John Carteret, Earl Granville (1690-1763), though many of them also mention other, less admirable traits.[K] As for George II, it depends on whose hearts you consult. An anonymous journalist:

What an Assurance has the Kingdom already given of an unfeigned Affection to their Majesties Persons and Government? How do the People shew that none are acceptable to them, but those that are so to their Majesties? How can Subjects give stronger Proofs of the high Esteem they have their Sovereign in, for Penetration and Wisdom, than those who entirely rely upon the Royal Discerning, and regulate their Conduct by the King's Direction?[L]

William Pultney:

The Queen is hated, the King despised, their son both the one and the other, and such a spirit of disaffection to the family and general discontent with the present Government is spread all over the Kingdom, that it is absolutely impossible for things to go on in the track they are now in.[M]

By now Bramston's method should be clear: he is praising everyone, but the praise fits the Opposition (such as Carteret) much better than it does the Government (the Pelhams). There is perhaps room for doubt about Walpole and George II, but Bramston's critic's failure to see the irony in the comparison of Pelhams to Scipios must be the result of sheer obtuseness. The rationale for Bramston's technique becomes clearer if we look again at Horace and recall that the basis of his advice is to follow conventional opinion. The conventional opinions that Bramston is by implication urging his pupil to follow are those of the politician's supporters and dependents. It just happens that Bramston has chosen his examples so that the Opposition conventions are closer to reality than the Government conventions.[N]

* * * * *

All this is fun, but it is quite inoffensive. There's no animus, no vehemence, no bite. Politics do not really engage any of Bramston's strong convictions. The self-portrait he offers us on pages 29-30 would be for many political satirists of the period a transparent facade of mock-innocence, but it seems to fit Bramston very accurately:

Alas Poor Me, you may my fortune guess: I write, and yet Humanity profess:

* * * * *

I love the King, the Queen, and Royal Race: I like the Government, but want no Place:

* * * * *

Was never in a Plot, my Brain's not hurt; I Politicks to Poetry convert.

By contrast to the increasing acrimony of most political satire of the late 1720's, this attitude is at least refreshing.


Given the topical nature of _The Art of Politicks_, the best use of my remaining space is probably to annotate the poem. From what I have learned about its background--and many mysteries remain--I have tried to choose what seems most relevant. In the interests of saving space, and since full annotation is not possible anyway, I have kept documentation to a minimum, especially where the information comes from easily available sources like the DNB or, conversely, has been pieced together from several sources. Some works are occasionally referred to by abbreviation or author's name; the ones not mentioned in the Notes to the Introduction are the following:[O]

Cobbett: William Cobbett, _The Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803_ (London: T. C. Hansard, 1806-20).

Ellis: Jonathan Swift, _A Discourse of the Contests and Dissentions between the Nobles and Commons in Athens and Rome_, ed. Frank H. Ellis (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967).

Grey: Anchitel Grey, _Debates of the House of Commons from the Year 1667 to the Year 1694_ (London, 1763).

Thomas: Peter D. G. Thomas, _The House of Commons in the Eighteenth Century_ (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971).

Realey: Charles B. Realey, _The Early Opposition to Sir Robert Walpole 1720-1727_ (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1931).

P. 1, line 1. Sir James: Sir James Thornhill (c. 1675-1734). As MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis (1722-34) and Serjeant Painter to the King (1720-32), he embodies the parallel between art and politics that underlies Bramston's poem. His best-known works were the dome of St. Paul's and the paintings in Greenwich Hospital. Hogarth married his daughter in 1729.

P. 2, line 4. Cf. Hervey's comment on Edmund Gibson, Bishop of London, who "affected to conciliate in himself both characters of Whig and Tory, declaring himself always a Whig in the State and a Tory in the Church" (pp. 90-91). Gibson's attitude can be traced back at least as far as Swift's _Sentiments of a Church of England Man_ (1711).

line 11. Patriots: the self-awarded designation of the major group of Walpole's opponents.

P. 3, line 6. Parliament devoted considerable time to fixing turnpike tolls.

Fleury: André Hercule de (1653-1743). Created a cardinal in 1726, he was chief adviser to Louis XV of France from that date till his death, and therefore a person of great interest to England. His guiding principle was to keep France at peace with the rest of Europe.

P. 4, lines 2-3. "Tory" originally meant an Irish outlaw, and "Whig" a Scottish rebel. For other theories of the origin of "Whig" that were current in 1729, see OED.

line 12. Repetition Day: a day on which schoolboys recite memorized lessons.

P. 5, line 7. The human face in Bramston's frontispiece has been said to resemble Heidegger, but it does not seem to match his reputation for extreme ugliness. See _TE_, 5, 92, 290, 443-44.

P. 6, lines 3-4. Ridpath: George Ridpath (d. 1726), Whig journalist. Abel Roper (1665-1726), publisher of the _Tory Post Boy_.

P. 7, line 10. Pinkethman: William Pinkethman (or Penkethman) (d. 1725), a comic actor said to have once eaten three chickens in two seconds. See TE, 4, 220, 377.

line 12. Maypole: This remarkable barometer of intellectual history was razed by the Puritan parliament in 1644. A new one, 134 feet tall, was set up at the Restoration; it, or a successor, had decayed to a height of twenty feet in 1717 when Sir Isaac Newton acquired it and presented it to James Pound to use as a telescope mount.

P. 8, line 2. Newer Square: Cavendish Square, according to Horace Walpole's annotation.

line 6. The bridge at Putney Ferry was completed in 1729.

P. 9, lines 4-5. Thomas Tickell's poetical _Epistle from a Lady in England to a Gentleman at Avignon_ went through five editions in 1717.

lines 6-7. "Caleb D'Anvers" was the pseudonym under which appeared _The Craftsman_, the opposition journal directed by Bolingbroke and Pultney. Bramston's expression of ignorance must be ironic.

P. 10, lines 1-2. Arthur Onslow, who became Speaker in 1728, insisted that all members bow to the Speaker's Chair when entering or leaving the House (Thomas, p. 356).

line 12. The "Kentish Petition" was presented to the Tory-controlled Parliament on 8 May 1701 by five gentlemen of Kent. It urged Parliament to grant speedily to King William the subsidies that would enable him to pursue his European wars against Louis XIV. Parliament did not consider its words soft; it voted the petition seditious, scandalous, and insolent, and arrested the five gentlemen, who thereupon became popular heroes, at least among the Whigs. See Defoe's _History of the Kentish Petition_ (1701) and Ellis, pp. 53-56, 65-66.

P. 11, lines 3-8. Pultney: William Pultney (1684-1764), later Earl of Bath. The leader of the "Patriot" opposition to Walpole in the House of Commons. Hervey reluctantly concedes that his abilities were outstanding (pp. 790-91).

P. 12, line 4. the Rod: that is, the rod of the Serjeant-at-Arms, the officer responsible for keeping order in the House of Commons.

line 6. the Bar: The Bar marked the outer limit of the House, and, as the lines imply, was where offenders stood to be reprimanded.

lines 11-12. The "one cause" is presumably Walpole's patronage. The Cornish constituencies were notoriously corrupt even by eighteenth-century standards, and Walpole cultivated the Scots assiduously. A Scottish "laird" is a landowner, not a "lord" in the English sense.

P. 13, line 12. Flying-Squadron: apparently a group which claimed to vote by principle rather than from attachment to any party. Sir Joseph Jekyll was considered its leader. See Sedgwick, _House of Commons_, 2, 175; Realey, p. 54; and OED, "Squadron 7," "Squadrone b.," and "Squadronist."

P. 15, lines 2ff. The famous speech of Colonel Silius Titus (7 Jan. 1681) was widely reported in two slightly different versions; see Grey, 8, 279 and Cobbett, 4, 1291. In both these versions the question is whether to keep the lion out or to let him in and chain him. Bramston may have been following an independent tradition or merely exercising poetic license. The lion is, of course, James, Duke of York, the Roman Catholic heir to the throne.

Lane: Sir Richard Lane (c. 1667-1756), MP for Worcester 1727-34. He was a merchant, sugar baker, and salt trader, and a consistent supporter of the administration. For examples of his indecorous use of biblical allusions see Sedgwick, 2, 197-98 (the "bantering speech" mentioned there used the Book of Revelation to prove that merchants were the best people on earth); and Knatchbull, p. 137.

P. 16, line 5. Rufus: King William II, son of William the Conqueror, known as William Rufus, was often evoked as an example of tyranny, as in Pope's _Windsor-Forest_.

P. 17, lines 9-10. Prince William: younger son of George II, eight years old in 1729; Louisa: youngest daughter of King George, then five.

P. 18, line 4. William Shippen (1673-1743) was an extreme Tory, noted for his outspoken attacks on the Walpole ministry, one of which landed him in the Tower. Sir William Yonge (c. 1693-1755) was notorious, at least among the opposition, for voluble but empty speeches in support of Walpole, "melodious nothings" as one satirist put it. See also Hervey, p. 36, and TE, 4, 394. The attack on _The Art of Politicks_ quoted above complains that Shippen and Yonge should be mentioned in the same breath, but Bramston's point obviously is that the young MP cares nothing for either side.

P. 20, line 8. Polly Peachum is of course the heroine of Gay's _Beggar's Opera_. The role was played by Lavinia Fenton, who immediately became the toast of London. "Old Sir John" may be Sir John Hobart (1693-1756), although he was only fifteen years older than Miss Fenton (see Sedgwick, 2, 142). His name was sometimes spelled "Hubbard," and the following stanza appears in "A New Ballad Inscrib'd to Polly Peachum" (British Library C-116.i.4 #38), the cavalier typography of which perhaps indicates hasty composition:

Then came Sir J---- H---- Thundring at thy Cubboard: But you cast them like a Lubboard And did soon dispatch him.

Whoever he was, Sir John lost out to Charles Paulet, third Duke of Bolton, who kept Miss Fenton faithfully as his mistress, had three children by her, and married her on the death of his wife in 1751.

P. 21, line 10. The House of Commons had used St. Stephen's Chapel as its meeting place since the mid-sixteenth century. Dover-Court is "a proverbial term for a company, in which all are speakers and none hearers" (Bell).

P. 23, line 2. Waits: "a small body of wind instrumentalists maintained by a city or town at the public charge" (OED).

line 10. To sell bargains is to return indecent answers to civil questions.

P. 24, line 6. Mother Needham was a prominent bawd, notorious for her foul language. See TE, 4, 374-75, and 5, 293-94.

lines 7-8. "Oldfieldismus" and "Kibberismus" refer respectively to the styles of Anne Oldfield, a well-known actress, and Colley Cibber, playwright, stage manager, and hero of the _Dunciad_. Mrs. Oldfield was generally respected, but Pope, like Bramston, seems to have disliked her (TE, 4, 375).

line 11. Tallboy was a booby young lover in Richard Brome's comedy _The Jovial Crew_ (1641), popular throughout the eighteenth century.

P. 26, line 12. Mist: Nathaniel Mist, Tory journalist. See TE, 5, 448. Eusden: Laurence Eusden, Poet Laureate 1718-30, often ridiculed by Pope.

line 14. Cibber's opera is _Love in a Riddle_ (1729), designed to capitalize on the craze for ballad opera created by _The Beggar's Opera_.

P. 27, line 5. Censor: Sir Richard Steele as Isaac Bickerstaffe, the nominal author of _The Tatler_.

P. 29, line 6. Where Edmund Curll stood was in the pillory.

P. 31, line 3. Hugo Grotius's classic of political science, _De jure belli ac pacis_, was published in 1625 and translated in 1654.

P. 32, line 1. Wickfort: Abraham de Wicquefort, _l'Ambassadeur et ses fonctions_ (La Haye, 1680). It was summarized in _The Craftsman_ of 23 Sept. 1727.

line 4. John Banks was the author of _The Unhappy Favourite; or the Earl of Essex_ (1681) and of _The Island Queens, or the Death of Mary, Queen of Scotland_ (prohibited in 1684; a revision was produced in 1704). Bell says that although "written in the most contemptible language, yet they never fail to melt the audience into tears, merely by the force of judicious and well-arranged plots and incidents."

P. 33, line 1. Arch-Bishop: William Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury since 1716. He was 72 in 1729. Master of the Rolls: Sir Joseph Jekyll, who had held the office since 1717, was about 66 in 1729.

line 12. Spence: Thomas Spence (d. 1737), Serjeant-at-Arms.

P. 34, line 3. Toft: In 1726 one Mary Toft claimed to have given birth to seventeen live rabbits, and some who should have known better believed her. See Pope's poem on her, _TE_, 6, 259, and Hogarth's engraving.

throws: i.e., throes, labor pains.

line 8: Bromley and Hanmer: William Bromley (?1663-1732), MP for Oxford 1701-32, Speaker 1710-13; Sir Thomas Hanmer (1677-1746), who represented several constituencies from 1701-27 and was Speaker 1714-15. They were Tory heroes, at least to Atterbury, for having refused the places offered them by George I in 1715 (Foord, p. 51).

P. 35, line 1. Tonson: Jacob Tonson, prominent bookseller.

line 9. Cler. Dom. Com.: "Clerk of the House of Commons."

P. 36, line 2. Die Martis is Tuesday; Thursday is Die Jovis.

line 6. Wyndham: Sir William Wyndham, MP for Somerset 1710-40, prominent opposition leader from the 1720s. See Sedgwick, 2, 562-64, for his reputation. Hervey believed that his high reputation was partly due to Walpole's henchmen, who inflated it in order to deflate Pultney's (p. 21).

P. 44, line 4. Sir Robert Fagg was better known for horse-racing and wenching than for politics; he appears in Hogarth's painting of _The Beggar's Opera_ admiring Lavinia Fenton and in the ballad cited in my note to p. 20, line 8. Running for Parliament in the borough of Steyning, Sussex, in 1722, he came in third in a five-man race with nineteen votes. He also ran third in 1727; the vote is not recorded, unless Bramston's "two Voices" is to be taken literally.

Université de Montréal


[A] Letter to John Caryll, 6 Feb. 1731. _Correspondence_, ed. George Sherburn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956), 3, 173. See also Antony Coleman's introduction to James Miller's _Harlequin-Horace_ (1731; ARS 178).

[B] D. F. Foxon, _English Verse 1701-1750_ (Cambridge: The University Press, 1975), 1, 77. I should also like to thank Mr. Foxon for generous personal help.

[C] I owe my knowledge of Bell's edition to Kent Mullikin of the University of North Carolina.

[D] Woolston was convicted on four counts of blasphemy on 4 March 1729. His offending works were six _Discourses on the Miracles of our Saviour_ (1727-29). He never succeeded in paying his fine of £100 (Pope, _Poems_ (Twickenham Edition, genl. ed. John Butt; London: Methuen, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1939-69), 5, 459). Hereafter referred to as _TE_.

Methuen's resignation is erroneously dated in 1730 in _DNB_ and in Romney Sedgwick, _The House of Commons 1715-1754_ (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970), 2, 254. See Abel Boyer, _The Political State of Great Britain, 37_ (May 1729), 523, and John, Lord Hervey. _Some Materials towards Memoirs of the Reign of King George II_, ed. Romney Sedgwick (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1931), pp. 101-02. According to Hervey, Methuen's ostensible reason for resigning was his dislike of the general conduct of the court, his real reason his failure to be appointed Secretary of State.

[E] Translations of Horace are taken from the Loeb Library edition, trans. H. Rushton Fairclough (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1961). Line numbers of the Latin verse are in the text.

[F] "Verses on the Art of Politicks," _Additions to the Works of Alexander Pope, Esq. Together with Many Original Poems and Letters, of Contemporary Writers, Never Before Published_ (London, 1776). 1. 158-59. I have been unable to discover where the poem was first printed.

[G] J. H. Plumb. _Sir Robert Walpole_ (London: Cresset). Vol. I (1956). pp. 249-50; Sir Edward Knatchbull, _Parliamentary Diary, 1722-30_, ed. A. N. Newman (London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1963), p. 42.

[H] Most of my information about the Scipios comes from the _Oxford Companion to Classical Literature_.

[I] _DNB_; Ray A. Kelch, _Newcastle: A Duke without Money_ (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1974), pp. 9-11; Reed Browning, _The Duke of Newcastle_ (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1975), pp. xi-xiii, 80-88.

[J] _DNB_; Browning, p. 18.

[K] Plumb, _Walpole, 2_ (1960), 52-53; Hervey, pp. 411-12; Browning, p. 113; Archibald S. Foord, _His Majesty's Opposition_, 1714-1830 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964), pp. 142-45.

[L] _The British Journal_, 258 (2 Sept. 1727), p. 1.

[M] Reported by Hervey toward the end of 1729 (p. 105).

[N] For illuminating discussions of Opposition ideology and literary strategies, see Maynard Mack, _The Garden and the City: Retirement and Politics in the Later Poetry of Pope, 1731-1743_ (Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1969); Isaac Kramnick, _Bolingbroke and his Circle: The Politicks of Nostalgia in the Age of Walpole_ (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968); and J.V. Guerinot and Rodney D. Jilg, eds., _The Beggar's Opera: Contexts_ (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1976), esp. pp. 69-95.

[O] Part of the research for this introduction was done while I held a Leave Fellowship from the Canada Council, whom I should like to thank for their support.

[P] _All_ Mr. Heydegger's _Letters come directed to him from abroad_, A Monsieur, Monsieur _Heydegger_, Surintendant des Plaisirs d' Angleterre.


The facsimile of _The Art of Politicks_ (1729) is reproduced by permission from a copy of the first edition (Shelf Mark: *PR3326/B287A8; Foxon B383) in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. The total type-page (p. 19) measures 152 x 93 mm.









Printed for LAWTON GILLIVER, at _Homer_'s _Head_ against St. _Dunstan_'s Church in _Fleet-Street_.







[1] [Illustration] If to a Human Face Sir _James_ should draw A Gelding's Mane, and Feathers of Maccaw, A Lady's Bosom, and a Tail of Cod, Who could help laughing at a Sight so odd? Just such a Monster, Sirs, pray think before ye, When you behold one Man both _Whig_ and _Tory_. Not more extravagant are Drunkard's Dreams, Than _Low-Church_ Politicks with _High-Church_ Schemes. Painters, you'll say, may their own Fancies use, And Freeborn _Britons_ may their _Party_ chuse; That's true, I own: but can one Piece be drawn For Dove and Dragon, Elephant and Fawn?

[2] Speakers profess'd, who Gravity pretend,) With motley Sentiments their Speeches blend:) Begin like Patriots, and like Courtiers end.) Some love to roar, _the Constitution's broke_, And others on the _Nation's Debts_ to joke; Some rail, (they hate a Commonwealth so much,) What e'er the Subject be, against the _Dutch_; While others, with more fashionable Fury, Begin with _Turnpikes_, and conclude with _Fleury_; Some, when th' Affair was _Blenheim_'s glorious Battle, Declaim'd against importing _Irish Cattle_. But you, from what e'er Side you take your Name, Like _Anna_'s _Motto_, always be the same.

[3] Outsides deceive, 'tis hard the Truth to know;) _Parties_ from quaint Denominations flow,) As _Scotch_ and _Irish_ Antiquaries show.) The _Low_ are said to take Fanaticks Parts, The _High_ are bloody _Papists_ in their Hearts. Caution and Fear to highest Faults have run; In pleasing both the Parties, you please none. Who in the _House_ affects declaiming Airs, _Whales_ in _Change-Alley_ paints: in _Fish-Street, Bears_. Some Metaphors, some Handkerchiefs display;) These peep in Hats, while those with Buttons play,) And make me think it _Repetition-Day_;) There Knights haranguing hug a neighb'ring Post, And are but _Quorum_ Orators at most. Sooner than thus my want of Sense expose,) I'd deck out Bandy-Legs with Gold-Clock't Hose,) Or wear a Toupet-Wig without a Nose.) Nay, I would sooner have thy Phyz, I swear, _Surintendant des Plaisirs d' Angleterre_[P].

[4] Ye _Weekly Writers_ of seditious _News_, Take Care your _Subjects_ artfully to chuse, Write _Panegyrick_ strong, or boldly _rail_, You cannot miss _Preferment_, or a _Goal_. Wrap up your Poison well, nor fear to say What was a Lye last Night is Truth to Day; Tell this, sink that, arrive at _Ridpath_'s Praise, Let _Abel Roper_ your Ambition raise. To Lye fit Opportunity observe, Saving some double Meaning in reserve; But oh, you'll merit everlasting Fame, If you can quibble on Sir _Robert_'s Name. In _State-Affairs_ use not the Vulgar Phrase, Talk Words scarce known in good Queen _Besse_'s days. New Terms let War or Traffick introduce, And try to bring _Persuading Ships_ in Use. Coin Words: in coining ne'er mind common Sense, Provided the Original be _French_.

[5] Like _South-Sea Stock_, Expressions rise and fall: King _Edward_'s Words are now no Words at all. Did ought your Predecessors Genius cramp? Sure ev'ry Reign may have it's proper Stamp. All Sublunary things of Death partake; What Alteration does a Cent'ry make? Kings and Comedians all are mortal found, _Cæsar_ and _Pinkethman_ are under Ground. What's not destroy'd by Times devouring Hand? Where's _Troy_, and where's the _May-Pole_ in the _Strand_? Pease, Cabbages, and Turnips once grew, where Now stands new _Bond-street_, and a newer Square; Such Piles of Buildings now rise up and down; London itself seems going out of _Town_. Our Fathers cross'd from _Fulham_ in a Wherry, Their Sons enjoy a Bridge at _Putney-Ferry_. Think we that modern Words eternal are? _Toupet_, and _Tompion_, _Cosins_, and _Colmar_ Hereafter will be call'd by some plain Man A _Wig_, a _Watch_, a _Pair of Stays_, a _Fan_. To Things themselves if Time such change affords, Can there be any trusting to our Words.

[6] To screen good Ministers from Publick rage,) And how with Party Madness to engage,) We learn from _Addison_'s immortal Page.) The _Jacobite_'s ridiculous Opinion Is seen from _Tickel_'s Letter to _Avignon_. But who puts _Caleb_'s _Country-Craftsman_ out, Is still a secret, and the World's in doubt.

[7] Not long since _Parish-Clerks_, with saucy airs, Apply'd _King David_'s _Psalms_ to _State-Affairs_. Some certain _Tunes_ to Politicks belong, On both Sides Drunkards love a Party-Song.

[8] If full a-cross the Speaker's Chair I go, Can I be said the _Rules_ o'th' _House_ to know? I'll ask, nor give offence without intent, Nor through meer Sheepishness be impudent.

[9] In _Acts of Parliament_ avoid Sublime, Nor e'er Address his Majesty in Rhime; An _Act of Parliament_'s a serious thing, Begins with Year of Lord and Year of King; Keeps close to Form, in every word is strict, When it would _Pains_ and _Penalties_ inflict. Soft Words suit best _Petitioners_ intent; Soft Words, O ye _Petitioners_ of Kent!

[10] Who e'er harangues before he gives his Vote, Should send sweet Language from a tuneful Throat. _Pultney_ the coldest Breast with Zeal can fire, And _Roman Thoughts_ by _Attick Stile_ inspire; He knows from tedious Wranglings to beguile The serious _House_ into a chearful Smile; When the great Patriot paints his anxious Fears For _England_'s Safety, I am lost in Tears. But when dull Speakers strive to move compassion, I pity their poor Hearers, not the Nation: Unless young _Members_ to the purpose speak, I fall a laughing, or I fall asleep.

[11] Can Men their inward Faculties controul? Is not the Tongue an Index to the Soul? Laugh not in time of _Service_ to your God, Nor bully, when in _Custody_ o'th' _Rod_; Look Grave, and be from Jokes and Grinning far, When brought to sue for Pardon at the _Bar_. If then you let your ill-tim'd Wit appear, Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses will sneer.

[12] For Land, or Trade, not the same Notions sire The _City-Merchant_, and the _Country-Squire_; Their Climes are distant, tho' one Cause unites The _Lairds_ of _Scotland_, and the _Cornish Knights_.

[13] To _Likelihood_ your _Characters_ confine; Don't turn _Sir Paul_ out, let _Sir Paul_ resign. In _Walpole_'s Voice (if Factions Ill intend) Give the Two _Universities_ a Friend; Give _Maidston_ Wit, and Elegance refin'd; To both the _Pelhams_ give the _Scipios_ Mind; To _Cart'ret_, Learning, Eloquence, and Parts; To _George_ the _Second_, give all _English_ Hearts.

[14] Sometimes fresh Names in Politicks produce, And Factions yet unheard of introduce; And if you dare attempt a thing so new, Make to itself the _Flying-Squadron_ true.

[15] To speak is free, no _Member_ is debarr'd: But _Funds_ and _National Accounts_ are hard: Safer on common Topicks to discourse, The _Malt-Tax_, and a _Military Force_. On these each Coffee-House will lend a hint, Besides a thousand things that are in Print. But steal not Word for Word, nor Thought for Thought: For you'll be teaz'd to death, if you are caught. When Factious Leaders boast increasing strength, Go not too far, nor follow ev'ry Length: Leave room for Change, turn with a grace about, And swear you left 'em, when you found 'em out,

[16] With Art and Modesty your Part maintain: And talk like _Col'nel Titus_, not like _Lane_; The Trading-Knight with Rants his Speech begins, Sun, Moon, and Stars, and Dragons, Saints, and Kings: But _Titus_ said, with his uncommon Sense, When the _Exclusion-Bill_ was in suspense, I hear a Lyon in the Lobby roar; Say, Mr. Speaker, shall we shut the door And keep him there, or shall we let him in To try if we can turn him out again?

[17] Some mighty Blusterers _Impeach_ with noise, And call their Private Cry, the Nation's Voice;

[18] From Folio's of Accounts they take their handles, And the whole Ballance proves a pound of Candles; As if _Paul_'s Cupola were brought to bed, After hard Labour, of a small Pin's Head.

[19] Some _Rufus_, some the _Conqueror_ bring in, And some from _Julius Cæsar_'s days begin. A cunning Speaker can command his chaps, And when the _House_ is not in humour, stops; In Falsehood Probability imploys, Nor his old Lies with newer Lies destroys.

[20] If when you speak, you'd hear a Needle fall, And make the frequent _hear-hims_ rend the wall, In matters suited to your Taste engage, Remembring still your Quality and Age. Thy task be this, young Knight, and hear my Song What Politicks to ev'ry Age belong.

[21] When _Babes_ can speak, _Babes_ should be taught to say, _King George the Second_'s Health, Huzza, Huzza! _Boys_ should learn _Latin_ for _Prince William_'s sake, And Girls _Louisa_ their Example make.

[22] More loves the _Youth_, just come to his Estate, To range the fields, than in the _House_ debate; More he delights in fav'rite Jowler's Tongue, Than in _Will Shippen_, or _Sir William Yong_: If in one Chase he can two Horses kill, He cares not twopence for the Land-Tax Bill: Loud in his Wine, in Women not o'er nice, He damns his Uncles if they give advice; Votes as his Father did, when there's a _Call_, But had much rather, never Vote at all.

[23] We take a diff'rent Turn at _Twenty-six_, And lofty thoughts on some Lord's Daughter fix; With Men in Pow'r strict Friendship we persue, With some considerable Post in view. A Man of _Forty_ fears to change his Note, One way to Speak, and t'other way to Vote; Careful his Tongue in Passion to command, Avoids the Bar, and Speaker's Reprimand.

[24] In Bags the _Old Man_ lets his Treasure rust, Afraid to use it, or the Funds to trust; When Stocks are low, he wants the heart to buy, And through much caution sees 'em rise too high; Thinks nothing rightly done since _Seventy-eight_, Swears present _Members_ do not talk, but prate: In _Charles the Second_'s days, says he, ye Prigs, _Torys_ were _Torys_ then, and _Whigs_ were _Whigs_. Alas! this is a lamentable Truth, We lose in age, as we advance in youth: I laugh, when twenty will like eighty talk, And old _Sir John_ with _Polly Peachum_ walk.

[25] Now as to _Double_, or to _False Returns_, When pockets suffer, and when anger burns, O Thing surpassing faith! Knight strives with Knight, When both have brib'd, and neither's in the right. The Bayliff's self is sent for in that case, And all the Witnesses had face to face. Selected _Members_ soon the fraud unfold, In full Committee of the _House_ 'tis told; Th' incredible Corruption is destroy'd, The Chairman's angry, and th' Election void.

[26] Those who would captivate the well-bred throng, Should not too often speak, nor speak too long: Church, nor Church Matters ever turn to Sport, Nor make _St. Stephen's Chappel_, _Dover-Court_.

[27] The _Speaker_, when the Commons are assembl'd, May to the _Græcian Chorus_ be resembl'd; 'Tis his the Young and Modest to espouse, And see none draw, or challenge in the _House_: 'Tis his Old Hospitality to use, And three good Printers for the _House_ to chuse; To let each Representative be heard, And take due care the _Chaplain_ be preferr'd, To hear no _Motion_ made that's out of joint, And where he spies his _Member_, make his point.

[28] To Knights new chosen in old time would come The _County Trumpet_, and perhaps a _Drum_; Now when a Burgess new Elect appears, Come Trainbands, Horseguards, Footguards, Grenadeers; When the majority the Town-clerk tells, His Honour pays the Fiddles, Waits, and Bells: Harangues the _Mob_, and is as wise and great, As the most Mystic Oracle of State.

[29] When the Duke's Grandson for the County stood, His Beef was fat, and his October good; His Lordship took each Ploughman by the fist, Drunk to their Sons, their Wives and Daughters kiss'd; But when strong Beer their Freeborn Hearts inflames, They sell him Bargains, and they call him Names. Thus is it deem'd in _English_ Nobles wise To stoop for no one reason but to rise.

[30] Election matters shun with cautious awe, O all ye Judges Learned in the Law; A Judge by Bribes as much himself degrades, As Dutchess Dowager by Masquerades.

[31] Try not with Jests obscene to force a Smile, Nor lard your Speech with Mother _Needham_'s Stile: Let not your tongue to =Ôldphieldismus= run, And =Kibberismus= with abhorrence shun; Let not your looks affected words disgrace, Nor join with silver Tongue a brazen Face; Let not your hands, like Tallboys, be employ'd, And the mad rant of Tragedy avoid. Just in your Thoughts, in your Expression clear, Neither too modest, nor too bold appear.

[32] Others in vain a like Success will boast, He speaks most easy, who has study'd most.

[33] A Peer's pert Heir has to the Commons spoke A vile Reflection, or a Bawdy Joke; Call'd to the House of Lords, of this beware, 'Tis what the _Bishops Bench_ will never bear. Amongst the _Commons_ is such freedom shown, They lash each other, and attack the Throne: Yet so unskilful or so fearful some, For nine that speak there's nine-and-forty dumb.

[34] When _James_ the _first_, at great _Britannia_'s helm, Rul'd this word-clipping and word-coining Realm, No words to Royal favour made pretence, But what agreed in sound and clash'd in sense. Thrice happy he! how great that Speaker's praise, Whose ev'ry Period look'd an hundred ways. What then? we now with just abhorrence shun The trifling Quibble, and the School-boys Pun; Tho' no great Connoisseur, I make a shift Just to find out a _Durfey_ from a _Swift_; I can discern with half an eye, I hope, _Mist_ from _Jo Addison_, from _Eusden Pope_: I know a Farce from one of _Congreve_'s Plays, And _Cibber_'s Opera from _Johnny Gay_'s.

[35] When pert _Defoe_ his sawcy Papers writ, He from a Cart was Pillor'd for his Wit: By Mob was pelted half a Morning's space, And rotten Eggs besmear'd his yellow face; The _Censor_ then improv'd the list'ning Isle, And held both Parties in an artful Smile. A Scribbling Crew now pinching Winter brings,) That spare no earthly nor no heav'nly things,) Nor Church, nor State, nor Treasurers, nor Kings.) But Blasphemy displeases all the Town;) And for defying Scripture, Law, and Crown,) _Woolston_ should pay his Fine, and lose his Gown,)

[36] It must be own'd the _Journals_ try all ways To merit their respective Party's praise: They jar in every Article from _Spain_; A War these threaten, those a Peace maintain: Tho' Lye they will, to give 'em all their due, In Foreign matters, and Domestick too. Whoe'er thou art that would'st a _Postman_ write, Enquire all day, and hearken all the night. Sure, _Gazetteers_ and Writers of _Courants_ Might soon exceed th' Intelligence of _France_: To be out-done old _England_ should refuse, As in her Arms, so in her Publick News; But Truth is scarce, the Scene of Action large, And Correspondence an excessive Charge.

[37] There are who say, no Man can be a Wit Unless for _Newgate_ or for _Bedlam_ fit; Let Pamphleteers abusive Satyr write, To shew a Genius is to shew a Spite: That Author's Works will ne'er be reckon'd good Who has not been where _Curl_ the Printer stood.

[38] Alass Poor Me, you may my fortune guess: I write, and yet Humanity profess; (Tho' nothing can delight a modern Judge, Without ill-nature and a private Grudge) I love the King, the Queen, and Royal Race: I like the Government, but want no Place: Too low in Life to be a _Justice_ I, And for a Constable, thank God, too high; Was never in a Plot, my Brain's not hurt; I Politicks to Poetry convert.

[39] A Politician must (as I have read) Be furnish'd, in the first place, with a _Head_: A _Head_ well fill'd with _Machiavelian_ Brains, And stuff'd with Precedents of former Reigns: Must Journals read, and _Magna Charta_ quote; But acts still wiser, if he speaks by _Note_: Learns well his Lesson, and ne'er fears mistakes: For Ready Money Ready Speakers makes; He must Instructions and Credentials draw, Pay well the Army, and protect the Law: Give to his Country what's his Country's due, But first help _Brothers_, _Sons_, and _Cousins_ too. He must read _Grotius_ upon War and Peace, And the twelve Judges Salary encrease. He must oblige old Friends and new Allies, And find out _Ways and Means_ for fresh _Supplies_. He must the Weavers Grievances redress, And Merchants wants in Merchants words express.

[40] Dramatick Poets that expect the Bays, Should cull our Histories for Party Plays; _Wickfort's Embassador_ should fill their head, And the _State-Tryals_ carefully be read: For what is _Dryden_'s Muse and _Otway_'s Plots To th' _Earl of Essex_ or the _Queen of Scots_?

[41] 'Tis said that _Queen Elizabeth_ could speak, At twelve years old, right _Attick_ full-mouth'd _Greek_; Hence was the Student forc'd at _Greek_ to drudge, If he would be a Bishop, or a Judge. Divines and Lawyers now don't think they thrive, 'Till promis'd places of men still alive: How old is such an one in such a Post? The answer is, he's seventy-five almost: Th' Arch-Bishop, and the Master of the Rolls? Neither is young, and one's as old as _Paul_'s. Will Men, that ask such Questions, publish books Like learned _Hooker_'s or _Chief Justice Cook_'s?

[42] On Tender Subjects with discretion touch, And never say too little, or too much. On Trivial Matters Flourishes are wrong, Motions for Candles never should be long: Or if you move, in case of sudden Rain, To shut the Windows, speak distinct and plain. Unless you talk good _English_ downright Sense, Can you be understood by Serjeant _Spence_?

[43] New Stories always should with Truth agree Or Truth's half-Sister, Probability: Scarce could _Toft_'s Rabbits and pretended throws On half the Honourable _House_ impose.

[44] When _Cato_ speaks, young _Shallow_ runs away, And swears it is so dull he cannot stay: When Rakes begin on Blasphemy to border, _Bromley_ and _Hanmer_ cry aloud---- _To Order_. The point is this, with manly Sense and ease T' inform the Judgment, and the Fancy please. Praise it deserves, nor difficult the thing, At once to serve one's Countrey and one's King. Such Speeches bring the wealthy _Tonson_'s gain,) From Age to Age they minuted remain,) As Precedents for George the twentieth's Reign.)

[45] Is there a Man on earth so perfect found, Who ne'er mistook a word in Sense or Sound? Not Blund'ring, but persisting is the fault; No mortal Sin is _Lapsus Linguæ_ thought: Clerks may mistake; consid'ring who 'tis from, I pardon little Slips in _Cler. Dom. Com._ But let me tell you I'll not take his part, If ev'ry _Thursday_ he date _Die Mart_. Of Sputt'ring mortals 'tis the fatal curse, By mending Blunders still to make 'em worse. Men sneer when---- gets a lucky Thought, And stare if _Wyndham_ should be nodding caught. But sleeping's what the wisest men may do, Should the Committee chance to sit 'till Two.

[46] Not unlike Paintings, Principles appear, Some best at distance, some when we are near. The love of Politicks so vulgar's grown, My Landlord's Party from his Sign is known: Mark of _French_ wine, see _Ormond_'s Head appear, While _Marlb'rough_'s Face directs to Beer and Beer: Some _Buchanan_'s, the _Pope_'s Head some like best, The _Devil Tavern_ is a standing jest.

[47] Whoe'er you are that have a Seat secure, Duly return'd, and from _Petition_ sure, Stick to your Friends in whatsoe'er you say; With strong aversion shun the Middle way: The Middle way the best we sometimes call, But 'tis in Politicks no way at all. A _Trimmer_'s what both Parties turn to sport, By Country hated, and despis'd at Court. Who would in earnest to a Party come, Must give his Vote, not whimsical, but plumb. There is no Medium: for the term in vogue On either side is, Honest Man, or Rogue. Can it be difficult our Minds to show, Where all the Difference is, Yes, or No?

[48] In all Professions, Time and Pains give Skill, Without hard Study, dare Physicians kill? Can he that ne'er read Statutes or Reports, Give Chamber-Counsel, or urge Law in Courts? But ev'ry Whipster knows Affairs of State, Nor fears on nicest Subjects to debate. A Knight of eighteen hundred pounds a year-- Who minds his Head, if his Estate be clear? Sure he may speak his mind, and tell the _House_, He matters not the Government a Louse. Lack-learning Knights, these things are safely said To Friends in private, at the _Bedford-Head_: But in the _House_, before your Tongue runs on, Consult _Sir James_, _Lord William_'s dead and gone. Words to recall is in no Member's power, One single word may send you to the _Tower_.

[49] The wrong'd to help, the lawless to restrain, Thrice ev'ry Year, in ancient _Egbert_'s Reign, The _Members_ to the _Mitchelgemot_ went, In after Ages call'd the _Parliament_; Early the _Mitchelgemot_ did begin T' enroll their Statutes, on a Parchment Skin: For impious Treason hence no room was left, For Murder, for Polygamy, or Theft: Since when the Senates power both Sexes know From Hops and Claret, Soap and Callico. Now wholesom Laws young Senators bring in 'Gainst _Goats_, _Attornies_, _Bribery_, and _Gin_. Since such the nature of the _British_ State, The power of _Parliament_ so old and great, Ye 'Squires and _Irish_ Lords, 'tis worth your care) To be return'd for City, Town, or Shire,) By Sheriff, Bailiff, Constable, or Mayor.)

[50] Some doubt, which to a Seat has best Pretence, A man of Substance, or a man of Sense: But never any Member feats will do, Without a Head-piece and a Pocket too; Sense is requir'd the depth of Things to reach, And Money gives Authority to Speech.

[51] A Man of Bus'ness won't 'till ev'ning dine; Abstains from Women, Company, and Wine: From _Fig_'s new Theatre he'll miss a Night, Tho' Cocks, and Bulls, and _Irish_ Women fight: Nor sultry Sun, nor storms of soaking Rain, The Man of Bus'ness from the _House_ detain: Nor speaks he for no reason but to say, I am a _Member_, and I spoke to day. I speak sometimes, you'll hear his Lordship cry, Because Some speak that have less Sense than I.

[52] The Man that has both Land and Money too May wonders in a Trading Borough do: They'll praise his Ven'son, and commend his Port,) Turn their two former Members into Sport,) And, if he likes it, Satyrize the Court.) But at a Feast 'tis difficult to know From real Friends an undiscover'd Foe; The man that swears he will the Poll secure, And pawns his Soul that your Election's sure, Suspect that man: beware, all is not right, He's, ten to one, a Corporation-Bite.

[53] Alderman _Pond_, a downright honest Man, Would say, I cannot help you, or I can: To spend your Money, Sir, is all a jest; Matters are settled, set your heart at rest: We've made a Compromise, and, Sir, you know, That sends one Member _High_, and t'other _Low_. But if his good Advice you would not take, He'd scorn your Supper, and your Punch forsake: Leave you of mighty Interest to brag, And poll two Voices like _Sir Robert Fag_.

[54] _Parliamenteering_ is a sort of Itch, That will too oft unwary Knights bewitch. Two good Estates Sir _Harry Clodpole_ spent; Sate thrice, but spoke not once, in Parliament: Two good Estates are gone--Who'll take his word? Oh! should his Uncle die, he'd spend a third: He'd buy a House, his happiness to crown, Within a mile of some good _Borough-Town_; Tag, Rag, and Bobtail to Sir _Harry_'s run, Men that have Votes, and Women that have none: Sons, Daughters, Grandsons, with his Honour dine; He keeps a Publick-House without a Sign. Coolers and Smiths extol th' ensuing Choice, And drunken Taylors boast their right of Voice. Dearly the free-born neighbourhood is bought, They never leave him while he's worth a groat: So Leeches stick, nor quit the bleeding wound, Till off they drop with Skinfuls to the ground.


[1] Humano capiti cervicem Pictor equinam Jungere si velit, & varias inducere plumas, Undiq; collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum Desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne: Spectatum admissi, risum teneatis, amici? Credite, Pisones, isti tabulæ fore librum Persimilem, cujus, velit ægri somnia, vanæ Fingentur species. Pictoribus atq; Poetis Quidlibet audendi semper fuit æqua potestas; Scimus, & hanc veniam petimusq; damusq; vicissim: Sed non ut placidis coeant immitia, non ut Serpentes avibus geminentur, tigribus agni.

[2] Incoeptis gravibus plerumq; & magna professis Purpureus late qui splendeat unus & alter Assuitur pannus, cum lucus & ara Dianæ, Aut properantis aquæ per amænos ambitus agros, Aut flumen Rhenum, aut pluvius describitur arcus; Sed nunc non erar his locus: & fortasse cupressum, Scis simulare, quid hoc, si fractis enatat exspes Navibus, ære dato qui pingitur? amphora cæpit Institui, currente rota cur urceus exit? Deniq; sit quidvis simplex duntaxat & unum.

[3] Decipimur specie recti; brevis esse laboro, Obscurus fio: sectantem lævia, nervi Deficiunt animique: professus grandia, turget. Qui variare cupit rem prodigialiter unam Delphinum sylvis appingit, fluctibus aprum. In vitium ducit culpæ fuga, si caret arte. Æmilium circa ludum faber imus & ungues Exprimet, & molles imitabitur ore capillos; Infelix operis summa, quia ponere totum Nesciet; hunc ego me, si quid componere curem, Non magis esse velim, quam pravo vivere naso Spectandum nigris oculis nigroq; capillo.

[4] Sumite materiam vestris, qui scribitis, æquam Viribus; & versate diu, quid ferre recusent, Quid valeant humeri: cui lecta potenter erit res, Nec facundia deseret hunc nec lucidus ordo. Ordinis hæc virtus erit & venus, aut ego fallor, Ut jam nunc dicat jam nunc debentia dici: Pleraq; differat, & præsens in tempus omittat. Dixeris egregie, notum si callida verbum Reddiderit junctura novum; si forte necesse est Indiciis monstrare recentibus abdita rerum Fingere cinctutis non exaudita Cethegis Continget, dabiturq; licentia sumpta pudenter Et nova sictaq; nuper habebunt verba fidem, si Græco fonte cadant.

[5] ---- licuit, semperque licebit Signatum præsente nota procudere nomen. Ut Sylvæ foliis pronos mutantur in annos: Prima cadunt, ita verborum vetus interit ætas, Debemur morti nos nostraq; sive receptus Terra Neptunus classes aquilonibus arcet, Regis opus, sterilisve diu palus aptaque remis Vicinas urbes alit & grave sentit aratrum. Seu cursum mutavit iniquum frugibus amnis Doctus iter melius; mortalia facta peribunt, Nedum sermonum stet honos & gratia vivax. Multa renascentur quæ jam cecidere, cadentq; Quæ nunc sunt in honore vocabula, si volet usus, Quem penes arbitrium est & jus norma loquendi.

[6] Res gestæ regumq; ducumq; & tristia bella Quo scribi possent numero, monstravit Homerus. Versibus impariter junctis querimonia primum, Post etiam voti inclusa est voti sententia compos. Quis tamen exiguos elegos emiserit auctor Grammatici certant, & adhuc sub judice lis est.

[7] Musa dedit fidibus Divos puerosq; Deorum, Et pugilem victorem, & equum certamine primum, Et juvenum curas, & libera vina referre.

[8] Descriptas servare vices operumq; colores Cur ego si nequeo ignoroq;, poeta salutor? Cur nescire pudens prave quam discere malo?

[9] Versibus exponi tragicis res comica nonvult Indignatur item privatis ac prope socco Dignis carminibus narrari cæna Thyestæ, Interdum tamen & vocem Comædia tollit, Iratusq; Chremes tumido delitigat ore. Telephus & Peleus, cum pauper & exul uterq;, Projicit ampullas & sesqui pedalia verba.

[10] Non fatis est est pulchra esse Poemata, dulcia sunto. Ut ridentibus arrident, ita flentibus adflent Humani vultus; si vis me flere, dolendum est Primum ipsi tibi: tunc tua me infortunia lædent Telephe, vel Peleu; male si mandata loqueris, Aut dormitabo aut ridebo.

[11] Format enim Natura prius nos intus ad omnem Fortunarum habitum, &c. Post effert animi motus interprete Lingua ---- tristia mæstum Vultum verba decent, &c. Si dicentis erunt fortunis absona dicta, Romani tollent equites peditesq; cachinnum.

[12] Intererit multum Divusne loquetur, an Heros: Mercatorne vagus, cultorne virentis agelli: Colchus, an Assyrius: Thebis nutritus, an Argis.

[13] Aut famam sequere, aut sibi convenientia finge Scriptor; honoratum si forte reponis Achillem, Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer, Jura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis; Sit Medea ferox invictaq;, flebilis Ino, Perfidus Ixion, Io vaga, tristis Orestes.

[14] Siquid inexpertum scenæ committis, & audes Personam formare novam, servetur ad imum Qualis ab incæpto processerit, & sibi constet.

[15] Difficile est proprie communia dicere: tuq; Rectius Iliacum carmen deducis in actus, Quam si proferres ignota indictaq; primus; Publica materies privati juris erit, si Nec circa vilem patulumq; moraberis orbem, Nec verbum verbo curabis reddere fidus Interpres, nec sic desilies imitator in arctum Unde pedem proferre pudor vetet aut operis lex.

[16] Nec sic incipies ut Scriptor Cyclicus olim. Fortunam Priami cantabo & nobile bellum; Quanto rectius hic qui nil molitur inepte, Dic mihi Musa virum captæ post tempera Trojæ Qui mores hominum multorum vidit & urbes.

[17] Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem Cogitat:

[18] Quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu? Parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.

[19] Nec reditum Diomedis ab interitu Meleagri, Nec gemino bellum Trojanum orditur ab ovo; ---- & quæ Desperat tractata nitescere posse, relinquit; Atq; ita mentitur, sic veris falsa remiscet Primo ne medium, medio ne discrepet imum.

[20] Tu quid ego & populus mecum desideret, audi; Si plausoris eges aulæa manentis, & usq; Sessuri donec cantor, Vos plaudite, dicat, Ætatis cujusq; notandi sunt tibi mores, Mobilibusq; decor naturis dandus & annis.

[21] Reddere qui voces jam scit puer, & pede certo Signat humum, gestit paribus colludere, & iram Colligit ac ponit temere, & mutantur in horas.

[22] Imberbis juvenis, tandem custode remoto, Gaudet equis canibusq; & aprici gramine campi: Cereus in vitium flecti, monitoribus asper, Utilium tardus provisor, prodigus æris, Sublimis, cupidusq; & amata relinquere pernix.

[23] Conversis studiis ætas animusq; virilis Quærit opes & amicitias, infervit honori, Commisisse cavet quod mox mutare laboret.

[24] Multa senem circum veniunt incommoda, vel quod Quærit & inventis miser abstinet ac timet uti: Dilator, spe longus iners, avidusq; futuri, Difficilis, querulus, laudator temporis acti Se puero, censor castigatorq; minorum. Multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum, Multa recedentes adimunt; ne forte viriles Mandentur juveni partes, pueroq; viriles, Semper in adjunctis ævoq; morabimur aptis.

[25] Aut agitur res in Scenis, aut acta refertur; Segnius irritant aminos demissa per aures, Quam quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, & quæ Ipse sibit tradit Spectator. Quodcunq; ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi.

[26] Neve minor, neu sit quinto productior actu Fabula, quæ posci vult & spectata reponi; Nec Deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus Inciderit, nec quarta loqui persona laboret.

[27] Actoris partes Chorus officiumq; virile Defendat: neu quid medios intercinat actus Quod non proposito conducat & hæreat apte; Ille bonis faveatq; & concilietur amicis, Et regat iratos, & amet peccare timentes: Ille dapes laudet mensæ brevis, ille salubrem Justitiam, legesq; & apertis otia portis; Ille tegat commissa, Deosq; precetur & oret Ut redeat miseris, abeat fortuna superbis.

[28] Tibia non, ut nunc, Orichalco vincta, tubæq; Æmula, sed tenuis simplexq; foramine pauco, Aspirare & adesse choris erat utilis, &c. Postquam coepit agros extendere victor, & urbem Latior amplecti, muros, &c. Accessit numerisq; modisq; licentia major; Sic etiam fidibus voces crevere severis, Et tulit eloquium insolitum facundia præceps: Utiliumq; sagax rerum & divina futuri Sortilegis non discrepuit sententia Delphis.

[29] Carmine qui tragico vilem certavit ob hircum Incolumi gravitate jocum tentavit, eo quod Illecebris erat & grata novitate morandus Spectator, functusq; sacris, & potus, & exlex.

[30] Effutire leves indigna Tragoedia versus, Ut festis matrona moveri jussa diebus, Intererit Satyris paulum pudibunda protervis.

[31] Non ego inornata & dominantia nomina solum Verbaq; Pisones, Satyrorum scriptor amabo; Nec sic enitar Tragico differre colori Ut nihil intersit Davusne loquatur, an audax Pythias, emuncto lucrata Simone talentum: An custos famulusque Dei Silenus alumni,

[32] Ut sibi quivis Speret idem, sudet multum frustraq; laboret.

[33] Ne nimium teneris juvenentur versibus unquam, Aut immunda crepent ignominiosaq; dicta: Offenduntur enim, quibus est equus & pater & res, Nec si quid fricti ciceris probat & nucis emtor Æquis accipiunt animis, donantve coronâ.

[34] At nostri proavi Plautinos & numeros & Laudavere sales, nimium patienter utrumq; Ne dicam stultè, mirati; si modo ego & vos Scimus inurbanum lepido seponere dictum, Legitimumq; sonum digitis callemus & aure.

[35] Ignotum Tragicæ genus invenisse Camænæ Dicitur, & plaustris vexisse poëmata Thespis, Quæ canerent agerentq; peruncti fæcibus ora; Post hunc personæ pallæq; repertor honestæ Æichylus & modicis instravit pulpita tignis, Et docuit magnumq; loqui nitiq; cothurno. Successit vetus his Comædia non sine multa Laude: sed in vitium libertas excidit, & vim Dignam lege regi; lex est accepta, chorusq; Turpiter obticuit sublato jure nocendi.

[36] Nil intentatum nostri liquere Poetæ, Nec minimum meruere decus vestigia Græca Ausi deserere, & celebrare domestica facta: Nee virtute foret clarisve potentius armis, Quam lingua, Latium, si non offenderet unum Quemq; Poetarum limæ labor & mora.

[37] Ingenium miserâ quia fortunatius arte Credit, & excludit sanos Helicone Poetas Democritus, bona pars non unguem ponere curat, Non barbam---- Nanciscetur enim pretium nomenq; Poetæ Si tribus Anticyris caput insanabile nunquam Tonsori Licino commiserit;

[38] ---- O ego lævus Qui purgor bilem sub verni temporis horam: Non alius faceret meliora poemata, verum Nil tanti est: ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum Reddere quæ ferrum valet exors ipse secandi; Munus & officium, nil scribens ipse, docebo: Unde parentur opes, quid alat formetq; Poetam: Quid deceat, quid non: quo virtus, quo ferat error.

[39] Scribendi recte sapere est & principium & fons: Rem tibi Socraticæ poterunt ostendere chartæ, Verbaq; provisam rem non invita sequuntur. Qui didicit patriæ quid debeat, & quid amicis, Quo sit amore parens, quo frater amandus, & hospes, Quod sit conscripti, quod judicis officium, quæ Partes in bellum missi ducis, ille profecto Reddere personæ scit convenientia cuiq;.

[40] Respicere exemplar vitæ morumq; jubebo Doctum imitatorem, & veras hinc ducere voces; Fabula nullius veneris, sine pondere & arte, Valdius oblectat populum meliusq; moratur, Quam versus inopes rerum nugæq; canoræ.

[41] Graiis ingenium, Graiis dedit ore rotundo Musa loqui, &c. Romani pueri longis rationibus assem Discunt in partes centum diducere; dicat Filius urbani, si de quincunce remota est Uncia, quid superest? poteris dixisse, triens, eu Rem poteris servare tuam. ---- redit uncia, quid sit? Semis; at hæc animos ærugo & cura peculi Cum semel imbuerit, speramus carmina fingi Posse linenda cedro & lævi servando cupresso?

[42] Quicquid præcipies, esto brevis, ut cito dicta Percipiant animi dociles, teneantq; fideles; Omne supervacuum pleno de pectore manat.

[43] Ficta voluptatis causa sint proxima veris: Nec quodcunq; volet poscat sibi fabula credi, Neu pransæ Lamiæ vivum puerum extrabat alvo.

[44] Centuriæ Seniorum agitant expertia frugis: Celsi prætereunt austera poemata Rhamnes. Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci, Lectorem delectando, pariterq; monendo; Hic meret æra liber Sofiis, hic & mare transit, Et longum noto Scriptori prorogat ævium.

[45] Sunt delicta tamen, quibus ignovisse velimus; Non semper feriet quodcunq; minabitur arcus: Verum ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis Offendar maculis, quas aut incuria sudit, Aut humana parum cavit natura: quid ergo? Ut scriptor si peccat idem librarius usq;, Quamvis est monitus, veniâ caret: ut citharædus Ridetur, chordâ qui semper oberrat eidem: Sic mihi qui multum cessat fit Chærilus ille, Quem bis terq; bonum cum risu mirror, & idem Indignor quandoq; bonus dormitat Homerus; Verum opere in longo fas est obrepere somnum.

[46] Ut Pictura Poësis erit, quæ si propius stes Te capiet magis & quædam, si longius abstes; Hæc amet obscurum, volet hæc sub luce videri; Hæc placuit semel, hæc decies repetita placebit.

[47] O major juvenum ---- hoc tibi dictum Tolle memor, certis medium & tolerabile rebus Rectè concedi;---- ---- Mediocribus esse Poëtis Non homines, non Dii, non concessere columnæ Sic, animis natum inventumq; Poema juvandis, Si paulum a summo discessit, vergit ad imum.

[48] Ludere qui nescit, campestribus abstinet armis: Indoctusq; pilæ, discive, trochive, quiescit, Ne spissæ risum tollant impune coronæ; Qui nescit, versus tamen audet fingere. ---- ---- quidni? Liber, & ingenuus, præsertim census equestrem Summam nummorum, vitioq; remotus ab omni. Membranis intus positis, delere licebit Quod non edideris: nescit vox missa reverti.

[49]Sylvestres homines facer interpresq; Deorum Cædibus & victu fædo deterruit Orpheus, ---- Fuit hæc sapientia quondam Publica privatis secernere, sacra profanis: Concubitu prohibere vago, dare jura maritis: Oppida moliri, leges incidere ligno. ---- Dictæ per carmina sortes Et vitæ monstrata via est, & gratia regum Pieriis tentata modis: ludusq; repertus, Et longorum operum finis. ---- ne forte pudori Sit tibi Musa lyræ solers & cantor Apollo.

[50] Naturâ fieret laudabile carmen, an arte, Quæsitum est; Ego nec studium sine divite venâ, Nec rude quid profit video ingenium; alterius sic Altera poscit opem res & conjurat amicè.

[51] Qui studet optatam cursu contingere metam, Multa tulit fecitq; puer; sudavit & alsit, Abstinuit vener & vino, Nunc fatis est dixisse, Ego mira poemata pango: Occupet extremum scabies, mihi turpe relinqui est, Et quod non didici sane nescire fateri.

[52] Assentatores jubet ad lucrum ire Poeta Dives agris, dives positis in fænore nummis; Si vero est unctum qui rectè ponere possit Et spondere levi pro paupere, & eripere arctis Litribus implicitum, mirabor, si sciet inter Noscere mendacem verumq; beatus amicum. Tu seu donaris, seu quid donare velis cui, Noilto ad versus tibi factos ducere plenum Lætitiæ: clamabit enim, pulchre, bene, recte. ---- si carmina condes, Nunquam te fallant animi sub vulpe latentes

[53] Quintilio siquid recitares, corrige sodes Hoc aiebat & hoc: melius te posse negares Bis terque expertum frustra, delere jubelat. Si defendere delictum, quam vertere, malles, Nullum ultra verbum aut operam insumebat inanem, Quin sine rivali teque & tua solus amares.

[54] Ut mala quem scabies aut morbus regius urget, ---- dicam Siculiq; poetæ Narrabo interium ---- Nec semel hoc fecit, nec si retractus erit, jam Fiet homo, aut ponet famosæ mortis amorem. Indoctum doctumque fugat recitator acerbus: Quem vero arripuit, tenet occiditq; legendo; Non missura cutem, nisi plena cruoris, hirudo.