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is recommended to the public, were written by your lordship. To be so distinguished, is an honour, which, being very little accustomed to favours from the great, I know not well how to receive, or in what terms to acknowledge.
When, upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your lordship, I was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment of your address, and could not forbear to wish that I might obtain that regard for which I saw the world contending : but I found my attendance so little encouraged, that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to continue it. When I had once addressed your lordship in public, I had exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly scholar can possess. I had done all that I could : and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.
Seven years, my lord, have now past, since I waited in your outward rooms, or was repulsed from your door; during which time I have been pushing on my work through difficulties, of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it, at last, to the
of publication, without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favour. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never had a patron before.
The shepherd in Virgil grew at last acquainted with Love, and found him a native of the rocks.
Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with
help? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind ; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received, or to be unwilling that the public should consider me as owing that to a patron, which Providence has enabled me to do for myself.
Having carried on my work thus far with so little obligation to any favourer of learning, I shall not be disappointed though I should conclude it, if less be possible, with less ; for I have been long wakened from that dream of hope, in which I once boasted myself with so much exultation.
THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES.
Let observation with extensive view
As treacherous phantoms in the mist delude,
Let history tell, where rival kings command,
The needy traveller, serene and gay,
Does envy seize thee? Crush the upbraiding joy,
Yet still one general cry the skies assails,
Once more, Democritus, arise on earth, With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth, See motley life in modern trappings dressed, And feed with varied fools the eternal jest. Thou who couldst laugh where want enchained caprice, Toil crushed conceit, and man was of a piece ; Where wealth unloved without a mourner died ; And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride; Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate, Or seen a new-made mayor's unwieldy state; Where change of favourites made no change of laws, And senates heard before they judged a cause ; How wouldst thou shake at Briton's modish tribe, Dart the quick taunt, and edge the piercing gibe ! Attentive truth and nature to descry, And pierce each scene with philosophic eye. To thee were solemn toys or empty show The robes of pleasure and the veils of woe; All aid the farce, and all thy mirth maintain, Whose joys are causeless, or whose griefs are vain.
Such was the scorn that filled the sage's mind,
Unnumbered suppliants crowd Preferment's gate
attend : Hate dogs their flight, and insult mocks their end ; Love ends with hope: the sinking statesman's door Pours in the morning worshipper no more ; For growing names the weekly scribbler lies, To growing wealth the dedicator flies; From every room descends the painted face, That hung the bright palladium of the place, And smoked in kitchens, or in auction sold, To better features yields the frame of gold; For now no more we trace in every line Heroic worth, benevolence divine; The form distorted justifies the fall, And detestation rids the indignant wall.
But will not Britain hear the last appeal Sign her foes' doom, or guard her favourites' zeal ? Through Freedom's sons no more remonstrance rings Degrading nobles, and controlling kings; Our supple tribes repress their patriot throats, And ask no questions but the price of votes ; With weekly libels and septennial ale, Their wish is full to riot and to rail.