By the Author.


Enter Serjeant-at-law, and Attorney following, and giving a paper.

Serj. What’s here!—a vile cramp hand! I cannot see
Without my spectacles.

Att. He means his fee.
Nay, Mr. Serjeant, good sir, try again.

[Gives money.

Serj. The scrawl improves! [more] O come, ’tis pretty plain.
Hey! how’s this? Dibble!—sure it cannot be!
A poet’s brief! a poet and a fee!

Att. Yes, sir! though you without reward, I know,
Would gladly plead the Muse’s cause.

Serj. So!—so!

Att. And if the fee offends your wrath should fall
On me.

Serj. Dear Dibble, no offence at all.

Att. Some sons of Phœbus in the courts we meet,

Serj. And fifty sons of Phœbus in the Fleet!

Att. Nor pleads he worse, who with a decent sprig
Of bays adorns his legal waste of wig.

Serj. Full-bottomed heroes thus, on signs, unfurl
A leaf of laurel in a grove of curl!
Yet tell your client, that, in adverse days,
This wig is warmer than a bush of bays.

Att. Do you, then, sir, my client’s place supply,
Profuse of robe, and prodigal of tie—
Do you, with all those blushing powers of face,
And wonted bashful hesitating grace,
Rise in the court and flourish on the case.


Serj. For practice then suppose—this brief will show it,—
Me, Serjeant Woodward,—counsel for the poet.
Used to the ground, I know ’tis hard to deal
With this dread court, from whence there’s no appeal;
No tricking here, to blunt the edge of law,
Or, damn’d in equity, escape by flaw:
But judgment given, your sentence must remain;
No writ of error lies—to Drury Lane!

    Yet when so kind you seem, ’tis past dispute
We gain some favour, if not costs of suit.
No spleen is here! I see no hoarded fury;—
I think I never faced a milder jury!
Sad else our plight! where frowns are transportation,
A hiss the gallows, and a groan damnation!
But such the public candour, without fear
My client waives all right of challenge here.
No newsman from our session is dismiss’d,
Nor wit nor critic we scratch off the list;
His faults can never hurt another’s ease,
His crime, at worst, a bad attempt to please:
Thus, all respecting, he appeals to all,
And by the general voice will stand or fall.


By the Author


Granted our cause, our suit and trial o’er,
The worthy serjeant need appear no more:
In pleasing I a different client choose,
He served the Poet—I would serve the Muse.
Like him, I’ll try to merit your applause,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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