A Familiar Epistle

O H , *******, of gay Booksellers the pink,
I love and bless thee for thy pen and ink;
In which the Muse invention can supply,
To make the Customer a Volume buy;
Then, as the Law-suit pants for its career,
To whisper " Pity " in the Victim's ear;
Or, laughing at the Cabinet's interior,
Add, with high spirit, " thou art my superior."
My Oracles, it seems, were inexplicit;
But I 'll improve them on a second visit .
Will state that all request shall be an order —
If thou in writing art the word's recorder.
That what I ask for half an hour t' inspect,
Are bought and sold, correct or incorrect,
That, when Solanum is the word implor'd,
Words down to H . the substitute afford;
That half a Dictionary is enough,
To make its fragments marketable stuff;
That, if the Volumes once are inmates here,
They are domestic as the Wine and Beer;
That, if I send them from the parlour door,
My title of a Gentleman 's no more.
That oil and vinegar have chang'd their cruet,
If he should call me names, or seem to do it.
That ******* is genteel, though in a passion,
And polishes abuse with courtly fashion;
That keen his lashes cut with Stanhope's wit,
And that for Stanhope's Graces he could sit.
But how shall verse the Man of Law requite,
Who taught thee how to laugh, and wave the right?
Convincing thee, whatever Law could say
On me was ammunition thrown away;
And prov'd — convulsing thee with peals of laughter,
That I had no conception of hereafter;
Gave thee a picture, for all spleen a cure,
That rage into derision could allure.
May *******, richest of the rich Attorneys,
Prolific in attendances and journeys!
When thou shalt make the Parliament a jest,
With ******* and Co. a Senator confess'd.
Nor ever, in thy new but prouder craft,
Mistake a whisper — for a legal draft.
The Millar and the Postlethwaite are thine,
Peace — and Contempt's gay privilege — are mine.
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