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Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er cnjoys:
So well-bred spaniels civilly delight
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,
As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.
Whether in florid impotence he speaks,
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks;
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad,
} Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad,
: In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,
Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies.
His wit all see-saw, between that and this,
Now high, now low, now master up, now miss,
And he himself one vile Antithesis.
Amphibious thing! that, acting either part,
The trifling head! or the corrupted heart,
Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board,
Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have exprest,
A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest.
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust,
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
Not Fortune's worshipper, nor Fashion's soo),
Not Lucre's madman, nor Ambition's tool,
Not proud, nor servile; be one poet's praise,
That, if he pleas'd, he pleas'd by manly ways:
That flattery, ev'n to kings, he held a shame,
And thought a lie in verse or prose the same;
That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long,
But stoop'd to Truth, and moraliz'd his song:
That not for fame, but Virtue's better end,
He stood the furious foe, the timid friend,
The damning critic, half-approving wit,
The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit;
Laugh’d at the loss of friends he never had,
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad;
The distant threats of vengeance on his head,
The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed; -
The tale reviv'd, the lie so oft o'erthrown,
Th' imputed trash, and dulness not his own ;
The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape,
The libell'd person and the pictur'd shape;
Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father dead;
The whisper, that, to greatness still too near,
Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear-
Welcome for thee, fair Virtue ! all the past:
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the last !
A. But why insult the poor, affront the great?
P. A knave's a knave, to me, in every state :
Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail,
Sporus at court, or Japhet in a gaol;
To some a dry rehearsal was assign'd,
And others (harder still) he paid in kind.
Dryden alone (what wonder 2) came not nigh,
Dryden alone escap'd this judging eye:
But still the great have kindness in reserve,
He help'd to bury whom he help'd to starve.
May ". fols patron bless each grey goose-
May every Bavius have his Bufo still
So when a statesman wants a day's defence,
Or envy holds a whole week's war with sense,
Or simple pride for flattery makes demands,
May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands!
Blest be the great! for those they take away,
And those they left me; for they left me Gay:
Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb:
Of all thy blameless life the sole return
My verse, and Queensberry weeping o'er thy urn?
Oh let me live my own, and die so too!
(To live and die is all I have to do :)
Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,
And see what friends, and read what books I please:
Above a patron, though I condescend
Sometimes to call a minister my friend.
I was not born for courts or great affairs:
I pay my debts, believe, and say my prayers;
Can sleep without a poem in my head,
Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead.
Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light?
Heavens! was I born for nothing but to write?
Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave)
Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save?
“I found him close with Swift–Indeed? no doubt
(Cries prating Balbus) something will come out.”
'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will,
“No, such a genius never can lie still;”
And then for mine obligingly mistakes
The first lampoon Sir Will or Bubo makes.
Poor, guiltless Is and can I choose but smile,
When every coxcomb knows me by my style?
Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear !
But he who hurts a harmless neighbour's peace,
Insults fall'n worth, or beauty in distress,
Who loves a lie, lame slander helps about,
Who writes a libel, or who copies out:
That fop, whose pride affects a patron's name,
Yet absent, wounds an author's honest fame:
Who can your merit selfishly approve,
And show the sense of it without the love; |
Who has the vanity to call you friend,
Yet wants the honour, injur'd, to defend;
Who tells whate'er you think, whate'er you say,
And, if he lie not, must at least betray :
Who to the dean and silver bell can swear,
And sees at Cannons what was never there;
Who reads but with a lust to misapply,
Make satire a lampoon, and fiction lie;
A lash like mine no honest man shall dread, |
But all such babbling blockheads in his stead. l
Let Sporus tremble-A. What? that thing of silk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
Satire of sense, alas ! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?
P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stings;
A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer,
Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire;
If on a pillory, or near a throne,
He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit,
Sappho can tell you how this man was bit:
This dreaded sat’rist Dennis will confess
Foe to his pride but friend to his distress:
So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald’s door.
Hasdrunk with Cibber, nay, has rhym'd for Moor,
Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply 2
Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie.
To please his mistress one aspers'd his life;
He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife:
Let Budgell charge low Grub-street on his quill,
And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his will;
Let the two Curlls of town and court, abuse
His father, mother, body, soul, and Muse.
Yet why? that father held it for a rule,
It was a sin to call our neighbour fool:
That harmless mother thought no wife a whore:
Hear this and spare his family, James Moore;
Unspotted names, and memorable long;
If there be force in virtue, or in song.
Of gentle blood (part shed in Honour's cause,
While yet in Britain Honour had applause)
Each parent sprung — A. What fortune, pray?—
P. Their own,
And better got, than Bestia's from the throne.
Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,
Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
Stranger to civil and religious rage,
The good man walk'd innoxious through his age.
No courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie.
Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art,
No language, but the language of the heart.
By nature honest, by experience wise;
Healthy by temperance, and by exercise;
His life, though long, to sickness past unknown,
His death was instant, and without a groan.
0 grant me thus to live, and thus to die!
Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.
O friend may each domestic bliss be thine !
Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:
Me, let the tender office long engage,
To rock the cradle of reposing age,
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death,
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep awhile one parent from the sky!
On cares like these if length of days attend,
May Heaven, to bless those days, preserve my friend,
Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
And just as rich as when he serv'd a queen!
4. Whether that blessings be deny'd or given,
Thus far was right, the rest belongs to Heaven.
MESSIAH. A sacarp Eclogur, IN IMrration of virgil's rollio.
Yr nymphs of Solyma! begin the song: To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong. The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades, The dreams of Pindus and th’Aonian maids, Delight no more – O thou my voice inspire Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire! Rapt into future times, the bard begun : A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son! From Jesse's root behold a branch arise, Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies: Th’ aethereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move, And on its top descends the mystic Dove. Ye Heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour, And in soft silence shed the kindly shower The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid, From storm a shelter, and from heat a shade. All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds shall fail; Returning Justice lift aloft her scale; Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, And white-rob'd Innocence from Heaven descend. Swift fly the years, and rise th' expected morn! Oh spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born 1
See, Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears!
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.
Lo, Earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains ! and ye valleys, rise!
With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay
Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold:
Hear him, ye deafs and all ye blind, behold
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day:
'Tis he th' obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear,
From every face he wipes off every tear.
In adamantine chains shall Death be bound,
And Hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air;
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects;
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms:
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promis'd father of the future age.
No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more;
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a plow-share end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son
Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'd, shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise;
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods.
Waste sandy valleys, once perplex'd with thorn,
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn :
To leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed,
And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed.
The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead,
And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead :
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet.
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilisk and speckled snake,
Pleas'd, the green lustre of the scales survey,
And with their forky tongue shall innocently play.
Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise!
Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes!
See a long race thy spacious courts adorn;
See future sons, and daughters yet unborn,
In crowding ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies!
See barbarous nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, * thy temple bend!
See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,
And heap'd with products of Sabean springs
For thee Idumé's spicy forests blow,
And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow.
See Heaven its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a flood of day !
No more the rising Sun shall gild the morn,
Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;
But lost, dissolv'd in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
O'erflow thy courts: the Light himself shall shine
Reveal’d, and God's eternal day be thine!
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away !
But fix'd his word, his saving power remains;
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns!
ELEGY To Thr Mr.Morty of An unfortunate LADY.
What beckoning ghost, along the moon-light shade,
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade?
'Tis she' — but why that bleeding bosom gor'd,
Why dimly gleams the visionary sword?
Oh, ever beauteous, ever friendly tell,
Is it, in Heaven, a crime to love too well?
To bear too tender, or too firm a heart,
To act a lover's or a Roman's part?
Is there no bright reversion in the sky,
For those who greatly think, or bravely die?
Why bade ye else, ye powers! her soul aspire
Above the vulgar flight of low desire?
Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes;
The glorious fault of angels and of gods:
Thence to their images on Earth it flows,
And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows.
Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
Dull sullen prisoners in the body's cage:
Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years,
Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres;
Like eastern kings a lazy state they keep,
And, close confin'd to their own palace, sleep.
From these perhaps (ere Nature bade her die)
Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky.
As into air the purer spirits flow,
And separate from their kindred dregs below;
So flew the soul to its congenial place,
Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.
But thou, false guardian of a charge too good,
Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood:
See on these ruby lips the trembling breath,
These cheeks now fading at the blast of Death;
Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before,
And those love-darting eyes must roll no more.
Thus, if eternal Justice rules the ball,
Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall:
On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,
And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates;
There passengers shall stand, and pointing say,
(While the long funerals blacken all the way.)
“Lo! these were they, whose souls the Furies steel'd,
And curst with hearts unknowing how to yield.”
Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day !
So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow,
For others' good, or melt at others' woe.
__What can atone, oh, ever-injur'd shade!
Thy fate unpity'd, and thy rites unpaid 2
No friend's complaint, no kind'domestic tear
Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or grac'd thy mournful bier;
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd;
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,
By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd?
What though no friends in sable weeds appear,
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year,
And bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances, and the public show?
What though no weeping Loves thy ashes grace,
Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face 2
What though no sacred earth allow thee room,
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb?
Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be dress'd,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast:
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
There the first roses of the year shall blow;
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground now sacred by thy reliques made.
So, peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame.
How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot;
A heap of dust alone remains of thee,
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be
Poets themselves must fall, like those they sung,
Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue.
Ev’n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays,
Shall shortly want the generous tear he pays;
Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part,
And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart;
Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er,
The Muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more!
The first Part (to verse 132.) imitated in the Year 1714, by Dr. Swift; the latter Part added oflerwards.
I've often wish'd that I had clear
For life, six hundred pounds a year,
A handsome house to lodge a friend,
A river at my garden's end,
A terrace-walk, and half a rood
Of land, set out to plant a wood.
Well, now I have all this and more,
I ask not to increase my store;
“But here a grievance seems to lie,
All this is mine but till I die;
I can't but think 'twould sound more clever
To me and to my heirs for ever.
“If I ne'er got or lost a groat,
By any trick, or any fault;
And if I pray by Reason's rules,
And not like forty other fools:
As thus, “Vouchsafe, oh gracious Maker :
To grant me this and t'other acre:
Or, if it be thy will and pleasure,
Direct my plow to find a treasure:”
But only what my station fits,
And to be kept in my right wits,
Preserve, Almighty Providence!
Just what you gave me, competence:
And let me in these shades compose
Something in verse as true as prose;
Remov'd from all th’ ambitious scene,
Nor puff"d by pride, nor sunk by spleen."
In short, I'm perfectly content, Let me but live on this side Trent; Nor cross the Channel twice a year, To spend six months with statesmen here. I must by all means come to town, 'Tis for the service of the crown. “Lewis, the Dean will be of use, Send for him up, take no excuse.” The toil, the danger of the seas; Great ministers ne'er think of these; Or let it cost five hundred pound, No matter where the money's found. It is but so much more in debt, And that they ne'er consider'd yet. “Good Mr. Dean, go change your gown, Let my lord know you're come to town.” I hurry me in haste away, Not thinking it is levee-day; And find his honour in a pound, Hemm'd by a triple circle round, Chequer'd with ribbons blue and green : How should I thrust myself between 2 Some wag observes me thus perplext, And smiling whispers to the next, “I thought the Dean had been too proud, To justle here among a crowd.” Another, in a surly fit, Tells me I have more zeal than wit, “So eager to express your love, You ne'er consider whom you shove, But rudely press before a duke.” I own, I'm pleas'd with this rebuke, And take it kindly meant to show What I desire the world should know. I get a whisper, and withdraw: When twenty fools I never saw Come with petitions fairly penn'd, Desiring I would stand their friend. This, humbly offers me his case — That, begs my int’rest for a place— A hundred other men's affairs, Like bees, are humming in my ears. “To-morrow my appeal comes on, Without your help the cause is gone.”— The duke expects my lord and you, About some great affair, at two — “Put my lord Bolingbroke in mind, To get my warrant quickly signed : Consider 'tis my first request.”— Be satisfy'd, I'll do my best: — Then presently he falls to tease, “You may for certain, if you please; I doubt not, if his lordship knew – And, Mr. Dean, one word from you —” 'Tis (let me see) three years and more, (October next it will be four,) Since Harley bid me first attend, And chose me for an humble friend; Would take me in his coach to chat, And question me of this and that; As, “What's o'clock?” And, “How's the wind?” “Who's chariot's that we left behind?” Or gravely try to read the lines Writ underneath the country signs; Qr, “Have you nothing new to-day From Pope, from Parnell, or from Gay?” Such tattle often entertains My lord and me as far as Staines, As once a week we travel down To Windsor, and again to town,
Where all that passes, inter nos, Might be proclaim'd at Charing-Cross. Yet some I know with envy swell, Because they see me us’d so well : “How think you of our friend the Dean? I wonder what some people mean ; My lord and he are grown so great, Always together, téte-à-téte. What, they admire him for his jokes– See but the fortune of some folks!” There flies about a strange report Of some express arriv'd at court; I'm stopt by all the fools I meet, And catechis'd in every street. “You, Mr. Dean, frequent the great; Inform us, will the emp'ror treat? Or do the prints and papers lie?” Faith, Sir, you know as much as I. “Ah, doctor, how you love to jest! 'Tis now no secret” – I protest 'Tis one to me—“Then tell us, pray, When are the troops to have their pay?” And, tho' I solemnly declare I know no more than my lord-mayor, They stand amaz'd, and think me grown The closest mortal ever known. Thus in a sea of folly toss'd, My choicest hours of life are lost; Yet always wishing to retreat, Oh, could I see my country seats There, leaning near a gentle brook, Sleep, or peruse some ancient book, And there in sweet oblivion drown Those cares that haunt the court and town. O charming noons! and nights divine! Or when I sup, or when I dine, My friends above, my folks below, Chatting and laughing all-a-row, The beans and bacon set before 'em, The grace-cup serv'd with all decorum: Each willing to be pleas'd, and please, And even the very dogs at ease ! Here no man prates of idle things, How this or that Italian sings, A neighbour's madness, or his spouse's, Or what 's in either of the houses: But something much more our concern, And quite a scandal not to learn : Which is the happier, or the wiser, A man of merit, or a miser? Whether we ought to choose our friends, For their own worth, or our own ends? What good, or better, we may call, And what, the very best of all ? Our friend Dan Prior told (you know) A tale extremely d propos : Name a town life, and in a trice He had a story of two mice. Once on a time (so runs the fable) A country mouse, right hospitable, Receiv'd a town mouse at his board, Just as a farmer might a lord. A frugal mouse upon the whole, Yet lov'd his friend, and had a soul, Knew what was handsome, and would do 't, On just occasion, cosite qui costle. He brought him bacon (nothing lean); Pudding, that might have pleas'd a dean; Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make, But wish'd it Stilton for his sake;
Yet, to his guest though no way sparing, He eat himself the rind and paring. Our courtier scarce could touch a bit, But show'd his breeding and his wit; He did his best to seem to eat, And cry'd, “I vow you 're mighty neat, But Lord, my friend, this savage scene ! For God's sake, come, and live with men: Consider, mice, like men, must die, Both small and great, both you and I: Then spend your life in joy and sport; (This doctrine, friend, I learnt at court.") The veriest hermit in the nation May yield, God knows, to strong temptation. Away they come, through thick and thin, To a tall house near Lincoln’s-inn : ('Twas on the night of a debate, When all their lordships had sate late.) Behold the place, where if a poet Shin'd in description, he might show it; Tell how the moon-beam trembling falls, And tips with silver all the walls; Palladian walls, Venetian doors, Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors: But let it (in a word) be said, The Moon was up, and men a-bed, The napkins white, the carpet red : The guests withdrawn had left the treat, And down the mice sate, téte-à-téte. Our courtier walks from dish to dish, Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish; Tells all their names, lays down the law, “Que ga est bon / Ah goûte: ;a / That jelly's rich, this malmsey healing, Pray dip your whiskers and your tail in.” Was ever such a happy swain! He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again. “I’m quite asham'd-'tis mighty rude To eat so much — but all 's so good. I have a thousand thanks to give— My lord alone knows how to live.” No sooner said, but from the hall Rush chaplain, butler, dogs, and all: “A rat! a rat' clap to the door”— The cat comes bouncing on the floor. O for the heart of Homer's mice, Or gods to save them in a trice! (It was by Providence they think, For your damn'd stucco has no chink.) “An't please your honour,” quoth the peasant, “This same dessert is not so pleasant: Give me again my hollow tree, A crust of bread, and liberty 1"
ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD AND EARL MORTIMER.
Sent to the Earl of Orford, with Dr. Parnell's Porn, published by our Author, after the said Earl's imprisonment in the Tower, and Retreat into the Country, in the Year 1721. Such were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung, Till Death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue. Oh just beheld, and lost! admir'd, and mourn'd With softest manners, gentlest arts adorn'd : Blest in each science, blest in every strain Dear to the Muse ! to Harley dear – in vain! For him, thou oft hast bid the world attend, Fond to forget the statesman in the friend; For Swift and him, despis'd the farce of state, The sober follies of the wise and great; Dextrous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit, And pleas'd to 'scape from flattery to wit. Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear, (A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear,) Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days, Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays, Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate; Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great; Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call, Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall. And sure, if aught below the seats divine Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine : A soul supreme, in each hard instance try’d, Above all pain, and passion, and all pride, The rage of power, the blast of public breath, The lust of lucre, and the dread of Death. In vain to deserts thy retreat is made; The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade: 'Tis hers, the brave man's latest steps to trace, Re-judge his acts, and dignify disgrace. When interest calls off all her sneaking train, And all th’ oblig'd desert, and all the vain; She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell, When the last lingering friend has bid farewell. Ev’n now she shades thy evening-walk with bays (No hireling she, no prostitute to praise); Ev’n now, observant of the parting ray, Eyes the calm sun-set of thy various day, Through Fortune's cloud one truly great can see Nor fears to tell, that Mortimer is he.