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Whose place is quarter'd out three parts in four,
And whether to a bishop or a whore:
Who having lost his credit, pawn'd his rent,
Is therefore fit to have a governinent:
Who in the secret deals in stocks secure,
And cheats th' unknowing widow and the poor:
Who makes a trust of charity a job,
And gets an act of parliament to rob:
Why turnpikes rise, and now no cit nor clown
Can gratis see the country or the town:
Shortly no lad shall chuck, or lady vole,
But some excising courtier will have toll:
He tells what strumpet places sells for life,
What 'squire his lands, what citizen his wife:
At last (which proves him wiser still than all)
What lady's face is not a whited wall.
As one of Woodward's patients, sick and sore, I puke, I nauseate-yet he thrusts in more; Trims Europe's balance, tops the statesman's part, And talks gazettes and postboys o'er by heart. Like a big wife at sight of loathsome meat, Ready to cast, I yawn, I sigh, and sweat. Then as a licens'd spy, whom nothing can Silence or hurt, he libels the great man; Swears ev'ry place entail'd for years to come In sure succession to the day of doom : He names the price for every office paid, And says our wars thrive ill because delay'd: Nay hints 'tis by connivance of the court That Spain robs on, and Dunkirk's still a port. Not more amazement seiz'd on Circe's guests, To see themselves fall endlong into beasts, Than mine, to find a subject stay'd and wise, Already half-turn'd traitor by surprise. I felt th' infection slide from him to me, As in the p-x some give it to get free; And quick to swallow me, methought I saw One of our giant statues ope its jaw. In that nice moment, as another lie Stood just a-tilt, the minister came by..
To him he flies, and bows, and bows again,
Then, close as Umbra, joins the dirty train.
Not Fannius' self more impudently near,
When half his nose is in his prince's ear.
I quak'd at heart; and still afraid to see
All the court fill'd with stranger things than he,
Ran out as fast as one that pays his bail,
And dreads more actions, hurries from a jail.
Bear me, some god! Oh, quickly bear me hence
To wholesome solitude, the nurse of sense,
Where contemplation prunes her ruffled wings,
And the free soul looks down to pity kings!
There sober thought pursued th' amusing theme,
Till fancy colour'd it, and form'd a dream.
A vision hermits can to hell transport,
And forc'd e'en me to see the damn'd at court.
Not Dante, dreaming all th' infernal state,
Beheld such scenes of envy, sin, and hate.
Base fear becomes the guilty, not the free,
Suits tyrants, plunderers, but suits not me:
Shall I, the terror of this sinful towa,
Care if a liveried lord or smile or frown?
Who cannot flatter, and detest who can,
Tremble before a noble serving man?
O my fair mistress, Truth! shall I quit thee
For huffing, braggart, puft nobility?"
Thou who, since yesterday, hast roll'd o'er all
The busy idle blockheads of the ball,
Hast thou, O sun! beheld an emptier sort
Than such as swell this bladder of a court?
Now p-x on those who show a court in wax!
It ought to bring all courtiers on their backs;
Such painted puppets! such a varnish'd race
Of hollow gewgaws, only dress and face!
Such waxen noses, stately staring things-
No wonder some folks bow, and think them kings.
See! where the British youth, engag'd no more
At Fig's, at White's, with felons, or a whore,
Pay their last duty to the court, and come
All fresh and fragraut to the drawing-room,
In hues as gay, and odours as divine,
As the fair fields they sold to look so fine.
• That's velvet for a king!' the flatterer swears;
"Tis true, for ten days hence 'twill be king Lear's.
Our court may justly to our stage give rules,
That helps it both to fools'-coats and to fools.
And why not players strut in courtiers' clothes?
For these are actors too as well as those.
Wants reach all states; they beg but better drest,
And all is splendid poverty at best.
Painted for sight, and essenc'd for the smell, Like frigates fraught with spice and cochineal, Sail in the ladies: how each pirate eyes So weak a vessel and so rich a prize! Top-gallant he and she in all her trim, He boarding her, she striking sail to him, "Dear countess! you have charms all hearts to hit!"
And, "Sweet Sir Fopling! you have so much wit!"
Such wits and beauties are not prais'd for nought,
For both the beauty and the wit are bought.
'Twould burst e'en Heraclitus with the spleen
To see those antics, Fopling and Courtin:
The presence seems, with things so richly odd,
The mosque of Mahound, or some queer pagod.
See them survey their limbs by Durer's rules,
Of all beau-kind the best proportion'd fools!
Adjust their clothes, and to confession draw
Those venial sins, an atom, or a straw:
But, ob! what terrors must distract the soul
Convicted of that mortal crime-a hole;
Or should one pound of powder less bespread
Those monkey tails that wag behind their head!
Thus finish'd, and corrected to a hair,
They march, to prate their hour before the fair
So first to preach a white-glov'd chaplain goes,
With band of lily, and with cheek of rose,
Sweeter than Sharon, in immac'late trim,
Neatness itself, impertinent in him.
Let but the ladies smile, and they are blest: Prodigious! how the things protest, protest. Peace, fools! or Gonson will for Papists seize you, If once he catch you at your Jesu! Jesu!
Nature made every fop to plague his brother, Just as one beauty mortifies another.
But here's the captain that will plague them both;
Whose air cries, arm! whose very look's an oath.
The captain's honest, sirs, and that's enough,
Though his soul's bullet, and his body buff:
He spits fore-right; his haughty chest before,
Like battering rams, beats open every door;
And with a face as red, and as awry,
As Herod's hang-dogs in old tapestry,
Scarcecrow to boys, the breeding woman's curse,
Has yet a strange ambition to look worse;
Confounds the civil, keeps the rude in awe,
Jests like a licens'd fool, commands like law.
Frighted I quit the room, but leave it so
As men from jails to execution go;
For hung with deadly sins I see the wall,
And lin❜d with giants deadlier than 'em all:
Each man an Askapart, of strength to toss,
For quoits, both Temple-bar and Charing-cross.
Scar'd at the grisly forms, I sweat, I fly,
And shake all o'er, like a discover'd spy.
Courts are too much for wits so weak as mine:
Charge them with Heav'n's artillery, bold divine!
From such alone the great rebukes endure,
Whose satire's sacred, and whose rage secure :
'Tis mine to wash a few light stains, but their's
To deluge sin, and drown a court in tears.
Howe'er, what's now apocrypha, my wit,
In time to come may pass for holy writ.
IN TWO DIALOGUES.
[Written in the Year 1738.]
Fr. Nor twice a twelvemonth you appear in print,
And when it comes, the court see nothing in't.
You grow correct that once with rapture writ,
And are, besides, too moral for a wit.
Decay of parts, alas! we all must feel-
Why now this moment, don't I see you steal?
'Tis all from Horace; Horace long before
Said Tories call'd him Whig, and Whigs a Tory;'
And taught his Romans, in much better metre,
To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter.' 10
But Horace, sir, was delicate, was nice;
Bubo observes, he lash'd no sort of vice:
Horace would say, Sir Billy serv'd the crown,
Blunt could do business, Higgins knew the town;
In Sappho touch the failings of the sex,
In reverend bishops note some small neglects,
And own the Spaniard did a waggish thing,
Who cropt our ears, and sent them to the king.
His sly, polite, insinuating style
Could please at court, and make Augustus smile: 20
An artful manager, that crept between
His friend and shame, and was a kind of screen.
But, 'faith, your very friends will soon be sore;
Patriots there are who wish you'd jest no more-
And where's the glory? 'twill be only thought
The great man never offer'd you a groat.
Go see Sir Robert-
P. See Sir Robert!-hum-
And never laugh-for all my life to come?
Seen him, I have; but in his happier hour
Of social pleasure, ill-exchang'd for pow'r;
Seen him, uncumber'd with a venal tribe,
Smile without art, and win without a bribe.
Would he oblige me? let me only find
He does not think me what he thinks mankind.