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Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt;. 35 The only difference is-I dare laugh out.
F. Why, yes: with Scripture still you may be free;
A horse-laugh, if you please, at honesty,
A joke on Jekyll, or some odd old Whig,
Who never chang'd his principle or wig:
A patriot is a fool in every age,
Whom all lord chamberlains allow the stage:
These nothing hurts; they keep their fashion still,
And wear their strange old virtue as they will.
If any ask you, "Who's the man so near
His prince, that writes in verse, and has his ear?"
Why, answer, Lyttleton!' and I'll engage
The worthy youth shall ne'er be in a rage;
But were his verses vile, his whisper base,
You'd quickly find him in Lord Fanny's case.
Sejanus, Wolsey, hurt not honest Fleury,
But well may put some statesmen in a fury.
Laugh then at any but at fools or foes:
These you but anger, and you mend not those.
Laugh at your friends, and if your friends are sore,
So much the better, you may laugh the more,
To vice and folly to confine the jest
Sets half the world, God knows, against the rest,
Did not the sneer of more impartial men
At sense and virtue balance all again.
Judicious wits spread wide the ridicule,
And charitably comfort knave and fool.
P. Dear sir, forgive the prejudice of youth:
Adieu distinction, satire, warmth, and truth!
Come, harmless characters that no one hit;
Come, Henley's oratory, Osborn's wit!
The honey dropping from Favonia's tongue,
The flowers of Bubo, and the flow of Young!
The gracious dew of pulpit eloquence,
And all the well-whipt cream of courtly sense;
The first was H**vy's, F**'s next, and then
The Ste's, and then H**vy's once again.
come! that easy Ciceronian style,
atin yet so English all the while,
As, though the pride of Middleton and Bland,
All boys may read, and girls may understand!
Then might I sing without the least offence,
And all I sung should be the nation's sense;
Or teach the melancholy Muse to mourn,
Hang the sad verse on Carolina's urn,
And hail her passage to the realms of rest,
All parts perform'd, and all her children blest!
So-Satire is no more-I feel it die-
No gazetteer more innocent than I—
And let, a God's name! every fool and knave
Be grac'd through life, and flatter'd in his grave.
F. Why so? if satire knows its time and place,
You still may lash the greatest-in disgrace;
For merit will by turns forsake them all;
Would you know when? exactly when they fall. 90 But let all satire in all changes spare
Silent and soft, as saints remove to Heav'n,
All ties dissolv'd, and every sin forgiv❜n,
These may some gentle ministerial wing
Receive and place for ever near a king!
There where no passion, pride, or shame, transport
Lull'd with the sweet nepenthe of a court;
There, where no father's, brother's, friend's, disgrace
Once break their rest, or stir them from their place;
But past the sense of human miseries,
All tears are wip'd for ever from all eyes;
No cheek is known to blush, no heart to throb,
Save when they lose a question or a job.
P. Good Heav'n forbid that I should blast their Who know how like Whig ministers to Tory, And when three sov'reigns died could scarce be vext, Consid'ring what a gracious prince was next. Have I, in silent wonder, seen such things As pride in slaves, and avarice in kings? And at a peer or peeress shall I fret, Who starves a sister or forswears a debt? Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast; But shall the dignity of vice be lost?
Ye gods! shall Cibber's son, without rebuke,
Swear like a lord, or Rich outwhore a duke?
A favourite's porter with his master vie,
Be brib'd as often, and as often lie?
Shall Ward draw contracts with a statesman's skill? Or Japhet pocket, like his grace, a will?
Is it for Bond or Peter (paltry things)
To pay their debts, or keep their faith, like kings?
If Blount dispatch'd himself, he play'd the man,
And so may'st thou, illustrious Passeran!
But shall a printer, weary of his life,
Learn from their books to hang himself and wife?
This, this, my friend, I cannot, must not, bear;
Vice thus abus'd demands a nation's care;
This calls the church to deprecate our sin,
And hurls the thunder of the laws on gin:
Let modest Foster, if he will, excel
Ten metropolitans in preaching well;
A simple Quaker, or a Quaker's wife,
Outdo Landaff in doctrine-yea, in life:
Let humble Allen, with an awkward shame,
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.
Virtue may choose the high or low degree,
'Tis just alike to virtue and to me;
Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king,
She's still the same belov'd, contented thing.
Vice is undone if she forgets her birth,
And stoops from angels to the dregs of earth;
But 'tis the fall degrades her to a whore;
Let greatness own her, and she's mean no more:
Her birth, her beauty, crowds and courts confess, 145
Chaste matrons praise her, and grave bishops bless;
In golden chains the willing world she draws,
And her's the gospel is, and her's the laws;
Mounts the tribunal, lifts her scarlet head,
And sees pale virtue carted in her stead.
Lo! at the wheels of her triumphal car
Old England's genius, rough with many a scar,
Dragg'd in the dust! his arms hang idly round,
His flag inverted trails along the ground!
Our youth, all liveried o'er with foreign gold,
Before her dance; behind her crawl the old!
See thronging millions to the pagod run,
And offer country, parent, wife, or son!
Hear her black trumpet through the land proclaim,
That not to be corrupted is the shame.
In soldier, churchman, patriot, man in power,
'Tis avarice all, ambition is no more!
See all our nobles begging to be slaves!
See all our fools aspiring to be knaves!
The wit of cheats, the courage of a whore,
Are what ten thousand envy and adore:
All, all look up, with reverential awe,
At crimes that 'scape or triumph o'er the law:
While truth, worth, wisdom, daily they decry-
Nothing is secret now but villainy.'
Yet may this verse (if such a verse remain)
Show there was one who held it in disdain.
F. Trs all a libel-Paxton*, sir, will say.
P. Not yet, my friend! to morrow, 'faith, it may;
And for that very cause I print to-day.
How should I fret to mangle every line
In reverence to the sins of thirty-nine?
Vice with such giant strides comes on amain,
Invention strives to be before in vain :
Feign what I will, and paint it e'er so strong,
Some rising genius sins up to my song.
F. Yet none but you by name the guilty lash;
Ev'n Guthry saves half Newgate by a dash.
Spare then the person, and expose the vice.
P. How, sir! not damn the sharper, but the dice?
Come on then, satire! general, unconfin'd,
Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind. 15
Ye statesmen, priests, of one religion all!
Ye tradesmen, vile, in army, court, or hall!
Ye reverend atheists.-F. Scandal! name them, who?
P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do.
• Solicitor of the Treasury.
Who starv'd a sister, who forswore a debt,
I never nam'd; the town's enquiring yet.
The poisoning dame-F. You mean---
P. See now I keep the secret, and not you!
The bribing statesman-F. Hold, too high you go.
P. The brib'd clector-F. There you stoop too low.
P. I fain would please you if I knew with what; 26
Tell me, which knave is lawful game, which not?
Must great offenders, once escap'd the crown,
Like royal harts, be never more run down?
Admit your law to spare the knight requires,
As beasts of nature may we hunt the squires?
Suppose I censure-you know what I mean-
To save a bishop may I name a dean?
F. A dean, sir? no, his fortune is not made;
You hurt a man that's rising in the trade.
P. If not the tradesman who set up to-day,
Much less the 'prentice who to-morrow inay.
Down, down, proud satire! though a realin be spoil'd,
Arraign no mightier thief than wretched Wild;"
Or, if a court or country's made a job,
Go, drench a pickpocket, and join the mob.
But, sir, I beg you, (for the love of vice!)
The matter's weighty, pray consider twice:
Have you less pity for the needy cheat,
The poor and friendless villain, than the great?
Alas! the small discredit of a bribe
Scarce hurts the lawyer, but undoes the scribe.
Then better sure it charity becomes
To tax directors, who (thank God!) have plums;
Still better ministers, or if the thing
May pinch ev'n there-why lay it on a king.
F. Stop! stop!
P. Must satire then nor rise nor fall?
Speak out, and bid me blame no rogues at all.
F. Yes, strike that Wild, I'll justify the blow.
P. Strike! why the man was hang'd ten years ago:
Who now that obsolete example fears?
Ev'n Peter trembles only for his ears?