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DARE nobly then: but, conscious of your trust, As ever warm and bold, be ever just; Nor court applause in these degen❜rate days: The villain's censure is extorted praise.
But chief, be steady in a noble end,
And show mankind that truth has yet a friend.
'Tis mean for empty praise of wit to write,
As fopplings grin to show their teeth are white.
To brand a doubtful folly with a smile,
Or madly blaze unknown defects, is vile: .
'Tis doubly vile when, but to prove your art,
You fix an arrow in a blameless heart.
O lost to Honour's voice, O doom'd to shame,
Thou fiend accurs'd, thou murderer of fame!
Fell ravisher, from innocence to tear
That name than liberty, than life, more dear!
Where shall thy baseness meet its just return?
Or what repay thy guilt but endless scorn ?
And know, immortal Truth shall mock thy toil;
Immortal Truth shall bid the shaft recoil:
With rage retorted wing the deadly dart,
And empty all its poison in thy heart.
With caution next the dang'rous pow'r apply;
An eagle's talon asks an eagle's eye:
Let Satire then her proper object know,
And ere she strike be sure she strike a foe.
Nor fondly deem the real fool confest,
Because blind Ridicule conceives a jest;
Before whose altar Virtue oft hath bled,
And oft a destiu'd victim shall be led:
Lo! Shaftsb'ry rears her high on Reason's throne,
And loads the slave with honours not her own:
Big-swoln with folly, as her smiles provoke,
Profaneness spawns, pert dunces nurse the joke!
Come, let us join awhile this titt'ring crew,
And own the idiot guide for once is true;
Deride our weak forefather's musty rule,
Who therefore smil'd because they saw a fool;
Sublimer logic now adorns our isle,
We therefore see a fool because we smile.
Truth in her gloomy cave why fondly seek?
Lo! gay she sits in Laughter's dimpled cheek, 210
Contemns each surly academic foe,
And courts the spruce freethinker and the beau.
Dædalian arguments but few can trace,
But all can read the language of grimace.
Hence mighty Ridicule's all-conqu’ring hand
Shall work Herculean wonders thro' the land:
Bound in the magic of her cobweb chain,
You, mighty Warburton! shall rage in vain;
In vain the trackless maze of truth you scan,
And lend th' informing clue to erring man.
No more shall Reason boast her pow'r divine,
Her base eternal shook by Folly's mine!
Truth's sacred fort th' exploded laugh shall win,
And coxcombs vanquish Berkeley by a grin.
But you, more sage, reject th' inverted rule, 225 That truth is e'er explor'd by ridicule :
On truth, on falsehood, let her colours fall,
She throws a dazzling glare alike on all;
As the gay prism but mocks the flatter'd eye,
And gives to ev'ry object ev'ry dye.
Beware the mad advent'rer: bold and blind
She hoists her sail, and drives with ev'ry wind;
Deaf as the storm to sinking Virtue's groan,
Nor heeds a friend's destruction or her own.
Let clear-ey'd Reason at the helm preside,
Bear to the wind, or stem the furious tide;
Then mirth may urge when reason can explore;
This point the way, that waft us glad to shore.
Tho' distant times may rise in Satire's page,
Yet chief 'tis her's to draw the present age:
With Wisdom's lustre Folly's shade contrast,
And judge the reigning manners by the past;
Bid Britain's heroes (awful shades!) arise,
And ancient honour beam on modern vice;
Point back to minds ingenuous, actions fair,
Till the sons blush at what their fathers were:
Ere yet 'twas beggary the great to trust,
Ere yet 'twas quite a folly to be just;
When low-born sharpers only dar'd a lie,
Or falsify'd the card, or cogg'd the die;
Ere lewdness the stain'd garb of Honour wore,
Or Chastity was carted for the whore;
Vice flutter'd, in the plumes of Freedom drest,
Or public spirit was the public jest.
Be ever in a just expression bold,
Yet ne'er degrade fair Satire to a scold :
Let no unworthy mien her form debase,
Bet let her smile and let her frown with grace;
In mirth be temp'rate, temp'rate in her spleen,
Nor, while she preaches modesty, obscene.
Deep let her wound, not rankle to a sore,
Nor call his Lordship
her Grace a
The Muse's charms resistless then assail
When wrapp'd in Irony's transparent veil:
Her beauties half-conceal'd, the more surprise, 265
And keener lustre sparkles in her eyes.
Then be your line with sharp encomiums grae'd;
Style Glodius honourable, Bufa chaste.
Dart not on folly an indignant eye:
Whoe'er discharg'd artillery on a fly?
Deride not Vice; absurd the thought and vain
To bind the tiger in so weak a chain.
Nay more; when flagrant crimes your laughter move, The knave exults: to smile is to approve.
The Muse's labours then success shall crown
When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown.
Know next what measures to each theme belong,
And suit your thoughts and numbers to your song:
On wing proportion'd to your quarry rise,
And stoop to earth, or soar among the skies.
Thus when a modish folly you rehearse,
Free the expression, simple be the verse:
In artless numbers paint th' ambitious peer
That mounts the box, and shines a charioteer:
In strains familiar sing the midnight toil
Of camps and senates disciplin'd by Hoyle;
Patriots and chiefs, whose deep design invades
And carries off the captive king....of Spades!
Let Satire here in milder vigour shine,
And gaily graceful sport along the line;
Bid courtly Fashion quit her thin pretence,
And smile each affectation into sense.
Not so when Virtue, by her guards betray'd, Spurn'd from her throne, implores the Muses' aid; When crimes, which erst in kindred darkness lay, Rise frontless, and insult the eye of day;