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The first of H**vy's, F******'s next, and then
The S***te's, and then H**vy's once agen.
O come! that easy Ciceronian style,
So Latin yet so English all the while.
As, tho' the pride of Middleton and Bland, 75
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! ev'ry fool and knave
85 Be grac'd thro’ 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 lınmortal S*****k, and
De****re. Silent and soft, as saints remove to heav'n, All ties dissolv'd, and ev'ry sin forgiv'n, These may some gentle ministerial wing
95 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
glory, Who know how like Whig ministers to Tory, 106 And when three sov'reigns dy'd 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 ? 110 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, 115 Swear like a lord, or Rich outwhore a duke ? A fav'rite porter with his master vie,
1 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? 120 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. 130
Let modest Foster, if he will, excel
Ten metropolitans in preaching well;
A simple Quaker, or a Quaker's wife,
Outdo Landaffe in doctrine....yea in life:
Let humble Allen, with an awkward shame,
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.
Virtue may chuse 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. 140
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,
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. 150
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 liv'ry'd o'er with foreign gold, 155
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 thro’ the land proclaim,
That not to be corrupted the shame.
In soldier, churchman, patriot, man in pow'r,
'Tis av'rice 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, 165
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 sacred now but villainy."
170 Yet may this verse (if such a verse remain) Show there was one who held it in disdain.
F. 'TIS 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 ev'ry line
In rev'rence to the sins of Thirty-nine ?
5 Vice with such giant strides coines 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 ; 10 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 unconfiu'd, Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind. 15 Ye statesmen, priests, of our religion all ! Ye tradesmen, vile in army, court, or hall! Ye rev'rend Atheists.
F. Scandal! name them, who?
P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do.
Who starv'd a sister, who forswore a debt, 20
I never nam'd; the town's inquiring yet.
The poisoning dame.....F. You mean....P. I don't....
F. You do.
P. See now I keep the secret, and not you!