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For friendship fometimes want of parts supplies,
The heart may furniih what the head denies.
As, when the rapid Rhine o'er swelling tides,
To grace old Ocean's coaft, in triumph rides,
Tho'rich in source, he drains a thousand springs,
Nor scorns the tribute each small riv'let brings :
So thou shalt hence absorb each feeble ray,
Each dawn of meaning in thy brighter day;
Shalt like, or where thou canst not like, excuse,
Since no mean interest shall prophane the Muse;
No malice wrapt in truth's disguise offend,
No flattery taint the freedom of a friend.
When first a generous mind surveys the great,
And views the crowds that on their fortune wait,
Pleas’d with the shew, (though little understood,)
He only seeks the pow'r, to do the good :
Thinks, till he tries, 'tis godlike to dispose,
And gratitude ftill springs when bounty flows;
That ev'ry grant fincere affection wins,
And where our wants have end, our love begins.
But they who long the paths of state have trod,
Learn from the clamours of the murm'ring crowd,
Which cramm'd, yet craving, still their gates besiege,
'Tis easier far to give, than to oblige.
This of thy conduct seems the nicest part,
The chief perfection of the statesman's art,
To give to fair afsent a fairer face,
Or foften a refusal into grace.
But few there are, that can be freely kind,
Or know to fix the favours on the mind;
Hence some whene'er they wou'd oblige, offend,
And while they make the fortune, lose the friend :
Still give unthank'd; ftill squander, not beftow;
For great men want not what to give, but how.
The race of men that follow courts, 'tis true,
Think all they get, and more than all, their due;
Still ask, but ne'er consult their own deserts,
And measure by their interest, not their parts.
From this mistake so many men we fee
But ill become the thing they wish to be:
Hence discontent and fresh demands arise,
More power, more favour in the great man's eyes
All feel a want, tho' none the cause suspects,
But hate their patron for their own defects.
Such none can please, but who reforms their hearts; **
And when he gives them places, gives them parts.
As these o'erprize their worth, so sure the great
May sell their favours at too dear a rate.
When merit pines while clamour is preferid,
And long attachment waits among the herd;
When no distinction, where distinction's due,,
Marks from the many the fuperior few;
When strong cabal constrains them to be just,
And makes them give at last, because they must;
What hopes that men of real worth should prize
What neither friendship gives, nor merit buys.
The man who juftly o'er the whole prefides,
His well-weigh'd choice with wife affection guides :
Knows when to stop with grace, and when advance,
Nor gives from importunity, or chance ;
But thinks how little gratitude is ow'd,
When favours are extorted, not bestow'd.
When safe on shore ourselves, we see the crowd
Surround the great, importunate and loud,
Thro' such a tumult 'tis no easy task,
To drive the man of real worth to ask ;
Surrounded thus, and giddy with the shew,
'Tis hard for great men rightly to bestow;
From hence fo few are skill'd in either case,
To ask with dignity, or give with grace.
Sometimes the great, seduc'd by love of parts,
Consult our genius, but neglect our hearts ;
Pleas'd with the glittering sparks that genius flings,
They lift us tow'ring on the eagle's wings :
Mark out the fights by which themselves begun,
And teach our dazzled eyes to bear the sun,
"Till we forget the hand that makes us great,
And grow to envy, not to emulate.
To emulate a generous warmth implies,
To reach the virtues that make great men rise ;
But envy wears a mean malignant face,
And aims not at their virtues, but their place.
Such to oblige, how vain is the pretence !
When ev'ry favour is a fresh offence,
By which superior power is still imply'd,
And while it helps the fortune, hurts the pride.
Slight is the hate neglect or hardships breed,
But those who hate from envy, hate indeed.
Since so perplex'd the choice, whom shall we trust :
Methinks, I hear thee cry, the brave, the just;
The man by no mean fears or hopes contrould,
Who serves thee from affection, not for gold !
We love the honest, and esteem the brave,
Despise the coxcomb, but detest the knave.
No fhew of parts the truly wise seduce,
To think that knaves can be of real use.
The man who contradicts the public voice,
And strives to dignify a worthless choice,
Attempts a task that on the choice reflects,
And lends us light to point out new defects.
One worthless man that gains what he pretends,
Disguits a thousand unpretending friends ;
And since no art can make a counter pass,
Or add the weight of gold to mimic brass,
When princes to bad ore their image join,
They more debase the stamp than raise the coin;
Be thine that care, true merit to reward,
And gain that good ; nor will the task be hard.
Souls found alike so quick by nature blend,
An honest man is more than half thy friend.
Him no mere views, no hafte to rise, shall (way,
Thy choice to fully, or thy trust betray.
Ambition here shall at due distance ftand,
Nor is wit dangerous in an honest hand :
Besides, if failings at the bottom lie,
He views those failings with a lover's eye.
Tho'small his genius, let him do his best,
Our wishes and belief supply the rest :
Let others barter servile faith for gold,
His friendship is not to be bought or sold,
Fierce opposition he unmov'd shall face,
Modeft in favour, daring in disgrace;
To share thy adverse fate alone pretend,
In power a servant, out of power a friend.
Here pour thy favours in an ample flood,
Indulge thy boundless thirst of doing good.
Nor think that good alone to him confin'd;
Such to oblige is to oblige mankind.
If thus thy mighty master's steps thou trace,
The brave to cherith, and the good to grace,
Long shalt thou stand from rage and faction free,
And teach us long to love the king and thee;
Or fall a victim, dangerous to the foe,
And make him tremble when he strikes the blow;
While honour, gratitude, affection join,
To deck thy clofe, and brighten thy decline.
Illustrious doom! the great when thus displacid,
With friendship guarded, and with virtue grac'd,
In aweful ruin, like Rome's fenate, fall
The prey and worhip of the wond’ring Gaul.