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BOOK I. EPISTLE L
TO LORD BOLINGBROKE.
ST. John, whose love indulg'd my labours past.
A voice there is, that whispers in my ear fTis reason's voice, which sometimes one can hear), 'Friend Pope ( be prudent, let your muse take breath,
And never gallop Pegasus to death;
Lest stiff and stately, void of fire or force,
You limp, like Blackmore, on a lord mayor's horse.'
Farewel then verse, and love, and every toy,
But aak not, to what doctors I apply?
Sometimes with Aristippus, or St. Paul,
Long as to him who works for debt the day,
Late as it is, I put myself to school,
Say, does thy blood rebel, thy bosom move
Tis the first virtue, vices to abhor;
See him, with pains of body, pangs of soul,
Bernard in spirit, sense, and truth abounds;
Yet every child another song wilt sing,
And say, to which shall our applanse belong,
If such a doctrine, ia St, James's air,
Should chance to make the wel 1-drest rabble stare;
In honest S*z take scandal at a spark,
That less admires the palace than the park:
Faith I shall give the answer Reynard gave:
'I cannot like* dread sire, jour royal cave;
Because I see, by all the tracts about.
Full many a beast goes in, but none come out.'
Adien to virtue, if yon're once a slave a
Send her to court, you send her to her grave.
Well, if a king's a lion, at the least The people are a many-headed beast: Can they direct what measures to pursue, Who know themselves so little what to do? Alike in nothing but one lust of gold, Just half the land would bny, and half be sold: Their country's wealth our mightier misers drain, Or cross, to plunder provinces, the main; The rest, some farm the poor-box, some the pews; Some keep assemblies, and would keep the stews; Some with fat bucks on childless dotards fawn; Some win rich widows by their chine and brawn; While with the silent growth of ten per cent, In dirt and darkness, hundreds stink content.
Of all these ways, if each pursues his own, Satire, be kind, and let the wretch alone: But show me one who has it in his pow'r To act consistent with himself an hour. Sir Job sail'd forth, the evening bright and still, 'No place on earth,' he cried, 'like Greenwich-hill!' Up starts a palace, lo, th' obedient base 1 Slopes at its foot, the woods its sides embrace, r The silver Thames reflect its marble face. 3 Now let some whimsy, or that devil within -\ Which guides all those who know not what they C mean, 1 But give the knight (or give his lady) spleen; 'Away, away! take all your scaffolds down, Vnv snug's the word: my dear, we'll live ia town,'
At amorous Flavio is the stocking thrown? That very night he longs to lie atone. The foot whose wife elopes some thrice a quarter, For matrimonial solace dies-a martyr. Did ever Protens, Merlin, any witch, '1 Transform themselves so strangely as the rich? r Well, but the poor—the poor have the same itch; * They change their weekly barber, weekly news, Prefer a new japanner to their shoes; Discharge their garrets, move their beds, and run (They know not whither) in a chaise and one; They hire their sculler, and when once aboard, Grow sick, and damn the climate—like a lord. You langh, half-bean half-sloven if I stand, My wig all powder, and all snuff my band; You langh, if coat and breeches strangely vary, 'White gloves, and linen worthy lady Mary! But when no prelate's lawn, with hair-shirt lin'd, Is half so incoherent as my mind, When (each opinion with the next at strife; One ebb and flow of follies all my life), I plant, root up; I build and then confound; Turn round to square, and square again to round j You never change one muscle of your face, You think this madness but a common case, Nor once to Chancery, nor to Hale apply; Yet hang your lip to see a seam awry! Careless how ill 1 with myself agree, Kind to my dress, my figure, not to me. Is this my guide, philosopher, and friend? This he, who loves me, and who ought to mend? Who ought to make me (what he can, or none) That man divine whom wisdom calls her own; Great without title, without fortune btess'd; Rich ev'n when plunder'd, honour'd while oppress'd;