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From such alone the great rebukes endure,
Whose satire's sacred, and whose rage secure;
'Tis mine to wash a few light stains ; but theirs
To deluge sin, and drown a court in tears.
Howe'er, what's now Apocrypha, my wit,
In time to come, may pass for holy writ.
Drown the sins of this place, but as for me
Which am but a scant brook, enough shall be
To wash the stains away: although I yet
(With Maccabees modesty) the known merit
Of my work lessen, yet some wise men shall,
I hope, esteem my writs canonical.
WRITTEN IN M DCC XXXVIII.
DIALOGUE I. Fr. NOT twice a twelvemonth you appear in print,
W And when it comes the court see nothing in't. You grow correct, that once with rapture writ, And are, besides, too moral for a wit. Decay of parts, alas ! we all must feel Why now, this moment, don't I see you steal ? 'Tis all from Horace ; Horace long before ye Said, ' Tories call'd him Whig, and Whigs a Tory,' And taught his Romans, in much better metre, * To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter.'
But Horace, sir, was delicate, was nice; Bubo observes, he lash'd no sort of vice : Horace would say, sir Billy serv'd the crown, Blunt could do business, Higgins knew the town; In Sappho touch the failings of the sex, In reverend bishops note some small neglects, And own the Spaniard did a waggish thing, Who cropt our ears, and sent them to the king. His sly, polite, insinuating style Could please at court, and make Augustus smile :
His sly, polite cars, and sent reggish thing,
An artful manager, that crept between
His friend and shame, and was a kind of screen.
But 'faith your very friends will soon be sore;
Patriots there are, who wish you'd jest no more...
And where's the glory? 'twill be only thought
The great man never offer'd you a groat.
Go see sir Robert...
P. See sir Robert !--hum.
And never laugh--for all my life to come?
Seen him I have, but in his happier hour
Of social pleasure, ill-exchang'd for power;
Seen him, uncumber'd with a venal tribe,
Smile without art, and win without a bribe.
Would he oblige me? let me only find,
He does not think me what he thinks mankind.
Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt ;
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, Lyttelton; 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 statesman 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 Favonio's tongue,
The flowers of Bubo, and the flow of Young !
The gracious dew of pulpit eloquence,
And all the well-whipp'd creain of courtly sense,
That first was H-.-vy's, F's next, and then,
The S-te's, and then H yy's once again.
O come, that easy Ciceronian style,
So Latin, 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. But let all satire in all changes spare Immortal Sk, and grave De---re. Silent and soft, as saints remov'd to heaven, All ties dissolv'd, and every sin forgiven, These may some gentle ministerial wing Receive, and place for ever near a king; There, where no passion, pride, or shame transport, Luli'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. [glory,
P. Good Heaven forbid, that I should blast their
Who know how like Whig ministers to Tory,
And when three sovereigns died could scarce be vext,
Considering 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 fors wears a debt ?
Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast;
Put 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 Blunt dispatch'd himself, he play'd the man;
And so mayst 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;