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Did not the sneer of more impartial men
P. Dear sir, forgive the prejudice of youth;
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 alt; Would you know when? exactly when they fall. But let all satire in all changes spare
Immortal S—k, 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,
laill'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
Let modest Foster, if he will, excel
Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king,
She's still the same belov'd, contented thing,
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 hers the Gospel is and hers the laws;
Mounts the tribunal, lifts her scarlet head.
And sees pale virtue carted in her stead,
Lo! at the wheels of her trinmphant car,
Old England's genins, 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 livcry' d o'er with foreign gold,
Before her dance: behind her crawl the old I
See thronging millions to the pagod run,
And offer country, parent, wife, or son!
Hear her black trumpet through the land proclaim.
That not to be corrupted is the shame.
In soldier, churchman, patriot, man in power,
Tis avurice 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,
Are what ten thousand envy and adore:
All, all look up, with reverential awe,
At crimes that 'scape, or trinmph o'er the law:
While truth, worth, wisdom, daily they decry—
1 Nothing is sacred now but villany.'
Yet may this verse (if such a verse remain) Show there was one who held it in disdain.
Fr. * TTIIS all a libel'—Paxton, sir, will say,
And for that very cause I print to-day.
F. Yet none but you by name the guilty lash;
P. How, sir! not damn the sharper, but the dice! Come on then, satire ! general, unconfin'd. Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind. Ye statesmen, priests, of one religion all 1 Ye tradesmen, vile, in army, court, or halt! Ye reverend atheists. F. Scandal! name them, who i
P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do. Who starv'd a sister, who forswore a debt, 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! The bribing statesman—F. Hold, too high you go.
P. The brib'd elector—F. There you stoop too low.
P. I fain would please yon, if I knew with what: Tell me, which name is lawful game, which not? Must great offenders, once escap'd the crown, Like royal harts, be nevermore run down? Admit your law to spare the knight requires, As beasts of nature may we hunt the 'squires? Suppose I censure—you know what I meanTo save a bishop, may I name a dean?
F. A dean, sir? no; his fortune is not made. You hurt a man that's rising in the trade.
P. If not the tradesman who set up to day, Much less the 'prentice who to morrow may. Down, down, proud satire! though a realm be spoil'd,
Arraign no mightier thief than wretched Wild;
But, sir, I beg yon, (for tho love of vice!)
F. Stop! stop!
P. Must satire, then, nor rise nor fall? Speak out, and bid me blame no rogues at all.
F. Yes, strike that Wild, I'll justify the blow.
P. Strike? why the man was hang'd ten years ago: Who now, that obsolete example fears? Kv'n Peter trembles only for his ears.
F. What, always Peter? Peter thinks you mad, You make men desperate, if they once are bad, Else might he take to virtue some years hence—
P. As S—k, if he lives, will love the prince.
F. Strange spleen to S—k!
P. Do I wrong the man i God knows, I praise a courtier where i can. When I confess, there is who feels for fame, And melts to goodness, need I Scarborow name? Pleas'd let me own, in Esher's peaceful grove (Where Kent and nature vie for Pelham's love), The scene, the master, opening to my view, I sit and dream I sec my Craggs anew!