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In hues as gay, and odours as divine,
As the fair fields they sold to look so fine.
* That's velvet for a king!' the flatterer swears;
'Tis true, for ten days hence 'twill be king Lear's.
Our court may justly to our stage give rules, 220
That helps it both to fools'-coats and to fools.
And why not players strut in courtiers'clothes?
For these are actors too as well as those.
Wants reach all states; they beg but better drest, And all is splendid poverty at best. 22i
Painted for sight, and essene'd for the smell, Like frigates fraught with spice and cochineal, Sail in the ladies: how each pirate eyes So weak a vessel and so rich a prize! Top-gallant he and she in all her trim, 230
He boarding her, she striking sail to him. "Dear countess! you have charms all hearts
to hit I"
And," Sweet Sir Fopling! you have so much wit!"
Such wits and beauties are not prais'd for nought,
For both the beauty and the wit are bought. 235
'Twould burst e'en Heraclitus with the spleen
To see those antics, Fopling and Courtin:
The presence seems, with things so richly odd,
The mosque of Mahound, or some queer pagod.
See them survey their limbs by Durer's rules, 240
Of all beau-kind the best proportion* d fools!
Adjust their clothes, and to confession draw
Those venial sins, an atom, or a straw:
Hut, pb! what terrors must distract the soul
Convicted of that mortal crime—a hole; 245
Or should one pound of powder less bespread
Those monkey tails that wag behind their head!
Thus finish'd, and corrected to a hair,
They march, to prate their hour before the fair
So first to preach a white-glov'd chaplain goes, 2fiO
With band of lily, and with cheek of rose,
Sweeter than Sharon, in immae'late trim,
Neatness itself, impertinent in him.
Let but tlie ladies smile, and thry are blest: Prodigious! how the things protest, protest. 255
Peace, fools! or Gonson will for Papists seize you, If once he catch you at your Jesu! Jesu!
Nature made every fop to plague his brother,
Just as one beauty mortifies another. 259
Hut here's the captain that will plague them both;
Whose air cries, arm! whose very look's an oath.
The captain^ honest, sirs, and that's enough,
Though his soul's bullet, and his body buff:
lie spits fore-right; his haughty chest before,
Like battering rams, beats open every door; 865
And with a face as red, and as awry,
As HerodS hang-dogs in old tapestry,
Scarcecrow to boys, the breeding woman's curse,
Has yet a strange ambition to look worse;
Confounds the civil, keeps the rude in awe, 270
Jests like alicens'd fool, commands like law.
Frighted I quit the room, but leave it so
As men from jails to execution go;
For hung with deadly sins I see the wall,
And lin'd with giants deadlier than 'em all: 275
Each man an Askapart, of strength to toss,
For quoits, both Temple-bar and Charing-cross.
Sear'd at the grisly forms, I sweat, i fly,
And shake all o'er, like a diseover'd spy. 279
Courts are too much for wits so weak as mine:
Charge them with Heav'n's artillery, bold divine!
From such alone the great rebukes endure,
Whose satire's sacred, and whose rage secure:
'Tis mine to wash a few light stains, but their's
To deluge sin, and drown a court in tears. 285
Howe'er, what's now apocrypha, my wit,
In time to come may pass for holy writ.
IN TWO DIALOGUES.
[Written in the Year 1738.]
Fr. Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in print,
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— '5
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.' 10
Hut 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, 15
In reverend bishops note some small neglects,
And own the Spaniard did a waggish thin",
Whocropt our ears, and sent them to the kin".
His sly, polite, insinuating style
Could please at court, and make Augustus smile: 20
A* artlul 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-
Ami where's the glory? 'twill be only thought 2»
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 pow'r; 30
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 doe« not think me what he thinks mankind.
Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt; • 35 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: 40
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.
Ifanv ask you, "Who's the man so near 45
His prince, thnt writes in verse, and has his car?"
Why, answer, Lyttleton !' 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. 50
Sejanus, Wolsey, hurt not honest Fleury,
But well may put some statesmen 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. 5*
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: 00
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; 65
Come, Henley's oratory, Osborn's wit!
The honey dropping from Favonia's tongue,
The flowers of Bubo, ami the flow of Young!
The gracious dew of pulpit eloquence,
And all the well-whipt cream of courtly sense; 70
The first was H**vy's, F**'s next, and then.
The S*'te's, and thenli**vy's once again.
O come! that easy Ciceronian style,
*o Latin yet so English all the while,
As, though the pride of Middleton and Bland, 7 J
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, 80
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 »5
Be gracM 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. 90
But let all satire in all changes spare
Immortal S**k, and grave De***re.
Silent and soft, as saints remove to Heav'n,
All ties dissolv'd, and every 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, traospoi t
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, 10L
All tears are wip'd for ever from all eyes;
No check is known to blush, no heart to throb,
Save when they lo^e a question or a job. [glory,
P. Good Heav'n forbid that I should blast their
Who know how like Whig ministers to Tory, 106
And when three sov'reigns died 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?