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Nor fondly deem the real fool confest,
195 Because blind Ridicule conceives a jest: Before whose altar Virtue oft hath bled, And oft a destin'd vidtiin shall be led : Lo Shaftesbury rears her high on Reason's throne, And loads the Slave with honours not her own : 200 Big-fwoln with folly, as her smiles provoke, Prophanenefs spawns, pert Dunces nurse the joke! Come, let us join a while this tittering crew, And own the Ideot Guide for once is true; Deride our weak forefathers' musty rule, Who therefore smild, because they saw a Fool; Sublimer logic now adorns our ifle, We therefore fee a Fool, because we smile. Truth in her gloomy cave why fondly feek? Lo, gay she fits in Laughter's dimpled cheek : Contemns each surly Academic foe, And courts the spruce Freethinker and the Beau. Dædalian arguments but few can tráce, But all can read the language of grimace. Hence mighty Ridicule’s all-conquering hand 215 Shall work Herculean wonders through the Land : Bound in the magic of her cobweb chain, You, mighty Warburton, fhall rage in vain, In vain the trackless maze of Truth you fcan, And lend th' informing Clue to erring Man : No more shall Reason boast her power divine, Her Base eternal fhook by Folly's mine ! Truth's sacred Fort th' exploded laugh shall win; And Coxcombs vanquish Berkeley by a grin.
But you, more fage, reject th’inverted rule, 225 That Truth is e’er explor'd by Ridicule: On truth, on falsehood, let her colours fall, She throws a dazzling glare alike on all; As the gay Prism but mocks the flatter'd eye, And gives to every object every dye.
230 Beware the mad Adventurer : bold and blind She hoifts her fail, and drives with
every Deaf as the storm to sinking Virtue's groan, Nor heeds a Friend's destruction, or her own. Let clear-ey'd Reafon at the helm preside,
235 Bear to the wind, or stem the furious tide; Then Mirth may urge, when Reafon can explore, This point the way, that waft us glad to shore.
Though distant Times may rise in Satire's page, Yet chief 'tis her's to draw the present Age: 240 With Wisdom's lustre, Folly's shade contrast, And judge the reigning Manners by the past : Bid Britain's Heroes (awful Shades !) arise, And ancient Honour beam on modern Vice : Point back to minds ingenuous, actions fair, Till the Sons blush at what their Fathers were : Ere yet 'twas beggary the great to trust; Ere yet 'twas quite a folly to be just; When low-born Sharpers only dar'd a lye, Or falsify'd the Card, or cogg'd the Dye ; 250 Ere Lewdness the stain'd garb of Honour wore, Or Chastity was carted for the Whore ; Vice flutter'd, in the plumes of Freedom dress’d; Or public Spirit was the public jest,
Be ever, in a just expression, bold,
255 Yet ne'er degrade fair Satire to a Scold : Let no unworthy mien her form debase, But let her smile, and let her frown with grace: In mirth be temperate, temperate in her spleen; Nor, while the preaches modesty, obscene.
260 Deep let her wound, not rankle to a fore, Nor call his Lordship
her Grace a : The Muse's charms rehistless then assail, When wrapt in Irony's transparent veil : Her beauties half-conceal'd the more surprize, 265 And keener luftre sparkles in her eyes. Then be your line with sharp encomiums grac'd: Style Clodius honourable, Bufa chaste.
Dart not on Folly an indignant eye: Who e'er discharg'd Artillery on a Fly?
270 Deride not Vice: Absurd the thought and vain, To bind the Tiger in so weak a chain. Nay more : when flagrant crimes your laughter move, The Knave exults: to smile, is to approve. The Muse's labour then success fall crown, 275 When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown.
Know next what measures to each Theme belong, And suit your thoughts and numbers to your song: On wing proportion'd to your quarry rise, And stoop to earth, or foar among the skies. 280 Thus when a modifh folly you rehearse, Free the expression, simple be the verse. In artless numbers paint th' ambitious Peer, That mounts the box, and shines a Charioteer :
'In strains familiar sing the midnight toil
285 Of Camps and Senates disciplin’d by Hoyle; Patriots and Chiefs, whose deep design invades, And carries off the captive King of Spades ! Let Satire here in milder vigour shine, And gayly graceful sport along the line;
290 Bid courtly Fashion quit her thin pretence, And smile each Affectation into sense.
Not so when Virtue by her Guards betray'd, Spurn’d from her Throne, implores the Muse's aid; When crimes, which erst in kindred darkness lay, 295 Rise frontless, and insult the eye of day; Indignant Hymen veils his hallow'd fires, And white-rob’d Chastity with tears retires ; When rank Adultery on the genial bed Hot from Cocytus rears her baleful head :
300 When private Faith and public Trust are sold, And Traitors barter Liberty for gold: When fell Corruption dark and deep, like fate, Saps the foundation of a sinking State : When Giant-Vice and Irreligion rise,
305 On mountain'd falsehoods to invade the Skies: Then warmer numbers glow through Satire's page, And all her smiles are darken’d into
rage : On eagle-wing she gains Parnassus' height, Not lofty Epic soars a nobler flight:
310 Then keener indignation fires her eye; Then flash her lightnings, and her thunders fly; Wide and more wide her flaming bolts are hurlid, Till all her wrath involves the guilty World.
Yet Satire oft assumes a gentler mien, 315
330 To Hagley's honour'd thade directs her view; And culls each flower to form a Wreath for
But tread with cautious step this dangerous ground, Beset with faithless precipices round: Truth be your guide : disdain Ambition's call; And if you fall with Truth, you greatly fall, 'Tis Virtue's native lustre that must shine; The Poet can but set it in his line : And who unmov'd with laughter can behold A fordid pebble meanly grac'd with gold? Let real Merit then adorn your lays,
340 For Shame attends on prostituted praise : And all your wit, your most distinguish'd art, But makes us grieve you want an honest heart.