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'Twas he that writ the Drapier's letters!” —
“ He should have left them for his betters :
We had a hundred abler men,
Nor need depend upon his pen. -
Say what you will about his reading,
You never can defend his breeding ;
Who, in his satires running riot,
Could never leave the world in quiet ;
Attacking, when he took the whim,
Court, city, camp — all one to him. —
But why would he, except he slobber'd,
Offend our patriot, great Sir Robert,
Whose counsels aid the sovereign power
To save the nation every hour!
What scenes of evil he unravels,
In satires, libels, lying travels ;
Not sparing his own clergy cloth,
But eats into it, like a moth !”
“ Perhaps I may allow the Dean
Had too much satire in his vein,
And seem'd determin'd not to starve it,
Because no age could more deserve it.
Yet malice never was his aim;
He lash'd the vice, but spar'd the name,
No individual could resent,
Where thousands equally were meant :
His satire points at no defect,
But what all mortals may correct;
For he abhorr'd the senseless tribe
Who call it humour when they gibe :
He spar'd a hump, or crooked nose,
Whose owners set not up for beaux.
True genuine dulness mov'd his pity, Unless it offer'd to be witty, Those who their ignorance confest, He ne'er offended with a jest ; But laugh'd to hear an idiot quote A verse from Horace learn’d by rote. Vice, if it e'er can be abash'd, Must be or ridiculd or lash'da If you resent it, who 's to blame? He neither knows you, nor your name. Should vice expect to 'scape rebuke, Because its owner is a duke ? His friendships, still to few confin'd, Were always of the middling kind; No fools of rank, or mongrel breed, Who fain would pass for lords indeed : Where titles give no right or power, And peerage is a wither'd flower ; He would have deem'd it a disgrace, If such a wretch had known his face. On rural squires, that kingdom's bane, He vented oft his wrath in vain : ******* squires to market brought, Who sell their souls and **** for nought: The **** **** go joyful back, To rob the church, their tenants rack ; Go snacks with ***** justices, And keep the peace to pick up fees; In every job to have a share, A gaol or turnpike to repair; And turn ******* to public roads Commodious to their own abodes.
“ He never thought an honour done him,
Because a peer was proud to own him;
Would rather slip aside, and choose
To talk with wits in dirty shoes;
And scorn the tools with stars and garters,
So often seen caressing Chartres.
He never courted men in station,
Nor persons held in admiration ;
Of no man's greatness was afraid,
Because he sought for no man's aid.
Though trusted long in great affairs,
He gave himself no haughty airs :
Without regarding private ends,
Spent all his credit for his friends;
And only chose the wise and good;
No flatterers; no allies in blood :
But succour'd virtue in distress,
And seldom fail'd of good success;
As numbers in their hearts must own,
Who, but for him, had been unknown.
“ He kept with princes due decorum ;
Yet never stood in awe before 'em.
He follow'd David's lesson just;
In princes never put his trust :
And, would you make him truly sour,
Provoke him with a slave in power.
The Irish senate if you nam’d,
With what impatience he declaim'd!
Fair LIBERTY was all his cry;
For her he stood prepar'd to die;
For her he boldly stood alone;
For her he oft expos'd his own.
Two kingdoms, just as faction led,
Had set a price upon his head ;
But not a traitor could be found,
To sell him for six hundred pound,
“ Had he but spar'd his tongue and pen,
He might have rose like other men:
But power was never in his thought,
And wealth he vahed not a groat :
Ingratitude he often found,
And pity'd those who meant the wound;
But kept the tenour of his mind,
To merit well of human-kind;
Nor made a sacrifice of those
Who still were true, to please his foes.
He labour'd many a fruitless hour,
To reconcile his friends in power ;
Saw mischief by a faction brewing,
While they pursued each other's ruin.
But, finding vain was all his care,
He left the court in mere despair.
“ And, oh! how short are human schemes ! Here ended all our golden dreams. What St. John's skill in state affairs, What Ormond's valour, Oxford's cares, To save their sinking country lent, Was all destroy'd by one event. Too soon that precious life was ended, On which alone our weal depended. When up a dangerous faction starts, With wrath and vengeance in their hearts; By solemn league and covenant bound, To ruin, slaughter, and confound ;
To turn religion to a fable,
And make the government a Babel ;
Pervert the laws, disgrace the gown,
Corrupt the senate, rob the crown;
To sacrifice Old England's glory,
And make her infamous in story :
When such a tempest shook the land,
How could unguarded virtue stand!
“ With horrour, grief, despair, the Dean
Beheld the dire destructive scene :
His friends in exile, or the Tower,
Himself within the frown of power ;
Pursued by base envenom'd pens,
Far to the land of
s and fens; A servile race in folly nurs’d, Who truckle most, when treated worst.
6. By innocence and resolution, He bore continual persecution; While numbers to preferment rose, Whose merit was to be his foes; When ev'n his own familiar friends, Intent upon their private ends, Like renegadoes now he feels, Against him lifting up their heels.
“ The Dean did, by his pen, defeat An infamous destructive cheat; Taught fools their interest how to know, And gave them arms to ward the blow. Envy hath own'd it was his doing, To save that hapless land from ruin ; While they who at the steerage stood, And reap'd the profit, sought his blood.