Page images
PDF
EPUB

A lash like mine no honest man shall dread, But all such babbling blockheads in his stead.

Let Sporus tremble-A.What? that thing of silk, Sporus, that mere white curd of asses' milk? Satire of sense, alas ! can Sporus feel? Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings, This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stings; Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys, Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys: So well-bred spaniels civilly delight In mumbling of the game they dare not bite. Eternal smiles bis emptiness betray, As shallow streams run dimpling all the way. Whether in florid impotence he speaks, And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks, Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies, Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies; His wit all see-saw between that and this, Now high, now low, now master up, now miss, And he himself one vile antithesis. Amphibious thing! that acting either part, The trifling head, or the corrupted heart; Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board, Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord. Eve's tempter thus the rabbins have express’d, A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest; Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust, Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.

Not Fortune's worshipper, nor Fashion's fool, Not Lucre’s madman, nor Ambition's tool,

[ocr errors]

end,

Not proud, nor servile; be one poet's praise, That, if he pleased, he pleased by manly ways; That flattery, e'en to kings, he held a shame, And thought a lie in verse or prose the same; That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd long, But stoop'd to truth, and moralized his song; That not for fame, but virtue's better end, He stood the furious foe, the timid friend, The damning critic, half-approving wit, The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit; Laugh’d at the loss of friends he never had, The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad; The distant threats of vengeance on his head, The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed; The tale revived, the lie so oft o’erthrown, The' imputed trash, and dulness not his own; The morals blacken’d when the writings scape, The libell’d person, and the pictured shape; Abuse on all he loved, or loved him, spread, A friend in exile, or a father dead; The whisper, that, to greatness still too near, Perhaps yet vibrates on his sovereign's earWelcome for thee, fair Virtue ! all the past: For thee, fair Virtue! welcome e'en the last !

A. But why insult the poor, affront the great? P. A knave's a knave to me in every state; Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail, Sporus at court, or Japhet in a gaol ; A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer, Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire; If on a pillory, or near a throne, He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.

Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit, Sappho can tell you how this man was bit:

This dreaded satirist Dennis will confess
Foe to his pride, but friend to his distress:
So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door,
Has drunk with Cibber, nay, has rhymed for Moore, ,
Full ten years slander’d, did he once reply?-
Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie.
To please a mistress, one aspersed his life:
He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife :
Let Budgell charge low Grub-street on his quill,
And write whate'er he pleased, except his will;
Let the two Curlls of town and court abuse
His father, mother, body, soul, and Muse:
Yet why ? that father held it for a rule,
It was a sin to call our neighbour fool;
That harmless mother thought no wife a whore:
Hear this, and spare his family, James Moore !
Unspotted names, and memorable long !
If there be force in virtue, or in song.

Ofgentle blood (part shed in Honour's cause, While yet in Britain Honour had applause) Each parent sprung—A. What fortune, pray?

P. Their own; And better got than Bestia's from the throne. Born to no pride, inheriting no strife, Nor marrying discord in a noble wife, Stranger to civil and religious rage, The good man walk'd innoxious through his age: No couits he saw, no suits would ever try, Nor dared an oath, nor hazarded a lie. Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art, No language but the language of the heart. By nature honest, by experience wise, Healthy by temperance and by exercise ;

His life, though long, to sickness past unknown
His death was instant and without a groan.
O grant me thus to live, and thus to die !
Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.
O friend! may each domestic bliss be thine !
Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:
Me, let the tender office long engage
To rock the cradle of reposing age,
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death;
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep a while one parent from the sky !
On cares like these, if length of days attend,
May Heaven, to bless those days, preserve my

friend!
Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
And just as rich as when he served a queen.

A. Whether that blessing be denied or given, Thus far was right,--the rest belongs to Heaven,

[For the SATIRES, see page 4, vol. 37,

MISCELLANIES.

THE

BASSET-TABLE.

An Eclogue. CARDELIA, SMILINDA, LOVET. CARD. The basset-table spread, the tallier come, Why stays Smilinda in the dressing-room? Rise, pensive nymph! the tallier waits for you.

Smil. Ah, madam! since my Sharper is untrue, I joyless make my once adored Alpheu. I saw him stand behind Ombrelia's chair, And whisper with that soft deluding air, [fair. And those feign’d sighs which cheat the listening

CARD. Is this the cause of your romantic strains ? A mightier grief my heavy heart sustains : As you by love, so I by fortune cross'd; One, one bad deal, three septlevas have lost.

Smil. Is that the grief which you compare with With ease the smiles of fortune I resign: [mine ? Would all my gold in one bad deal were gone, Were lovely Sharper mine, and mine alone.

CARD. A lover lost is but a common care, And prudent nymphs against that change prepare: The knave of clubs thrice lost; oh! who could

guess
This fatal stroke, this unforeseen distress?

Smil. See Betty Lovet! very d-propos,
She all the cares of love and play does know:

« PreviousContinue »