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If any ask you, “Who's the man so near 45 “His prince, that writes in verse, and has his ear?” 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
friends are sore, So much the better, you may laugh the more. 56 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 agen.
60 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 character that no one hit; 65 Come, Henley's oratory, Osborne's wit! The honey dropping from Favonia's tongue, The flow’rs of Bubo, and the flow of Young ! The gracious dew of pulpit eloquence, And all the well-whipt cream of courtly sense ; 70
The first of H-vy's, F—'s next and then
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 în all changes spare Immortal Smk, and grave De-re. Silent and soft, as saints remove to heav'n, All ties disolv'd, and ev'ry 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, transport,
P. Good Heav'n forbid that I should blast their Who know how like Whig ministers to Tory 106 And when three sov’reigns' dy'd 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? Ye Gods! shall Cibber's son, without rebuke, 115 Swear like a lord, or Rich outwhore a duke? A fav’rite porter with his master vie, Be bribʼd as often, and as often lie? Shall Ward draw contracts with a statesman's skill? Or Japhet pocket, like his Grace, a will?
120 Is it for Bond or Peter (paltry things) To pay their debts, or keep their faith like kings?
If Blount dispatch'd himself, he play'd the man,
Let modest Foster, if he will, excel Ten metropolitans in preaching well; A simple Quaker, or a Quaker's wife, Outdo Landaffe in doctrine-yea in life: Let humble Allen, with an awkward shame, 135 Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame. Virtue may chuse the high or low degree, 'Tis just alike to Virtue and to me; Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king, She's till the same belov’d contented thing. 140 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 her's the gospel is, and her's the laws;
Mounts the tribunal, lifts her scarlet head,
160 In soldier, churchman, patriot, man in pow'r, "Tis av’rice 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,
165 Are what ten thousand envy and adore: All, all look up, with reverential awe, At crimes that 'scape or triumph o'er the law : While truth, worth, wisdom, daily they decry« Nothing is sacred now but villainy."
170 Yet may this verse (if such a verse remain) Show there was one who held it in disdain,