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F. 'TIS all a libel-Paxton, Sir, will say.
F. Yet none but you by name the guilty lash; 10
P. How, Sir! not damn the sharper, but the dice? Come on then, Satire ! general unconfin'd, Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind. 15 Ye Statesmen, Priests, of our religion all ! Ye tradesmen, vile in army, court, or hall! Ye rev’rend Atheists. F. Scandal ! name them, who?
P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do.
F. You do.
The bribing statesman-F. Hold, too high you go.
P. The brib'd elector-F. There you stoop too low.
P. I fain would please you if I knew with what :
your ·law to spare the knight requires, 30
F. A dean, Sir? no: his fortune is not made ;
But, Sir, I beg you (for the love of vice !)
less pity for the needy cheat,
Still better ministers, or if the thing
50 May pinch ev’n there–Why lay it on a king.
F. Stop ! stop !
P. Must Satire then nor rise nor fall ? Speak out, and bid me blame no rogues at all.
F. Yes, strike that Wild, I'll justify the blow.
P. Strike? why the man was hang'd ten years ago: Who now that obsolete example fears?
56 Ev'n Peter trembles only for his ears. F. What, always Peter? Peter thinks
mad: You make them desp'rate if they once are bad, Else might he take to virtue some years hence 60
P. As Sk, if he lives, will love the prince.
P. Do I wrong the man?
70 Ev’n in a bishop I can spy desert; Secker is decent, Rundel has a heart; Manners with candour are to Benson giv'n, To Berkley ev'ry virtue under Heav'n.
But does the Court a worthy man remove?
Yet think nor friendship only prompts my lays;
Some in their choice of friends (nay, look not grave)
101 To find an honest man I beat about, And love him, court him, praise him, in or out.
F. Then why so few commended ?
P. Not so fierce; Find you the virtue, and I'll find the verse. 105 But random praise
the task can ne'er be done ; Each mother asks it for her booby son. Each widow asks it for the best of
men, For him she weeps, and him she weds agen. Praise cannot stoop, like Satire, to the ground; 110 The number may be hang'd, but not be crown'd. Enough for half the greatest of these days To 'scape my censure, not expect my praise. Are they not rich? what more can they pretend? Dare they to hope a poet for their friend? 115 What Richleu wanted Louis scarce could gain, And what young Ammon wish’d, but wish'd in vain. ? No pow'r the Muses friendship can command; No pow'r when Virtue claims it, can withstand. To Cato, Virgil paid one honest line ;
120 O let my country's friends illumine mine!
-What are you thinking? F. Faith the thought's no I think your friends are out, and would be in. (sin;
P. If merely to come in, Sir, they go out, The way they take is strangely round about. 125