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Some secret cell, ye Pow'rs, indulgent give,
Let live here, for has learn'd to live. 38
Here let those reign, whom pensions can incite
To vote a patriot black, a courtier white;
Explain their country's dear-bought rights away,
And plead for *pirates in the face of day ;
With slavish tenets taint our poison'd youth,
And lend a lie the confidence of truth.
3 Let such raise palaces, and manors buy,
1. Collect a tax, or farm a lottery;
8 With warbling eunuchs fill a flicens'd I stage,
And lull to servitude a thoughtless age.
Heroes, proceed! what bounds your pride shall hold,
What check restrain your thirst of pow'r and gold ?
Behold rebellious virtue quite o'erthrown,
Behold our fame, our wealth, our lives, your own.
To such the plunder of a land is giv’n,
When publick crimes inflame the wrath of Heaven:
"But what, my friend, what hope remains for me,
Who start at theft, and blush at perjury?
Who scarce forbear, though Britain's court he sing,
To pluck a titled poet's borrow'd wing;
A statesman's logick unconvinc'd can hear,
And dare to slumber o'er the Gazetteer; ?
Despise a fool in half his pension dress’d,
And strive in vain to laugh at Clodio's jest. |
Others with softer smiles, and subtler art,
sap the principles, or taint the heart;
Cedamus patriâ : vivant Arturius istic
Et Catulus: maneant qui nigra in candida vertunt.
Queis facile est ædem conducere, flumina, portus,
Siccandam eluviem, portandum ad busta cadaver-
Munera nunc edunt.
Quid Romæ faciam? Mentiri nescio : librum,
Si malus est, nequeo laudare et poscere.-.
Ferre ad nuptam, quæ mittit adulter,
Quæ mandat, norint alii; me nemo ministro
Fur erit: atque ideo nulli comes exeo.
• The invasions of the Spaniards were defended in the houses of parliament.
The licensing act was then lately made.
Our silenc'd. § The paper which at that time contained apologies for the Court.
With more address a lover's note convey,
Or bribe a virgin's innocence away.
Well may they rise, while I, whose rustick tongue
Ne’er knew to puzzle right, or varnish wrong,
Spurn'd as a beggar, dreaded as a spy,
Live unregarded, unlamented die.
For what but social guilt the friend endears ?
Who shares Orgilio's crimes, his fortune shares.
But thou, should tempting villainy present
All Marlb'rough hoarded, or all Villiers spent,
Turn from the glitt’ring bribe thy scornful eye,
Nor sell for gold, what gold could never buy,
The peaceful slumber, self-approving day,
Unsullied fame, and conscience ever gay.
The cheated nation's happy fav’rites, see !
Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me!
LONDON! the needy villain's gen’ral home,
The common-sewer of Paris and of Rome;
With eager thirst, by folly or by fate,
Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state.
Forgive my transports on a theme like this,
I cannot bear a French metropolis.
Illustrious EDWARD! from the realms of day,
The land of heroes and of saints survey;
Nor hope the British lineaments to trace,
The rustick grandeur, or the surly grace;
But, lost in thoughtless ease and empty show,
Behold the warrior dwindled to a beau;
Sense, freedom, piety, refin'd away,
Of France the mimick, and of Spain the prey.
All that at home no more can beg or steal, 1
Or like a gibbet better than a wheel;
Hiss'd from the stage, or hooted from the court,
Their air, their dress, their politicks, import ;
PObsequious, artful, voluble, and gay,
On Britain's fond credulity they prey.
No gainful trade their industry can ’scape,
"They sing, they dance, clean shoes, or cure a clap:
All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows,
And, bid him go to hell, to hell he goes.
"Ah! what avails it, that, from slav'ry far,
I drew the breath of life in English air ;
Was early taught a Briton's right to prize,
And lisp the tale of HENRY's victories;
If the gull’d conqueror receives the chain,
And flattery prevails when arms are vain ?*
Studious to please, and ready to submit,
The supple Gaul was born a parasite :
Still to his int'rest true, where'er he goes,
Wit, brav'ry, worth, his lavish tongue bestows;
In ev'ry face a thousand graces shine,
From ev'ry tongue flows harmony divine.
*These arts in vain our rugged natives try,
Strain out with fault'ring diffidence a lie,
get a kickt for awkward flattery.
Besides, with justice, this discerning age
Admires their wond'rous talents for the stage:
•Well may they venture on the mimick's art, Who play from mom to night a borrow'd part;
Practis'd their master's notions to embrace,
Repeat his maxims, and reflect his face;
With ev'ry wild absurdity comply,
And view each object with another's eye;
To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear,
To pour at will the counterfeited tear;
And, as their patron hints the cold or heat,
To shake in dog-days, in December sweat.
*How, when competitors like these contend,
Can surely virtue hope to fix a friend?
Slaves that with serious impudence beguile,
And lie without a blush, without a smile;
Exalt each trifle, ev'ry vice adore,
Your taste in snuff, your judgment in a whore;
Can Balbo's eloquence applaud, and swear
He gropes his breeches with a Monarch's air.
For arts like these preferr'd, admir’d, caress'd,
They first invade your table, then your breast;
Explore your secrets with insidious art,
Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart;
Then soon your ill-placed confidence repay,
Commence your lords, and govern or betray.
By numbers here from shame or censure free,
All crimes are safe but hated poverty.
This, only this, the rigid law pursues,
This, only this, provokes the snarling Muse.
The sober trader at a tatter'd cloak
Wakes from his dream, and labours for a joke;
With brisker air the silken courtiers gaze,
And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways.
Of all the griefs that harass the distress’d,
Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest;
* Non sumus ergo pares: melior, qui semper et omni
Nocte dieque potest alienum sumere vultum,
A facie jactare manus, laudare paratus,
Si bene ructavit, si rectum minxit amicus.-
y Scire volunt secreta domūs, atque inde limeri.
Materiam præbet causasque jocorum
Omnibus hic idem, si fæda et scissa lacerna, &c.
Fate never wounds more deep the gen’rous heart,
Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.
Has Heaven reserv’d, in pity to the poor,
No pathless waste, or undiscovered shore?
No secret island in the boundless main ?
No peaceful desert yet unclaim'd by Spain ?*
Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore,
And bear Oppression's insolence no more.
This mournful truth is ev'ry where confess’d,
SLOW RISES WORTH, BY POVERTY DEPRESS'D:
But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,
Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold :
Where won by bribes, by flatteries implor’d,
groom retails the favours of his lord.
But hark! th' affrighted crowd's tumultuous cries
Roll through the streets, and thunder to the skies :
Rais’d from some pleasing dream of wealth and pow'r,
pompous palace, or some blissful bow'r,
Aghast you start, and scarce with aching sight
Sustain th' approaching fire's tremendous light;
Swift from pursuing horrors take your way,
And leave your little all to fames a prey ;
*Then through the world a wretched vagrant roam,
For where can starving merit find a home?
In vain your mournful narrative disclose,
While all neglect, and most insult your woes.
*Should Heav'n's just bolts Orgilio's wealth confound,
† And spread his flaming palace on the ground,
Debuerant olim tenues migrasse Quirites.
• Haud facile emergunt, quorum virtutibus obstat
Res angusta domi; sed Romæ durior illis
Cogimur, et cultis augere peculia servis.
Ærumnæ cumulus, quod nudum et frustra rogantem
Nemo cibo, nemo bospitio, tectoque juvabit,
• Si magna Asturici cecidit domus, horrida mater,
• The Spaniards at this time were said to lay claim to some of our American