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"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.
12 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,
13I cannot bear a French metropolis.
14 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,
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;
15 Obsequious, artful, voluble, and gay,
On Britain's fond credulity they prey.
Omnis arena Tagi, quodque in mare volvitur aurum,
Ut somno careas.
12 Quæ nunc divitibus gens acceptissima nostris, Et quos præcipue fugiam properabo fateri.
Non possum ferre, Quirites,
14 Rusticus ille tuus sumit trechedipna, Quirine, Et ceromatico fert nicetaria collo.
15 Ingenium velox, audacia perdita, fermo Promptus,
No gainful trade their industry can 'scape,
16 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.
17 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 ?
18 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,
19 These arts in vain our rugged natives try,
Strain out with fault'ring diffidence a lie,
And get a kick for aukward flattery.
Besides, with justice, this discerning age
Admires their wond'rous talents for the stage:
20 Well may they venture on the mimick's art,
Who play from morn 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;
16 Augur, schoenobates, medicus, magus: omnia novit, Græculus esuriens, in cœlum, jusseris, ibit.
17 Usque adeo nihil est, quod nostra infantia cœlum Hausit Aventini?
18 Quid? quod adulandi gens prudentissima, laudat
Sermonem indocti faciem deformis amici ?
19 Hæc eadem licet & nobis laudare: sed illis Creditur.
20 Natio comoda est. Rides? majore cachinno Concutitur, &c.
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.
21 How, when competitors like these contend,
Can surly 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 judgement 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;
22 Explore your secrets with insidious art,
Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart;
Then soon your ill-plac'd confidence repay,
Commence your lords, and govern or betray.
23 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 a most bitter is a scornful jest ;
21 Non sumus ergo pares; melior, qui semper & omni Nocte dieque potest alienum sumere vultum,
A facie jactare manus: laudare paratus,
Si bene ructavit, si rectum minxit amicus..
22 Scire volunt secreta domus, atque inde timeri.
Materiam præbet causasque jocorum
Omnibus hic idem? si foeda & scissa laceṛna, &C..
24 Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se
Quam quod ridiculos homines facit.
Fate never wounds more deep the gen'rous heart,
Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.
25 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,
26 SLOW RISES WORTH, BY POVERTY DEPRESS'DI
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,
The 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,
Some 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 flames a prey;
27 Then thro' the world a wretched vagrant roam,
For where can starving merit find a home?
Debuerant olim tenues migrasse Quirites.
26 Haud facile emergunt, quorum virtutibus obstat Res augusta domi, sed Romæ durior illis Conatus.
Erumnæ cumulus, quod nudum & frustra rogantem
Nemo cibo, nemo hospitio, tectoque juvabit.
The Spaniards at this time were said to make claim to some of our Ametican provinces.
In vain your mournful narrative disclose,
While all neglect, and most insult your woes.
28Should Heav'n's just bolts Orgilio's wealth confound,
And spread his flaming palace on the ground,
Swift o'er the land the dismal rumour flies,
And public mournings pacify the skies;
The laureat tribe in venal verse relate,
How virtue wars with persecuting fate;
39 With well-feign'd gratitude the pension'd band
Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land.
See! while he builds, the gaudy vassals come,
And crowd with sudden wealth the rising dome;
The price of boroughs and of souls restore;
And raise his treasures higher than before:
Now bless'd with all the baubles of the great,
The polish'd marble and the shining plate,
30 Orgilio sees the golden pile aspire,
And hopes from angry Heav'n another fire.
31 Could'st thou resign the park and play content, For the fair banks of Severn or of Trent;
There might'st thou find some elegant retreat,
Some hireling senator's deserted seat;
And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land,
For less than rent the dungeons of the Strand:
28 Si magra Asturici cecidit domus, horrida mater, Pullati proceres.
29- Jam accurrit, qui marmora donet, Conferat impensas: hic, &c.
Hic modium argenti.
- Meliora, ac plura reponit
Persicus orborum lautissimus,
31 Si potes avelli Circensibus, optima Soræ,
Aut Fabrateriæ domus, aut Fusinone paratur,
Quanti nunc tenebras unum conducis in annum,
Vive bidentis amans & culti villicus horti,
Unde epulum possis centum dare Pythagoræis.