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Then better fure it Charity becomes
To tax Directors, who (thank God) have Plums;
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 ? Ev’n Peter trembles only for his Ears.
F. What, always Peter ? Peter thinks you mad,
You make men desperate, if they once are bad:
Else might he take to Virtue some years hence- 60
P. As S-k, if he lives, will love the Prince.
F. Strange spleen to S-k!
P. Do I wrong the Man ?
God knows, I praise a Courtier where I can.
When I confess, there is who feels for Fame,
And melts to Goodness, need I Scarborow name? 65
Pleas'd let me own, in Ether's peaceful Grove
(Where Kent and Nature vie for Pelham's Love)
The Scene, the Master, opening to my view,
I sit and dream I see my Craggs anew !
Ev'n in a Bishop I can spy Desert;
Secker is decent, Rundel has a Heart,
Manners with Candour are to Benfon given,
To Berkley, every Virtue under Heaven.
But does the Court a worthy Man remove ?
That inftant, I declare, he has my Love :
I fhun his Zenith, court his mild Decline;
Thus Sommers once, and Halifax, were mine.
Oft, in the clear, ftill Mirrour of Retreat,
I study'd Shrewsbury, the wise and great :
Carleton's calm Sense, and Stanhope's noble Flame, 80
Compar'd, and knew their generous End the same :
How pleating Atterbury's softer hour!
How thin'd the Soul, unconquer'd in the Tower ;
How can I Pulteney, Chesterfield forget,
While Roman Spirit charms, and Attic Wit :
Argyll, the State's whole Thunder born to wield,
And shake alike the Senate and the Field :
Or Wyndhain, just to Freedom and the Throne,
The Master of our Passions, and his own.
Names, which I long have lov’d, nor lov'd in vain, 90
Rank'd with their Friends, not number'd with their
And if yet higher the proud List should end,
Still let me fay! No Follower, but a Friend.
Yet think not, Friendship only prompts my lays ;
I follow Virtue ; where the thines, I praise : 95
Point she to Priest or Elder, Whig or Tory,
Or round a Quaker's Beaver cast a Glory.
I never (to my sorrow I declare)
Din’d with the Man of Ross, or my Lord Mayor.
Some, in their choice of Friends (nay, look not grave)
Have still a secret Byass to a Knave :
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 talk can ne'er be done : Each Mother asks it for her booby Son, Each Widow asks it for the Best of Men, For him the weeps, and him the weds again. Praise cannot stoop, like Satire, to the ground: 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 Richelieu wanted, Louis scarce could gain, And what young Ammon with d, but with'd in vain. No Power the Muse's Friendship can command; No Power, when Virtue claims it, can withstand: To Cato, Virgil paid one honest line; O let my Country's Friends illumine mine! -What are you thinking? F. Faith the thought's no fin, I think
your Friends are out, and would be in, P. If merely to come in, Sir, they go out, The way they take is strangely round about.
125 F. They too may be corrupted, you'll allow ?
P. I only call those Knaves who are so now.
Is that too little ? Come then, I'll comply-
Spirit of Arnall! aid me while I lie.
Cobham 's a Coward, Polwarth is a Slave,
And Lyttelton a dark, designing Knave,
St. John has ever been a wealthy Fool-
But let me add, Sir Robert 's mighty dull.
Has never made a Friend in private life,
besides, a Tyrant to his Wife.
But pray when others praise him, do I blame ?
Call Verres, Wolsey, any odious name?
Why rail they then, if but a Wreath of mine,
Oh all-accomplish'd St. John ! deck thy shrine ?
What? Thall each spur-gall’d Hackney of the day,
When Paxton gives him double Pots and Pay,
Or each new-penfion'd Sycophant, pretend
To break my Windows if I treat a Friend ;
Then wisely plead, to me they meant no hurt,
But 'twas my Guest at whom they threw the dirt? 145
Sure, if I spare the Minister, no rules
Of honour bind me, not to maul his Tools;
Sure, if they cannot cut, it may be said
His Saws are toothless, and his Hatchets Lead.
It anger'd Turenne, once upon a day,
150 To see a Footman kick'd that took his pay: But when he heard th' Affront the Fellow
gave, Knew one a Man of honour, one a Knave; The prudent General turn'd it to a jest, And begg'd, he'd take the pains to kick the rest : Which not at present having time to doF. Hold Sir! for God's sake, where's th' Affront to you? Against your worship when had S-k writ? Or P-ge pour'd forth the Torrent of his Wit? Or grant the Bard whose distich all commend 160 [In Power a Servant, out of Power a Friend] To W-le guilty of some venial sin; What's that to you who ne'er was out nor in?
The Priest whose Flattery bedropt the Crown,
How hurt he you? he only stain’d the Gown.
And how did, pray, the florid Youth offend,
Whose Speech you took, and gave it to a Friend?
P. Faith it imports not much from whom it came;
Whoever borrow'd, could not be to blame,
Since the whole House did afterwards the fame?
Let Courtly Wits to Wits afford supply,
As Hog to Hog in huts of Westphaly ;
If one, through Nature's Bounty or his Lord's,
Has what the frugal, dirty soil affords,
From him the next receives it, thick or thin,
As pure a mess almost as it came in;
The blessed benefit, not there confin'd,
Drops to the third, who nuzzles close behind;
From tail to mouth, they feed and they carouse :
The last fairly gives it to the House.
180 F. This filthy fimile, this beastly line Quite turns my stomach
P. So does Flattery mine:
And all your courtly Civet-cats can vent,
Perfume to you, to me is Excrement.
But hear me further – Japhet, 'tis agreed,
Writ not, and Chartres scarce would write or read,
In all the Courts of Pindus guiltless quite;
But Pens can forge, my Friend, that cannot write;
Ver. 185. in the MS.
I grant it, Sir; and further 'tis agreed,
Japhet writ not, and Chartres scarce could read.