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While modest matrons start at Drury,
The thief's as useful as the jury,
Since both the mind strong truths impress on,
And teach the world an awful lesson.
Our various patriots then revere,
Their hearts are sound, though manners queer:
Though some to outward vision seem
To sport in phrensy's antic dream,
The aims of each laborious self are
Intended for the public welfare.
This glorious end alone pursuing,
They, bold like Curtius, laugh at ruin;
For this, if we their schemes unravel,
They drink, whore, mortgage, game, and travel.
Enthusiast in the paths of Science,
Banks bade the stormy waves defiance;
Fair Nature's volume to explore,
He * fought with seas unsail'd before,
And earn'd, by Argonautic toil,
Fresh honours for his native soil :
Him Wisdom loved, thus worthy found,
And Britain hail'd him as she crown'd.
But say-Can one adventurer's claim
Exhaust the trumpet voice of fame?
No garland has my country now,
To bind another pilgrim's brow?
Be mine the merit,'-Florio cries,
And cross the Channel gaily flies;
Through thick and thin drives mad and giddy on,
Now here, now there, now in meridian
(Unless perchance when louis fail),
A meteor--with a fiery tail.
• With such mad seas the daring Gama fought.
Think you his aim in each manoeuvre,
Is but to scare the astonish'd Louvre ?
Ah no!-in all the dissipation
He loves the interest of his nation,
And, mindful of the Patriot rule,
For our instruction-plays the fool.
Connubial faith,—the' unbroken vow,-
How bless'd! Who dares to disallow ?
Lothario strong in this agrees,
And-urges every wife he sees;
Sure—if the attack should fail upon her,
The sex is happy in her honour :
And,-if his stratagems surprise her,
Her fall may make the' unsteady wiser.
The husband from his doze may start,
And, though he long disdain'd her heart,
May look the thief with visage fierce on,
Who dared defile the slighted person.
Draw-draw to set the matter right,'But is Lothario wrong to fight? No,– Public Virtue swells his veins, Whoever falls,--his country gains; This none can doubt; your feelings ask, all: For 'tis a gain to lose a rascal.
When trade unclogg'd can turn its wheels, The influence kind the kingdom feels; Each hand, in fit degree and measure, Contributes to the public treasure. These truths Northumberland convince, Who lives in just magnificence, And,—while his bounty wide distils For England's welfare-pays his bills,
But different notions Cotta strike, For why should Patriots judge alike?
It shocks his greatness to describe
How, ' Peasants gall the courtier's kibe,'
An upstart race, that no one knows,
Who yet have folly to suppose,
That honest wealth is better far
Than guilt and want beneath a star.
'Let every man preserve his station;
What's rule-without subordination?'
Till wiser heads confess the flaw,
And plan a sumptuary law,
Impatient some redress to get,
See Cotta plunges into débt
(From bailiffs safe)and much commends
This practice to his hungry friends :
So war is waged with every trader,
Dear Honour! lest the rogues degrade her:
And what contrivance is more sure
To humble,-than to keep them poor?
When in contention sharp of old,
As legendary tales unf
Two * rival deities design'd
Their choicest presents to mankind,
With envy kindling,-warm enforcer!
This gave an olive, that a courser.
Thus some, as other plans have miss'd them,
Revere the vegetable system,
And think their virtue grounded sure
In growth of timber, and-manure.
Hence, up the slope plantations spread,
And crown the hill's once dreary head;
Hence, downward as the vale descends,
The harvest ocean wide extends ;
Glad Britain-how these prospects charm her!
Her medal * decks the Patriot Farmer,
Who counts his stock, and hopes he's shown
His country's riches in his own.
Not so the squire of boisterous spirit,
Who, studious of equestrian merit,
To thrifty care makes no pretences,
But scours the fields and breaks the fences.
Vain may the tenant urge his speeches,
New till the soil and mend the breaches,
Yet no restraint his landlord clogs;-
Devoted as a prey to dogs,
He hates ignoble frugal ways,
And-wild in the career of praise,
Cries, as he spurs his foaming steed,
• To me Old England owes the breed.'
Do various loads the nation press?
'Tis noble sure to make them less :
This Vigil does, and labours hard
To cog the die or palm the card:
Profuse in packs, as round they lie,
He often turns the applauding eye;
And—though he cheats, thinks nothing of it,
Since his dear country shares the profit.
Keen censure then her frown relaxes,
Without consumption what are taxes ?
Taxes? But,' why (Thersites growls)
Must every bird be stripp'd by owls ?
Shall two or three, in pamper'd ease,
Lay contributions as they please,
While all the rest, in station humble,
Tame bear the loss,-nor dare to grumble!'
* Medals given by the Society for the encouraging of Arts and Sciences.
Peace, Snarler,-know, with steady soul
The Patriot can applaud the whole;
And justly crowns with equal praise
The man who levies and who pays.
”Tis true, the Doctor of finances
By nostrụms oft his fund enhances:
But then his skill in physic's great,
He knows the ailments of the state,
Intent, as suits the sad disaster,
To cup, prick, purge, or spread a plaster.
A plethora’s now the case, there's needing
Strict regimen and copious bleeding.
He therefore acts the subject best
Who scorns the order to contest;
But claps a calm contented face on,
And yields the most to fill the bason,
To give his part, through various stages
The Manufacturer engages;
And thinks there's merit at his door,
Whose business feeds the labouring poor,
While to the keen Exciseman's eyes
Accumulating duties rise.
• Curse on the drudge's dirty toil
(Exclaims my haughty lord of soil,
Though oft his title-deeds may rest
Safe in the usurer's iron chest);
Unpaid let other calls remain,
I'll still uphold my menial train;
Economy !-'tis base to court her,
Each Footman * is a state-supporter;
To balk the cause a coward's sin is,
I'll bravely pay the hundred guineas.'