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With all the petty scribbling crew (And those
sots are not a few), 'Gainst you and Pope their envy spurt. The booksellers alone are hurt.
Good Gods! by what a powerful race (For blockheads may have power and place) Are scandals rais’d, and libels writ!
To prove your honesty and wit!
Think with ycurself: those worthy men,
You know, have suffer'd by your pen.
From them you've nothing but your due.
From hence, 'tis plain, your friends are few. 30
Except myself, I know of none,
Besides the wise and good alone.
To set the case in fairer light,
My Fable shall the rest recite,
Which (though.unlike our present state) 35
I for the moral's sake relate.
A Bee of cunning, not of parts,
Luxurious, negligent of arts,
Rapacious, arrogant, and vain,
Greedy of power, but more of gain,
Corruption sow'd throughout the hive:
By petty rogues the great ones thrive.
As power and wealth his views supply'd, ,
'Twas seen in overbearing pride.
With him loud impudence had merit; 45
The Bee of conscience wanted spirit;
And those who follow'd honour's rules
Were laugh'd to scorn for squeamish fools.
Wealth claim'd distinction, favour, grace,
And poverty alone was base.
He treated industry with slight,
Unless he found his profit by 't.
Rights, laws, and liberties, give way,
To bring his selfish schemes in play.
The swarm forgot the common toil,
To share the gleanings of his spoil.
While vulgar souls, of narrow parts,
Waste life in low mechanic arts,
Let us (says he), to genius born,
The drudgery of our fathers scorn.
The Wasp and Drone, you must agree,
Live with more elegance than we.
Like gentlemen they sport and play;
No business interrupts the day :
Their hours to luxury they give,
And nobly on their neighbours live.
A stubborn Bee, among the fwarm,
With honeft indignation warm,
Thus from his cell with zeal reply'd:
“ I slight thy frowns, and hate thy pride. 70
The laws our native rights protect;
Offending thee, I those respect.
Shall luxury corrupt the hive,
And none against the torrent stive?
Exert the honour of your race ;
He builds his rise on your disgrace.
'Tis industry our state maintains;
'Twas honest toil and honest gains
That rais'd our fires to power and fame.
Be virtuous; save yourselves from shame. 80
Know that, in selfish ends pursuing,
You scramble for the public ruin.”
He spoke; and, from his cell dismiss’d,
Was infolently fcoff'd and hiss'd.
With him a friend or two resign’d,
85 Disdaining the degenerate kind.
“ These Drones (says he), these insects vile,
(I treat them in their proper style)
May for a time oppress the state:
They own our virtue by their hate;
Ey that our merits they reveal,
And recommend our public zeal ;
Disgrac'd by this corrupted crew,
We're honour'd by the virtuous few.
THE PACK-HORSE AND THE CARRIER.
BEGIN, my Lord, in early youth,
To suffer, nay, encourage truth ;
And blame me not for disrespect,
If I the flatterer's style reject;
With that, by.menial tongues supply'd,
You 're daily cocker'd up in pride.
The tree's distinguish'd by the fruit.
Be virtue then your first pursuit ;
Set your great ancestors in view,
Like them deserve the title too;
Like them ignoble actions fcorn;
Let virtue prove you greatly born.
Though with less plate their fide-board shone, 'Their conscience always was their own; They ne'er at levees meanly fawn'd,
15 Nor was their honour yearly pawn'd; Their hands, by no corruption stain'd, The ministerial bribe disdain'd; They serv'd the crown with loyal zeal, Yet, jealous of the public weal,
They stood the bulwark of our laws,
And wore at heart their country's cause ;
By neither place or pension bought,
They spoke and voted as they thought,
Thus did your fires adorn their seat;
And such alone are truely great.
If you the paths of learning sight,
You ’re but a dunce in stronger light.
In foremost rank the coward plac’d,
Is more conspicuously disgrac’d.
If you, to serve a paltry end,
To knavish jobbs can condescend,
that's due; In that you have precedence too.
Whence had you this illustrious name? 35 From virtue and unblemish'd fame.
By birth the name alone descends;
Your honour on yourself depends :
Think not your coronet can hide
Assuming ignorance and pride.
Learning by study must be won;
'Twas ne'er entail'd from son to fen.
Superior worth your rank requires ;
For that mankind reveres your fires :
If you degenerate from your race,
5 Their merits heighten your disgrace.
A Carrier, every night and morn,
Would see his horfes eat their corn :
This funk the hoftler's vails, 'tis true;
But then his horfes had their due.
Were we so cautious in all cases,
Small gain would rise from greater places.
The manger now had all its measure;
He heard their grinding teeth with pleasure ;
When all at once confusion rung ;
They snorted, joftled, bit, and flung.
A pack-horse turn'd his head afide,
Foaming, his eye-balls swell’d with pride.
Good Gods! (says he) how hard 's my lot! Is then my high descent forgot?
60 Reduc'd to drudgery and disgrace (A life unwworthy of my race), Muft I, too, hear the vile attacks Of ragged scrubs and vulgar hacks ? See scurvy Roan, that brute ill-bred, Dares from the manger thrust my head !