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Queen every where, but most a queen in courts,
Sent forth her heralds, and proclaim'd her sports ;
Bade fool with fool on her behalf engage,
And prove her right to reign from age to age ;
Lothario, great above the common size,
With all engaged, and won from all the prize;
Her cap he wears, which from his youth he wore,
And every day deserves it more and more.
Nor in such limits rests his soul confined ;
Folly may share, but can't engross his mind;
Vice, bold, substantial Vice, puts in her claim,
And stamps him perfect in the books of shame.
Observe his follies well, and you would swear
Folly had been his first, his only care;
Observe his vices, you'll that oath disown,
And swear that he was born for vice alone.
Is the soft nature of some hapless maid, Fond, easy, full of faith, to be betray'd ? Must she, to virtue lost, be lost to fame, And he who wrought her guilt declare her shame? Is some brave friend who (men but little known) Deems every heart as honest as his own, And, free himself, in others fears no guile, To be ensnared and ruin'd with a smile? Is law to be perverted from her course? Is abject fraud to league with brutal force ? Is Freedom to be crush'd, and every son Who dares maintain her cause to be undone ? Is base corruption, creeping through the land, To plan and work her ruin, underhand, With regular approaches, sure though slow? Or must she perish by a single blow? Are kings, who trust to servants, and depend On servants (fond vain thought!) to find a friend,
To be abused, and made to draw their breath
In darkness thicker than the shades of death?
Is God's most holy name to be profaned,
His word rejected, and his laws arraign'd,
His servants scorn'd, as men who idly dream'd,
His service laugh'd at, and his Son blasphemed?
Are debauchees in morals to preside?
Is Faith to take an Atheist for her guide?
Is Science by a blockhead to be led ?
Are states to totter on a drunkard's head ?
To answer all these purposes, and more,
More black than ever villain plann'd before,
Search earth, search hell, the devil cannot find
An agent like Lothario to his mind.
Is this nobility which, sprung from kings,
Was meant to swell the power from whence it
Is this the glorious produce, this the fruit (springs?
Which Nature hoped for from so rich a root?
Were there but two (search all the world around),
Were there but two such nobles to be found,
The very name would sink into a term
Of scorn, and man would rather be a worm
Than be a lord: but Nature, full of grace,
Nor meaning birth and titles to be base,
Made only one, and, having made him, swore,
In mercy to mankind, to make no more:
Nor stopp'd she there, but, like a generous friend,
The ills which error caused she strove to mend,
And having brought Lothario forth to view,
To save her credit, brought forth Sandwich too.
Next sat a lawyer, often tried
In perilous extremes; when Pride
And Power, all wild and trembling, stood,
Nor dared to tempt the raging flood,
This bold bad man arose to view,
And gave his hand to help them through:
Steel'd 'gainst compassion, as they pass’d,
He saw poor Freedom breathe her last;
He saw her struggle, heard her groan;
He saw her, helpless and alone,
Whelm'd in that storm which, fear'd and praised
By slaves less bold, himself had raised.
Bred to the law, he from the first
Of all bad lawyers was the worst :
Perfection (for bad inen maintain
In ill we may perfection gain)
In others is a work of time,
And they creep on from crime to crime;
He, for a prodigy design'd
To spread amazement o'er mankind,
Started full ripen'd all at once
A perfect knave and perfect dunce.
Who will for him may boast of sense,
His better guard is impudence;
His front, with tenfold plates of brass
Secured, Shame never yet could pass,
Nor on the surface of his skin
Blush for that guilt which dwelt within.
How often in contempt of laws,
To sound the bottom of a cause,
To search out every rotten part,
And worm into its very heart,
Hath he ta'en briefs on false pretence,
And undertaken the defence
Of trusting fools, whom in the end
He meant to ruin, not defend?
How often, e'en in open court,
Hath the wretch made his shame his sport,
And laugh’d off, with a villain's ease,
Throwing up briefs and keeping fees ?
Such things as, though to roguery bred,
Had struck a little villain dead.
Causes, whatever their import,
He undertakes, to serve a court;
For he by art this rule had got,
Power can effect what law cannot.
Fools he forgives, but rogues he fears; If genius, yoked with worth, appears, His weak soul sickens at the sight, And strives to plunge them down in night.
So loud he talks, so very loud, He is an angel with the crowd, Whilst he makes Justice hang her head, And judges turn from pale to red.
Bid all that nature, on a plan Most intimate, makes dear to man, All that with grand and general ties Binds good and bad, the fool and wise, Knock at his heart; they knock in vain; No entrance there such suitors gain ; Bid kneeling kings forsake the throne, Bid at his feet his country groan, Bid Liberty stretch out her hands, Religion plead her stronger bands, Bid parents, children, wife, and friends, If they come 'thwart his private ends,
Unmoved he hears the general call,
And bravely tramples on them all.
Who will, for him, may cant and whine,
And let weak Conscience with her line
Chalk out their ways; such starving rules
Are only fit for coward fools;
Fellows who credit what priests tell,
And tremble at the thoughts of hell;
His spirit dares contend with Grace,
And meets Damnation face to face.
CHARACTER OF THE LAST FOUR
THE first who, from his native soil removed,
Held England's sceptre, a tame tyrant proved:
Virtue he lack'd, cursed with those thoughts which
In souls of vulgar stamp to be a king:
Spirit he had not, though he laugh'd at laws,
To play the bold-faced tyrant with applause;
On practices most mean he raised his pride,
And Craft oft gave what Wisdom oft denied.
Ne'er could he feel how truly man is bless'd
In blessing those around him; in his breast,
Crowded with follies, Honour found no room;
Mark'd for a coward in his mother's womb,
He was too proud without affronts to live,
Too timorous to punish or forgive.
To gain a crown which had in course of time, By fair descent, been his without a crime, He bore a mother's exile; to secure A greater crown, he basely could endure