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Who ftarv'd a Sifter, who forefwore a Debt,
I never nam'd; the Town's enquiring yet.
The poisoning Dame -F. You mean- P. I don't,➡ F. You do.
P. See, now I keep the Secret, and not you!
The bribing Statesman-F. Hold, too high you go.
P. The brib'd Elector-F. There you ftoop too
P. I fain would please you, if I knew with what;
which Knave is lawful Game, which not?
Muft great Offenders, once escap'd the Crown,
Like Royal Harts, be never more run down?
Admit your Law to spare the Knight requires?
As Beasts of Nature may we hunt the Squires?
Suppose I cenfure-you know what I mean-
To fave a Bishop, may I name a Dean?
F. A Dean, Sir? no; his Fortune is not made,
You hurt a man that's rifing in the Trade.
P. If not the Tradefman who set up to-day, Much lefs the 'Prentice who to-morrow may.
Down, down, proud Satire! though a Realm be spoil'd,
Arraign no mightier Thief than Wretched Wild;
Or, if a Court or Country 's made a job,
Go drench a Pickpocket, and join the Mob.
But, Sir, I beg you (for the Love of Vice !)
The matter's weighty, pray confider twice;
Have you lefs pity for the needy Cheat,
The poor and friendless Villain, than the Great?
Alas! the fmall Difcredit of a Bribe
Scarce hurts the Lawyer, but undoes the Scribe,
Then better fure it Charity becomes
To tax Directors, who (thank God) have Plums
Still better, Minifters; or, if the thing
May pinch ev'n there-why lay it on a King.
F. Stop! stop!
P. Muft Satire, then, nor rife 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 defperate, if they once are bad:
Elfe might he take to Virtue fome years hence-
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 confefs, there is who feels for Fame,
And melts to Goodness, need I Scarborow name?
Pleas'd let me own, in Efher's peaceful Grove
(Where Kent and Nature vie for Pelham's Love)
The Scene, the Mafter, opening to my view,
I fit and dream I fee my Craggs anew!
Ev'n in a Bishop I can fpy Defert;
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 ftudy'd Shrewsbury, the wife and great:
Carleton's calm Senfe, and Stanhope's noble Flame, 80 Compar'd, and knew their generous End the fame : How pleating Atterbury's fofter hour!
How fhin'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 thake alike the Senate and the Field:
Or Wyndham, just to Freedom and the Throne,
The Mafter of our Paffions, 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 Lift should end,
Still let me fay! No Follower, but a Friend.
Yet think not, Friendship only prompts my lays;
I follow Virtue; where the fhines, I praise :
Point she to Prieft or Elder, Whig or Tory,
Or round a Quaker's Beaver caft a Glory.
I never (to my forrow I declare)
Din'd with the Man of Rofs, or my
Some, in their choice of Friends (nay, look not grave) Have ftill a fecret Byafs to a Knave:
To find an honeft man, I beat about;
And love him, court him, praise him, in or out.
F. Then why fo few commended?
Find you the Virtue, and I'll find the Verfe.
But random Praise-the task can ne'er be done :
Each Mother asks it for her booby Son,
Each Widow asks it for the Beft 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 'fcape my Cenfure, not expect my Praise.
Are they not rich? what more can they pretend?
Dare they to hope a Poet for their Friend?
What Richelieu wanted, Louis fcarce could gain,
And what young Ammon wish'd, but wish'd in vain.
No Power the Mufe's Friendship can command;
No Power, when Virtue claims it, can withstand:
To Cato, Virgil paid one honeft 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 ftrangely round about.
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,
And was, befides, a Tyrant to his Wife.
But pray when others praise him, do I blame?
Call Verres, Wolfey, any odious name?
Why rail they then, if but a Wreath of mine,
Oh all-accomplish'd St. John! deck thy shrine?
What? fhall 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 1 treat a Friend ;
Then wifely plead, to me they meant no hurt,
But 'twas my Gueft at whom they threw the dirt? *45
Sure, if I fpare the Minister, no rules
Of honour bind me, not to maul his Tools;
Sure, if they cannot cut, it may be faid
His Saws are toothless, and his Hatchets Lead.
It anger'd Turenne, once upon a day,
To fee 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 jeft,
And begg'd, he'd take the pains to kick the rest:
Which not at present having time to do
F. Hold Sir! for God's fake, 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 whofe diftich all commend
[In Power a Servant, out of Power a Friend]
To W-le guilty of fome venial fin;
What's that to you who ne'er was out nor in?