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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 Houfe did afterwards the fame?
Let Courtly Wits to Wits afford supply,
As Hog to Hog in huts of Weftphaly;
If one, through Nature's Bounty or his Lord's,
Has what the frugal, dirty foil affords,
From him the next receives it, thick or thin,
As pure a mess almost as it came in ;
The bleffed benefit, not there confin'd,
Drops to the third, who nuzzles close behind;
From tail to mouth, they feed and they caroufe:
The last full fairly gives it to the House.
F. This filthy fimile, this beastly line
Quite turns my
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 fcarce would write or read,
In all the Courts of Pindus guiltless quite;
But Pens can forge, my Friend, that cannot write;
I grant it, Sir; and further 'tis agreed,
Japhet writ not, and Chartres fcarce could read.
And muft no Egg in Japhet's face be thrown,
Because the Deed he forg'd was not my own?
Muft never Patriot then declaim at Gin,
Unless, good man! he has been fairly in?
No zealous Paftor blame a failing Spouse,
Without a staring Reafon on his brows?
And each Blafphemer quite efcape the rod,
Because the infult's not on Man, but God?
Afk you what Provocation I have had?
The ftrong Antipathy of Good to Bad.
When Truth or Virtue an Affront endures,
Th' Affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours.
Mine, as a Foe profess'd to falfe Pretence,
Who think a Coxcomb's Honour like his Senfe;
Mine, as a Friend to every worthy mind;
And mine as Man, who feel for all mankind.
F. You're ftrangely proud.
P. So proud, I am no Slave:
So impudent, I own myself no Knave:
So odd, my Country's Ruin makes me grave.
Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to fee
Men not afraid of God, afraid of me:
Safe from the Bar, the Pulpit, and the Throne,
Yet touch'd and sham'd by Ridicule alone.
O facred weapon! left for Truth's defence, Sole Dread of Folly, Vice, and Infolence! To all but Heaven-directed hands deny'd, The Mufe may give thee, but the Gods muft guide: Reverent I touch thee! but with honeft zeal;
To rouze the Watchmen of the public Weal,
To Virtue's work provoke the tardy Hall,
And goad the Prelate flumbering in his Stall.
Ye tinfel Infects! whom a Court maintains,
That counts your Beauties only by your Stains,
Spin all your Cobwebs o'er the Eye of Day!
The Mufe's wing shall brush you all away :
All his Grace preaches, all his Lordship fings,
All that makes Saints of Queens, and Gods of Kings.
All, all but Truth, drops dead-born from the Press,
Like the laft Gazette, or the last Address.
When black Ambition ftains a public Cause,
A Monarch's Sword when mad Vain-glory draws,
Not Waller's Wreath can hide the Nation's Scar,
Not Boileau turn the Feather to a Star.
Not fo, when, diadem'd with rays divine,
Touch'd with the Flame that breaks from Virtue's Shrine, Her Priestess Mufe forbids the Good to die,
After ver. 227. in the MS.
Where's now the Star that lighted Charles to rife?
-With that which follow'd Julius to the skies.
Angels, that watch'd the Royal Oak fo well,
How chanc'd ye nod, when luckless Sorel fell?
Hence, lying miracles! reduc'd fo low
As to the regal-touch and papal-toe;
Hence haughty Edgar's title to the Main,
Britain's to France, and thine to India, Spain!
Far other Stars than * and * * wear,
And may defcend to Mordington from Stair;
(Such as on Hough's unfully'd Mitre shine,
Or beam, good Digby, from a heart like thine)
Let Envy howl, while Heaven's whole Chorus fings,
And bark at Honour not conferr'd by Kings;
Let Flattery fickening fee the Incense rife,
Sweet to the World, and grateful to the Skies :
Truth guards the Poet, fanctifies the line,
And makes immortal, Verse as mean as mine.
Yes, the last Pen for Freedom let me draw,
When Truth ftands trembling on the edge of Law;
Here, laft of Britons! let your Names be read;
Are none, none living? let me praise the Dead,
And for that Cause which made your Fathers fhine,
Fall by the Votes of their degenerate Line.
F. Alas; alas! pray end what you began,
And write next winter more Effays on Man.