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By your revenue measure your expense;
And to your funds and acres join your sense.
No man is bless'd by accident or guess;
True wisdom is the price of happiness:
Yet few without long discipline are sage;
And our youth only lays up sighs for age.
But how, my Muse, canst thou resist so long
The bright temptation of the courtly throng,
Thy most inviting theme? The court affords
Much food for satire ;-it abounds in lords.
"What lords are those saluting with a grin?"
One is just out, and one as lately in.
How comes it then to pass, we see preside
On both their brows an equal share of pride?"
Pride, that impartial passion, reigns through all,
Attends our glory, nor deserts our fall.
As in its home it triumphs in high place,
And frowns a haughty exile in disgrace.
Some lords it bids admire their hands so white,
Which bloom, like Aaron's, to their ravish'd sight:
Some lords it bids resign; and turns their wands,
Like Moses', into serpents in their hands.
These sink, as divers, for renown; and boast,
With pride inverted, of their honors lost.
But against reason sure 'tis equal sin,
The boast of merely being out, or in.
Say, dear Hippolytus, (whose drink is ale,
Whose erudition is a Christmas tale,
Whose mistress is saluted with a smack,
And friend receiv'd with thumps upon the back,)
When thy sleek gelding nimbly leaps the mound,
And Ringwood opens on the tainted ground,
Is that thy praise? Let Ringwood's fame alone;
Just Ringwood leaves each animal his own;
Nor envies, when a gypsy you commit,
And shake the clumsy bench with country wit;
When you the dullest of dull things have said,
And then ask pardon for the jest you made.
Here breathe, my Muse! and then thy task renew.
Ten thousand fools unsung are still in view.
Fewer lay-atheists made by church debates;
Fewer great beggars fam'd for large estates;
Ladies, whose love is constant as the wind;
Cits, who prefer a guinea to mankind;
Fewer grave lords to Scrope discreetly bend;
And fewer shocks a statesman gives his friend.
Is there a man of an eternal vein,
Who lulls the town in winter with his strain,
At Bath, in summer, chants the reigning lass,
And sweetly whistles as the waters pass?
Is there a tongue, like Delia's o'er her cup,
That runs for ages witout winding-up?
What numbers here, through odd ambition, strive Is there, whom his tenth epic mounts to fame ?
To seem the most transported things alive!
As if by joy, desert was understood;
And all the fortunate were wise and good.
Hence aching bosoms wear a visage gay,
And stifled groans frequent the ball and play.
Completely dress'd by Monteuil* and grimace,
They take their birth-day suit and public face:
Their smiles are only part of what they wear,
Put off at night, with Lady B- -'s hair.
What bodily fatigue is half so bad?
With anxious care they labor to be glad.
What numbers, here, would into fame advance,
Conscious of merit, in the coxcomb's dance;
The tavern! park! assembly! mask! and play!
Those dear destroyers of the tedious day!
That wheel of fops! that saunter of the town!
Call it diversion, and the pill goes down.
Fools grin on fools, and, stoic-like, support,
Without one sigh, the pleasures of a court.
Courts can give nothing to the wise and good,
But scorn of pomp, and love of solitude.
High stations tumult, but not bliss, create:
None think the great unhappy, but the great :
Fools gaze, and envy; envy darts a sting,
Which makes a swain as wretched as a king.
I envy none their pageantry and show;
I envy none the gilding of their woe.
Give me, indulgent gods! with mind serene,
And guiltless heart, to range the sylvan scene;
No splendid poverty, no smiling care,
No well-bred hate, or servile grandeur, there:
There pleasing objects useful thoughts suggest;
The sense is ravish'd, and the soul is blest;
On every thorn delightful wisdom grows;
In every rill a sweet instruction flows.
But some, untaught, o'erhear the whispering rill,
In spite of sacred leisure, blockheads still:
Nor shoots up folly to a nobler bloom
In her own native soil, the drawing-room.
The squire is proud to see his coursers strain, Or well-breath'd beagles sweep along the plain.
Such, and such only, might exhaust my theme:
Nor would these heroes of the task be glad,
For who can write so fast as men run mad?
My Muse, proceed, and reach thy destin'd end;
Though toils and danger the bold task attend.
Heroes and gods make other poems fine;
Plain Satire calls for sense in every line:
Then, to what swarms thy faults I dare expose!
All friends to vice and folly are thy foes.
When such the foe, a war eternal wage;
"Tis most ill-nature to repress thy rage:
And if these strains some nobler Muse excite
I'll glory in the verse I did not write.
So weak are human-kind by Nature made,
Or to such weakness by their vice betray'd,
Almighty Vanity! to thee they owe
Their zest of pleasure, and their balm of woe.
Thou, like the Sun, all colors dost contain,
Varying, like rays of light, on drops of rain.
For every soul finds reason to be proud,
Though hiss'd and hooted by the pointing crowd.
Warm in pursuit of foxes and renown,
Hippolytus* demands the sylvan crown;
But Florio's fame, the product of a shower,
Grows in his garden, an illustrious flower!
Why teems the Earth? Why melt the vernal skies?
Why shines the Sun? To make Paul Diackt rise.
From morn to night has Florio gazing stood,
And wonder'd how the gods could be so good:
What shape! What hue! Was ever nymph so fair?
He dotes! he dies! he too is rooted there.
O solid bliss! which nothing can destroy,
Except a cat, bird, snail, or idle boy.
In fame's full bloom lies Florio down at night,
And wakes next day a most inglorious wight;
The tulip's dead! See thy fair sister's fate,
OC! and be kind, ere 'tis too late.
*This refers to the first Satire.
†The name of a tulip.
Nor are those enemies I mention'd, all;
Beware, O florist, thy ambition's fall.
A friend of mine indulg'd this noble flame;
A Quaker serv'd him, Adam was his name;
To one lov'd tulip oft the master went,
Hung o'er it, and whole days in rapture spent ;
But came, and miss'd it, one ill-fated hour:
He rag'd! he roar'd! "What demon cropt my
With what, O Codrus! is thy fancy smit?
The flower of learning, and the bloom of wit.
Thy gaudy shelves with crimson bindings glow,
And Epictetus is a perfect beau.
How fit for thee, bound up in crimson too,
Gilt, and, like them, devoted to the view!
Thy books are furniture. Methinks 'tis hard
That science should be purchas'd by the yard;
And Tonson, turn'd upholsterer, sent home
The gilded leather to fit up thy room.
If not to some peculiar end design'd,
Study's the specious trifling of the mind;
Or is at best a secondary aim,
Serene, quoth Adam, "Lo! 'twas crush'd by me;
Fall'n is the Baal to which thou bow'dst thy knee."
But all men want amusement; and what crime
In such a Paradise to fool their time?
None: but why proud of this? To fame they soar:
We grant they're idle, if they'll ask no more.
We smile at florists, we despise their joy,
And think their hearts enamour'd of a toy :
But are those wiser whom we most admire,
Survey with envy, and pursue with fire?
What's he who sighs for wealth, or fame, or power? Both pain us least when exquisitely keen.
Another Florio doting on a flower!
A short-liv'd flower; and which has often sprung
From sordid arts, as Florio's out of dung.
The fame men give is for the joy they find;
Dull is the jester, when the joke's unkind.
Since Marcus, doubtless, thinks himself a wit,
To pay my compliment, what place so fit?
His most facetious letters* came to hand,
Which my First Satire sweetly reprimand:
If that a just offence to Marcus gave,
Say, Marcus, which art thou, a fool, or knave?
For all but such with caution I forbore;
That thou wast either, I ne'er knew before:
I know thee now, both what thou art, and who;
No mask so good, but Marcus must shine through:
False names are vain, thy lines their author tell;
Thy best concealment had been writing well:
But thou a brave neglect of fame hast shown,
Of others' fame, great genius! and thy own.
Write on unheeded; and this maxim know,
The man who pardons, disappoints his foe.
In malice to proud wits, some proudly lull
Their peevish reason; vain of being dull;
When some home joke has stung their solemn souls,
Who, with the charms of his own genius smit,
Conceives all virtues are compris'd in wit!
But time his fervent petulance may cool;
For though he is a wit, he is no fool.
In time he'll learn to use, not waste, his sense;
Nor make a frailty of an excellence.
Like doom's-day, all the faults of all mankind.
He spares nor friend nor foe; but calls to mind,
What though wit tickles? tickling is unsafe,
Who, for the poor renown of being smart,
If still 'tis painful while it makes us laugh.
Would leave a sting within a brother's heart?
Then draw your wit as seldom as your sword;
Parts may be prais'd, good-nature is ador'd ;
And never on the weak; or you'll appear
As there no hero, no great genius here.
As in smooth oil the razor best is whet,
So wit is by politeness sharpest set:
Their want of edge from their offence is seen;
A chase for sport alone, and not for game.
If so, sure they who the mere volume prize,
But love the thicket where the quarry lies.
On buying books Lorenzo long was bent,
But found at length that it reduc'd his rent;
His farms were flown; when, lo! a sale comes on, In vengeance they determine-to be fools;
A choice collection! what is to be done?
He sells his last; for he the whole will buy;
Sells e'en his house; nay, wants whereon to lie:
So high the generous ardor of the man
For Romans, Greeks, and Orientals ran.
Lorenzo sign'd the bargain—with his mark.
Unlearned men of books assume the care,
As eunuchs are the guardians of the fair.
Not in his authors' liveries alone
Is Codrus' erudite ambition shown:
Editions various, at high prices bought,
Inform the world what Codrus would be thought;
And to this cost another must succeed,
To pay a sage, who says that he can read;
Who titles knows, and indexes has seen;
But leaves to Chesterfield what lies between ;
Of pompous books who shuns the proud expense,
And humbly is contented with their sense.
O Stanhope, whose accomplishments make good
The promise of a long-illustrious blood,
In arts and manners eminently grac'd,
The strictest honor! and the finest taste!
Accept this verse; if Satire can agree
With so consummate an humanity.
By your example would Hilario mend,
How would it grace the talents of my friend;
Through spleen, that little Nature gave, make less,
Quite zealous in the ways of heaviness ;
To lumps inanimate a fondness take;
And disinherit sons that are awake.
These, when their utmost venom they would spit,
When terms were drawn, and brought him by the Most barbarously tell you-" He's a wit."
Poor negroes, thus to show their burning spite
To cacodemons, say, they're devilish white.
Lampridius, from the bottom of his breast,
Sighs o'er one child; but triumphs in the rest.
How just his grief! one carries in his head
A less proportion of the father's lead;
And is in danger, without special grace,
To rise above a justice of the peace.
The dung-hill breed of men a diamond scorn,
And feel a passion for a grain of corn;
Some stupid, plodding, money-loving wight,
Who wins their hearts by knowing black from white,
Who with much pains, exerting all his sense,
Can range aright his shillings, pounds, and pence.
The booby father craves a booby son;
And by Heaven's blessing thinks himself undone.
Wants of all kinds are made to fame a plea;
One learns to lisp; another, not to see:
Miss D, tottering, catches at your hand:
Was every thing so pretty born to stand?
* Letters sent to the author, signed Marcus.
These subtle wights (so blind are mortal men, Though Satire couch them with her keenest pen) For ever will hang out a solemn face, To put off nonsense with a better grace: As pedlars with some hero's head make bold, Illustrious mark! where pins are to be sold. What's the bent brow, or neck in thought reclin'd? The body's wisdom to conceal the mind. A man of sense can artifice disdain; As men of wealth may venture to go plain; And be this truth eternal ne'er forgot, Solemnity's a cover for a sot.
I find the fool, when I behold the screen; For 'tis the wise man's interest to be seen.
Hence, Chesterfield, that openness of heart, And just disdain for that poor mimic art; Hence (manly praise!) that manner nobly free, Which all admire, and I commend, in thee.
With generous scorn how oft hast thou survey'd Of court and town the noontide masquerade; Where swarms of knaves the vizor quite disgrace, And hide secure behind a naked face! Where Nature's end of language is declin'd, And men talk only to conceal the mind: Where generous hearts the greatest hazard run, And he who trusts a brother, is undone!
Morose is sunk with shame, whene'er surpris'd
In linen clean, or peruke undisguis'd.
No sublunary chance his vestments fear;
Valued, like leopards, as their spots appear.
A fam'd surtout he wears, which once was blue,
And his foot swims in a capacious shoe;
One day his wife (for who can wives reclaim?)
Level'd her barbarous needle at his fame:
But open force was vain; by night she went,
And, while he slept, surpris'd the darling rent:
Where yawn'd the frieze is now become a doubt,
"And glory, at one entrance, quite shut out."*
He scorns Florello, and Florello him;
This hates the filthy creature; that, the prim:
Thus, in each other, both these fools despise
Their own dear selves, with undiscerning eyes;
Their methods various, but alike their aim;
The sloven and the fopling are the same.
Ye Whigs and Tories! thus it fares with you,
When party-rage too warmly yon pursue;
Then both club nonsense, and impetuous pride,
And folly joins whom sentiments divide.
You vent your spleen, as monkeys, when they pass
Scratch at the mimic monkey in the glass;
While both are one: and henceforth be it known,
Fools of both sides shall stand for fools alone.
These all their care expend on outward show For wealth and fame: for fame alone, the beau. Of late at White's was young Florello seen! How blank his look! how discompos'd his mien! So hard it proves in grief sincere to feign! Sunk were his spirits; for his coat was plain.
Next day his breast regain'd its wonted peace;
His health was mended with a silver lace.
A curious artist, long inured to toils
Of gentler sort, with combs, and fragrant oils,
Whether by chance or by some god inspir'd,
So touch'd his curls, his mighty soul was fir'd.
The well-swoln ties an equal homage claim,
And either shoulder has its share of fame;
His sumptuous watch-case, though conceal'd it lies,
Like a good conscience, solid joy supplies.
He only thinks himself (so far from vain!)
Stanhope in wit, in breeding Deloraine.
Whene'er, by seeming chance, he throws his eye
On mirrors that reflect his Tyrian dye,
With how sublime a transport leaps his heart!
But Fate ordains that dearest friends must part.
In active measures, brought from France, he wheels,
And triumphs, conscious of his learned heels.
So have I seen, on some bright summer's day,
A calf of genius, debonnair and gay,
Dance on the bank, as if inspir'd by fame,
Fond of the pretty fellow in the stream.
"But who art thou?" methinks Florello cries; "Of all thy species art thou only wise?" Since smallest things can give our sins a twitch, As crossing straws retard a passing witch, Florello, thou my monitor shalt be; I'll conjure thus some profit out of thee. O THOU myself! abroad our counsels roam, And, like ill husbands, take no care at home. Thou too art wounded with the common dart, And Love of Fame lies throbbing at thy heart; And what wise means to gain it hast thou chose? Know, fame and fortune both are made of prose. Is thy ambition sweating for a rhyme, Thou unambitious fool, at this late time? While I a moment name, a moment's past; I'm nearer death in this verse, than the last: What then is to be done? Be wise with speed; A fool at forty is a fool indeed.
And what so foolish as the chase of fame ? How vain the prize! how impotent our aim! For what are men who grasp at praise sublime, But bubbles on the rapid stream of time, That rise, and fall, that swell, and are no more, Born, and forgot, ten thousand in an hour?
TO THE RIGHT HON. MR. DODINGTON.
LONG, Dodington, in debt I long have sought
To ease the burthen of my grateful thought;
And now a poet's gratitude you see;
Grant him two favors, and he'll ask for three:
For whose the present glory, or the gain?
You give protection, I a worthless strain.
You love and feel the poet's sacred flame,
And know the basis of a solid fame;
Though prone to like, yet cautious to commend
You read with all the malice of a friend ;
Nor favor my attempts that way alone,
But, more to raise my verse, conceal your own.
An ill-tim'd modesty! turn ages o'er, When wanted Britain bright examples more? Her learning, and her genius too, decays; And dark and cold are her declining days; As if men now were of another cast, They meanly live on alms of ages past. Men still are men; and they who boldly dare, Shall triumph o'er the sons of cold despair; Or, if they fail, they justly still take place Of such who run in debt for their disgrace; Who borrow much, then fairly make it known, And damn it with improvements of their own. We bring some new materials, and what's old New-cast with care, and in no borrow'd mould; Late times the verse may read, if these refuse; And from sour critics vindicate the Muse. "Your work is long," the critics cry. "Tis true, And lengthens still, to take in fools like you: Shorten my labor, if its length you blame; For, grow but wise, you rob me of my game; As hunted hags, who, while the dogs pursue, Renounce their four legs, and start up on two.
Like the bold bird upon the banks of Nile, That picks the teeth of the dire crocodile, Will I enjoy (dread feast!) the critic's rage, And with the fell destroyer feed my page. For what ambitious fools are more to blame, Than those who thunder in the critic's name? Good authors damn'd, have their revenge in this, To see what wretches gain the praise they miss. Balbutius, muffled in his sable cloak, Like an old Druid from his hollow oak, As ravens solemn, and as boding, cries, "Ten thousand worlds for the three unities!" Ye doctors sage, who through Parnassus teach, Or quit the tub, or practise what you preach.
One judges as the weather dictates; right
The poem is at noon, and wrong at night:
Another judges by a surer gauge,
An author's principles, or parentage;
Since his great ancestors in Flanders fell,
The poem doubtless must be written well.
Another judges by the writer's look;
Another judges, for he bought the book;
Some judge, their knack of judging wrong to keep;
Some judge, because it is too soon to sleep.
Thus all will judge, and with one single aim,
To gain themselves, not give the writer, fame.
The very best ambitiously advise,
Half to serve you, and half to pass for wise.
Critics on verse, as squibs on triumphs wait,
Proclaim the glory, and augment the state;
Hot, envious, noisy, proud, the scribbling fry
Burn, hiss, and bounce, waste paper, stink, and die.
Rail on, my friends! what more my verse can crown
Than Compton's smile, and your obliging frown?
Not all on books their criticism waste: The genius of a dish some justly taste, And eat their way to fame; with anxious thought The salmon is refus'd, the turbot bought. Impatient art rebukes the Sun's delay, And bids December yield the fruits of May; Their various cares in one great point combine, The business of their lives, that is to dine. Half of their precious day they give the feast; And to a kind digestion spare the rest. Apicius, here, the taster of the town, Feeds twice a week, to settle their renown.
These worthies of the palate guard with care The sacred annals of their bills of fare;
In those choice books their panegyrics read,
And scorn the creatures that for hunger feed.
If man by feeding well commences great,
Much more the worm to whom that man is meat.
To glory some advance a lying claim,
Thieves of renown, and pilferers of fame :
Their front supplies what their ambition lacks;
They know a thousand lords, behind their backs.
Cottil is apt to wink upon a peer,
When turn'd away, with a familiar leer;
And Harvey's eyes, unmercifully keen,
Have murder'd fops, by whom she ne'er was seen
Niger adopts stray libels; wisely prone
To covet shame still greater than his own.
Bathyllus, in the winter of threescore,
Belies his innocence, and keeps a whore.
Absence of mind Brabantio turns to fame,
Learns to mistake, nor knows his brother's name;
Has words and thoughts in nice disorder set,
And takes a memorandum to forget.
Thus vain, not knowing what adorns or blots,
Men forge the patents that create them sots.
As love of pleasure into pain betrays,
So most grow infamous through love of praise.
But whence for praise can such an ardor rise,
When those, who bring that incense, we despise ?
For such the vanity of great and small,
Contempt goes round, and all men laugh at all.
Nor can e'en Satire blame them; for 'tis true,
They have most ample cause for what they do.
O fruitful Britain! doubtless thou wast meant
A nurse of fools, to stock the continent.
Though Phoebus and the Nine for ever mow,
Rank folly underneath the scythe will grow.
The plenteous harvest calls me forward still,
Till I surpass in length my lawyer's bill;
A Welsh descent, which well-paid heralds damn,
Or, longer still, a Dutchman's epigram.
When cloy'd, in fury I throw down my pen,
In comes a coxcomb, and I write again.
See Tityrus, with merriment possest, Is burst with laughter ere he hears the jest: What need he stay? for, when the joke is o'er, His teeth will be no whiter than before. Is there of these, ye fair! so great a dearth, That you need purchase monkeys for your mirth?
Some, vain of paintings, bid the world admire; Of houses some; nay, houses that they hire: Some (perfect wisdom!) of a beauteous wife; And boast, like Cordeliers, a scourge for life.
Sometimes, through pride, the sexes change their airs My lord has vapors, and my lady swears; Then, stranger still! on turning of the wind, My lord wears breeches, and my lady's kind.
To show the strength, and infamy of pride, By all 'tis follow'd, and by all denied. What numbers are there, which at once pursue Praise, and the glory to contemn it, too! Vincenna knows self-praise betrays to shame, And therefore lays a stratagem for fame; Makes his approach in modesty's disguise, To win applause; and takes it by surprise. "To err," says he, " in small things is my fate." You know your answer, "He's exact in great."
"My style," says he, " is rude and full of faults."
But oh! what sense! what energy of thoughts!"
That he wants algebra, he must confess;
I own 'twas wrong, when thousands call'd me back, Gaudy devotion, like a Roman, shown,
To make that hopeless, ill-advis'd, attack;
All say, 'twas madness; nor dare I deny;
Sure never fool so well deserv'd to die."
Could this deceive in others, to be free,
It ne'er, Vincenna, could deceive in thee;
Whose conduct is a comment to thy tongue,
So clear, the dullest cannot take thee wrong.
Thou on one sleeve wilt thy revenues wear;
And haunt the court, without a prospect there.
Are these expedients for renown? Confess
Thy little self, that I may scorn thee less.
Be wise, Vincenna, and the court forsake;
Our fortune there, nor thou nor I shall make.
Even men of merit, ere their point they gain,
In hardy service make a long campaign;
Most manfully besiege the patron's gate,
And, oft repuls'd, as oft attack the great
With painful art, and application warm,
And take, at last, some little place by storm;
Enough to keep two shoes on Sunday clean,
And starve upon discreetly, in Sheer-lane.
Already this thy fortune can afford;
Then starve without the favor of my lord.
"Tis true, great fortunes some great men confer;
But often, even in doing right, they err:
From caprice, not from choice, their favors come;
They give, but think it toil to know to whom :
The man that's nearest, yawning, they advance :
"Tis inhumanity to bless by chance.
If merit sues, and greatness is so loth
To break its downy trance, I pity both.
I grant at court, Philander, at his need,
(Thanks to his lovely wife,) finds friends indeed.
Of every charm and virtue she's possest:
Philander! thou art exquisitely blest;
The public envy! Now then, 'tis allow'd,
The man is found, who may be justly proud:
But, see! how sickly is ambition's taste!
Ambition feeds on trash, and lothes a feast;
For, lo! Philander, of reproach afraid,
In secret loves his wife, but keeps her maid.
Some nymphs sell reputation; others buy;
And love a market where the rates run high:
Italian music's sweet, because 'tis dear;
Their vanity is tickled, not their ear:
Their tastes would lessen, if the prices fell,
And Shakspeare's wretched stuff do quite as well;
Away the disenchanted fair would throng,
And own, that English is their mother tongue.
To show how much our northern tastes refine,
Imported nymphs our peeresses outshine;
While tradesmen starve, these Philomels are gay;
For generous lords had rather give than pay.
Behold the masquerade's fantastic scene!
The legislature join'd with Drury-lane!
When Britain calls, th' embroider'd patriots run,
And serve their country-if the dance is done.
"Are we not then allow'd to be polite?"
Yes, doubtless! but first set your notions right.
Worth, of politeness is the needful ground;
Where that is wanting, this can ne'er be found.
Triflers not e'en in trifles can excel;
"Tis solid bodies only polish well.
Great, chosen prophet! for these latter days,
To turn a willing world from righteous ways!
Well, Heydegger, dost thou thy master serve;
Well has he seen his servant should not starve.
Thou to his name hast splendid temples rais'd;
In various forms of worship seen him prais'd,
And sung sweet anthems in a tongue unknown.
Inferior offerings to thy god of vice
Are duly paid, in fiddles, cards, and dice;
Thy sacrifice supreme, an hundred maids!
That solemn rite of midnight masquerades!
If maids the quite exhausted town denies,
An hundred head of cuckolds may suffice.
Thou smil'st, well pleas'd with the converted land,
To see the fifty churches at a stand.
And that thy minister may never fail,
But what thy hand has planted still prevail,
Of minor prophets a succession sure
The propagation of thy zeal secure.
See commons, peers, and ministers of state,
In solemn council met, and deep debate!
What godlike enterprise is taking birth?
What wonder opens on th' expecting Earth?
'Tis done! with loud applause the council rings!
Fix'd is the fate of whores and fiddle-strings!
Though bold these truths, thou, Muse, with truths
Wilt none offend, whom 'tis a praise to please:
Let others flatter to be flatter'd; thou,
Like just tribunals, bend an awful brow.
How terrible it were to common-sense,
To write a satire, which gave none offence!
And, since from life I take the draughts you see,
If men dislike them, do they censure me?
The fool, and knave, 'tis glorious to offend,
And godlike an attempt the world to mend;
The world, where lucky throws to blockheads fall,
Knaves know the game, and honest men pay all.
How hard for real worth to gain its price!
A man shall make his fortune in a trice,
If blest with pliant, though but slender, sense,
Feign'd modesty, and real impudence:
A supple knee, smooth tongue, an easy grace,
A curse within, a smile upon his face:
A beauteous sister, or convenient wife,
Are prizes in the lottery of life;
Genius and virtue they will soon defeat,
And lodge you in the bosom of the great.
To merit, is but to provide a pain
For men's refusing what you ought to gain.
May, Dodington, this maxim fail in you,
Whom my presaging thoughts already view
By Walpole's conduct fir'd, and friendship grac'd,
Still higher in your prince's favor plac'd;
And lending, here, those awful councils aid,
Which you, abroad, with such success obey'd!
Bear this from one, who holds your friendship dear;
What most we wish, with ease we fancy near.
TO THE RIGHT HON. SIR SPENCER COMPTON.
ROUND some fair tree th' ambitious woodbine grows,
And breathes her sweets on the supporting boughs:
So sweet the verse, th' ambitious verse, should be,
(O! pardon mine) that hopes support from thee;
Thee, Compton, born o'er senates to preside,
Their dignity to raise, their councils guide;
Deep to discern, and widely to survey,
And kingdoms' fates, without ambition, weigh;
Of distant virtues nice extremes to blend,
The crown's asserter, and the people's friend: