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Yet Truth prevail'd; and, with disgrace, The dog was cudgel'd out of place.
THE COUNTRYMAN AND JUPITER.
HAVE you a friend (look round and spy)
So fond, so prepossess'd as I?
Your faults, so obvious to mankind,
My partial eyes could never find.
When by the breath of Fortune blown,
Your airy castles were o'erthrown,
Have I been ever prone to blame,
Or mortify'd your hours with shame ?
Was I e'er known to damp your spirit,
Or twit you with the want of merit?
'Tis not so strange that Fortune's frown
Still perseveres to keep you down.
Look round, and see what others do.
Would you be rich and honest too?
Have you (like those she rais'd to place)
Been opportunely mean and base?
Have you (as times requir'd) resign'd
Truth, honour, virtue, peace of mind?
If these are scruples, give her o'er ;
Write, practise morals, and be poor.
The gifts of Fortune truly rate,
Then tell me what would mend your state.
If happiness on wealth were built,
Rich rogues might comfort find in guilt.
As grows the miser's hoarded store,
His fears, his wants, increase the more.
Think, Gay, (what ne'er may be the case)
Should Fortune take you into grace,
Would that your happiness augment?
What can she give beyond content?
Suppose yourself a wealthy heir,
With a vast annual income clear!
In all the affluence you possess,
You might not feel one care the less.
Might you not then (like others) find
With change of fortune change of mind?
Perhaps, profuse beyond all rule,
You might start out a glaring fool;
Your luxury might break all bounds:
Plate, table, horses, stewards, hounds,
Might swell your debts: then, lust of play
No regal income can defray.
Sunk is all credit, writs assail,
And doom your future life to gaol.
Or, were you dignify'd with power,
Would that avert one pensive hour?
You might give avarice its swing,
Defraud a nation, blind a king:
Then, from the hirelings in your cause,
Though daily fed with false applause,
Could it a real joy impart ?
Great guilt knew never joy at heart.
Is happiness your point in view?
(1 mean th' intrinsic and the true)
She nor in camps or courts resides,
Nor in the humble cottage hides;
Yet found alike in every sphere;
Who finds content, will find her there.
O'erspent with toil, beneath the shade,
A Peasant rested on his spade:
"Good gods!" he cries," 'tis hard to bear This load of life from year to year!
Soon as the morning streaks the skies,
Industrious Labour bids me rise;
With sweat I earn my homely fare,
And every day renews Iny care."
Jove heard the discontented strain,
And thus rebuk'd the murmuring swain:
"Speak out your wants, then, honest friend;
Unjust complaints the gods offend.
If you repine at partial Fate,
Instruct me what could mend your state.
Mankind in every station see.
What wish you? tell me what you'd be."
So said, upborne upon a cloud,
The Clown survey'd the anxious crowd.
"Yon face of care," says Jove, “behold,
His bulky bags are fill'd with gold.
See with what joy he counts it o'er!
That sum to day hath swell'd his store."
"Were I that man," (the Peasant cry'd)
"What blessings could I ask beside?"
"Hold," says the god; "first learn to know True happiness from outward show. This optic glass of intuitionHere, take it, view his true condition." He look'd, and saw the miser's breast A troubled ocean, ne'er at rest; Want ever stares him in the face, And fear anticipates disgrace: With conscious guilt he saw him start; Extortion gnaws his throbbing heart, And never, or in thought or dream, His breast admits one happy gleam.
"May Jove," he cries," reject my prayer, And guard my life from guilt and care!
My soul abhors that wretch's fate.
O keep me in my humble state!
But see, amidst a gawdy crowd,
Yon minister so gay and proud,
On him what happiness attends,
Who thus rewards his grateful friends!"
"First take the glass," the god replies;
"Man views the world with partial eyes."
"Good gods!" exclaims the startled wight,
"Defend me from this hideous sight!
Corruption, with corrosive smart,
Lies cankering on his guilty heart:
I see him with polluted hand
Spread the contagion o'er the land.
Now Avarice with insatiate jaws,
Now Rapine with her harpy claws,
His bosom tears. His conscious breast
Groans with a load of crimes opprest.
See him, mad and drunk with power,
Stand tottering on Ambition's tower.
Sometimes, in speeches vain and proud,
His boasts insult the nether crowd,
Now, seiz'd with giddiness and fear,
He trembles lest his fall is near."
"Was ever wretch like this!" he cries;
"Such misery in such disguise!
The change, O Jove! I disavow;
Still be my lot the spade and plough."
He next, confirm'd by speculation,
Rejects the lawyer's occupation;
For he the statesman seem'd in part,
And bore similitude of heart.
Nor did the soldier's trade inflame
His hopes with thirst of spoil and fame.
The miseries of war he mourn'd; Whole nations into deserts turn'd.
"By these have laws and rights been brav'd; By these was free-born man enslav'd: When battles and invasion cease,
Why swarm they in the lands of peace? Such change" (says he) "unay I decline; The scythe and civil arms be nine!"
Thus, weighing life in each condition, The Clown withdrew his rash petition. When thus the god: "How mortals err ! If you true happiness prefer, 'Tis to no rank of life confin'd, But dwells in every honest mind. Be justice then your sole pursuit : Plant virtue, and content's the fruit." So Jove, to gratify the Clown, Where first be found him, set him down.
THE MAN, THE CAT, THE DOG, AND THE FLY.
TO MY NATIVE COUNTRY.
HAIL, happy land! whose fertile grounds
The liquid fence of Neptune bounds,
By bounteous Nature set apart,
The seat of Industry and Art!
O Britain! chosen port of trade,
May luxury ne'er thy sons invade!
May never minister (intent
His private treasures to augment)
Corrupt thy state! If jealous foes
Thy rights of commerce dare oppose,
Shall not thy fleets their rapine awe?
Who is 't prescribes the ocean law?
Whenever neighbouring states contend,
'Tis thine to be the general friend.
What is 't who rules in other lands?
On trade alone thy glory stands;
That benefit is unconfin'd,
Diffusing good among mankind :
That first gave lustre to thy reigns,
And scatter'd plenty o'er thy plains:
'Tis that alone thy wealth supplies,
And draws all Europe's envious eyes.
Be commerce, then, thy sole design;
Keep that, and all the world is thine.
When naval traffic plows the main,
Who shares not in the merchant's gain?
'Tis that supports the regal state,
And makes the farmer's heart elate:
The numerous flocks that clothe the land
Can scarce supply the loom's demand;
Prolific culture glads the fields,
And the bare heath a harvest yields.
Nature expects mankind should share
The duties of the public care.
Who's born for sloth? To some we find
The ploughshare's annual toil assign'd:
Some at the sounding anvil glow;
Some the swift-sliding shuttle throw;
Some, studious of the wind and tide,
From pole to pole our commerce guide:
Some (taught by industry) impart
With hands and feet the works of art,
While some, of genius more refin'd,
With head and tongue assist mankind.
Each, aiming at one common end,
Proves to the whole a needful friend.
Thus, born each other's useful aid,
By turns are obligations paid.
The monarch, when bis table's spread,
Is to the clown oblig'd for bread;
And, when in all his glory drest,
Owes to the loom his royal vest.
Do not the mason's toil and care
Protect him from th' inclement air?
Does not the cutler's art supply
The ornament that guards his thigh!
All these, in duty to the throne,
Their common obligations own.
"Tis he (his own and people's cause)
Protects their properties and laws.
Thus they their honest toil employ,
And with contents the fruits enjoy.
In every rank, or great or small,
'Tis industry supports us all.
The animals, by want oppress'd,
To man their services address'd:
While each pursu'd their selfish good,
They hunger'd for precarious food:
Their hours with anxious cares were vext;
One day they fed, and starv'd the next:
They saw that plenty, sure and rife,
Was found alone in social life;
That mutual industry profess'd,
The various wants of man redress'd.
The Cat, half famish'd, lean and weak, Demands the privilege to speak.
"Well, Puss," (says Man) " and what can you To benefit the public do?"
The Cat replies, "These teeth, these claws,
With vigilance shall serve the cause.
The mouse, destroy'd by my pursuit,
No longer shall your feasts pollute;
Nor rats, from nightly ambuscade,
With wasteful teeth your stores invade.”
"I grant," says Man, "to general use
Your parts and talents may conduce;
For rats and mice purloin our grain,
And threshers whirl the flail in vain :
Thus shall the Cat, a foe to spoil,
Protect the farmer's honest toil.
Then turning to the Dog, he cry'd,
"Well, sir, be next your merits try'd."
"Sir," says the Dog," by self-applause
We seem to own a friendless cause.
Ask those who know me, if distrust
E'er found me treacherous or unjust?
Did I e'er faith or friendship break?
Ask all those creatures; let them speak.
My vigilance and trusty zeal
Perhaps might serve the public weal.
Might not your flocks in safety feed,
Were I to guard the fleecy breed?
Did I the nightly watches keep,
Could thieves invade you while you sleep?"
The Man replies: "Tis just and right;
Rewards such service should requite.
So rare, in property, we find
Trust uncorrupt among mankind,
That, taken in a public view,
The first distinction is your due.
Such merits all reward transcend :
Be then my comrade and my friend.”.
Addressing now the Fly: "From you What public service can accrue ?"
"From me!" (the fluttering insect said)
"I thought you knew me better bred.
Sir, I'm a gentleman. Is 't fit
That I to industry submit?
Let mean mechanics, to be fed,
By business earn ignoble bread;
Lost in excess of daily joys,
No thought, no care, my life annoys.
At noon (the lady's matin hour)
I sip the tea's delicious flower.
On cates luxuriously I dine,
And drink the fragrance of the vine.
Studious of elegance and ease,
Myself alone I seek to please."
"The Man his pert conceit derides, And thus the useless coxcomb chides:
"Hence, from that peach, that downy seat; No idle fool deserves to eat.
Could you have sapp'd the blushing rind,
And on that pulp ambrosial din'd,
Had not some hand, with skill and toil,
To raise the tree, prepar'd the soil?
Consider, Sot, what would ensue,
Were all such worthless things as you.
You'd soon be forc'd (by hunger stung)
To make your dirty meals on dung,
On which such despicable need,
Unpitied, is reduc'd to feed.
Besides, vain selfish insect, learn,
(If you can right and wrong discern)
That he who, with industrious zeal,
Contributes to the public weal,
By adding to the common good,
His own hath rightly understood.",
So saying, with a sudden blow
He laid the noxious vagrant low.
Crush'd in his luxury and pride,
The spunger on the public dy'd.
THE JACKALL, LEOPARD, AND OTHER BEASTS
TO A MODERN POLITICIAN.
I CRANT Corruption sways mankind;
That interest, too, perverts the mind;
That bribes have blinded common sense,
Foil'd reason, truth, and eloquence:
I grant you, too, our present crimes
Can equal those of former times.
Against plain facts shall I engage,
To vindicate our righteous age?
I know that in a modern fist
Bribes in full energy subsist.
Since then these arguments prevail,
And itching palms are still so frail,
· Hence politicians, you suggest,
Should drive the nail that goes the best;
That it shows parts and penetration,
To ply men with the right temptation.
To this I humbly must dissent,
Premising, no reflection's meant.
Does justice or the client's sense
Teach lawyers either side's defence?
The fee gives eloquence its spirit;
That only is the client's merit.
Does art, wit, wisdom, or address,
Obtain the prostitute's caress?
The guinea (as in other trades)
From every hand alike persuades.
Man, Scripture says, is prone to evil;
But does that vindicate the Devil?
Besides, the more mankind are prone,
The less the Devil's parts are shown.
Corruption's not of modern date;
It hath been try'd in every state;
Great knaves of old their power have fenc'd;
By places, pensions, bribes, dispens'd;
By these they glory'd in success,
And impudently dar'd oppress;
By these despoticly they sway'd,
And slaves extoll'd the hand that pay'd;
Nor parts nor genius were employ'd,
By these alone were realms destroy'd.
Now see these wretches in disgrace,
Stript of their treasures, power, and place;
View them abandon'd and forlorn,
Expos'd to such reproach and scorn.
What now is all your pride, your boast?
Where are your slaves, your flattering host!
What tongues now feed you with applause!
Where are the champions of your cause?
Now ev'n that very fawning train,
Which shar'd the gleanings of your gain,
Press foremost who shall first accuse
Your selfish jobbs, your paltry views,
Your narrow schemes, your breach of trust,
And want of talents to be just.
What fools were these amidst their power!
How thoughtless of their adverse hour!
What friends were made? A hireling herd,
For temporary votes preferr❜d.
Was it these sycophants to get,
Your bounty swell'd a nation's debt?
You're bit: for these, like Swiss, attend;
No longer pay, no longer friend.
The lion is (beyond dispute)
Allow'd the most majestic brute;
His valour and his generous mind
Prove him superior of his kind:
Yet to jackalls (as 'tis averr'd)
Some lions have their power transferr'd;
As if the parts of pimps and spies
To govern forests could suffice.
Once, studious of his private good,
A proud Jackall oppress'd the wood;
To cram his own insatiate jaws,
Invaded property and laws.
The forest groans with discontent,
Fresh wrongs the general hate foment.
The spreading murmurs reach'd his ear;
His secret hours were vex'd with fear.
Night after night he weighs the case,
And feels the terrours of disgrace.
"By friends" (says he) "I'll guard my seat, By those malicious tongues defeat;
I'll strengthen power by new allies,
And all my clamorous foes despise."
To make the generous beasts his friends,
He cringes, fawns, and condescends;
But those repuls'd his abject court,
And scorn'd oppression to support.
Friends must be had. He can't subsist.
Bribes shall new proselytes inlist:
But these nought weigh'd in honest paws;
For bribes confess a wicked cause:
Yet think not every paw withstands What hath prevail'd in human hands. A tempting turnip's silver skin
Drew a base Hog through thick and thin :
Bought with a Stag's delicious haunch,
The mercenary Wolf was stanch:
The convert Fox grew warm and hearty,
A Pullet gain'd him to the party :
The golden pippin in his fist,
A chattering Monkey join'd the list.
But soon, expos'd to public hate,
The favourite's fall redress'd the state.
The Leopard, vindicating right,
Had brought his secret frauds to light.
As rats, before the mansion falls,
Desert late hospitable walls,
In shoals the servile creatures run,
To bow before the rising Sun.
The Hog with warmth express'd his zeal,
And was for hanging those that steal;
But hop'd, though low, the public hoard
Might half a turnip still afford.
Since saving measures were profest,
A lamb's head was the Wolf's request.
The Fox submitted, if to touch
A gosling would be deem'd too much. The Monkey thought his grin and chatter
Might ask a nut, or some such matter.
TO THE REV. DR. SWIFT, DEAN OF ST. PATRICK'S.
THOUGH Courts the practise disallow,
A friend at all times I'll avow.
In politics I know 'tis wrong;
A friendship may be kept too long;
And what they call the prudent part,
Is to wear interest next the heart.
As the times take a different face,
Old friendships should to new give place.
I know, too, you have many foes,
That owning you is sharing those;
That every knave in every station,
Of high and low denomination,
For what you speak, and what you write,
Dread you at once, and bear you spite.
Such freedoms in your works are shown,
They can't enjoy what's not their own.
All dunces, too, in church and state,
In frothy nonsense show their hate;
With all the petty scribbling crew,
(And those pert 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 yourself: 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.
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)
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;
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 swarm,
With honest indignation warm,
Thus from his cell with zeal reply'd:
"I slight thy frowns, and hate thy pride.
The laws our native rights protect;
Offending thee, I those respect.
Shall luxury corrupt the hive,
And none against the torrent strive?
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 sires to power and fame.
Be virtuous; save yourselves from shame;
Know that, in selfish ends pursuing,
You scramble for the public ruin."
He spoke; and, from his cell dismiss'd,
Was insolently scoff'd and hiss'd.
With him a friend or two resign'd,
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;
By 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.
TO A YOUNG NOBLEMAN.
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 scorn;
Let virtue prove you greatly born.
Though with less plate their side-board shone,
Their conscience always was their own;
They ne'er at levees meanly fawn'd,
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 sires adorn their seat;
And such alone are truely great.
If you the paths of learning slight,
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,
We pay you the contempt that's due ;
In that you have precedence too.
Whence had you this illustrious name?
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 son.
Superior worth your rank requires;
For that mankind reveres your sices:
If you degenerate from your race,
Their merits heighten your disgrace.
A Carrier, every night and morn,
Would see his horses eat their corn:
This sunk the hostler's vails, 'tis true;
But then his horses 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, jostled, bit, and flung.
A Pack-horse turn'd his head aside,
Foaming, his eye-balls swell'd with pride
See scurvy Roan, that brute ill-bred,
Dares from the manger thrust my head!
Shall I, who boast a noble line,
On offals of these creatures dine?
Kick'd by old Ball! so mean a foe?
My honour suffers by the blow.
Newmarket speaks my grandsire's fame;
All jockeys still revere his name:
There, yearly, are his triumphs told,
There all his massy plates enroll'd.
Whene'er led forth upon the plajn,
You saw him with a livery train;
Returning, too, with laurels crown'd,
You heard the drums and trumpets sound.
Let it then, sir, be understood,
Respect 's my due, for I have blood."
"Vain glorious fool!" (the Carrier cry'd)
"Respect was never paid to pride.
Know 'twas thy giddy wilful heart
Reduc'd thee to this slavish part,
Did not thy headstrong youth disdain
To learn the conduct of the rein?
Thus coxcombs, blind to real merit,
In vicious frolics fancy spirit.
What is 't to me by whom begot,
Thou restive, pert, conceited sot?
Your sires I reverence; 'tis their due,
But, worthless fool, what 's that to you?
Ask all the Carriers on the road,
They'll say, thy keeping 's ill bestow'd;
Then vaunt no more thy noble race,
That neither mends thy strength or pace.
What profits me thy boast of blood?
An ass has more intrinsic good.
By outward show let's not be cheated;
An ass should like an ass be treated.”
Soon as your father's death was known,
(As if th' estate had been their own)
The gamesters outwardly exprest
The decent joy within your breast.
So lavish in your praise they grew,
As spoke their certain hopes in you.
One counts your income of the year,
How much in ready money clear.
"No house," says he," is more complete;
The garden 's elegant and great.
How fine the park around it lies!
The timber 's of a noble size.
Then count his jewels and his plate.
Besides, 'tis no entail'd estate.
If cash run low, his lands in fee
Are, or for sale or mortgage, free."
Thus they, before you threw the main,
Seem to anticipate their gain.
Would you, when thieves are known abroad, Bring forth your treasures in the road?
"Good gods!" (says he)" how hard 's my lot! Would not the fool abet the stealth,
Is then my high descent forgot?
Reduc'd to drudgery and disgrace,
(A life unworthy of my race)
Must I, too, hear the vile attacks
Of ragged scrubs and vulgar hacks?
Who rashly thus expos'd his wealth?
Yet this you do, whene'er you play
Among the gentlemen of prey.
Could fools to keep their own contrive,
On what, on whom, could gamesters thrive?