Part 8 out of 9
Is folly, which admits not of defence;
It can't be Nature, for it is not sense. 200
By the same argument which here you hold,
(When Falsehood's insolent, let Truth be told)
If Propagation can in torments dwell,
A devil must, if born there, love his Hell.
_P_. Had Fate, to whose decrees I lowly bend,
And e'en in punishment confess a friend,
Ordain'd my birth in some place yet untried,
On purpose made to mortify my pride,
Where the sun never gave one glimpse of day,
Where Science never yet could dart one ray, 210
Had I been born on some bleak, blasted plain
Of barren Scotland, in a Stuart's reign,
Or in some kingdom, where men, weak, or worse,
Turn'd Nature's every blessing to a curse;
Where crowns of freedom, by the fathers won,
Dropp'd leaf by leaf from each degenerate son;
In spite of all the wisdom you display,
All you have said, and yet may have to say,
My weakness here, if weakness I confess,
I, as my country, had not loved her less. 220
Whether strict Reason bears me out in this,
Let those who, always seeking, always miss
The ways of Reason, doubt with precious zeal;
Theirs be the praise to argue, mine to feel.
Wish we to trace this passion to the root,
We, like a tree, may know it by its fruit;
From its rich stem ten thousand virtues spring,
Ten thousand blessings on its branches cling;
Yet in the circle of revolving years
Not one misfortune, not one vice, appears. 230
Hence, then, and what you Reason call, adore;
This, if not Reason, must be something more.
But (for I wish not others to confine;
Be their opinions unrestrain'd as mine)
Whether this love's of good or evil growth,
A vice, a virtue, or a spice of both,
Let men of nicer argument decide;
If it is virtuous, soothe an honest pride
With liberal praise; if vicious, be content,
It is a vice I never can repent; 240
A vice which, weigh'd in Heaven, shall more avail
Than ten cold virtues in the other scale.
_F_. This wild, untemper'd zeal (which, after all,
We, candour unimpeach'd, might madness call)
Is it a virtue? That you scarce pretend;
Or can it be a vice, like Virtue's friend,
Which draws us off from and dissolves the force
Of private ties, nay, stops us in our course
To that grand object of the human soul,
That nobler love which comprehends the whole? 250
Coop'd in the limits of this petty isle,
This nook, which scarce deserves a frown or smile,
Weigh'd with Creation, you, by whim undone,
Give all your thoughts to what is scarce worth one.
The generous soul, by Nature taught to soar,
Her strength confirm'd in philosophic lore,
At one grand view takes in a world with ease,
And, seeing all mankind, loves all she sees.
_P_. Was it most sure, which yet a doubt endures,
Not found in Reason's creed, though found in yours, 260
That these two services, like what we're told,
And know, of God's and Mammon's, cannot hold
And draw together; that, however both,
We neither serve, attempting to serve both,
I could not doubt a moment which to choose,
And which in common reason to refuse.
Invented oft for purposes of art,
Born of the head, though father'd on the heart,
This grand love of the world must be confess'd
A barren speculation at the best. 270
Not one man in a thousand, should he live
Beyond the usual term of life, could give,
So rare occasion comes, and to so few,
Proof whether his regards are feign'd, or true.
The love we bear our country is a root
Which never fails to bring forth golden fruit;
'Tis in the mind an everlasting spring
Of glorious actions, which become a king,
Nor less become a subject; 'tis a debt
Which bad men, though they pay not, can't forget; 280
A duty, which the good delight to pay,
And every man can practise every day.
Nor, for my life (so very dim my eye,
Or dull your argument) can I descry
What you with faith assert, how that dear love,
Which binds me to my country, can remove,
And make me of necessity forego,
That general love which to the world I owe.
Those ties of private nature, small extent,
In which the mind of narrow cast is pent, 290
Are only steps on which the generous soul
Mounts by degrees till she includes the whole.
That spring of love, which, in the human mind,
Founded on self, flows narrow and confined,
Enlarges as it rolls, and comprehends
The social charities of blood and friends,
Till, smaller streams included, not o'erpast,
It rises to our country's love at last;
And he, with liberal and enlarged mind,
Who loves his country, cannot hate mankind. 300
_F_. Friend, as you would appear, to Common Sense,
Tell me, or think no more of a defence,
Is it a proof of love by choice to run
A vagrant from your country?
_P_. Can the son
(Shame, shame on all such sons!) with ruthless eye,
And heart more patient than the flint, stand by,
And by some ruffian, from all shame divorced,
All virtue, see his honour'd mother forced?
Then--no, by Him that made me! not e'en then,
Could I with patience, by the worst of men, 310
Behold my country plunder'd, beggar'd, lost
Beyond redemption, all her glories cross'd,
E'en when occasion made them ripe, her fame
Fled like a dream, while she awakes to shame.
_F_. Is it not more the office of a friend,
The office of a patron, to defend
Her sinking state, than basely to decline
So great a cause, and in despair resign?
_P_. Beyond my reach, alas! the grievance lies,
And, whilst more able patriots doubt, she dies. 320
From a foul source, more deep than we suppose,
Fatally deep and dark, this grievance flows.
'Tis not that peace our glorious hopes defeats:
'Tis not the voice of Faction in the streets;
'Tis not a gross attack on Freedom made;
Tis not the arm of Privilege display'd,
Against the subject, whilst she wears no sting
To disappoint the purpose of a king;
These are no ills, or trifles, if compared
With those which are contrived, though not declared. 330
Tell me, Philosopher, is it a crime
To pry into the secret womb of Time;
Or, born in ignorance, must we despair
To reach events, and read the future there?
Why, be it so--still 'tis the right of man,
Imparted by his Maker, where he can,
To former times and men his eye to cast,
And judge of what's to come, by what is past.
Should there be found, in some not distant year,
(Oh, how I wish to be no prophet here!) 340
Amongst our British Lords should there be found
Some great in power, in principles unsound,
Who look on Freedom with an evil eye,
In whom the springs of Loyalty are dry;
Who wish to soar on wild Ambition's wings,
Who hate the Commons, and who love not Kings;
Who would divide the people and the throne,
To set up separate interests of their own;
Who hate whatever aids their wholesome growth,
And only join with, to destroy them both; 350
Should there be found such men in after-times,
May Heaven, in mercy to our grievous crimes,
Allot some milder vengeance, nor to them,
And to their rage, this wretched land condemn,
Thou God above, on whom all states depend,
Who knowest from the first their rise, and end,
If there's a day mark'd in the book of Fate,
When ruin must involve our equal state;
When law, alas! must be no more, and we,
To freedom born, must be no longer free; 360
Let not a mob of tyrants seize the helm,
Nor titled upstarts league to rob the realm;
Let not, whatever other ills assail,
A damned aristocracy prevail.
If, all too short, our course of freedom run,
'Tis thy good pleasure we should be undone,
Let us, some comfort in our griefs to bring,
Be slaves to one, and be that one a king.
_F_. Poets, accustom'd by their trade to feign,
Oft substitute creations of the brain 370
For real substance, and, themselves deceived,
Would have the fiction by mankind believed.
Such is your case--but grant, to soothe your pride,
That you know more than all the world beside,
Why deal in hints, why make a moment's doubt?
Resolved, and like a man, at once speak out;
Show us our danger, tell us where it lies,
And, to ensure our safety, make us wise.
_P_. Rather than bear the pain of thought, fools stray;
The proud will rather lose than ask their way: 380
To men of sense what needs it to unfold,
And tell a tale which they must know untold?
In the bad, interest warps the canker'd heart,
The good are hoodwink'd by the tricks of art;
And, whilst arch, subtle hypocrites contrive
To keep the flames of discontent alive;
Whilst they, with arts to honest men unknown,
Breed doubts between the people and the throne,
Making us fear, where Reason never yet
Allow'd one fear, or could one doubt admit, 390
Themselves pass unsuspected in disguise,
And 'gainst our real danger seal our eyes.
_F_. Mark them, and let their names recorded stand
On Shame's black roll, and stink through all the land.
_P_. That might some courage, but no prudence be;
No hurt to them, and jeopardy to me.
_F_. Leave out their names.
_P_. For that kind caution, thanks;
But may not judges sometimes fill up blanks?
_F_. Your country's laws in doubt then you reject? 400
_P_. The laws I love, the lawyers I suspect.
Amongst twelve judges may not one be found
(On bare, bare possibility I ground
This wholesome doubt) who may enlarge, retrench,
Create, and uncreate, and from the bench,
With winks, smiles, nods, and such like paltry arts,
May work and worm into a jury's hearts?
Or, baffled there, may, turbulent of soul,
Cramp their high office, and their rights control;
Who may, though judge, turn advocate at large, 410
And deal replies out by the way of charge,
Making Interpretation all the way,
In spite of facts, his wicked will obey,
And, leaving Law without the least defence,
May damn his conscience to approve his sense?
_F_. Whilst, the true guardians of this charter'd land,
In full and perfect vigour, juries stand,
A judge in vain shall awe, cajole, perplex.
_P_. Suppose I should be tried in Middlesex?
_F_. To pack a jury they will never dare. 420
_P_. There's no occasion to pack juries there.
_F_. 'Gainst prejudice all arguments are weak;
Reason herself without effect must speak.
Fly then thy country, like a coward fly,
Renounce her interest, and her laws defy.
But why, bewitch'd, to India turn thine eyes?
Cannot our Europe thy vast wrath suffice?
Cannot thy misbegotten Muse lay bare
Her brawny arm, and play the butcher there?
_P_. Thy counsel taken, what should Satire do? 430
Where could she find an object that is new?
Those travell'd youths, whom tender mothers wean,
And send abroad to see, and to be seen;
With whom, lest they should fornicate, or worse,
A tutor's sent by way of a dry nurse;
Each of whom just enough of spirit bears
To show our follies, and to bring home theirs,
Have made all Europe's vices so well known,
They seem almost as natural as our own.
_F_. Will India for thy purpose better do? 440
_P_. In one respect, at least--there's something new.
_F_. A harmless people, in whom Nature speaks
Free and untainted,'mongst whom Satire seeks,
But vainly seeks, so simply plain their hearts,
One bosom where to lodge her poison'd darts.
_P_. From knowledge speak you this? or, doubt on doubt
Weigh'd and resolved, hath Reason found it out?
Neither from knowledge, nor by Reason taught,
You have faith every where, but where you ought.
India or Europe--what's there in a name? 450
Propensity to vice in both the same,
Nature alike in both works for man's good,
Alike in both by man himself withstood.
Nabobs, as well as those who hunt them down,
Deserve a cord much better than a crown,
And a Mogul can thrones as much debase
As any polish'd prince of Christian race.
_F_. Could you,--a task more hard than you suppose,--
Could you, in ridicule whilst Satire glows,
Make all their follies to the life appear, 460
'Tis ten to one you gain no credit here;
Howe'er well drawn, the picture, after all,
Because we know not the original,
Would not find favour in the public eye.
_P_. That, having your good leave, I mean to try:
And if your observations sterling hold,
If the piece should be heavy, tame, and cold,
To make it to the side of Nature lean,
And meaning nothing, something seem to mean:
To make the whole in lively colours glow, 470
To bring before us something that we know,
And from all honest men applause to win,
I'll group the Company, and put them in.
_F_. Be that ungenerous thought by shame suppress'd,
Add not distress to those too much distress'd;
Have they not, by blind zeal misled, laid bare
Those sores which never might endure the air?
Have they not brought their mysteries so low,
That what the wise suspected not, fools know?
From their first rise e'en to the present hour, 480
Have they not proved their own abuse of power,
Made it impossible, if fairly view'd,
Ever to have that dangerous power renew'd,
Whilst, unseduced by ministers, the throne
Regards our interests, and knows its own?
_P_. Should every other subject chance to fail,
Those who have sail'd, and those who wish'd to sail
In the last fleet, afford an ample field,
Which must beyond my hopes a harvest yield.
_F_. On such vile food Satire can never thrive. 490
_P_. She cannot starve, if there was only Clive.
* * * * *
 'Juries there:' alluding to the then recent acquittal from the
charge of perjury, by the petty jury, of Mr Philip Carteret Webb,
solicitor to the Treasury, who had sworn against Wilkes.
 'Company:' East Indian Co.
 'Clive:' See Macaulay's Essay.
The time hath been, a boyish, blushing time,
When modesty was scarcely held a crime;
When the most wicked had some touch of grace,
And trembled to meet Virtue face to face;
When those, who, in the cause of Sin grown gray,
Had served her without grudging day by day,
Were yet so weak an awkward shame to feel
And strove that glorious service to conceal:
We, better bred, and than our sires more wise,
Such paltry narrowness of soul despise: 10
To virtue every mean pretence disclaim,
Lay bare our crimes, and glory in our shame.
Time was, ere Temperance had fled the realm,
Ere Luxury sat guttling at the helm
From meal to meal, without one moment's space
Reserved for business or allow'd for grace;
Ere Vanity had so far conquer'd Sense
To make us all wild rivals in expense,
To make one fool strive to outvie another,
And every coxcomb dress against his brother; 20
Ere banish'd Industry had left our shores,
And Labour was by Pride kick'd out of doors;
Ere Idleness prevail'd sole queen in courts,
Or only yielded to a rage for sports;
Ere each weak mind was with externals caught,
And dissipation held the place of thought;
Ere gambling lords in vice so far were gone
To cog the die, and bid the sun look on;
Ere a great nation, not less just than free,
Was made a beggar by economy; 30
Ere rugged Honesty was out of vogue;
Ere Fashion stamp'd her sanction on the rogue;
Time was, that men had conscience, that they made
Scruples to owe what never could be paid.
Was one then found, however high his name,
So far above his fellows damn'd to shame,
Who dared abuse, and falsify his trust,
Who, being great, yet dared to be unjust,
Shunn'd like a plague, or but at distance view'd,
He walk'd the crowded streets in solitude, 40
Nor could his rank and station in the land
Bribe one mean knave to take him by the hand.
Such rigid maxims (Oh! might such revive
To keep expiring Honesty alive)
Made rogues, all other hopes of fame denied,
Not just through principle, be just through pride.
Our times, more polish'd, wear a different face;
Debts are an honour, payment a disgrace.
Men of weak minds, high-placed on Folly's list,
May gravely tell us trade cannot subsist, 50
Nor all those thousands who're in trade employ'd,
If faith 'twixt man and man is once destroy'd.
Why--be it so--we in that point accord;
But what are trade, and tradesmen, to a lord?
Faber, from day to day, from year to year,
Hath had the cries of tradesmen in his ear,
Of tradesmen by his villany betray'd,
And, vainly seeking justice, bankrupts made.
What is't to Faber? Lordly as before,
He sits at ease, and lives to ruin more: 60
Fix'd at his door, as motionless as stone,
Begging, but only begging for their own,
Unheard they stand, or only heard by those,
Those slaves in livery, who mock their woes.
What is't to Faber? He continues great,
Lives on in grandeur, and runs out in state.
The helpless widow, wrung with deep despair,
In bitterness of soul pours forth her prayer,
Hugging her starving babes with streaming eyes,
And calls down vengeance, vengeance from the skies. 70
What is't to Faber? He stands safe and clear,
Heaven can commence no legal action here;
And on his breast a mighty plate he wears,
A plate more firm than triple brass, which bears
The name of Privilege, 'gainst vulgar awe;
He feels no conscience, and he fears no law.
Nor think, acquainted with small knaves alone,
Who have not shame outlived, and grace outgrown,
The great world hidden from thy reptile view,
That on such men, to whom contempt is due, 80
Contempt shall fall, and their vile author's name
Recorded stand through all the land of shame.
No--to his porch, like Persians to the sun,
Behold contending crowds of courtiers run;
See, to his aid what noble troops advance,
All sworn to keep his crimes in countenance;
Nor wonder at it--they partake the charge,
As small their conscience, and their debts as large.
Propp'd by such clients, and without control
From all that's honest in the human soul; 90
In grandeur mean, with insolence unjust,
Whilst none but knaves can praise, and fools will trust,
Caress'd and courted, Faber seems to stand
A mighty pillar in a guilty land.
And (a sad truth, to which succeeding times
Will scarce give credit, when 'tis told in rhymes)
Did not strict Honour with a jealous eye
Watch round the throne, did not true Piety
(Who, link'd with Honour for the noblest ends,
Ranks none but honest men amongst her friends) 100
Forbid us to be crush'd with such a weight,
He might in time be minister of state.
But why enlarge I on such petty crimes?
They might have shock'd the faith of former times,
But now are held as nothing--we begin
Where our sires ended, and improve in sin,
Rack our invention, and leave nothing new
In vice and folly for our sons to do.
Nor deem this censure hard; there's not a place
Most consecrate to purposes of Grace, 110
Which Vice hath not polluted; none so high,
But with bold pinion she hath dared to fly,
And build there for her pleasure; none so low
But she hath crept into it, made it know
And feel her power; in courts, in camps, she reigns,
O'er sober citizens, and simple swains;
E'en in our temples she hath fix'd her throne,
And 'bove God's holy altars placed her own.
More to increase the horror of our state,
To make her empire lasting as 'tis great; 120
To make us, in full-grown perfection, feel
Curses which neither Art nor Time can heal;
All shame discarded, all remains of pride,
Meanness sits crown'd, and triumphs by her side:
Meanness, who gleans out of the human mind
Those few good seeds which Vice had left behind,
Those seeds which might in time to virtue tend,
And leaves the soul without a power to mend;
Meanness, at sight of whom, with brave disdain,
The breast of Manhood swells, but swells in vain; 130
Before whom Honour makes a forced retreat,
And Freedom is compell'd to quit her seat;
Meanness, which, like that mark by bloody Cain
Borne in his forehead for a brother slain,
God, in his great and all-subduing rage,
Ordains the standing mark of this vile age.
The venal hero trucks his fame for gold,
The patriot's virtue for a place is sold;
The statesman bargains for his country's shame,
And, for preferment, priests their God disclaim; 140
Worn out with lust, her day of lechery o'er,
The mother trains the daughter whom she bore
In her own paths; the father aids the plan,
And, when the innocent is ripe for man,
Sells her to some old lecher for a wife,
And makes her an adulteress for life;
Or in the papers bids his name appear,
And advertises for a L----:
Husband and wife (whom Avarice must applaud)
Agree to save the charge of pimp and bawd; 150
Those parts they play themselves, a frugal pair,
And share the infamy, the gain to share;
Well pleased to find, when they the profits tell,
That they have play'd the whore and rogue so well.
Nor are these things (which might imply a spark
Of shame still left) transacted in the dark:
No--to the public they are open laid,
And carried on like any other trade:
Scorning to mince damnation, and too proud
To work the works of darkness in a cloud, 160
In fullest vigour Vice maintains her sway;
Free are her marts, and open at noonday.
Meanness, now wed to Impudence, no more
In darkness skulks, and trembles, as of yore,
When the light breaks upon her coward eye;
Boldly she stalks on earth, and to the sky
Lifts her proud head, nor fears lest time abate,
And turn her husband's love to canker'd hate,
Since Fate, to make them more sincerely one,
Hath crown'd their loves with Montague their son; 170
A son so like his dam, so like his sire,
With all the mother's craft, the father's fire,
An image so express in every part,
So like in all bad qualities of heart,
That, had they fifty children, he alone
Would stand as heir apparent to the throne.
With our own island vices not content,
We rob our neighbours on the Continent;
Dance Europe round, and visit every court,
To ape their follies, and their crimes import: 180
To different lands for different sins we roam,
And, richly freighted, bring our cargo home,
Nobly industrious to make Vice appear
In her full state, and perfect only here.
To Holland, where politeness ever reigns,
Where primitive sincerity remains,
And makes a stand; where Freedom in her course
Hath left her name, though she hath lost her force
In that as other lands; where simple Trade
Was never in the garb of Fraud array'd; 190
Where Avarice never dared to show his head;
Where, like a smiling cherub, Mercy, led
By Reason, blesses the sweet-blooded race,
And Cruelty could never find a place;
To Holland for that charity we roam,
Which happily begins and ends at home.
France, in return for peace and power restored,
For all those countries which the hero's sword
Unprofitably purchased, idly thrown
Into her lap, and made once more her own; 200
France hath afforded large and rich supplies
Of vanities full trimm'd; of polish'd lies;
Of soothing flatteries, which through the ears
Steal to, and melt the heart; of slavish fears
Which break the spirit, and of abject fraud--
For which, alas! we need not send abroad.
Spain gives us Pride--which Spain to all the earth
May largely give, nor fear herself a dearth--
Gives us that Jealousy, which, born of Fear
And mean Distrust, grows not by Nature here-- 210
Gives us that Superstition, which pretends
By the worst means to serve the best of ends--
That Cruelty, which, stranger to the brave,
Dwells only with the coward and the slave;
That Cruelty, which led her Christian bands
With more than savage rage o'er savage lands,
Bade her, without remorse, whole countries thin,
And hold of nought, but Mercy, as a sin.
Italia, nurse of every softer art,
Who, feigning to refine, unmans the heart; 220
Who lays the realms of Sense and Virtue waste;
Who mars while she pretends to mend our taste;
Italia, to complete and crown our shame,
Sends us a fiend, and Legion is his name.
The farce of greatness without being great,
Pride without power, titles without estate,
Souls without vigour, bodies without force,
Hate without cause, revenge without remorse,
Dark, mean revenge, murder without defence,
Jealousy without love, sound without sense, 230
Mirth without humour, without wit grimace,
Faith without reason, Gospel without Grace,
Zeal without knowledge, without nature art,
Men without manhood, women without heart;
Half-men, who, dry and pithless, are debarr'd
From man's best joys--no sooner made than marr'd--
Half-men, whom many a rich and noble dame,
To serve her lust, and yet secure her fame,
Keeps on high diet, as we capons feed,
To glut our appetites at last decreed; 240
Women, who dance in postures so obscene,
They might awaken shame in Aretine;
Who when, retired from the day's piercing light,
They celebrate the mysteries of Night,
Might make the Muses, in a corner placed
To view their monstrous lusts, them Sappho chaste;
These, and a thousand follies rank as these,
A thousand faults, ten thousand fools, who please
Our pall'd and sickly taste, ten thousand knaves,
Who serve our foes as spies, and us as slaves, 250
Who, by degrees, and unperceived, prepare
Our necks for chains which they already wear,
Madly we entertain, at the expense
Of fame, of virtue, taste, and common sense.
Nor stop we here--the soft luxurious East,
Where man, his soul degraded, from the beast
In nothing different but in shape we view,
They walk on four legs, and he walks on two,
Attracts our eye; and flowing from that source,
Sins of the blackest character, sins worse 260
Than all her plagues, which truly to unfold,
Would make the best blood in my veins run cold,
And strike all manhood dead, which but to name,
Would call up in my cheeks the marks of shame:
Sins, if such sins can be, which shut out grace,
Which for the guilty leave no hope, no place,
E'en in God's mercy; sins 'gainst Nature's plan
Possess the land at large, and man for man
Burns, in those fires, which Hell alone could raise
To make him more than damn'd; which, in the days 270
Of punishment, when guilt becomes her prey,
With all her tortures she can scarce repay.
Be grace shut out, be mercy deaf, let God
With tenfold terrors arm that dreadful nod
Which speaks them lost, and sentenced to despair;
Distending wide her jaws, let Hell prepare,
For those who thus offend amongst mankind,
A fire more fierce, and tortures more refined.
On earth, which groans beneath their monstrous weight,
On earth, alas! they meet a different fate; 280
And whilst the laws, false grace, false mercy shown,
Are taught to wear a softness not their own,
Men, whom the beasts would spurn, should they appear
Amongst the honest herd, find refuge here.
No longer by vain fear or shame controll'd,
From long, too long, security grown bold,
Mocking rebuke, they brave it in our streets,
And Lumley e'en at noon his mistress meets:
So public in their crimes, so daring grown,
They almost take a pride to have them known, 290
And each unnatural villain scarce endures
To make a secret of his vile amours.
Go where we will, at every time and place,
Sodom confronts, and stares us in the face;
They ply in public at our very doors,
And take the bread from much more honest whores.
Those who are mean high paramours secure,
And the rich guilty screen the guilty poor;
The sin too proud to feel from reason awe,
And those who practise it, too great for law. 300
Woman, the pride and happiness of man,
Without whose soft endearments Nature's plan
Had been a blank, and life not worth a thought;
Woman, by all the Loves and Graces taught,
With softest arts, and sure, though hidden skill,
To humanise, and mould us to her will;
Woman, with more than common grace form'd here,
With the persuasive language of a tear
To melt the rugged temper of our isle,
Or win us to her purpose with a smile; 310
Woman, by Fate the quickest spur decreed,
The fairest, best reward of every deed
Which bears the stamp of honour; at whose name
Our ancient heroes caught a quicker flame,
And dared beyond belief, whilst o'er the plain,
Spurning the carcases of princes slain,
Confusion proudly strode, whilst Horror blew
The fatal trump, and Death stalk'd full in view;
Woman is out of date, a thing thrown by,
As having lost its use: no more the eye, 320
With female beauty caught, in wild amaze,
Gazes entranced, and could for ever gaze;
No more the heart, that seat where Love resides,
Each breath drawn quick and short, in fuller tides
Life posting through the veins, each pulse on fire,
And the whole body tingling with desire,
Pants for those charms, which Virtue might engage,
To break his vow, and thaw the frost of Age,
Bidding each trembling nerve, each muscle strain,
And giving pleasure which is almost pain. 330
Women are kept for nothing but the breed;
For pleasure we must have a Ganymede,
A fine, fresh Hylas, a delicious boy,
To serve our purposes of beastly joy.
Fairest of nymphs, where every nymph is fair,
Whom Nature form'd with more than common care,
With more than common care whom Art improved,
And both declared most worthy to be loved,
---- neglected wanders, whilst a crowd
Pursue and consecrate the steps of ----; 340
She, hapless maid, born in a wretched hour,
Wastes life's gay prime in vain, like some fair flower,
Sweet in its scent, and lively in its hue,
Which withers on the stalk from whence it grew,
And dies uncropp'd; whilst he, admired, caress'd,
Beloved, and everywhere a welcome guest,
With brutes of rank and fortune plays the whore,
For their unnatural lust a common sewer.
Dine with Apicius--at his sumptuous board
Find all, the world of dainties can afford-- 350
And yet (so much distemper'd spirits pall
The sickly appetite) amidst them all
Apicius finds no joy, but, whilst he carves
For every guest, the landlord sits and starves.
The forest haunch, fine, fat, in flavour high,
Kept to a moment, smokes before his eye,
But smokes in vain; his heedless eye runs o'er
And loathes what he had deified before:
The turtle, of a great and glorious size,
Worth its own weight in gold, a mighty prize 360
For which a man of taste all risks would run,
Itself a feast, and every dish in one;
The turtle in luxurious pomp comes in,
Kept, kill'd, cut up, prepared, and dress'd by Quin;
In vain it comes, in vain lies full in view;
As Quin hath dress'd it, he may eat it too;
Apicius cannot. When the glass goes round,
Quick-circling, and the roofs with mirth resound,
Sober he sits, and silent--all alone
Though in a crowd, and to himself scarce known: 370
On grief he feeds: nor friends can cure, nor wine
Suspend his cares, and make him cease to pine.
Why mourns Apicius thus? Why runs his eye,
Heedless, o'er delicates, which from the sky
Might call down Jove? Where now his generous wish,
That, to invent a new and better dish,
The world might burn, and all mankind expire,
So he might roast a phoenix at the fire?
Why swims that eye in tears, which, through a race
Of sixty years, ne'er show'd one sign of grace? 380
Why feels that heart, which never felt before?
Why doth that pamper'd glutton eat no more,
Who only lived to eat, his stomach pall'd,
And drown'd in floods of sorrow? Hath Fate call'd
His father from the grave to second life?
Hath Clodius on his hands return'd his wife?
Or hath the law, by strictest justice taught,
Compell'd him to restore the dow'r she brought?
Hath some bold creditor, against his will,
Brought in, and forced him to discharge, a bill, 390
Where eating had no share? Hath some vain wench
Run out his wealth, and forced him to retrench?
Hath any rival glutton got the start,
And beat him in his own luxurious art--
Bought cates for which Apicius could not pay,
Or dress'd old dainties in a newer way?
Hath his cook, worthy to be flain with rods,
Spoil'd a dish fit to entertain the gods?
Or hath some varlet, cross'd by cruel Fate,
Thrown down the price of empires in a plate? 400
None, none of these--his servants all are tried:
So sure, they walk on ice, and never slide;
His cook, an acquisition made in France,
Might put a Chloe out of countenance;
Nor, though old Holles still maintains his stand,
Hath he one rival glutton in the land.
Women are all the objects of his hate;
His debts are all unpaid, and yet his state
In full security and triumph held,
Unless for once a knave should be expell'd: 410
His wife is still a whore, and in his power,
The woman gone, he still retains the dower;
Sound in the grave (thanks to his filial care
Which mix'd the draught, and kindly sent him there)
His father sleeps, and, till the last trump shake
The corners of the earth, shall not awake.
Whence flows this sorrow, then? Behind his chair,
Didst thou not see, deck'd with a solitaire,
Which on his bare breast glittering play'd, and graced
With nicest ornaments, a stripling placed, 420
A smooth, smug stripling, in life's fairest prime?
Didst thou not mind, too, how from time to time,
The monstrous lecher, tempted to despise
All other dainties, thither turn'd his eyes?
How he seem'd inly to reproach us all,
Who strove his fix'd attention to recall,
And how he wish'd, e'en at the time of grace,
Like Janus, to have had a double face?
His cause of grief behold in that fair boy;
Apicius dotes, and Corydon is coy. 430
Vain and unthinking stripling! when the glass
Meets thy too curious eye, and, as you pass,
Flattering, presents in smiles thy image there,
Why dost thou bless the gods, who made thee fair?
Blame their large bounties, and with reason blame;
Curse, curse thy beauty, for it leads to shame;
When thy hot lord, to work thee to his end,
Bids showers of gold into thy breast descend,
Suspect his gifts, nor the vile giver trust;
They're baits for virtue, and smell strong of lust. 440
On those gay, gaudy trappings, which adorn
The temple of thy body, look with scorn;
View them with horror; they pollution mean,
And deepest ruin: thou hast often seen
From 'mongst the herd, the fairest and the best
Carefully singled out, and richly dress'd,
With grandeur mock'd, for sacrifice decreed,
Only in greater pomp at last to bleed.
Be warn'd in time, the threaten'd danger shun,
To stay a moment is to be undone. 450
What though, temptation proof, thy virtue shine,
Nor bribes can move, nor arts can undermine?
All other methods failing, one resource
Is still behind, and thou must yield to force.
Paint to thyself the horrors of a rape,
Most strongly paint, and, while thou canst, escape.
Mind not his promises--they're made in sport--
Made to be broke--was he not bred at court?
Trust not his honour, he's a man of birth:
Attend not to his oaths--they're made on earth, 460
Not register'd in heaven--he mocks at Grace,
And in his creed God never found a place;
Look not for Conscience--for he knows her not,
So long a stranger, she is quite forgot;
Nor think thyself in law secure and firm,
Thy master is a lord, and thou a worm,
A poor mean reptile, never meant to think,
Who, being well supplied with meat and drink,
And suffer'd just to crawl from place to place,
Must serve his lusts, and think he does thee grace. 470
Fly then, whilst yet 'tis in thy power to fly;
But whither canst thou go? on whom rely
For wish'd protection? Virtue's sure to meet
An armed host of foes in every street.
What boots it, of Apicius fearful grown,
Headlong to fly into the arms of Stone?
Or why take refuge in the house of prayer
If sure to meet with an Apicius there?
Trust not old age, which will thy faith betray;
Saint Socrates is still a goat, though gray: 480
Trust not green youth; Florio will scarce go down,
And, at eighteen, hath surfeited the town:
Trust not to rakes--alas! 'tis all pretence--
They take up raking only as a fence
'Gainst common fame--place H---- in thy view,
He keeps one whore, as Barrowby kept two:
Trust not to marriage--T---- took a wife,
Who chaste as Dian might have pass'd her life,
Had she not, far more prudent in her aim,
(To propagate the honours of his name, 490
And save expiring titles) taken care,
Without his knowledge, to provide an heir:
Trust not to marriage, in mankind unread;
S----'s a married man, and S---- new wed.
Wouldst thou be safe? Society forswear,
Fly to the desert, and seek shelter there;
Herd with the brutes--they follow Nature's plan--
There's not one brute so dangerous as man
In Afric's wilds--'mongst them that refuge find
Which Lust denies thee here among mankind: 500
Renounce thy name, thy nature, and no more
Pique thy vain pride on Manhood: on all four
Walk, as you see those honest creatures do,
And quite forget that once you walk'd on two.
But, if the thoughts of solitude alarm,
And social life hath one remaining charm;
If still thou art to jeopardy decreed
Amongst the monsters of Augusta's breed,
Lay by thy sex, thy safety to procure;
Put off the man, from men to live secure; 510
Go forth a woman to the public view,
And with their garb assume their manners too.
Had the light-footed Greek of Chiron's school
Been wise enough to keep this single rule,
The maudlin hero, like a puling boy
Robb'd of his plaything, on the plains of Troy
Had never blubber'd at Patroclus' tomb,
And placed his minion in his mistress' room.
Be not in this than catamites more nice,
Do that for virtue, which they do for vice. 520
Thus shalt thou pass untainted life's gay bloom,
Thus stand uncourted in the drawing-room;
At midnight thus, untempted, walk the street,
And run no danger but of being beat.
Where is the mother, whose officious zeal,
Discreetly judging what her daughters feel
By what she felt herself in days of yore,
Against that lecher man makes fast the door?
Who not permits, e'en for the sake of prayer,
A priest, uncastrated, to enter there, 530
Nor (could her wishes, and her care prevail)
Would suffer in the house a fly that's male?
Let her discharge her cares, throw wide her doors,
Her daughters cannot, if they would, be whores;
Nor can a man be found, as times now go,
Who thinks it worth his while to make them so.
Though they more fresh, more lively than the morn,
And brighter than the noonday sun, adorn
The works of Nature; though the mother's grace
Revives, improved, in every daughter's face, 540
Undisciplined in dull Discretion's rules,
Untaught and undebauch'd by boarding-schools,
Free and unguarded let them range the town,
Go forth at random, and run Pleasure down,
Start where she will; discard all taint of fear,
Nor think of danger, when no danger's near.
Watch not their steps--they're safe without thy care,
Unless, like jennets, they conceive by air,
And every one of them may die a nun, 550
Unless they breed, like carrion, in the sun.
Men, dead to pleasure, as they're dead to grace,
Against the law of Nature set their face,
The grand primeval law, and seem combined
To stop the propagation of mankind;
Vile pathics read the Marriage Act with pride,
And fancy that the law is on their side.
Broke down, and strength a stranger to his bed,
Old L----, though yet alive, is dead;
T---- lives no more, or lives not to our isle;
No longer bless'd with a Cz----'s smile; 560
T---- is at P---- disgraced,
And M---- grown gray, perforce grows chaste;
Nor to the credit of our modest race,
Rises one stallion to supply their place.
A maidenhead, which, twenty years ago,
In mid December the rank fly would blow,
Though closely kept, now, when the Dog-star's heat
Inflames the marrow, in the very street
May lie untouch'd, left for the worms, by those
Who daintily pass by, and hold their nose; 570
Poor, plain Concupiscence is in disgrace,
And simple Lechery dares not show her face,
Lest she be sent to bridewell; bankrupts made,
To save their fortunes, bawds leave off their trade,
Which first had left off them; to Wellclose Square
Fine, fresh, young strumpets (for Dodd preaches there)
Throng for subsistence; pimps no longer thrive,
And pensions only keep L---- alive.
Where is the mother, who thinks all her pain,
And all her jeopardy of travail, gain 580
When a man-child is born; thinks every prayer
Paid to the full, and answer'd in an heir?
Short-sighted woman! little doth she know
What streams of sorrow from that source may flow:
Little suspect, while she surveys her boy,
Her young Narcissus, with an eye of joy
Too full for continence, that Fate could give
Her darling as a curse; that she may live,
Ere sixteen winters their short course have run,
In agonies of soul, to curse that son. 590
Pray then for daughters, ye wise mothers, pray;
They shall reward your love, nor make ye gray
Before your time with sorrow; they shall give
Ages of peace, and comfort; whilst ye live
Make life most truly worth your care, and save,
In spite of death, your memories from the grave.
That sense with more than manly vigour fraught,
That fortitude of soul, that stretch of thought,
That genius, great beyond the narrow bound
Of earth's low walk, that judgment perfect found 600
When wanted most, that purity of taste,
Which critics mention by the name of chaste;
Adorn'd with elegance, that easy flow
Of ready wit, which never made a foe;
That face, that form, that dignity, that ease,
Those powers of pleasing, with that will to please,
By which Lepel, when in her youthful days,
E'en from the currish Pope extorted praise,
We see, transmitted, in her daughter shine,
And view a new Lepel in Caroline. 610
Is a son born into this world of woe?
In never-ceasing streams let sorrow flow;
Be from that hour the house with sables hung,
Let lamentations dwell upon thy tongue;
E'en from the moment that he first began
To wail and whine, let him not see a man;
Lock, lock him up, far from the public eye;
Give him no opportunity to buy,
Or to be bought; B----, though rich, was sold,
And gave his body up to shame for gold. 620
Let it be bruited all about the town,
That he is coarse, indelicate, and brown,
An antidote to lust; his face deep scarr'd
With the small-pox, his body maim'd and marr'd;
Ate up with the king's evil, and his blood
Tainted throughout, a thick and putrid flood,
Where dwells Corruption, making him all o'er,
From head to foot, a rank and running sore.
Shouldst thou report him, as by Nature made,
He is undone, and by thy praise betray'd; 630
Give him out fair, lechers, in number more,
More brutal and more fierce, than throng'd the door
Of Lot in Sodom, shall to thine repair,
And force a passage, though a God is there.
Let him not have one servant that is male;
Where lords are baffled, servants oft prevail.
Some vices they propose to all agree;
H---- was guilty, but was M---- free?
Give him no tutor--throw him to a punk,
Rather than trust his morals to a monk-- 640
Monks we all know--we, who have lived at home,
From fair report, and travellers, who roam,
More feelingly;--nor trust him to the gown,
'Tis oft a covering in this vile town
For base designs: ourselves have lived to see
More than one parson in the pillory.
Should he have brothers, (image to thy view
A scene, which, though not public made, is true)
Let not one brother be to t' other known,
Nor let his father sit with him alone. 650
Be all his servants female, young and fair;
And if the pride of Nature spur thy heir
To deeds of venery, if, hot and wild,
He chance to get some score of maids with child,
Chide, but forgive him; whoredom is a crime
Which, more at this than any other time,
Calls for indulgence, and,'mongst such a race,
To have a bastard is some sign of grace.
Born in such times, should I sit tamely down,
Suppress my rage, and saunter through the town 660
As one who knew not, or who shared these crimes?
Should I at lesser evils point my rhymes,
And let this giant sin, in the full eye
Of observation, pass unwounded by?
Though our meek wives, passive obedience taught,
Patiently bear those wrongs, for which they ought,
With the brave spirit of their dams possess'd,
To plant a dagger in each husband's breast,
To cut off male increase from this fair isle,
And turn our Thames into another Nile; 670
Though, on his Sunday, the smug pulpiteer,
Loud 'gainst all other crimes, is silent here,
And thinks himself absolved, in the pretence
Of decency, which, meant for the defence
Of real virtue, and to raise her price,
Becomes an agent for the cause of vice;
Though the law sleeps, and through the care they take
To drug her well, may never more awake;
Born in such times, nor with that patience cursed
Which saints may boast of, I must speak or burst. 680
But if, too eager in my bold career,
Haply I wound the nice, and chaster ear;
If, all unguarded, all too rude, I speak,
And call up blushes in the maiden's cheek,
Forgive, ye fair--my real motives view,
And to forgiveness add your praises too.
For you I write--nor wish a better plan,
The cause of woman is most worthy man--
For you I still will write, nor hold my hand
Whilst there's one slave of Sodom in the land, 690
Let them fly far, and skulk from place to place,
Not daring to meet manhood face to face,
Their steps I'll track, nor yield them one retreat
Where they may hide their heads, or rest their feet,
Till God, in wrath, shall let his vengeance fall,
And make a great example of them all,
Bidding in one grand pile this town expire,
Her towers in dust, her Thames a lake of fire;
Or they (most worth our wish) convinced, though late,
Of their past crimes, and dangerous estate, 700
Pardon of women with repentance buy,
And learn to honour them, as much as I.
* * * * *
 'Quin:' was a great voluptuary.
 'Chloe:' M. St Clouet, or Chloe, cook to Holles, Duke of
 'Augusta:' London.
 'Light-footed Greek:' Achilles, who was left at Scyros, dressed
in female attire.
 'L----:' Ligonier.
 'Cz----'s:' Czarina's.
 'P----:' Petersburg.
 'Dodd:' the Rev. Dr William Dodd, the unfortunate divine,
afterwards hanged for forgery. See Boswell.
 'Lepel:' Mary, daughter of Brigadier-General Le Pell, married in
1720 to John Lord Hervey.
 'Caroline:' Lady Caroline Hervey was the youngest daughter of
John Lord Hervey.
Happy the bard (though few such bards we find)
Who, 'bove controlment, dares to speak his mind;
Dares, unabash'd, in every place appear,
And nothing fears, but what he ought to fear:
Him Fashion cannot tempt, him abject Need
Cannot compel, him Pride cannot mislead
To be the slave of Greatness, to strike sail
When, sweeping onward with her peacock's tail,
Quality in full plumage passes by;
He views her with a fix'd, contemptuous eye, 10
And mocks the puppet, keeps his own due state,
And is above conversing with the great.
Perish those slaves, those minions of the quill,
Who have conspired to seize that sacred hill
Where the Nine Sisters pour a genuine strain,
And sunk the mountain level with the plain;
Who, with mean, private views, and servile art,
No spark of virtue living in their heart,
Have basely turn'd apostates; have debased
Their dignity of office; have disgraced, 20
Like Eli's sons, the altars where they stand,
And caused their name to stink through all the land;
Have stoop'd to prostitute their venal pen
For the support of great, but guilty men;
Have made the bard, of their own vile accord,
Inferior to that thing we call a lord.
What is a lord? Doth that plain simple word
Contain some magic spell? As soon as heard,
Like an alarum bell on Night's dull ear,
Doth it strike louder, and more strong appear 30
Than other words? Whether we will or no,
Through Reason's court doth it unquestion'd go
E'en on the mention, and of course transmit
Notions of something excellent; of wit
Pleasing, though keen; of humour free, though chaste;
Of sterling genius, with sound judgment graced;
Of virtue far above temptation's reach,
And honour, which not malice can impeach?
Believe it not--'twas Nature's first intent,
Before their rank became their punishment, 40
They should have pass'd for men, nor blush'd to prize
The blessings she bestow'd; she gave them eyes,
And they could see; she gave them ears--they heard;
The instruments of stirring, and they stirr'd;
Like us, they were design'd to eat, to drink,
To talk, and (every now and then) to think;
Till they, by Pride corrupted, for the sake
Of singularity, disclaim'd that make;
Till they, disdaining Nature's vulgar mode,
Flew off, and struck into another road, 50
More fitting Quality, and to our view
Came forth a species altogether new,
Something we had not known, and could not know,
Like nothing of God's making here below;
Nature exclaim'd with wonder--'Lords are things,
Which, never made by me, were made by kings.'
A lord (nor let the honest and the brave,
The true old noble, with the fool and knave
Here mix his fame; cursed be that thought of mine,
Which with a B---- and E---- should Grafton join),
A lord (nor here let Censure rashly call 61
My just contempt of some, abuse of all,
And, as of late, when Sodom was my theme,
Slander my purpose, and my Muse blaspheme,
Because she stops not, rapid in her song,
To make exceptions as she goes along,
Though well she hopes to find, another year,
A whole minority exceptions here),
A mere, mere lord, with nothing but the name,
Wealth all his worth, and title all his fame, 70
Lives on another man, himself a blank,
Thankless he lives, or must some grandsire thank
For smuggled honours, and ill-gotten pelf;
A bard owes all to Nature, and himself.
Gods! how my soul is burnt up with disdain,
When I see men, whom Phoebus in his train
Might view with pride, lackey the heels of those
Whom Genius ranks among her greatest foes!
And what's the cause? Why, these same sons of Scorn,
No thanks to them, were to a title born, 80
And could not help it; by chance hither sent,
And only deities by accident.
Had Fortune on our getting chanced to shine,
Their birthright honours had been yours or mine,
'Twas a mere random stroke; and should the Throne
Eye thee with favour, proud and lordly grown,
Thou, though a bard, might'st be their fellow yet:
But Felix never can be made a wit.
No, in good faith--that's one of those few things
Which Fate hath placed beyond the reach of kings: 90
Bards may be lords, but 'tis not in the cards,
Play how we will, to turn lords into bards.
A bard!--a lord!--why, let them, hand in hand,
Go forth as friends, and travel through the land;
Observe which word the people can digest
Most readily, which goes to market best,
Which gets most credit, whether men will trust
A bard, because they think he may be just,
Or on a lord will chose to risk their gains,
Though privilege in that point still remains. 100
A bard!--a lord!--let Reason take her scales,
And fairly weigh those words, see which prevails,
Which in the balance lightly kicks the beam,
And which, by sinking, we the victor deem.
'Tis done, and Hermes, by command of Jove,
Summons a synod in the sacred grove,
Gods throng with gods to take their chairs on high,
And sit in state, the senate of the sky,
Whilst, in a kind of parliament below,
Men stare at those above, and want to know 110
What they're transacting: Reason takes her stand
Just in the midst, a balance in her hand,
Which o'er and o'er she tries, and finds it true:
From either side, conducted full in view,
A man comes forth, of figure strange and queer;
We now and then see something like them here.
The first was meagre, flimsy, void of strength,
But Nature kindly had made up in length
What she in breadth denied; erect and proud,
A head and shoulders taller than the crowd, 120
He deem'd them pigmies all; loose hung his skin
O'er his bare bones; his face so very thin,
So very narrow, and so much beat out,
That physiognomists have made a doubt,
Proportion lost, expression quite forgot,
Whether it could be call'd a face or not;
At end of it, howe'er, unbless'd with beard,
Some twenty fathom length of chin appear'd;
With legs, which we might well conceive that Fate
Meant only to support a spider's weight, 130
Firmly he strove to tread, and with a stride,
Which show'd at once his weakness and his pride,
Shaking himself to pieces, seem'd to cry,
'Observe, good people, how I shake the sky.'
In his right hand a paper did he hold,
On which, at large, in characters of gold,
Distinct, and plain for those who run to see,
Saint Archibald had wrote L, O, R, D.
This, with an air of scorn, he from afar
Twirl'd into Reason's scales, and on that bar, 140
Which from his soul he hated, yet admired,
Quick turn'd his back, and, as he came, retired.
The judge to all around his name declared;
Each goddess titter'd, each god laugh'd, Jove stared,
And the whole people cried, with one accord,
'Good Heaven bless us all, is that a Lord!'
Such was the first--the second was a man
Whom Nature built on quite a different plan;
A bear, whom, from the moment he was born,
His dam despised, and left unlick'd in scorn; 150
A Babel, which, the power of Art outdone,
She could not finish when she had begun;
An utter Chaos, out of which no might,
But that of God, could strike one spark of light.
Broad were his shoulders, and from blade to blade
A H---- might at full length have laid;
Vast were his bones, his muscles twisted strong;
His face was short, but broader than 'twas long;
His features, though by Nature they were large,
Contentment had contrived to overcharge, 160
And bury meaning, save that we might spy
Sense lowering on the penthouse of his eye;
His arms were two twin oaks; his legs so stout
That they might bear a Mansion-house about;
Nor were they, look but at his body there,
Design'd by Fate a much less weight to bear.
O'er a brown cassock, which had once been black,
Which hung in tatters on his brawny back,
A sight most strange, and awkward to behold,
He threw a covering of blue and gold. 170
Just at that time of life, when man, by rule,
The fop laid down, takes up the graver fool,
He started up a fop, and, fond of show,
Look'd like another Hercules turn'd beau,
A subject met with only now and then,
Much fitter for the pencil than the pen;
Hogarth would draw him (Envy must allow)
E'en to the life, was Hogarth living now.
With such accoutrements, with such a form,
Much like a porpoise just before a storm, 180
Onward he roll'd; a laugh prevail'd around;
E'en Jove was seen to simper; at the sound
(Nor was the cause unknown, for from his youth
Himself he studied by the glass of Truth)
He joined their mirth; nor shall the gods condemn,
If, whilst they laugh at him, he laugh'd at them.
Judge Reason view'd him with an eye of grace,
Look'd through his soul, and quite forgot his face,
And, from his hand received, with fair regard
Placed in her other scale the name of Bard. 190
Then, (for she did as judges ought to do,
She nothing of the case beforehand knew,
Nor wish'd to know; she never stretch'd the laws,
Nor, basely to anticipate a cause,
Compell'd solicitors, no longer free,
To show those briefs she had no right to see)
Then she with equal hand her scales held out,
Nor did the cause one moment hang in doubt;
She held her scales out fair to public view,
The Lord, as sparks fly upwards, upwards flew, 200
More light than air, deceitful in the weight;
The Bard, preponderating, kept his state;
Reason approved, and with a voice, whose sound
Shook earth, shook heaven, on the clearest ground
Pronouncing for the Bards a full decree,
Cried--'Those must honour them, who honour me;
They from this present day, where'er I reign,
In their own right, precedence shall obtain;
Merit rules here: be it enough that Birth
Intoxicates, and sways the fools of earth.' 210
Nor think that here, in hatred to a lord,
I've forged a tale, or alter'd a record;
Search when you will, (I am not now in sport)
You'll find it register'd in Reason's court.
Nor think that Envy here hath strung my lyre,
That I depreciate what I most admire,
And look on titles with an eye of scorn,
Because I was not to a title born.
By Him that made me, I am much more proud,
More inly satisfied to have a crowd 220
Point at me as I pass, and cry--'That's he--
A poor but honest bard, who dares be free
Amidst corruption,' than to have a train
Of flickering levee slaves, to make me vain
Of things I ought to blush for; to run, fly,
And live but in the motion of my eye;
When I am less than man, my faults to adore,
And make me think that I am something more.
Recall past times, bring back the days of old,
When the great noble bore his honours bold, 230
And in the face of peril, when he dared
Things which his legal bastard, if declared,
Might well discredit; faithful to his trust,
In the extremest points of justice, just,
Well knowing all, and loved by all he knew,
True to his king, and to his country true;
Honest at court, above the baits of gain,
Plain in his dress, and in his manners plain;
Moderate in wealth, generous, but not profuse,
Well worthy riches, for he knew their use; 240
Possessing much, and yet deserving more,
Deserving those high honours which he wore
With ease to all, and in return gain'd fame
Which all men paid, because he did not claim.
When the grim war was placed in dread array,
Fierce as the lion roaring for his prey,
Or lioness of royal whelps foredone;
In peace, as mild as the departing sun,
A general blessing wheresoe'er he turn'd,
Patron of learning, nor himself unlearn'd; 250
Ever awake at Pity's tender call,
A father of the poor, a friend to all;
Recall such times, and from the grave bring back
A worth like this, my heart shall bend, or crack,
My stubborn pride give way, my tongue proclaim,
And every Muse conspire to swell his fame,
Till Envy shall to him that praise allow
Which she cannot deny to Temple now.
This justice claims, nor shall the bard forget,
Delighted with the task, to pay that debt, 260
To pay it like a man, and in his lays,
Sounding such worth, prove his own right to praise.
But let not pride and prejudice misdeem,
And think that empty titles are my theme;
Titles, with me, are vain, and nothing worth;
I reverence virtue, but I laugh at birth.
Give me a lord that's honest, frank, and brave,
I am his friend, but cannot be his slave;
Though none, indeed, but blockheads would pretend
To make a slave, where they may make a friend; 270
I love his virtues, and will make them known,
Confess his rank, but can't forget my own.
Give me a lord, who, to a title born,
Boasts nothing else, I'll pay him scorn with scorn.
What! shall my pride (and pride is virtue here)
Tamely make way if such a wretch appear?
Shall I uncover'd stand, and bend my knee
To such a shadow of nobility,
A shred, a remnant? he might rot unknown
For any real merit of his own, 280
And never had come forth to public note
Had he not worn, by chance, his father's coat.
To think a M---- worth my least regards,
Is treason to the majesty of bards.
By Nature form'd (when, for her honour's sake,
She something more than common strove to make,
When, overlooking each minute defect,
And all too eager to be quite correct,
In her full heat and vigour she impress'd
Her stamp most strongly on the favour'd breast) 290
The bard, (nor think too lightly that I mean
Those little, piddling witlings, who o'erween
Of their small parts, the Murphys of the stage,
The Masons and the Whiteheads of the age,
Who all in raptures their own works rehearse,
And drawl out measured prose, which they call verse)
The real bard, whom native genius fires,
Whom every maid of Castaly inspires,
Let him consider wherefore he was meant,
Let him but answer Nature's great intent, 300
And fairly weigh himself with other men,
Would ne'er debase the glories of his pen,
Would in full state, like a true monarch, live,
Nor bate one inch of his prerogative.
Methinks I see old Wingate frowning here,
(Wingate may in the season be a peer,
Though now, against his will, of figures sick,
He's forced to diet on arithmetic,
E'en whilst he envies every Jew he meets,
Who cries old clothes to sell about the streets) 310
Methinks (his mind with future honours big,
His Tyburn bob turn'd to a dress'd bag wig)
I hear him cry--'What doth this jargon mean?
Was ever such a damn'd dull blockhead seen?
Hath got into, and turn'd the fellow's brain:
To Bethlem with him--give him whips and straw--
I'm very sensible he's mad in law.
A saucy groom, who trades in reason, thus
To set himself upon a par with us; 320
If this _here's_ suffered, and if that _there_ fool,
May, when he pleases, send us all to school,
Why, then our only business is outright
To take our caps, and bid the world good night.
I've kept a bard myself this twenty years,
But nothing of this kind in him appears;
He, like a thorough true-bred spaniel, licks
The hand which cuffs him, and the foot which kicks;
He fetches and he carries, blacks my shoes,
Nor thinks it a discredit to his Muse; 330
A creature of the right chameleon hue,
He wears my colours, yellow or true blue,
Just as I wear them: 'tis all one to him
Whether I change through conscience, or through whim.
Now this is something like; on such a plan
A bard may find a friend in a great man;
But this proud coxcomb--zounds, I thought that all
Of this queer tribe had been like my old Paul.'
Injurious thought! accursed be the tongue
On which the vile insinuation hung, 340
The heart where 'twas engender'd; cursed be those,
Those bards, who not themselves alone expose,
But me, but all, and make the very name
By which they're call'd a standing mark of shame.
Talk not of custom--'tis the coward's plea,
Current with fools, but passes not with me;
An old stale trick, which Guilt hath often tried
By numbers to o'erpower the better side.
Why tell me then that from the birth of Rhyme,
No matter when, down to the present time, 350
As by the original decree of Fate,
Bards have protection sought amongst the great;
Conscious of weakness, have applied to them
As vines to elms, and, twining round their stem,
Flourish'd on high; to gain this wish'd support
E'en Virgil to Maecenas paid his court?
As to the custom, 'tis a point agreed,
But 'twas a foolish diffidence, not need,
From which it rose; had bards but truly known
That strength, which is most properly their own, 360
Without a lord, unpropp'd they might have stood,
And overtopp'd those giants of the wood.
But why, when present times my care engage,
Must I go back to the Augustan age?
Why, anxious for the living, am I led
Into the mansions of the ancient dead?
Can they find patrons nowhere but at Rome,
And must I seek Maecenas in the tomb?
Name but a Wingate, twenty fools of note
Start up, and from report Maecenas quote; 370
Under his colours lords are proud to fight,
Forgetting that Maecenas was a knight:
They mention him, as if to use his name
Was, in some measure, to partake his fame,
Though Virgil, was he living, in the street
Might rot for them, or perish in the Fleet.
See how they redden, and the charge disclaim--
Virgil, and in the Fleet!--forbid it, Shame!
Hence, ye vain boasters! to the Fleet repair,
And ask, with blushes ask, if Lloyd is there! 380
Patrons in days of yore were men of sense,
Were men of taste, and had a fair pretence
To rule in letters--some of them were heard
To read off-hand, and never spell a word;
Some of them, too, to such a monstrous height
Was learning risen, for themselves could write,
And kept their secretaries, as the great
Do many other foolish things, for state.
Our patrons are of quite a different strain,
With neither sense nor taste; against the grain 390
They patronise for Fashion's sake--no more--
And keep a bard, just as they keep a whore.
Melcombe (on such occasions I am loth
To name the dead) was a rare proof of both.
Some of them would be puzzled e'en to read,
Nor could deserve their clergy by their creed;
Others can write, but such a Pagan hand,
A Willes should always at our elbow stand:
Many, if begg'd, a Chancellor, of right,
Would order into keeping at first sight. 400
Those who stand fairest to the public view
Take to themselves the praise to others due,
They rob the very spital, and make free
With those, alas! who've least to spare. We see
---- hath not had a word to say,
Since winds and waves bore Singlespeech away.
Patrons, in days of yore, like patrons now,
Expected that the bard should make his bow
At coming in, and every now and then
Hint to the world that they were more than men; 410
But, like the patrons of the present day,
They never bilk'd the poet of his pay.
Virgil loved rural ease, and, far from harm,
Maecenas fix'd him in a neat, snug farm,
Where he might, free from trouble, pass his days
In his own way, and pay his rent in praise.
Horace loved wine, and, through his friend at court,
Could buy it off the quay in every port:
Horace loved mirth, Maecenas loved it too;
They met, they laugh'd, as Goy and I may do, 420
Nor in those moments paid the least regard
To which was minister, and which was bard.
Not so our patrons--grave as grave can be,
They know themselves, they keep up dignity;
Bards are a forward race, nor is it fit
That men of fortune rank with men of wit:
Wit, if familiar made, will find her strength--
'Tis best to keep her weak, and at arm's length.
'Tis well enough for bards, if patrons give,
From hand to mouth, the scanty means to live. 430
Such is their language, and their practice such;
They promise little, and they give not much.
Let the weak bard, with prostituted strain,
Praise that proud Scot whom all good men disdain;
What's his reward? Why, his own fame undone,
He may obtain a patent for the run
Of his lord's kitchen, and have ample time,
With offal fed, to court the cook in rhyme;
Or (if he strives true patriots to disgrace)
May at the second table get a place; 440
With somewhat greater slaves allow'd to dine,
And play at crambo o'er his gill of wine.
And are there bards, who, on creation's file,
Stand rank'd as men, who breathe in this fair isle
The air of freedom, with so little gall,
So low a spirit, prostrate thus to fall
Before these idols, and without a groan
Bear wrongs might call forth murmurs from a stone?
Better, and much more noble, to abjure
The sight of men, and in some cave, secure 450
From all the outrages of Pride, to feast
On Nature's salads, and be free at least.
Better, (though that, to say the truth, is worse
Than almost any other modern curse)
Discard all sense, divorce the thankless Muse,
Critics commence, and write in the Reviews;
Write without tremor, Griffiths cannot read;
No fool can fail, where Langhorne can succeed.
But (not to make a brave and honest pride
Try those means first, she must disdain when tried) 460
There are a thousand ways, a thousand arts,
By which, and fairly, men of real parts
May gain a living, gain what Nature craves;
Let those, who pine for more, live, and be slaves.
Our real wants in a small compass lie,
But lawless appetite, with eager eye,
Kept in a constant fever, more requires,
And we are burnt up with our own desires.
Hence our dependence, hence our slavery springs;
Bards, if contented, are as great as kings. 470
Ourselves are to ourselves the cause of ill;
We may be independent, if we will.
The man who suits his spirit to his state
Stands on an equal footing with the great;
Moguls themselves are not more rich, and he
Who rules the English nation, not more free.
Chains were not forged more durable and strong
For bards than others, but they've worn them long,
And therefore wear them still; they've quite forgot
What Freedom is, and therefore prize her not. 480
Could they, though in their sleep, could they but know
The blessings which from Independence flow;
Could they but have a short and transient gleam
Of Liberty, though 'twas but in a dream,
They would no more in bondage bend their knee,
But, once made freemen, would be always free.
The Muse, if she one moment freedom gains,
Can nevermore submit to sing in chains.
Bred in a cage, far from the feather'd throng,
The bird repays his keeper with his song; 490
But if some playful child sets wide the door,
Abroad he flies, and thinks of home no more,
With love of liberty begins to burn,
And rather starves than to his cage return.
Hail, Independence!--by true reason taught,
How few have known, and prized thee as they ought!
Some give thee up for riot; some, like boys,
Resign thee, in their childish moods, for toys;
Ambition some, some avarice, misleads,
And in both cases Independence bleeds. 500
Abroad, in quest of thee, how many roam,
Nor know they had thee in their reach at home;
Some, though about their paths, their beds about,
Have never had the sense to find thee out:
Others, who know of what they are possess'd,
Like fearful misers, lock thee in a chest,
Nor have the resolution to produce,
In these bad times, and bring thee forth for use.
Hail, Independence!--though thy name's scarce known,
Though thou, alas! art out of fashion grown, 510
Though all despise thee, I will not despise,
Nor live one moment longer than I prize
Thy presence, and enjoy: by angry Fate
Bow'd down, and almost crush'd, thou cam'st, though late,
Thou cam'st upon me, like a second birth,
And made me know what life was truly worth.
Hail, Independence!--never may my cot,
Till I forget thee, be by thee forgot:
Thither, oh! thither, oftentimes repair;
Cotes, whom thou lovest too, shall meet thee there. 520
All thoughts but what arise from joy give o'er,
Peace dwells within, and law shall guard the door.
O'erweening Bard! Law guard thy door! What law?
The law of England. To control and awe
Those saucy hopes, to strike that spirit dumb,
Behold, in state, Administration come!
Why, let her come, in all her terrors too;
I dare to suffer all she dares to do.
I know her malice well, and know her pride,
I know her strength, but will not change my side. 530
This melting mass of flesh she may control
With iron ribs--she cannot chain my soul.
No--to the last resolved her worst to bear,
I'm still at large, and independent there.
Where is this minister? where is the band
Of ready slaves, who at his elbow stand
To hear, and to perform his wicked will?
Why, for the first time, are they slow to ill?
When some grand act 'gainst law is to be done,
Doth ---- sleep; doth blood-hound ---- run 540
To L----, and worry those small deer,
When he might do more precious mischief here?
Doth Webb turn tail? doth he refuse to draw
Illegal warrants, and to call them law?
Doth ----, at Guildford kick'd, from Guildford run,
With that cold lump of unbaked dough, his son,
And, his more honest rival Ketch to cheat,
Purchase a burial-place where three ways meet?
Believe it not; ---- is ---- still,
And never sleeps, when he should wake to ill: 550
---- doth lesser mischiefs by the by,
The great ones till the term in _petto_ lie:
---- lives, and, to the strictest justice true,
Scorns to defraud the hangman of his due.
O my poor Country!--weak, and overpower'd
By thine own sons--ate to the bone--devour'd
By vipers, which, in thine own entrails bred,
Prey on thy life, and with thy blood are fed,
With unavailing grief thy wrongs I see,
And, for myself not feeling, feel for thee. 560
I grieve, but can't despair--for, lo! at hand
Freedom presents a choice, but faithful band
Of loyal patriots; men who greatly dare
In such a noble cause; men fit to bear
The weight of empires; Fortune, Rank, and Sense,
Virtue and Knowledge, leagued with Eloquence,
March in their ranks; Freedom from file to file
Darts her delighted eye, and with a smile
Approves her honest sons, whilst down her cheek,
As 'twere by stealth, (her heart too full to speak) 570
One tear in silence creeps, one honest tear,
And seems to say, Why is not Granby here?'
O ye brave few, in whom we still may find
A love of virtue, freedom, and mankind!
Go forth--in majesty of woe array'd,
See at your feet your Country kneels for aid,
And, (many of her children traitors grown)
Kneels to those sons she still can call her own;
Seeming to breathe her last in every breath,
She kneels for freedom, or she begs for death-- 580
Fly, then, each duteous son, each English chief,
And to your drooping parent bring relief.
Go forth--nor let the siren voice of Ease
Tempt ye to sleep, whilst tempests swell the seas;
Go forth--nor let Hypocrisy, whose tongue
With many a fair, false, fatal art is hung,
Like Bethel's fawning prophet, cross your way,
When your great errand brooks not of delay;
Nor let vain Fear, who cries to all she meets,
Trembling and pale, 'A lion in the streets,' 590
Damp your free spirits; let not threats affright,
Nor bribes corrupt, nor flatteries delight:
Be as one man--concord success ensures--
There's not an English heart but what is yours.
Go forth--and Virtue, ever in your sight,
Shall be your guide by day, your guard by night--
Go forth--the champions of your native land,
And may the battle prosper in your hand--
It may, it must--ye cannot be withstood--
Be your hearts honest, as your cause is good! 600
* * * * *
 'B----:' Bute.
 'F----:' Fox.
 'Grafton:' see Junius, _passim_.
 'First:' Lyttelton.
 'Archibald:' Archibald Bower, the infamous author of 'Lives of
the Popes,' patronised at first by Lyttelton, but detected and
exposed by Dr Douglas.
 'Second:' Churchill himself.
 'Hogarth:' here satirically represented as dead, lived four weeks
after this poem was published, and died nine days before Churchill.
 'M----:' Melcombe.
 'Wingate:' the purse-proud upstarts of the day are here
designated by the generic name of Wingate, an eminent arithmetician,
who lived early in the seventeenth century.
 'Old Paul:' Paul Whitehead, a contemptible sycophant as well as
 'Willes:' Dr Edward Willes, Bishop of Bath and Wells.
 'Chancellor:' the Lord High Chancellor is intrusted with the
custody of all idiots and lunatics.
 'Singlespeech:' the Right Honourable William Gerrard Hamilton.
See Boswell, who describes him as a man of great talent; others have
ascribed his single speech to the aid of Burke.
 'Goy:' M. Pierre Goy, a Frenchman of brilliant accomplishments.
 'Griffiths:' Ralph Griffiths, a bookseller, who, in 1749,
published the first number of the 'Monthly Review.'
 'Cotes:' Humphrey Cotes, a staunch supporter of Wilkes.
 'Granby:' the Marquis of Granby, in 1766, was appointed
Commander-in-Chief of all his Majesty's land forces in Great Britain.
Some of my friends (for friends I must suppose
All, who, not daring to appear my foes,
Feign great good will, and, not more full of spite
Than full of craft, under false colours fight),
Some of my friends (so lavishly I print),
As more in sorrow than in anger, hint
(Though that indeed will scarce admit a doubt)
That I shall run my stock of genius out,
My no great stock, and, publishing so fast,
Must needs become a bankrupt at the last. 10
'The husbandman, to spare a thankful soil,
Which, rich in disposition, pays his toil
More than a hundredfold, which swells his store
E'en to his wish, and makes his barns run o'er,
By long Experience taught, who teaches best,
Foregoes his hopes a while, and gives it rest:
The land, allow'd its losses to repair,
Refresh'd, and full in strength, delights to wear
A second youth, and to the farmer's eyes
Bids richer crops, and double harvests rise. 20
'Nor think this practice to the earth confined,
It reaches to the culture of the mind.
The mind of man craves rest, and cannot bear,
Though next in power to God's, continual care.
Genius himself (nor here let Genius frown)
Must, to ensure his vigour, be laid down,
And fallow'd well: had Churchill known but this,
Which the most slight observer scarce could miss,
He might have flourish'd twenty years or more,
Though now, alas! poor man! worn out in four.' 30
Recover'd from the vanity of youth,
I feel, alas! this melancholy truth,
Thanks to each cordial, each advising friend,
And am, if not too late, resolved to mend,
Resolved to give some respite to my pen,
Apply myself once more to books and men;
View what is present, what is past review,
And, my old stock exhausted, lay in new.
For twice six moons (let winds, turn'd porters, bear
This oath to Heaven), for twice six moons, I swear, 40
No Muse shall tempt me with her siren lay,
Nor draw me from Improvement's thorny way.
Verse I abjure, nor will forgive that friend,
Who, in my hearing, shall a rhyme commend.
It cannot be--whether I will, or no,
Such as they are, my thoughts in measure flow.
Convinced, determined, I in prose begin,
But ere I write one sentence, verse creeps in,
And taints me through and through; by this good light,
In verse I talk by day, I dream by night! 50
If now and then I curse, my curses chime,
Nor can I pray, unless I pray in rhyme.
E'en now I err, in spite of Common Sense,
And my confession doubles my offence.
Rest then, my friends;--spare, spare your precious breath,
And be your slumbers not less sound than death;
Perturbed spirits rest, nor thus appear,
To waste your counsels in a spendthrift's ear;
On your grave lessons I cannot subsist,
Nor even in verse become economist. 60
Rest then, my friends; nor, hateful to my eyes,
Let Envy, in the shape of Pity, rise
To blast me ere my time; with patience wait,
('Tis no long interval) propitious Fate
Shall glut your pride, and every son of phlegm
Find ample room to censure and condemn.
Read some three hundred lines (no easy task,
_But probably the last that I shall ask_),
And give me up for ever; wait one hour,
Nay not so much, revenge is in your power, 70
And ye may cry, ere Time hath turn'd his glass,
Lo! what we prophesied is come to pass.
Let those, who poetry in poems claim,
Or not read this, or only read to blame;
Let those who are by Fiction's charms enslaved,
Return me thanks for half-a-crown well saved;
Let those who love a little gall in rhyme
Postpone their purchase now, and call next time;
Let those who, void of Nature, look for Art,
Take up their money, and in peace depart; 80
Let those who energy of diction prize,
For Billingsgate quit Flexney, and be wise:
Here is no lie, no gall, no art, no force,
Mean are the words, and such as come of course;
The subject not less simple than the lay;
A plain, unlabour'd Journey of a Day.
Far from me now be every tuneful maid,
I neither ask, nor can receive their aid.
Pegasus turn'd into a common hack,
Alone I jog, and keep the beaten track, 90
Nor would I have the Sisters of the hill
Behold their bard in such a dishabille.
Absent, but only absent for a time,
Let them caress some dearer son of Rhyme;
Let them, as far as decency permits,
Without suspicion, play the fool with wits,
'Gainst fools be guarded; 'tis a certain rule,
Wits are safe things; there's danger in a fool.
Let them, though modest, Gray more modest woo;
Let them with Mason bleat, and bray, and coo; 100
Let them with Franklin, proud of some small Greek,
Make Sophocles, disguised, in English speak;
Let them, with Glover, o'er Medea doze;
Let them, with Dodsley, wail Cleone's woes,
Whilst he, fine feeling creature, all in tears,
Melts as they melt, and weeps with weeping peers;
Let them, with simple Whitehead taught to creep
Silent and soft, lay Fontenelle asleep;
Let them with Browne, contrive, no vulgar trick,
To cure the dead, and make the living sick; 110
Let them, in charity, to Murphy give
Some old French piece, that he may steal and live;
Let them with antic Foote, subscriptions get,
And advertise a summer-house of wit.
Thus, or in any better way they please,
With these great men, or with great men like these,
Let them their appetite for laughter feed;
I on my Journey all alone proceed.
If fashionable grown, and fond of power,
With humorous Scots let them disport their hour, 120
Let them dance, fairy like, round Ossian's tomb;
Let them forge lies and histories for Hume;
Let them with Home, the very prince of verse,
Make something like a tragedy in Erse;
Under dark Allegory's flimsy veil,
Let them, with Ogilvie, spin out a tale
Of rueful length; let them plain things obscure,
Debase what's truly rich, and what is poor
Make poorer still by jargon most uncouth;
With every pert, prim prettiness of youth, 130
Born of false taste, with Fancy (like a child
Not knowing what it cries for) running wild,
With bloated style, by Affectation taught,
With much false colouring, and little thought,
With phrases strange, and dialect decreed
By Reason never to have pass'd the Tweed,
With words, which Nature meant each other's foe,
Forced to compound whether they will or no;
With such materials, let them, if they will,
To prove at once their pleasantry and skill, 140
Build up a bard to war 'gainst Common Sense,
By way of compliment to Providence;
Let them, with Armstrong, taking leave of Sense,
Read musty lectures on Benevolence,
Or con the pages of his gaping Day,
Where all his former fame was thrown away,
Where all, but barren labour, was forgot,
And the vain stiffness of a letter'd Scot;
Let them, with Armstrong, pass the term of light,
But not one hour of darkness: when the night 150
Suspends this mortal coil, when Memory wakes,
When for our past misdoings, Conscience takes
A deep revenge, when, by Reflection led,
She draws his curtains, and looks Comfort dead,
Let every Muse be gone; in vain he turns,
And tries to pray for sleep; an Aetna burns,
A more than Aetna, in his coward breast,
And Guilt, with vengeance arm'd, forbids him rest:
Though soft as plumage from young Zephyr's wing,
His couch seems hard, and no relief can bring; 160
Ingratitude hath planted daggers there
No good man can deserve, no brave man bear.
Thus, or in any better way they please,
With these great men, or with great men like these,
Let them their appetite for laughter feed;
I on my Journey all alone proceed.
* * * * *
 'Journey:' a posthumous publication.
 'In four:' he did not complete the fourth.
 'Flexney.' the publisher of his poems.
 'Franklin:' Dr Franklin, author of a translation of Sophocles.
 'Glover:' Dr Glover in his tragedy of Medea.
 'Cleone:' a tragedy by Robert Dodsley.
 'Whitehead:' Whitehead dedicated his 'School for Lovers' to the
memory of Fontenelle.
 'Browne:' 'The Cure of Saul,' a sacred ode by Dr Browne, was set
 'Ogilvie:' John Ogilvie, A.M., was the author of 'Providence,' an
 'Armstrong:' Dr John Armstrong, author of that beautiful poem,
'The Art of Preserving Health,' also of one entitled 'Day,' in which he
reflected on Churchill, who had been his friend.
To Churchill's Sermons.
The manuscript of this unfinished poem was found among the few papers
Churchill left behind him.
Health to great Glo'ster!--from a man unknown,
Who holds thy health as dearly as his own,
Accept this greeting--nor let modest fear
Call up one maiden blush--I mean not here
To wound with flattery; 'tis a villain's art,
And suits not with the frankness of my heart.
Truth best becomes an orthodox divine,
And, spite of Hell, that character is mine:
To speak e'en bitter truths I cannot fear;
But truth, my lord, is panegyric here. 10
Health to great Glo'ster!--nor, through love of ease,
Which all priests love, let this address displease.
I ask no favour, not one _note_ I crave,
And when this busy brain rests in the grave,
(For till that time it never can have rest)
I will not trouble you with one bequest.
Some humbler friend, my mortal journey done,
More near in blood, a nephew or a son,
In that dread hour executor I'll leave,
For I, alas! have many to receive; 20
To give, but little.--To great Glo'ster health!
Nor let thy true and proper love of wealth
Here take a false alarm--in purse though poor,
In spirit I'm right proud, nor can endure
The mention of a bribe--thy pocket's free:
I, though a dedicator, scorn a fee.
Let thy own offspring all thy fortunes share;
I would not Allen rob, nor Allen's heir.
Think not,--a thought unworthy thy great soul,
Which pomps of this world never could control, 30
Which never offer'd up at Power's vain shrine,--
Think not that pomp and power can work on mine.
'Tis not thy name, though that indeed is great,
'Tis not the tinsel trumpery of state,
'Tis not thy title, Doctor though thou art,
'Tis not thy mitre, which hath won my heart.
State is a farce; names are but empty things,
Degrees are bought, and, by mistaken kings,
Titles are oft misplaced; mitres, which shine
So bright in other eyes, are dull in mine, 40
Unless set off by virtue; who deceives
Under the sacred sanction of lawn sleeves
Enhances guilt, commits a double sin;
So fair without, and yet so foul within.
'Tis not thy outward form, thy easy mien,
Thy sweet complacency, thy brow serene,
Thy open front, thy love-commanding eye,
Where fifty Cupids, as in ambush, lie,
Which can from sixty to sixteen impart
The force of Love, and point his blunted dart; 50
'Tis not thy face, though that by Nature's made
An index to thy soul; though there display'd
We see thy mind at large, and through thy skin
Peeps out that courtesy which dwells within;
'Tis not thy birth, for that is low as mine,
Around our heads no lineal glories shine--
But what is birth,--when, to delight mankind,
Heralds can make those arms they cannot find,
When thou art to thyself, thy sire unknown,
A whole Welsh genealogy alone? 60
No; 'tis thy inward man, thy proper worth,
Thy right just estimation here on earth,
Thy life and doctrine uniformly join'd,
And flowing from that wholesome source, thy mind;
Thy known contempt of Persecution's rod,
Thy charity for man, thy love of God,
Thy faith in Christ, so well approved 'mongst men,
Which now give life and utterance to my pen.
Thy virtue, not thy rank, demands my lays;
'Tis not the Bishop, but the Saint, I praise: 70
Raised by that theme, I soar on wings more strong,
And burst forth into praise withheld too long.
Much did I wish, e'en whilst I kept those sheep
Which, for my curse, I was ordain'd to keep,--
Ordain'd, alas! to keep, through need, not choice,
Those sheep which never heard their shepherd's voice,
Which did not know, yet would not learn their way,
Which stray'd themselves, yet grieved that I should stray;
Those sheep which my good father (on his bier
Let filial duty drop the pious tear) 80
Kept well, yet starved himself, e'en at that time
Whilst I was pure and innocent of rhyme,
Whilst, sacred Dulness ever in my view,
Sleep at my bidding crept from pew to pew,--
Much did I wish, though little could I hope,
A friend in him who was the friend of Pope.
His hand, said I, my youthful steps shall guide,
And lead me safe where thousands fall beside;
His temper, his experience, shall control,