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In golden Chains the willing World the draws,
and her Proffitution, they all in a body threw themfelves at her feet, as flaves at the footftool of their Miftrefs. In a word, there was no man, of what condition foever, that fhewed the leaft diflike of fo monftrous an elevation. In the mean time, Theodora's first care was to fill her Coffers, which the foon did, with immenfe wealth. To this end, Juftinian and the pretended to differ in their principles. The one protected the blue, and the other, the green faction; till in a long courfe of intrigue, by fometimes giving up the one to plunder and confifcation, and fometimes the other, they left nothing to either party. See Procop. Anec. c. ix.-x.
VER. 148. And hers the Gospel is, and hers the Laws,] i. c. She difpofed of the honours of both.
VER. 149. Scarlet head] Alluding to the fearlet Whore of the Apocalypfe.
In Soldier, Churchman, Patriot, Man in Pow'r,.
All, all look up, with reverential Awe,
VER. 164. See, all our fools afpiring to be Knaves!] This will always be the cafe when knauery is in fafhion, becaufe fools always dread the being unfashionable.
VER. 165. The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore,- Are what ten thousand envy and adore:] And no wonder, for the wit of Cheats being the evafion of Juftice, and the Courage of a Whore the contempt for reputation; these emancipate men from the two tyrannical reftraints upon free fpirits, fear of punishment, and dread of shame. SCRIBL.
Written in M DCC XXXVIII.
IS all a Libel --- Paxton (Sir) will fay P. Not yet, my Friend! to morrow 'faith it may; And for that very caufe I print to day. How should I fret to mangle ev'ry line, In rev'rence to the Sins of Thirty nine! Vice with fuch Giant ftrides comes on amain,
Invention strives to be before in vain ;
VER. 1. Paxton] Late follicitor to the Treasury.
VER. 8. Feign what I will, etc.] The Poet has here introduced an oblique apology for himself with great art. You attack perfonal characters, fay his enemies. No, replies he, I paint merely from my invention; and, to prevent a likeness, I then aggravate the features. But alas! the growth of vice
F. Yet none but you by Name the guilty lash;
P. How, Sir! not damn the Sharper, but the Dice?
P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do.
P. See, now I keep the Secret, and not you!
is fo monftroufly fudden, that it rifes up to a refemblance before I can get from the prefs.
VER 11. Ev'n Guthry] The Ordinary of Newgate, who publishes the memoirs of the Malefactors, and is often prevailed upon to be fo tender of their reputation, as to set down no more than the initials of their name. P.
VER. 13. How, Sir! not damn the Sharper, but the Dice?] The liveliness of the reply may excufe the bad reafoning; otherwife the dice, tho' they rhyme to vice, can never stand for it, which his argument requires they fhould do. For the dice are only the inftruments of fraud; but the question is not, whether the inftrument, but whether the act committed by it, fhould be expofed, inftead of the perfon.
The bribing Statesman---F. Hold, too high you go. · P. The brib'd Elector---F. There you ftoop too 25
P. I fain would please you, if I knew with what; Tell me, which Knave is lawful Game, which not? Muft great Offenders, once efcap'd the Crown, Like Royal Harts, be never more run down? Admit your Law to fpare the Knight requires, 30 As Beafts of Nature may we hunt the Squires?
VER. 26. I fain would pleafe you, if I knew with what ;-Tell me, which Knave is lawful Game, which not?] I have obferved, that our author has invented, and introduced into his writings, a new species of the fublime, by heightening it with wit. There is a fpecies of elegance in his works (of which thefe lines are an inftance) almost as peculiar to him, which he has produced by employing the fimpleft and triteft phrafes to prevent stiffness, and yet, by a fupreme effort of his art, giving them the dignity of the choiceft. Quintilian was fo fenfible of the luftre which this throws upon true eloquence under a masterly direction, and of the prejudices against it from the difficulty of fucceeding in it; that he fays, Utinam et verba in ufu quotidiano pofita minus timeremus.
VER. 28. Muft great Offenders, etc.] The cafe is archly put. Those who efcape public juftice being the particular property of
VER. 29. like Royal Harts, etc.] Alluding to the old Gamelaws, when our Kings spent all the time they could fpare from human flaughter, in Woods and Forefts.
VER. 31. As Beafts of Nature may we hunt the Squires ?] The expreffion is rough, like the fubject, but na reflection: For if beafts of Nature, then not beafts of their own making; a fault too frequently objected to country Squires. However, the Latin is nobler, Ferae natura, Things uncivilized, and free, Ferae,