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Late as it is, I put myself to school,
And feel some comfort, not to be a fool.
Weak though I am of limb, and short of sight,
Far from a lynx, and not a giant quite;
I'll do what Mead and Cheselden advise,3
To keep these limbs, and to preserve these eyes.
Not to go back, is somewhat to advance,
And men must walk at least before they dance.
Say, does thy blood rebel, thy bosom move
With wretched avarice, or as wretched love?

Know, there are words, and spells, which can control
Between the fits this fever of the soul:

Know, there are rhymes, which, fresh and fresh applied,

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Will cure the arrant'st puppy of his pride.

Be furious, envious, slothful, mad, or drunk,

Slave to a wife, or vassal to a punk,

A Switz, a High-Dutch, or a Low-Dutch bear;
All that we ask is but a patient ear.

'Tis the first virtue, vices to abhor:
And the first wisdom, to be fool no more.
But to the world no bugbear is so great,
As want of figure, and a small estate.
To either India see the merchant fly,

Scared at the spectre of pale poverty!


See him, with pains of body, pangs of soul,

Burn through the tropic, freeze beneath the pole!

Wilt thou do nothing for a noble end,
Nothing, to make philosophy thy friend?
To stop thy foolish views, thy long desires,
And ease thy heart of all that it admires?


3 [Dr. Mead's name occurs frequently in Pope. He was then physician to the king, and he kept his high position in his profession till his death. Dr. Cheselden was a skilful and popular surgeon and anatomist― "the most noted and most deserving man in the whole profession of chirurgery," as Pope, in a letter to Swift, describes him. He obtained much praise for an operation performed on a youth who had been blind from his birth: the operation was completely successful in giving sight to the youth, and an account of it which Cheselden drew up for the Philosophical Transactions is highly interesting. He was afterwards much employed as an oculist. This eminent surgeon åttended Pope in his last illness. His own death took place in 1754.]

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Here Wisdom calls: "Seek Virtue first, be bold!
As gold to silver, virtue is to gold."

There, London's voice: "Get money, money still!
And then let Virtue follow, if she will."
This, this the saving doctrine, preach'd to all,
From low St. James's up to high St. Paul !4


From him whose quills stand quiver'd at his ear,
To him who notches sticks at Westminster.5


Barnard in spirit, sense, and truth abounds;6 "Pray, then, what wants he?" Fourscore thousand pounds; A pension, or such harness for a slave

As Bug now has, and Dorimant would have.7
Barnard, thou art a cit, with all thy worth;
But Bug and D*1, their honours, and so forth.


4 [An allusion to the Low Church opinions then prevalent at the Court at St. James's, and strongly patronized by Queen Caroline.]

5 [The Exchequer tallies. Payments used to be made into the Exchequer in coin by weight and tale (counting), and the sums engrossed upon parchment. Hence the office of Clerk of the Pells (pellis, a skin), who engrossed the bill upon parchment, and the Clerk of the Pipe, who tossed it down through a pipe or funnel to the court below. See the system described in Knight's London. The whole of this eumbrous machinery has been swept away.]

6 [Sir John Barnard, whom Chatham styled "the great commoner," was at this time Lord Mayor of London. He had been knighted some years before on occasion of presenting a congratulatory address from the city to her Majesty at Kensington. He represented the city in Parliament for forty years, and was an able, independent member. He had strenuously opposed Walpole's Excise Bill, and was mainly instrumental in defeating that minister; whence probably the warmth of Pope's eulogium. In 1749 Sir John became the father of the city, and his brother merchants erected a statue of him in the Royal Exchange. The death of this patriotic citizen took place in 1764, when he had attained to the age of seventy-nine. Sir John was a native of Reading in Berkshire, and was the son of Quaker parents. At the age of nineteen, as the result of study of the Scriptures, he renounced Quakerism, and was received into the church by Dr. Compton, Bishop of London.]

7 [Warton remarks, "It cannot now be discovered to whom these names belong-so soon does satire become unintelligible. The same may be said of verse 112." In the first edition the names are "Bestia and Bug." The latter may have meant Lord Hervey (the "bug with gilded wings" in the Prologue to the Satires) and Dorimant may stand for that venal but goodhumoured politician, Bubb Dodington. The circumstances and character in each case will apply. "D" was probably Delaval, the first lord of that


Yet every child another song will sing,
"Virtue, brave boys! 'tis virtue makes a king."
True, conscious honour is to feel no sin,

He's arm'd without that 's innocent within;
Be this thy screen, and this thy wall of brass;
Compared to this a minister 's an ass.

And say, to which shall our applause belong,
This new Court-jargon, or the good old song?
The modern language of corrupted peers,
Or what was spoke at Cressy or Poitiers?
Who counsels best? who whispers,
"Be but great,
With praise or infamy leave that to fate;
Get place and wealth-if possible with grace;
If not, by any means, get wealth and place."
For what? to have a box where eunuchs sing,
And foremost in the circle eye a king.

Or he, who bids thee face with steady view
Proud fortune, and look shallow greatness through:
And, while he bids thee, sets the example too?

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If such a doctrine, in St. James's air,


Should chance to make the well-dressed rabble stare;

If honest S*z 8 take scandal at a spark,

That less admires the palace than the park:

Faith I shall give the answer Reynard gave:

"I cannot like, dread sir, your royal cave: Because I see, by all the tracks about,


Full many a beast goes in, but none come out.”
Adieu to Virtue, if you 're once a slave:

Send her to court, you send her to her grave.
Well, if a king's a lion, at the least


The people are a many-headed beast:
Can they direct what measures to pursue,
Who know themselves so little what to do?

8 [Augustus Schutz, " the elder of two sons of Baron Schutz, a German, who came over with George I., and settled his family in England. Augustus had been Equerry to George II., when Prince, and became Master of the Robes and Privy Purse to the king, with whom he was in great personal favour."-Note by Mr. Croker to Lord Hervey's Memoirs. Schutz seems to have been acquainted both with Pope and Martha Blount-no doubt through Mrs. Howard. Lord Hervey speaks of him as a dull courtier, and Pope's mention of him is to the same effect. He died in 1757.]

Alike in nothing but one lust of gold,
Just half the land would buy, and half be sold:
Their country's wealth our mightier misers drain,
Or cross, to plunder provinces, the main;
The rest, some farm the poor-box, some the pews;
Some keep assemblies, and would keep the stews;
Some with fat bucks on childless dotards fawn;
Some win rich widows by their chine and brawn;



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While with the silent growth of ten per cent.,
In dirt and darkness, hundreds stink content.

Of all these ways, if each pursues his own,
Satire, be kind, and let the wretch alone:
But show me one who has it in his power
To act consistent with himself an hour.

Sir Job sail'd forth, the evening bright and still,
"No place on earth (he cried) like Greenwich hill!"


Up starts a palace, lo, the obedient base


Slopes at its foot, the woods its sides embrace,
The silver Thames reflects its marble face.

Now let some whimsy, or that devil within

Which guides all those who know not what they mean,
But give the knight (or give his lady) spleen ;


Away, away! take all your scaffolds down,


For snug 's the word: My dear! we'll live in town."
At amorous Flavio is the stocking thrown?
That very night he longs to lie alone.

The fool whose wife elopes some thrice a quarter,
For matrimonial solace dies a martyr.
Did ever Proteus, Merlin, any witch,


Transform themselves so strangely as the rich ?
Well, but the poor-the poor have the same itch;
They change their weekly barber, weekly news,
Prefer a new japanner to their shoes.


Discharge their garrets, move their beds, and run
(They know not whither) in a chaise and one;
They hire their sculler, and, when once aboard,
Grow sick, and damn the climate-like a lord.

You laugh, half beau, half sloven if I stand,
My wig all powder, and all snuff my band;
You laugh, if coat and breeches strangely vary,
White gloves, and linen worthy Lady Mary!
But, when no prelate's lawn with hair-shirt lined
Is half so incoherent as my mind;



When (each opinion with the next at strife,
One ebb and flow of follies all my life)

I plant, root up; I build, and then confound;

Turn round to square, and square again to round;


You never change one muscle of your face,
You think this madness but a common case,
Nor once to Chancery, nor to Hale apply ;9
Yet hang your lip, to see a seam awry!
Careless how ill I with myself agree,
Kind to my dress, my figure, not to me.
Is this my guide, philosopher, and friend?

This he who loves me, and who ought to mend ;


9 [Dr. Hale, of Lincoln's Inn Fields, a physician employed in cases of insanity.]

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