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Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast;
But fhall the Dignity of Vice be loft ?

Ye Gods! fhall Cibber's Son, without rebuke, 115
Swear like a Lord, or Rich out-whore a Duke?

A Fav'rite's Porter with his Master vie,

Be brib'd as often, and as often lie?

Shall Ward draw Contracts with a Statesman's skill?

Or Japhet pocket, like his Grace, a Will?

Is it for Bond, or Peter, (paltry things)


To pay their Debts, or keep their Faith, like Kings? If Blount dispatch'd himself, he play'd the man, And fo may'st thou, illuftrious Pafferan!

But shall a Printer, weary of his life,


Learn, from their Books, to hang himself and Wife?

VER. 113. Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boaft ;] A fatirical ambiguity--either that thofe ftarve who have it, or that those who boaft of it, bave it not : and both together (he infinuates) make up the present state of modern virtue.

VER. 115. Cibber's Son,-Rich] Two players: look for them in the Dunciad.

VER. 123. If Blount.] Author of an impious and foolish book called the Oracles of Reafon, who being in love with a near kinswoman of his, and rejected, gave himself a stab in the arm, as pretending to kill himself, of the confequence of which he really died.

VER. 124. Pafferan!] Author of another book of the fame stamp, called, A philosophical discourse on death, being a defence of fuicide. He was a nobleman of Piedmont, banished from his country for his impieties, and lived in the utmost mifery, yet feared to practise his own precepts.---This unhappy man at last died a penitent.

VER. 125. But fhall a Printer, etc.] A Fact that happened in London a few years paft. The unhappy man left behind him

This, this, my friend, I cannot, muit hot bear;
Vice thus abus'd, demands a Nation's care:
This calls the Church to deprecate our Sin,.

And hurls the Thunder of the Laws on Gin.


Let modest FOSTER, if he will, excell
Ten Metropolitans in preaching well;
A fimple Quaker, or a Quaker's Wife,
Out-do Landaffe in Doctrine,-yea in Life :
Let humble ALLEN, with an aukward Shame,
Do good by fealth, and blush to find it Fame.


a paper juftifying his action by the reafonings of fome of thefe authors.

VER. 129. This calls the Church to deprecate our Sin,] Alluding to the forms of prayer, compofed in the times of public calamity; where the fault is generally laid upon the People.

VER. 130. Gin.] A fpirituous liquor, the exorbitant ufe of which had almost destroyed the lowest rank of the People till it was restrained by an act of Parliament in 1736.

VER. 134. Landaffe.] A poor Bishoprick in Wales, as poorly supplied.

VER. 135. Let humble ALLEN with an aukward Shame,--Do good by fealth, and blush to find it Fame.] We are so abfolutely governed by custom, that to act contrary to it, creates even in virtuous men, who are ever modeft, a kind of diffidence, which is the parent of Shame. But when, to this, there is joined a consciousness that, in forfaking custom, you follow truth and reason, the indignation arifing from such a conscious virtue, mixing with Shame, produces that amiable aukwardness, in going out of the fashion, which the Poet, here, celebrates: and blush to find it Fame,

i. e. He blushed at the degeneracy of his times, which, at best, gave his goodness its due commendation (the thing he never aimed at) instead of following and imitating his example,

Virtue may choose the high or low Degree,
"Tis juft alike to Virtue, and to me;
Dwell in a Monk, or light upon a King,

She's till the fame, belov'd, contented thing, 140
Vice is undone, if the forgets her Birth,

And ftoops from Angels to the Dregs of Earth:
But 'tis the Fall degrades her to a Whore;

Let Greatnefs own her, and she's mean no more, 145
Her Birth, her Beauty, Crowds and Courts confefs,
Chafte Matrons praife her, and grave Bishops blefs;
In golden Chains the willing World she draws,
And hers the Gospel is, and hers the Laws,
Mounts the Tribunal, lifts her scarlet head,
And fees pale Virtue carted in her stead.
Lo! at the wheels of her triumphal Car,
Old England's Genius, rough with many a Scar,
Dragg'd in the duft! his arms hang idly round,
His Flag inverted trails along the ground!


Our Youth, all liv'ry'd o'er with foreign Gold, 155 Before her dance: behind her, crawl the Old !

which was the reason why some acts of it were not done by ftealth, but more openly.

VER. 138. 'Tis juft alike to Virtue, and to me ;] He gives the reason for it, in the line that prefently follows,

She's ftill the fame, belov'd, contented thing.

So that the fenfe of the text is this, "It is all one to Virtue on "whom her influence falls, whether on high or low, because "it ftill produces the same effect, their content; and it is all one to me, because it still produces the fame effect, my love.”.


See thronging Millions to the Pagod ran,
And offer Country, Parent, Wife, or Son!
Hear her black Trumpet thro' the Land proclaim,
In Soldier, Churchman, Patriot, Man in Pow'r,
'Tis Av'rice all, Ambition is no more!

See, all our Nobles begging to be Slaves!
See, all our Fools afpiring to be Knaves!


The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore, 165
Are what ten thousand envy and adore:
All, all look up, with reverential Awe,

At Crimes that 'scape, or triumph o'er the Law: While Truth, Worth, Wifdom, daily they decry"Nothing is Sacred now but Villainy."

Yet may this Verfe (if fuch a Verfe remain) Show, there was one who held it in difdain.


VER. 165. The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore,--Are what ten thousand envy and adore :] And no wonder, for the quit of Cheats being the evafion of Justice, and the Courage of a Whore the contempt for reputation; these emancipate men from the two tyrannical restraints upon free fpirits, fear of punishment, and dread of shame.








IS all a Libel-Paxton (Sir) will say

P. Not yet, my Friend! to morrow 'faith

it may;

And for that very cause I print to day.
How fhould 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 ;
Feign what I will, and paint it e'er so strong,
Some rifing Genius fius up to my Song.

VER. 1. Paxton.] Late follicitor to the Treasury.


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