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Nor fondly deem the real fool confest,
Because blind Ridicule conceives a jest:
Before whose altar Virtue oft hath bled,
And oft a destin'd Victim shall be led :
Lo, Shaftesb'ry rears her high on Reason's throne,
And loads the Slave with honours not her own: 200
Big-swoln with folly, as her smiles provoke,
Profaneness spawns, pert Dunces nurse the joke!
Come, let us join awhile this titt'ring crew,
And own the Ideot Guide for once is true;
Deride our weak forefathers' musty rule,
Who therefore smil'd, because they saw a Fool;
Sublimer logic now adorns our isle,
We therefore see a Fool, because we smile.
Truth in her gloomy Cave why fondly seek?
she sits in Laughter's dimple cheek: 210 Contemns each surly academic foe,
And courts the spruce Freethinker and the Beau.
Dadalion arguments but few can trace,
But all can read the language of grimace.
Hence mighty Ridicule's all-conq'ring hand
Shall work Herculean wonders through the Land:
Bound in the magic of her cobweb chain,
You, mighty WARBURTON, shall rage in vain,
In vain the trackless maze of Truth
And lend th' informing Clue to erring Man : 220
No more shall Reason boast her pow'r divine,
Her Base eternal shook by Folly's mine!
Truth's sacred Fort th' exploded laugh shall win;
And Coxcombs vanquish BERKLEY by a grin.
But you, more sage, reject th' inverted rule, 225
That Truth is e'er explor'd by Ridicule:
On truth, on falsehood let her colours fall,
She throws a dazzling glare alike on all;
As the gay Prism but mocks the flatter'd eye al
And gives to ev'ry object ev'ry die.
Beware the mad Advent rer: bold and blind? J
She hoists her sail, and drives with ev'ry wind DIA
Deaf as the storm to sinking Virtue's groan,
Nor heeds a Friend's destruction, or her own.
Let clear-ey'd Reason at the helm preside,
Bear to the wind, or stem the furious tide;}
Then Mirth may urge, when Reason can explore,
This point the way, that waft us glad to shore.
Tho' distant Times may rise in SATIRE's page,
Yet chief 'tis Her's to draw the present Age:
With Wisdom's lustre, Folly's shade contrast,
And judge the reigning Manners by the past:
Bid Britain's Heroes (awful shades!) arise,
And ancient Honour beam on modern Viee:
Point back to minds ingenuous, actions fair,
Till the Sons blush at what their Fathers were d
Ere yet 'twas beggary the great to trust;
Ere yet 'twas quite a folly to be just;
When low-born Sharpers only dar'd a lie,
Or falsify'd a card, or cogg'd the die;
Ere Lewdness the stain'd garb of Honour wore,
Or Chastity was carted for the Whore;
Vice flutter'd in the plumes of freedom dress'd; 67
Or public Spirit was the public jest.
Be ever, in a just expression, bold,
Yet ne'er degrade fair SATIRE to a Scold:
Let no unworthy mien her form debase,
But let her smile, and let her frown with grace edh
In mirth be temp'rate, temp'rate in her spleen ;
Nor, while she preaches modesty, obscene.
Deep let her wound, not rankle to a sore,
Nor call his Lordship
her Grace a
The Muse's charms resistless then assail,
When wrapt in Irony's transparent veil :
Her beauties half conceal'd, the more surprise, 265
And keener lustre sparkles in her eyes.
Then be your line with sharp encomiums grac'd:
Style Clodius honourable, Bufa chaste.
Dart not on Folly an indignant eye:
Whoe'er discharg'd Artillery on a Fly?
Deride not Vice: Absurd the thought and vain,
To bind the Tiger in so weak a chain.
Nay more: when flagrant crimes your laughter move,
The Knave exults: to smile is to approve.
The Muse's labour then success shall crown,
When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown.
Know next what Measures to each Theme belong, And suit your thoughts and numbers to your song : On wing proportion'd to your quarry rise, And stoop to earth, or soar among the skies. Thus when a modish folly you rehearse, Free the expression, simple be the verse. In artless numbers paint th' ambitious PeerThat mounts the box, and shines a Charioteer : In strains familiar sing the midnight toil Of Camps and Senates disciplin'd by Hoyle;.. Patriots and Chiefs, whose deep design invades And carries off the captive King-of Spades! Let SATIRE here in milder vigour shine, And gaily graceful sport along the line;
Bid courtly fashion quit her thin pretence,
And smile each Affectation into sense.
Not so when Virtue by her Guards betray'd, Spurn'd from her Throne, implores the Muse's aid : When crimes, which erst in kindred darkness lay, Rise frontless, and insult the eye of day; Indignant Hymen veils his hallow'd fires, And white-rob'd Chastity with tears retires; When rank Adultery on the genial bed Hot from Cocytus rears her baleful head : When private Faith and public Trust are sold, And Traitors barter Liberty for Gold: When fell Corruption dark and deep, like fate, Saps the foundation of a sinking State : When Giant-Vice and Irreligion rise,
On mountain'd falsehoods to invade the skies:
Then warmer numbers glow thro' SATIRE's page,
And all her smiles are darken'd into rage:
On eagle-wing she gains Parnassus' height,
Not lofty EPIC soars a nobler flight:
Then keener indignation fires her eye;
Then flash her lightnings, and her thunders fly;
Wide and more wide her flaming bolts are hurl'd,
Till all her wrath involves the guilty World.
Yet SATIRE oft assumes a gentler mien,
And beams on Virtue's friends a smile serene :
She wounds reluctant; pours her balm with joy;
Glad to commend where Worth attracts her eye.
But chief, when Virtue, Learning, Arts decline,
She joys to see unconquer'd merit shine;
Where bursting glorious, with departing ray,
True Genius gilds the close of Britain's day:
With joy she sees the stream of Roman art
From MURRAY's tongue flow purer to the heart:
Sees YORKE to Fame, ere yet to Manhood known,
And just to ev'ry Virtue but his own:
Hears unstain'd CAM with gen'rous pride proclaim
A SAGE'S, CRITIC's, and a POET's name :
Behold, where WIDCOMBE's happy hills ascend,
Each orphan'd Art and Virtue find a friend : 330
To HAGLEY'S honour'd Shade directs her view;
And culls each flow'r, to form a Wreath for You.
Buttread with cautious step this dangerous ground,
Beset with faithless precipices round :
Truth be your guide: disdain Ambition's call; 335
And if you fall with Truth, you greatly fall.
"Tis Virtue's native lustre that must shine;
The Poet can but set it in his line:
And who unmov'd with laughter can behold
A sordid pebble meanly grac'd with gold?
Let real Merit then adorn your lays,
For shame attends on prostituted praise:
And all your wit, your most distinguish'd art,
But makes us grieve you want an honest heart.
Nor think the Muse by SATIRE's Law confin'd:
She yields description of the noblest kind.
Inferior art the Landscape may design,
And paint the purple ev'ning in the line:
Her daring thought essays a higher plan;
Her hand delineates Passion, pictures Man.
And great the toil, the latent soul to trace,
To paint the heart, and catch internal grace;
By turns bid Vice or Virtue strike our eyes,
Now bid a Wolsey, or a Cromwell rise;