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Could Laureate Dryden * Pimp and Fry'r engage,
Yet neither Charles nor James be in a rage?
And I not strip the gilding off a knave,
Unplac'd, unpenfion'd, no man's heir or flave?
I will, or perish in the gen'rous cause:
Hear this and tremble! you, who 'scape the laws.
Yes, while I live, no rich or noble knave
Shall walk the world, in credit, to his grave.
To VIRTUE ONLY and HER FRIENDS A FRIEND.
The world befide may murmur, or commend.
Know, all the diftant din that world can keep,
Rolls o'er my grotto, and but fooths my fleep.
There, my retreat the best companions grace,
Chiefs out of war and ftatefmen out of place.
There ST. JOHN mingles with my friendly bowl
The feast of reason, and the flow of foul:
And HE, whofe lightning pierc'd th' Iberian lines, S
Now forms my quincunx, and now ranks my vines, 130
Or tames the genius of the stubborn plain,
Almoft as quickly as he conquer'd Spain.
Envy muft own, I live among the great, No pimp of pleasure, and no spy of state,
This, all who know me know; who love me, tell;
And who unknown defame me, let them be
Scriblers or peers, alike are Mob to me.
With eyes that pry not, tongue that ne'er repeats, 135
Fond to fpread friendfhips, but to cover heats;
To help who want, to forward who excel;
* It was Horace's purpose to compliment the former times, and therefore he gives the virtuous examples of Scipio and Lælius; it was Mr. Pope's to fatirize the prefent, and therefore he gives the vicious examples of Louis, Charles and James. Either way the instances are equally pertinent; but in the latter, they have rather greater force. Only the line,
Uni æquus virtuti atque ejus amicis,
loses something of its spirit in the imitation; for the amici, referred to, were Scipio and Lælius.
§ Charles Mordaunt, earl of Peterborow, who in the year 1705 took Barcelona, and in the winter following, with only 280 horfe and 900 foot, enterprized and accomplished the conquest of Valentia,
This is my plea, on this I reft my cause-
What faith my council, learned in the laws?
F. Your plea is good; but ftill I fay, beware!
Laws are explain'd by men-fo have a care.
It ftands on record, that in Richard's times,
A man was hang'd* for very honeft rhymes;
Confult the ftatute, quart. I think it is,
Edwardi fext. or prim, et quint. Eliz.
See Libels, Satires-here you have it-read.
P. Libels and Satires! lawless things indeed!
But grave Epiftles, bringing vice to light,
Such as a king might read, a bishop write,
Such as Sir ROBERT would approve-
F. Indeed! §
The cafe is alter'd-you may then proceed;
In fuch a cause the plaintiff will be hifs'd,
My lords the judges laugh, and you're dismiss'd,
* A great French lawyer explains this matter very truly. "tie eft le Gouvernement qui proferit les plus les Ouvrages fatiriques. Les Magistrats y font de petits fouverains, qui ne font pas affez grands pour “mepriser les injures. Ei dans la Monarchie quelque trait va contre le Mo
narque, il est si haut que le trait n'arrive point jusqu'à lui; un Seigneur "Aristocratique en eft percé de part en part. Auffi les Decemvirs, qui for"moient une Ariftocratie punirent-ils de mort les Ecrits Satiriques." De L'Efprit des Loix, L. xii. c. 13.
Solventur rifu tabulæ.
Some critics tell us, it is want of taste to put this line in the mouth of Trebatius. But our poet confutes this cenfure, by fhewing how well the sense of it agrees to his friend's character. The lawyer is cautious and fearful; but as foon as Sir ROBERT, the patron both of law and gospel, is named as approving them, he changes his note, and, in the language of old Plouden, owns, the cafe is altered. Now was it not as natural, when Horace had given a hint that Auguftus himself fupported him, for Trebatius, a court advocate, who had been long a client to him and his uncle, to confess the cafe was altered.
To Mr. BE THE L.
WHAT, and how great the virtue and the art
To live on little with a chearful heart;
(A doctrine fage, but truly none of mine)
Let's talk, my friends, but talk before we dine.
Not when a guilt buffet's reflected pride
Turns you from found philofophy afide;
Not when from plate to plate your eye-balls roll,
And the brain dances to the mantling bowl.
Hear BETHEL's* fermon, one not vers'd in schools, But ftrong in fenfe, and wife without the rules.
Go work, hunt, exercife! (he thus began)
Then scorn a homely dinner, if you can.
Your wine lock'd up, your butler ftroll'd abroad,
Or fish deny'd (the river yet unthaw'd)
If then plain bread and milk will do the feat,
The pleasure lies in you, and not the meat.
Preach as I please, I doubt our curious men
Will chufe a pheasant ftill before a hen;
* The fame to whom several of Mr. Pope's Letters are addressed.
Yet hens of Guinea full as good I hold,
Except you eat the feathers green and gold.
Of carps and mullets why prefer the great,
(Tho' cut in pieces ere my lord can eat)
Yet for fmall turbots fuch efteem profefs?
Because God made thefe large, the other lefs.
Oldfield with more than Harpy throat endu'd,
Cries, "Send me, gods! a whole hog barbecu'd !"
Oh blaft it, South-winds! till a ftench exhale
Rank as the ripeneis of a rabbit's tail.
By what criterion do you eat, d'ye think,
If this is priz'd for fweetnefs, that for ftink?
When the tir'd glutton labours thro' a treat,
He finds no relifh in the fweetest meat,
He calls for fomething bitter, fomething four,
And the rich feaft concludes extremely poor :
Cheap eggs, and herbs, and olives ftill we fee;
Thus much is left of old fimplicity!
The robin-redbreaft till of late had reft,
And children facred held a martin's neft,
Till beccaficos fold fo dev'lifh dear
To one that was, or would have been, a peer.
Let me extol a cat, on oifters fed,
I'll have a party at the Bedford-head;
Or ev'n to crack live crawfish recommend
I'd never doubt at court to make a friend.
'Tis yet in vain, I own, to keep a pother
About one vice, and fall into the other:
Between excefs and famine lies a mean;
Plain, but not fordid; tho' not fplendid, clean.
Avidien, or his wife (no matter which,
For him you'll call a dog, and her a bitch)
Sell their prefented partridges, and fruits,
And humbly live on rabbits and on roots :
One half-pint bottle ferves them both to dine,
And is at once their vinegar and wine.
But on fome lucky day (as when they found
A loft bank-bill, or heard their fon was drown'd)
At fuch a feaft, old vinegar to fpare,
Is what two fouls fo gen'rous cannot bear :
Oil, tho' it ftink, they drop by drop impart,
But fowse the cabbage with a bounteous heart.
He knows to live, who keeps the middle ftate,
And neither leans on this fide, nor on that;
Nor ftops, for one bad cork, his butler's pay,
Swears, like Albutius, a good cook away;
Nor lets, like Nævius, ev'ry error pafs,
The mufty wine, foul cloth, or greafy glass.
Now hear what bleffings temperance can bring :
(Thus faid our friend, and what he said I fing)
Firft health the ftomach (cramm'd from ev'ry dish,
A tomb of boil'd and roaft, and flesh and fish,
Where bile, and wind, and phlegm, and acid jar,
And all the man is one inteftine war)
Remembers oft the fchool-boy's fimple fare,
The temp❜rate fleeps, and fpirits light as air.
How pale, each worshipful and rev'rend guest
Rise from a clergy, or a city feast !
What life in all that ample body, fay?
What heav'nly particle infpires the clay?
The foul fubfides, and wickedly inclines
To feem but mortal, ev'n in found divines."
On morning wings how active springs the mind
That leaves the load of yesterday behind?
How eafy ev'ry labour it purfues?
How coming to the poet ev'ry Muse?
Not but we may exceed, fome holy time,
Or tir'd in fearch of truth, or fearch of rhyme;
Ill health fome juft indulgence may engage;
And more the ficknefs of long life, old age;
For fainting age what cordial drop remains,
If our intemp❜rate youth the veffel drains?
Our fathers prais'd rank ven'fon. You fuppofe,
Perhaps, young men! our fathers had no nofe.