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The damning critic, half-approving wit,
The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit;
Laugh'd at the loss of friends he never had,
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad
The distant threats of vengeance on his head,
The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed;
The tale reviv'd, the lie so oft o'erthrown,
The' imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape,
The libell'd person, and the pictur'd shape;
Abuse on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father dead;
The whisper, that, to greatness still too near,
Perhaps yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear→→
Welcome for thee, fair virtue! all the past:
For thee, fair virtue! welcome ev'n the last!
A. But why insult the poor, affront the great? P. A knave's a knave to me in every state; Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail, Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail ; A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer, Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire If on a pillory, or near a throne,
He gain his prince's ear or lose his own.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit, Sappho can tell you how this man was bit: This dreaded satirist Dennis will confess Foe to his pride, but friend to his distress : So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door, Has drunk with Cibber, nay, has rhym'd for Moore. Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply?— Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie. To please a mistress, one aspers'd his life; He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife:
Let Budgell charge low Grub-street on his quill,
And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his will;
Let the two Curlls of town and court abuse
His father, mother, body, soul, and muse :
Yet why? that father held it for a rule,
It was a sin to call our neighbour fool;
That harmless mother thought no wife a whore:
Hear this, and spare his family, James Moore !
Unspotted names, and memorable long!
If there be force in virtue, or in song.
Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause,
While yet in Britain honour had applause)
Each parent sprung-A. What fortune, pray ?—
P. Their own;
And better got than Bestia's from the throne.
Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,
Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
Stranger to civil and religious rage,
The good man walk'd innoxious through his age:
No courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie.
Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art,
No language but the language of the heart.
By nature honest, by experience wise,
Healthy by temperance and by exercise;
His life, though long, to sickness past unknown,
His death was instant and without a groan.
O grant me thus to live, and thus to die!
Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.
O friend! may each domestic bliss be thine!
Be no unpleasing melancholy mine :
Me, let the tender office long engage
To rock the cradle of reposing age,
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death;
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep awhile one parent from the sky!
On cares like these, if length, of days attend,
May Heaven to bless those days, preserve my friend!
Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
And just as rich as when he serv'd a queen.
A. Whether that blessing be denied or giv❜n, Thus far was right;-the rest belongs to Heav'n.
The occasion of publishing these imitations was the clamour raised on some of my Epistles. An answer from Horace was both more full and of more dignity than any I could have made in my own person; and the example of much greater freedom in so eminent a divine as Dr. Doune, seemed a proof with what indignation and contempt a Christian may treat vice or folly, in ever so low or ever so high a station. Both these authors were acceptable to the princes aud ministers under whom they lived. The satires of Dr. Donne I versified at the desire of the Earl of Oxford, while he was lord-treasurer, and of the Duke of Shrewsbury, who had been secretary of state; neither of whom looked upon a satire on vicious courts as any reflection on those they served in. And indeed there is not in the world a greater error than that which fools are so apt to fall into, and knaves with good reason to encourage, the mistaking a satirist for a libeller: whereas to a true satirist nothing is so odieus as a libeller, for the same reason as to a man truly virtuous, nothing is so hateful as a hypocrite.
Uni æquus virtuti atque ejus amicis.
P. THERE are (I scarce can think it, but am told) There are to whom my satire seems too bold;
Scarce to wise Peter complaisant enough,
And something said of Chartres much too rough.
The lines are weak, another's pleas'd to say;
Lord Fanny spins a thousand such a day.
Timorous by nature, of the rich in awe,
I come to counsel learned in the law:
You'll give me, like a friend both sage and free,
Advice; and (as you use) without a fee.
P. Not write? but then I think,
And for my soul I cannot sleep a wink.
I nod in company, I wake at night;
Fools rush into my head, and so I write.
F. You could not do a worse thing for your life.
Why, if the night seem tedious-take a wife:
Or rather, truly, if your point be rest,
Lettuce and cowslip wine: probatum est.
But talk with Celsus, Celsus will advise
Hartshorn, or something that shall close your eyes.
Or if you needs must write, write Cæsar's praise;
You'll gain at least a knighthood, or the bays.
P. What? like Sir Richard, rumbling, rough,
With arms, and George, and Brunswick, crowd the
Rend with tremendous sound your ears asunder,
With gun, drum, trumpet, blunderbuss, and thunder?
Or, nobly wild, with Budgell's fire and force,
Paint angels trembling round his falling horse?
F. Then all your Muse's softer art display,
Let Carolina smooth the tuneful lay;
Lull with Amelia's liquid name the Nine,
And sweetly flow through all the royal line.
P. Alas! few verses touch their nicer ear; They scarce can bear their laureat twice a year;