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When truth or virtue an affront endures,

Th' affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours.
Mine, as a foe profess'd to false pretence,
Who think a coxcomb's honour like his sense;
Mine, as a friend to every worthy mind;
And mine as man, who feel for all mankind.
F. You're strangely proud.

P. So proud, I am no slave;

So impudent, I own myself no knave;
So odd, my country's ruin makes me grave.
Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to see
Men, not afraid of God, afraid of me;
Safe from the bar, the pulpit, and the throne,
Yet touch'd and sham'd by ridicule alone.
O sacred weapon! left for truth's defence,
Sole dread of folly, vice, and insolence,
To all but heaven-directed hands denied,
The muse may give thee, but the gods must guide!
Reverent I touch thee! but with honest zeal,
To rouse the watchmen of the public weal,
To virtue's work provoke the tardy hall,
And goad the prelate, slumbering in his stall.
Ye tinsel insects! whom a court maintains,
That counts your beauties only by your stains,
Spin all your cobwebs o'er the eye of day!
The muse's wing shall brush you all away.
All his grace preaches, all his lordship sings,
All that makes saints of queens, and gods of kings;
All, all but truth, drops dead-born from the press,
Like the last gazette, or the last address.

When black ambition stains a public cause, A monarch's sword when mad vainglory draws, Not Waller's wreath can hide the nation's scar, Nor Boileau turn the feather to a star.

Not so when, diadem'd with rays divine,

Touch'd with the flame that breaks from virtue's shrine,

Her priestess muse forbids the good to die,
And opes the temple of eternity.

There other trophies deck the truly brave
Than such as Anstis 8 casts into the grave;
Far other stars than *** and * * *9 wear,
And may descend to Mordington from Stair;-
Such as on Hough's1 unsullied mitre shine,
Or beam, good Digby! from a heart like thine.
Let envy howl, while heaven's whole chorus sings,
And bark at honour not conferr'd by kings;
Let flattery sickening see the incense rise,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies:
Truth guards the poet, sanctifies the line,
And makes immortal, verse as mean as mine.

Yes, the last pen for freedom let me draw, When truth stands trembling on the edge of law. Here, last of Britons! let your names be read; Are none, none living? let me praise the dead; And for that cause which made your fathers shine, Fall by the votes of their degenerate line.

F. Alas! alas! pray end what you began, And write next winter more Essays on Man.

8 See note 4, p. 50.

1 Bishop of Worcester.

9 Kent and Grafton.




YES, I beheld th' Athenian queen
Descend in all her sober charms;
'And take (she said, and smil'd serene),
Take at this hand celestial arms.

Secure the radiant weapons wield;
This golden lance shall guard desert,
And if a vice dares keep the field,
This steel shall stab it to the heart.'

Aw'd, on my bended knees I fell,
Receiv'd the weapons of the sky,
And dipp'd them in the sable well,
The fount of fame or infamy.


What well? what weapon? (Flavia cries) A standish, steel, and golden pen!

It came from Bertrand's,2 not the skies;

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1 These lines were occasioned by the poet's being threatened with a prosecution in the House of Lords, for writing the two foregoing Dialogues.

2 A toy-shop at Bath.

'But, friend, take heed whom you attack;
You'll bring a house (I mean of peers)
Red, blue, and green, nay, white and black,
L** and all about your ears.

'You'd write as smooth again on glass,
And run on ivory so glib,

As not to stick at fool or ass,
Nor stop at flattery or fib.

'Athenian queen! and sober charms!
I tell ye, fool! there's nothing in't:
'Tis Venus, Venus gives these arms;
In Dryden's Virgil see the print.

'Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
That dares tell neither truth nor lies,
I'll list you in the harmless roll
Of those that sing of these poor eyes.'

CELIA, we know, is sixty-five,

Yet Celia's face is seventeen;
Thus winter in her breast must live,
While summer in her face is seen.

How cruel Celia's fate! who hence
Our heart's devotion cannot try;

Too pretty for our reverence,

Too ancient for our gallantry.

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What god, what mortal shall prevent thy fall?
Turn, turn thy eyes from wicked men in place,
And see what succour from the patriot race.
C, his own proud dupe, thinks monarchs things
Made just for him, as other fools for kings;
Controls, decides, insults thee every hour,
And antedates the hatred due to power.

Through clouds of passion P's* views are clear; He foams a patriot to subside a peer;

1 "I shall here," says Dr. Warton, "present the reader with a valuable literary curiosity, a Fragment of an unpublished Satire of Pope, entitled, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty; communicated to me by the kindness of the learned and worthy Dr. Wilson, formerly fellow and librarian of Trinity College, Dublin; who speaks of the Fragment in the following terms:

"This poem I transcribed from a rough draft in Pope's own hand. He left many blanks for fear of the Argus eye of those who, if they cannot find, can fabricate treason; yet, spite of his precaution, it fell into the hands of his enemies. To the hieroglyphics there are direct allusions, I think, in some of the notes on the Dunciad. It was lent me by a grandson of Lord Chetwynd, an intimate friend of the famous Lord Bolingbroke, who gratified his curiosity by a boxful of the rubbish and sweepings of Pope's study, whose executor he was, in conjunction with Lord Marchmont.'" But see Memoir prefixed to these volumes, p. cxiv.

2 Britain.

8 Cobham.

4 Pulteney's.

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