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Despise a fool in half his pension dress'd,
And strive, in vain, to laugh at Clodio's jest*.
Others, with softer smiles, and subtler art,
Can sap the principles, or taint the heart;
With more address a lover's note convey,
Or bribe a virgin's innocence away.
Well may they rise, while I, whose rustick tongue
Ne'er knew to puzzle right, or varnish wrong,
Spurn'd as a beggar, dreaded as a spy,
Live unregarded, unlamented die.
For what but social guilt the friend endears? Who shares Orgilio's crimes, his fortune shares. But thou, should tempting villany present All Marlb'rough hoarded, or all Villiers spent, Turn from the glitt'ring bribe thy scornful eye, Nor sell for gold, what gold could never buy, The peaceful slumber, self-approving day, Unsullied fame, and conscience ever gay.
m The cheated nation's happy fav’rites, see! Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me! London! the needy villain's gen'ral home, The common sewer of Paris and of Rome; With eager thirst, by folly or by fate, Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state. Forgive my transports, on a theme like this, "I cannot bear a French metropolis.
-Ferre ad nuptam, quæ mittit adulter,
Quæ mandat, norunt alii; me nemo ministro
Fur erit, atque ideo nulli comes exeo,
k Quis nunc diligitur, nisi conscius ?-
Carus erit Verri, qui V'errem tempore, quo vult,
-Tanti tibi non sit opaci
Omnis arena Tagi, quodque in mare volvitur aurum,
Ut somno careas-
m Quæ nunc divitibus gens acceptissima nostria
Et quos præcipue fugiam, properabo fateri.
-Non possum ferre, Quirites,
Græcam urbem :
• II -y's jest.
Illustrious Edward! from the realms of day,
The land of heroes and of saints survey;
Nor hope the British lineaments to trace,
The rustick grandeur, or the surly grace ;
But, lost in thoughtless ease and empty show,
Behold the warriour dwindled to a beau;
Sense, freedom, piety, refin'd away,
of France the mimick, and of Spain the prey.
All that at home no more can beg or steal,
Or like a gibbet better than a wheel;
Hiss'd from the stage, or hooted from the court,
Their air, their dress, their politicks, import;
P Obsequious, artful, voluble and gay,
On Britain's fond credulity they prey.
No gainful trade their industry can 'scape,
. They sing, they dance, clean shoes, or cure a clap:
All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows,
And, bid him go to hell, to hell he goes.
"Ah! what avails it, that, from slav'ry far,
I drew the breath of life in English air ;.
Was early taught a Briton's right to prize,
And lisp the tale of Henry's victories;
If the gulld conqueror receives the chain,
And flattery prevails, when arms are vain ?*
Studious to please, and ready to submit,
The supple Gaul was born a parasite :
Still to his int'rest true, where'er he goes,
Wit, brav'ry, worth, his lavish tongue bestows;
• Rusticus ille tuus sumit trechedipna, Quirine, Et ceromatico fert niceteria collo.
p Ingenium velox, audacia perdita, sermo Promptus
4 Augur, schænobates, medicus, magus: omnia novit. Græculus esuriens in cælum, jusseris, ibit.
* Usque adeo nihil est, quod nostra infantia cælum Hausit Aventinum ?
s Quid? quod adulandi gens prudentissima laudat Sermonem indocti, faciem deformis amici!
And what their armies lost, their cringes gain.
In ev'ry face a thousand graces shine,
From ev'ry tongue flows harmony divine.
* These arts in vain our rugged natives try, Strain out, with fault'ring diffidence, a lie, And get a kick * for awkward flattery.
Besides, with justice, this discerning age
Admires their wondrous talents for the stage:
"Well may they venture on the mimick’s art,
Who play from morn to night a borrow'd part;
Practis'd their master's notions to embrace,
Repeat his maxims, and reflect his face;
With ev'ry wild absurdity comply,
And view each object with another's eye ;
To shake with laughter, ere the jest they hear,
at will the counterfeited tear; And, as their patron hints the cold or heat, To shake in dog-days, in December sweat.
How, when competitors, like these, contend, Can surly virtue hope to fix a friend? Slaves that with serious impudence beguile, , And lie without a blush, without a smile ; Exalt each trifle, ev'ry vice adore, Your taste in snuff, your judgment in a whore : Can Balbo’s eloquence applaud, and swear, He gropes his breeches with a monarch's air.
For arts, like these, preferr'd, admir'd, caress'd, They first invade your table, then your breast; Explore your secrets with insidious art, Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart;
Then soon your ill-placed confidence repay,
Commence your lords, and govern or betray.
2 By numbers here from shame or censure free,
All crimes are safe, but hated poverty.
This, only this, the rigid law pursues,
This, only this, provokes the snarling muse.
The sober trader at a tatter'd cloak
Wakes from his dream, and labours for a joke;
With brisker air the silken courtiers gaze,
And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways.
* Of all the griefs, that harass the distress'd,
Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest ;
Fate never wounds more deep the gen'rous heart,
Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.
Has heaven reserv'd, in pity to the poor,
No pathless waste, or undiscover'd shore?
No secret island in the boundless main ?
No peaceful desert, yet unclaim'd by Spain * ?
Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore,
And bear oppression's insolence no more.
This mournful truth is ev'ry where confess’d,
SLOW RISES WORTH, BY POVERTY DEPRESS'D :
But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,
Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold ;
Where won by bribes, by flatteries implor’d,
The groom retails the favours of his lord.
- Materiam præbet causasque jocorum Omnibus hic idem, si foeda et scissa lacerna, &c.
a Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se,
Quam quod ridiculos homines facit.
Debuerant olim tenues migrasse Quirites.
c Haud facile emergunt, quorum virtutibus obstat
Res angusta domi ; sed Romæ durior illis
Cogimur, et cultis augere peculia servis. * The Spaniards at this time were said to make claim to some of our American provinces.
But hark! th' affrighted crowd's tumultuous cries
Roll through the streets, and thunder to the skies :
Rais'd from some pleasing dream of wealth and pow'r,
Some pompous palace, or some blissful bow'r,
Aghast you start, and scarce, with aching sight,
Sustain th' approaching fire's tremendous light;
Swift from pursuing horrours take your way,
And leave your little ALL to flames a prey;
d Then through the world a wretched vagrant roam;
For where can starving merit find a home?
In vain your mournful narrative disclose,
While all neglect, and most insult your woes.
Should heav'n's just bolts Orgilio's wealth confound,
*Aud spread his flaming palace on the ground,
Swift o'er the land the dismal rumour flies,
And publick mournings pacify the skies;
The laureate tribe in venal verse relate,
How virtue wars with persecuting fate;
With well-feign'd gratitude the pension’d band
Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land.
See! while he builds, the gaudy vassals come,
And crowd with sudden wealth the rising dome;
The price of boroughs and of souls restore ;
And raise his treasures higher than before.
Now bless'd with all the baubles of the great,
The polish'd marble and the shining plate,
& Orgilio sees the golden pile aspire,
And hopes from angry heav'n another fire.
Ærumnæ cumulus, quod nudum et frustra rogantem
Nemo cibo, nemo hospitio tectoque juvabit.
e Si magna Asturii cecidit domus, horrida mater :
-Jam accurrit, qui marmora donet,
Conferat impensas : hic &c.
& Hic modium argenti. Meliora, ac plura reponit
Persicus orborum lautissimus-
* This was by Hitch, a bookseller, justly observed to be no picture of modern manners, though it might be true at Rome. MS. note in Dr. Johnson's hand-writing.