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Chafte Matrons praife her, and grave Bifhops bless;
In golden Chains the willing World she draws,
And hers the Gospel is, and hers the Laws,
Mounts the Tribunal, lifts her fcarlet head,
And fees pale Virtue carted in her ftead.
Lo! at the wheels of her Triumphal Car,

150

NOTES.

extraordinary project. Thefe, he obliged Juftin to revoke ; and then, in the face of the fun, married his dear Theodora. A terrible example (fays the Hiftorian) and an encouragement to the most shameless licence. And now no fooner was THEODORA (in the Poet's phrafe) owned by Greatness, than fhe, whom not long before it was thought unlucky to meet, and a pollution touch, became the idol of the Court. There was not a fingie Magiftrate (fays Procopius), that expreffed the least indignation at the fhame and dishonour brought upon the ftare; not a single Prelate that fhewed the leaft defolation for the public fcandal. They all. drove to court fo precipitately, as if they were ftriving to prevent one another in her good graces. Nay, the very foldiers were emulous of the honour of becoming the Champions of her Virtue. As for the common people, who had fo long been the spectators of her fervility, her Buffoonry, and her Proftitution, they all in a body threw themselves at her feet, as flaves at the footstool of their Mistress. In a word, there was no man, of what condition foever, that fhewed the leaft diflike of fo monftrous an elevation. In the mean time, Theodora's first care was to fill her Coffers, which fhe foon did, with immense wealth. To this end, Juftinian and The pretended to differ in their principles. The one protected the blue, and the other, the green faction; till in a long courfe of intrigue, by fometimes giving up the one to plunder and confifcation, and fometimes the other, they left nothing to either party. See Procop.

Anec. c. ix ---X.

VER. 148. And hers the Gospel is, and hers the Laws,) i. e. She difpofed of the honours of both.

VER. 149. feariet head) Alluding to the fearlet Whore of the Apocalypfe.

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Old England's Genius, rough with many a Scar,
Dragg'd in the duft! his arms hang idly round,
His Flag inverted trails along the ground!

Our Youth, all liv'ry'd o'er with foreign Gold, 155

Before her dance: behind her, crawl the Old!
See thronging Millions to the Pagod run,
And offer Country, Parent, Wife, or Son!
Hear her black Trumpet thro' the Land proclaim,
That NOT TO BE CORRUPTED IS THE SHAME. 160
In Soldier, Churchman, Patriot, Man in Pow'r,
'Tis Av'rice all, Ambition is no more!
See, all our Nobles begging to be Slaves!
See, all our Fools afpiring to be Knaves!

The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore, 165
Are what ten thousand envy and adore:
All, all look up, with reverential Awe,

At Crimes that 'scape, or triumph o'er the Law:
While Truth, Worth, Wisdom, daily they decry
"Nothing is Sacred now but Villainy."

Yer may this Verse (if such a Verse remain)
Show, there was one who held it in difdain.

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NOTES.

VER. 164. See, all our fools afpiring to be Knaves!) This will always be the cafe when knavery is in fashion, because fools always dread the being unfashionable,

VER. 165. The wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore, Are what ten thousand envy and adore :) And no wonder, for the wit of Cheats being the evafion of Juftice, and the Courage of a Whore the contempt for reputation; thefe emancipate men from the two tyrannical restraints upon free spirits, fear of pu mifhment, and dread of jhame. -SCRIBL.

FR.

EPILOGUE

TO THE

SA TIRE S.

Written in MDCCXXXVIII.

DIALOGUE

II.

TIS all a Libel-Paxton (Sir) will say.

P. Not yet, my Friend! to morrow 'faith it may;

1

And for that very cause I print to day.
How should I fret to mangle ev'ry line,
In rev'rence to the Sins of Thirty nine!
Vice with fuch Giant ftrides comes on amain,
Invention ftrives to be before in vain;
Feign what I will, and paint it e'er fo ftrong,
Some rifing Genius fins up to my Song,

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NOTES.

VER. I. Paxton) Late follicitor to the Treasury.

VER. 8. Feign what I will, etc.) The Poet has here introduced an oblique apology for himself with great art. You attack perfonal characters, fay his enemies. No, replies he, I paint merely from my invention; and, to prevent a likeness, I then aggravate the features. But alas! the growth of vice is fo monftroufly fudden, that it rises up to a refemblance before I can get from the prefs.

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F. Yet none but you by Name the guilty lafh; 10
Ev'n Guthry faves half Newgate by a Dash.
Spare then the Perfon, and expofe the Vice.

P. How, Sir! not damn the Sharper, but the Dice?
Come on then, Satire? genʼral, unconfin'd,
Spread thy broad wing, and fouce on all the kind. 15
Ye Statesmen, Priests, of one Religion all!
Ye Tradefmen, vile, in Army, Court, or Hall!
Ye Rev'rend Atheifts. F. Scandal! name them, Who?
P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do.
Who ftarv'd a Sifter, who forfwore a Debt,
I never nam'd; the Town's enquiring yet.
The pois'ning Dame- F. You mean
F. You do.

120

P. I. don't.

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P. See, Now I keep the Secret, and not you! The bribing Statesman F. Hold, too high you go. P. The brib'd Elector F. There you stoop too

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25 P. I fain would please you, if I knew with what; Tell me, which Knave is lawful Game, which not?

low.

NOTES.

VER. II. Ev's Guthry) The Ordinary of Newgate, who pu blifhes the Memoirs of the Malefactors, and is often prevailed upon to be fo tender of their reputation, las to set, down no more than the initials of their name. P.

VER. 13. How, Sir! not damn the Sharper, but the Dice!) The liveliness of the reply may excufe the bad reafoning, otherwife the dice, tho' they rhyme to vice, can never ftand for it, which his argument requires they fhould do. For the dice are only the inftruments of fraud; but the question is not, whether the inftrument, but whether the act committed by it, fhould be expofed; instead of the perfon.

VER. 26. I fain would please you, if I knew with what; Tell me, which Knave is lawful Game, which not?) I have obfer

Muft great Offenders, once escap'd the Crown,
Like Royal Harts, be never more run down?
Admit your Law to fpare the Knight requires,
As Beats of Nature may we hunt the Squires?
Suppose I cenfure you know what I mean
To fave a Bishop, may I name a Dean?

F. A Dean, Sir? no: his Fortune is not made,
You hurt a man that's rifing in the Trade.

35

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30

NOTES.

ved, that our author has invented, and introduced, into his writings, a new fpecies of the fublime, by heightening it with wit There is a species of elegance in his works (of which these lines are an inftance) almost as peculiar to him, which he has produced by employing the fimpleft and triteft phrases to prevent stiffness, and yet, by a fupreme effort of his art, giving them the dignity of the choiceft. Quintilian was fo fenfible of the luftre which this throws upon true eloquence under a masterly direction, and of the prejudices against it from the difficulty of fucceeding in it; that he says, Utinam — et verba in usu quotidiano pofita minus timcremus.

VER. 28. Must great Offenders, etc.) The cafe is archly put. Those who efcape public juftice being the particular property of the Satirift.

VER. 29. like Royal Harts, etc.) Alluding to the old Gamelaws, when our Kings spent all the time they could fpare from human flaughter, in Woods and Forefts.

VER. 31. As Beafts of Nature may we hunt the Squires? ) The expreflion rough, like the fubje&t, but no reflection: For if beasts of Nature, then not beafts of their own making; a fault too frequently objected to country Squires. However, the Latin is nobler, Ferac natura, Things uncivilized, and free. Ferae, as the Critics fay, being from the Hebrew, Pere, Afinus filvestris. SCRIBL.

VER. 35. You hurt a man that's rifing in the Trade.) For, as the reasonable De la Bruyere observes, .. Qui ne fait étre un ,, ERASME, doit penser à étre Evêque.,,

SCRIBL.

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