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Chafte Matrons praife her, and grave Bifhops bless;
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.
Old England's Genius, rough with many a Scar,
Our Youth, all liv'ry'd o'er with foreign Gold, 155
Before her dance: behind her, crawl the Old!
The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore, 165
At Crimes that 'scape, or triumph o'er the Law:
Yer may this Verse (if such a Verse remain)
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.
SA TIRE S.
Written in MDCCXXXVIII.
TIS all a Libel-Paxton (Sir) will say.
P. Not yet, my Friend! to morrow 'faith it may;
And for that very cause I print to day.
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.
F. Yet none but you by Name the guilty lafh; 10
P. How, Sir! not damn the Sharper, but the Dice?
P. I. don't.
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
25 P. I fain would please you, if I knew with what; Tell me, which Knave is lawful Game, which not?
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,
F. A Dean, Sir? no: his Fortune is not made,
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.,,