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Nor marrying Discord in a noble wife,
Stranger to civil and religious rage,
The good man walk'd innoxious thro' his age.
No Courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
Nor dar'd an Oath, nor hazarded a Lye.
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 temp'rance, and by exercise;
His life, tho' 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. 405
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 Heav'n, to bless those days, preserve my friend, 415
Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
And just as rich as when he serv'd a QUEEN.
A. Whether that blessing be deny'd or giv'n,
Thus far was right, the rest belongs to Heaven.
SATIRES AND EPISTLES OF HORACE
Ludentis speciem dabit, et torquebitur.-HORACE.
[He seems with freedom, what with pain he proves,
And now a Satyr, now a Cyclops moves.-FRANCIS.]
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. Donne seem'd 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 and 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 look'd upon a Satire on Vicious Courts as any reflection on those they serv'd 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 odious 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.
THE FIRST SATIRE OF THE SECOND
BOOK OF HORACE
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. Tim'rous 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.
F. I'd write no more.
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 nights 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 CAESAR's Praise,
You'll gain at least a Knighthood, or the Bays.
P. What! like Sir Richard, rumbling, rough, and fierce,
With ARMS, and GEORGE and BRUNSWICK crowd the
Rend with tremendous sound your ears asunder, 25 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 thro' all the Royal Line.
P. Alas! few verses touch their nicer ear;
They scarce can bear their Laureate twice a year;
And justly CÆSAR scorns the Poet's lays,
It is to History he trusts for Praise.
F. Better be Cibber, I'll maintain it still,
Than ridicule all Taste, blaspheme Quadrille,
Abuse the City's best good men in metre,
And laugh at Peers that put their trust in Peter.
E'en those you touch not, hate you.
P. What should ail them?
F. A hundred smart in Timon and in Balaam:
The fewer still you name, you wound the more;
Bond is but one, but Harpax is a score.
P. Each mortal has his pleasure: none deny
Scarsdale his bottle, Darty his Ham-pie;
Ridotta sips and dances, till she see
The doubling Lustres dance as fast as she;
Floves the Senate, Hockley-hole his brother,
Like, in all else, as one Egg to another.
I love to pour out all myself, as plain
As downright SHIPPEN, or as old Montaigne:
In them, as certain to be lov'd as seen,
The Soul stood forth, nor kept a thought within;
In me what spots (for spots I have) appear,
Will prove at least the Medium must be clear.
In this impartial glass, my Muse intends
Fair to expose myself, my foes, my friends;
Publish the present age; but where my text
Is Vice too high, reserve it for the next:
My foes shall wish my life a longer date,
And ev'ry friends the less lament my fate.
My head and heart thus flowing thro' my quill,
Verse-man or Prose-man, term me what you will,
Papist or Protestant, or both between,
Like good Erasmus in an honest Mean,
In moderation placing all my glory,
While Tories call me Whig, and Whigs a Tory.
Satire's my weapon, but I'm too discreet
To run a-muck, and tilt at all I meet;
I only wear it in a land of Hectors,
Thieves, Supercargoes, Sharpers, and Directors.
Save but our Army! and let Jove incrust
Swords, pikes, and guns, with everlasting rust!
Peace is my dear delight-not FLEURY'S more:
But touch me, and no minister so sore.
Whoe'er offends, at some unlucky time.
Slides into verse, and hitches in a rhyme,
Sacred to Ridicule his whole life long,
And the sad burthen of some merry song.
Slander or Poison dread from Delia's rage,
Hard words or hanging, if your Judge be Page.
From furious Sappho scarce a milder fate,
Pox'd by her love, or libell'd by her hate.
Its proper pow'r to hurt, each creature feels;
Bulls aim their horns, and Asses lift their heels;
'Tis a Bear's talent not to kick, but hug;
And no man wonders he's not stung by Pug.
So drink with Walters, or with Chartres eat,
They'll never poison you, they'll only cheat.
Then, learned Sir! (to cut the matter short)
Whate'er my fate, or well or ill at Court,
Whether Old Age, with faint but cheerful ray,
Attends to gild the Ev'ning of my day,
Or Death's black wing already be display'd,
To wrap me in the universal shade;
Whether the darken'd room to muse invite,
Or whiten'd wall provoke the skew'r to write:
In durance, exile, Bedlam, or the Mint,
Like Lee or Budgell, I will rhyme and print.
F. Alas young man! your days can ne'er be long,
In flow'r of age you perish for a song!
Plums and Directors, Shylock and his Wife,
Will club their Testers, now, to take your life!
P. What? arm'd for Virtue when I point the pen, 105