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Be virtuous, and be happy for your pains.
But art thou one, whom new opinions sway,
One who believes as Tindal leads the way,
Who Virtue and a Church alike disowns,

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Thinks that but words, and this but brick and stones?
Fly then, on all the wings of wild desire,
Admire whate'er the maddest can admire.

Is Wealth thy passion? Hence! from Pole to Pole,
Where winds can carry, or where waves can roll,
For Indian spices, for Peruvian Gold,
Prevent the greedy, or out-bid the bold:
Advance thy golden Mountain to the skies;
On the broad base of fifty thousand rise,
Add one round hundred, and (if that's not fair)
Add fifty more, and bring it to a square.
For, mark th' advantage; just so many score
Will gain a Wife with half as many more,
Procure her beauty, make that beauty chaste,
And then such Friends-as cannot fail to last.
A Man of wealth is dubb'd a Man of worth,
Venus shall give him Form, and Anstis Birth.
(Believe me, many a German Prince is worse,
Who proud of Pedigree, is poor of Purse.)
His Wealth brave Timon gloriously confounds;
Ask'd for a groat, he gives a hundred pounds;
Or if three Ladies like a luckless Play,
Takes the whole House upon the Poet's day.
Now, in such exigencies not to need,
Upon my word, you must be rich indeed;
A noble superfluity it craves,

Not for yourself, but for your Fools and Knaves;
Something, which for your Honour they may cheat,
And which it much becomes you to forget.

If Wealth alone then make and keep us blest,

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Still, still be getting, never, never rest.

But if to Pow'r and Place your passion lie,
If in the Pomp of Life consist the joy;
Then hire a Slave, or (if you will) a Lord
To do the Honours, and to give the Word;
Tell at your Levée, as the Crowds approach,
To whom to nod, whom take into your Coach,
Whom honour with your hand: to make remarks,
Who rules in Cornwall, or who rules in Berks:
"This may be troublesome, is near the Chair:
That makes three Members, this can choose a May'r."
Instructed thus, you bow, embrace, protest,
Adopt him Son, or Cousin at the least,

Then turn about, and laugh at your own Jest.
Or if your life be one continu'd Treat,
If to live well means nothing but to eat;
Up, up! cries Gluttony, 'tis break of day,
Go drive the Deer, and drag the finny-prey;
With hounds and horns go hunt an Appetite-
So Russel did, but could not eat at night,
Call'd happy Dog! the Beggar at his door,
And envy'd Thirst and Hunger to the Poor.
Or, shall we ev'ry Decency confound,
Thro' Taverns, Stews, and Bagnios take our round,
Go dine with Chartres, in each Vice outdo
K-l's lewd Cargo, or Ty-y's Crew,
From Latian Syrens, French Circæan Feasts,
Return well travell'd, and transform'd to Beasts,
Or for a titled Punk, or foreign Flame,

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Renounce our Country, and degrade our Name?
If, after all, we must with Wilmot own,

The Cordial Drop of Life is Love alone,
And SWIFT cry wisely, "Vive la Bagatelle!"

The Man that loves and laughs, must sure do well.

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Adieu-if this advice appear the worst,
E'en take the Counsel which I gave you first:
Or better Precepts if you can impart,
Why do, I'll follow them with all my heart.

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[1737]

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF THE SECOND
BOOK OF HORACE

ADVERTISEMENT

"The Reflections of Horace, and the Judgments passed in his Epistle to Augustus, seemed so seasonable to the present Times, that I could not help applying them to the use of my own Country. The Author thought them considerable enough to address them to his Prince, whom he paints with all the great and good qualities of a Monarch upon whom the Romans depended for the Increase of an Absolute Empire. But to make the Poem entirely English, I was willing to add one or two of those which contribute to the Happiness of a Free People, and are more consistent with the Welfare of our Neighbours.

"This Epistle will show the learned World to have fallen into Two mistakes: one, that Augustus was a Patron of Poets in general; whereas he not only prohibited all but the Best Writers to name him, but recommended that Care even to the Civil Magistrate: Admonebat Prætores, ne paterentur Nomen suum obsolefieri, etc. The other, that this Piece was only a general Discourse of Poetry; whereas it was an Apology for the Poets, in order to render Augustus more their Patron. Horace here pleads the Cause of his Contemporaries, first, against the Taste of the Town, whose humour it was to magnify the Authors of the preceding Age; secondly, against the Court and Nobility, who encouraged only the Writers for the Theatre; and lastly, against the Emperor himself, who had conceived them of little Use to the Government. He shows (by a View of the Progress of Learning and the Change of Taste among the Romans) that the Introduction of the Polite Arts of Greece had given the

Writers of his Time great advantages over their Predecessors; that their Morals were much improved, and the Licence of those ancient Poets restrained: that Satire and Comedy were become more just and useful; that whatever extravagances were left on the Stage were owing to the Ill-Taste of the Nobility; that Poets, under due Regulations, were in many respects useful to the State; and concludes that it was upon them the Emperor himself must depend for his Fame with Posterity.

"We may further learn from this Epistle, that Horace made his Court to this Great Prince by writing with a decent Freedom toward him, with a just Contempt of his low Flatterers, and with a manly Regard to his own Character."

To Augustus

WHILE you, great Patron of Mankind! sustain
The balanc'd World, and open all the Main;
Your Country, chief, in Arms abroad defend,
At home, with Morals, Arts, and Laws amend;
How shall the Muse, from such a Monarch, steal
An hour, and not defraud the Public weal?

Edward and Henry, now the Boast of Fame,
And virtuous Alfred, a more sacred Name,
After a Life of gen'rous Toils endur'd,
The Gaul subdu'd, or Property secur'd,
Ambition humbled, mighty Cities storm'd,
Or Laws establish'd, and the world reform'd;
Clos'd their long Glories with a sigh, to find
Th' unwilling Gratitude of base mankind!
All human Virtue, to its latest breath,
Finds Envy never conquer'd, but by death.
The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour past,
Had still this Monster to subdue at last.
Sure fate of all, beneath whose rising ray
Each star of meaner merit fades away!

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Oppress'd we feel the beam directly beat,
Those Suns of Glory please not till they set.
To thee, the World its present homage pays,
The Harvest early, but mature the praise:
Great Friend of LIBERTY! in Kings a Name
Above all Greek, above all Roman Fame:
Whose Word is Truth, as sacred and rever'd,
As Heav'n's own Oracles from Altars heard.
Wonder of Kings! like whom, to mortal eyes
None e'er has risen, and none e'er shall rise.
Just in one instance, be it yet confest
Your People, Sir, are partial in the rest:
Foes to all living worth except your own,
And Advocates for folly dead and gone.

Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old;
It is the rust we value, not the gold.
Chaucer's worst ribaldry is learn'd by rote,
And beastly Skelton Heads of houses quote:
One likes no language but the Fairy Queen;
A Scot will fight for Christ's Kirk o' the Green:
And each true Briton is to Ben so civil,
He swears the Muses met him at the Devil.
Tho' justly Greece her eldest sons admires,
Why should not We be wiser than our sires?
In ev'ry Public virtue we excel;

We build, we paint, we sing, we dance as well,
And learned Athens to our art must stoop,
Could she behold us tumbling thro' a hoop.
If Time improve our Wit as well as Wine,
Say at what age a Poet grows divine?
Shall we, or shall we not, account him so,
Who dy'd, perhaps, an hundred years ago?
End all dispute; and fix the year precise
When British bards begin t' immortalise?

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