Page images

} }

Authors alone, with more than savage rage,

Our great Dictators take a shorter way Unnat'ral war with brother-authors wage.

Who Thall dispute what the Reviewers say The pride of nature would as soon admit

Their word's sufficient; and to ask a reason, Competitors in empire as in wit :

In such a state as theirs, is downright treason, Onward they rush at Fame's imperious call,

True judgment now with them alone can dwell; And, less than greatest, would not be at all.

Like Church of Rome, they're grown infallible.
Smit with the love of honour,-or the pence, Dull superstitious readers they deceive,
O'er-run with wit, and destitute of sense,

Who pin their easy faith on Critic's Neeve,
Should any novice in the riming trade

And, knowing nothing, ev'ry thing believe! With lawless pen the realms of verse invade; But why repine we, that these puny elves Forth from the court, where sceptred sages lit, Shoot into giants ?-We may thank ourselves ; Abus'd with praise, and flatter'd into wit;

Fools that we are, like Israel's fools of yore, Where in lethargic majesty they reign,

The calf ourselves have fashion'd we adore. And what they won by duiness, ftill maintain; But let true Reason once resume her reign, Legions of factious authors throng at once ;

This god fall dwindle to a Calf again. Fool beckons fool, and dunce awakens dunce.

Founded on arts which shun the face of day, 'To Hamilton's * the ready lies repair :

By the same arts they still maintain their sway.
Ne'er was lye made which was not welcome there Wrapp'd in mysterious secrecy they rise,
'Thence, on maturer judgment's anvil wrought, And, as they are unknown, are safe and wise.
The polith'd falthood's into public brought.

At whomsoever aim'd, howe'er severe
Quick-circulating Nanders mirth afford,

Th'envenom'd Nanders flies, no names appear. And reputation bleeds in ev'ry word.

Prudence forbids that itep.—Then all might know A Critic was of old a glorious name,

And on more equal terms engage the foe. Whose sanction handed Merit up to Fame;


now, what Quixote of the age would care Beauties as well as faults he brought to view :

To wage a war with dirt, and fight with air ? His judgment great, and great his candour too. By int'reft join'd, th’expert confederates stand, No servile rules drew sickly Tafte afide;

And play the game into each other's hand. Secure he walk'd, for Nature was his guide. The vile abuse, in turn by all deny’d, But now, Oh strange reverse ! our Critics bawl Is bandy'd up and down from side to fide : In praise of candour with a heart of gall.

It flies--hey!-presto !-like a juggler's ball, Conscious of guilt, and fearful of the light, 'Till it belongs to nobody at all. 'They lurk enshrouded in the veil of night ;

All men and things they know, themselves uns Safe from detection, seize th'unwary prey,

known, And stab, like bravoes, all who come that

way. And publish ev'ry name except their own. When first my Muse, perhaps more bold than wise, Nor think this strange-secure from vulgar eyes Bad the rude trifle into light arise,

The nameless author passes in disguise. Little she thought such tempests would ensue; But vet'ran Critics are not so deceiv'd, Less, that those tempests would be rais'd by you. If verkuran Critics are to be believ'd. The thunder's fury rends the tow'ring oak ;

Once seen, they know an author evermore, Rofciads, like shrubs, might 'scape the fatal stroke. Nay swear to hands they never saw before. Vain thought ! a Critic's fury knows no bound; Thus in the Rofciad, beyond chance or doubt, Drawcansir-like, he deals destruction round; They, by the writing, found the writers out. Nur can we hope he will a stranger spare,

" That's Lloyd's—his manner there you plainly trace, Who gives no quarter to his friend Voltaire.

“ And all the Actor ftares you in the face. Unhappy Genius ; plac'd by partial fate

“ By Colman that was written.-On my life, With a free spirit in a Navish state ;

“ The strongest symptoms of the Jealous Wife. Where the reluctant Muse, oppress'd by kings, “ That little disingenuous piece of spite, Or droops in filence, or in fetters fings;

“ Churchill, a wretch unknown, perhaps might write," In vain thy dauntless fortitude hath borne

How doth it make judicious readers smile,
The bigot's furious zeal, and tyrant's scorn. When authors are detected by their ftile ;
Why didit thou safe from home-bred dangers steer, Tho' ev'ry one who knows this author, knows
Reserv'd to perish more ignobly here?

He shifts his file much oftner than his cloaths ?
Thus, when the Julian tyrant's pride to swell

Whence could arise this mighty critic spleen, Rome with her Pompey at Pharfalia fell,

The Muse a trifler, and her theme so mean? The vanquish'd chief escap'd from Cæsar's hand What had I done, that angry Heav'n should send To die by ruffian's in a foreign land.

The bitt'rest foe where moft I wish'd a friend ? How could these self-elected monarchs raise Oft hath my tongue been wanton at thy name, So large an empire on so small a base ?

And hail'd the honours of thy matchless fame. In what retreat, inglorious and unknown,

For me let hoary Fielding bite the ground, Did Genius sleep, when Dullness seiz'd the throne ? So nobler Pickle stands superbly bound. Whence, absolute now grown, and free from awe, From Livy's temples tear th' historic crown, She to the subject world difpenses law.

Which with more justice blooms upon thine own Without her licence not a letter stirs,

Compar'd with thee, be all life-writers dumb, And all the captive criss-cross-row is her's.

But he who wrote the Life of Tommy Thumba The Stagyrite, who rules from Nature drew, Who ever read the Regicide, but swore Opinions gave, but gave his reasons too.

The author wrote as man ne'er wrote before ?

Others for plots and under-plots may call, * Printer of the Critical Reveiw.

Here's the right method have no plot at alle

Who Can fo often in his cause engage
The tiny pathos of the Grecian stage,
Whilft horrors rise, and tears spontaneous flow,
At tragic Ha! and no less tragic Oh !
To praise his nervous weakness all agree ;
And then for sweetness, who so sweet as he!
Too big for utterance when sorrows swell,
The too big sorrows flowing tears must tell :
But when those flowing tears shall cease to flow,
Why—then the voice must speak again, you know.

Rude and unskilful in the Poet's trade,
I kept no Naiads by me ready-made ;
Ne'er did I colours high in air advance,
Torn from the bleeding fopperies of France ;
No Aimsy linsey-woolsey scenes I wrote,
With patches here and there like Joseph's coat.
Me humbler themes befit : Secure, for me,
Let playwrights smuggle nonsense, duty free:
Secure, for me, ye lambs, ye lambkins bound,
And frisk, and frolic o'er the fairy ground :
Secure, for me, thou pretty little fawn,
Lick Sylvia's hand, and crop the fow'ry lawn:
Uncenfur'd let the gentle breezes rove
Thro' the green umbrage of th' enchanted grove :
Secure, for me, let foppith Nature (mile,
And play the coxcomb in the Desart Ife.

The stage I chosema subject fair and free 'Tis yours-'tis mine’tis public property. All common exhibitions open lie For praise or censure to the common eye. Hence are a thousand hackney writers fed; Hence monthly critics earn their daily bread. This is a gen'ral tax which all must pay, From those who scribble, down to those who play. Actors, a venal crew, receive support From public bounty, for the public sport. To clap or hiss, all have an equal claim, The cobler's and his lordship's right the fame. All join for their subsistence; all expect Free leave to praise their worth, their faults correct. When active Pickle Smithfield stage ascends, The three days wonder of his laughing friends ; Each, or as judgment, or as fancy guides, The lively wittling praises or derides. And where's the mighty diff'rence, tell me where, Betwixt a Merry-Andrew and a Player ?

The strolling tribe, a despicable race, Like wand'ring Arabs, shift from place to place. Vagrants by law, to justice open laid, They tremble, of the beadle's lash afraid, And fawning cringe, for wretched means of life, To Madam Mayoress, or his Worship's wife.

The mighty monarch, in theatric fack, Carries his

whole regalia at his back ;
His royal confort heads the female band,
And leads the heir-apparent in her hand ;
The pannier'd ass creeps on with conscious pride,
Bearing a future prince on either side.
No choice musicians in this troop are found
To varnith nonsense with the charms of found;
No swords, no daggers, not one poison'd bowl;
No lightning flashes here, no thunders roll ;
No guards to swell the monarch's train are shewn;
The monarch here must be a host alone.
No folem pomp, no slow processions here;
No Ammon's entry, and no Juliet's bier.

By need compellid to prostitute his art,
The varied actor Aies from part to part ;

And, strange disgrace to all theatric pride !
His character is thifced with his side.
Question and Answer he by turns must be,
Like that small wit * in Modern Tragedy ;
Who, to patch up his fame,

-or fill his purse,-
Still pilfers wretched plans and makes them worse;
Like giplies, left the stolen brat be known,
Defacing firit, then claiming for his own.
In thabby state they strut, and tatter'd robe ;
The scene a blanket, and a barn the globe.
No high conceits their mod’rate wishes raise,
Content with humble profit, humble praise.
Let dowdies fimper, and let bumpkins ftare,
The strolling pageant hero treads in air :
Pleas'd for his hour, heto mankind gives law,
And snores the next out on a truss of Itraw.

But if kind Fortune, who we sometimes know
Can take a hero from a puppet-fhow,
In mood propitious should her fav’rite call
On royal stage in royal pomp to bawl,
Forgetful of himself he rears the head,
And scorns the dunghill where he first was bred.
Conversing now with well - dress’d kings, and

With gods and goddesses behind the scenes,
He sweats beneath the terror-nodding plume,
Taught by mock honours real pride t'affume.
On this great stage the world, no monarch e'er
Was half so haughty as a monarch play’r.

Doth it more move our anger or our mirth,
To see these Things, the lowest sons of earth,
Presume, with self-sufficient knowledge grac’d,
To rule in Letters, and preside in Talte ?
The Town's decisions they no more admit,
Themselves alone the arbiters of Wit;
And scorn the jurisdiction of that court,
To which they owe their being and support.
Actors, like monks of old, now sacred grown,
Must be attack'd by no fools but their own

Let the vain tyrant sit amidst his guards,
His puny Green-room Wits and Venal Bards,
Who meanly tremble at the puppet's frown,
And for a playhouse freedom lose their own;
In spite of new-made laws, and new-made kings,
The free-born Muse with lib'ral spirit fings.
Bow down, ye Naves ; before these idols fall;
Let Genius stoop to them who've none at all ;
Ne'er will I fatter, cringe, or bend the knee
To those who, Naves to All, are Naves to Me.

Actors, as actors, are a lawful game;
The poet's right, and who shall bar his claim?
And if, o'er-weening of their little skill,
When they have left the stage, they're actors still;
If to the they itill give laws,
With paper crowns and sceptres made of straws;
If they in cellar or in garret roar,
And kings one night, are kings for evermore ;
Shall not bold Truth, e'en there, pursue her theme,
And 'wake the coxcomb from his golden dream ?
Or if, well worthy of a better fate,
They rise superior to their present itate;
If, with each social virtue grac'd, they blend
The gay companion and the faithful friend ;
If they, like Pritchard, join in private life
The tender parent and the virtuous wife ;

# Mr. Foote,

[ocr errors]

Shall not our verse their praise with pleasure speak, The sense they murder, and the words transpose,
'Though mimics bark, and Envy splits her cheek? Lest poetry approach too near to profe.
No honest worth's beneath the Muse's praise ; See tortur d Reason how they pare and trim,
No greatness can above her censure raise ;

And, like Procrustes, stretch or lop the limb.
Station and wealth to her are trilling things;

Waller, whose praise succeeding bards rehearsane
She stoops to actors, and she soars to kings. Parent of harmony in English verse,
Is there a man, in vice and folly bred,

Whose tuneful Mure in sweetest accents flows,
To sense of honour as to virtue dead;

In couplets first caught ftraggling sense to close. Whom ties nor human, nor divine can bind;

In polith'd numbers, and majestic sound, Alien to God, and foe to a'l mankind;

Where shall thy rival, Pope, be ever found ?
Who spares no character ; whose ev'ry word, But whilst each line with equal beauty flows,
Bitter as gall, and tharper than the sword,

E'en excellence, unvaried tedious grows.
Cuts to the quick; whose thoughts with rincour swell ; Nature, thro' all her works, in great degree,
Whose tongue, on earth, performs the work of hell; Borrows a blessing from Variety.
If there be such a monster, the Reviews

Music itself her needful aid requires
Shall find him holding forth against abuse.

To rouze the soul, and wake our dying fires. “ Attack profeflion ! --'tis a deadly breach

Still in one key, the Nightingale would teize : 6 The Chriftian laws another leffon teach :- Still in one key, not Brent would always please. “ Unto the end shall charity endure,

Here let me bend, great Dryden, at thy shrine; « And Cardour hide those faults it cannot cure. Thou deareft name to all the tuneful Nine. Thus Candour's maxims flow from Rancour’s What if some dull lines in cold order creep, throat,

And with his theme the poet seems to Neep,
As devils, to serve their purpose, Scripture quote. Still, when his subject rises proud to view,

The Muse's office was by Heav'n defign'd With equal strength the poet rises too.
To please, improve, instruct, reform mankind; With strong invention, noblest vigour fraught,
To make dejected Virtue nobly rise

Thought ftill springs up and rises out of thought ;
Above the tow'ring pitch of splendid Vice ; Numbers ennobling numbers in their course ;
To make pale Vice, abasn'd, her head hang down, In varied sweetness flow, in varied force ;
And trembling crouch at Virtue's awful frown. The pow'rs of Genius and of Judgment join,
Now arm'd with wrath, the bids eternal shame, And the whole art of Poetry is thine.
With strictest justice, brand the villain's name : But what are numbers, what are bards to me,
Now in the milder garb of ridicule

Forbid to tread the paths of poesy?
She sports, and pleases while the wounds the fool. “ A sacred Muse should consecrate her pen ;
Her Hape is often varied; but her aim,

« Priests must not hear nor fee like other men ;
prop the cause of Virtue, still the same.

“ Far higher themes should her ambition claim ; In praise of mercy let the guilty bawl,

« Behold where Sternhold points the way to When Viee and Folly for correction call,

fame." Silence the mark of weakness juftly bears,

Whilft with mistaken zeal dull bigots burn, And is partaker of the crimes it spares.

Let Reason for a moment take her turn. But if the Muse, too cruel in her mirth,

When coffee-sages hold discourse with kings, With harsh reflections wounds the man of worth ; And blindly walk in paper-leading strings, If wantonly she deviates from her plan,

What if a man delight to pass his time
And quits the Actor to expose the Man ;

In spinning Reason into harmless rime;
Alham'd, the marks that passage with a blot, Or sometimes boldly venture to the play!
And hates the line where Candour was forgot. Say, Where's the crime ?-great Man of Prudence

But what is Candour, what is Humour's vein,
Tho' Judgment join to consecrate the strain,

No two on earth in all things can agree; If curious numbers will not aid afford,

All have some darling fingularity; Nor choicest music play in ev'ry word ?

Women and men, as well as girls and boys, Verles must run, to charm a modern ear,

In gew-gaws take delight, and figh for toys, From all haríh, rugged interruptions clear.

Your fceptres, and your crowns, and such likt
Soft let them breathe, as Zephyr's balmy breeze ;

Smooth let their current flow, as summer seas ; Are but a better kind of toys for kings.
Perfect then orly deem'd when they dispense In things indiff'rent Reason bids us chuse,
A happy tuneful vacancy of fense.

Whether the whim's a Monkey, or a Muse.
Italian fathers thus, with barb'rous rage,

What the grave triflers on this busy scene, Fit helplefs infants for the squeaking stage,

When they make use of this word Reason, mean, Deaf, to the calls of pity, Nature wound,

I know not ; but, according to my plan, And mangle vigour for the sake of found.

'Tis Lord Chief-Justice in the Court of Man, Henceforth farewell then fev'rish thirst of fame; Equally form'd to'rule in age or youth, Farewell the longings for a poet's name;

The friend of Virtue, and the guide to Truth. Perish my Mufe ;-- wish 'bove all fevere

To Her I bow, whole facred pow'r I feel ; To him who ever held the Muses dearen

To Her decision make my last appeal ; If e'er her labours weaken to refine

Condemn'd by Her, applauding worlds in vain The gen'rous roughness of a nervous line.

Should tempt me to take up the pen again : Others affect the Atiff and swelling phrase ; By Her absolv'd, my course l’ll Atill pursue ; Their Myle must walk in stilts, and itrut in stays: If Reason's for me, God is for me too,


[ocr errors]





N I G H T. For me let Galen moulder on the shelf,

I'll live, and be physician to myself.
While soul is join'd to body, whether fate

Allot a longer or a shorter date ;
R O B E R T LLOYD. I'll make them live as brother should with brother,

And keep them in good-humour with each other.
HEN foes insult, and prudent friends dispense, The lurest road to health, say what they will,

In pity's strains, the worst of insolence, Is never to suppose we shall be ill.
Oft with thee, LLOYD, I steal an hour from grief, Most of those evils we poor mortals know,
And in thy social converse find relief.

From doctors and imagination flow.
The mind, of solitude impatient grown,

Hence to old women with your boasted rules, Loves any forrows rather than her own.

Stale traps, and only facred now to fools ; Let Naves to business, bodies without soul, As well may sons of physic hope to find Important blanks in Nature's mighty roll,

One med'cine, as one hour, for all mankind.
Solemnize nonsense in the day's broad glare,

If Rupert after ten is out of bed,
We Night prefer, which heals or hides our care. The fool next morning can't hold up his head.

Rogues justified, and by success made bold, What reason this which me to bed must call,
Dull fools and coxcombs fanctified by gold,

Whose head (thank heaven) never aches at all ? Freely may bask in Fortune's partial ray,

In diff'rent courses diff'rent tempers run, And spread their feather's op’ning to the day ; He hates the Moon, I ficken at the Sun. But thread-bare Merit dares not thew the head Wound up at twelve at noon, his clock goes right, 'Till vain Prosperity retires to bed.

Mine better gocs, wound up at twelve at night. Misfortunes, like the owl, avoid the light;

Then in Oblivion's grateful cup I drown The sons of Care are always sons of Night. The galling Ineer, the supercilious frown,

The wretch bred up in Method's drowly school, The strange reserve, the proud affected state Whose only merit is to err by rule,

Of upstart knaves grown rich, and fools grown great: Who ne'r chro' heat of blood was tripping caught, No more that abject wretch disturbs my rest, Nor guilty deem'd of one eccentric thought, Who meanly overlooks a friend distrest. Whose foul directed to no use is seen,

Purblind to poverty the wordling goes, Unless to move the body's dull machine,

And scarce fees rags an inch beyond his nose : Which, clock-work like, with the same equal pace,

But from a crowd can single out his grace, Still travels on thro' life's insipid space;

And cringe and creep to fools who strut in lace. Turns up his eyes to think that there should be Whether those claffic regions are survey'd Among God's creatures two such things as we: Where we in earliest youth together stray'd, Then for his night-cap calls, and thanks the pow'rs Where hand in hand we trod the flow'ry shore, Which kindly gave him grace to keep good hours. Tho' now thy happier genius runs before,

Good hours-Fine words ! But was it ever seen When we conspir'd a thankless wretch to raise, That all men could agree in what they mean? And taught a stump to shoot with pilfer'd praise, Florio, who many years a course hath run

Who once for Rev'rend merit famous grown, In downright opposition to the sun,

Gratefully strove to kick his Maker down ; Expatiates on good hours, their cause defends Or if more gen’ral arguments engage, With as much vigour as our prudent friends.

The court or camp, the pulpit, bar or stage ; Th' uncertain term no settled notion brings, If half-bred surgeons, whom men doctors call, But still in diff'rent mouths mean diff'rent things. And lawyers, who were never bred at all, Each takes the phrase in his own private view. Those mighty letter'd monsters of the earth, With Prudence it is ten, with Florio two.

Our picy move, or exercise our mirth; Go on, ye fools, who talk for talking fake,

Or if in tittle-tattle, tooth-pick way, Without distinguishing distinctions make,

Our rambling thoughts with easy freedom itray ; Shine forth in native folly, native pride,

A gainer ftill thy friend himself must find, Make yourselves rules to all the world beside; His grief suspended, and improv'd his mind. Reason, collected in herself, disdains

Whilst peaceful flumbers bless the homely bed, The Navish yoke of arbitrary chains ;

Where Virtue, self-approv'd, reclines her head; Steady and true, each circumstance she weighs, Whilst Vice beneath imagin'd horrors mourns, Nor to bare words inglorious tribute pays.

And Conscience plants the villain's couch with thorns; Men of sense live exempt from vulgar awe,

Impatient of restraint, the active Mind, And Reason to herself alone is law.

No more by servile prejudice confin’d, That freedom she enjoys with lib'ral mind,

Leaps from her seat, as waken'd from a trance, Which she as freely grants to all mankind.

And darts through Nature at a single glance. No idol titled name her rev'rence ftirs,

Then we our friends, our foes, ourselves, survey, No hour she blindly to the rest.prefers ;

And see by Night what fools we are by Day. All are alike, if they're alike employ'd,

Stript of her gaudy plumes and vain disguise, And all are good if virtuously enjoy'd.

See where Ambition mean and loathsome lies ; Let the fage Doctor (think him one we know) Reflection with relentless hand pulls down With scraps of ancient learning overflow,

The tyrant's bloody wreath and ravilh'd crown. In all the dignity of wig declare

In vain he tells of battles bravely won, The fatal consequence of midnight air,

Of nations conquerid, and of worlds undone! How damps and vapours, as it were by stealth, Triumphs like these but ill with manhood suit, Vndermine life, and fap the walls of healthp And link the conqueror beneath the brutego

[ocr errors]

But if, in searching round the world, we find
Some gen'rous youth, the friend of all mankind,
Whose anger, like the bolt of Jove, is sped
In terrors only at the guilty head,
Whose mercies, like Heaven's dew, refreshing fall
In gen’ral love and charity to all,
Pleas'd we behold such worth on any throne,
And doubly pleas'd we find it on our own.
Through a false medium things are shewn by Day,
Pomp, wealth, and titles, judgment lead astray.

many from appearance borrow state,
Whom Night disdains to number with the Great!
Must not we laugh to see yon lordling proud
Snuff up vile incense from a fawning crowd ?
Whilft in his beam surrounding clients play,
Like insects in the sun's enliv’ning ray,
Whilft, Jehu-like, he drives at furious rate,
And seems the only charioteer of state,
Talking himself into a little God,
And ruling empires with a singie nod;
Who would not think, to hear him law dispense,
That he had int'rest, and that they had fente?
Injurious thought! Beneath Night's honeft shade,
When pomp is buried and false colours fade,
Plainly we see at that impartial hour
Them dupes to pride, and him the tool of pow'r.

God help the man, condemn'd by cruel fate To court the seeming, or the real great. Much sorrow shall he feel, and suffer more Than any slave whu labours at the oar. By Navish methods must he learn to please, By smooth-tongu'd fatt'ry, that curst court-disease, Supple to ev'ry wayward mood Atrike fail, And shift with shifting humour's peevith gale. To Nature dead, he must adopt vile Art, And wear a smile with anguish in his heart. A sense of honour would destroy his schemes, And Conscience ne'er would speak unless in dreams. When he hath tamely borne for many years Cold looks, forbidding frowns, contemptuous fneers ; When he at last expects, good easy man, To reap the profits of his labour'd plan, Some cringing Lacquey, or rapacious Whore, To favours of the great the sureft door, Some Catamite, or Pimp, in credit grown, Who tempts another's wife, or sells his own, Steps cross his hopes, the promis'd boon denies, And for some Minion's Minion claims the prize.

Foe to restraint, unpractis'd in deceit, Too resolute, from Natures active heat, To brook affronts, and tamely pass them by ; Too proud to flatter, too sincere to lye, Too plain to please, too honest to be great ; Give me, kind Heav'n, an humbler, happier state ; Far from the place where men with pride deceive, Where rascals promise, and where fools believe ; Far from the walk of folly, vice and strife, Calm, independent, let me steal thro' life, Not one vain with my steady thoughts beguile To fear his lordship's frown, or court his smile. Unfit for Greatness, I her Inares defy, And look on riches with untainted eye. To others let the glitt'ring bawbles fall, Content shall place us far above them all.

Spectators only on this bustling stage, We see what vain designs mankind engage ; Vice after vice with ardour they pursue, And one old følly brings forth twenty new,

| Perplex'd with trifles thro' the vale of life,
Man strives 'gainst man, without a cause for strife ;
Armies embattled meet, and thousands bleed
For some vile spot where fifty cannot feed.
Squirrels for nuts contend, and, wrong or right,
For the world's empire kings ambitious fight;
What odds ?- Tous 'tis all the self-fame thing,
A Nut, a World, a quirrel, and a King.

Britons, like Roman spirits fim'd of old,
Are cast by nature in a Patriot mould ;
No private joy, no private grief they know,
Their soul's ingross’d by public weal or woe.
Inglorious ease, like ours, they greatly fcorn :
Let care with nobler wreaths their brows adorn.
Gladly they toil beneath the statesman's pains,
Give them but credit for a statesman's brains.
All would be deem'd, e'en from the cradle, fit
To rule in politics as well as wit.
The grave, the gay, the fopling, and the dunce,
Start up (God bless us !) statesmen all at once.

His mighty charge of fouls the priest forgets,
The court-bred lord his promises and debts,
Soldiers their fame, misers forget their pelf,
The rake his mistress, and the top himself ;
Whilst thoughts of higher moment claim their care,
And their wise heads the weight of kingdoms bear.
Females themselves the glorious ardour feel,
And boast an equal, or a greater zeal ;
From nymph to nymph the state-infection flies,
Swells in her breast, and sparkles in her eyes.

O'erwhelm’d by politics lie malice, pride,
Envy, and twenty other faults beside.
No more their little futt'ring hearts confess
A passion for applause, or rage for dress ;
No more they pant for Public Raree-Shows,
Or lose one thought on monkeys or on beaux.
Coquettes no more pursue the jilting plan,
And lustful prudes forget to rail at man,
The darling theme Cæcilia's self will chuse,
Nor thinks of scandal whilft she talks of news.

The Cit, a Common-Council-Man by place,
Ten thousand mighty nothings in his face,
By situation as by nature great,
With nice precision parcels out the state ;
Proves and disproves, affirms, and then denies,
Objects himself, and to himself replies ;
Wielding aloft the politician rod,
Makes Pite by turns a devil and a god ;
Maintains, e'en to the very teeth of pow'r,
The same thing right and wrong in half an hour.
Now all is well, now he suspects a plot,
And plainly proves, WHATEVER IS, IS NOT.
Fearfully wife, he shakes his empty head,
And deals out empires as he deals out thread.
His useless scales are in a corner flung,
And Europe's balance hangs upon his tongue.

Peace to such triflers ; be our happier plan
To pass thro' life as easy as we can.
Who's in or out, who moves this grand machine,
Nor stirs my curiofity, nor spleen.
Secrets of Itate no more I wish to know
Than secret movements of a Puppet-show ;
Let but the puppets move, I've my defire,
Unseeen the hand which guides the Master-wire.

What is't to us, if taxes rise or fall,
Thanks to our fortune we pay none at all.
Let muckworms, who in dirty acres deal,
Lament those hardships which we cannot feel,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« EelmineJätka »