Page images

These may fome gentle minifterial wing
Receive, and place for ever near a king!
There, where no paffion, pride, or fhame tranfport,
Lull'd with the sweet Nepenthe of a court;
There where no father's, brother's, friend's difgrace
Once break their reft, or stir them from their place:
But past the sense of human miferies,


All tears are wip'd for ever from all eyes;
No cheek is known to blush, no heart to throb,
Save when they lofe a question, or a job.

P. Good Heav'n forbid, that I fhould blaft their

Who know how like Whig ministers to Tory,




Ver. 97. There, where no paffion, etc.] The excellent writer Del 'Efprit des Loix gives the following character of the Spirit of courts, and the principal of monarchies : Qu'on life ce que les hiftoriens de tous les tems ont dit fur la cour des monarques; qu'on fe rapelle les conversations des hommes des tous les pais fur le miferable charactere des COURTISANS; ce ne font point des chofes de speculation, mais du'ne trifte experience. L'ambition dans l'ofivete, la basfeffe dans l'ergueil, le defir de s'enricher fans travail, l'averfion pour la verite; la flaterie, la trahifon, la perfidie, l'abandon de tous fes engagemens, le mepris des devoirs du citoven, la crainte de la vertu du prince, l'efperance de fes foibleffes. et plus, que tout cela, LE RIDICULE PERPETUEL JETTE SUR LA VERTU, font, je crois le charactere de la plupart des Courtisans marque dons tous les lieux et dans tous les tems. Or il eft tres mal-aife que les principaux d'un etat foient malhonnetes-gens, et que les inferieurs soient gens-de-bien, que ceux-la foyent trompeurs, et ceux-ci confentent a n'etre que dupes. Que fi dans le peuple il fe trouve quelque malheureux honnete-homme, le Cardinal de Richelieu dans fon Teftament politique infinue, qu'un Monarque doit fe garder de s'en fervir. Tant-il eft vrai que la Vertu n'eft pars le reffort de ce gouvernement."



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

And when three fov'reigns dy'd, could fcarce be vext,

Confid'ring what a gracious prince was next.
Have I, in filent wonder, feen fuch things;
As pride in flaves, and avarice in kings;
And at a peer, or peeress shall I fret,
Who ftarves a fifter, or forfwears a debt?
Virtue, I grant you, is an empty
boaft ;
But fhall the dignity of Vice be loft?"
Ye gods! fhall Cibber's fon, without rebuke, 115
Swear like a Lord, or Rich outwhore a Dake?
A fav'rite's porter with his master vie,
Be brib'd as often, and as often lie?


Who starves a mother,

[ocr errors]


Shall Ward draw contracts with a statesman's kill?
Or Japhet pocket, like his Grace, a will?
Is it for Bond, or Peter, (paltry things),
To pay their debts, or keep their faith, like kings?
If Blount dispatch'd himself, he play'd the man,
And fo may'it thou, illuftrious Pafferan!



Ver. 112. in fome editions,



Ver. 115. Cibber's fon---Rich] Two players: look for them in the Dunciad.

Ver. 123. If Blount] Author of an impious foolish book called The oracles of reafon, who, being in love with a near kinfwoman of his, and rejected, ga himself a flab in the arm, as pretending to kill himfelf, of the confequence of which he really died.

Ver. 124. Passeran!] Author of another figure of the fame ftamp, called A philofophical difcourfe on Death, being a defence of Suicide. He was a nobleman of Piedmont, banished from his country for his impieties, and lived in the utmost misery, yet feared to practise his own precepts; of


But fhall a Printer, weary of his life,
Learn from their books, to hang himself and wife?
This, this, my friend, I cannot, must not bear;
Vice thus abus'd, demands a nation's care:
This calls the church to deprecate our fin,
And hurls the thunder of the laws on Gin.

Let modeft FOSTER, if he will, excel Ten metropolitans in preaching well;




which there went a pleasant story about that time. mongft his pupils, it feems, to whom he read in moral philofophy, was a noted gamefter, who lodged under the fame roof with him. This ufeful citizen, after a run of ill luck, came one morning early into his masters bed-chamber with two loaded piftols. And, as Englishmen do not understand raillery in a cafe of this nature, told the philofopher, on prefenting him with one of his piftols, that now was come the time to put his doctrine in practice: that, as to himself, having loft his laft ftake, he was become an ufeless member in fociety, and fo was refolved to quit his fation; and that, as to him, his guide, philofopher, and friend, furrounded with miferies, the outcast of government, and the port even of that chance which he adored, he doubtlefs would rejoice for fuch an opportunity to bear him company. All this was faid and done with fo much refolution and folemnity, that the Italian found himself under a neceffity to cry out Murder! which brought in company to his relief.---This unhappy man at last died a penitent.

Ver. 115. But shall a Printer, etc.] A fact that happened in London a few years paft. The unhappy man left behind him a paper juflifying his action by the reafonings of fome

of thefe authors.

Ver. 130. Gin.] A fpirituous liquor, the exhorbitant ufe of which had almost destroyed the lowest rank of the people, till it was reitrained by an act of parliament in 1736.

Ver. 131. Let me deft FOSTER,] This confirms an obfervation which Mr Hobbes made long ago, That "there be very few bifhops that act a fermon fo well, as divers Prefbyterians and fanatic preachers can do." Hift. of cis. war, p. 62.

A fimple

A fimple Quaker, or a Quaker's wife,
Outdo Landaffe in doctrine,---yea in life :
Let humble ALLEN, with an aukward Shame, 135
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it Fame.
Virtue may chufe the high or low degree,
'Tis juft alike to Virtue, and to me;
Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king,
She's fill the fame, belov'd, contented thing. 14
Vice is undone, if the forgets her birth,
And floops from angels to the dregs of earth:
But 'tis the fall degrades her to a whore;
Let Greatness own her, and he's mean no more,
Her birth, her beauty, crowds and courts confefs,
Chafte matrons praise her, and grave bishops bless;
In golden chains the willing world fhe draws, 147
And hers the Gofpel is, and hers the Laws,
Mounts the tribunal, lifts her fcarlet head,
And fees pale Virtue carted in her stead.
Lo! at the wheels of her triumphal car,
Old England's Genius, rough with many a fear,
Drag'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,
In foldier, churchman, patriot, man in pow'r,
'Tis av'rice all, ambition is no more!




Ver. 134. Landaffe] A poor bishopric in Wales, as poorly fupplied.


[ocr errors]

See, all our nobles begging to be llaves!
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 'fcape, or triumph o'er the law:
While truth, worth, wisdom, daily they decry...
"Nothing is facred now but Villany."

Yet may this verfe (if fuch a verse remain)
Show there was one who held it in difdain.


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 justice, and the courage of a whore the contempt for reputation; these emancipate men from the two tyrannical reftraints upon free Spirits, fear of punishment, and dread of shame.

[ocr errors][merged small]
« EelmineJätka »