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If Blount dispatch'd himself, he play'd the man,
And so may'st thou, illustrious Passeran!

But shall 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 sin,
And hurls the thunder of the laws on gin.
Let modest Foster, if he will, excel
Ten metropolitans in preaching well;
A simple Quaker, or a Quaker's wife,
Outdo Landaffe in doctrine....yea in life:
Let humble Allen, with an awkward shame,
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.
Virtue may chuse the high or low degree,

'Tis just alike to Virtue and to me;

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Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king,

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She's still the same belov'd contented thing.
Vice is undone if she forgets her birth,
And stoops from angels to the dregs of earth;
But 'tis the fall degrades her to a whore ;
Let greatness own her, and she's mean no more:
Her birth, her beauty, crowds and courts confess,
Chaste matrons praise her, and grave bishops bless;
In golden chains the willing world she draws,
And her's the gospel is, and her's the laws;

Mounts the tribunal, lifts her scarlet head,
And sees pale Virtue carted in her stead.
Lo! at the wheels of her triumphal car

Old England's Genius, rough with many a scar,
Dragg'd in the dust! his arms hang idly round,
His flag inverted trails along the ground!
Our youth, all liv'ry'd o'er with foreign gold,
Before her dance; behind her crawl the old!
See thronging millions to the pagod run,
And offer country, parent, wife, or son!

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Hear her black trumpet thro' the land proclaim,
That not to be corrupted is the shame.

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In soldier, churchman, patriot, man in pow'r,
'Tis av'rice all, ambition is no more!
See all our nobles begging to be slaves!
See all our fools aspiring to be knaves!
The wit of cheats, the courage of a whore,
Are what ten thousand envy and adore:
All, all look up, with reverential awe,
At crimes that 'scape or triumph o'er the law:
While truth, worth, wisdom, daily they decry....
"Nothing is sacred now but villainy."

Yet may this verse (if such a verse remain)
Show there was one who held it in disdain.

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DIALOGUE II.

F. '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. How should I fret to mangle ev'ry line In rev'rence to the sins of Thirty-nine? Vice with such giant strides comes on amain, Invention strives to be before in vain ; Feign what I will, and paint it e'er so strong, Some rising genius sins up to my song.

F. Yet none but you by name the guilty lash; 10 Ev'n Guthry saves half Newgate by a dash.

Spare then the person, and expose the vice.

P. How, Sir! not damn the sharper, but the dice?
Come on then, Satire! general unconfin'd,
Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind. 15
Ye statesmen, priests, of our religion all !

Ye tradesmen, vile in army, court, or hall!
Ye rev'rend Atheists.

F. Scandal! name them, who?

P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do. Who starv'd a sister, who forswore a debt,

I never nam'd; the town's inquiring yet.

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The poisoning dame.....F. You mean....P. I don't....

F. You do.

P. See now I keep the secret, and not you!

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The bribing statesman....F. Hold, too high you go.

P. The brib'd elector....

F. There you stoop too low.

P. I fain would please you if I knew with what : Tell me which knave is lawful game, which not. 27 Must great offenders, once escap'd the crown, Like royal harts be never more run down? Admit your law to spare the knight requires, As beasts of nature may we hunt the squires? Suppose I censure....you know what I mean.... To save a bishop may I name a dean?

F. A dean, Sir? no: his fortune is not made; You hurt a man that's rising in the trade.

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P. If not the tradesman who sets up to-day, Much less the 'prentice, who to-morrow may. Down, down, proud Satire! tho' a realm be spoil'd, Arraign no mightier thief than wretched Wild; Or, if a court or country's made a job, Go drench a pickpocket, and join the mob. But, Sir, I beg you (for the love of vice !) The matter's weighty, pray consider twice: Have you less pity for the needy cheat,

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The poor and friendless villain, than the great? 45
Alas! the small discredit of a bribe

Scarce hurts the lawyer, but undoes the scribe.

Then better sure it charity becomes

To tax directors, who (thank God!) have plums;

Still better ministers, or if the thing

May pinch ev'n there....why lay it on a king.
F. Stop! stop!

P. Must Satire then nor rise nor fall?

Speak out, and bid me blame no rogues at all.

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F. Yes, strike that Wild, I'll justify the blow. P. Strike? why the man was hang'd ten years ago: Who now that obsolete example fears?

Ev'n Peter trembles only for his ears.

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F. What, always Peter? Peter thinks you mad: You make them desp'rate if they once are bad, Else might he take to virtue some years hence.... 60 P. As S*****k, if he lives, will love the prince. F. Strange spleen to S*****k!

P. Do I wrong the man?

God knows I praise a courtier where I can.

When I confess there is who feels for fame,

And melts to goodness, need I Scarb'row name?
Pleas'd let me own, in Esther's peaceful grove,
(Where Kent and Nature vie for Pelham's love)
The scene, the master op'ning to my view,
I sit and dream I see my Craggs anew!

Ev'n in a bishop I can spy desert;
Secker is decent, Rundel has a heart;
Manners with candour are to Benson giv'n,
To Berkley ev'ry virtue under heav'n.

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