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And says, " Sir, I 'm your friend; all fear's dismiss ;
“ Your glory, and my own, fall live by this;
“ Your power is fixt, your fame through time convey d,
“ And Britain Europe's Queen- if I am paid."
A Statesman has his answer in a trice;
“ Sir, such a genius is beyond all price;
" What man can pay for this ?"-Away he turns ;
His work is folded, and his bosom burns :
His patron he will patronize no more ;
But rushes like a tempest out of door.
Lost is the patriot, and extinct his name !
Out comes the piece, another, and the same;
For A, his magic pen evokes an O,
And turns the tide of Europe on the foe :
He rams his quill with scandal and with scoff;
But 'tis so very foul, it won't go off :
Dreadful his thunders, while unprinted, roar;
But, when once publish'd, they are heard no more.
Thus distant bugbears fright, but, nearer draw,
The block 's a block, and turns to mirth your awe.
Can those oblige, whose heads and hearts are such ?
No; every party 's tainted by their touch.
Infected persons fly each public place;
And none, or enemies alone, embrace :
To the foul fiend their every paffion 's sold :
They love, and hate, extempore, for gold:
What image of their fury can we form?
Dulness and rage, a puddle in a storm.
Rest they in peace? If you are pleas’d to buy,
To swell your fails, like Lapland winds, they fly :
Write they with rage? The tempest quickly flags;
A State-Ulyfies tames them with his bags;
Let him be what he will, Turk, Pagan, Jew :
For Christian ministers of state are few.
Behind the curtain lurks the fountain head,
That pours his politics through pipes of lead;
Which far and near ejaculate, and spout
O'er tea and coffee, poison to the rout:
But, when they have bespatter'd all they may,
The statesman throws his filthy squirts away!.
With golden forceps, these, another takes,
And state elixirs of the vipers makes.
The richest statesman wants wherewith to pay A servile scycophant, if well they weigh. How much it costs the wretch to be so base; Nor can the greatest powers enough disgrace, Enough chasiife, such prostitute applause, If well they weigh how much it stains their cause.
But are our writer's eyer in the wrong ? Does virtue ne'er seduce the venal tongue ? Yes; if well-brib'd, for virtue's self they fight; Still in the wrong, though champions for the right: Whoe'er their crimes for interest only quit, Sin on in virtue, and good deeds commit.
Nought but inconstancy Britannia meets, And broken faith in their abandon’d sheets; From the same hand how various is the
! What civil war their brother pamphlets wage ! Tracts battle tracts, self-contradictions glare ; Say, is this lunacy ?-I wish it were,
If such our writers, startled at the sight,
Felons may bless their stars they cannot write !
How justly Proteus' transmigrations fit
The monstrous changes of a modern wit!
Now, such a gentle stream of eloquence
As seldom rises to the verge of sense;
Now, by mad rage, transform'd into a flame,
Which yet fit engines, well apply'd, can tame;
Now, on immodest trash, the swine obscene
Invites the town to sup at Drury-lane ;
A dreadful lion, now he roars at power,
Which fends him to his brothers at the Tower;
He 's now a serpent, and his double tongue
Salutes, nay licks, the feet of those he stung;
What knot can bind him, his evasion such ?
One knot he well deserves, which might do much.
The flood, flame, fwine, the lion, and the snake,
Those fivefold monsters, modern authors make :
The Snake reigns moft ; Snakes, Pliny says, are bred,
When the brain 's perith'd in a human head.
Ye groveling, trodden, whipt, fuipt, turncoat things,
of venom, volumes, ftains, and itings ! Thrown from the Tree of Knowledge, like you, curst To scribble in the dust, was Snake the first.
What if the figure should in fast prove true?
It did in Elkenah * , why not in you?
Poor Elkenah, all other changes past,
For bread in 'Smithfield dragons hist at last,
Spit streams of fire to make the butchers gape,
And found his manners suited to his shape :
Such * Settle, the city post.
Such is the fate of talents misapply'd;
So liv'd your Prototype; and so he dy'd.
Th’ abandon'd manners of our writing train
May tempt mankind to think religion vain;
But in their fate, their habit, and their mein,
That gods there are is eminently seen :
Heaven stands abfolv’d by vengeance on their pen,
And marks the murderers of fame from men :
Through meagre jaws they draw their venal breath,
As ghastly as their brothers in Macbeth :
Their feet through faithless leather meet the dirt,
And oftener chang'd their principles than fhirt.
The transient veftments of these frugal men,
Haftens to paper for our mirth again :
Too soon (O merry-melancholy fate !)
They beg in rhyme, and warble through a grate :
The man lampoon'd forgets it at the sight;
The friend through pity gives, the foe through spite ;
And, though full conscious of his injur'd purse,
Lintot relents, nor Curll can with them worfe.
So fare the men, who writers dare cominence
Without their patent, probity and sense.
From these, their politics our Quidnuncs seek, And Saturday 's the learning of the week : These labouring wits, like paviors, mend our ways, With heavy, huge, repeated, flat essays; Ram their coarse nonsense down, though ne'er fo dull; And hem at every thump upon your skull : These staunch-bred writing hounds begin the cry; And honest folly echoes to the lye.
O how I laugh, when I a blockhead see,
Thanking a villain for his probity!
Who stretches out a most respectful ear,
With (nares for woodcocks in his holy leer :
It tickles through my soul to hear the cock's
Sincere encomium on his friend the fox,
Sole patron of his liberties and rights !
While graceless Reynard listens till he bites,
As, when the trumpet sounds, th' o'erloaded state
Discharges all her poor and profligate ;
Crimes of all kinds dishonour'd weapons wield,
And prisons pour their filth into the field;
Thus nature's refuse, and the dregs of men,
Compose the black militia of the pen.