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Courts are too much for wits so weak as mine: Charge them with heav'n's artill’ry, bold divine ! From such alone the great rebukes endure, Whose satire's sacred and whose rage secure : 'Tis mine to wash a few light stains, but theirs To deluge sin, and drown a court in tears. 285 Howe'er, what's now apocrypha, my wit, In time to come, may pass for holy writ.


I shook like a spy'd spy. Preachers! which are
Seas of wit and arts, you can, then dare
Drown the sins of this place; for, for me,
Which am but a scant brook, it enough shall be
To wash the stains away. Altho' I yet
(With Machabee modesty) the known merit
Of my work lessen, yet some wise man shall,
I hope, esteem my writs canonical.


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Written in the year 1738.


F. NOT twice a twelvemonth you appear in print, And when it comes the court see nothing in’t. You grow correct that once with rapture writ, And are, besides, too moral for a wit. Decay of parts, alas! we all must feel....

5 Why now,

this moment, don't I see you steal ? 'Tis all from Horace; Horace long before ye Said Tories call'd him Whig, and Whigs a Tory;" And taught his Romans, in much better metre, “To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter.” 10

But Horace, Sir, was delicate, was nice;
Bubo observes he lash'd no sort of vice:
Horace would say, Sir Billy serv'd the crown,
Blunt could do bus'ness, Higgins knew the town;
In Sappho touch the failings of the sex,

In rev'rend bishops note some small neglects,
And own the Spaniard did a waggish thing,
Who cropt our ears, and sent them to the king.

His sly, polite, insinuating style
Could please at court, and make Augustus smile:
An artful manager, that crept between

His friend and shame, and was a kind of screen.
But faith, your very friends will soon be sore ;
Patriots there are who wish you'd jest no more....
And where's the glory? 'twill be only thought 25
The great man never offer'd you a groat.
Go, see Sir Robert....

P. See Sir Robert! hum.... And never laugh....for all my life to come ? See him I have; but in his happier hour Of social pleasure, ill-exchang'd for pow'r; 30 Seen him, uncumber'd with a venal tribe, Smile without art, and win without a bribe. Would he oblige me? let me only find He does not think me what he thinks mankind. Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt; 35 The only diff'rence is....I dare laugh out.

F. Why, yes: with Scripture still you may be free; A horse-laugh, if you please, at honesty, A joke on Jekyll, or some odd old Whig, Who never chang'd his principle or wig.

40 A patriot is a fool in ev'ry age, Whom all lord chamberlains allow the stage! These nothing hurts; they keep their passion still, And wear their strange old virtue as they will.

These you

and you


If any ask you,
" Who's the man so near

“ His prince, that writes in verse, and has his ear?"
Why, answer Lyttleton ! and I'll engage
The worthy youth shall ne'er be in a rage;
But were his verses vile, his whisper base,
You'd quickly find him in Lord Fanny's case. 50
Sejanus, Wolsey, hurt not honest Fleury,
But well may put some statesmen in a fury.
Laugh then at any but at fools or foes;


mend not those.
Laugh at your friends, and if your friends are sore,
So much the better, you may laugh the more.
To vice and folly to confine the jest,
Sets half the world, God knows, against the rest,
Did not the sneer of more impartial men
At sense and virtue balance all agen.

60 Judicious wits spread wide the ridicule, And charitably comfort knave and fool.

P. Dear Sir, forgive the prejudice of youth : Adieu distinction, satire, warmth and truth! Come, harmless character that no one hit; 65 Come, Henley's oratory, Osborne's wit ! The honey dropping from Favouia's tongue, The flow'rs of Bubo, and the flow of Young! The gracious dew of pulpit eloquence, And all the well-whipt cream of courtly sense; 70

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