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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 las

to spare the knight requires, 30 As beasts of nature may we hunt the squires ? Suppose I 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. 35

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,

40 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, 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;



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Still better ministers, or if the thing

50 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.

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.

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, 65 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!

70 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 hear'n.

But does the court a worthy man remove?
That instant, I declare, he has my love:

I shun his zenith, court his mild decline;
Thus Somers once and Halifax were mine.
Oft in the clear still mirror of retreat
I study'd Shrewsbury, the wise and great:
Carleton's calm sense and Stanhope's noble flame 80
Compar'd, and knew their gen'rous end the same:
How pleasing Atterbury's softer hour!
How shin'd the soul, unconquer'd, in the Tow'r!
How can I Pultney, Chesterfield, forget,
While Roman spirit charms, and Attic wit ? 85
Argyle, the state's whole thunder born to wield,
And shake alike the senate and the field ?
Or Wyndham, just to freedom and the throne,
The master of our passions and his own ?
Names which I long have lov'd, nor lov'd in vain, 90
Rank'd with their friends, nor number'd with their

train ; And if yet higher the proud list should end, Still let me say, no follower, but a friend.

Yet think nor friendship only prompts my lays ; I follow virtue; where she shines I praise. 95 Point she to priest or elder, Whig or Tory, Or round a Quaker's beaver cast a glory. I never (to my sorrow I declare) Din'd with the Man of Ross or my Lord May'r.

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Some in their choice of friends (nay, look not grave) Have still a secret bias to a knave :

101 To find an honest man I beat about, And love him, court him, praise him, in or out.

F. Then why so few commended ?

P. Not so fierce; Find you the virtue, and I'll find the verse. 105 But random praise....the task can ne'er be done; Each mother asks it for her booby son. Each widow asks it for the best of men, For him she weeps, and him she weds agen. Praise cannot stoop, like Satire, to the ground; 110 The nunber may be hang'd, but not be crown'd. Enough for half the greatest of these days To 'scape my censure, not expect my praise. Are they not rich? what more can they pretend ? Dare they to hope a poet for their friend? 115 What Richleu wanted Louis scarce could gain, And what young Ammon wish’d, but wish'd in vain. No pow'r the Muses friendship can command; No pow'r when Virtue claims it, can withstand. To Cato, Virgil paid one honest line;

120 O let my country's friends illumine mine! .... What are you thinking ?

F. Faith the thought's no sin ;
I think your friends are out, and would be in.

P. If merely to come in, Sir, they go out,
The way they take is strangely round about. 125



F. They too may be corrupted, you'll allow ?

P. I only call those knaves who are so now. Is that too little ? come then, I'll comply.... Spirit of Arnall! aid me while I lie. Cobham's a coward, Polwarth is a slave, 130 And Lyttleton a dark designing kuave; St. John has ever been a wealthy fool.... But let me add, Sir Robert's mighty dull, Has never made a friend in private life, And was, besides, a tyrant to his wife.

135 But pray, when others praise him do I blame? Call Verres, Wolsey, any odious name? - Why rail they then if but a wreath of mine, Oh all accomplish'd St. John! deck thy shrine !

What! shall each spur-gall'd hackney of the day, When Paxton gives him double pots and pay, 141 Or each new-pension'd sycophant pretend To break my windows if I treat a friend, Then wisely plead to me they meant no hurt, But 'twas my guests at whom they threw the dirt ? Sure if I spare the minister, no rules

146 Of honour bind me not to maul his tools; Sure if they cannot cut, it may be said, His saws are toothless, and his hatchets lead. It anger'd Turrene, once upon a day,

150 To see a footnan kick'd that took his pay;

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