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Here let those reign, whom pensions can incite
• Others with softer smiles, and subtler art,
3 The encroachments of the Spaniards had been palliated in both houses of parliament.
4 The licensing act had then lately passed.
5 A paper which at that time contained apologies for the court.
Well may they rise, while I, whose rustic tongue
* For what but social guilt the friend endears ?
• The cheated nation's happy favourites, see ! Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me! London ! the needy villain's general home, The common sewer of Paris, and of Rome; With eager thirst, by folly or by fate, Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state. Forgive my transports on a theme like this, I cannot bear a French metropolis.
• Illustrious Edward ! from the realms of day, The land of heroes and of saints survey ; Nor hope the British lineaments to trace, The rustic grandeur, or the surly grace; But, lost in thoughtless ease, and empty show, Behold the warrior dwindled to a beau; Sense, freedom, piety, refined away, Of France the mimic, and of Spain the prey.
* All that at home no more can beg or steal, Or like a gibbet better than a wheel; Hiss'd from the stage, or hooted from the court, Their air, their dress, their politics import; Obsequious, artful, voluble, and gay, On Britain's fond credulity they prey.
No gainful trade their industry can 'scape,
"Ah! what avails it, that from slavery far,
• Studious to please, and ready to submit,
“ Besides, with justice this discerning age Admires their wondrous talents for the stage : Well may they venture on the mimic's art, Who play from morn to night a borrow'd part; Practised their master's notions to embrace, Repeat his maxims, and reflect his face; With every wild absurdity comply, And view each object with another's eye; To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear, To pour at will the counterfeited tear, And, as their patron hints the cold or heat, To shake in dog-days, in December sweat. How, when competitors like these contend, Can surly virtue hope to fix a friend ?
Slaves that with serious impudence beguile,
*For arts like these preferr'd, admired, caress'd,
By numbers here from shame or censure free,
* Has Heaven reserved, in pity to the poor,
6 The Spaniards at that time were said to make claim to some of our American provinces.
This mournful truth is every where confess'd,
‘But hark! the affrighted crowd's tumultuous cries Roll through the streets, and thunder to the skies: Raised from some pleasing dream of wealth and
power, Some pompous palace, or some blissful bower, Aghast you start, and scarce with aching sight Sustain the approaching fire's tremendous light ; Swift from pursuing horrors take your way, And leave your little all to flames a prey; Then through the world a wretched vagrant roam, For where can starving merit find a home? In vain your mournful narrative disclose, While all neglect, and most insult your woes. • Should Heaven's just bolts Orgilio's wealth
confound, And spread his flaming palace on the ground, Swift o’er the land the dismal rumour flies, And public mournings pacify the skies ; The laureate tribe in servile verse relate How virtue wars with persecuting fate; With well-feign’d gratitude the pension’d band Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land. See! while he builds, the gaudy vassals come, And crowd with sudden wealth the rising dome; The price of boroughs and of souls restore, Apd raise his treasures higher than before : Now bless'd with all the baubles of the great, The polish'd marble, and the shining plate,