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His life, though long, to sickness past unknown,
Oh friend, may each domestic bliss be thine!
EPILOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
Fr. '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 every line, In reverence 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; E'en 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, unconfined, Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind;
Ye statesmen, priests, of one religion all!
P. Why, that's the thing you bid me not to do.
F. You do. P. See, now I keep the secret, and not you! The bribing statesman-F. Hold, too high you go. P. The bribed 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? Must great offenders, once escaped 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 meanTo 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.
P. If not the tradesman who set up to-day,
But, sir, I beg you (for the love of vice!),
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 trenibles only for his ears.
F. What, always Peter? Peter thinks you mad.
P. As S-k, if he lives, will love the prince.
Do I wrong the man?
Ev'n in a bishop I can spy desert :
But does the court a worthy man remove ?
Names which I long have loved, nor loved in vain, Rank'd with their friends, not number'd with their And if yet higher the proud list should end, [train : Still let me say! No follower, but a friend.
Yet think not friendship only prompts my lays;
F. Then why so few commended ?
Not so fierce; Find
you the virtue, and I'll find the verse. 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, for him she weds again. Praise cannot stoop, like satire, to the ground: The number 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? What Richelieu wanted, Louis scarce could gain, And what young Ammon wish’d, but wish'd in vain. No power the Muse's friendship can command; No power, when virtue claims it, can withstand: To Cato, Virgil paid one honest line; Oh let my country's friends illumine mine! What are you thinking? F. Faith, the thought's no I think your friends are out, and would be in. (sin,
P. If merely to come in, sir, they go out,
F. They too may be corrupted, you'll allow ?
Is that too little ? come then, I'll comply
But pray, when others praise him, do I blame?
What! shall each spur-gall’d hackney of the day, When Paxton gives him double pots and pay, 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 guest at whom they threw the dirt ? Sure, if I spare the minister, no rules 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 Turenne, once upon a day, To see a footman kick'd that took his pay: But when he heard the affront the fellow gaye, Knew one a man of honour, one a knave, The prudent general turn’d it to a jest; And begg'd he'd take the pains to kick the rest : Which not at present having time to doF. Hold, sir! for God's sake, where's th' affront
to you? Against your worship when had S-k writ, Or P-ge pour'd forth the torrent of his wit? Or grant the bard whose distich all commend [In power a servant, out of power a friend] To W-le guilty of some venial sin; What's that to you, who ne'er was out nor in ?
The priest whose flattery bedropp'd the crown, How hurt he you? he only stain'd the gown.