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Like mighty rivers, with resistless force
The Passions rage,

obstructed in their course; Swell to new heights, forbidden paths explore, And drown those Virtues which they fed before. 60

And fure, the deadliest Foe to Virtue's flame,
Our worst of Evils, is perverted Shame.
Beneath this load, what abject numbers groan,

Th' entangled Slaves to folly not their own!
Meanly by fashionable fear oppress’d,
We seek our Virtues in each other's breast;
Blind to ourselves, adopt each foreign Vice,
Another's weakness, interest, or caprice.
Each Fool to low Ambition, poorly great,
That pines in splendid wretchedness of state, 70
Tir'd in the treacherous Chace, would nobly yield,
And, but for fame, like Sylla, quit the field :
The Dæmon Shame paints strong the ridicule,
And whispers close, “ The World will call


Fool.” Behold yon Wretch, by impious fashion driven, 75 Believes and trembles, while he scoffs at Heaven. By weakness strong, and bold through fear alone, He dreads the fneer by shallow Coxcombs thrown ; Dauntless pursues the path Spinoza trod; To man a Coward, and a Brave to God.

80 Faith, Justice, Heaven itself now quit their hold, When to falfe Fame the captiv'd Heart is fold : Hence, blind to truth, relentless Cato dy'd; Nought could subdue his Virtue, but his Pride. Hence chaste Lucretia's Innocence betray'd Fell by that Honour which was meant its aid.



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Thus Virtue sinks beneath unnumber'd woes,
When Passions, born her friends, revolt her foes.

Hence Satire's power: 'Tis her corrective part,
To calm the wild disorders of the heart.

90 She points the arduous height where Glory lies, And teaches mad Ambition to be wise : In the dark bosom wakes the fair desire, Draws good from ill, a brighter flame from fire : Strips black Oppresfion of her gay disguise,

95 And bids the Hag in native horror rise; Strikes towering Pride and lawless Rapine dead, And plants the wreath on Virtue's awful head.

Nor boasts the Muse a vain imagin'd Power, Though oft she mourns those ills she cannot cure. The Worthy court her, and the Worthless fear ; Who fhun her piercing eye, that eye revere. Her awful voice the Vain and Vile obey, And every foe to Wisdom feels her sway. Smarts, Pedants, aseshe smiles, no more are vain ; 105 Desponding Fops resign the clouded cane : Hush'd at her voice, pert Folly's self is still, And. Dulness wonders while she drops her quill. Like the arm'd Bee, with art most subtly true, From poisonous Vice she draws a healing dew : Weak are the ties that civil arts can find, To quell the ferment of the tainted mind : Cunning evades, securely wrapt in wiles ! And Force strong-sinew'd rends th' unequal toils : The stream of Vice impetuous drives along, 115 Too deep for Policy, for Power too strong.


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Ev'n fair Religion, Native of the skies,
Scorn'd by the Crowd, seeks refuge with the Wise;
The Crowd with laughter spurns her awful train,
And Mercy courts, and Justice frowns in vain,
But Satire's Shaft can pierce the harden'd breast :
She piays a ruling Passion on the rest :
Undaunted storms the battery of his pride,
And awes the Brave that Earth and Heaven defy'd.
When fell Corruption, by her vassals crown'd, 125
Derides fall’n Justice proftrate on the ground;
Swift to redress an injur’d People's groan,
Bold Satire shakes the Tyrant on her throne;
Powerful as Death, defies the fordid train,
And Slaves and Sycophants suiround in vain. 130

But with the friends of Vice, the foes of Satire,
All truth is Spleen; all just reproof, Ill-nature.

Well may they dread the Muse's fatal fkill; Well may they tremble when she draws her quill: Her magic quill, that, like Ithuriel's spear, 135 Reveals the cloven hoof, or lengthen'd ear: Bids Vice and Folly take their natural fhapes, Turns Dutchesses to strumpets, Beaux to apes ; Drags the vile Whisperer from his dark abode, Till all the Dämon starts up from the toad.

140 O sordid maxim, form’d to screen the vile, That true good-nature still must wear a smile! In frowns array'd her beauties stronger rise, When love of Virtue wakes her scorn of Vice : Where Justice calls, ’tis Cruelty to save;

145 And 'tis the Law's good-nature hangs the Knave, 1


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Who combats Virtue's foe is Virtue's friend;
Then judge of Satire’s merit by her end :
To Guilt alone her vengeance stands confin'd,
The object of her love is all Mankind.

Scarce more the friend of Man, the wise must own,
Ev'n Allen's bounteous hand, than Satire's frown:
This to chastise, as That to bless was giv'n;
Alike the faithful Ministers of Heaven.

Oft in unfeeling hearts the shaft is spent : 155
Though strong th' example, weak the punishment.
They least are pain’d, who merit Satire most :
Folly the Laureat's, Vice was Chartres' boast :
Then where 's the wrong, to gibbet high the name
Of Fools and Knaves already dead to shame? 160
Oft Satire acts the faithful Surgeon's part;
Generous and kind, though painful, is her art :
With caution bold, she only strikes to heal :
Though folly raves to break the friendly steel.
Then sure no fault impartial Satire knows,

Kind ev’n in Vengeance, kind to Virtue’s foes.
Whose is the crime, the scandal too be theirs ;
The Knave and Fool are their own Libellers,

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ARE nobly then : But conscious of your trust,

As ever warm and bold be ever just: 170 Nor court applause in these degenerate days : The Villain's censure is extorted praise.

But chief, be steady in a noble end, And shew Mankind that Truth has yet a friend, 'Tis mean for empty praise of wit to write, 175 As Foplings grin to thew their teeth are white : To brand a doubtful folly with a smile, Or madly blaze unknown defects, is vile : 'Tis doubly vile, when, but to prove your art, You fix an arrow in a blameless heart.

180 O lost to honour's voice, O doom'd to shame, Thou Fiend accurst, thou Murderer of Fame ! Fell Ravisher, from innocence to tear That name, than liberty, than life more dear! Where shall thy baseness meet its just return,

Or what repay thy guilt, but endless scorn ?
And know, immortal Truth shall mock thy toil :
Immortal Truth shall bid the shaft recoil :
With rage retorted, wing the deadly dart;
And empty all its poison in thy heart.

With caution next, the dangerous power apply ;
An eagle's talon asks an eagle's eye:
Let Satire then her proper object know,
And ere the strike, be sure the strike a foe.



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