« PreviousContinue »
COBHAM's a Coward, POLWARTH is a Slave, 130
But pray, when others praise him, do I blame?
What? shall each spurgall’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 Guest at whom they threw the dirt ?
VER. 130. Polwarth.] The Hon. Hugh Hume, Son of Alexander Earl of Marchmont, Grandson of Patric Earl of Marchmont, and distinguished, like them, in the cause of Liberiy. P.
VER. 136. do I blame? Call Verres, Wolley, any odious name?] The Leaders of Parties, be they as Horid as they will, generally do their business by compendium: A lingle rule of Rhetoric, which they may have learnt of Quintilian, or perhaps of a much older Sophift, does their bufiness, si nibil, quod nos adjuvet, erit, quæramus quid Ad. Zerfarium lædar.
SCRIB. VER. 141. When Paxton gives him double pots and pay,) If this band of Pensioners were so offensive while embodied
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 TURENNE, once upon a day, 150 To see a Footman kick'd that took his pay : But when he heard th' Affront the Fellow gave, Knew one a Man of honour, one a Knave; The prudent Gen'ral turn'd it to a jest, And begg'd, he'd take the pains to kick the rest : 155 Which not at present having time to do--F. Hold Sir! for God's-fake where's th' Affront to
Against your worship when had S---k writ?
Notes. and under discipline, what must we think of their disor. ders since they were disbanded and become free-booters ? No virtue nor merit hath escaped them. They have made a great City in the South, too much resemble another in the North, where the products of night and darkness are discharged from Garrets on every honest man that comes within their reach.
Ver. 160. the Bard] A verse taken out of a poem to Sir R. W. P.
The Priest whose Flattery be-dropt the Crown, How hurt he you? he only stain'd the Gown. 165 And how did, pray, the florid Youth offend, Whose Speech you took, and gave it to a Friend? P. Faith, it imports not much from whom it came; Whoever borrow'd, could not be to blaine, Since the whole Houfe did afterwards the fame. Let Courtly Wits to Wits afford supply, 171 As Hog to Hog in huts of Westphaly ; If one, thro' Nature's Bounty or his Lord's, Has what the frugal, dirty soil affords, From him the next receives it, thick or thin, 175 As pure a mess almost as it came in; The blessed benefit, not there confin'd, Drops to the third, who nuzzles close behind; From tail to mouth, they feed and they carouse: The last full fairly gives it to the House.
180 F. This filthy fimile, this beastly line Quite turns my stomach
P. So does Flatt'ry mine; And all your courtly Civet-cats can vent, Perfume to you, to me is Excrement.
Ver. 164. The Priest etc.] Spoken not of any particular priest, but of many priests. P.
VER, 166. And how did, etc.] This seems to allude to a complaint made * 71. of the preceding Dialogue, P.
But hear me further – Japhet, 'tis agreed,
185 Writ not, and Chartres scarce could write or read, In all the Courts of Pindus guiltless quite ; But Pens can forge, my Friend, that cannot write ; And must no Egg in Japhet's face be thrown, Because the Deed he forg'd was not my own? 190 Must never Patriot then declaim at Gin, Unless, good man ! he has been fairly in? No zealous Paftor blame a failing Spouse, Without a staring Reason on his brows? And each Blasphemer quite escape the rod, 195 Because the insult's not on Man, but God ?
Ask you what Provocation I have had ? The strong Antipathy of Good to Bad. When Truth or Virtue an Affront endures, Th' Affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours. Mine, as a Foe profess'd to false Pretence,
I grant it, Sir ; and further, 'tis agreed,
F. You're strangely proud
P. So proud, I am no Slave : So impudent, I own myself no Knave : 206 So odd, my country's Ruin makes me grave. Yes, I am proud ; I must be proud to see Men not afraid of God, afraid of me: Safe from the Bar, the Pulpit, and the Throne, 210 Yet touch'd and sham'd by Ridicule alone.
O facred weapon ! left for Truth's defence, Sole Dread of Folly, Vice, and Infolence ! To all but Heav'n-directed hands deny’d, The Muse may give thee, but the Gods must guide :
Notes. From Terence : “ Homo sum : humani nihil a me alienum “ puto.” P.
208. Yes, I am proud; etc.) In this ironical exulo. ation the Poet infinuates a subject of the dcepelt humiliation,
Ver. 211. Yel touch'd and sham'd by Ridicule alone.) The Passions are given us to awake and support Virtue. But they frequently betray their trust, and go over to the inte, rests of Vice. Ridicule, when employed in the cause of Virtue, shames and brings them back to their duty. Hence the use and importance of Satire.
VER. 214. To all but Heav’n-directed bands] “ Citizen (says Plato, in his fifth book of Laws) who does no injury to any one, without question, merits our ef
He, who, not content with being barely just ¢ himself, opposes the course of injustice, by prosecuting “ it before the Magiltrate, merits our esteem vastly more. " The firft discharges the duty of a single Citizen ; but " the other does the office of a Body. But he whose zeal " ftops not here, but proceeds to ASSIST THE MAGISTRATE