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"Studious to please, and ready to submit, The supple Gaul was born a parasite: Still to his interest true, where'er he goes, Wit, bravery, worth, his lavish tongue bestows:

In every face a thousand graces shine,
From every tongue flows harmony divine.
These arts in vain our rugged natives try,
Strain out with faltering diffidence a lie,
And gain a kick for awkward flattery.

"Besides, with justice, this discerning age Admires their wondrous talents for the


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

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,
And lie without a blush, without a smile;
Exalt each trifle, every vice adore,

Your taste in snuff, your judgment in a whore ;

Can Balbo's eloquence applaud, and swear He gropes his breeches with a monarch's air! "For arts like these preferr'd, admired, caress'd,

They first invade your table, then your breast;

Explore your secrets with insidious art,
Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the


Then soon your ill-placed confidence repay, Commence your lords, and govern or betray.

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By numbers here, from shame or censure

All crimes are safe but hated poverty:
This, only this, the rigid law pursues,
This, only this, provokes the snarling muse.
The sober trader at a tatter'd cloak
Wakes from his dream, and labours for a

With brisker air the silken courtiers gaze,
And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways.
Of all the griefs that harass the distress'd,
Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest;
Fate never wounds more deep the generous

Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.

Has Heaven reserved, in pity to the poor, No pathless waste, or undiscover'd shore? No secret island in the boundless main? No peaceful desert yet unclaim'd by Spain? Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore, And bear Oppression's insolence no more. This mournful truth is everywhere confess'd: Slow rises worth, by poverty depress'd:

But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,

Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold;

Where, won by bribes, by flatteries implored, The groom retails the favours of his lord.

"But hark! the affrighted crowd's tumul

tuous cries

Roll through the street, 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


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

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,
And raise his treasures higher than before:
Now bless'd with all the baubles of the great,
The polish'd marble, and the shining plate,
Orgilio sees the golden pile aspire,
And hopes from angry Heaven another fire.
"Couldst thou resign the park and play

For the fair banks of Severn or of Trent;
There mightst thou find some elegant retreat,
Some hireling senator's deserted seat,

And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land,

For less than rent the dungeons of the Strand;

There prune thy walks, support thy drooping flowers,

Direct thy rivulets, and twine thy bowers:
And while thy beds a cheap repast afford,
Despise the dainties of a venal lord:
There every bush with nature's music rings,
There every breeze bears health upon its

On all thy hours security shall smile,

And bless thine evening walk and morning toil.

"Prepare for death, if here at night you


And sign your will, before you sup from home.

Some fiery fop, with new commission vain, Who sleeps on brambles till he kills his man; Some frolic drunkard, reeling from a feast, Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest.

"Yet e'en these heroes, mischievously gay, Lords of the street, and terrors of the way; Flush'd as they are with folly, youth, and wine,

Their prudent insults to the poor confine; Afar they mark the flambeau's bright approach,

And shun the shining train and golden coach. "In vain, these dangers pass'd, your doors you close,

And hope the balmy blessings of repose:
Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair,
The midnight murderer bursts the faithless

Invades the sacred hour of silent rest,

And plants, unseen, a dagger in your breast. "Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn die,

With hemp the gallows and the fleet supply. Propose your schemes, ye senatorian band, Whose ways and means support the sinking land;

Lest ropes be wanting in the tempting spring, To rig another convoy for the king.

"A single jail, in Alfred's golden reign, Could half the nation's criminals contain; Fair Justice then, without constraint adored, Held high the steady scale, but sheathed the sword;

No spies were paid, no special juries known; Bless'd age! but ah! how different from our own!

"Much could I add,-but see the boat at hand,

The tide retiring, calls me from the land: Farewell!-When youth, and health, and for

tune spent,

Thou fliest for refuge to the wilds of Kent; And, tired like me with follies and with crimes, In angry numbers warn'st succeeding times; Then shall thy friend, nor thou refuse his aid,

Still foe to vice, forsake his Cambrian shade; In virtue's cause once more exert his rage, Thy satire point, and animate thy page."

Samuel Johnson.-Born 1709, Died 1784.


Let observation, with extensive view,
Survey mankind from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;
Then say how hope and fear, desire and

O'erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate,

by vent❜rous

Where wav'ring man, betray'
To chase the dreary paths, without a guide,
As treach'rous phantoms in the mist delude,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good;
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant

How nations sink by darling schemes oppress'd,

When vengeance listens to the fool's request. Fate wings with ev'ry wish th' afflictive dart, Each gift of nature and each grace of art: With fatal heat impetuous courage glows, With fatal sweetness elocution flows, Impeachment stops the speaker's powerful breath,

And restless fire precipitates on death.

But, scarce observed, the knowing and the

Fall in the general massacre of gold;
Wide wasting pest! that rages unconfined,
And crowds with crimes the records of man-

For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws,
For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws;
Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety


The dangers gather as the treasures rise.

Let history tell where rival kings com


And dubious title shakes the madded land, When statutes glean the refuse of the sword, How much more safe the vassal than the lord;

Low skulks the hind beneath the rage of power,

And leaves the wealthy traitor in the Tower, Untouch'd his cottage, and his slumbers sound,

Though confiscation's vultures hover round.
The needy traveller, serene and gay,
Walks the wild heath and sings his toil

Does envy seize thee? crush th' upbraiding joy,

Increase his riches, and his peace destroy.
Now fears in dire vicissitude invade,

The rustling brake alarms, and quiv'ring shade,

Nor light nor darkness bring his pain relief, One shows the plunder, and one hides the


Yet still one gen'ral cry the skies assails, And gain and grandeur load the tainted gales;

Few know the toiling statesman's fear or


The insidious rival and the gaping heir.

Once more, Democritus, arise on earth, With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth, See motley life in modern trappings dress'd, And feed with varied fools the eternal jest: Thou who couldst laugh, where want enchain'd caprice,

Toil crush'd conceit, and man was of a piece;

Where wealth unloved without a mourner died;

And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride; Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate,

Or seen a new-made mayor's unwieldy state; Where change of fav'rites made no change of laws,

And senates heard before they judged a


How wouldst thou shake at Britain's modish tribe,

Dart the quick taunt, and edge the piercing gibe!

Attentive truth and nature to descry,

And pierce each scene with philosophic eye. To thee were solemn toys, or empty show, The robes of pleasure, and the veils of woe: All aid the farce, and all thy mirth maintain, Whose joys are causeless, or whose griefs are vain.

Such was the scorn that fill'd the sage's mind,

Renew'd at ev'ry glance on human kind; How just that scorn ere yet thy voice declare, Search ev'ry state, and canvass ev'ry prayer. Unnumber'd suppliants crowd Preferment's


Athirst for wealth, and burning to be great;
Delusive Fortune hears th' incessant call,
They mount, they shine, evaporate, and fall.
On ev'ry stage the foes of peace attend,
Hate dogs their flight, and insult mocks their

Love ends with hope, the sinking statesman's

Pours in the morning worshipper no more; For growing names the weekly scribbler lies, To growing wealth the dedicator flies; From ev'ry room descends the painted face, That hung the bright palladium of the place; And, smoked in kitchens, or in auctions sold, To better features yields the frame of gold; For now no more we trace in ev'ry line Horoic worth, benevolence divine: The form distorted justifies the fall, And detestation rids the indignant wall.

But will not Britain hear the last appeal, Sign her foe's doom, or guard her favourite's zeal?

Through Freedom's sons no more remonstrance rings,

Degrading nobles and controlling kings;
Our supple tribes repress their patriot

And ask no questions but the price of votes ;
With weekly libels and septennial ale,
Their wish is full to riot and to rail.

In full-blown dignity, see Wolsey stand,
Law in his voice, and fortune in his hand :
To him the church, the realm, their powers

Through him the rays of regal bounty shine,
Turn'd by his nod the stream of honour

His smile alone security bestows:

Still to new heights his restless wishes tower,
Claim leads to claim, and power advances

Till conquest unresisted ceased to please,
And rights submitted left him none to seize :
At length his sov'reign frowns-the train of

Mark the keen glance, and watch the sign to

Where'er he turns, he meets a stranger's eye,
His suppliants scorn him, and his followers

Now drops at once the pride of awful state,
The golden canopy, the glitt'ring plate,
The regal palace, the luxurious board,
The liv'ried army, and the menial lord.
With age, with cares, with maladies op-

He seeks the refuge of monastic rest.
Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings,
And his last sighs reproach the faith of

Speak thou whose thoughts at humble
peace repine,

Shall Wolsey's wealth with Wolsey's end be thine ?

Or livest thou now, with safer pride content,
The wisest justice on the banks of Trent?
For, why did Wolsey, near the steeps of fate,
On weak foundations raise the enormous

Why, but to sink beneath misfortune's blow,
With louder ruin to the gulfs below?

What gave great Villiers to the assassin's

And fix'd disease on Harley's closing life?
What murder'd Wentworth, and what exiled

By kings protected, and to kings allied?
What but their wish indulged in courts to


And power too great to keep or to resign?

When first the college rolls receive his


The young enthusiast quits his ease for

Resistless burns the fever of renown,
Caught from the strong contagion of the


O'er Bodley's dome his future labours spread, And Bacon's mansion trembles o'er his head.

Are these thy views? Proceed, illustrious

And Virtue guard thee to the throne of

Yet should thy soul indulge the gen'rous

Till captive Science yields her last retreat;
Should reason guide thee with her brightest


And pour on misty doubt resistless day;
Should no false kindness lure to loose delight,
Nor praise relax, nor difficulty fright;
Should tempting Novelty thy cell refrain,
And Sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain;

Should Beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart, Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart; Should no disease thy torpid veins invade, Nor Melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade ; Yet hope not life from grief or danger free, Nor think the doom of man reversed for thee:

Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes,

And pause awhile from letters to be wise;
There mark what ills the scholar's life assail,
Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.
See nations, slowly wise and meanly just,
To buried merit raise the tardy bust.
If dreams yet flatter, once again attend,
Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end.

Nor deem, when Learning her last prize bestows,

The glitt'ring eminence exempt from foes; See, when the vulgar 'scapes, despised or awed,

Rebellion's vengeful talons seize on Laud. From meaner minds though smaller fines content,

The plunder'd palace, or sequester'd rent, Mark'd out by dangerous parts, he meets the shock,

And fatal Learning leads him to the block: Around his tomb let Art and Genius weep, But hear his death, ye blockheads, hear and sleep.

The festal blazes, the triumphal show, The ravish'd standard, and the captive foc, The senate's thanks, the Gazette's pompous tale,

With force resistless o'er the brave prevail. Such bribes the rapid Greek o'er Asia whirl'd, For such the steady Roman shook the world; For such in distant lands the Britons shine, And stain with blood the Danube or the Rhine;

This power has praise, that virtue scarce can


Till fame supplies the universal charm.

Yet reason frowns on war's unequal game, Where wasted nations raise a single name; And mortgaged states their grandsires' wreaths regret,

From age to age in everlasting debt; Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right convey

To rust on medals, or on stones decay.

On what foundation stands the warrior's pride,

How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide;

A frame of adamant, a son! of fire,

No dangers fright him, and no labours tire;
O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain,
Unconquer'd lord of pleasure and of pain;
No joys to him pacific sceptres yield,
War sounds the trump, he rushes to the

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Behold surrounding kings their powers combine,

And one capitulate, and one resign;

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On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly,
And all be mine beneath the polar sky."
The march begins in military state,
And nations on his eye suspended wait;
Stern Famine guards the solitary coast,
And Winter barricades the realms of Frost;
He comes, nor want nor cold his course

Hide, blushing glory, hide Pultowa's day:
The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken bands,
And shows his miseries in distant lands;
Condemn'd a needy supplicant to wait,
While ladies interpose, and slaves debate.
But did not chance at length her error mend?
Did no subverted empire mark his end?
Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound?
Or hostile millions press him to the ground?
His fall was destined to a barren strand,
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;

He left the name, at which the world grew pale,

To point a moral, or adorn a tale.

All times their scenes of pompous woes afford,

From Persia's tyrant to Bavaria's lord.
In gay hostility and barb'rous pride,
With half mankind embattled at his side,
Great Xerxes comes to seize the certain prey,
And starves exhausted regions in his way;
Attendant Flatt'ry counts his myriads o'er,
Till counted myriads soothe his pride no


Fresh praise is tried till madness fires his mind,

The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind; New powers are claim'd, new powers are still bestow'd,

Till rude resistance lops the spreading god; The daring Grecks deride the martial show, And heap their valleys with the gaudy foe; Th' insulted sea with humbler thought he gains,

A single skiff to speed his flight remains;
Th' encumber'd oar scarce leaves the dreaded

Through purple billows and a floating host.
The bold Bavarian, in a luckless hour,
Tries the dread summits of Cæsarean power,
With unexpected legions bursts away,
And sees defenceless realms receive his sway:
Short sway! fair Austria spreads her mournful

The queen, the beauty, sets the world in


From hill to hill the beacon's rousing blaze Spreads wide the hope of plunder and of


The fierce Croatian, and the wild Hussar, With all the sons of ravage, crowd the war; The baffled prince, in honour's flatt'ring bloom

Of hasty greatness, finds the fatal doom:

His foes' derision and his subjects' blame, And steals to death from anguish and from shame.

"Enlarge my life with multitude of days! In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays:

Hides from himself its state, and shuns to know,

That life protracted is protracted woe.
Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy,
And shuts up all the passages of joy :

In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour,

The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flower; With listless eyes the dotard views the store, He views, and wonders that they please no


Now pall the tasteless meats, and joyless wines,

And Luxury with sighs her slave resigns. Approach, ye minstrels, try the soothing strain,

Diffuse the tuneful lenitives of pain:

No sounds, alas! would touch the impervious


Though dancing mountains witness'd Orpheus


Nor lute nor lyre his feeble powers attend,
Nor sweeter music of a virtuous friend;
But everlasting dictates crowd his tongue,
Perversely grave, or positively wrong.
The still returning tale, and ling`ring jest,
Perplex the fawning niece and pamper'd

While growing hopes scarce awe the gath'ring


And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear:

The watchful guests still hint the last offence;

The daughter's petulance, the son's expense, Improve his heady rage with treach'rous skill,

And mould his passions till they make his will.

Unnumber'd maladies his joints invade, Lay siege to life, and press the dire blockade; But unextinguish'd av'rice still remains, And dreaded losses aggravate his pains; He turns, with anxious heart and crippled hands,

His bonds of debt, and mortgages of lands; Or views his coffers with suspicious eyes, Unlocks his gold, and counts it till he dies.

But grant, the virtues of a temp rate prime Bless with an age exempt from scorn crime;


An age that melts with unperceived decay,
And glides in modest innocence away;
Whose peaceful day benevolence endears,
Whose night congratulating conscience cheers;
The general fav'rite as the general friend :
Such age there is, and who shall wish its

Yet ev'n on this her load Misfortune flings,

To press the weary minutes' flagging wings;

New sorrow rises as the day returns,
A sister sickens, or a daughter mourns.
Now kindred Merit fills the sable bier,
Now lacerated Friendship claims a tear;
Year chases year, decay pursues decay,
Still drops some joy from with'ring life

New forms arise, and different views engage,
Superfluous lags the vet'ran on the stage,
Till pitying Nature signs the last release,
And bids afflicted worth retire to peace.

But few there are whom hours like these await,

Who set unclouded in the gulfs of Fate.
From Lydia's monarch should the search

By Solon caution'd to regard his end,
In life's last scene what prodigies surprise,
Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise!
From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of
dotage flow,

And Swift expires a driv'ler and a show.

The teeming mother, anxious for her race, Begs for each birth the fortune of a face; Yet Vane could tell what ills from beauty spring;

And Sedley cursed the form that pleased a king.

Ye nymphs of rosy lips and radiant eyes,
Whom pleasure keeps too busy to be wise;
Whom joys with soft varieties invite,
By day the frolic, and the dance by night;
Who frown with vanity, who smile with art,
And ask the latest fashion of the heart;
What care, what rules, your heedless charms
shall save,

Each nymph your rival, and each youth your slave?

Against your fame with fondness hate combines,

The rival batters, and the lover mines.
With distant voice neglected Virtue calls,
Less heard and less, the faint remonstrance

Tired with contempt, she quits the slipp'ry reign,

And Pride and Prudence take her seat in vain.

In crowd at once, where none the pass defend,

The harmless freedom, and the private friend.

The guardians yield, by force superior plied: To Int'rest, Prudence; and to Flatt'ry, Pride.

Here beauty falls, betray'd, despised, distress'd,

And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest.

Where then shall Hope and Fear their objects find?

Must dull suspense corrupt the stagnant mind?

Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?
Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise,

No cries invoke the mercies of the skies?

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