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Yet think not, Friendship only prompts my lays : I follow Virtue, where fhe shines I praise, 65 Point she to Priest or Elder, Whig or Tory, Or round a Quaker's Beaver caft a glory. I never (to my forrow 1 declare) Din'd with the Man of Ross, or my + LORD MAY'r, Some, in their choice of Friends (nay look not grave) Have still a secret byass to a Knave : To find an honeft man I beat about, And love him, court him, praise him, in or out. F. Then why so few commended ?
P. Not fo fierce ; Find you the Virtue, and I'll find the Verse.
105 But random Praise the talk can ne'er be done ; Each Mother asks it for ber booby Son, Each Widow alks it for the best of Men, For him she weeps, and him the weds agen. Praise cannot stoop, like Satire, to the ground; 110 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?
115 What RICHLIEU wanted, Louis foarce could gain, And what young AMMON with’d, but wish'd in vain. No Pow'r the Muse's Friendship can command; No Pow'r, when Virtue claims it, can withstand:
* Sir John Barnard.
To Cato, Virgil pay'd one honest line ;
your Friends are out, and would be in. P. If merely to come in, Sir, they go out, The way they take is strangely round about.
125 F. They too may be corrupted you'll allow ? P. I only call those Knaves who are fo now.
Is that too little? Come then, I'll comply Spirit of Arnall! aid me while I lye. COBHAM's a Coward, POLWARTH is a Slave, 130 And LYTTELTON a dark, designing Knave, St. John has ever been a wealthy Fool But let me add, Sir ROBERT's mighty dull, Has never made a Friend in private life, And was, besides, a Tyrant to his Wife.
But pray, when others praise him, do I blame? Call Verres, Wolsey, any odious name? Why rail they then, if but a Wreath of mine Oh All-accomplish'd St. John! deck thy Shrine?
What? Thall 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 TUR ENNE, 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-lake, where's th’Affront to you? Against your worship what has S-k writ? When did Ty-1 hurt you with his Wit? Or grant, the Bard whose distich all commend, 166 [In Pow'r a Servant, out of Pow'r 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 be-dropt the Crown,
P. Faith it imports not much from whom it came;
From tail to mouth, they feed, and they carouse: The last, full fairly gives it to the House. 180
F. This filthy Simile, 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.
But hear me further apbet, '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, Who think a Coxcomb's Honour like his Sense ; Mine, as a Friend to ev'ry worthy mind; And mine as Man, who feel for all mankind. F. You're ftrangely proud.
205 P. So proud I am no Slave: So impudent, I own myself no Knave : So odd, my Country's Ruin inakes me grave.
Yes, I am proud ; I must be proud to see
O sacred Weapon ! left for Truth's defence,
When black Ambition stains a Publick Cause,
all away :
4 See his Ode on Namur ; where (to use his own words) il a fait un Ajire de la Plume blanche qui le Roy porte ordinairement a fon Chapeau, & qui est en effet une espece de Comete, fatale a nos ennemis.