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Be this thy screen, and this thy wall of brass : 95 Compared to this, a minister's an ass.
And say, to which shall our applause belong? This new court jargon, or the good old song ? The modern language of corrupted peers, Or what was spoke at Cressy and Poitiers ? 100 Who counsels, best? who whispers ; — Be but
great; With praise or infamy, leave that to fate; Get place and wealth, if possible, with grace; If not, by any means get wealth and place.' For what? to have a box where eunuchs sing, 105 And foremost in the circle eye a king : Or he, who bids thee face with steady view Proud fortune, and look shallow greatness through; And, while he bids thee, sets the example too? If such a doctrine, in St. James's air, Should chance to make the well-dress'd rabble
stare ; If honest S**z take scandal at a spark, That less admires the palace than the park : Faith I shall give the answer Reynard gave :• I cannot like, dread sir, your royal cave; 115 Because I see, by all the tracks about, Full many a beast goes in, but none come out.' Adieu to virtue, if you're once a slave: Send her to court, you send her to her grave.
Well, if a king's a lion, at the least, 120 The people are a many-headed beast. Can they direct what measures to pursue, Who know themselves so little what to do? Alike in nothing but one lust of gold,
124 Just half the land would buy, and half be sold :
Their country's wealth our mightier misers drain;
Of all these ways, if each pursues his own, Satire, be kind, and let the wretch alone: 135 But show me one who has it in his power To act consistent with himself an hour. Sir Job sail'd forth, the evening bright and still; • No place on earth,' he cried, like Greenwich
hill!' Up starts a palace: lo, the obedient base 140 Slopes at its foot; the woods its sides embrace ; The silver Thames reflects its marble face. Now let some whimsey, or that devil within, Which guides all those who know not what they
mean, But give the knight, or give his lady, spleen; 145 • Away, away! take all your scaffolds down; For snug 's the word : my dear! we'll live in
town.' At amorous Flavio is the stocking thrown? That very night he longs to lie alone. The fool, whose wife elopes some thrice a quarter, For matrimonial solace dies a martyr. 151
126 Some farm the poor-box. Perhaps referring to the Charitable Corporation;' a swindling scheme, by which multitudes were duped, and many beggared.
Did ever Proteus, Merlin, any witch,
You laugh, half beau, half sloven if I stand,
164 Linen worthy lady Mary. Pope could never forgive lady Mary's at once laughing at his passion, and libelling his poetry. This celebrated woman, though a beauty, and vain of her charms, was supposed to be singularly negligent of her person. Walpole says,' that when she left Florence, after a three weeks' stay in one of the archduke's palaces, they were obliged to fumigate the rooms. And this in Italy !
Who ought to make me (what he can, or none) That man divine whom wisdom calls her own; Great without title, without fortune bless'd, 181 Rich ev'n when plunder'd, honor'd while op
press’d; Loved without youth, and follow'd without power; At home, though exiled; free, though in the Tower;
184 In short, that reasoning, high, immortal thing, Just less than Jove, and much above a king; Nay, half in heaven; except (what's mighty odd) A fit of vapors clouds this demigod.