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To further this, Achitophel unites
The malcontents of all the Israelites;
Whose differing parties he could wisely join,
For several ends to serve the same design.
The best, and of the princes some were such,
Who thought the power of monarchy too much;
Mistaken men, and patriots in their hearts,
Not wicked, but seduc'd by impious arts.
By these the springs of property were bent,
And wound so high, they crack'd the government.
The next for interest sought to' embroil the state,
To sell their duty at a dearer rate,
And make their Jewish markets of the throne,
Pretending public good, to serve their own.
Others thought kings an useless heavy load,
Who cost too much, and did too little good :
These were for laying honest David by,
On principles of pure good husbandry.
With them join'd all the haranguers of the throng,
That thought to get preferment by the tongue.
Who follow next a double danger bring,
Not only hating David, but the King;
The Solymean Rout, well vers'd of old,
In godly faction, and in treason bold;
Cowering and quaking at a conqueror's sword,
But lofty to a lawful prince restor’d;
Saw with disdain an Ethnic-plot begun,
And scorn'd by Jebusites to be outdone.
Hot Levites headed these, who pull'd before
From the ark, which in the Judges' days they bore,
Resum'd their cant, and with a zealous cry
Pursued their old belov'd Theocracy;
Where Sanhedrim and priest enslav'd the nation,
And justified their spoils by inspiration:

For who so fit to reign as Aaron's race,
If once dominion they could found in grace?
These led the pack ; though not of surest scente
Yet deepest mouth'd against the government.
A numerous host of dreaming saints succeed,
Of the true old enthusiastic breed :
'Gainst form and order they their power employ,
Nothing to build, and all things to destroy.
But far more numerous was the herd of such,
Who think too little, and who talk too much :
These out of mere instinct, they knew not why,
Ador'd their fathers' God and property ;
And, by the same blind benefit of fate,
The devil and the Jebusite did hate :
Born to be sav'd, e'en in their own despite,
Because they could not help believing right.
Such were the tools; but a whole hydra more
Remains, of sprouting heads too long to score.
Some of their chiefs were princes of the land:
In the first rank of these did Zimri stand;
A man so various, that he seem'd to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome ;
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong;
Was every thing by starts, and nothing long ;
But, in the course of one revolving moon,
Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon :
Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking,
Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking.
Blest madman! who could every hour employ
With something new to wish or to enjoy!
Railing and praising were his usual themes,
And both (to show his judgment) in extremes ;
So over violent, or over civil,
That every man with him was god or devil.

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In squandering wealth was his peculiar art;
Nothing went unrewarded, but desert:
Beggar'd by fools, whom still he found too late ;
He had his jest, and they had his estate.
He laugh'd himself from Court; then sought relief
By forming parties, but could ne'er be chief:
For, spite of him, the weight of business fell
On Absalom, and wise Achitophel :
Thus, wicked but in will, of means bereft,
He left not faction, but of that was left.

Titles and names 'twere tedious to rehearse
Of lords below the dignity of verse :
Wits, warriors, commonwealths-men, were the best ;
Kind husbands, and mere nobles all the rest.
And, therefore, in the name of dulness, be
The well-hung Balaam and cold Caleb free;
And canting Nadab let oblivion damn,
Who made new porridge for the paschal lamb.
Let friendship’s holy band some names assure,
Some their own worth, and some let scorn secure.
Nor shall the rascal rabble here have place,
Whom kings no titles gave, and God no grace:
Not bull-fac'd Jonas, who could statutes draw
To mean rebellion, and make treason law.
But he, though bad, is follow'd by a worse,
The wretch who Heaven's Anointed dar'd to curse,
Shimei, whose youth did early promise bring
Of zeal to God, and hatred to his king :
Did wisely from expensive sins refrain,
And never broke the Sabbath but for gain;
Nor ever was he known an oath to vent,
Or curse, unless against the government.
Thus heaping wealth, by the most ready way
Among the Jews, which was to cheat and pray;

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The City, to reward his pious hate
Against his master, chose him magistrate.
His hand a vase of justice did uphold:
His neck was loaded with a chain of gold.
During his office treason was no crime;
The sons of Belial had a glorious time:
For Shimei, though not prodigal of pelf,
Yet lov'd his wicked neighbour as himself.
When two or three were gather'd to declaim
Against the Monarch of Jerusalem,
Shimei was always in the midst of them;
And if they curs'd the king when he was by,
Would rather curse than break good company.
If any durst his factious friends accuse,
He pack'd a jury of dissenting Jews,
Whose fellew-feeling in the godly cause
Would free the suffering saint from human laws:
For laws are only made to punish those
Who serve the king, and to protect his foes.
If any leisure time he had from pow'r,
(Because 'tis sin to misemploy an hour)
His business was, by writing to persuade
That kings were useless, and a clog to trade ;
And, that his noble style he might refine,
No Rechabite more shunn'd the fumes of wine.
Chaste were his cellars, and his shrieval board
The grossness of a City-feast abhorr’d:
His cooks, with long disuse, their trade forgot,
Cool was his kitchen, though his brains were hot
Such frugal virtue malice may accuse,
But sure 'twas necessary to the Jews :
For towns, once burnt, such magistrates require
As dare not tempt God's providence by fire.

With spiritual food he fed his servants well,
But free from flesh that made the jews rebel;
And Moses' laws he held in more account,
For forty days of fasting in the Mount.

To speak the rest, who better are forgot,
Would tire a well-breath'd witness of the plot:
Yet Corah, thou shalt from oblivion pass;
Erect thyself, thou monumental brass,
High as the serpent of thy metal made,
While nations stand secure beneath thy shade.
What though his birth were base, yet comets

rise From earthly vapours ere they shine in skies. Prodigious actions may as well be done By weaver's issue as by prince's son. This arch-attester for the public good By that one deed enobles all his blood. Who ever ask'd the witnesses' high race, Whose oath with martyrdom did Stephen grace? Ours was a Levite, and, as times went then, His tribe were God Almighty's gentlemen. Sunk were his eyes, his voice was harsh and loud, Sure signs he neither choleric was, nor proud ; His long chin prov'd his wit ; his saint-like grace A church-vermilion, and a Moses' face. His memory, miraculously great, Could plots exceeding man's belief repeat, Which therefore cannot be accounted lies, For human wit could never such devise. Some future truths are mingled in his book, But where the witness fail'd, the prophet spoke : Some things like visionary fight appear, The Spirit caught him up, the Lord knows where,

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