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Some juster motive sure your mind withdraws, And makes you break our friendship’s holy laws; For barefac'd envy is too base a cause.
“ Show more occasion for your discontent; Your love, the Wolf, would help you to invent: Some German quarrel, or, as times go now, Some French, where force is uppermost, will do. When at the fountain's head, as merit ought To claim the place, you take a swilling draught, How easy 'tis an envious eye to throw, And tax the sheep for troubling streams below; Or call her (when no farther cause you find) An enemy profess'd of all your kind: But then, perhaps, the wicked world would think The Wolf design'd to eat as well as drink.”
This last allusion gall'd the Panther more,
Because, indeed, it rubb’d upon the sore;
Yet seem'd she not to winch, though shrewdly pain'd,
But thus her passive character maintain'd:
“I never grudg'd, whate'er my foes report,
Your flaunting fortune in the Lion's court.
You have your day, or you are much belied,
But I am always on the suffering side:
You know my doctrine, and I need not say
I will not, but I cannot disobey.
On this firm principle I ever stood;
He of my sons who fails to make it good,
By one rebellious act renounces to my blood."
“ Ah! (said the Hind) how many sons have you
Who call you Mother, whom you never knew?
But most of them who that relation plead
Are such ungracious youths as wish you dead,
They gape at rich revenues which you hold,
And fain would nibble at your grandame Gold;
Inquire into your years, and laugh to find
Your crazy temper shows you much declin'd.
Were you not dim, and doted, you might see
A pack of cheats that claim a pedigree,
No more of kin to you, than you to me.
Do you not know, that, for a little coin,
Heralds can foist a name into the line?
They ask you blessing but for what you have,
But once possess'd of what with care you save,
The wanton boys would piss upon your grave.
“Your sons of latitude that court your grace,
Though most resembling you in form and face,
Are far the worst of your pretended race;
And, but I blush your honesty to blot,
Pray God you prove 'em lawfully begot:
For in some Popish libels I have read,
The Wolf has been too busy in your bed;
At least her hinder parts the belly piece,
The paunch, and all that Scorpio claims, are his.
Their malice, too, a sore suspicion brings;
For though they dare not bark, they snarl at kings:
Nor blame 'em for intruding in your line;
Fat bishoprics are still of right divine.
“Think you your new French proselytes are
To starve abroad, because they starv'd at home?
Your benefices twinkled from afar ;
They found the new Messiah by the star :
Those Swisses fight on any side for pay,
And 'tis the living that conforms, not they.
Mark with what management their tribes divide;
Some stick to you, and some to ť other side,
That many churches may for many mouths pro-
More vacant pulpits would more converts make;
All would have latitude enough to take;
The rest unbenefic'd your sects maintain;
For ordinations without cures are vain,
And chamber practice is a silent gain.
Your sons of breadth at home are much like these ;
Their soft and yielding metals run with ease;
They melt, and take the figure of the ould,
But harden, and preserve it best in gold."
“ Your Delphic sword (the Panther then replied)
Is double-edg'd, and cuts on either side.
Some sons of mine, who bear upon their shield
Three steeples argent in a sable field,
Have sharply tax'd your converts, who, unfed,
Have follow'd you for miracles of bread;
Such who themselves of no religion are,
Allur'd with gain for any will declare:
Bare lies with bold assertions they can face,
But dint of argument is out of place :
The grim logician puts 'em in a fright;
'Tis easier far to flourish than to fight.
Thus our eighth Henry's marriage they defame ;)
They say the schism of beds began the game,
Divorcing from the church to wed the dame :
Though largely prov’d, and by himself profess'd,
That conscience, conscience would not let him
I mean not till possess'd of her he lov'd,
And old uncharming Catharine was remov'd.
For sundry years before he did complain,
And told his ghostly confessor his pain:
With the same impudence, without a ground,
They say, that look the reformation round,
No treatise of Humility is found :
But if none were, the gospel does not want;
Our Saviour preach'd it, and I hope you grant
The sermon on the mount was Protestant."
“No doubt, (replied the Hind) as sure as all
The writings of St. Peter and St. Paul;
On that decision let it stand or fall.
Now, for my converts, who, you say, unfed
Have follow'd me for miracles of bread;
Judge not by hear-say, but observe, at least,
If, since their change, their loaves have been in-
The Lion buys no converts; if he did,
Beasts would be sold as fast as he could bid.
Tax those of interest who conform for gain,
Or stay the market of another reign ;
Your broad-way sons would never be too nice
To close with Calvin, if he paid their price;
But, rais'd three steeples higher, would change their
And quit the cassock for the canting coat.
Now, if you damn this censure, as too bold,
Judge by yourselves, and think not others sold.
“ Mean time, my sons, accus'd by Fame's report,
Pay small attendance at the Lion's court;
Nor rise with early crowds, nor flatter late ;
For silently they beg, who daily wait.
Preferment is bestow'd that comes unsought,
Attendance is a bribe, and then 'tis bought.
How they should speed, their fortune is untried,
For not to ask is not to be denied.
For what they have, their God and king they bless;
And hope they should not murmur, had they less;
But if reduc'd subsistence to implore,
In common prudence they would pass your door.
Unpitied Hudibras, your champion-friend,
Has shown how far your charities extend:
This lasting verse shall on his tomb be read,
“He sham'd you living, and upbraids you dead.'
With odious atheist names you load your foes;
Your liberal clergy why did I expose ?
It never fails in charities like those.
In climes where true religion is profess’d,
That imputation were no laughing jest:
But Imprimatur, with a chaplain's name,
Is here sufficient license to defame.
What wonder is't that black detraction thrives?
The homicide of names is less than lives,
And yet the perjur'd murderer survives !”
This said, she paus’d a little, and suppress'd
The boiling indignation of her breast:
She knew the virtue of her blade, nor would
Pollute her satire with ignoble blood :
Her panting foe she saw before her eye,
And back she drew the shining weapon dry.
So when the generous lion has in sight
His equal match, he rouses for the fight;
But when his foe lies prostrate on the plain,
He sheaths his paws, uncurls his angry mane,
And, pleas'd with bloodless honours of the day,
Walks over, and disdains the’ inglorious prey.
So James (if great with less we may compare)
Arrests his rolling thunderbolts in air,
And grants ungrateful friends a lengthen’d space,
To’implore the remnants of long-suffering grace.
This breathing-time the Matron took; and then Resum'd the thread of her discourse again, “ Be vengeance wholly left to powers divine, And let Heaven judge betwixt your sons and mine: