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Beneath this load what abject numbers groan,
Behold yon Wretch, by impious fashion driv'n, Believes and trembles while he scoffs at Heav'n. 76 By weakness strong, and bold thro' fear alone, Hedreads the sneer by shallow Coxcombs thrown; Dauntless pursues the path Spinoza trod; To Man a Coward, and a Brave to God. 8a
IMITATION S. Ver 80. To Man a Coward, etc.]
Vois tu ce Libertin en public intrepide, 66 Qui preche contre un Dieu que dans son Ame il croit ? « Il iroit embrasser la Verité, qu'il voit ; " Mais de ses faux Amis il craint la Raillerie, " Et ne brave ainsi Dieu que par Poltronnerie,
:' BOILEAU, Ep. iii.
Faith, Justice, Heav'n itself now quit their hold, When to false Fame the captiv'd heart is fold: Hence, blind to truth, relentless Cato dy'd; Nought could subdue his Virtue, but his Pride. Hence chaste Lucretia's Innocence betray'd 85 Fell by that Honour which was meant its aid. Thus Virtue links beneath unnumber'd woes, When Passions, born her friends, revolt her foes.
HenceSATIRE’spow'r: 'tis her corrective part, To calm the wild disorders of the heart. 90 She points the arduous height where Glory lies, And teaches mad Ambition to be wise: In the dark bosom wakes the fair desire, Draws good from ill, a brighter flame from fire; Strips black Oppression of her gay disguise, 95 And bids the Hag in native horror rise ; Strikes tow'ring Pride, and lawless Rapine dead, And plants the wreath on Virtue’s awful head.
Nor boasts the Muse a vain imagin’d pow'r, Tho' oft she mourn those ills she cannot cure. 100 The Worthy court her, and the Worthless fear: Who Thun her piercing eye, that eye revere. Her awful voice the Vain and Vile obey, And ev'ry foe to Wisdom feels her sway,
Smarts, Pedants, as she smiles, no more are vain;
IMITATION S. Ver. 110. From pois'nous Vice, &c.] Alluding to these lines of Mr. Pope ;
“ In the nice Bee what Art fo fubtly true
When fell Corruption, by hervaffalscrown'd, 125
But with the friends of Vice, the foes of SATIRE, All truth is Spleen; all just reproof, Ill-nature.
Well may they dread the Muse's fatal skill; Well may they tremble, when she draws her quill: Hermagic quill, that, like ITHURIEL's spear, 135 Reveals the cloven hoof, or lengthen’d ear: Bids Vice and Folly take their nat’ral shapes, Turns Duchesses to strumpets, Beaux to apes; Drags the vile Whisp’rer from his dark abode, Till all the Dæmon starts up from the toad. 140
O fordid maxim, form’d to screen the vile, That true good-nature still must wear a smile ! In frowns array'd her beauties stronger rise, When love of Virtue wakes her scorn of Vice: Where Justice calls, 'tis Cruelty to save; 145 And'tis the Law's good-nature hangs the Knave,
Who combats Virtue’s foe is Virtue's friend;
Oft in unfeeling hearts the shaft is spent: 155 Tho'strong th’example, weak the punishment. They least are pain'd, who merit fatire most; Folly the Laureat's, Vice was Chartres' boast : Then where's the wrong, to gibbet high the name Of Fools and Knaves already dead to shame? 160 Oft Satire acts the faithful Surgeon's part; Gen’rous and kind, tho' painful is her art : With caution bold, the only strikes to heal ; Tho'folly raves to break the friendly steel. Then sure no fault impartial SATIRE knows, 165 Kind ev'n in Vengeance, kind to Virtue's foes. Whose is the crime, the scandal too be theirs: The Knave and Fool are their own Libellers.