The ghost: By C. Churchill. Book III.
Churchill, Charles, 1731-1764.
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THE GHOST. BOOK III.
IT WAS THE HOUR, when Huswife Morn
With Pearl and Linnen hangs each thorn;
When happy Bards, who can regale
Their Muse with Country air and ale,
Ramble afield, to Brooks and Bow'rs,
To pick up Sentiments and Flow'rs;
When Dogs and Squires from kennel fly,
And Hogs and Farmers quit their stye;
When my Lord rises to the Chace,
And brawny Chaplain takes his place.
THESE Images, or bad or good,
If they are rightly understood,
Page 58Sagacious Readers must allow
Proclaim us in the Country now.
For Observations mostly rise
From Objects just before our eyes,
And ev'ry Lord in Critic Wit
Can tell you where the piece was writ,
Can point out, as he goes along,
(And who shall dare to say he's wrong)
Whether the warmth (for Bards, we know,
At present never more than glow)
Was in the Town or Country caught,
By the peculiar turn of thought.
IT WAS THE HOUR—tho' Critics frown
We now declare ourselves in Town,
Nor will a moment's pause allow
For finding when he came, or how.
The Man who deals in humble Prose,
Tied down by rule and method goes,
But they who court the vig'rous Muse
Their carriage have a right to chuse.
Free as the Air, and unconfin'd,
Swift as the motions of the Mind,
Page 59The POET darts from place to place,
And instant bounds o'er Time and Space.
Nature (whilst blended fire and skill
Inflame our passions to his will)
Smiles at her violated Laws,
And crowns his daring with applause.
SHOULD there be still some rigid few
Who keep propriety in view,
Whose heads turn round, and cannot bear
This whirling passage thro' the Air,
Free leave have such at home to sit,
And write a Regimen for Wit:
To clip our Pinions let them try,
Not having heart themselves to fly.
IT WAS THE HOUR, when Devotees
Breathe pious curses on their knees,
When they with pray'rs the day begin
To sanctify a Night of Sin;
When Rogues of Modesty, who roam
Under the veil of Night, sneak home,
That free from all restraint and awe,
Just to the windward of the Law,
Page 60Less modest Rogues their tricks may play
And plunder in the face of day.
BUT hold—whilst thus we play the fool,
In bold contempt of ev'ry rule,
Things of no consequence expressing,
Describing now, and now digressing,
To the discredit of our skill
The main concern is standing still.
IN Plays indeed, when storms of rage
Tempestuous in the Soul engage,
Or when the Spirits weak and low,
Are sunk in deep distress and woe,
With strict Propriety we hear
DESCRIPTION stealing on the ear,
And put off feeling half an hour
To thatch a cot, or paint a flow'r;
But in these serious works, design'd
To mend the morals of Mankind,
We must for ever be disgrac'd
With ev'ry nicer son of Taste,
If once, the Shadow to pursue,
We let the Substance out of view.
Page 61Our means must uniformly tend
In due proportion to their end,
And ev'ry passage aptly join
To bring about the one design.
Our Friends themselves cannot admit
This rambling, wild, digressive Wit,
No—not those very Friends, who found
Their Credit on the self-same ground.
PEACE, my good grumbling Sir—for once,
Sunk in the solemn, formal Dunce,
This Coxcomb shall your fears beguile—
We will be dull—that you may smile.
COME METHOD, come in all thy pride,
DULLNESS and WHITEHEAD by thy side,
DULLNESS and METHOD still are one,
And WHITEHEAD is their darling Son.
Not HE, whose pen above controul
Struck terror to the guilty Soul,
Made Folly tremble thro' her state,
And Villains blush at being Great;
But HE, who in the Laureat Chair,
By Grace, not Merit planted there,
Page 62In aukward pomp is seen to sit,
And by his Patent proves his Wit;
(For favours of the Great we know,
Can Wit as well as rank bestow,
And they who without one pretension,
Can get for Fools a place or pension,
Must able be suppos'd of course
(If reason is allow'd due force)
To give such qualities and grace,
As may equip them for the place.)
BUT HE—who measures, as he goes,
A mongril kind of tinkling prose,
And is too frugal to dispense
At once both Poetry and Sense,
Who, from amidst his slumb'ring guards,
Deals out a Charge to Subject Bards,
Where Couplets after Couplets creep
Propitious to the reign of sleep,
Yet ev'ry word imprints an awe,
And all his dictates pass for law,
With BEAUX, who simper all around,
And BELLES, who die in ev'ry sound.
Page 63(For in all things of this relation,
Men mostly judge from situation,
Nor in a thousand find we one,
Who really weighs what's said or done.
They deal out Censure, or give Credit,
Merely from him who did or said it.)
BUT HE—who, happily serene,
Means nothing, yet would seem to mean;
Who rules and cautions can dispense
With all that humble insolence,
Which Impudence in vain would teach,
And none but modest men can reach;
Who adds to SENTIMENTS the grace
Of always being out of place,
And drawls out MORALS with an air
A Gentleman would blush to wear;
Who on the chastest, simplest plan,
As Chaste as simple as the Man,
Without or Character, or Plot,
NATURE unknown, and ART forgot,
Can with much racking of the brains,
And years consum'd in letter'd pains,
Page 64An heap of words together lay,
And smirking call the thing a Play;
Who, Champion sworn in Virtue's cause,
'Gainst Vice his tiny bodkin draws,
But, to no part of Prudence stranger,
First blunts the point for fear of danger.
So Nurses sage, as Caution works,
When Children first use knives and forks,
For fear of mischief, it is known,
To others fingers, or their own,
To take the edge off wisely chuse,
Tho' the same stroke takes off the use.
THEE, WHITEHEAD, Thee I now invoke,
Sworn foe to Satyr's gen'rous stroke,
Which makes unwilling Conscience feel,
And wounds, but only wounds to heal.
Good-natur'd, easy Creature, mild,
And gentle as a new-born Child,
Thy heart would never once admit
E'en wholesome rigour to thy Wit,
Thy head, if Conscience should comply,
Its kind assistance would deny,
Page 65And lend thee neither force, nor art,
To drive it onward to the heart.
O may thy sacred pow'r controul
Each fiercer working of my soul,
Damp ev'ry spark of genuine fire,
And languors, like thine own, inspire,
Trite be each Thought, and ev'ry Line
As Moral, and as Dull as THINE.
POIS'D in mid-air—(it matters not
To ascertain the very spot,
Nor yet to give you a relation
How it eluded Gravitation—)
Hung a Watch-Tow'r—by VULCAN plan'd
With such rare skill by JOVE's Command,
That ev'ry word, which whisper'd here
Scarce vibrates to the neighbour ear,
On the still bosom of the Air
Is borne, and heard distinctly there,
The Palace of an antient Dame,
Whom Men as well as Gods call FAME.
A prattling Gossip, on whose tongue
Proof of perpetual motion's hung,
Page 66Whose lungs in strength all lungs surpass,
Like her own Trumpet made of brass,
Who with an hundred pair of eyes
The vain attacks of sleep defies,
Who with an hundred pair of wings
News from the farthest quarters brings,
Sees, hears, and tells, untold before,
All that she knows, and ten times more.
NOT all the Virtues, which we find
Concenter'd in a HUNTER's mind,
Can make her spare the ranc'rous tale,
If in one point she chance to fail;
Or if, once in a thousand years,
A perfect Character appears,
Such as of late with joy and pride
My Soul possess'd, e're A— died,
Or such as, Envy must allow,
The World enjoys in H— now,
This Hag, who aims at all alike,
At Virtues e'en like theirs will strike,
And make faults, in the way of trade,
When she can't find them ready made.
ALL things she takes in, small and great,
Talks of a Toy-shop and a State,
Of Wits and Fools, of Saints and Kings,
Of Garters, Stars, and Leading-Strings,
Of Old Lords fumbling for a Clap,
And Young Ones full of Pray'r and Pap,
Of Courts, of Morals, and Tye-Wigs,
Of Bears, and Serjeants dancing jigs,
Of Grave Professors at the Bar
Learning to thrum on the Guittar,
Whilst Laws are slubber'd o'er in haste,
And Judgment sacrific'd to TASTE,
Of whited Sepulchres, Lawn Sleeves,
And GOD's house made a den of thieves,
Of Fun'ral pomps, where Clamours hung,
And fix'd disgrace on ev'ry tongue,
Whilst SENSE and ORDER blush'd to see
Nobles without HUMANITY;
Of Coronations, where each heart
With honest raptures bore a part,
Of City Feasts, where ELEGANCE
Was proud her Colours to advance,
And GLUTTONY, uncommon case,
Could only get the second place,
Page 68Of New-rais'd Pillars in the State,
Who must be good as being great,
Of Shoulders, on which HONOURS sit
Almost as clumsily as Wit;
Of doughty Knights, whom titles please,
But not the payment of the Fees,
Of Lectures, whither ev'ry Fool
In second child-hood goes to school,
Of grey Beards deaf to Reason's call,
From Inn of Court, or City Hall,
Whom youthful Appetites enslave,
With one Foot fairly in the grave,
By help of Crutch, a needful Brother,
Learning of HART to dance with t'other,
Of Doctors regularly bred
To fill the mansions of the dead,
Of Quacks (for Quacks they must be still
Who save when FORMS require to kill)
Who life, and health, and vigour give
To HIM, not one would wish to live,
Of Artists, who with noblest view
Disinterested plans pursue,
For trembling worth the ladder raise,
And mark out the ascent to praise,
Page 69Of Arts and Sciences, where meet
Sublime, Profound, and all compleat,
A SET (whom at some fitter time
The MUSE shall consecrate in Rhime)
Who humble ARTISTS to out do
A far more lib'ral plan pursue,
And let their well-judg'd PREMIUMS fall
On Those, who have no worth at all,
Of Sign-Post Exhibitions, rais'd
For laughter, more than to be prais'd,
(Tho' by the way we cannot see
Why Praise and Laughter mayn't agree)
Where genuine HUMOUR runs to waste,
And justly chides our want of Taste,
Censur'd, like other things, tho' good,
Because they are not understood.
To higher subjects now SHE soars,
And talks of Politics and Whores,
(If to your nice and chaster ears
That Term indelicate appears,
SCRIPTURE politely shall refine,
And melt It into Concubine)
Page 70In the same breath spreads BOURBON's league,
And publishes the Grand Intrigue,
In BRUSSELS or our own GAZETTE,
Makes armies fight which never met,
And circulates the Pox or Plague
To LONDON, by the way of HAGUE,
For all the lies which there appear,
Stamp'd with Authority come here;
Borrows as freely from the gabble
Of some rude leader of a rabble,
Or from the quaint harangues of those
Who lead a Nation by the Nose,
As from those storms which, void of Art,
Burst from our honest PATRIOT's heart,
When ELOQUENCE and VIRTUE (late
Remark'd to live in mutual hate)
Fond of each other's Friendship grown,
Claim ev'ry sentence for their own,
And with an equal joy recites
Parade Amours, and half-pay Fights,
Perform'd by Heroes of fair Weather,
Merely by dint of Lace and Feather,
As those rare acts, which HONOUR taught
Our daring Sons where GRANBY fought,
Page 71Or those which, with superior skill,
— — atchiev'd by standing still.
THIS HAG (the curious if they please
May search from earliest Times to these,
And POETS they will always see,
With Gods and Goddesses make free,
Treating them all, except the MUSE,
As scarcely fit to wipe their shoes)
Who had beheld, from first to last,
How our TRIUMVIRATE had pass'd
Night's dreadful interval, and heard
With strict attention ev'ry word,
Soon as she saw return of light
On sounding pinions took her flight.
SWIFT thro' the regions of the sky,
Above the reach of human eye,
Onward she drove the furious blast,
And rapid as a whirlwind past,
O'er Countries, once the seats of Taste,
By Time and Ignorance laid waste,
O'er lands, where former ages saw
Reason and Truth the only Law,
Page 72Where Arts and Arms, and Public Love
In gen'rous emulation strove,
Where Kings were proud of legal sway,
And Subjects happy to obey,
Tho' now in slav'ry sunk, and broke
To Superstition's galling yoke,
Of Arts, of Arms, no more they tell,
Or Freedom which with Science fell.
By Tyrants aw'd, who never find
The Passage to their people's mind,
To whom the joy was never known
Of planting in the heart their throne,
Far from all prospect of relief
Their hours in fruitless pray'rs and grief,
For loss of blessings they employ,
Which WE unthankfully enjoy.
Now is the time (had we the will)
T'amaze the Readers with our skill,
To pour out such a flood of knowledge
As might suffice for a whole College,
Whilst with a true Poetic force
We trac'd the Goddess in her course,
Page 73Sweetly describing in our flight,
Each Common and Uncommon Sight,
Making our journal gay and pleasant,
With things long past, and things now present.
Rivers—once NYMPHS—(a Transformation
Is mighty pretty in Relation)
From great Authorities we know
Will matter for a Tale bestow.
To make the observation clear
We give our Friends an instance here.
THE DAY (that never is forgot)
Was very fine, but very hot;
The NYMPH (another gen'ral rule)
Enflam'd with heat, laid down to cool;
Her Hair (we no exceptions find)
Wav'd careless floating in the wind;
Her heaving breasts, like Summer seas,
Seem'd am'rous of the playful breeze;
Should fond DESCRIPTION tune our lays
In choicest accents to her praise,
DESCRIPTION we at last should find
Baffled and weak would halt behind.
Page 74NATURE had form'd her to inspire
In ev'ry bosom soft desire,
Passions to raise she could not feel,
Wounds to inflict she would not heal.
A GOD (his name is no great matter,
Perhaps a JOVE, perhaps a SATYR)
Raging with Lust, a GODLIKE flame,
By Chance, as usual, thither came:
With gloting eyes the Fair one view'd,
Desir'd her first, and then pursu'd;
She (for what other can she do)
Must fly — or how can He pursue?
The Muse (so Custom hath decreed)
Now proves her Spirit by her speed,
Nor must one limping line disgrace
The life and vigour of the Race.
SHE RUNS, AND HE RUNS, 'till at length
Quite destitute of Breath and strength,
To Heav'n (for there we all apply
For help, when there's no other nigh)
She offers up her Virgin Pray'r,
(Can Virgins pray unpitied there)
And when the God thinks He has caught her,
Slips thro' his hands, and runs to water,
Page 75Becomes a Stream, in which the POET,
If He has any Wit, may shew it.
A City once for Pow'r renown'd,
Now levell'd even to the ground,
Beyond all doubt is a direction
To introduce some fine reflexion.
Ah, woeful me! Ah, woeful Man!
Ah! woeful All, do all we can!
Who can on earthly things depend
From one to t'other moment's end?
HONOUR, WIT, GENIUS, WEALTH, and GLORY,
Good lack! good lack! are transitory,
Nothing is sure and stable found,
The very Earth itself turns round.
Monarchs, nay MINISTERS must die,
Must rot, must stink—Ah, me! ah, why!
Cities themselves in Time decay,
If Cities thus—Ah, well-a-day!
If Brick and Mortar have an end,
On what can Flesh and Blood depend?
Ah woeful me! Ah woeful Man!
Ah, woeful All, do All we can.
ENGLAND (for that's at last the Scene,
Tho' Worlds on Worlds should rise between,
Whither we must our course pursue)
ENGLAND should call into review
Times long since past indeed, but not
By ENGLISHMEN to be forgot,
Tho' ENGLAND, once so dear to Fame,
Sinks in GREAT BRITAIN's dearer name.
HERE could we mention Chiefs of old,
In plain and rugged honour bold,
To Virtue kind, to Vice severe,
Strangers to Bribery and Fear,
Who kept no wretched Clans in awe,
Who never broke, or warp'd the Law,
Patriots, whom in her better days
Old Rome might have been proud to raise,
Who, steddy to their Country's claim,
Boldly stood up in Freedom's name,
E'en to the teeth of Tyrant Pride,
And, when they could no more, THEY DIED.
THERE (striking contrast) might we place
A servile, mean, degen'rate race,
Page 77Hirelings, who valued nought but gold,
By the best Bidder bought and sold,
Truants from Honour's sacred Laws,
Betrayers of their Country's cause,
The Dupes of Party, Tools of Pow'r,
Slaves to the Minion of an Hour,
Lacquies, who watch'd a Favorite's nod,
And took a Puppet for their God.
SINCERE and honest in our Rimes
How might we praise these happier times!
How might the Muse exalt her lays,
And wanton in a Monarch's praise,
Tell of a Prince in ENGLAND born,
Whose Virtues ENGLAND's crown adorn,
In Youth a pattern unto age,
So chaste, so Pious, and so Sage,
Who, true to all those sacred bands
Which private happiness demands,
Yet never let's them rise above
The stronger ties of Public Love.
WITH conscious Pride see ENGLAND stand,
Our holy Charter in her hand,
Page 78She waves it round, and o'er the Isle
See Liberty and Courage smile.
No more she mourns her treasures hurl'd
In Subsidies to all the world,
No more by foreign threats dismay'd,
No more deceiv'd with foreign aid,
She deals out Sums to petty States,
Whom Honour scorns, and Reason hates,
But, wiser by Experience grown,
Finds safety in herself alone.
WHILST thus, she cries, my children stand,
An honest, valiant, native band,
A train'd MILITIA, brave and free,
True to their KING, and true to ME,
No foreign Hirelings shall be known,
Nor need we Hirelings of our own.
Under a just and pious reign
The Statesman's sophistry is vain,
Vain is each vile corrupt pretence,
These are my natural defence,
Their Faith I know, and they shall prove,
The Bulwark of the KING they Love.
THESE, and a thousand things beside,
Did we consult a Poet's Pride,
Some gay, some serious, might be said,
But ten to one they'd not be read,
Or were they by some curious few
Not even those would think them true.
For, from the time that JUBAL first
Sweet ditties to the harp rehears'd,
Poets have always been suspected
Of having Truth in Rhime neglected,
That Bard except, who, from his Youth
Equally fam'd for Faith and Truth,
By Prudence taught in courtly chime,
To Courtly ears brought Truth in Rhime.
BUT tho' to Poets we allow,
No matter when acquir'd or how,
From Truth unbounded deviation,
Which custom calls Imagination,
Yet can't they be suppos'd to lie
One half so fast as FAME can fly.
Therefore (to solve this Gordian knot,
A point we almost had forgot)
Page 80To courteous Readers be it known
That fond of verse and falshood grown,
Whilst we in sweet digression sung,
FAME check'd her flight, and held her tongue,
And now pursues with double force,
And double speed her destin'd course,
Nor stops, 'till She the place arrives
Where GENIUS starves, and DULLNESS thrives,
Where Riches Virtue are esteem'd,
And Craft is truest Wisdom deem'd,
Where COMMERCE proudly rears her throne
In state to other Lands unknown,
Where to be cheated and to cheat
Strangers from ev'ry quarter meet,
Where CHRISTIANS, JEWS, and TURKS shake hands,
United in Commercial bands,
All of one Faith, and that to own
No GOD but INTEREST alone.
WHEN Gods and Goddesses come down
To look about them here in Town,
(For Change of Air is understood,
By Sons of Physic, to be good,
Page 81In due proportions now and then
For these same Gods as well as Men)
By Custom rul'd, and not a Poet
So very dull, but he must know it,
In order to remain incog,
They always travel in a fog.
For if we Majesty expose
To vulgar eyes, too cheap it grows,
The force is lost, and free from awe,
We spy and censure ev'ry flaw.
But well preserv'd from public view,
It always breaks forth fresh and new,
Fierce as the Sun in all his pride
It shines, and not a spot's descried.
WAS JOVE to lay his thunder by,
And with his brethren of the sky
Descend to earth, and frisk about,
Like chatt'ring N * * *, from rout to rout,
He would be found with all his host,
A nine days Wonder at the most.
Would we in trim our Honours wear,
We must preserve them from the air;
What is familiar, Men neglect,
However worthy of respect.
Page 82Did they not find a certain friend
In Novelty to recommend,
(Such we by sad experience find
The wretched folly of mankind)
VENUS might unattractive shine,
And H * * * fix no eyes but mine.
BUT FAME, who never car'd a jot
Whether she was admir'd or not,
And never blush'd to shew her face
At any time in any place,
In her own shape, without disguise,
And visible to mortal eyes,
On CHANGE, exact at seven o'clock,
Alighted on the Weather-Cock,
Which, planted there time out of mind
To note the changes of the wind,
Might no improper emblem be
Of her own mutability.
THRICE did She sound her TRUMP (the same
Which from the first belong'd to FAME,
An old ill-favour'd Instrument
With which the Goddess was content,
Page 83Tho' under a politer race
Bag-pipes might well supply its place)
And thrice, awaken'd by the sound,
A gen'ral din prevail'd around,
CONFUSION thro' the City past,
And FEAR bestrode the dreadful blast.
THOSE fragrant Currents, which we meet
Distilling soft thro' ev'ry street,
Affrighted from the usual course
Ran murm'ring upwards to their source;
Statues wept tears of blood, as fast
As when a CAESAR breath'd his last;
Horses, which always us'd to go,
A foot-pace in my Lord-Mayor's Shew,
Impetuous from their Stable broke,
And ALDERMEN, and OXEN spoke.
HALLS felt the force, Tow'rs shook around,
And Steeples nodded to the ground,
ST. PAUL himself (strange sight) was seen
To bow as humbly as the Dean.
The Mansion-House, for ever plac'd
A Monument of City Taste,
Page 84Trembl'd, and seem'd aloud to groan
Thro' all that hideous weight of stone.
To still the sound, or stop her ears,
Remove the cause or sense of fears,
PHYSIC, in College seated high,
Would any thing but Med'cine try.
No more in PEWT'RER's-HALL was heard
The proper force of ev'ry word,
Those seats were desolate become,
And hapless ELOCUTION dumb.
FORM, City-born, and City-bred,
By strict Decorum ever led,
Who threescore years had known the grace
Of one, dull, stiff, unvaried pace;
TERROR prevailing over PRIDE,
Was seen to take a larger stride;
Worn to the bone, and cloath'd in rags,
See AV'RICE closer hug his bags;
With her own weight unwieldy grown,
See CREDIT totter on her Throne;
VIRTUE alone, had She been there,
The mighty sound unmov'd could bear.
UP from the gorgeous bed, where Fate
Dooms annual Fools to sleep in state,
To sleep so sound that not one gleam
Of Fancy can provoke a dream,
Great DULLMAN started at the sound,
Gap'd, rub'd his eyes, and star'd around.
Much did he wish to know, much fear
Whence sounds so horrid struck his ear,
So much unlike those peaceful notes,
That equal harmony which floats
On the dull wing of City air,
Grave prelude to a feast or fair;
Much did he inly ruminate
Concerning the decrees of Fate,
Revolving, tho' to little end,
What this same trumpet might portend.
COULD the FRENCH—no—that could not be
Under BUTE's active ministry,
Too watchful to be so deceiv'd,
Have stolen hither unperceiv'd,
To NEWFOUNDLAND indeed we know,
Fleets of war unobserv'd may go,
Page 86Or, if observ'd, may be suppos'd,
At intervals when Reason doz'd,
No other point in view to bear
But Pleasure, Health, and Change of Air.
But Reason ne'er could sleep so sound
To let an enemy be found
In our Land's heart, e're it was known
They had departed from their own.
OR could his Successor (Ambition
Is ever haunted with suspicion)
His daring Successor elect
All Customs, rules, and forms reject,
And aim, regardless of the crime,
To seize the chair before his time;
OR (deeming this the lucky hour,
Seeing his Countrymen in pow'r,
Those Countrymen, who from the first
In tumults and Rebellion nurs'd,
Howe'er they wear the mask of art,
Still love a STUART in their heart)
Could SCOTTISH CHARLES — Conjecture thus,
That mental IGNIS FATUUS,
Page 87Led his poor brains a weary dance
From FRANCE to ENGLAND, hence to FRANCE,
Till INFORMATION, (in the shape
Of Chaplain learned, good SIR CRAPE,
A lazy, lounging, pamper'd Priest,
Well known at ev'ry City feast,
For he was seen much oft'ner there
Than in the House of God at Pray'r;
Who, always ready in his place,
Ne'er let God's creatures wait for grace,
Tho', as the best Historians write,
Less fam'd for Faith than Appetite,
His disposition to reveal,
The Grace was short, and long the meal;
Who always would excess admit,
If Haunch or Turtle came with it,
And ne'er engag'd in the defence
Of self-denying Abstinence,
When he could fortunately meet
With any thing he lik'd to eat;
Who knew that Wine, on Scripture plan,
Was made to cheer the heart of Man,
Knew too, by long experience taught,
That Chearfulness was kill'd by thought,
Page 88And, from those premisses collected,
(Which few perhaps would have suspected)
That none, who with due share of sense
Observ'd the ways of Providence,
Could with safe Conscience leave off drinking,
Till they had lost the pow'r of thinking)
With eyes half-clos'd came waddling in,
And, having strok'd his double chin,
(That Chin, whose credit to maintain
Against the Scoffs of the profane
Had cost him more, than ever State
Paid for a poor Electorate,
Which, after all the cost and rout,
It had been better much without)
Briefly (for Breakfast, you must know,
Was waiting all the while below)
Related, bowing to the ground,
The cause of that uncommon sound,
Related too, that at the door
POMPOSO, PLAUSIBLE, and M—E,
Begg'd that FAME might not be allow'd,
Their shame to publish to the croud,
That some new laws he would provide,
(If Old could not be misapplied
Page 89With as much ease and safety there,
As they are misapplied elsewhere)
By which it might be construed treason
In Man to exercise his reason;
Which might ingeniously devise
One punishment for Truth and Lies,
And fairly prove, when they had done,
That Truth and Falshood were but one;
Which JURIES must indeed retain,
But their effect should render vain,
Making all real pow'r to rest
In one corrupted rotten breast,
By whose false gloss the very BIBLE
Might be interpreted a Libel.
M * * *, (who, his Reverence to save,
Pleaded the Fool to screen the Knave,
Tho' all, who witnessed on his part,
Swore for his head against his heart)
Had taken down from first to last
A just account of all that past;
But, since the gracious will of Fate,
Who mark'd the Child for wealth and state
Page 90E'en in his Cradle, had decreed
The mighty DULLMAN ne'er should read,
That office of disgrace to bear
The smooth-lip'd PLAUSIBLE was there.
From H * * * * * e'en to CLERKENWELL
Who knows not smooth-lip'd PLAUSIBLE?
A Preacher deem'd of greatest note,
For Preaching that which others wrote.
HAD DULLMAN now (and Fools we see
Seldom want Curiosity)
Consented (but the mourning shade
Of GASCOIGNE hast'ned to his aid,
And in his hand, what could he more,
Triumphant CANNING's Picture bore)
That our three Heroes should advance
And read their Comical Romance,
How rich a feast, what royal fare
We for our Readers might prepare!
So rich, and yet so safe a feast,
That no one foreign blatant beast,
Within the purlieus of the Law,
Should dare thereon to lay his paw,
Page 91And, growling, cry with surly tone,
Keep off—this feast is all my own.
BENDING to earth the downcast eye,
Or planting it against the sky,
As One immers'd in deepest Thought,
Or with some holy Vision caught,
His Hands, to aid the traitor's art,
Devoutly folded o'er his heart,
Here M * * * *, in fraud well skill'd, should go
All Saint, with solemn step and slow.
O that RELIGION's sacred name,
Meant to inspire the purest flame,
A Prostitute should ever be
To that Arch-fiend HYPOCRISY,
Where we find ev'ry other vice
Crown'd with damn'd sneaking Cowardice;
Bold Sin reclaim'd is often seen;
Past hope that Man, who dares be mean.
THERE, full of flesh, and full of Grace,
With that fine round unmeaning face,
Which NATURE gives to sons of earth,
Whom she designs for ease and mirth,
Page 92Should the prim PLAUSIBLE be seen;
Observe his stiff affected mein,
'Gainst NATURE arm'd by GRAVITY
His features too in buckle see,
See, with what Sanctity he reads,
With what Devotion tells his beads!
Now Prophet, shew me by thine art
What's the Religion of his heart:
Shew there, if Truth thou can'st unfold,
Religion center'd all in Gold,
Shew Him, nor fear Correction's rod,
As false to Friendship, as to GOD.
HORRID, unweildy, without Form,
Savage, as OCEAN in a Storm,
Of size prodigious, in the rear,
That Post of Honour, should appear
POMPOSO; Fame around should tell
How he a slave to int'rest fell,
How, for Integrity renown'd,
Which Booksellers have often found,
He for Subscribers baits his hook,
And takes their cash—but where's the Book?
Page 93No matter where—Wise Fear, we know,
Forbids the robbing of a Foe,
But what, to serve our private ends
Forbids the cheating of our Friends?
No Man alive, who would not swear
All's safe, and therefore honest there.
For, spite of all the learned say,
If we to Truth attention pay,
The word Dishonesty is meant
For nothing else but Punishment.
Fame too should tell, nor heed the threat
Of Rogues, who Brother Rogues abet,
Nor tremble at the terrors hung
Aloft, to make her hold her tongue,
How, to all Principles untrue,
Nor fix'd to old Friends, nor to New,
He damns the Pension which he takes,
And loves the STUART he forsakes.
NATURE (who justly regular
Is very seldom known to err,
But now and then in sportive mood,
As some rude wits have understood,
Or through much work requir'd in haste,
Is with a random stroke disgrac'd)
Page 94POMPOSO form'd on doubtful plan,
Not quite a Beast, nor quite a Man,
Like—God knows what—for never yet
Could the most subtle human Wit,
Find out a Monster, which might be
The Shadow of a Simile.
THESE THREE, THESE GREAT, THESE MIGHTY THREE,
Nor can the Poet's Truth agree,
Howe'er Report hath done him wrong,
And warp'd the purpose of his song,
Amongst the refuse of their race,
The Sons of Infamy, to place
That open, gen'rous, manly mind,
Which we with joy in ALDRICH find.
THESE THREE, who now are faintly shewn,
Just sketch'd, and scarcely to be known,
If DULLMAN their Request had heard,
In stronger Colours had appear'd,
And Friends, tho' partial, at first view,
Shudd'ring, had own'd the picture true.
BUT had their Journal been display'd,
And the whole process open laid,
Page 95What a vast, unexhausted field
For Mirth, must such a Journal yield!
In her own anger strongly charm'd,
'Gainst Hope, 'gainst Fear by Conscience arm'd,
Then had bold SATIRE made her way,
Knights, Lords, and Dukes her destin'd prey.
BUT PRUDENCE, ever sacred name
To those who feel not VIRTUE's flame,
Or only feel it at the best
As the dull dupe of Interest,
Whisper'd aloud (for this we find
A Custom current with Mankind,
So loud to Whisper, that each word
May all around be plainly heard,
And Prudence sure would never miss
A Custom so contriv'd as this
Her Candour to secure, yet aim
Sure Death against another's fame)
Knights, Lords, and Dukes—mad wretch, forbear,
Dangers unthought of ambush there;
Confine thy rage to weaker slaves,
Laugh at small Fools, and lash small Knaves,
Page 96But never, helpless, mean, and poor,
Rush on, where Laws cannot secure,
Nor think thyself, mistaken Youth,
Secure in Principles of Truth.
Truth! why, shall ev'ry wretch of Letters
Dare to speak Truth against his Betters?
Let ragged VIRTUE stand aloof,
Nor mutter accents of reproof;
Let ragged WIT a Mute become,
When Wealth and Pow'r would have her dumb.
For who the Devil doth not know,
That Titles and Estates bestow
An ample stock, where're they fall,
Of Graces which we mental call.
Beggars in ev'ry age and nation,
Are Rogues and Fools by Situation,
The Rich and Great are understood,
To be of Course both wise and good.
Consult then Int'rest more than Pride,
Discreetly take the stronger side,
Desert in Time the simple few,
Who Virtue's barren path pursue,
Adopt my maxims—follow Me—
To BAAL bow the prudent knee;
Page 97Deny thy God, betray thy Friend,
At BAAL's altars hourly bend,
So shalt Thou rich and great be seen;
To be Great now, You must be mean.
HENCE, Tempter, to some weaker Soul,
Which Fear and Interest controul,
Vainly thy precepts are address'd
Where VIRTUE steels the steady breast.
Through Meanness wade to boasted pow'r,
Through Guilt repeated ev'ry hour,
What is thy Gain, when all is done,
What mighty Laurels hast Thou won?
Dull Crouds, to whom the heart's unknown,
Praise Thee for Virtues not thine own;
But will, at once Man's scourge and friend,
Impartial CONSCIENCE too commend?
From her reproaches can'st Thou fly?
Can'st Thou with worlds her silence buy?
Believe it not—her stings shall find
A Passage to thy Coward Mind,
There shall she fix her sharpest dart,
There shew Thee truly, as Thou art,
Page 98Unknown to those, by whom Thou'rt priz'd;
Known to Thyself, to be despis'd.
THE Man, who weds the sacred MUSE,
Disdains all mercenary views,
And He, who VIRTUE's throne would rear,
Laughs at the Phantoms rais'd by Fear.
Tho' Folly, rob'd in Purple, shines,
Tho' Vice exhausts Peruvian mines,
Yet shall they tremble, and turn pale,
When SATIRE wields her mighty Flail;
Or should They, of rebuke afraid,
With M * * * * seek Hell's deepest shade,
SATIRE, still mindful of her aim,
Shall bring the Cowards back to Shame.
HATED by many, lov'd by few,
Above each little private view,
Honest, tho' poor, and who shall dare
To disappoint my boasting there?
Hardy and resolute, tho' weak,
The dictates of my heart to speak,
Willing I bend at SATIRE's Throne;
What Pow'r I have, be all her own.
NOR shall yon Lawyer's specious art,
Conscious of a corrupted heart,
Create imaginary Fear
To damp us in our bold Career.
Why should we Fear, and what? the Laws?
They all are arm'd in VIRTUE's cause.
And, aiming at the self-same end,
SATIRE is always VIRTUE's Friend.
Nor shall that Muse, whose honest rage,
In a corrupt degen'rate age,
(When, dead to ev'ry nicer sense,
Deep sunk in Vice and Indolence,
The Spirit of old ROME was broke
Beneath the Tyrant Fidler's yoke)
Banish'd the Rose from NERO's cheek;
Under a BRUNSWICK fear to speak.
DRAWN by Conceit from REASON's plan,
How vain is that poor Creature, MAN!
How pleas'd is ev'ry paultry elf
To prate about that thing himself!
After my Promise made in Rhime,
And meant in earnest at that time,
Page 100To jog, according to the Mode,
In one dull pace, in one dull road,
What but that Curse of Heart and Head
To this digression could have led,
Where plung'd, in vain I look about,
And can't stay in, nor well get out.
COULD I, whilst Humor held the Quill,
Could I digress with half that skill,
Could I with half that skill return,
Which we so much admire in STERNE,
Where each Digression, seeming vain,
And only fit to entertain,
Is found on better recollection,
To have a just and nice Connection,
To help the whole with wond'rous art,
Whence it seems idly to depart,
Then should our Readers ne'er accuse
These wild excursions of the Muse,
Ne'er backward turn dull Pages o'er
To recollect what went before;
Deeply impress'd, and ever new
Each Image past should start to view,
Page 101And We to DULLMAN now come in,
As if we ne'er had absent been.
HAVE you not seen, when danger's near,
The coward cheek turn white with fear?
Have you not seen, when danger's fled,
The self-same cheek with joy turn red?
These are low symptoms which we find
Fit only for a vulgar mind,
Where honest features, void of art,
Betray the feelings of the heart;
Our DULLMAN with a face was bless'd
Where no one passion was express'd,
His eye, in a fine stupor caught,
Imply'd a plenteous lack of thought,
Nor was one line that whole face seen in,
Which could be justly charg'd with meaning.
TO AVARICE by birth ally'd,
Debauch'd by Marriage into Pride,
In age grown fond of youthful sports,
Of Pomps, of Vanities, and Courts,
And by success too mighty made,
To love his Country, or his Trade,
Page 102Stiff in opinion, (no rare case
With Blockheads in, or out of Place)
Too weak, and insolent of Soul,
To suffer Reason's just controul,
But bending of his own accord
To that trim transient toy, MY LORD,
The dupe of SCOTS (a fatal race,
Whom GOD in wrath contriv'd to place,
To scourge our crimes, and gall our pride,
A constant thorn in ENGLAND's side,
Whom first, our greatness to oppose,
He in his vengeance mark'd for foes,
Then, more to serve his wrathful ends,
And more to curse us, mark'd for Friends)
Deep in the state, if we give credit
To Him, for no one else e're said it,
Sworn friend of great Ones not a few,
Tho' he their Titles only knew,
And those (which envious of his breeding
Book-worms have charg'd to want of reading)
Merely to shew himself polite
He never would pronounce aright;
An Orator with whom a host
Of those which ROME and ATHENS boast
Page 103In all their Pride might not contend,
Who, with no Pow'rs to recommend,
Whilst JACKY HUME, and BILLY WHITEHEAD,
And DICKY GLOVER sat delighted,
Could speak whole days in Nature's spite,
Just as those able Verse-men write.
Great DULLMAN from his bed arose—
Thrice did he spit—thrice wip'd his nose—
Thrice strove to smile—thrice strove to frown—
And thrice look'd up—and thrice look'd down—
Then Silence broke—CRAPE, who am I?
CRAPE bow'd, and smil'd an arch reply,
Am I not, CRAPE? I am, you know,
Above all those who are below?
Have I not knowledge? and for Wit,
Money will always purchase it,
Nor, if it needful should be found,
Will I grudge ten, or twenty Pound,
For which the whole stock may be bought
Of scoundrel wits not worth a Groat.
But least I should proceed too far,
I'll feel my Friend the Minister,
(Great Men, CRAPE, must not be neglected)
How he in this point is affected,
Page 104For, as I stand a magistrate
To serve him first, and next the State,
Perhaps He may not think it fit
To let his magistrates have wit.
BOAST I not, at this very hour,
Those large effects which troop with pow'r?
Am I not mighty in the land?
Do not I sit, whilst others stand?
Am I not, with rich garments grac'd,
In seat of honour always plac'd,
And do not Cits of chief degree,
Tho' proud to others, bend to me?
HAVE I not, as a JUSTICE ought,
The laws such wholesome rigor taught,
That Fornication in disgrace
Is now afraid to shew her face,
And not one Whore these walls approaches
Unless They ride in our own coaches?
And shall this FAME, an old poor Strumpet,
Without our Licence sound her Trumpet,
And, envious of our City's quiet,
In broad Day-light blow up a Riot,
Page 105If insolence like this we bear,
Where is our State? our office where?
Farewell all honours of our reign,
Farewell the Neck-enobling CHAIN,
Freedom's known badge o'er all the globe,
Farewell the solemn-spreading ROBE,
Farewell the SWORD,—farewell the MACE,
Farewell all TITLE, POMP, and PLACE.
Remov'd from Men of high degree,
(A loss to them, CRAPE, not to Me)
Banish'd to CHIPPENHAM, or to FROME,
DULLMAN once more shall ply the Loom.
CRAPE, lifting up his hands and eyes,
DULLMAN—the Loom—at CHIPPENHAM—cries,
If there be Pow'rs which greatness love,
Which rule below, but dwell above,
Those Pow'rs united all shall join
To contradict the rash design.
SOONER shall stubborn WILL lay down
His opposition with his Gown,
Sooner shall TEMPLE leave the road
Which leads to VIRTUE's mean abode,
Page 106Sooner shall SCOTS this Country quit,
And ENGLAND's Foes be Friends to PITT,
Than DULLMAN, from his grandeur thrown,
Shall wander out-cast, and unknown.
SURE as that Cane (a Cane there stood
Near to a Table, made of Wood,
Of dry fine Wood a Table made
By some rare artist in the trade,
Who had enjoy'd immortal praise
If he had liv'd in HOMER's days.)
Sure as that Cane, which once was seen
In pride of life all fresh and green,
The banks of INDUS to adorn;
Then, of its leafy honours shorn,
According to exactest rule,
Was fashion'd by the workman's tool,
And which at present we behold
Curiously polish'd, crown'd with gold,
With gold well-wrought, sure as that Cane
Shall never on its native plain
Strike root afresh, shall never more
Flourish on Tawny INDIA's shore,
So sure shall DULLMAN and his race
To latest times this station grace.
DULLMAN, who all this while had kept
His eye-lids clos'd as if He slept,
Now, looking stedfastly on CRAPE,
As at some God in human shape—
CRAPE, I protest, you seem to me
To have discharg'd a Prophecy,
Yes—from the first it doth appear,
Planted by FATE, the DULLMANS here
Have always held a quiet reign,
And here shall to the last remain.
CRAPE, they're all wrong about this Ghost—
Quite on the wrong side of the Post—
Blockheads, to take it in their head
To be a message from the dead,
For that by Mission they design,
A word not half so good as mine.
CRAPE—here it is—start not one doubt—
A Plot—a Plot—I've found it out.
O GOD!—cries CRAPE,—how blest the nation
Where one Son boasts such penetration.
CRAPE, I've not time to tell you now
When I discover'd this, or how;
To STENTOR go—if he's not there,
His place let Bully NORTON bear—
Our Citizens to Council call—
Let All meet—'tis the cause of All.
Let the three Witnesses attend
With Allegations to befriend,
To swear just so much and no more
As We instruct them in before.
STAY—CRAPE—come back—what, don't you see
Th' effects of this discovery?
DULLMAN all care and toil endures—
The Profit, CRAPE, will all be Yours.
A Mitre, (for, this arduous task
Perform'd, they'll grant whate'er I ask)
A Mitre (and perhaps the best)
Shall thro' my Interest make thee blest.
And at this time, when gracious FATE
Dooms to the Scot the reins of State,
Who is more fit (and for your use
We could some instances produce)
Page 109Of ENGLAND's Church to be the Head
Than You, a Presbyterian bred.
But when thus mighty you are made,
Unlike the Brethren of thy trade,
Be grateful, CRAPE, and let Me not,
Like Old NEWCASTLE, be forgot.
BUT an Affair, CRAPE, of this size
Will ask from Conduct vast supplies;
It must not, as the Vulgar say,
Be done in Hugger Mugger way.
Traitors indeed (and that's discreet)
Who hatch the Plot, in private meet;
They should in Public go, no doubt,
Whose business is to find it out.
TO-MORROW—if the day appear
Likely to turn out fair and clear—
Proclaim a Grand Processionade—
Be all the City Pomp display'd,
Let the Train-bands — CRAPE shook his head—
They heard the Trumpet, and were fled—
Well—cries the Knight—if that's the case,
My Servants shall supply their place—
Page 110My Servants—mine alone—no more
Than what my Servants did before—
Dost not remember, CRAPE, that day,
When, DULLMAN's grandeur to display,
As all too simple, and too low,
Our City Friends were thrust below,
Whilst, as more worthy of our Love,
Courtiers were entertain'd above?
Tell me, who waited then? and how?
My Servants—mine—and why not now?
In haste then, CRAPE, to STENTOR go—
But send up HART who waits below,
With him, 'till You return again
(Reach me my Spectacles and Cane)
I'll make a proof how I advance in
My new accomplishment of dancing.
NOT quite so fast as Lightning flies,
Wing'd with red anger, thro' the skies;
Not quite so fast as, sent by JOVE,
IRIS descends on wings of Love;
Not quite so fast as TERROR rides
When He the chasing winds bestrides;
Page 111CRAPE Hobbled—but his mind was good—
Cou'd he go faster than He cou'd?
NEAR to that Tow'r, which, as we're told,
The mighty JULIUS rais'd of old,
Where, to the Block by Justice led,
The Rebel SCOT hath often bled,
Where Arms are kept so clean, so bright,
'Twere Sin they should be soil'd in fight,
Where Brutes of foreign race are shewn
By Brutes much greater of our own,
Fast by the crouded Thames, is found
An ample square of sacred ground,
Where artless Eloquence presides,
And Nature ev'ry sentence guides.
HERE Female Parliaments debate
About Religion, Trade, and State,
Here ev'ry NAIAD's Patriot soul,
Disdaining Foreign base controul,
Despising French, despising Erse,
Pours forth the plain Old English Curse,
And bears aloft, with terrors hung,
The Honours of the Vulgar Tongue.
HERE, STENTOR, always heard with awe,
In thund'ring accents deals out Law.
Twelve Furlongs off each dreadful word
Was plainly and distinctly heard,
And ev'ry neighbour hill around
Return'd and swell'd the mighty sound.
The loudest Virgin of the stream
Compar'd with him, would silent seem;
THAMES (who, enrag'd to find his course,
Oppos'd, rolls down with double force,
Against the Bridge indignant roars,
And lashes the resounding shores)
Compar'd with him, at lowest Tide
In softest whispers seem to glide.
HITHER directed by the noise,
Swell'd with the hope of future joys,
Thro' too much zeal and haste made lame,
The Rev'rend slave of DULLMAN came.
STENTOR—with such a serious air,
With such a face of solemn care,
As might import him to contain
A Nation's welfare in his brain—
Page 113STENTOR—cries CRAPE—I'm hither sent
On business of most high intent,
Great DULLMAN's orders to convey;
DULLMAN commands, and I obey.
Big with those throes which Patriots feel,
And lab'ring for the common weal,
Some secret, which forbids him rest,
Tumbles and Tosses in his breast,
Tumbles and Tosses to get free;
And thus the Chief commands by Me:
TO-MORROW—if the Day appear
Likely to turn out fair and clear—
Proclaim a Grand Processionade—
Be all the City Pomp display'd—
Our Citizens to Council call—
Let All meet—'tis the Cause of All.
END OF THE THIRD BOOK.