The Ghost - Book III

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It was the hour, when housewife Morn
With pearl and linen hangs each thorn;
When happy bards, who can regale
Their Muse with country air and ale,
Ramble afield to brooks and bowers,
To pick up sentiments and flowers;
When dogs and squires from kennel fly,
And hogs and farmers quit their sty;
When my lord rises to the chase,
And brawny chaplain takes his place. 
  These images, or bad, or good,
If they are rightly understood,
Sagacious readers must allow
Proclaim us in the country now;
For observations mostly rise
From objects just before our eyes,
And every 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,--though critics frown,
We now declare ourselves in Town,
Nor will a moment's pause allow
For finding when we came, or how.
The man who deals in humble prose,
Tied down by rule and method goes; 
But they who court the vigorous Muse
Their carriage have a right to choose.
Free as the air, and unconfined,
Swift as the motions of the mind,
The 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 through 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 prayers 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,
Less 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 every 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 flower;
But in these serious works, design'd
To mend the morals of mankind,
We must for ever be disgraced
With all the nicer sons of Taste,
If once, the shadow to pursue,
We let the substance out of view.
Our means must uniformly tend
In due proportion to their end, 
And every 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,
Dulness and Whitehead by thy side;
Dulness and Method still are one,
And Whitehead is their darling son:
Not he, whose pen, above control,
Struck terror to the guilty soul,
Made Folly tremble through her state,
And villains blush at being great;
Whilst he himself, with steady face,
Disdaining modesty and grace, 
Could blunder on through thick and thin,
Through every mean and servile sin,
Yet swear by Philip and by Paul,
He nobly scorn'd to blush at all;
But he who in the Laureate chair,
By grace, not merit, planted there,
In awkward 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 supposed, 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 mongrel kind of tinkling prose,
And is too frugal to dispense,
At once, both poetry and sense; 
Who, from amidst his slumbering guards,
Deals out a charge to subject bards,
Where couplets after couplets creep
Propitious to the reign of sleep;
Yet every word imprints an awe,
And all his dictates pass for law
With beaux, who simper all around,
And belles, who die ill every sound:
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 raking of the brains,
And years consumed in letter'd pains, 
A 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 choose,
Though the same stroke takes off the use.
  Thee, Whitehead, thee I now invoke,
Sworn foe to Satire's generous stroke,
Which makes unwilling Conscience feel,
And wounds, but only wounds to heal.
Good-natured, 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,
And lend thee neither force nor art
To drive it onward to the heart.
Oh, may thy sacred power control
Bach fiercer working of my soul,
Damp every spark of genuine fire,
And languors, like thine own, inspire!
Trite be each thought, and every line
As moral and as dull as thine! 
  Poised 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-tower, by Vulcan plann'd
With such rare skill, by Jove's command,
That every 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 ancient dame
Whom men as well as gods call Fame.
  A prattling gossip, on whose tongue
Proof of perpetual motion hung,
Whose 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 furthest 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 rancorous 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, ere Arrow died; 
Or such as, Envy must allow,
The world enjoys in Hunter 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 prayer 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 guitar,
Whilst laws are slubber'd o'er in haste,
And Judgment sacrificed to Taste;
Of whited sepulchres, lawn sleeves,
And God's house made a den of thieves: 
Of funeral pomps, where clamours hung,
And fix'd disgrace on every 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; 
Of new-raised 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 every fool,
In second childhood, goes to school;
Of graybeards, 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;
Of arts and sciences, where meet,
Sublime, profound, and all complete,
A set (whom at some fitter time
The Muse shall consecrate in rhyme)
Who, humble artists to out-do,
A far more liberal plan pursue, 
And let their well-judged premiums fall
On those who have no worth at all;
Of sign-post exhibitions, raised
For laughter more than to be praised,
(Though, 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,
Censured, like other things, though 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)
In 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 every 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, 
Or those which, with superior skill,
Sackville achieved 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, every word,
Soon as she saw return of light,
On sounding pinions took her flight.
  Swift through the regions of the sky,
Above the reach of human eye,
Onward she drove the furious blast,
And rapid as a whirlwind pass'd,
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;
Where Arts and Arms, and Public Love,
In generous emulation strove;
Where kings were proud of legal sway,
And subjects happy to obey,
Though now in slavery sunk, and broke
To Superstition's galling yoke;
Of Arts, of Arms, no more they tell,
Or Freedom, which with Science fell, 
By tyrants awed, 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 prayers and grief,
For loss of blessings, they employ,
Which we unthankfully enjoy.
  Now is the time (had we the will)
To amaze the reader 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 traced the goddess in her course,
Sweetly 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 general rule)
Inflamed with heat, laid down to cool;
Her hair (we no exceptions find)
Waved careless, floating in the wind; 
Her heaving breasts, like summer seas,
Seem'd amorous 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.
Nature had form'd her to inspire
In every 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 gloating eye the fair one view'd,
Desired her first, and then pursued:
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 Heaven (for there we all apply
For help, when there's no other nigh)
She offers up her virgin prayer,
(Can virgins pray unpitied there?)
And when the god thinks he has caught her,
Slips through his hands and runs to water, 
Becomes a stream, in which the poet,
If he has any wit, may show it.
  A city once for power renown'd
Now levell'd even to the ground,
Beyond all doubt is a direction
To introduce some fine reflection.
  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,
Though 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,
Though 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, steady 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, degenerate race;
Hirelings, 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 power,
Slaves to the minion of an hour; 
Lackies, who watch'd a favourite's nod,
And took a puppet for their god.
  Sincere and honest in our rhymes,
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 lets them rise above
The stronger ties of public love.
  With conscious pride see England stand,
Our holy Charter in her hand;
She 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 deceived 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 rehearsed,
Poets have always been suspected
Of having truth in rhyme neglected,
That bard except, who from his youth
Equally famed for faith and truth, 
By Prudence taught, in courtly chime
To courtly ears brought truth in rhyme.
  But though to poets we allow,
No matter when acquired or how,
From truth unbounded deviation,
Which custom calls Imagination,
Yet can't they be supposed to lie
One half so fast as Fame can fly;
Therefore (to solve this Gordian knot,
A point we almost had forgot) 
To courteous readers be it known,
That, fond of verse and falsehood 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 destined course,
Nor stops till she the place arrives
Where Genius starves and Dulness 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 every 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,
In due proportions, now and then,
For these same gods as well as men)
By custom ruled, 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 every flaw;
But well preserved 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 chattering 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.
Did 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 Hunter fix no eyes but mine.
But Fame, who never cared a jot
Whether she was admired or not,
And never blush'd to show 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 weathercock, 
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,
Though under a politer race
Bagpipes might well supply its place) 
And thrice, awaken'd by the sound,
A general din prevail'd around;
Confusion through the city pass'd,
And Fear bestrode the dreadful blast.
  Those fragrant currents, which we meet
Distilling soft through every street,
Affrighted from the usual course,
Ran murmuring upwards to their source;
Statues wept tears of blood, as fast
As when a Caesar breathed his last; 
Horses, which always used to go
A foot-pace in my Lord Mayor's show,
Impetuous from their stable broke,
And aldermen and oxen spoke.
  Halls felt the force, towers 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 placed
A monument of City taste, 
Trembled, and seem'd aloud to groan
Through 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 anything but medicine try.
No more in Pewterer's Hall was heard
The proper force of every word;
Those seats were desolate become,
A 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 clothed in rags,
See Avarice 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, unmoved, 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 Dulman started at the sound,
Gaped, rubb'd his eyes, and stared 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, though 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 deceived--
Have stolen hither unperceived?
To Newfoundland, indeed, we know
Fleets of war unobserved may go;
Or, if observed, may be supposed,
At intervals when Reason dozed,
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, ere 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 power, 
Those countrymen, who, from the first,
In tumults and rebellion nursed,
Howe'er they wear the mask of art,
Still love a Stuart in their heart)
Could Scottish Charles----
  Conjecture thus,
That mental _ignis fatuus_,
Led 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 every city feast,
For he was seen much oftener there
Than in the house of God at prayer;
Who, always ready in his place,
Ne'er let God's creatures wait for grace,
Though, as the best historians write,
Less famed 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 engaged in the defence
Of self-denying Abstinence,
When he could fortunately meet
With anything he liked to eat;
Who knew that wine, on Scripture plan,
Was made to cheer the heart of man;
Knew too, by long experience taught,
That cheerfulness was kill'd by thought; 
And from those premises collected,
(Which few perhaps would have suspected)
That none who, with due share of sense,
Observed the ways of Providence,
Could with safe conscience leave off drinking
Till they had lost the power of thinking;
With eyes half-closed came waddling in,
And, having stroked 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 Moore, 
Begg'd that Fame might not be allow'd
Their shame to publish to the crowd;
That some new laws he would provide,
(If old could not be misapplied
With 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 falsehood were but one;
Which juries must indeed retain,
But their effects should render vain,
Making all real power to rest
In one corrupted rotten breast,
By whose false gloss the very Bible
Might be interpreted a libel.
  Moore (who, his reverence to save,
Pleaded the fool to screen the knave, 
Though all who witness'd on his part
Swore for his head against his heart)
Had taken down, from first to last,
A just account of all that pass'd;
But, since the gracious will of Fate,
Who mark'd the child for wealth and state
E'en in the cradle, had decreed
The mighty Dulman ne'er should read,
That office of disgrace to bear
The smooth-lipp'd Plausible was there; 
From Holborn e'en to Clerkenwell,
Who knows not smooth-lipp'd Plausible?
A preacher, deem'd of greatest note
For preaching that which others wrote.
  Had Dulman now, (and fools, we see,
Seldom want curiosity)
Consented (but the mourning shade
Of Gascoyne hasten'd 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,
And, 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 immersed in deepest thought,
Or with some holy vision caught,
His hands, to aid the traitor's art,
Devoutly folded o'er his heart;
Here Moore, in fraud well skill'd, should go,
All saint, with solemn step and slow.
Oh, that Religion's sacred name,
Meant to inspire the purest flame, 
A prostitute should ever be
To that arch-fiend Hypocrisy,
Where we find every 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, 
Should the prim Plausible be seen,
Observe his stiff, affected mien;
'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, show me, by thine art,
What's the religion of his heart:
Show there, if truth thou canst unfold,
Religion centred all in gold; 
Show him, nor fear Correction's rod,
As false to friendship, as to God.
  Horrid, unwieldy, 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 Interest 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?
No 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,
Not 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 required in haste,
Is with a random stroke disgraced)
Pomposo, 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, generous, manly mind,
Which we, with joy, in Aldrich find-- 
These three, who now are faintly shown,
Just sketch'd, and scarcely to be known,
If Dulman their request had heard,
In stronger colours had appear'd,
And friends, though partial, at first view,
Shuddering, had own'd the picture true.
  But had their journal been display'd,
And their whole process open laid,
What 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 destined 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 contrived 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; 
But never, helpless, mean, and poor,
Rush on, where laws cannot secure;
Nor think thyself, mistaken youth!
Secure in principles of truth:
Truth! why shall every 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 Power would have her dumb; 
For who the devil doth not know
That titles and estates bestow
An ample stock, where'er they fall,
Of graces which we mental call?
Beggars, in every 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, Interest 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;
Deny 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 control; 
Vainly thy precepts are address'd
Where Virtue steels the steady breast;
Through meanness wade to boasted power,
Through guilt repeated every hour;
What is thy gain, when all is done,
What mighty laurels hast thou won?
Dull crowds, 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 canst thou fly?
Canst 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 show thee truly as thou art,
Unknown to those by whom thou 'rt prized,
Known to thyself to be despised.
  The man who weds the sacred Muse,
Disdains all mercenary views, 
And he, who Virtue's throne would rear
Laughs at the phantoms raised by Fear.
Though Folly, robed in purple, shines,
Though Vice exhausts Peruvian mines,
Yet shall they tremble, and turn pale,
When Satire wields her mighty flail;
Or should they, of rebuke afraid,
With Melcombe seek hell's deepest shade,
Satire, still mindful of her aim,
Shall bring the cowards back to shame. 
  Hated by many, loved by few,
Above each little private view,
Honest, though poor, (and who shall dare
To disappoint my boasting there?)
Hardy and resolute, though weak,
The dictates of my heart to speak,
Willing I bend at Satire's throne;
What power 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 degenerate age,
(When, dead to every nicer sense,
Deep sunk in vice and indolence, 
The spirit of old Rome was broke
Beneath the tyrant fiddler'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 pleased is every paltry elf
To prate about that thing, himself!
After my promise made in rhyme,
And meant in earnest at that time, 
To 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 plunged, in vain I look about,
And can't stay in, nor well get out.
  Could I, whilst Humour 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 connexion,
To help the whole with wondrous 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,
And we to Dulman 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 Dulman with a face was bless'd,
Where no one passion was express'd;
His eye, in a fine stupor caught,
Implied a plenteous lack of thought;
Nor was one line that whole face seen in
Which could be justly charged with meaning.
  To Avarice by birth allied,
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;
Stiff in opinion, (no rare case
With blockheads in or out of place)
Too weak, and insolent of soul
To suffer Reason's just control,
But bending, of his own accord,
To that trim transient toy, my lord; 
The dupe of Scots, (a fatal race,
Whom God in wrath contrived 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'er said it, 
Sworn friend of great ones not a few,
Though he their titles only knew,
And those (which, envious of his breeding,
Book-worms have charged to want of reading)
Merely to show himself polite
He never would pronounce aright;
An orator with whom a host
Of those which Rome and Athens boast,
In all their pride might not contend;
Who, with no powers to recommend, 
Whilst Jackey Hume, and Billy Whitehead,
And Dicky Glover, sat delighted,
Could speak whole days in Nature's spite,
Just as those able versemen write;
Great Dulman from his bed arose--
Thrice did he spit--thrice wiped 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 smiled an arch reply. 
'Am I not, Crape? I am, you know,
Above all those who are below.
Hare 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 lest 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;
For, 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 power?
Am I not mighty in the land?
Do not I sit whilst others stand? 
Am I not with rich garments graced,
In seat of honour always placed?
And do not cits of chief degree,
Though proud to others, bend to me?
  Have I not, as a Justice ought,
The laws such wholesome rigour taught,
That Fornication, in disgrace,
Is now afraid to show her face,
And not one whore these walls approaches
Unless they ride in their 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 daylight blow up a riot?
If insolence like this we bear,
Where is our state? our office where?
Farewell, all honours of our reign;
Farewell, the neck-ennobling 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,
Removed from men of high degree,
(A loss to them, Crape, not to me)
Banish'd to Chippenham or to Frome,
Dulman once more shall ply the loom.'
  Crape, lifting up his hands and eyes,
'Dulman!--the loom!--at Chippenham!'--cries;
'If there be powers which greatness love,
Which rule below, but dwell above, 
Those powers 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;
Sooner shall Scots this country quit,
And England's foes be friends to Pitt,
Than Dulman, from his grandeur thrown,
Shall wander outcast 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 lived 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 in tawny India's shore,
So sure shall Dulman and his race
To latest times this station grace.' 
  Dulman, who all this while had kept
His eyelids closed as if he slept,
Now looking steadfastly on Crape,
As at some god in human shape:
'Crape, I protest, you seem to me
To have discharged a prophecy:
Yes--from the first it doth appear
Planted by Fate, the Dulmans 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 bless'd 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
The effects of this discovery?
Dulman 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, through 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)
Of 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--
My servants--mine alone--no more
Than what my servants did before--
Dost not remember, Crape, that day,
When, Dulman'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, through 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,
Crape hobbled; but his mind was good--
Could he go faster than he could?
  Near to that tower, which, as we're told,
The mighty Julius raised 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 shown
By brutes much greater of our own;
Fast by the crowded Thames, is found
An ample square of sacred ground,
Where artless Eloquence presides,
And Nature every sentence guides. 
  Here female parliaments debate
About religion, trade, and state;
Here every Naiad's patriot soul,
Disdaining foreign base control,
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 thundering accents deals out law: 
Twelve furlongs off each dreadful word
Was plainly and distinctly heard,
And every neighbour hill around
Return'd and swell'd the mighty sound;
The loudest virgin of the stream,
Compared with him would silent seem;
Thames, (who, enraged to find his course
Opposed, rolls down with double force,
Against the bridge indignant roars,
And lashes the resounding shores) 
Compared with him, at lowest tide,
In softest whispers seems to glide.
  Hither, directed by the noise,
Swell'd with the hope of future joys,
Through too much zeal and haste made lame,
The reverend slave of Dulman 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-- 
  'Stentor,' cries Crape. 'I'm hither sent
On business of most high intent,
Great Dulman's orders to convey;
Dulman commands, and I obey;
Big with those throes which patriots feel,
And labouring for the commonweal,
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!'

© Charles Churchill