The Times

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The time hath been, a boyish, blushing time,
When modesty was scarcely held a crime;
When the most wicked had some touch of grace,
And trembled to meet Virtue face to face;
When those, who, in the cause of Sin grown gray,
Had served her without grudging day by day,
Were yet so weak an awkward shame to feel
And strove that glorious service to conceal:
We, better bred, and than our sires more wise,
Such paltry narrowness of soul despise: 
To virtue every mean pretence disclaim,
Lay bare our crimes, and glory in our shame.
  Time was, ere Temperance had fled the realm,
Ere Luxury sat guttling at the helm
From meal to meal, without one moment's space
Reserved for business or allow'd for grace;
Ere Vanity had so far conquer'd Sense
To make us all wild rivals in expense,
To make one fool strive to outvie another,
And every coxcomb dress against his brother; 
Ere banish'd Industry had left our shores,
And Labour was by Pride kick'd out of doors;
Ere Idleness prevail'd sole queen in courts,
Or only yielded to a rage for sports;
Ere each weak mind was with externals caught,
And dissipation held the place of thought;
Ere gambling lords in vice so far were gone
To cog the die, and bid the sun look on;
Ere a great nation, not less just than free,
Was made a beggar by economy; 
Ere rugged Honesty was out of vogue;
Ere Fashion stamp'd her sanction on the rogue;
Time was, that men had conscience, that they made
Scruples to owe what never could be paid.
Was one then found, however high his name,
So far above his fellows damn'd to shame,
Who dared abuse, and falsify his trust,
Who, being great, yet dared to be unjust,
Shunn'd like a plague, or but at distance view'd,
He walk'd the crowded streets in solitude, 
Nor could his rank and station in the land
Bribe one mean knave to take him by the hand.
Such rigid maxims (Oh! might such revive
To keep expiring Honesty alive)
Made rogues, all other hopes of fame denied,
Not just through principle, be just through pride.
  Our times, more polish'd, wear a different face;
Debts are an honour, payment a disgrace.
Men of weak minds, high-placed on Folly's list,
May gravely tell us trade cannot subsist, 
Nor all those thousands who're in trade employ'd,
If faith 'twixt man and man is once destroy'd.
Why--be it so--we in that point accord;
But what are trade, and tradesmen, to a lord?
  Faber, from day to day, from year to year,
Hath had the cries of tradesmen in his ear,
Of tradesmen by his villany betray'd,
And, vainly seeking justice, bankrupts made.
What is't to Faber? Lordly as before,
He sits at ease, and lives to ruin more: 
Fix'd at his door, as motionless as stone,
Begging, but only begging for their own,
Unheard they stand, or only heard by those,
Those slaves in livery, who mock their woes.
What is't to Faber? He continues great,
Lives on in grandeur, and runs out in state.
The helpless widow, wrung with deep despair,
In bitterness of soul pours forth her prayer,
Hugging her starving babes with streaming eyes,
And calls down vengeance, vengeance from the skies. 
What is't to Faber? He stands safe and clear,
Heaven can commence no legal action here;
And on his breast a mighty plate he wears,
A plate more firm than triple brass, which bears
The name of Privilege, 'gainst vulgar awe;
He feels no conscience, and he fears no law.
  Nor think, acquainted with small knaves alone,
Who have not shame outlived, and grace outgrown,
The great world hidden from thy reptile view,
That on such men, to whom contempt is due, 
Contempt shall fall, and their vile author's name
Recorded stand through all the land of shame.
No--to his porch, like Persians to the sun,
Behold contending crowds of courtiers run;
See, to his aid what noble troops advance,
All sworn to keep his crimes in countenance;
Nor wonder at it--they partake the charge,
As small their conscience, and their debts as large.
  Propp'd by such clients, and without control
From all that's honest in the human soul; 
In grandeur mean, with insolence unjust,
Whilst none but knaves can praise, and fools will trust,
Caress'd and courted, Faber seems to stand
A mighty pillar in a guilty land.
And (a sad truth, to which succeeding times
Will scarce give credit, when 'tis told in rhymes)
Did not strict Honour with a jealous eye
Watch round the throne, did not true Piety
(Who, link'd with Honour for the noblest ends,
Ranks none but honest men amongst her friends) 
Forbid us to be crush'd with such a weight,
He might in time be minister of state.
  But why enlarge I on such petty crimes?
They might have shock'd the faith of former times,
But now are held as nothing--we begin
Where our sires ended, and improve in sin,
Rack our invention, and leave nothing new
In vice and folly for our sons to do.
  Nor deem this censure hard; there's not a place
Most consecrate to purposes of Grace, 
Which Vice hath not polluted; none so high,
But with bold pinion she hath dared to fly,
And build there for her pleasure; none so low
But she hath crept into it, made it know
And feel her power; in courts, in camps, she reigns,
O'er sober citizens, and simple swains;
E'en in our temples she hath fix'd her throne,
And 'bove God's holy altars placed her own.
  More to increase the horror of our state,
To make her empire lasting as 'tis great; 
To make us, in full-grown perfection, feel
Curses which neither Art nor Time can heal;
All shame discarded, all remains of pride,
Meanness sits crown'd, and triumphs by her side:
Meanness, who gleans out of the human mind
Those few good seeds which Vice had left behind,
Those seeds which might in time to virtue tend,
And leaves the soul without a power to mend;
Meanness, at sight of whom, with brave disdain,
The breast of Manhood swells, but swells in vain; 
Before whom Honour makes a forced retreat,
And Freedom is compell'd to quit her seat;
Meanness, which, like that mark by bloody Cain
Borne in his forehead for a brother slain,
God, in his great and all-subduing rage,
Ordains the standing mark of this vile age.
  The venal hero trucks his fame for gold,
The patriot's virtue for a place is sold;
The statesman bargains for his country's shame,
And, for preferment, priests their God disclaim; 
Worn out with lust, her day of lechery o'er,
The mother trains the daughter whom she bore
In her own paths; the father aids the plan,
And, when the innocent is ripe for man,
Sells her to some old lecher for a wife,
And makes her an adulteress for life;
Or in the papers bids his name appear,
And advertises for a L----:
Husband and wife (whom Avarice must applaud)
Agree to save the charge of pimp and bawd; 
Those parts they play themselves, a frugal pair,
And share the infamy, the gain to share;
Well pleased to find, when they the profits tell,
That they have play'd the whore and rogue so well.
  Nor are these things (which might imply a spark
Of shame still left) transacted in the dark:
No--to the public they are open laid,
And carried on like any other trade:
Scorning to mince damnation, and too proud
To work the works of darkness in a cloud, 
In fullest vigour Vice maintains her sway;
Free are her marts, and open at noonday.
Meanness, now wed to Impudence, no more
In darkness skulks, and trembles, as of yore,
When the light breaks upon her coward eye;
Boldly she stalks on earth, and to the sky
Lifts her proud head, nor fears lest time abate,
And turn her husband's love to canker'd hate,
Since Fate, to make them more sincerely one,
Hath crown'd their loves with Montague their son; 
A son so like his dam, so like his sire,
With all the mother's craft, the father's fire,
An image so express in every part,
So like in all bad qualities of heart,
That, had they fifty children, he alone
Would stand as heir apparent to the throne.
  With our own island vices not content,
We rob our neighbours on the Continent;
Dance Europe round, and visit every court,
To ape their follies, and their crimes import: 
To different lands for different sins we roam,
And, richly freighted, bring our cargo home,
Nobly industrious to make Vice appear
In her full state, and perfect only here.
  To Holland, where politeness ever reigns,
Where primitive sincerity remains,
And makes a stand; where Freedom in her course
Hath left her name, though she hath lost her force
In that as other lands; where simple Trade
Was never in the garb of Fraud array'd; 
Where Avarice never dared to show his head;
Where, like a smiling cherub, Mercy, led
By Reason, blesses the sweet-blooded race,
And Cruelty could never find a place;
To Holland for that charity we roam,
Which happily begins and ends at home.
  France, in return for peace and power restored,
For all those countries which the hero's sword
Unprofitably purchased, idly thrown
Into her lap, and made once more her own; 
France hath afforded large and rich supplies
Of vanities full trimm'd; of polish'd lies;
Of soothing flatteries, which through the ears
Steal to, and melt the heart; of slavish fears
Which break the spirit, and of abject fraud--
For which, alas! we need not send abroad.
  Spain gives us Pride--which Spain to all the earth
May largely give, nor fear herself a dearth--
Gives us that Jealousy, which, born of Fear
And mean Distrust, grows not by Nature here-- 
Gives us that Superstition, which pretends
By the worst means to serve the best of ends--
That Cruelty, which, stranger to the brave,
Dwells only with the coward and the slave;
That Cruelty, which led her Christian bands
With more than savage rage o'er savage lands,
Bade her, without remorse, whole countries thin,
And hold of nought, but Mercy, as a sin.
  Italia, nurse of every softer art,
Who, feigning to refine, unmans the heart; 
Who lays the realms of Sense and Virtue waste;
Who mars while she pretends to mend our taste;
Italia, to complete and crown our shame,
Sends us a fiend, and Legion is his name.
The farce of greatness without being great,
Pride without power, titles without estate,
Souls without vigour, bodies without force,
Hate without cause, revenge without remorse,
Dark, mean revenge, murder without defence,
Jealousy without love, sound without sense, 
Mirth without humour, without wit grimace,
Faith without reason, Gospel without Grace,
Zeal without knowledge, without nature art,
Men without manhood, women without heart;
Half-men, who, dry and pithless, are debarr'd
From man's best joys--no sooner made than marr'd--
Half-men, whom many a rich and noble dame,
To serve her lust, and yet secure her fame,
Keeps on high diet, as we capons feed,
To glut our appetites at last decreed; 
Women, who dance in postures so obscene,
They might awaken shame in Aretine;
Who when, retired from the day's piercing light,
They celebrate the mysteries of Night,
Might make the Muses, in a corner placed
To view their monstrous lusts, them Sappho chaste;
These, and a thousand follies rank as these,
A thousand faults, ten thousand fools, who please
Our pall'd and sickly taste, ten thousand knaves,
Who serve our foes as spies, and us as slaves, 
Who, by degrees, and unperceived, prepare
Our necks for chains which they already wear,
Madly we entertain, at the expense
Of fame, of virtue, taste, and common sense.
  Nor stop we here--the soft luxurious East,
Where man, his soul degraded, from the beast
In nothing different but in shape we view,
They walk on four legs, and he walks on two,
Attracts our eye; and flowing from that source,
Sins of the blackest character, sins worse 
Than all her plagues, which truly to unfold,
Would make the best blood in my veins run cold,
And strike all manhood dead, which but to name,
Would call up in my cheeks the marks of shame:
Sins, if such sins can be, which shut out grace,
Which for the guilty leave no hope, no place,
E'en in God's mercy; sins 'gainst Nature's plan
Possess the land at large, and man for man
Burns, in those fires, which Hell alone could raise
To make him more than damn'd; which, in the days 
Of punishment, when guilt becomes her prey,
With all her tortures she can scarce repay.
  Be grace shut out, be mercy deaf, let God
With tenfold terrors arm that dreadful nod
Which speaks them lost, and sentenced to despair;
Distending wide her jaws, let Hell prepare,
For those who thus offend amongst mankind,
A fire more fierce, and tortures more refined.
On earth, which groans beneath their monstrous weight,
On earth, alas! they meet a different fate; 
And whilst the laws, false grace, false mercy shown,
Are taught to wear a softness not their own,
Men, whom the beasts would spurn, should they appear
Amongst the honest herd, find refuge here.
  No longer by vain fear or shame controll'd,
From long, too long, security grown bold,
Mocking rebuke, they brave it in our streets,
And Lumley e'en at noon his mistress meets:
So public in their crimes, so daring grown,
They almost take a pride to have them known, 
And each unnatural villain scarce endures
To make a secret of his vile amours.
Go where we will, at every time and place,
Sodom confronts, and stares us in the face;
They ply in public at our very doors,
And take the bread from much more honest whores.
Those who are mean high paramours secure,
And the rich guilty screen the guilty poor;
The sin too proud to feel from reason awe,
And those who practise it, too great for law. 
  Woman, the pride and happiness of man,
Without whose soft endearments Nature's plan
Had been a blank, and life not worth a thought;
Woman, by all the Loves and Graces taught,
With softest arts, and sure, though hidden skill,
To humanise, and mould us to her will;
Woman, with more than common grace form'd here,
With the persuasive language of a tear
To melt the rugged temper of our isle,
Or win us to her purpose with a smile; 
Woman, by Fate the quickest spur decreed,
The fairest, best reward of every deed
Which bears the stamp of honour; at whose name
Our ancient heroes caught a quicker flame,
And dared beyond belief, whilst o'er the plain,
Spurning the carcases of princes slain,
Confusion proudly strode, whilst Horror blew
The fatal trump, and Death stalk'd full in view;
Woman is out of date, a thing thrown by,
As having lost its use: no more the eye, 
With female beauty caught, in wild amaze,
Gazes entranced, and could for ever gaze;
No more the heart, that seat where Love resides,
Each breath drawn quick and short, in fuller tides
Life posting through the veins, each pulse on fire,
And the whole body tingling with desire,
Pants for those charms, which Virtue might engage,
To break his vow, and thaw the frost of Age,
Bidding each trembling nerve, each muscle strain,
And giving pleasure which is almost pain. 
Women are kept for nothing but the breed;
For pleasure we must have a Ganymede,
A fine, fresh Hylas, a delicious boy,
To serve our purposes of beastly joy.
  Fairest of nymphs, where every nymph is fair,
Whom Nature form'd with more than common care,
With more than common care whom Art improved,
And both declared most worthy to be loved,
---- neglected wanders, whilst a crowd
Pursue and consecrate the steps of ----; 
She, hapless maid, born in a wretched hour,
Wastes life's gay prime in vain, like some fair flower,
Sweet in its scent, and lively in its hue,
Which withers on the stalk from whence it grew,
And dies uncropp'd; whilst he, admired, caress'd,
Beloved, and everywhere a welcome guest,
With brutes of rank and fortune plays the whore,
For their unnatural lust a common sewer.
  Dine with Apicius--at his sumptuous board
Find all, the world of dainties can afford-- 
And yet (so much distemper'd spirits pall
The sickly appetite) amidst them all
Apicius finds no joy, but, whilst he carves
For every guest, the landlord sits and starves.
  The forest haunch, fine, fat, in flavour high,
Kept to a moment, smokes before his eye,
But smokes in vain; his heedless eye runs o'er
And loathes what he had deified before:
The turtle, of a great and glorious size,
Worth its own weight in gold, a mighty prize 
For which a man of taste all risks would run,
Itself a feast, and every dish in one;
The turtle in luxurious pomp comes in,
Kept, kill'd, cut up, prepared, and dress'd by Quin;
In vain it comes, in vain lies full in view;
As Quin hath dress'd it, he may eat it too;
Apicius cannot. When the glass goes round,
Quick-circling, and the roofs with mirth resound,
Sober he sits, and silent--all alone
Though in a crowd, and to himself scarce known: 
On grief he feeds: nor friends can cure, nor wine
Suspend his cares, and make him cease to pine.
  Why mourns Apicius thus? Why runs his eye,
Heedless, o'er delicates, which from the sky
Might call down Jove? Where now his generous wish,
That, to invent a new and better dish,
The world might burn, and all mankind expire,
So he might roast a phoenix at the fire?
Why swims that eye in tears, which, through a race
Of sixty years, ne'er show'd one sign of grace? 
Why feels that heart, which never felt before?
Why doth that pamper'd glutton eat no more,
Who only lived to eat, his stomach pall'd,
And drown'd in floods of sorrow? Hath Fate call'd
His father from the grave to second life?
Hath Clodius on his hands return'd his wife?
Or hath the law, by strictest justice taught,
Compell'd him to restore the dow'r she brought?
Hath some bold creditor, against his will,
Brought in, and forced him to discharge, a bill, 
Where eating had no share? Hath some vain wench
Run out his wealth, and forced him to retrench?
Hath any rival glutton got the start,
And beat him in his own luxurious art--
Bought cates for which Apicius could not pay,
Or dress'd old dainties in a newer way?
Hath his cook, worthy to be flain with rods,
Spoil'd a dish fit to entertain the gods?
Or hath some varlet, cross'd by cruel Fate,
Thrown down the price of empires in a plate? 
  None, none of these--his servants all are tried:
So sure, they walk on ice, and never slide;
His cook, an acquisition made in France,
Might put a Chloe out of countenance;
Nor, though old Holles still maintains his stand,
Hath he one rival glutton in the land.
Women are all the objects of his hate;
His debts are all unpaid, and yet his state
In full security and triumph held,
Unless for once a knave should be expell'd: 
His wife is still a whore, and in his power,
The woman gone, he still retains the dower;
Sound in the grave (thanks to his filial care
Which mix'd the draught, and kindly sent him there)
His father sleeps, and, till the last trump shake
The corners of the earth, shall not awake.
  Whence flows this sorrow, then? Behind his chair,
Didst thou not see, deck'd with a solitaire,
Which on his bare breast glittering play'd, and graced
With nicest ornaments, a stripling placed, 
A smooth, smug stripling, in life's fairest prime?
Didst thou not mind, too, how from time to time,
The monstrous lecher, tempted to despise
All other dainties, thither turn'd his eyes?
How he seem'd inly to reproach us all,
Who strove his fix'd attention to recall,
And how he wish'd, e'en at the time of grace,
Like Janus, to have had a double face?
His cause of grief behold in that fair boy;
Apicius dotes, and Corydon is coy. 
  Vain and unthinking stripling! when the glass
Meets thy too curious eye, and, as you pass,
Flattering, presents in smiles thy image there,
Why dost thou bless the gods, who made thee fair?
Blame their large bounties, and with reason blame;
Curse, curse thy beauty, for it leads to shame;
When thy hot lord, to work thee to his end,
Bids showers of gold into thy breast descend,
Suspect his gifts, nor the vile giver trust;
They're baits for virtue, and smell strong of lust. 
On those gay, gaudy trappings, which adorn
The temple of thy body, look with scorn;
View them with horror; they pollution mean,
And deepest ruin: thou hast often seen
From 'mongst the herd, the fairest and the best
Carefully singled out, and richly dress'd,
With grandeur mock'd, for sacrifice decreed,
Only in greater pomp at last to bleed.
Be warn'd in time, the threaten'd danger shun,
To stay a moment is to be undone. 
What though, temptation proof, thy virtue shine,
Nor bribes can move, nor arts can undermine?
All other methods failing, one resource
Is still behind, and thou must yield to force.
Paint to thyself the horrors of a rape,
Most strongly paint, and, while thou canst, escape.
Mind not his promises--they're made in sport--
Made to be broke--was he not bred at court?
Trust not his honour, he's a man of birth:
Attend not to his oaths--they're made on earth, 
Not register'd in heaven--he mocks at Grace,
And in his creed God never found a place;
Look not for Conscience--for he knows her not,
So long a stranger, she is quite forgot;
Nor think thyself in law secure and firm,
Thy master is a lord, and thou a worm,
A poor mean reptile, never meant to think,
Who, being well supplied with meat and drink,
And suffer'd just to crawl from place to place,
Must serve his lusts, and think he does thee grace. 
  Fly then, whilst yet 'tis in thy power to fly;
But whither canst thou go? on whom rely
For wish'd protection? Virtue's sure to meet
An armed host of foes in every street.
What boots it, of Apicius fearful grown,
Headlong to fly into the arms of Stone?
Or why take refuge in the house of prayer
If sure to meet with an Apicius there?
Trust not old age, which will thy faith betray;
Saint Socrates is still a goat, though gray: 
Trust not green youth; Florio will scarce go down,
And, at eighteen, hath surfeited the town:
Trust not to rakes--alas! 'tis all pretence--
They take up raking only as a fence
'Gainst common fame--place H---- in thy view,
He keeps one whore, as Barrowby kept two:
Trust not to marriage--T---- took a wife,
Who chaste as Dian might have pass'd her life,
Had she not, far more prudent in her aim,
(To propagate the honours of his name, 
And save expiring titles) taken care,
Without his knowledge, to provide an heir:
Trust not to marriage, in mankind unread;
S----'s a married man, and S---- new wed.
  Wouldst thou be safe? Society forswear,
Fly to the desert, and seek shelter there;
Herd with the brutes--they follow Nature's plan--
There's not one brute so dangerous as man
In Afric's wilds--'mongst them that refuge find
Which Lust denies thee here among mankind: 
Renounce thy name, thy nature, and no more
Pique thy vain pride on Manhood: on all four
Walk, as you see those honest creatures do,
And quite forget that once you walk'd on two.
  But, if the thoughts of solitude alarm,
And social life hath one remaining charm;
If still thou art to jeopardy decreed
Amongst the monsters of Augusta's breed,
Lay by thy sex, thy safety to procure;
Put off the man, from men to live secure; 
Go forth a woman to the public view,
And with their garb assume their manners too.
Had the light-footed Greek of Chiron's school
Been wise enough to keep this single rule,
The maudlin hero, like a puling boy
Robb'd of his plaything, on the plains of Troy
Had never blubber'd at Patroclus' tomb,
And placed his minion in his mistress' room.
Be not in this than catamites more nice,
Do that for virtue, which they do for vice. 
Thus shalt thou pass untainted life's gay bloom,
Thus stand uncourted in the drawing-room;
At midnight thus, untempted, walk the street,
And run no danger but of being beat.
  Where is the mother, whose officious zeal,
Discreetly judging what her daughters feel
By what she felt herself in days of yore,
Against that lecher man makes fast the door?
Who not permits, e'en for the sake of prayer,
A priest, uncastrated, to enter there, 
Nor (could her wishes, and her care prevail)
Would suffer in the house a fly that's male?
Let her discharge her cares, throw wide her doors,
Her daughters cannot, if they would, be whores;
Nor can a man be found, as times now go,
Who thinks it worth his while to make them so.
  Though they more fresh, more lively than the morn,
And brighter than the noonday sun, adorn
The works of Nature; though the mother's grace
Revives, improved, in every daughter's face, 
Undisciplined in dull Discretion's rules,
Untaught and undebauch'd by boarding-schools,
Free and unguarded let them range the town,
Go forth at random, and run Pleasure down,
Start where she will; discard all taint of fear,
Nor think of danger, when no danger's near.
Watch not their steps--they're safe without thy care,
Unless, like jennets, they conceive by air,
And every one of them may die a nun, 
Unless they breed, like carrion, in the sun.
Men, dead to pleasure, as they're dead to grace,
Against the law of Nature set their face,
The grand primeval law, and seem combined
To stop the propagation of mankind;
Vile pathics read the Marriage Act with pride,
And fancy that the law is on their side.
  Broke down, and strength a stranger to his bed,
Old L----, though yet alive, is dead;
T---- lives no more, or lives not to our isle;
No longer bless'd with a Cz----'s smile; 
T---- is at P---- disgraced,
And M---- grown gray, perforce grows chaste;
Nor to the credit of our modest race,
Rises one stallion to supply their place.
A maidenhead, which, twenty years ago,
In mid December the rank fly would blow,
Though closely kept, now, when the Dog-star's heat
Inflames the marrow, in the very street
May lie untouch'd, left for the worms, by those
Who daintily pass by, and hold their nose; 
Poor, plain Concupiscence is in disgrace,
And simple Lechery dares not show her face,
Lest she be sent to bridewell; bankrupts made,
To save their fortunes, bawds leave off their trade,
Which first had left off them; to Wellclose Square
Fine, fresh, young strumpets (for Dodd preaches there)
Throng for subsistence; pimps no longer thrive,
And pensions only keep L---- alive.
  Where is the mother, who thinks all her pain,
And all her jeopardy of travail, gain 
When a man-child is born; thinks every prayer
Paid to the full, and answer'd in an heir?
Short-sighted woman! little doth she know
What streams of sorrow from that source may flow:
Little suspect, while she surveys her boy,
Her young Narcissus, with an eye of joy
Too full for continence, that Fate could give
Her darling as a curse; that she may live,
Ere sixteen winters their short course have run,
In agonies of soul, to curse that son. 
  Pray then for daughters, ye wise mothers, pray;
They shall reward your love, nor make ye gray
Before your time with sorrow; they shall give
Ages of peace, and comfort; whilst ye live
Make life most truly worth your care, and save,
In spite of death, your memories from the grave.
  That sense with more than manly vigour fraught,
That fortitude of soul, that stretch of thought,
That genius, great beyond the narrow bound
Of earth's low walk, that judgment perfect found 
When wanted most, that purity of taste,
Which critics mention by the name of chaste;
Adorn'd with elegance, that easy flow
Of ready wit, which never made a foe;
That face, that form, that dignity, that ease,
Those powers of pleasing, with that will to please,
By which Lepel, when in her youthful days,
E'en from the currish Pope extorted praise,
We see, transmitted, in her daughter shine,
And view a new Lepel in Caroline. 
  Is a son born into this world of woe?
In never-ceasing streams let sorrow flow;
Be from that hour the house with sables hung,
Let lamentations dwell upon thy tongue;
E'en from the moment that he first began
To wail and whine, let him not see a man;
Lock, lock him up, far from the public eye;
Give him no opportunity to buy,
Or to be bought; B----, though rich, was sold,
And gave his body up to shame for gold. 
  Let it be bruited all about the town,
That he is coarse, indelicate, and brown,
An antidote to lust; his face deep scarr'd
With the small-pox, his body maim'd and marr'd;
Ate up with the king's evil, and his blood
Tainted throughout, a thick and putrid flood,
Where dwells Corruption, making him all o'er,
From head to foot, a rank and running sore.
Shouldst thou report him, as by Nature made,
He is undone, and by thy praise betray'd; 
Give him out fair, lechers, in number more,
More brutal and more fierce, than throng'd the door
Of Lot in Sodom, shall to thine repair,
And force a passage, though a God is there.
  Let him not have one servant that is male;
Where lords are baffled, servants oft prevail.
Some vices they propose to all agree;
H---- was guilty, but was M---- free?
  Give him no tutor--throw him to a punk,
Rather than trust his morals to a monk-- 
Monks we all know--we, who have lived at home,
From fair report, and travellers, who roam,
More feelingly;--nor trust him to the gown,
'Tis oft a covering in this vile town
For base designs: ourselves have lived to see
More than one parson in the pillory.
Should he have brothers, (image to thy view
A scene, which, though not public made, is true)
Let not one brother be to t' other known,
Nor let his father sit with him alone. 
Be all his servants female, young and fair;
And if the pride of Nature spur thy heir
To deeds of venery, if, hot and wild,
He chance to get some score of maids with child,
Chide, but forgive him; whoredom is a crime
Which, more at this than any other time,
Calls for indulgence, and,'mongst such a race,
To have a bastard is some sign of grace.
  Born in such times, should I sit tamely down,
Suppress my rage, and saunter through the town 
As one who knew not, or who shared these crimes?
Should I at lesser evils point my rhymes,
And let this giant sin, in the full eye
Of observation, pass unwounded by?
Though our meek wives, passive obedience taught,
Patiently bear those wrongs, for which they ought,
With the brave spirit of their dams possess'd,
To plant a dagger in each husband's breast,
To cut off male increase from this fair isle,
And turn our Thames into another Nile; 
Though, on his Sunday, the smug pulpiteer,
Loud 'gainst all other crimes, is silent here,
And thinks himself absolved, in the pretence
Of decency, which, meant for the defence
Of real virtue, and to raise her price,
Becomes an agent for the cause of vice;
Though the law sleeps, and through the care they take
To drug her well, may never more awake;
Born in such times, nor with that patience cursed
Which saints may boast of, I must speak or burst. 
  But if, too eager in my bold career,
Haply I wound the nice, and chaster ear;
If, all unguarded, all too rude, I speak,
And call up blushes in the maiden's cheek,
Forgive, ye fair--my real motives view,
And to forgiveness add your praises too.
For you I write--nor wish a better plan,
The cause of woman is most worthy man--
For you I still will write, nor hold my hand
Whilst there's one slave of Sodom in the land, 
  Let them fly far, and skulk from place to place,
Not daring to meet manhood face to face,
Their steps I'll track, nor yield them one retreat
Where they may hide their heads, or rest their feet,
Till God, in wrath, shall let his vengeance fall,
And make a great example of them all,
Bidding in one grand pile this town expire,
Her towers in dust, her Thames a lake of fire;
Or they (most worth our wish) convinced, though late,
Of their past crimes, and dangerous estate, 
Pardon of women with repentance buy,
And learn to honour them, as much as I.

© Charles Churchill