EPISTLES OF HORACE.
1 S** whose love indulg'd my labours past,
2 Matures my present, and shall bound my last!
3 Why 2 will you break the Sabbath of my days?
4 Now sick alike of Envy and of Praise.
5 Publick too long, ah let me hide my Age!
6 See modest 3 Cibber now has left the Stage:
7 Our Gen'rals now, 4 retir'd to their Estates,
8 Hang their old Trophies o'er the Garden gates,
9 In Life's cool evening satiate of applause,
10 Nor 5 fond of bleeding, ev'n in BR—'s cause.
11 6 A Voice there is, that whispers in my ear,
12 ('Tis Reason's voice, which sometimes one can hear)
13 "Friend Pope! be prudent, let your7 Muse take breath,
14 "And never gallop Pegasus to death;
15 "Lest stiff, and stately, void of fire, and force,
16 "You limp, like Blackmore, on a Lord Mayor's horse. '
17 Farewel then 8 Verse, and Love, and ev'ry Toy,
18 The rhymes and rattles of the Man or Boy:
19 What 9 right, what true, what fit, we justly call,
20 Let this be all my care-for this is All:
21 To lay this 10 harvest up, and hoard with haste
22 What ev'ry day will want, and most, the last.
23 But ask not, to what 11 Doctors I apply?
24 Sworn to no Master, of no Sect am I:
25 As drives the 12 storm, at any door I knock,
26 And house with Montagne now, or now with Lock.
27 Sometimes a 13 Patriot, active in debate,
28 Mix with the World, and battle for the State,
29 Free as young Lyttleton, her cause pursue,
30 Still true to Virtue, 14 and as warm as true:
31 Sometimes, with Aristippus, or St. Paul,
32 Indulge my Candor, and grow all to all;[Page 7]
33 Back to my 15 native Moderation slide,
34 And win my way by yielding to the tyde.
35 16 Long, as to him who works for debt, the Day,
36 Long as the Night to her whose love's away;
37 Long as the Year's dull circle seems to run,
38 When the brisk Minor pants for twenty-one;
39 So slow th' 17 unprofitable Moments roll,
40 That lock up all the Functions of my soul;
41 That keep me from Myself; and still delay
42 Life's instant business to a future day:
43 That 18 task, which as we follow, or despise,
44 The eldest is a fool, the youngest wise;
45 Which done, the poorest can no wants endure,
46 And which not done, the richest must be poor.
47 19 Late as it is, I put my self to school,
48 And feel some 20 comfort, not to be a fool.
49 21 Weak tho' I am of limb, and short of sight,
50 Far from a Lynx, and not a Giant quite,
51 I'll do what MEAD and CHESELDEN advise,
52 To keep these limbs, and to preserve these eyes.
53 Not to 22 go back, is somewhat to advance,
54 And Men must walk at least before they dance.
55 Say, does thy 23 blood rebel, thy bosom move
56 With wretched Avarice, or as wretched Love?
57 Know, there are Words, and Spells, which can controll
58 (24 Between the Fits) this Fever of the soul:
59 Know, there are Rhymes, which (25 fresh and fresh apply'd)
60 Will cure the arrant'st Puppy of his Pride.
61 Be 26 furious, envious, slothful, mad or drunk,
62 27 Slave to a Wife or Vassal to a Punk,
63 A Switz, a High-dutch, or a Low-dutch 28 Bear —
64 All that we ask is but a patient Ear.
65 29 'Tis the first Virtue, Vices to abhor;
66 And the first Wisdom to be Fool no more.
67 But to the world, no 30 bugbear is so great,
68 As want of figure, and a small Estate.
69 To either India see the Merchant fly,
70 Scar'd at the spectre of pale Poverty!
71 See him, with pains of body, pangs of soul,
72 Burn through the Tropic, freeze beneath the Pole!
73 Wilt thou do nothing for a nobler end,
74 Nothing, to make Philosophy thy friend?
75 To stop thy foolish views, thy long desires,
76 And 32 ease thy heart of all that it admires?
77 Here, Wisdom calls: 33 "Seek Virtue first! be bold!
78 "As Gold to Silver, Virtue is to Gold. "
79 There, London's voice: 34"Get Mony, Mony still!
80 "And then let Virtue follow, if she will."
81 This, this the saving doctrine, preach'd to all,
82 From 35 low St. James's up to high St. Paul;
83 From him whose 36 quills stand quiver'd at his ear,
84 To him who notches Sticks at Westminster.
85 BARNARD in 37 spirit, sense, and truth abounds.
86 "Pray then what wants he?"fourscore thousand pounds,
87 A Pension, or such Harness for a slave
88 As Bug now has, and Bestia fain would have.
89 BARNARD, thou art a 38 Cit, with all thy worth;
90 Bestia and Bug, Their Honours, and so forth.
91 Yet every 39 child another song will sing,
92 "Virtue, brave boys! 'tis Virtue makes a King."
93 True, conscious Honour is to feel no sin,
94 He's arm'd without that's innocent within;
95 Be this thy 40 Screen, and this thy Wall of Brass;
96 Compar'd to this, a Minister's an Ass.
97 41 And say, to which shall our applause belong,
98 This new Court jargon, or the good old song? [Page 13]
99 The modern language of corrupted Peers,
100 Or what was spoke at 42 CRESSY and POITIERS?
101 43 Who counsels best? who whispers, "Be but Great,
102 "With Praise or Infamy, leave that to fate;
103 "Get Place and Wealth, if possible, with Grace;
104 "If not, by any means get Wealth and Place.
105 For what? to have a 44 Box where Eunuchs sing,
106 And foremost in the Circle eye a King.
107 Or 45 he, who bids thee face with steddy view
108 Proud Fortune, and look shallow Greatness thro':
109 And, 46 while he bids thee, sets th' Example too?
110 If 47 such a Doctrine, in St. James's air,
111 Shou'd chance to make the well-drest Rabble stare;
112 If honest S* take scandal at a spark,
113 That less admires the 48 Palace than the Park;
114 Faith I shall give the answer 49 Reynard gave,
115 "I cannot like, Dread Sir! your Royal Cave;
116 "Because I see by all the Tracks about,
117 "Full many a Beast goes in, but none comes out."
118 Adieu to Virtue if you're once a Slave:
119 Send her to Court, you send her to her Grave.
120 Well, if a King's a Lion, at the least
121 The 50 People are a many-headed Beast:
122 Can they direct what measures to pursue,
123 Who know themselves so little what to do?
124 Alike in nothing but one Lust of Gold,
125 Just half the land would buy, and half be sold:
126 Their 51 Country's wealth our mightier Misers drain,
127 Or cross, to plunder Provinces, the Main:
128 The rest, some farm the Poor-box, some the Pews;
129 Some keep Assemblies, and wou'd keep the Stews;
130 Some 52 with fat Bucks on childless Dotards fawn;
131 Some win rich Widows by their Chine and Brawn;
132 While with the silent growth of ten per Cent,
133 In Dirt and darkness 53 hundreds stink content.
134 Of all these ways, if each 54 pursues his own,
135 Satire be kind, and let the wretch alone.
136 But show me one, who has it in his pow'r
137 To act consistent with himself an hour.
138 Sir Job 55 sail'd forth, the evening bright and still,
139 "No place on earth (he cry'd) like Greenwich hill!"
140 56 Up starts a Palace, lo! th' obedient base
141 Slopes at its foot, the woods its sides embrace,
142 The silver Thames reflects its marble face. [Page 17]
143 Now let some whimzy, or that 57 Dev'l within
144 Which guides all those who know not what they mean
145 But give the Knight (or give his Lady) spleen;
146 "Away, away! take all your scaffolds down,
147 "For Snug's the word: My dear! we'll live in Town. "
148 At am'rous Flavio is the 58 Stocking thrown?
149 That very night he longs to lye alone.
150 59 The Fool whose Wife elopes some thrice a quarter,
151 For matrimonial Solace dies a martyr.
152 Did ever 60 Proteus, Merlin, any Witch,
153 Transform themselves so strangely as the Rich?
154 "Well, but the 61 Poor — the Poor have the same itch:
155 They change their 63 weekly Barber, weekly News,
156 Prefer a new Japanner to their shoes,
157 Discharge their 62 Garrets, move their Beds, and run
158 (They know not whither) in a Chaise and one;
159 They 64 hire their Sculler, and when once aboard,
160 Grow sick, and damn the Climate — like a Lord,
161 65 You laugh, half Beau half Sloven if I stand,
162 My Wig all powder, and all snuff my Band;
163 You laugh, if Coat and Breeches strangely vary,
164 White Gloves, and Linnen worthy Lady Mary! [Page 21]
165 But when 66 no Prelate's Lawn with Hair-shirt lin'd,
166 Is half so incoherent as my Mind,
167 When (each Opinion with the next at strife,
168 One 67 ebb and flow of follies all my Life)
169 I 68 plant, root up, I build, and then confound,
170 Turn round to square, and square again to round;
171 69 You never change one muscle of your face,
172 You think this Madness but a common case,
173 Nor 70 once to Chanc'ry, nor to*
* The Doctor of Bedlam. Hales apply;
174 Yet hang your lip, to see a Seam awry!
175 Careless how ill I with myself agree;
176 Kind to my dress, my figure, not to Me.
177 Is this my 71 Guide, Philosopher, and Friend?
178 This, He who loves me, and who ought to mend?
179 Who ought to make me (what he can, or none,)
180 That Man divine whom Wisdom calls her own,
181 Great without Title, without Fortune bless'd,
182 Rich 73 ev'n when plunder'd, 75 honour'd while oppress'd,
183 Lov'd 76 without youth, and follow'd without power,
184 At home tho' exil'd, 74 free, tho' in the Tower.
185 In short, that reas'ning, high, immortal Thing,
186 Just 72 less than Jove, and 77 much above a King,
187 Nay half in Heav'n — 78 except (what's mighty odd)
188 A Fit of Vapours clouds this Demi-god.