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The History of Satire. Roman Satirists, Lucilius, Horace, Per
sius, Juvenal, Ver. 357, &c. Causes of the Decay of Literature, particularly of Satire, Ver. 389. Revival of Satire, Ver. 401. Erasmus one of its principal Restorers, Ver. 405. Donne, Ver. 411, The Abuse of Satire in England, during the licentious Reign of Charles II. Ver. 415. Dryden, 429. The true Ends of Satire pursued by Boileau in France, Ver. 439; and by Mr. Pope in England, Ver. 445.
FATE gave the word ; the cruel arrow sped ; And Pope lies number'd with the mighty Dead ! Resign'd he fell ; superior to the dart, That quench'd its rage in YOURS and BRITAIN'S Heart:
- 4 You mourn : but Britain, lulld in rest profound, (Unconscious BRITAIN !) slumbers o'er her wound. Exulting Dulness ey'd the setting Light, And flapp'd her wing, impatient for the Night: Rous'd at the signal, Guilt collects her train, And counts the triumphs of her growing Reign : 10 With inextinguishable rage they burn; , And snake-hung Envy hisses o’er his Urn: Th’envenom'd Monsters spit their deadly foam, To blast the Laurel that surrounds his Tomb.
But You, O WARBURTON! whose eye refin'd 15 Can see the greatness of an honest mind; . Can see each Virtue and each Grace unite, And taste the Raptures of a pure Delight; You visit oft his awful Page with Care,
19 And view that bright Assemblage treasur’d there; You trace the Chain that links his deep design, And pour new Lustre on the glowing Line... Yet deign to hear the efforts of a Muse, Whose eye, not wing, his ardent flight pursues : Intent from this great Archetype to draw ... 25 SATIRE's bright Form, and fix her equal law;
Pleas'd if from hence th’unlearn'd may comprehend, And rey’rence His and SATIRE's gen'rous End.
In ev'ry breast there burns an active flame, The love of Glory, or the dread of Shame : 30 The Passion ONE, tho’ various it appear, As brighten'd into Hope, or dimm'd by Fear. The lisping Infant, and the hoary Sire, And Youth and Manhood feel the heart-born fire : The charms of Praise the Coy, the Modest woo, 35 And only fly, that Glory may pursue : She, Pow'r resistless, rules the wise and great ; Bends ev’n reluctant Hermits at her feet; Haunts the proud City, and the lowly Shade, And sways alike the Sceptre and the Spade. 40
Thus Heav'n in Pity wakes the friendly Flame, To urge Mankind on Deeds that merit Fame : But Man, vain Man, in folly only wise, Rejects the Manna sent him from the Skies : With rapture hears corrupted Passion's call, Still proudly prone to mingle with the stall. As each deceitful shadow tempts his view, He for the imag’d Substance quits the true ; Eager to catch the visionary Prize, In quest of Glory, plunges deep in vice; 50 Till madly zealous, impotently vain, He forfeits ev'ry Praise he pants to gain.
Thus still imperious NATURE plies her part; And still her dictates work in ev'ry heart. Each Pow'r that sov’reign Nature bids enjoy, 55 Man may corrupt, but Man can ne'er destroy : Like mighty rivers, with resistless force The Passions rage, obstructed in their course;
Swell to new heights, forbidden paths explore,
And sure, the deadliest Foe to Virtue's flame,
Fool.” Behold yon Wretch, by impious fashion driv’n, 75 Believes and trembles while he scoffs at Heav’ń. . By weakness strong, and bold through fear alone, He dreads the sneer by shallow coxcombs thrown; Dauntless pursues the path Spinoza trod; To Man a Coward, and à Brave to God. 80
Faith, Justice, Heav'n itself now quit their hold, When to false Fame the captiv'd heart is sold :
“Vois tu ce Libertin en public intrepide,
Boileau, Ep. iii.
Hence, blind to truth, relentless Cato died;
Hence SATIRE's pow'r : 'tis her corrective part,
Nor boasts the Muse a vain imagin'd pow'r, Tho' oft she mourn those ills she cannot cure. 100 The Worthy court her, and the Worthless fear : Who shun her piercing eye, that eye revere. Her awful voice the Vain and Vile obey, And ev'ry foe to Wisdom feels her sway. Smarts, Pedants, as she smiles, no more are vain; Desponding Fops resign the clouded cane : 106 Hush'd at her voice, pert Folly's self is still, And Dulness wonders while she drops her quill. Like the arm'd Bee, with art most subtly true, From pois’nous Vice she draws a healing dew: 110
Ver. 110. From pois' nous Vice, &c.] Alluding to these lines of Mr. Pope;
“In the nice Bee what Art so subtly true