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Not by his frigid constitution;
But through a pious resolution:
For he had made a holy vow
Of Chastity, as monks do now:
Which hè resolv’d to keep for ever hence,
And strictly too, às doth his reverence*.
Apply the tale, and you shall find,
How just it suits with humankind.
Some faults we own : but, can you guess?
Why virtues carried to excess,
Wherewith our vanity endows us,
Though neither foe nor friend allows us.
The Lawyer swears (you may rely on't)
He never squeez'd a needy client;
And this he makes his constant rule;
For which his brethren call him fool:
His conscience always was so nice,
He freely gave
By which he lost, he may affirm,
A hundred fees last Easter term.
While others of the learned robe
Would break the patience of a Job;
No pleader at the bar could match
His diligence and quick dispatch;
Ne'er kept a cause, he well may boast,
Above a term or two at most.
The cringing Knave, who seeks a place
Without success, thus tells his case:
Why should he longer mince the matter?
He fail'd, because he could not flatter;
He had not learn'd to turn his coat,
Nor for a party give his vote:
His crime he quickly understood;
Too zealous for the nation's good :
He found the ministers resent it,
Yet could not for his heart repent it.
* The priest his confessor, F,
The Chaplain vows, he cannot fawn,
Though it would raise him to the lawn:
He pass'd his hours among his books;
You find it in his meagre looks :
He might, if he were worldly wise,
Preferment get, and spare
But owns, he had a stubborn spirit,
That made him trust alone to merit;
Would rise by merit to promotion;
Alas! a mere chimerick notion.
The Doctor, if you will believe him,
Confess'd a sin; (and God forgive him!)
Call’d up at midnight, ran to save
A blind old beggar from the grave;
But see how Satan spreads his snares ;
He quite forgot to say his prayers.
He cannot help it for his heart
Sometimes to act the parson's part:
Quotes from the Bible many a sentence,
That moves his patients to repentance :
And, when his medicines do no good,
Supports their minds with heavenly food;
At which, however well intended,
He hears the clergy are offended;
And grown so bold behind his back,
To call him hypocrite and quack.
In his own church he keeps a seat;
Says grace before and after meat;
And calls, without affecting airs,
His household twice a day to prayers.
He shuns apothecaries shops,
And hates to cram the sick with slops :
He scorns to make his art a trade;
Nor bribes my lady's favourite maid.
Old nurse-keepers would never hire,
To recommend him to the squire;
Which others, whom he will not name,
Hare often practis'd to their shame.
The Statesman tells you,
with a sheer, His fault is to be too sincere; And having no sinister ends, Is apt to disoblige his friends. The nation's good, his master's glory, Without regard to wbig or tory, Were all the schemes he had in view; Yet he was seconded by few : Though some had spread a thousand lies, 'Twas he defeated the excise. 'Twas known, though he had born aspersion, That standing troops were his aversion : His practice was, in every station, To serve the king, and please the nation. Though hard to find in every case The fittest man to fill a place: His promises he ne'er forgot, But took memorials on the spot, His enemies, for want of charity, Said, he affected popularity: 'Tis true, the people understood, That all he did was for their good; Their kind affections he has tried ; No love is lost on either side. He came to court with fortune clear, Which now he runs out every year : Must, at the rate that he goes on, Inevitably be undone : O! if his majesty would please To give him but a writ of ease, Would grant him licence to retire, And it has long been his desire, By fair accounts it would be found, He's poorer by ten thousand pound, He owns, and hopes it is no sin, He ne'er was partial to his kin; He thought it base for men in stations To crowd the court with their relations :
His country was his dearest mother,
And every virtuous man his brother;
Through modesty or awkward shame,
(For which he owns himself to blame)
He found the wisest map he could,
Without respect to friends or blood;
Nor ever acts on private views,
When he has liberty to choose.
The Sharper swore, he hated play,
Except to pass an hour away:
And well he might; for, to his cost,
By want of skill, be always lost;
He heard there was a club of cheats,
Who had contriv'd a thousand feats;
Could change the stock, or cog a die,
And thus deceive the sharpest eye:
Nor wonder how his fortune sunk,
His brothers fleece him when he's drunk.
I own the moral not exact; Besides, the tale is false in fact; And so absurd, that could I raise up From fields Elysian, fabling Æsop. I would accuse him to his face For libelling the fourfoot race. Creatures of every kind but ours Well comprehend their natural powers; While we, whom reason ought to sway, Mistake our talents every day. The Ass was never known so stupid, To act the part of Tray or Cupid; Nor leaps upon his master's lap, There to be strok’d, and fed with pap, As Æsop would the world persuade; He better understands his trade : Nor comes whene'er his lady whistles; But carries loads, and feeds on thistles. Our author's meaning, I presume, is A creature bipes et implumis;
Wherein the moralist design'd
A compliment on humankind:
For here he owns, that now and then
Beasts may degenerate into men,
HAT you, friend Marcus, like a stoick,
Can wish to die in strains heroick,
No real fortitude implies :
Yet, all must own, thy wish is wise.
Thy curate's place, thy fruitful wife,
Thy busy, drudging scene of life,
Thy insolent, illiterate vicar,
Thy want of all-consoling liquor,
Thy threadbare gown, thy cassock rent,
Thy credit sunk, thy money spent,
Thy week made up of fastingdays,
Thy grate unconsious of a blaze,
And, to complete thy other curses,
The quarterly demands of nurses,
Are ills you wisely wish to leave,
And fly for refuge to the grave;
And, 0, what virtue you express,
In wishing such afflictions Jess!
But, now, should Fortune shift the scene,
And make thy curateship a dean;
Or some rich benefice provide,
To pamper luxury and pride;
With labour small and income great ;
With chariot less for use than state ;
With swelling scarf and glossy gown,
And licence to reside in town: