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Cunning evades, securely wrapt in wiles ;
But with the friends of Vice, the foes of Satire, All truth is Spleen; all just reproof, Ill-nature.
Well may they dread the Muse's fatal skill; Well may. they tremble when she draws her quill : Her magic quill, that, like ITHURIEL's spear, 135 Reveals the cloven hoof, or lengthen'd ear : Bids Vice and Folly take their nat'ral Tapes, Turns Duchesses to strumpets, Beaux to apes ; Drags the vile Whisperer from his dark abode, 'Till all the Dæmon starts up from the toad. 140
O fordid maxim, form'd to skreen the vile, That true good-nature still must wear a smile! In frowns array'd her beauties stronger rise, When love of Virtue wakes her scorn of Vice: Where Justice calls, 'tis Cruelty to save;
145 And 'tis the Law's good-nature hangs the Knave. Who combats Virtue's foe is Virtue's friend ; Then judge of SATIRE's merit by her end : To Guilt alone her vengeance stands confin’d, The object of her love is all Mankind.
150 Scarce more the friend of Man, the wife must own, Ev’n Allen's bounteous hand, than SATIRE's frown: This to chastise, as That to bless, was giv'n; Alike the faithful Ministers of Heav'n.
Oft in unfeeling hearts the shaft is spent :
155 Tho' strong th’example, weak the punishment. They least are paid, who merit fatire most; Foily the Laureat’s, Vice was Chartres' boaft: Then where's the wrong, to gibbet high the name Of Fools and Knaves already dead to shame? O't Satire acts the faithful Surgeon's part; Gen'rous and kind tho' painful is her art: With caution bold, she only strikes to heal ; Tho' folly raves to break the friendly steel. Then fure no fault impartial SATIRE knows, 165 Kind ev’n in Vengeance, kind to Virtue's foes, Whose is the crime, the fcandal too be theirs : The Knave and Fool are their own Libellers.
ARE nobly then : But conscious of your truft,
As ever warm and bold be ever juft: 1,0 Nor court applause in these degen'rate days: The Villain's censure is extorted praise.
But chief, be steady in a noble end, And shew Mankind that Truth has yet a friend. 'Tis mean for empty praise of wit to write, As Foplings grin to show their teeth are white : To brand a doubtful folly with a smile, Or madly blaze unknown defects, is vile : 'Tis doubly vile, when, but to prove your art, You fix an arrow in a blameless heart. O loft to honour's voice, O doom'd to shame, Thou Fiend accurs’d, thou Murderer of Fame ! Fell Ravilher, from Innocence to tear That name, than liberty, than life more dear! Where shall thy baseness meet its just return, 185 Or what repay thy guilt, but endless scorn ? And know, immortal Truth shall mock thy toil: Immortal Truth shall bid the shaft recoil ; With rage retorted, wing the deadly dart; And empty all its poyson in thy heart, 190
With caution next, the dang'rous pow'r apply;
In vain the trackless maze of Truth you scan,
But you,'more fage, reject th' inverted rule, 225 That Truth is e'er explor'd by Ridicule: On truth, on salshood let her colours fall, She throws a dazzling glare alike on all ; As the
Prism but mocks the flatter'd eye, And gives to ev'ry objećt ev'ry dye.
230 Beware the mad Advent'rer: bold and blind She hoists her fail, and drives with ev'ry wind; Deaf as the Storm to sinking Virtue's groan, Nor heeds a Friend's destruction, or her own. Let clear-ey'd Reason at the helm preside, 235 Bear to the wind, or stem the furious tide; Then Mirth may urge, when Reason can explore, This point the way, that waft us glad to shore.
Tho' distant Times may rise in Satire's page, Yet chief ’tis Her's to draw the present Age : 2,0 With Wisdom's luftre, Folly's shade contrast, And judge the reigning Manners by the past : Bid Britain's Heroes (awful Shades !) arise, And ancient Honour beam on modern Vice: