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So weak are human-kind by nature made, Or to such weakness by their vice betray'd, Almighty Vanity! to thee they owe Their zest of pleasure, and their balm of woe. Thou, like the Sun, all colours dost contain, Varying, like rays of light, on drops of rain. For every soul finds reason to be proud, Though hiss'd and hooted by the pointing crowd.
Warm in pursuit of foxes and renown,
Nor are those enemies I mention'd, all;
* This refers to the first Satire.
'To one lov'd tulip oft the master went,
flower?” Serene, quoth Adam, “ Lo! 't was crush'd by me; Fall’n is the Baal to which thou bow'dst thy knee."
But all men want amusement ; and what crime In such a Paradise to fool their time? None : but why proud of this ? To fame they soar : We grant they 're idle, if they 'll ask no more.
We smile at florists, we despise their joy,
:With what, O Codrus! is thy fancy smit?
If not to some peculiar end design'd,
Or is at best a secondary aim,
On buying books Lorenzo long was bent,
Not in his authors' liveries alone Is Codrus' erudite ambition shown: Editions various, at high prices bought, Inform the world what Codrus would be thought ; And to this cost another must succeed, To pay a sage, who says that he can read; Who titles knows, and indexes has seen; But leaves to Chesterfield what lies between ; Of pompous books who shuns the proud expense, And humbly is contented with their sense.
O Stanhope, whose accomplishments make good The promise of a long-illustrious blood, In arts and manners eminently grac'd, The strictest honour ! and the finest taste ! Accept this verse; if Satire can agree With so consummate an humanity.
By your example would Hilario mend, How would it grace the talents of my friend ; Who, with the charms of his own genius smit, Conceives all virtues are compris’d in wit ! But time his fervent petulance may cool; For though he is a wit, he is no fool. In time he 'll learn to use, not waste, his sense ; Nor make a frailty of an excellence. He spares nor friend nor foe; but calls to mind, Like doom's-day, all the faults of all mankind.
What though wit tickles ? tickling is unsafe, If still 't is painful while it makes us laugh. Who, for the poor renown of being smart, Would leave a sting within a brother's heart?
Parts may be prais’d, good-nature is ador'd; Then draw your wit as seldom as your sword; And never on the weak; cr you ’ll appear As there no hero, no great genius here. As in smooth oil the razor best is whet, So wit is by politeness sharpest set: Their want of edge from their offence is seen; Both pain us least when exquisitely keen. The fame men give is for the joy they find; Dull is the jester, when the joke's unkind.
Since Marcus, doubtless, thinks himself a wit, To pay my compliment, what place so fit? His most facetious letters * came to hand, Which my First Satire sweetly reprimand : If that a just offence to Marcus gave, Say, Marcus, which art thou, a fool, or knave ?
* Letters sent to the author, signed Marcus.
For all but such with caution I forbore ;
In malice to proud wits, some proudly lull
-“He's a wit.” Poor negroes, thus to show their burning spite To cacodemons, say, they 're devilish white.
Lampridius, from the bottom of his breast, Sighs o'er one child; but triumphs in the rest. How just his grief ! one carries in his head A less proportion of the father's lead; And is in danger, without special grace, To rise above a justice of the peace. The dung-hill breed of men a diamond scorn, And feel a passion for a gruin of corn ; Some stupid, plodding, money-loving wight, Who wins their hearts by knowing black from white,