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See thronging Millions to the Pagod ran,
and adore : All, all look up, with reverential Awe, At Crimes that 'scape, or triumph o'er the Law : While Truth, Worth, Wisdom, daily they decry — « Nothing is Sacred now but Villainy." 170
Yet may this Verse (if fuch a Verfe remain) Show, there was one who held it in disdain.
Veri 165. The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Wbore, -- Are what ten thousand envy and adore :] And no wonder, for the wit of Cheats being the evasion of Justice, and the Courage of e Wbore the contempt for reputation ; these emancipate men from the two tyrannical restraints upon free spirits, fear of punishment, and dread of shame.
E P I L O G U E
S A TIRE S.
Written in MDCCXXXVIII.
IS all a Libel-Paxton (Sir) will say
Friend ! to morrow 'faith
P. Not yet, my
And for that very cause I print to day.
VER, 1. Paxton.) Late sollicitor to the Treasury,
F. Yet none but you by name the guilty lalh : Ev'n Guthry saves half Newgate by a Dash. Spare then the Person, and expose the Vice.
P. How, Sir I not damn the Sharper, but the Dice?
P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do.
F. You do. P. See, now I keep the Secret, and not you ! . The bribing Statesman-F. Hold, too high you go. P. The bribd Elector-F. There you stoop too low.
25 P. I fain would please you, if I knew with what; Tell me, which Knave is lawful Game, which not?
VER. II. Ev'n Guthry.] The Ordinary of Newgate, who publishes the memoirs of the Malefactors, and is often prevailed upon to be fo tender of their reputation, as to fet down no more than the initials of their name,
VER. 13. How, Sir! not damn the Sharper, but the Dice? ] The liveliness of the reply may excuse the bad reasoning ; otherwise the dice, tho' they rhyme to vice, can never stand for it, which his argument requires they should do. For the dice are only the instruments of fraud ; but the question is not, whether the instrument, but whether the a&t committed by it, should be exposed, instead of the person,
Must great Offenders, once efcap'd the Crown,
F. A Dean, Sir ? no : his Fortune is not made, You lurt a man that's rising in the Trade,
35 P. If not the Tradesman who set up to day, Much less the 'Prentice who to morrow may. Down, down, proud Satire ! tho’a Realm be fpoild, Arraign no mightier Thief than wretched Wild; Or, if a Court or Country's made a job,
40 Go drench a Pick-pocket, and join the Mob.
But, Sir, I beg you (for the Love of Vice !)
and friendless Villain, than the Great ? 45
Ver. 29. Like Royal Hearts, etc.] Alluding to the old Game-laws, when our Kings spent all the time they could spare from human Naughter, in Woods and Forests.
VER. 35. You burt a man that's rising in the Trade.] For, as the reasonable De la Bruyere observes, “ Qui ne sait être
un ERASME, doit penser à être Evêque."
VER. 39. wretched Wild,] Jonathan Wild, a famous Thief, and Thief-Impeacher, who was at last caught in his own train and hanged.
VER. 42. for the love of Vice] We must consider the Poet as here directing his discourse to a follower of the new system of Politics, That private vices are publick benefits, SCRIBL.
Alas! the small Discredit of a Bribe
P. Must Satire, then, nor rise nor fall ?
F. Yes, frike that Wild, I'll justify the blow.
P. Strike ? why the man was hang'd ten years ago: Who now that obsolete Example fears ? Ev'n Peter trembles only for his Ears.
F. What always Peter? Peter thinks you mad, You make men desp'rate, if they once are bad : Else might he take to Virtue fome years hence to
P. As Smk, if he lives, will love the Prince.
P. Do I
VER. 51. why lay it on a King.) He is serious in the foregoing subjects of satire; but ironical here, and only alludes to the common practice of Ministers, in laying their own miscarriages on their masters.
VER. 57. Ev'n Peter trembles only for his ears.] Peter had, the year before this, narrowly escaped the Pillory for forgery: and got off with a severe rebuke only from the bench.
Ver. 65. Scarb'row] Earl of, and Knight of the Carter,