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Oft SATIRE acts the faithful surgeon's part; Generous and kind, though painful is her art: With caution bold, she only strikes to heal; Though folly raves to break the friendly steel. Then sure no fault impartial SATIRE knows, 165 Kind even in vengeance, kind to Virtue's foes. . Whose is the crime, the scandal too be theirs : The knave and fool are their own libellers.
Dare nobly then : but conscious of your trust,
But chief, be steady in a noble end,
With caution next, the dangerous power apply;
Let Satire then her proper object know,
Truth's sacred fort th' exploded laugh shall win, And coxcombs vanquish BERKLEY by a grin.
But you, more sage, reject th' inverted rule, 225 That truth is e'er explored by ridicule: On truth, on falsehood let her colours fall, She throws a dazzling glare alike on all; As the gay prism but mocks the flatter'd
eye, And gives to every object every dye.
230 Beware the mad adventurer: bold and blind She hoists her sail, and drives with every wind; Deaf as the storm to sinking virtue's groan, Nor heeds a friend's destruction, or her own. Let clear-eyed 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.
Though distant times may rise in Satire's page, Yet chief 'tis hers to draw the present age; 240 With wisdom's lustre, 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; Point back to minds ingenuous, actions fair, 245 Till the sons blush at what their fathers were, Ere yet 'twas beggary the great to trust; Ere yet 'twas quite a folly to be just; When low-born sharpers only dared a lie, Or falsified the card, or cogg'd the die; 250 Ere lewdness the staind garb of honour wore, Or chastity was carted for the whore;
Vice flutter'd, in the plumes of freedom dress'd; Or public spirit was the public jest.
Be ever, in a just expression, bold, 255 Yet ne'er degrade fair Satire to a scold: Let no unworthy mien her form debase, But let her smile, and let her frown with grace: In mirth be temperate, temperate in her spleen; Nor, while she preaches modesty, obscene. 260 Deep let her wound, not rankle to a sore, Nor call his Lordship
her Grace a The Muse's charms resistless then assail, When wrapp'd in Irony's transparent veil: Her beauties half conceal'd, the more surprize, 265 And keener lustre sparkles in her eyes. Then be your line with sharp encomiums graced : Style Clodius honourable, Bufa chaste.
Dart not on Folly an indignant eye: Who e'er discharged artillery on a fly? 270 Deride not Vice: absurd the thought and vain, To bind the tiger in so weak a chain. Nay, more: when flagrant crimes your laughter
move, The knave exults: to smile is to approve. The Muse's labour then success shall crown, 275 When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown.
Know next what measures to each theme belong, And suit your thoughts and numbers to your song: On wing proportion'd to your quarry rise, And stoop to earth, or soar among the skies. 280 Thus when a modish folly you rehearse, Free the expression, simple be the verse.