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An EPÍSTLE to Mr. SPENCE,
When Tutor to Lord MIDDLESEX.
În imitation of HORACE, Book I. Epift. 18.
By the late Mr. CHRIŠTOPHER Pitt.
CPENCE, with a friend you pass the hours away
In pointed jokes, yet innocently gay:
You ever differ'd from a flatterer more,
Than a chast lady from a faunting whore.
'Tis true you rallied every fault you found,
But gently tickled, while you cur'd the wound:
Uniike the paultry poets of the town,
Rogues who expose themselves for half a crown;
And still impose on ev'ry soul they meet
Rudeness for sense, and ribaldry for wit:
Who, tho' half-starv’d, in spite of time and place,
Repeat their rhymes, tho' dinner stays for grace :
And as their poverty their dresses fit,
They think of course a sloven is a wit :
But sense (a truth these coxcombs ne'er suspect,}
Lies just 'twixt affectation and neglect.
One step still lower, if you can, descend,
To the mean wretch, the great man's humble friend ;'
That moving fhade, that pendant at his ear,
That two-leggʻd dog, still pawing on the peer.
Studying his looks, and watching at the board,
He gapes to catch the droppings of my lord;
And tickled to the soul at ev'ry joke,
Like a press'd watch, repeats what t'other spoke :
Echo to nonsense! such a scene to hear! "
'Tis just like Punch and his interpreter.
On trifles fome are earnestly absurd,
You'll think the world depends on ev'ry word. com
What, is not ev'ry mortal free to speak ?
I'll give my reasons, tho' I break my neck
And what's the question ?-if it shines or rains,
Whether 'tis twelve or fifteen miles to Staines.
The wretch reduc'd to rags by ev'ry vice,
Pride, projects, races, mistresses and dice,
The rich rogue Thuns, tho' full as bad as he,
And knows a quarrel is good husbandry.
'Tis strange, cries Peter, you are out of pelf,
I'm sure I thought you wiser than myself; .
Yet gives him nothing—but advice too late,
Retrench, or rather mortgage your estate,
I can advance the sum,-'tis best for both,
But henceforth cut your coat to match your cloth.
A minister, in mere revenge and sport,
Shall give his foe a paultry place at court.
The dupe for ev'ry royal birth-day buys
New horses, coaches, cloaths and liveries;
Plies at the levee, and distinguish'd there
Lives on the royal whisper for a year ;
His wenches shine in Brussells and brocade ;
And now the wretch, ridiculously mad,
Draws on his banker, mortgages and fails,
Then to the country runs away from jails :
There ruin'd by the court he sells a vote
To the next burgers, as of old he bought;
Rubs down the steeds which once his chariot bore,
Or sweeps the town, which once he serv'd before.
But, by this roving meteor led, I tend
Beyond my theme, forgetful of my friend.
Then take advice; I preach not out of time,
When good lord Middlesex is bent on rhyme.
· Their humour check’d, or inclination croft,
Sometimes the friendship of the great is lost.
Unless call’d out to wench, be sure comply,
Hunt when he hunts, and lay the fathers by:
For your reward you gain his love, and dine
On the best ven’son and the best Erench wine,
Nor to lord ****** make the observation,
How the twelve peers have answer'd their creation,
Nor in your wine ar wrath betray your trust,
Be filent still, and obstinately just: is.'
Explore no secrets, draw no characters,
For Echo will repeat, and walls have ears :
Nor let a busy fool a secret know,
A secret gripes him till he lets it go :
Words are like bullets, and we wilh in vain, .
When once discharg'd, to call them back again.
* * * * * * * * * *
Defend, dear Spence, the honest and the civil,
But to cry up a rascal. that's the devil,
Who guards a good man's character, 'tis known,
At the same time protects and guards his own.
For as with houses 'tis with people's names,
A shed may set a palace all on flames;
The fire neglected on the cottage preys,
But mounts at last into a general blaze.
'Tis a fine thing, some think, a lord to know ;
I with his tradesmen could but think fo too.
He gives his word then all your hopes are gone:
He gives his honour- then you're quite undone.
His and some women's love the same are found,
You rafhly board a fireship and are drown'd.
Most folks so partial to themselves are grown,
They hate a temper diff'ring from their own.
The grave abhor the gay, the gay the sad,
And formalists pronounce the witty mad :
The sot, who drinks fix bottles in a place,
Swears at the finchers who refuse their glass. :
Would you not pass for an ill-natur’d man,
Comply with ev'ry humour that you can.
X x 2
Pope will instru&t you how to pass away
Your time like him, and never lose a day;
From hopes or fears your quiet to defend,
To all mankind as to yourself a friend,
And sacred from the world, retir’d, unknown,
To lead a life with morals like his own.
WHEN to delicious Pimperne I retire,
What greater bliss, my SPENCE, can I desire?
Contented there my easy hours I spend
With maps, globes, books, my bottle and a friend.
There can I live upon my income ftill,
E’en though the house should pass the quakers bill:.
Yet to my share should some good prebend fall,
I think myself of size to fill a stall.
For life or wealth let heav'n my lot affign,
A firm and even soul shall still be mine.
On taking a BATCHELOR's Degree,
In allufion to Horace, Book iii. Ode 30.
Exegi monumentum ære perennius, &c. STIS done : - I tow'r to that degree,
And catch such heav'nly fire, That HORACE nee'r could rant like me,
Nor is (a) King's-chapel higher. My name in fure recording page
(6) Shall time itself o'erpow'r, If no rudè mice with envious rage
The buttery books devour.
(a) Regali fitu pyramidum altius
(b) Quod non innumerabilis
Annorum series, &c.
A title too, with added grace,
My name shall now attend, (c) Till to the church with silent pace
A nymph and priest afcend. rio Evin in the schools I now rejoice,
Where late I thook'with fear, *': Nor heed the (d) Moderator's voice
Loud thund'ring in my ear.
Then with (e.) Æolian Aute I bļow
A soft Italian lay,
Or where (f) Cam's scanty waters Aow,
Releas'd from lectures, stray.
Meanwhile, friend Banks, my merits claim
Their just reward from you,
For Horace bids us (8) challenge fame,
When once that fame's our due.
Invest me with a graduate's gown,
Midst shouts of all beholders, (b) My head with ample square-cap crown,
And deck with hood my shoulders. Cambridge.
(c) — dum Capitolium, Scandet cum tacitâ virgine pontifex.
(d) — quà violens Obftrepit Aufidus
(e) — Æolium carmen ad Italas Deduxisse modos. (f) - quà pauper aquæ Daunus, &c. . .
(g) Sume fuperbiam . . Quæfitam meritis
(h) - mihi Delphica Lauro cinge volens comam.