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Each virtue kept its proper bound, Nor trespass'd on the other's ground. 20 Nor fame, nor censure they regarded; They neither punish’d nor rewarded. He car'd not what the footmen did; Her maids she neither prais'd nor chid ; So every servant took his course; And bad at first, they all grew worse. Slothful disorder fill'd his stable; And sluttish plenty deck'd her table. Their beer was strong; their wine was port; Their meal was large ; their grace was short. 30 They gave the poor the remnant meat, Just when it grew not fit to eat. They paid the church and parish rate; And took, but read not the receipt: For which they claim their Sunday's due, Of slumbering in an upper pew. No man's defects sought they to know; ... So never made themselves a foe. No man's good deeds did they commend; So never rais'd themselves a friend. 40 Nor cherish'd they relations poor; That might decrease their present store: Nor barn nor house did they repair; That might oblige their future heir. They neither added nor confounded; They neither wanted nor abounded. Each Christmas they accompts did clear, And wound their bottom round the year. Nor tear nor smile did they employ is At news of public grief, or joy. * 50 When bells were rung, and bonfires made,
If ask'd, they ne'er denied their aid;
HORACE, LIB, I. EPIST. IX. IMITATED.
Septimius, Claudi, nimirum intelligit unus,
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MR. HARLEY.”
* That you and I, Sir, are extremely great;
Though I plain Mat, you minister of state:
One word from me, without all doubt, he says,
* Afterwards Earl of Oxtord and Mortimer.
t This was Richard Shelton, Esq. one of the interlocutors in the poem of Alma. Mr. Prior in his will styles him his dear friend and companion.
Would fix his fortune in some little place.
TO MR. HARLEY, WOUNDED BY
-- ab ipso
§N one great now, superior to an age, The full extremes of Nature's force we find: How heavenly virtue can exalt; or rage Infernal, how degrade the human mind.
While the fierce monk does at his trial stand,
Guile in his tongue, and murder in his hand,
The guilty stroke and torture of the steel
* Antoine de Guiscard had been Abbot of Borly, near the Cevennes in France, but being of a vicious and profligate disposition, he committed offences which obliged him to fly from his country. He afterwards entered into the army, and was made colonel of a regiment of horse, and lieutenant-general, with pensions both from England and Holland. He afterwards, to make his peace with France, became a spy on the English court, was discovered, and taken before the council to be examined, when in a fit of madness and despair he stabbed Mr. Harley with a penknife which he had secreted. He was immediately secured, but died in Newgate a few days after, of some wounds he received in the scuffle. A very particular account of this transaction by Dean Swift and Mrs. Manley is printed in the Supplement to the Dean's works.
The wounds his country from his death must feel, The patriot views; for those alone he grieves.
The barbarous rage that durst attempt thy life,
And the sharp point of cruel Guiscard's knife,
Faithful assertor of thy country's cause,
She for thy safety shall enlarge her laws,
Yet midst her sighs she triumphs, on the hand
A stranger to her altars, and her land:
Meantime thy pain is gracious Anna's care:
Softens thy anguish : in her powerful prayer
Great as thou art, thou canst demand no more, 0 breast bewail'd by earth, preserv'd by heaven I
No higher can aspiring virtue soar: 31 Enough to thee of grief, and fame is given.