The Methodist - A Poem
by Evan Lloyd
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The Augustan Reprint Society



A Poem.


Introduction by Raymond Bentman

Publication Number 151-152 William Andrews Clark Memorial Library University Of California, Los Angeles 1972


William E. Conway, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles David S. Rodes, University of California, Los Angeles


Richard C. Boys, University of Michigan James L. Clifford, Columbia University Ralph Cohen, University of Virginia Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago Louis A. Landa, Princeton University Earl Miner, University of California, Los Angeles Samuel H. Monk, University of Minnesota Everett T. Moore, University of California, Los Angeles Lawrence Clark Powell, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library James Sutherland, University College, London H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles Robert Vosper, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library Curt A. Zimansky, State University of Iowa


Edna C. Davis, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


Jean T. Shebanek, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


Evan Lloyd's works consist chiefly of four satires written in 1766 and 1767,[1] all of which are now little-known. What little notice he receives today results from his friendship with John Wilkes and David Garrick and from one satire, The Methodist, which is usually included in surveys of anti-Methodist literature.[2] For the most part, his obscurity is deserved. In The Methodist, however, he participates in a short-lived revolt against the tyranny of Augustan satire and shows considerable evidence of a talent that might have created a new style for formal verse satire.

The seventeen-sixties were a difficult period for satire. The struggle between Crown and Parliament, the new industrial and agricultural methods, the workers' demands for higher pay, the new rural and urban poor, the growth of the Empire, the deteriorating relations with the American colonies, the increasing influence of the ideas of the Enlightenment, the popularity of democratic ideas, the Wilkes controversy, the growth of Methodism, the growth of the novel, the interest in the gothic and the picturesque and in chinoiserie, sentimentality, enthusiasm—all these activities made England a highly volatile country. Some changes were truly dynamic, others just fads. But to someone living in the period, who dared to look around him, the complexity of the present and the uncertainty of the future must have seemed enormous.

To a satirist, such complexity makes art difficult. Satire usually deals with every-day realities, to which it applies simple moral ideals. The Augustan satiric alternative—returning to older beliefs in religion, government, philosophy, art—and the stylistic expression of such beliefs—formal verse satire and epistle, mock-poem, heroic or Hudibrastic couplet, diction of polite conversation, ironic metaphysical conceits, fantastic fictional situations—become irrelevant to the satirist writing when the past seems lost. In his later works, Pope took Augustan satire about as far as it could go. The Epilogue to the Satires becomes an epilogue to all Augustan satire and the conclusion of The New Dunciad declares the death of its own tradition. There is a sense now that England and the world have reached the point of no return. The satirist of the seventeen-sixties who repeats the ideas and styles of Butler, Dryden, Swift, Gay, and Pope seems not only imitative but out-of-touch with the world around him.

But such difficulties can provide the impetus for new forms and for original styles. And in the seventeen-sixties the writers of formal satire show signs of responding to the challenge. Christopher Anstey, Charles Churchill, Robert Lloyd, and Evan Lloyd seem, during this decade, to be developing their considerable facilities with satiric technique toward the creation of new styles. Anstey's New Bath Guide has a combination of epistolary fiction, realism, use of naive observers, changing points of view, sweeping view of the social scene, great range of subjects, rolicking verse forms, and tone of detached amusement which suggests a satirist who, while still largely derivative, had the talent to create new techniques. Churchill and Robert Lloyd are explicit in their wish to break from Augustan style. Churchill argues that it was "a sin 'gainst Pleasure, to design / A plan, to methodize each thought, each line / Highly to finish." He claims to write "When the mad fit comes on" and praises poetry written "Wild without art, and yet with pleasure wild" (Gotham [1764], II, 167-169, 172, 212). His satire—with its deliberate, irreverant, "Byronic" run-on lines, fanciful digressions, playful indifference to formal structure, impulsively involuted syntax, long, wandering sentences—seems to move, as does Robert Lloyd's satire (at a somewhat slower pace), toward a genuinely new style. In being chatty, fluid, iconoclastic, spontaneous-sounding, self-revealing, his satire might eventually prove capable of dealing with the problems that the Augustan satirists had predicted but did not have to deal with so directly. But both Churchill and Robert Lloyd died before they could develop their styles to the point that they had a new, timely statement to make. Anstey failed to develop beyond the New Bath Guide, and his influence proved to be more important on the novel than on verse satire.

Evan Lloyd's first satire, The Powers of the Pen, is a clever but ordinary satire on good and bad writing. It has some historical interest as an example of the early influence of Rousseau in England, of part of the attack on Samuel Johnson for his adverse criticism of Shakespeare, of the influence of Churchill (Lloyd declared himself a disciple), and of the expression of the fashionable interest in artlessness which was influenced as much by Joseph Warton as by Rousseau. In a "quill shop" the narrator discovers magic pens which write like various authors. The one whose "Mate was purchas'd by Rousseau" can:

Teach the Passions how to grow With native Vigour; unconfined By those vile Shackles, which the Mind Wears in the School of Art.... Yet will no Heresies admit, To gratify the Pride of Wit (p. 30).

He advances these critical dicta elsewhere in this satire, condemning Johnson because he tries "Nature" by "Critic-law" (p. 21). With fashionable Rousseauistic ideas he praises:

The Muse, who never lov'd the Town, Ne'er flaunted in brocaded Gown; Pleas'd thro' the hawthorn'd Vale to roam, Or sing her artless Strain at Home, Bred in plain Nature's simple Rules, Far from the Foppery of Schools (p. 36).

Evan Lloyd, Robert Lloyd, and Churchill, starting from somewhat different philosophic principles, all arrive at similar positions.

The Curate, his second satire, is largely autobiographical. It shows, as does The Powers of the Pen, some clever turns of phrases, pithy expressions, and amusing images. It also contains incisive criticism of corruption in the Church, of declining respect for Christianity, and, what seems to Lloyd almost the same thing, of a collapsing class structure. The Church wardens, "uncivil and unbred! / Unlick'd, untaught, un-all-things—but unfed!" are "but sweepers of the pews, / The Scullions of the Church, they dare abuse, / And rudely treat their betters" (pp. 16-17). They show a lack of proper respect both for class-structure and Christianity:

Servant to Christ! and what is that to me? I keep a servant too, as well as He (p. 17).

But The Curate frequently descends to a whine. The curate is morally above reproach while those above him are arrogant and those below him are disrespectful.

The most serious problem with The Curate, however, is the same as the problem with all of Lloyd's satires except The Methodist, and the same as the problem with almost all satires between Pope and Burns or Blake. The satirist seems unwilling to probe, to find out what are the political, ethical, psychological, or aesthetic forces that cause the problems which the satirist condemns, and to recommend what can be done to change these forces. If the satirist notes any pattern at all, it is one of ineffective, unmoving abstraction and generality.

One explanation for this deliberate avoidance of more profound issues is not hard to find. An astonishing number of satires of this period contain a large proportion of lines devoted to describing how wonderful everything is. The widespread conviction that whatever is, in the England of the late eighteenth century, is right, may have resulted from the influence of An Essay on Man. Or the Essay may have been popular because it expressed ideas already in general acceptance. But whatever the explanation is, the catch-phrases extracted from Pope's most popular work become the touchstones of post-Augustan satire.

The problem that the satirist faced in the sixties was, then, formidable. The country was in upheaval but the conventions demanded that the satirist say everything was nearly perfect. As a result, satire tended toward personal whines, like The Curate, toward attacking tiresomely obvious objects, like the superficial chit-chat of Lloyd's Conversation, toward trivial quarrels, like Churchill's Rosciad, toward broadly unimpeachable morals, like Johnson's The Vanity of Human Wishes. It is understandable that many writers, such as Joseph Warton and Christopher Smart, abandoned satire for various kinds of enthusiasm.

Methodism lent itself to such satire. Methodists could be described as unfortunate aberrants from an essentially good world, typical of those bothersome fanatics and deviants at the fringe of society who keep this world from being perfect. They were also logical heirs to the satire once visited upon Dissenters but which diminished when Dissenters became more restrained in their style of worship. (The Preface to one anti-Methodist satire even takes pains to exclude "rational Dissenters" from its target.) Many Methodists were followers of Calvin. These Methodists brought out the old antagonisms against the Calvinist doctrine of Election (or the popular version of it), directed against its severity, its apparent encouragement of pride, and its antinomian implications. The mass displays of emotion at Methodist meetings would be distasteful to many people in most periods and probably were especially so in an age in which rational behavior was particularly valued. And there were those people who believed that Methodism, in spite of Wesley's arguments to the contrary, led good members of the Church of England astray and threatened religious stability.

Yet all these causes do not explain the harshness of anti-Methodist satire. No other subject during this period received such severe condemnation. Wesley and Whitefield were accused of seducing their female converts, of fleecing all their converts of money, of making trouble solely out of envy or pride. Evan Lloyd is not so harsh nor so implacably bigoted about any other subject as he is about Methodism. He was an intimate friend of John Wilkes, the least bigoted of men. Also, there are essential differences between the Dissenters of the Restoration and the Methodists of the late eighteenth century that would seem to lessen the antagonism toward the Methodists. To the satirists of the Restoration, Dissenters were reminders of civil war, regicide, the chaos that religious division could bring. Now the only threat of religious war or major civil disturbance had come from the Jacobites, and even that threat was safely in the past. It is notable that Swift, Pope, and Gay tended to satirize Dissenters within the context of larger problems. The assault on Methodists, then, is actually not a continuation of anti-Dissenter satire but something new. Hence the whole movement of anti-Methodist satire in the sixties and seventies has an untypically violent tone which cannot be explained solely in terms of satiric trends or religious attitudes. The explanation lies, I think, partly in the social, political, and economic background.

The Methodist movement was perhaps the most dramatic symptom (or at least the symptom hardest to ignore) of the changes taking place in England. The Methodist open-air services were needed because new industrial areas had sprung up where there were no churches, and lay preachers were necessary because of population shifts but also because of the increase in population made possible by new agricultural and manufacturing methods. The practice of taking lay preachers from many social classes had obvious democratic implications. Wesley, in spite of his political conservatism, challenged a number of widely-held, complacent aphorisms, such as the belief that people are "poor only because they are idle."[3] The mass emotionalism of the evangelical meetings were reminders that man was not so rational as certain popular ideas tried to make him. Wesley's insistence (with irritatingly good evidence) that he did no more than adhere to the true doctrine of the Church of England strongly suggested that the Church of England had strayed somewhere. (It is rather interestingly paralleled by Wilkes's insistence that he only wanted to return to the Declaration of Rights, a reminder that the government had also strayed.) And Methodism, by its very existence and popularity, posed the question of whether the Church of England, in its traditional form, was capable of dealing with problems created by social and economic changes.

These social, economic, and political issues are touched upon by a number of the anti-Methodist satirists. Most of these satirists, however, are contented simply to complain about the lower class tone of the Methodist movement, to note generally, as Dryden and Swift had noted before, that Protestantism contained the seeds of mob rule. The anonymous author of The Saints fears "Their frantic pray'r [is] a mere Decoy for Mob" (p. 4) and the author[4] of The Methodist and Mimic claims that Whitefield's preaching sends "the Brainless Mob a gadding" (p. 15). Evan Lloyd is the one anti-Methodist satirist who explores the larger implications.

Lloyd constructs his satire around the theme of general corruption, that nothing is so virtuous that it cannot be spoiled either by man's weakness or by time. The theme is common in the period and could have become banal, except that Lloyd applies it to the corruption of the Church and its manifestations in daily life, giving it an immediate, lively reference. The Methodist practice of lay preachers, for example, Lloyd treats as an instance of the collapse of the class system:

Each vulgar Trade, each sweaty Brow Is search'd.... Hence ev'ry Blockhead, Knave, and Dunce, Start into Preachers all at once (p. 29).

Lloyd combines the language of theology, government, and civil order to suggest a connection between recent riots, the excesses of the Earl of Bute, the Protestant belief that religious concepts are easily understood by all social classes, democracy, the emotional displays of Methodism, and lay preachers:

Hence Ignorance of ev'ry size, Of ev'ry shape Wit can devise, Altho' so dull it hardly knows, ... When it is Day, or when 'tis Night, Shall yet pretend to keep the Key Of God's dark Secrets, and display His hidden Mysteries, as free As if God's privy Council He, Shall to his Presence rush, and dare To raise a pious Riot there (pp. 29-30).

Lloyd presents an essentially disorderly world in which chaos spreads almost inevitably, in which riots, corrupt ministers, arrogant fools, disrespectful lower classes, giddy middle classes, and lascivious upper classes are barely kept in check by a system of social class, government, and church. Now, with the checks withdrawn, lawyers and physicians spread their own disorder even further as they:

Quit their beloved wrangling Hall, More loudly in a Church to bawl: ... And full as fervent, on their Knees, For Heav'n they pray, as once for Fees; ... The Physic-Tribe their Art resign, And lose the Quack in the Divine; ... Of a New-birth they prate, and prate While Midwifry is out of Date (pp. 30-31).

He combines the language of tradesmen with the language of mythology and theology to suggest, rather wittily and effectively, that disorder can be commonplace and cosmic simultaneously:

The Bricklay'r throws his Trowel by, And now builds Mansions in the Sky; ... The Waterman forgets his Wherry, And opens a celestial Ferry; ... The Fishermen no longer set For Fish the Meshes of their Net, But catch, like Peter, Men of Sin, For catching is to take them in (pp. 32-34).

This spreading confusion is, however, not just a passing social problem but one that results from many breasts being "tainted" and many hearts "infected" (p. 34). The corruption is almost universal and results in Wesley (as he actually did) selling "Powders, Draughts, and Pills." Madan "the springs of Health unlocks,/ And by his Preaching cures the P[ox]," (he was Chaplain of Lock Hospital) and Romaine:

Pulls you by Gravity up-Hill, ... By your bad Deeds your Faith you shew, 'Tis but believe, and up You go (p. 36).

Lloyd treats the confusion between sexual desire and religious fervor as another aspect of general human depravity, extending the satire beyond the crude accusation of hypocrisy or cynicism. He argues that the confusion is a part of the human condition, allowed to go out of control by a religion that puts passion before reason. The Countess of Huntingdon, "cloy'd with carnal Bliss," longs "to taste how Spirits kiss." In his all-inclusive catalogue of "Knaves/ That crawl on Earth" Lloyd includes "Prudes that crowd to Pews,/ While their Thoughts ramble to the Stews" (p. 48).

What makes Lloyd interesting, in spite of his many derivative ideas and techniques, is inadvertently pointed out by the Critical Review, which complains that "the author outmethodizes even Methodism itself."[5] That the brutal tone of The Methodist went beyond the license usually permitted the satirists was recognized by Lloyd himself. At the conclusion of the satire he asks God to halt the Methodist movement by getting to its source:

Quench the hot flame, O God, that Burns And Piety to Phrenzy turns!

And then, after a few lines, he applies the same terms to himself:

But soft——my Muse! thy Breath recall—— Turn not Religion's Milk to Gall! Let not thy Zeal within thee nurse A holy Rage! or pious Curse! Far other is the heav'nly Plan, Which the Redeemer gave to Man (pp. 52-53).

The satirist, as Robert C. Elliott points out, has always, in art, satirized himself.[6] But there is here as throughout this satire, some attempt to develop a style which will express the belief that the world will always be disorderly and that the disorder stems from man's "Zeal within." This condition of the world can be expressed satirically by a personal, informal satire which recognizes and dramatizes just how universal the corruption is and how commonplace its manifestations have become.

The informal, disorderly syntax, the colloquial diction, the chatty tone, the run-on lines, the conscious roughness of meter and rhyme, may have derived from Churchill, but they become here more relevant than in any of Churchill's satires. They combine with the intemperate tone and the satirist's concluding confession, his self-identification with the object of satire, to create a sense of an unheroic satirist, one who does not represent a highly commendable satiric alternative. Satire must now turn its vision from the heroic, the apocalyptic, the broadly philosophical, even from the depraved, and become exceedingly ordinary. It must recognize that there is little hope in going back to lofty Augustan ideals. For such subjects, it uses the impulsive tone of an over-emotional satirist who is as flawed as the subject he satirizes and still represents the best of a disordered world.

Lloyd had attempted an autobiographical satire in The Curate. He failed to create an important satire for a number of reasons, one of which was that he tried to present himself as a high ideal, a belief that he apparently held so weakly that the satire became merely petulant. Lloyd corrected this error in The Methodist and now seems, however briefly, to have opened the way to a truly prophetic style of satire.

After The Methodist Lloyd wrote Conversation, a satire that not only failed to fulfill the promise of The Methodist but is more conservative in theme and style than any of his earlier satires.

After that work he produced little. He published an expanded version of The Power of the Pen and a dull ode printed in The Annual Register. When William Kenrick, in Love in the Suds, implied that Garrick was Isaac Bickerstaff's lover, Lloyd defended Garrick in Epistle to David Garrick. Kenrick replied with A Whipping for the Welch Parson, an ironic Dunciad-Variorum-type editing of Lloyd's Epistle, in which he got much the better of Lloyd. Lloyd was no match for Kenrick at this sort of thing. Except for these uninteresting productions and his convivial friendship with Wilkes and Garrick, we hear not much more of Lloyd.

We know so little about his life that we can only speculate why he failed to follow up the promise of The Methodist; why, after favorable reviews from the journals[7] and the flattering friendship of famous men, he was not encouraged to continue a career that was as promising as the early career of many famous satirists. The explanation may lie solely in his personality. Perhaps the moderate success he achieved and the financial rewards it brought were enough for him.

Another explanation is suggested by the conservative ideas and style of Conversation, which are more like Pope's than are the ideas and style of any earlier satire of Lloyd's. In this satire he explicitly repudiates his older, freer critical dicta in both theory and practice:

Tho' this be Form—yet bend to Form we must, Fools with it please, without it Wits disgust (p. 3).

He uses mostly end-stop couplets, parallel constructions, Augustan diction and similes. Apparently, he began his rejection of his new ideas and style immediately after The Methodist and before his 1766-1767 outburst of satire-writing was over.

Lloyd, in writing The Methodist, seems to have come as close as any satirist before Blake and the writers of The Anti-Jacobin to seeing the problems England and the world were headed toward, to recognizing how genuinely volatile English society was in the middle of the century, and to creating a style which could deal with those problems satirically. It may be that he got some realization that his own long passages in The Methodist praising this best of all possible worlds (pp. 16-20) and his invocation to the "heav'nly Plan" at the conclusion made no sense, that they were contradicted by other passages in the same satire, that England and the world were changing with enormous rapidity, and that the satirist would have to create a new style to express the tremendous economic, political, social, and religious problems that were coming into being. It may be that getting such a faint notion he withdrew into artistic conservatism, into conviviality, and into silence.

Temple University


[1] For a survey of all Lloyd's work see Cecil J. L. Price, A Man of Genius and a Welch Man (University of Swansea, Wales, 1963). Lloyd is the subject of an unpublished dissertation, The Moral Beau, by Paul E. Parnell (New York University, 1956). Two short passages from The Methodist are included in The Penguin Book of Satirical Verse, ed. Edward Lucie-Smith (Baltimore, 1967).

[2] Most recently, Albert M. Lyles, Methodism Mocked (London, 1960).

[3] Journal, 8 February 1753, quoted by A. R. Humphreys, The Augustan World (New York, 1963), p. 20.

[4] The pseudonymous author, Peter Paragraph, is identified by Halkett and Laing, Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature, as James Makittrick Adair. Adair did write some works under that pseudonym but probably did not write The Methodist and Mimic. Lyles, op. cit., p. 129n., suggests that the author may be Samuel Foote, in whose play, The Orators, a character, Peter Paragraph, appears, probably representing George Faulkner. Robert Lloyd, in "The Cobbler of Cripplegate's Letter," hints that Peter Paragraph may be Bonnel Thornton.

[5] The Critical Review, XXIII (1766), pp. 75-77.

[6] The Power of Satire (Princeton, 1960), p. 222 and passim.

[7] The Methodist was reviewed by The Monthly Review, XXV (1766), pp. 319-321, and Gentleman's Magazine, XXXVI (1766), p. 335. Conversation was reviewed more favorably by The Monthly Review, XXXVII (1767), p. 394, and by The Critical Review XXIV (1767), pp. 341-343. The Critical Review compared him with Swift.


This facsimile of The Methodist (1766) is reproduced from a copy [840. k. 10. (18.)] in the British Museum by kind permission of the Trustees.



BY E Lloyd [HW: Signature]

AUTHOR OF The Powers of the Pen, and The Curate.




Nothing, search all creation round, Nothing so firmly good is found, Whose substance, with such closeness knit, Corruption's Touch will not admit; But, spite of all incroaching stains, Its native purity retains: Whose texture will nor warp, nor fade, Though moths and weather shou'd invade, Which Time's sharp tooth cannot corrode, Proof against Accident and Mode; And, maugre each assailing dart, Thrown by the hand of Force, or Art, Remains (let Fate do what it will) Simple and uncorrupted still.

Virtue, of constitution nice, Quickly degen'rates into Vice; Change but the Person, Place, and Time, And what was Merit turns to Crime. Wisdom, which men with so much pain, With so much weariness attain, May in a little moment quit, And abdicate the throne of Wit, And leave, a vacant seat, the brain, For Folly to usurp and reign. Should you but discompose the tide, On which Ideas wont to ride, Ferment it with a yeasty Storm, Or with high Floods of Wine deform; Altho' Sir Oracle is he, Who is as wise, as wise can be, In one short minute we shall find The wise man gone, a fool behind. Courage, that is all nerve and heart, That dares confront Death's brandish'd dart, That dares to single Fight defy The stoutest Hector of the sky, Whose mettle ne'er was known to slack, Nor wou'd on thunder turn his back; How small a matter may controul, And sooth the fury of his soul! Shou'd this intrepid Mars, his clay Dilute with nerve-relaxing Tea, Thin broths, thin whey, or water-gruel, He is no longer fierce and cruel, But mild and gentle as a dove, The Hero's melted down to Love. The juices soften'd, (here we note More on the juices than the Coat Depends, to make a valiant Mars Rich in the heraldry of scars) The Man is soften'd too, and shews No fondness for a bloody nose. When Georgy S—k——le shunn'd the Fray, He'd swill'd a little too much Tea. Chastity melts like sun-kiss'd snow, When Lust's hot wind begins to blow. Let but that horrid Creature, Man, Breathe on a lady thro' her fan, Her Virtue thaws, and by and bye Will of the falling Sickness die. Lo! Beauty, still more transitory, Fades in the mid-day of its glory! For Nature in her kindness swore, That she who kills, shall kill no more; And in pure mercy does erase Each killing feature in the face; Plucks from the cheek the damask rose, E'en at the moment that it blows; Dims the bright lustre of those eyes To which the Gods wou'd sacrifice; Dries the moist lip, and pales its hue, And brushes off its honied dew; Flattens the proudly swelling chest, Furrows the round elastic breast, And all the Loves that on it play'd, Are in a tomb of wrinkles laid; Recalls those charms, which she design'd To please, and not bewitch Mankind; But with too delicate a touch, Heightening the Ornaments too much, She finds her daughters can convert Blessings to curses, good to hurt, Proof of parental love to give, She blots them out that Man may live.

The hour will come (which let not me Indulgent Nature, live to see!) The hour will come, when Chloe's form Shall with its beauty feed the worm; That face where troops of Cupids throng, Whose charms first warm'd me into song, Shall wrinkle, wither, and decay, To Age, and to Disease, a prey! Chloe, in whom are so combin'd The charms of body and of mind, As might to Earth elicit Jove, Thinking his Heav'n well left for Love; Perfection as she is, the hour Will come, when she must feel the pow'r Of Time, and to his wither'd arms, Resign the rifling of her charms! Must veil her beauties in a cloud, A grave her bed, her robe a shroud! When all her glowing, vivid bloom, Must fade and wither in the tomb! When she who bears the ensigns now, Of Beauty's Priestess on her brow, Shall to th' abhorr'd embrace of Death Give up the sweetness of her breath! When worms—but stop, Description, there— My heart cannot the picture bear— Sickens to think there is a day, When Chloe will be made a prey To Death, a piece-meal feast for him With rav'nous jaw to tear each limb, And feature after feature eat, While Beauty only serves for Meat— Wretched to know that this is true, Forbear t' anticipate the view! Hence, Observation!—take your leave!— And kindly, Memory, deceive! And when some forty years are fled, And age has on her beauties fed, Dear Self-Delusion! lend thy skill To fancy she is Chloe still!

Cities and Empires will decay, And to Corruption fall a prey! Athens, of arts the native land, Cou'd not the stroke of Time withstand; There Serpents hiss, and ravens croak, Where Socrates and Plato spoke.

Proud Troy herself (as all things must) Is crumbled into native dust; Is now a pasture, where the beast Strays for his vegetable feast, Old Priam's royal palace now May couch the ox, the ass, the cow.—

Rome, city of imperial worth, The mighty mistress of the earth; Rome, that gave law to all the world, Is now to blank Destruction hurl'd!— Is now a sepulchre, a tomb, To tell the stranger, "Here was Rome."—

View the West Abbey! there we see How frail a thing is royalty! Where crowns and sceptres worms supply, And kings and queens, like lumber lie. The Tombs themselves are worn away, And own the empire of Decay, Mouldering like the royal dust, Which to preserve they have in trust. Nor has the Marble more withstood The rage of Time, than Flesh and Blood! The King of Stone is worn away, As well as is the King of Clay— Here lies a King without a Nose, And there a Prince without his Toes; Here on her back a Royal Fair Lies, but a little worse for wear; Those lips, whose touch cou'd almost turn Old age to youth, and make it burn; To which young kings were proud to kneel, Are kick'd by every Schoolboy's heel; Struck rudely by the Showman's Wand, And crush'd by every callous Hand: Here a puissant Monarch frowns In menace high to rival Crowns; He threatens—but will do no harm— Our Monarch has not left an arm. Thus all Things feel the gen'ral curse, That all Things must with Time grow worse.

But your Philosophers will say, Best Things grow worst when they decay. And many facts they have at hand To prove it, shou'd you proofs demand. As if Corruption shut her jaw, And scorn'd to cram her filthy maw, With aught but dainties rich and rare, And morsels of the choicest fare; As garden Birds are led to bite, Where'er the fairest fruits invite. If Phoebus' rays too fiercely burn, The richest Wines to sourest turn: And they who living highly fed, Will breed a Pestilence when dead. Thus Aldermen, who at each Feast, Cram Tons of Spices from the East, Whose leading wish, and only plan, Is to learn how to pickle Man; Who more than vie with AEgypt's art, And make themselves a human Tart, A walking Pastry-Shop, a Gut, Shambles by Wholesale to inglut; And gorge each high-concocted Mess The art of Cookery can dress: Yet spite of all, when Death thinks fit To take them off, lest t' other bit Shou'd burst these living Mummies, able Neither to eat, nor quit the Table; Whether He Dropsy sends or Gout, To fetch them by the Shoulders out; Tho' living they were Salt and Spice, The carcase is not over nice; And all may find, who have a Nose, Dead Aldermen are not a rose.

This reas'ning only serves to shew, The world call'd Natural, is so. But various instances proclaim, 'Tis in the moral World the same. Thus Woman, Nature's chastest work, Lust-struck, out-paramours the Turk; Tho' gentle as the suckling Child, Enrag'd, than famish'd Wolves more wild; A more fell minister of DeathRime gives the instance in Mackbeth.

Reason herself, that sober Dame, So mild, so temperate, so tame, Her head once turn'd, and giddy grown, Raving with phrenzy not her own, Plays madder pranks, more full of spleen Than any Hoyden of sixteen. Whether she burns with Love or Hate, Or grows with baseless Hopes elate, With Desperation is forlorn, Or with imagin'd horrors torn, If on Ambition's swelling tide, Her crazy bark from side to side, Reels like a drunkard, tempest-tost, Or in the Gulph of Pride is lost; Whate'er the leading Passion be, That works the Soul's anxiety, In each Extreme th' effect is bad, Sense grows diseas'd, and Reason mad.

Why shou'd the Muse of Angels tell Turn'd into Devils when they fell? Why search the Chronicles of Hell, While Earth examples it as well? Why talk of Satan, while we see Each day some new Apostacy? Tories to Whigs convert, and Whigs, Mere Ministerial Whirlegigs, Turn'd by the hand of Int'rest, take The Tory-part, for Lucre's sake. Patriots turn Placemen, and support Against their Country's good the Court; Are bought with Pensions to retire, When drooping Kingdoms most require Their aid——Tho' here the Muse wou'd fain Except ONE of the pension'd Train, (One meritorious 'bove the rest, A patriot Minister, confest) Yet strictest honour can't acquit That Pensioner, who once was P——. Instance on instance to my view Come rushing, of the changeling crew, That I could quarrel with my Nature, To think that Man is such a Creature— And are we all a fickle tribe, Venal to ev'ry golden bribe? Is there not one of honour found, In all the List of Placemen found? Yes—one there is, in perils tried, Yet never known to change his Side, Or Principles—nor think it strange, He ne'er had Principles to change, And for a Side (the proof is new) He's none, because that he has two. Throw him from Party's giddy heights, A Cat in Politics he lights Ever upon his feet; his heart Clings both to Whig and Tory-part; Is this, is that, is both, or neither, And still keeps shifting with the Weather. Who does not know that T—s—d's he, That reads the Book of Ministry?

Thus let us turn where'er we will, Each Machiavel's a Changeling still. But tho' among all Nature's works The seed of foul Corruption lurks, Yet no where is it known to bear So vile a Crop on Ground so fair, As when upon Religion's root It raises Diabolic Fruit.

When the Almighty Father's Love Call'd Things to Being, from above Millions of winged Blessings flew, Sent from his right hand, to bedew The new-born Earth, and from their wings Shed good on all created Things. Precious and various tho' the store Which down to Earth these Legates bore, That Heav'nly Spark we Reason call, Was far the richest boon of all.

By this we find th' Almighty Cause From whom the World its Being draws; By whom Earth's plenteous Table's spread, At which each living Creature's fed; Who gave the Breath of Life, and whence This fine Variety of Sense; Whose Hands unfold the azure sky, Sublimely pleasing to the Eye; Who tun'd the feather'd Songster's throat, Giving such softness to his note, To fill the Ear with dulcet sound, And pour sweet Music all around; Who on the teeming Branches plac'd Such various Fruit to please the Taste; What bounteous Hand perfum'd the Rose, And ev'ry scented Flow'r that blows, And wafts its fragrance thro' the Vale, Courting the Smell in ev'ry gale, To whom it is we owe so much Substantial pleasure in the Touch; And whence, superior to the whole, Those raptures that transport the Soul; This gives our Gratitude to glow To him, from whom such Blessings flow; This teaches Man his moral Part, And grafts Religion in the Heart.

Glory to God, good Will to Man, And Peace on Earth, compos'd the plan, For which Religion first came down, And brought to Earth a heav'nly Crown. Better her Purpose to complete, And Satan's Malice to defeat, A Troop of holy Genii came, Co-workers in the glorious Scheme. To each a scroll the Goddess gave, On which these lines She did engrave: "Go, teach the sons of Men to raise Their voice unto their Maker's praise. Go, call forth Charity to meet Distress that seeks her in the Street; Bid her the lame with Legs supply, And be unto the blind an Eye; A Mantle o'er the naked throw, And reach a healing hand to Woe; Visit the bed where Sickness lies, And wipe the tears from Orphans eyes; Bid her Affliction's hour beguile, And teach the tear-worn Cheek to smile; Bid her send Comfort to expell Grief from the lonely Widow's Cell; Make blunt the arrows of Mischance, And ope the eyes of Ignorance; To those lost Pilgrims point the Way, Who in Sin's tenfold Darkness stray, Recall them from Hell's thickest night, And shew Salvation's glorious Light; For thus the World that Peace shall find, For which it was by God design'd."—

Such the commands Religion gave, When first she came the World to save, Such the attendants in her Train, When She began her holy Reign. And when Messiah's gracious Love Urg'd him to leave the Realms above, Urg'd him to quit his heav'nly Throne, His People's Trespass to atone, And, tho' so long they had withstood His Will, to wash them with his Blood; The great Command he did renew, To give to God, and Man his due; Bade the bright Sun of Faith arise, And open'd Heav'n to mortal eyes, Leaving Religion on the Earth, More fair and pure than at her Birth.—

How mutilated now and marr'd, Deform'd, distorted, mangled, scarr'd! Thro' modern Conventicles trace The Goddess, you'll not know her face: The holy Genii all are fled, And Sprites and Dev'ls come in their stead. And now a counterfeiting Dame Usurps Religion's sacred Name, But no more like in Heart or Face, Than F—x's deeds to deeds of Grace. Visit her at her T-tt—m Seat, You'll find she is an errant Cheat. For Satan, Man's invet'rate foe, Whose greatest joy is human woe, Repining at the heav'nly Plan, That promis'd so much Good to Man, Us'd all his Malice, Wit, and Pow'r, The World's great Blessings to devour. Well the malicious Spirit knew Whence Man his chief resources drew Of Happiness, and saw confest, Where all was good, Religion best; And at her unpolluted Heart He aim'd his most envenom'd Dart. He knew the Interest of Hell Cou'd never on the Earth go well, While pure Religion did maintain O'er Man a sanctimonious reign. With her he wag'd malicious War, He might, if not destroy her, mar Her Face; might with false Lights misguide, And make her Combat on his side. Highly did his Ambition burn Heav'n's Arms against itself to turn. Nor would his Malice triumph less, To damn where God design'd to bless.

For this the Fiend to Earth ascends, To try his Int'rest with his Friends. Long in his fiery Chariot hurl'd, He had explor'd the pendent World; Long had he search'd without avail, Each Meeting, Dungeon, Court, and Jail, Each Mart of Villainy, where Vice Presides, and Virtue bears no Price, Where Fraud, Hypocrisy, and Lies Are selling while the Devil buys. Long had he search'd, but could not find An Agent suited to his Mind, Who cou'd transact his Business well, And do on Earth the work of Hell; That he might at his leisure go, And manage his Affairs below.—

Tir'd and despairing of a Friend On whom he safely might depend, At T-tt—m he alights from Air— Magus, that Sorcerer, was there. Pleas'd Satan somewhat nearer drew, Look'd thro' him at a single view, Bless'd his good Luck, and grinn'd aghast— "'Tis well, for I have found at last, The Thing I long have sought, in Thee, An Agent in Iniquity. Thus let me mark Thee for my own, And from henceforth for mine be known."

Then with out-stretched claws his Eyes He twisted diff'rent ways—the Skies Are watch'd by one, and (strange to tell!) The other is the Guard of Hell. Then thus—"'Tis fit thy Eyes shou'd roll, Cross as the purpose of thy Soul, Fit that they look a diff'rent way, Like what You do, and what You say; Thy Eye-balls now are pois'd and hung, As even as thy Heart and Tongue— Prosper—to me, to Hell (he cried) Be true, but false to all beside. Riches are mine—I will repay For ev'ry Soul you lead astray— Give out thyself a Light to shew Which way 'tis best to Heav'n to go; But lead the Pilgrims wrong, and shine An Ignis fatuus of mine— Draw them thro' bog, thro' brake, thro' mire, I'll dry them at a rousing Fire."

Magus complacent smil'd—his Eyes Twinkled with signs of Joy, one flies Upward, and t'other down, like Scales, Where this ascends, when that prevails— Then thrice he turn'd upon his heel, And swore Allegiance to the De'el

Right faithfully his Oath he kept, And might each Night before he slept Boast of his labours to maintain, And spread abroad his Master's Reign; Might boast the magic of his Rod To whip away the Love of God, For all of God he makes appear Has nought to love, but all to fear. That debt, which Gratitude each day Paying, wou'd still own much to pay; Instead of Duty freely paid, A Tyrant's hard Exaction's made. Fitted the simple to cajole, First of his Wits, and then his Soul, He urges fifty false Pretences, Preaching his Hearers from their Senses. He knows his Master's Realm so well, His Sermons are a Map of Hell, An Ollio made of Conflagration, Of Gulphs of Brimstone, and Damnation, Eternal Torments, Furnace, Worm, Hell-Fire, a Whirlwind, and a Storm, With Mammon, Satan, and Perdition, And Beelzebub to help the Dish on; Belial and Lucifer, and all The nick-Names which old Nick we call— But he has ta'en especial care, To have nor Sense nor Reason there. A thousand scorching Words beside, Over his tongue as glibly slide, Familiar as a glass of wine, Or a Tobacco-pipe on mine; That You wou'd swear he was compleater, Than Powell, as a Fire-Eater.

Virgins he will seduce astray, Only to shew the shortest Way To Heaven, and because it lies Above the Zodiac in the Skies, That they may better see the Track, He lays them down upon their Back. Domestic Peace he can destroy, And the confusion view with Joy, Children from Parents he can draw, What's Conscience?—he is safe from Law— The closest Union can divide, Take Husbands from their Spouses' side, But it turns out to better Use, Wives from their Husbands to seduce; And as their Journey lies up-Hill, Ev'ry Incumbrance were an Ill; And lest their Speed shou'd be withstood, He takes their Moneyfor their Good.

Such is the Agent Satan chose, Religion's Progress to oppose— Too great the Task for one was thought, And under-Agents must be sought— On this high Enterprize intent, A troop of evil Sprites he sent, Commission'd, wheresoe'er they found Hearts hollow, rotten, and unsound, Within those Breasts accurs'd to dwell, Teaching the Liturgy of Hell. Big with the Charge th' infernal Crew To their belov'd Appointment flew; With busy search thro' ev'ry Class, Thro' ev'ry Rank of Men they pass, In ev'ry Class of Men they find Some Hearts corrupted to their Mind, Ev'ry Profession they explore, Ev'ry Profession gives them more; The higher Functions ransack'd, now Each vulgar Trade, each sweaty Brow Is search'd, and in them all were found, Some hollow, rotten, and unsound. In each depraved Bosom dwell These Sprites, nor miss their native Hell. Hence ev'ry Blockhead, Knave, and Dunce, Start into Preachers all at once. Hence Ignorance of ev'ry size, Of ev'ry shape Wit can devise, Altho' so dull it hardly knows, Which are its Fingers, which its Toes, Which is the left Hand, which the Right, When it is Day, or when 'tis Night, Shall yet pretend to keep the Key Of God's dark Secrets, and display His hidden Mysteries, as free As if God's privy Council He, Shall to his Presence rush, and dare To raise a pious Riot there.

Lawyers (a Commutation strange!) Coke Littleton for Bible change; Quit their beloved wrangling Hall, More loudly in a Church to bawl: Statutes at large are thrown aside, And now the Testament's their guide; And full as fervent, on their Knees, For Heav'n they pray, as once for Fees; Plaintiff, Defendant, and my Lord, Are banish'd, and now Faith's the Word, Of Briefs no longer now they dream, Religion is the only Theme. The Physic-Tribe their Art resign, And lose the Quack in the Divine; Galen lies on the Shelf unread, A Pray'r-Book open in its stead; Salvation now is all the Cant, Salvation is the only Want. "Throw Physic to the Dogs," they cry, 'Twill never bring you to the Sky. Of a New-birth they prate, and prate While Midwifry is out of Date; Let Fevers, Agues, take their turn, To freeze the Patient, or to burn, In vain he seeks the Physic Tribe, No Recipe will they prescribe, But what is sovereign to controul The Maladies that hurt the Soul. And tho' while Body-quacks, with Pill Or Bolus, 'twas their Trade to kill, More miserably still, alack! For the diseased Soul they quack.

The Sons of War sometimes are known To fight with Weapons not their own, Ceasing the Sword of Steel to wield, They take Religion's Sword and Shield.

Ev'ry Mechanic will commence Orator, without Mood or Tense. Pudding is Pudding still, they know, Whether it has a Plumb or no; So, tho' the Preacher has no skill, A Sermon is a Sermon still.

The Bricklay'r throws his Trowel by, And now builds Mansions in the Sky; The Cobbler, touch'd with holy Pride, Flings his old Shoes, and Last aside, And now devoutly sets about Cobbling of Souls that ne'er wear out; The Baker, now a Preacher grown, Finds Man lives not by Bread alone, And now his Customers he feeds With Pray'rs, with Sermons, Groans and Creeds; The Tinman, mov'd by Warmth within, Hammers the Gospel, just like Tin; Weavers inspir'd their Shuttles leave, Sermons, and flimsy Hymns to weave; Barbers unreap'd will leave the Chin, To trim, and shave the Man within; The Waterman forgets his Wherry, And opens a celestial Ferry; The Brewer, bit by Phrenzy's Grub, The Mashing for the Preaching Tub Resigns, those Waters to explore, Which if You drink, you thirst no more; The Gard'ner, weary of his Trade, Tir'd of the Mattock, and the Spade, Chang'd to Apollos in a Trice, Waters the Plants of Paradise; The Fishermen no longer set For Fish the Meshes of their Net, But catch, like Peter, Men of Sin, For catching is to take them in.

Well had the wand'ring Spirits sped, And thro' the World their Poison spread, Made Lodgments in each tainted Breast; And each infected Heart possess'd.

The wayward Bus'ness being done, Satan to make his Choice begun Of under-Ministers, to do What One cou'd not be equal to.

A second Agent, like the first, Who on Daemoniac Milk was nurst, Had Moorfields trusted to his Care, For Satan keeps an Office there. Lean is the Saint, and lank, to shew That Flesh and Blood to Heav'n can't go; His Hair like Candles hangs, a sign How bright his inward Candles shine.

Of Satan's Agents these the Chief, A thousand others lend Relief, And take some labour off their Hands, Each as th' internal Sprite commands: But working with a diff'rent Spell, They lead by various Ways to Hell.

Sickens the Soul? and is its state With Sin's Disease grown desperate? To divers Quacks you may apply, And special Nostrums of them buy. Tottenham's the best accustom'd Place, There Magus squints Men into Grace. W-s—y sells Powders, Draughts, and Pills, Sov'reign against all sorts of Ills, Assurance charms away the Fit, Or at least makes it intermit— M-d—n the springs of Health unlocks, And by his Preaching cures the P—— R-m—ne works greater Wonders still, Pulls you by Gravity up-Hill, And for whate'er you do amiss, Rewards you with celestial Bliss; By your bad Deeds your Faith you shew, 'Tis but believe, and up You go. B—rr—s and W-r—r set up Shop, To sell Religion's Pill and Drop, They teach their Patients how to fly On Voice and Action to the Sky. One of the Magi of the East, A little perking, puppet-Priest, Has got the Harlequino-way, His Patients Heav'nward to convey; And their Salvation to advance, A Jig will at the Altar dance.

Such were the Plenipo's in Town, Who serv'd the Diabolic Crown. Not far remov'd, a female Friend Gave Proofs, that Satan might depend On her best Service, and support, For what serv'd him, to her was Sport. H——, cloy'd with carnal Bliss, Longing to taste how Spirits kiss, Bids Chapels for her Saints arise, Which are but Bagnios in Disguise; Where She may suck her T——'s Breath, Expiring in seraphic Death.

That Satan better might succeed, Of other Agents he had need, His Country-Int'rest to support, While Dodd was preaching to the Court. The Town was left, and now his Flight Bore to the North the horrid Sprite; Now had he travers'd many a League, And felt, as Spirits feel, Fatigue, When, in a dark, romantic Wood, In which an antique Mansion stood, He spied, close to a Hovel-door, A Saint conversing with his Whore. Double he seem'd, and worn with Age, Little adapted to engage In Love's hot War, too dry his Trunk To cope with a lascivious Punk; So humble too he seem'd, You'd swear, Humility herself was there; So like a Sawyer too he bows, You'd think that he was Meekness' Spouse; But Satan read his Visage-lines, And found some favourable Signs, That this meek Saint might, in the Dark, Make his Infernalship a Clerk; Tho' muffled in Religion's Cloak So close, that it might almost choak A Pharisee, it might be still Only a Cloak to doff at Will; His Speech might be an acted Part, A Language foreign to his Heart. He knew, that tho' upon his Tongue, Religion, a mere Cant-word, hung, He might forget it in his Work, And be at Heart a very Turk.

Finesse and Trick wou'd ne'er succeed, If Men wou'd only learn to read, To read the Lines of Nature's Pen, Drawn in the Countenance of Men, Where Truth speaks out distinct and clear, If we had but the Trick to hear.

So far'd it with our Saint, while He Wou'd seem downright Humility, Some honest Features cry'd aloud, "Our Master is of Spirit proud." Pass him with Bonnet on, his Lip Will hang as low as to his Hip; His bloated Eye its Venom darts, And from its gloomy Socket starts; And if the Body's frame we scan, He cannot be an upright Man. And there are Proofs, from which we see His Body and his Soul agree. Altho' he is as fond of Pray'rs, As Country Girls of Country Fairs; Yet shou'd he in the Church-yard spy Some tempting Wanton passing by, E'en at the Moment that his Knee Is bent in Sign of Piety, Quick his Devotion leaves the Heart, And settles in some other Part; The Book of Pray'r is shut, and Heav'n For the dear Charms of Coelia giv'n.

Th' Arch-Fiend this saintly Sinner spied, And with malicious Pleasure ey'd, Well pleas'd to think that he had found Such a Hell-Factor above Ground; And thus began th' infernal Sprite— "Libidinoso! if I'm right! Art thou that Son of mine on Earth, Whose deeds so loud proclaim thy Birth? Of whom so many Strumpets tell Such Tales as get Thee Fame in Hell? But Children know not whence they spring, Whether by Beggar got, or King; Yet I by certain Marks can know, Whether Thou art my Child, or no. Uncase—and let me see your Waist— For there are private Tokens plac'd, By which my own I know—if there No secret Lines of mine appear, I claim Thee not—but if I see The two Initials F and P, Then art Thou mine—nay, never start— And Heav'n can claim in Thee no Part"—

And now his sapless Trunk he stripp'd, Like Culprits sentenc'd to be whipp'd, When lo! th' Initials rose to View, And prov'd the Fiend's Conjecture true. And all his Waist (detested Brand!) Was scribbled with the Dev'l's short Hand; Was mark'd with Whoredom, Lust, and Letchery, Malice, Hypocrisy, and Treachery, With Envy, Lying, and Betraying, With Fasting, Wenching, Fiddling, Praying, And all the Catalogue of Sin Deeply engraven in his Skin— Pleas'd the grim Pow'r survey'd, and smil'd, Embrac'd and said—"My darling Child, Blest was the Hour, and blest the Spot, Where Thou, my 'Bidin, wert begot. Know then, you're not what You profess, Her Son, whose Lands you do possess; No—Thou'rt my wayward Son, a Witch Litter'd thee in a loathsome Ditch; And (for all Creatures love the Young Which from their proper Loins are sprung) To this old Mansion thee convey'd, And in an Infant's Cradle laid: And when the Sorc'ress plac'd thee there, She stole away the native Heir— Right well hast Thou, my Boy, repaid The Obligations on thee laid, And to thy Parents' Int'rest true Hast prov'd thy Fortunes were thy due— Go on—and, if thou canst, do more (But 't may not be) than heretofore— Keep the same Path You always trod, And be an Enemy to God; Apply your Fortune to oppress, And harrass Virtue with Distress; To hide your Blemishes use Paint, To screen the Villain play the Saint; Affect Religion, Church frequent, Kneel, seem to pray, and keep up LentCharity too must be display'd, But Charity in Masquerade; Give Alms—but not to those that need, But only for the Gallows feed; Whene'er you meet a preaching Thief, Be prompt to reach him out Relief; If Liars, Flatt'rers, Pandars, Pimps, Or any of my vagrant Imps, Approach Thee, to thy Mansion take, And give them Welcome for my Sake; But needy Merit must not dare To hope with these thy Alms to share, Commit that to the Bridewell-lash, But give it neither Food nor Cash; Distinguish'd Honour shalt thou gain In Pandaemonium, for thy Pain. But—one Word more—My Mind misgives, That Virtue a near Neighbour lives— For in my search to find out Thee, I spied in this Vicinity A Knot of Friends, where I cou'd trace Honour emblazon'd in their Face, These (for their Thoughts I plainly see) Bear no good Will to you or me; Foolishly honest, cheap they hold Libidinoso and his Gold, And will maintain, to Conscience true, Their Virtue, spite of Me and You. Altho' your Influence be weak, Oppose them for opposing' Sake, Do ev'ry little Act of Spite, And snarl, altho' You cannot bite— Be faithful—there will come a Day, When I thy Services will pay, Will bring Thee to my Realm, and make Thee Pilot of the burning Lake."

He said—and quick as Thought withdrew, And to th' infernal Regions flew; Blue sulph'rous streaks the Peasants scare, Marking his passage thro' the Air—

Libidinoso left behind, Began revolving in his Mind His Master's Promises, and sigh'd To have them fully ratified; Then homeward plodded, (but, be sure, Before he went, he kiss'd his Whore) Resolv'd, if possible, on more And greater Evils than before. All vain was the Resolve—his Cup Of Wickedness was quite fill'd up, And no Cup can another drop Contain, when fill'd up to the Top.

Since all Improvement was forbid, What cou'd he do, but what he did? Nought he diminish'd of the Charge, But acts Hell's Minister at large.

A Pair of Adamantine Lungs, A Throat of Brass, Fame's hundred Tongues, Time out of Mind have been confest, By fifty Poets, at the least, Too little to count Hybla's Bees, The Leaves that cloathe the Forest-Trees; The Sands that broider Neptune's Side, Or Waves that on his Bosom ride; The Grains which rich Sicilia yields, The Blades with which Spring robes the Fields; The Stars which twinkling on the sight Jove's Threshold make so glorious bright: Or (if we may annex to these Modern Impossibilities) To reckon up the sum of Knaves That crawl on Earth, or sleep in Graves, To count the Prudes that crowd to Pews, While their Thoughts ramble to the Stews, Lords, whose sole Merit is their Place, Ladies, whose Worth's a painted Face, Who find my Lord has lost his Force In Love, and sue for a Divorce; Or to abridge, and enter down The Names of all the Fools in Town; Or number those who live by Ink, And write, altho' they cannot think; Critics, who judge, but cannot read, And praise, or censure—as they're fee'd; Or count each Bard by Self betray'd, Who thought, when fondled by his Maid, It was Melpomene that smil'd, And mark'd him for her fav'rite Child, But finds the Harvest of his Lines, Is to fast twice for once he dines.

As well the Muse might one of these Poets' Impossibilities Assay to do, and speed as well, As if She should attempt to tell The Names and Characters of all That on the Name of Satan call, That preach, and lie, and whine, and cant, Soldiers for Hell's Church Militant; And use the Head, the Heart, the Hand, To spread its Doctrines thro' the Land. Arithmetic herself were dumb, If task'd with such an endless Sum; Nor wou'd the Muse, tho' one more Line Wou'd all the Host of Hell entwine, Bestow another drop of Ink, To map out an infernal Sink

Thou God of Truth and Love! excuse The honest Anger of the Muse, Warm in thy Cause, while She wou'd pray That Thou from Earth wou'd'st sweep away Such rotten Saints, who wou'd conceal Their Fraud beneath the Name of Zeal! Who, mask'd with spurious Piety, Trample on Reason, Truth, and Thee, And, while their hot Career they run, Tread on the Gospel of thy Son! Who, feigning to adore, make Thee A Tyrant-God of Cruelty! As if thy right Hand did contain Only an Universe of Pain, Hell and Damnation in thy Left, Of ev'ry gracious Gift bereft, Hence raining Floods of Grief and Woes, On those that never were thy Foes, Ordaining Torments for the doom Of Infants, yet within the Womb: By fifty false Devices more, Which Reason never heard before, And Methodists alone cou'd dream, Thy boundless Goodness they blaspheme! Who (tho' our Saviour's gracious Plan Was to teach Happiness to Man, By friendly Arguments to win The World from Slavery to Sin; For He, who all Things knows, well knew, That they to Duty are more true, Who from a filial Love obey, And serve for Gratitude, than they Who from a coward Dread of Law Owe all their Virtue to their Awe; Who, tho' they seem so true, and just, So strictly faithful to their Trust, Will, if you take the Gallows down, Out-pilfer half the Rogues in Town). With saucy boldness will presume To pass th' impenetrable gloom, And lift the Curtain which we see Is drawn betwixt the World and Thee; Of nought but endless Torments speak, To frighten and appall the weak; Dwell on the horrid Theme with glee, And fain themselves wou'd Hangmen be; With so much Dread their Hearers fill, That they have neither Pow'r, nor Will, Tho' Heav'n's the Prize, to move a Hand, But shuddering and trembling stand.

Quench the hot Flame, O God, that burns, And Piety to Phrenzy turns! Let not thy holy Name be made A Cloak to hide a pilf'ring Trade! Nor suffer that thy sacred Word, Be turn'd to Rhapsody absurd! Let it not serve, like Magic Sticks, To preface pious Jugglers' Tricks! Root, root from Earth, these baneful weeds, That choak Religion's wholesome Seeds! Give them the headlong Winds to bear, And scatter in a desart Air! Grind them to Powder, that no more They sprout and grow as heretofore! Burn the rank stalks, and let the flame Thy Garden's hot luxuriance tame, Nor let it Flow'r, or Plant produce, But what yields Ornament or Use!

But soft—my Muse! thy Breath recall— Turn not Religion's Milk to Gall! Let not thy Zeal within thee nurse A holy Rage, or pious Curse! Far other is the heav'nly Plan, Which the Redeemer gave to Man, Who taught the World in Peace to live, And e'en our Enemies forgive!

Live then, ye Wretches! to declare, How long our God with Men can bear! A living Monument to be Of the Almighty's Clemency! Who still is good, altho' You preach Yourselves almost 'bove Mercy's reach; And, tho' his goodness You resist, Can even spare a Methodist.

F I N I S.





16. Henry Nevil Payne, The Fatal Jealousie (1673).

17. Nicholas Rowe, Some Account of the Life of Mr. William Shakespear (1709).

18. Anonymous, "Of Genius," in The Occasional Paper, Vol. III, No. 10 (1719), and Aaron Hill, Preface to The Creation (1720).


19. Susanna Centlivre, The Busie Body (1709).

20. Lewis Theobald, Preface to the Works of Shakespeare (1734).

22. Samuel Johnson, The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749), and two Rambler papers (1750).

23. John Dryden, His Majesties Declaration Defended (1681).


26. Charles Macklin, The Man of the World (1792).

31. Thomas Gray, An Elegy Wrote in a Country Churchyard (1751), and The Eton College Manuscript.


41. Bernard Mandeville, A Letter to Dion (1732).


98. Selected Hymns Taken Out of Mr. Herbert's Temple (1697).


109. Sir William Temple, An Essay Upon the Original and Nature of Government (1680).

110. John Tutchin, Selected Poems (1685-1700).

111. Anonymous, Political Justice (1736).

112. Robert Dodsley, An Essay on Fable (1764).

113. T. R., An Essay Concerning Critical and Curious Learning (1698).

114. Two Poems Against Pope: Leonard Welsted, One Epistle to Mr. A. Pope (1730), and Anonymous, The Blatant Beast (1742).


115. Daniel Defoe and others, Accounts of the Apparition of Mrs. Veal.

116. Charles Macklin, The Covent Garden Theatre (1752).

117. Sir Roger L'Estrange, Citt and Bumpkin (1680).

118. Henry More, Enthusiasmus Triumphatus (1662).

119. Thomas Traherne, Meditations on the Six Days of the Creation (1717).

120. Bernard Mandeville, Aesop Dress'd or a Collection of Fables (1740).


123. Edmond Malone, Cursory Observations on the Poems Attributed to Mr. Thomas Rowley (1782).

124. Anonymous, The Female Wits (1704).

125. Anonymous, The Scribleriad (1742). Lord Hervey, The Difference Between Verbal and Practical Virtue (1742).


129. Lawrence Echard, Prefaces to Terence's Comedies (1694) and Plautus's Comedies (1694).

130. Henry More, Democritus Platonissans (1646).

132. Walter Harte, An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad (1730).


133. John Courtenay, A Poetical Review of the Literary and Moral Character of the Late Samuel Johnson (1786).

134. John Downes, Roscius Anglicanus (1708).

135. Sir John Hill, Hypochondriasis, a Practical Treatise (1766).

136. Thomas Sheridan, Discourse ... Being Introductory to His Course of Lectures on Elocution and the English Language (1759).

137. Arthur Murphy, The Englishman From Paris (1736).


138. [Catherine Trotter], Olinda's Adventures (1718).

139. John Ogilvie, An Essay on the Lyric Poetry of the Ancients (1762).

140. A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling (1726) and Pudding Burnt to Pot or a Compleat Key to the Dissertation on Dumpling (1727).

141. Selections from Sir Roger L'Estrange's Observator (1681-1687).

142. Anthony Collins, A Discourse Concerning Ridicule and Irony in Writing (1729).

143. A Letter From A Clergyman to His Friend, With An Account of the Travels of Captain Lemuel Gulliver (1726).

144. The Art of Architecture, A Poem. In Imitation of Horace's Art of Poetry (1742).


145-146. Thomas Shelton, A Tutor to Tachygraphy, or Short-writing (1642) and Tachygraphy (1647).

147-148. Deformities of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1782).

149. Poeta de Tristibus: or, the Poet's Complaint (1682).

150. Gerard Langbaine, Momus Triumphans: or, the Plagiaries of the English Stage (1687).

Publications of the first fifteen years of the Society (numbers 1-90) are available in paperbound units of six issues at $16.00 per unit, from the Kraus Reprint Company, 16 East 46th Street, New York, N.Y. 10017.

Publications in print are available at the regular membership rate of $5.00 for individuals and $8.00 for institutions per year. Prices of single issues may be obtained upon request. Subsequent publications may be checked in the annual prospectus.

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