First, let me view what noxious nonsense reigns, While yet I loiter on prosaic plains. If pens impartial active annals trace, Others, with secret hist'ry, truth deface: Views, and reviews, and wild memoirs appear, And slander darkens each recorded year. Each Prince's death to poison they apply, No Royal Mortals sure by nature die, Fav'rites or kindred artful deaths create, A father, brother, son, or wife is fate. In a past reign was formed a secret league, Some ring, or letter, now reveals th'intrigue: A certain Earl a certain Queen enjoys,
84 Cadiere] not long before Savage wrote his poem the world was entertained by the scandal of Catherine Cadiere's pregnancy by her Jesuit confessor and his attempt to conceal matters by putting her away in a nunnery
A certain subject fair her peace destroys; The jealous Queen a vengeful art assumes, And scents her rival's gloves with dire perfumes. Queens, with their ladies, work unseemly things, And boys grow dukes, when catamites to kings. A lying monk on miracles refines, And vengeance glares from violated shrines.
Thus slander o'er the dead one's fame prevails, And easy minds imbibe romantic tales. Thus from feigned facts a false reflection flows, And by tradition superstition grows.
Next, pamphleteers a trade licentious drive, Like wrangling lawyers, they by discord thrive. If Hancock proves cold water's virtue clear, His rival prints a treatise on warm beer. If next inoculation's art spreads wide (An art that mitigates infection's tide), Loud pamphleteers 'gainst innovation cry 'Let nature work—'Tis natural to die.'
If heav'n-born wisdom, gazing nature through, Through nature's optics forms religion's view, Priestcraft opposes demonstration's aid, And with dark mysr'ry dignifies her trade.
If ruin rushes o'er a statesman's sway, Scribblers, like worms, on tainted grandeur prey. While a poor felon waits th'impending stroke, Voracious scribes like hov'ring ravens croak. In their dark quills a dreary insult lies, Th'offence lives recent, though th'offender dies; In his last words they suck his parting breath, And gorge on his loathed memory after death.
Wretches like these no satire would chastise, But follies here to ruthless insult rise; Distinguished insult taints a nation's fame, And various vice deserves a various shame.
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