A Friendly Apology For A Certain Justice Of Peace By Way Of Defence Of Hartley Hutcheson, Esq. By James Black-Well, Operator For The Feet

Category: Poetry
But he by bawling news about,
And aptly using brush and clout,
A justice of the peace became,
To punish rogues who do the same.

I sing the man of courage tried,
O'errun with ignorance and pride,
Who boldly hunted out disgrace
With canker'd mind, and hideous face;
The first who made (let none deny it)
The libel-vending rogues be quiet.
The fact was glorious, we must own,
For Hartley was before unknown,
Contemn'd I mean; - for who would chuse
So vile a subject for the Muse?
'Twas once the noblest of his wishes
To fill his paunch with scraps from dishes,
For which he'd parch before the grate,
Or wind the jack's slow-rising weight,
(Such toils as best his talents fit,)
Or polish shoes, or turn the spit;
But, unexpectedly grown rich in
Squire Domvile's family and kitchen,
He pants to eternize his name,
And takes the dirty road to fame;
Believes that persecuting wit
Will prove the surest way to it;
So with a colonel[1] at his back,
The Libel feels his first attack;
He calls it a seditious paper,
Writ by another patriot Drapier;
Then raves and blunders nonsense thicker
Than alderman o'ercharged with liquor:
And all this with design, no doubt,
To hear his praises hawk'd about;
To send his name through every street,
Which erst he roam'd with dirty feet;
Well pleased to live in future times,
Though but in keen satiric rhymes.
So, Ajax, who, for aught we know,
Was justice many years ago,
And minding then no earthly things,
But killing libellers of kings;
Or if he wanted work to do,
To run a bawling news-boy through;
Yet he, when wrapp'd up in a cloud,
Entreated father Jove aloud,
Only in light to show his face,
Though it might tend to his disgrace.
And so the Ephesian villain [2] fired
The temple which the world admired,
Contemning death, despising shame,
To gain an ever-odious name.

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