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And righteous David's self with slanders load :
That arts of foreign sway he did affect,
And guilty Jebusites from law protect,
Whose very chiefs, convict, were never freed,
Nay we have seen their sacrificers bleed!
Accusers' infamy is urg'd in vain,
While in the bounds of sense they did contain ;
But soon they launch'd into the unfathom’d tide,
And in the depths they knew disdain’d to ride.
For probable discoveries to dispense,
Was thought below a pension'd evidence;
Mere truth was dull, nor suited with the port
Of pamper'd Corah when advanc'd to court.
No less than wonders now they will impose,
And projects void of grace or sense disclose.
Such was the charge on pious Michal brought,
Michal that ne'er was cruel even in thought,
The best of queens and most obedient wife,
Impeach'd of curst designs on David's life!
His life, the theme of her eternal prayer,
'Tis scarce so much his guardian angel's care.
Not summer morns such mildness can disclose,
The Hermon lily, nor the Sharon rose.
Neglecting each vain pomp of majesty,
Transported Michal feeds her thoughts on high. 60
She lives with angels, and, as angels do,
Quits heaven sometimes to bless the world below.
Where, cherish'd by her bounties' plenteous spring,
Reviving widows smile, and orphans sing.
Oh! when rebellious Israel's crimes at height 66

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Are threaten'd with her lord's approaching fate,
The piety of Michal then remain
In heaven's remembrance, and prolong his reign!

Less desolation did the pest pursue,
That from Dan's limits to Beersheba slew,
Less fatal the repeated wars of Tyre,
And less Jerusalem's avenging fire.
With gentler terror these our state o'erran,
Than since our evidencing days began !

every cheek a pale confusion sat,
Continued fear beyond the worst of fate!
Trust was no more, art, science, useless made,
All occupations lost but Corah's trade.
Meanwhile a guard on modest Corah wait,
If not for safety, needful yet for state.
Well might he deem each peer and prince his slave,
And lord it o'er the tribes which he could save :
Even vice in him was virtue what sad fate
But for his honesty had seiz'd our state ?
And with what tyranny had we been curst,
Had Corah never prov'd a villain first?
To have told his knowledge of the intrigue in gross,
Had been, alas, to our deponent's loss :
The travelld Levite had the experience got,
To husband well, and make the best of 's plot; 90
And therefore like an evidence of skill,
With wise reserves secur’d his pension still ;
Nor quite of future power himself bereft,
But limbos large for unbelievers left.
| And now his writ such reverence had got,



Twas worse than plotting to suspect his plot. Some were so well convinc'd, they made no doubt Themselves to help the founder'd swearers out. Some had their sense impos’d on by their fear, But more for interest sake believe and swear : 100 Even to that height with some the frenzy grew, They rag'd to find their danger not prove true.

Yet, than all these a viler crew remain, Who with Achitophel the cry maintain ; Not urg'd by fear, nor through misguided sense, Blind zeal and starving need had some pretence, But for the good old cause, that did excite The original rebels' wiles, revenge and spite. These raise the plot, to have the scandal thrown Upon the bright successor of the crown, Whose virtue with such wrongs they had pursu'd, As seem'd all hope of pardon to exclude. Thus, while on private ends their zeal is built, The cheated crowd applaud and share their guilt.


V. 96. 'Twas worse than plotting to suspect his plot] The tide of prejudice ran so strongly in favour of Oates and the other witnesses, after the death of Sir Godfrey, that to speak slightingly of them, or their deposition, was as much as a man's life was worth; and even the king himself, who saw the trick from the beginning, did not dare to speak his sentiments freely. He did his utmost to keep as private as possible such discoveries of the supposed plot, as were communicated to him, the intention of which his perspicuity soon canvassed; and he was very angry when Lord Danby, without his leave, laid them before the parliament: “Now,' said he, 'you have laid the foundation of your own ruin, and of much perplexity for me.' The sequel proved his majesty a prophet. D.



Such practices as these, too gross to lie
Long unobserv'd by each discerning eye,
The more judicious Israelites unspell’d,
Though still the charm the giddy rabble held.
Ev'n Absalom, amidst the dazzling beams
Of empire, and ambition’s flattering dreams,
Perceives the plot, too foul to be excus'd,
To aid designs, no less pernicious, us’d.
And, filial sense yet striving in his breast,
Thus to Achitophel his doubts exprest.

Why are my thoughts upon a crown employ'd,
Which once obtain'd can be but half enjoy'd ?
Not so when virtue did my arms require,
And to my father's wars I flew entire.
My regal power how will my foes resent,
When I myself have scarce my own consent? 130
Give me a son's unblemish'd truth again,
Or quench the sparks of duty that remain.
How slight to force a throne that legions guard
The task to me; to prove unjust, how hard !
And if the imagin'd guilt thus wound my thought,
What will it when the tragic scene is wrought?
Dire war must first be conjured from below,
The realm we'd rule we first must overthrow;
And, when the civil furies are on wing
That blind and undistinguish'd slaughters fling, 140
Who knows what impious chance may reach the

king? Oh! rather let me perish in the strife, Than have my crown the price of David's life!




Or if the tempest of the war he stand,
In peace, some vile officious villain's hand
His soul's anointed temple may invade,
Or, prest by clamorous crowds, myself be made
His murtherer; rebellious crowds, whose guilt
Shall dread his vengeance till his blood be spilt.
Which if my filial tenderness oppose,
Since to the empire by their arms


Those very arms on me shall be employd,
A new usurper crown’d, and I destroy'd :
The same pretence of public good will hold,
And new Achitophels be found as bold
To urge the needful change, perhaps the old.

He said. The statesman with a smile replies,
A smile that did his rising spleen disguise,
My thoughts presum’d our labours at an end,
And are we still with conscience to contend? 160
Whose want in kings, as needful is allow'd,
As 'tis for them to find it in the crowd.
Far in the doubtful passage you are gone,
And only can be safe by pressing on.
The crown's true heir, a prince severe and wise,
Has view'd your motions long with jealous eyes:
Your person's charms, your more prevailing arts,
And mark'd your progress in the people's hearts,
Whose patience is the effect of stinted power,
But treasures vengeance for the fatal hour,
And if remote the peril he can bring,
Your present danger 's greater from the king.
Let not a parent's name deceive your sense,


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