The Man of Honour, Occasion'd by the Postscript of Pen's Letter.

NOT all the Threats or Favours of a Crown,
A Princes whisper, or a Tyrants frown
Can aw the Spirit, or allure the Mind
Of him who to strict Honour is inclin'd;
Thô all the pomp and pleasure that does wait
On publick places and assairs of State,
Shou'd fondly court him to be base and great.
With even passions and with setled face
He wou'd remove the Harlots false imbrace,
Thô all the Storms and Tempests should arise
That Church-Magicians in their Cells devise,
And from their setled Basis Nations tear,
He wou'd unmov'd the mighty ruin bear;
Secure in innocence contemn 'em all,
And decently array'd in Honours fall.
For this brave Shrewsbury and [...]umly's Name
Shall stand the foremost in the List of Fame,
Who first with steady minds the Current broke,
And to the suppliant Monarch boldly spoke.
Great SIR, renown'd for Constancy, how just
Have we obey'd the Crown, and serv'd our Trust;
Espous'd your Cause and Interest in distress,
Your self must witness, and our Foes confess!
Permit us then ill Fortune to accuse
That you at last unhappy Counsels use,
And ask the only thing we must refuse.
Our Lives and Fortunes freely we'll expose,
Honour alone we cannot, must not lose:
Honour that spark of the Celestial fire,
That above Nature makes Mankind aspire;
[Page 2] Ennobles the rude passions of our frame
With thirst of Glory, and desire of Fame.
The richest Treasure of a generous breast
That gives the Stamp and Standard to the rest.
Wit, Strength, and Courage, are wild dangerous force,
Unless this softens and directs their Course,
And would you rob us of the Noblest part,
Accept a Sacrifice without a Heart?
Tis much beneath the Greatness of a Throne,
To take the Casket when the Jewel's gone:
Debauch our Principles, corrupt our Race,
And teach the Nobles to be false and base!
What confidence can you in them repose,
Who e're they serve you, all their value lose;
Who once inslave their Conscience to their Lust,
Have lost the Reins, and can no more be just.
Of Honour Men at first like Women nice,
Raise Maiden-scruples at unpractis'd Vice;
Their modest nature curbs the strugling flame,
And stifles what they wish to act, with shame
But once this Fence thrown down, when they perceive
That they may tast forbidden fruit and live;
They stop not here their course, but safely in,
Grow strong, luxuriant, and bold in sin;
True to no principles press forward still,
And only bound by Appetite their Will:
Now fawn and flatter while this Tide prevails,
But shift with every veering bl [...]st their Sails:
Mark those that meanly truckle to your power,
They once deserted and chang'd sides before,
And would to morrow Mahomet adore!
On higher Springs true Men of Honour move,
Free is their Service, and unbought their Love:
When Danger calls, and Honour leads the way,
With Joy they follow, and with Pride obey:
When the Rebellious Foe came rolling on,
And shook with gathering multitudes the Throne;
Where were the Minions then? What arms, what force,
Cou'd they oppose to stop the Torrents course.
Then Pembrook, then the Nobles firmly stood,
Free of their Lives, and lavish of their Blood;
[Page 3] But when your Orders to mean ends decline,
With the same Constancy they all resign.
Thus spake the Youth, who open'd first the way,
And was the Phosphorus to th'dawning day;
Follow'd by a more glorious splendid hoast,
Then any Age, or any Realm can boast:
So great their fame, so numerous the train,
To name were endless, and to praise in vain;
But Herbert, and great OXFORD merit more,
Bold is their flight, and more sublime they soar:
So high, their Vertue as yet wants a name
Exceeding wonder, and surpassing fame:
Rise, glorious Church, erect thy radiant head,
The Storm is past, th' Impending Tempest fled:
Had fate decreed thy Ruin or Disgrace,
It had not given such Sons, so brave a Race.
When for Destruction Heaven a Realm designs,
The symptoms first appear in Slavish Minds:
These Men would prop a sinking Nations weight,
Stop falling Vengeance, and reverse even Fate.
Let other Nations boast their fruitful soil,
Their fragant Spices, their rich Wine and Oil;
In breathing Colours, and in living paint
Let them excel; their Mastery we grant.
But to instruct the Mind, to arm the Soul
With Vertue which no dangers can controul;
Exalt the thought, a speedy Courage lend,
That Horror cannot shake, or Pleasure bend:
These are the English Arts, these we profess,
To be the same in Misery and Success;
To teach Oppressors Law, assist the good,
Relieve the wretched, and subdue the proud:
Such are our Souls: But what doth Worth avail
When Kings commit to hungry Priests the Scale?
All Merit's light when they dispose the weight,
Who either would imbroil, or rule the State.
Defame those Hero's who their Yoke refuse,
And blast that Honesty they cannot use;
The strength and safety of the Crown destroy,
And the Kings power against himself imploy:
[Page 4] Affront his Friends, deprive him of the brave,
Bereft of these he must become their slave.
Men like our Money, come the most in play
For being base, and of a coarse allay.
The richest Medals, and the purest Gold
Of Native value and exactest mold,
By worth conceal'd, in private Closets shine,
For vulgar use too precious and too fine,
Whilst Tin and Copper with new stamping bright,
Coins of base Metal, counterfeit and light
Do all the business of the Nations turn
Rais'd in Contempt, us'd and employ'd in Scorn;
So shining Vertues are for Courts too bright,
Whose guilty Actions fly their searching light;
Rich in themselves, disdaining to aspire,
Great without pomp they willingly retire:
Give place to Fools, whose rash misjudging sence
Increases the weak Measures of their Prince;
Prone to admire, and flatter him in ease,
They study not his good, but how to please;
They blindly and implicitly run on,
Nor see those dangers which the others shun:
Who slow to act, each business duly weigh,
Advise with Freedom, and with Care obey;
With Wisdom fatal to their Interest strive
To make their Monarch lov'd, and Nation thrive;
Such have no place where Priests and Women reign,
Who love fierce Drivers, and a looser Rein.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.