Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > British
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. VI–IX: British
 
Lothario (Lord Sandwich)
By Charles Churchill (1731–1764)
 
From “The Candidate”

WHEN Folly (at that name, in duty bound,
Let subject myriads kneel and kiss the ground,
Whilst they who in the presence upright stand,
Are held as rebels through the loyal land),
Queen everywhere, but most a queen at courts,        5
Sent forth her heralds and proclaimed her sports,
Bade fool with fool on her behalf engage,
And prove her right to reign from age to age,
Lothario, great above the common size,
With all engaged, and won from all the prize.        10
Her cap he wears, which from his youth he wore,
And every day deserves it more and more.
  Nor in such limits rests his soul confined;
Folly may share, but can’t engross his mind;
Vice, bold, substantial Vice, puts in her claim,        15
And stamps him perfect in the books of shame.
Observe his follies well, and you would swear
Folly had been his first, his only care;
Observe his vices, you’ll that oath disown,
And swear that he was born for Vice alone.        20
  Is the soft nature of some hapless maid,
Fond, easy, full of faith, to be betrayed?
Must she, to virtue lost, be lost to fame,
And he who wrought her guilt declare her shame?
Is some brave friend, who, man but little known        25
Deems every heart as honest as his own,
And, free himself, in others fears no guile,
To be ensnared, and ruined with a smile?
Is law to be perverted from her course?
Is abject fraud to league with brutal force?        30
Is freedom to be crushed, and every son
Who dares maintain her cause to be undone?
Is base corruption, creeping through the land,
To plan and work her ruin underhand,
With regular approaches, sure, though slow?        35
Or must she perish by a single blow?
Are debauchees in morals to preside?
Is faith to take an atheist for her guide?
Is science by a blockhead to be led?
Are states to totter on a drunkard’s head?        40
To answer all these purposes, and more,
More black than ever villain planned before,
Search earth, search hell, the devil cannot find
An agent like Lothario to his mind.
Were there but two—search all the world around—        45
Were there but two such nobles to be found,
The very name would sink into a term
Of scorn, and man would rather be a worm
Than be a lord. But nature, full of grace,
Nor meaning birth and titles to be base,        50
Made only one, and, having made him, swore,
In mercy to mankind, to make no more.
 
 
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