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A neighbour's madness, or his spouse's,
Or what's in either of the houses:
But something much more our concern,
And quite a scandal not to learn :
Which is the happier, or the wiser,
A man of merit, or a miser?
Whether we ought to chuse our friends,
For their own worth, or our own ends?
What good, or better, we may call,
And what, the very best of all?
Our friend Dan Prior told (you know)
A tale extremely " Â propos:"
Name a town life, and in a trice
He had a story of two mice.
Once on a time (so runs the fable)
A country mouse, right hospitable,
Receiv'd a town mouse at his board,
Just as a farmer might a lord.
A frugal mouse, upon the whole,
Yet lov'd his friend, and had a soul,
Knew what was handsome, and would do't,
On just occasion, "coûte qui coûte."
He brought him bacon (nothing lean);
Pudding, that might have pleas'd a dean;
Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make,
But wish'd it Stilton for his sake;
Yet, to his guest though no way sparing,
He eat himself the rind and paring.
Our courtier scarce could touch a bit,
But show'd his breeding and his wit;
He did his best to seem to eat,
And cry'd," I vow you're mighty neat.
But Lord, my friend, this savage scene!
For God's sake, come, and live with men :
Consider, mice, like men, must die,
Both small and great, both you and I:
Then spend your life in joy and sport;
(This doctrine, friend, I learn'd at court.)"
The veriest hermit in the nation
May yield, God knows, to strong temptation.
Legibus insanis: seu quis capit acria fortis
Pocula; seu modicis uvescit lætius. ergo
Sermo oritur, non de villis domibusve alienis, [nos
Nec male necne Lepos saltet: sed quod magis ad
Pertinet, et nescire malum est, agitamus; utrumne
Divitiis homines, an sint virtute beati :
Quidve ad amicitias, usus rectumne, trahat nos:'
quæ sit natura boni, summumque quid ejus.
Cervius hæc inter vicinus garrit aniles
Ex re fabellas. si quis nam laudat Arelli
Solicitas ignarus opes; sic incipit: Olim
Rusticus urbanum murem mus paupere fertur
Accepisse cavo, veterem vetus hospes amicum;
Asper, et attentus qua-sitis; ut tamen arctum
Solveret hospitiis animun, quid multa? neque illi
Sepositi ciceris, nec longæ invidit avenæ :
Aridum et ore ferens acinum, semesaque lardi
Frusta dedit, cupiens varia fastidia cœna
Vincere tangentis male singula dente saperbo:
Cum pater ipse domus palca porrectus in horna
Esset ador loliumque, dapis meliora relinquens.
Tandem urbanus ad hunc; quid te jurat, inquit,
Prærupti nemoris patientem vivere dorso? [amice,
Vin' tu homines urbemque feris præponere sylvis
Carpe viam (mihi crede) comes: terrestria quando
Mortales animas vivunt sortita, neque ulla est,
Aut magno aut parvo, leti fuga, quo, bone, circa,
Dum licet, in rebus jucundis vive beatus:
Vive memor quam sis ævi brevis. Hæc ubi dicta
Away they came, through thick and thin,
To a tall house near Lincoln's-inn:
('Twas on the night of a debate,
When all their lordships had sate late.)
Behold the place, where if a poet
Shin'd in description, he might show it;
Tell how the moon-beam trembling falls,
And tips with silver all the walls;
Palladian walls, Venetian doors,
Grotesco roofs, aud stucco floors:
But let it (in a word) be said,
The Moon was up, and men a-bed,
The napkins white, the carpet red :
The guests withdrawn had left the treat,
And down the mice sate, "tête à tête."
Our courtier walks from dish to dish,
Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish;
Tells all their names, lays down the law.
"Que ça est bon! Ah goûtez ça !
"That jelly's rich, this malmsey healing,
Pray dip your whiskers and your tail in."
Was ever such a happy swain?
He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again.
"I'm quite asham'd-'tis mighty rude
To eat so much-but all's so good.
I have a thousand thanks to give-
My lord alone knows how to live."
No sooner said, but from the hall
Rush chaplain, butler, dogs and all:
"A rat, a rat! clap to the door"-
The cat comes bouncing on the floor.
O for the heart of Homer's mice,
Or gods to save them in a trice!
(It was by Providence they think,
For your damn'd stucco has no chink.)
"An't please your honour," quoth the peasant,
"This same dessert is not so pleasant:
Give me again my hollow tree,
A crust of bread, and liberty!"
AGAIN? new tumults in my breast?
Ah spare me, Venus! let me, let me rest!
Agrestem pepulere, domo levis exsilit: inde
Ambo propositum peragunt iter, urbis aventes
Monia nocturni subrepere, jamque tenebat
Nox medium cœli spatium, cum ponit uterque
In locuplete domo vestigia: rubro ubi cocco
Tincta super lectos canderet vestis eburnos ;
Multaque de magna superessent fercula cœna,
Quæ procul extructis inerant hesterna canistris.
Ergo ubi purmuren porrectum in veste locavit
Agrestem; veluti succinctus cursitat hospes,
Continuatque dapes: nce non verniliter ipsis
Fungitur officiis prælambens omne quod affert.
Dle cubans gaudet mutata sorte, bonisque
Rebus agit lætum convivam: cum subito ingens
Valvarum strepitus lectis excussit utrumque.
Currere per totum pavidi conclave; magisque
Exanimes trepidare, simul domus alta molossis
Persounit canibus. tum rusticus, Haud mihi vita
Est opus hac, ait, et valcas: me sylva, cavusque
Tutus ab insidiis tenui solabitur ervo.
INTERMISSA, Venus, diu
Rursus bella moves? parce precor, precor.
I am not now, alas! the man
As in the gentle reign of my queen Anne. Ah sound no more thy soft alarins,
Nor circle sober fifty with thy charms! Mother too fierce of dear desires!
Turn, turn to willing hearts your wanton fires. To number five direct your doves, [loves; There spread round Murray all your blooming Noble and young, who strikes the heart
With every sprightly, every decent part; Equal, the injur'd to defend,
To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend. He, with a hundred arts refin'd,
Shall stretch thy conquests over half the kind To him each rival shall submit,
Make but his riches equal to his wit. Then shall thy form the marble grace,
(Thy Grecian form) and Chloe lend the face; His house, embosom'd in the grove,
Sacred to social life and social love, Shall glitter o'er the pendant green,
Where Thames reflects the visionary scene: Thither the silver-sounding lyres
Shall call the smiling Loves, and young Desires; There, every Grace and Muse shall throng, Exalt the dance, or animate the song; There youths and nymphs, in consort gay, Shall hail the rising, close the parting day. With me, alas! those joys are o'er ;
For me the vernal garlands bloom no more. Adieu! fond hope of mutual fire,
The still-believing, still renew'd desire; Adieu! the heart-expanding bowl,
And all the kind deceivers of the soul !
But why? ah tell me, ah too dear!
Steals down my cheek th' involuntary tear? Why words so flowing, thoughts so free,
Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glauce of thee?
Non sum qualis eram bonæ
Sub regno Cynaræ. desine,dulcium
Mater sæva Cupidinum,
Circa lustra decem flectere mollibus Jam durum imperiis: abi
Quo blande juvenum te revecant preces.
Tempestivins in domum
Paulli, purpureis ales oloribus, Commissabere Maximi;
Si torrere jecur quæris idoneun, Namque et nobilis, et decens,
Et pro solicitis non tacitus reis,
Et centum puer artium,
Late signa feret militiæ tuæ.
Et, quandoque potentior
Largis muneribus riscrit æmuli, Albanos prope te lacus
Ponet marmorcain sub trabe citrea. Dlic plurima naribus
Duces thura; lyraque et Berecynthia Delectabere tibia
Mixtis carminibus, non sine fistula. Illic bis pueri die
Numen cum teneris virginibus tuum Laudantes, pede candido
In morem Salium ter quatient humum.
Me nec femma, nec paer
Jam, nec spes animi credula mutai,
Nec certare juvat inero,
Nec vin ire novis templa floribus.
Sed car, heu Ligurine, cur
Manat rara ficas lacryma per genas à
Thee, dress'd in Fancy's airy beam,
Absent I follow through th' extended dream 3 Now, now I cease, I clasp thy charms,
And now you burst (ah cruel!) from my arms! And swiftly shoot along the Mall,
Or softly glide by the canal.
Now shown by Cynthia's silver ray,
And now on rolling waters snatch'd away.
Cur facunda parum decoro
Inter verba cadit lingua silentio ?
Nocturnis te ego somniis
Jam captum teneo, jam volucrem sequor
Te per gramina Martii
Campi, te per aquas, dure, volubiles.
PART OF THE NINTH ODE OF THE FOURTH BOOK.
LEST you should think that verse shall die,
Which sounds the silver Thames along,
Taught on the wings of Truth to fly
Above the reach of vulgar song;
Though daring Milton sits sublime,
In Spenser native Muses play;
Nor yet shall Waller yield to time,
Nor pensive Cowley's moral lay—
Sages and chiefs long since had birth
Ere Cæsar was, or Newton nam'd;
Then rais'd new empires o'er the Earth,
And those, new heavens and systems fram'd, Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
They had no poet, and they died:
In vain they schem'd, in vain they bled!
They had no poet, and are dead.
Secure the radiant weapons wield; This golden lance shall guard desert, And if a vice dares keep the field,
This steel shall stab it to the heart." Aw'd, on my bended knees I fell,
Receiv'd the weapons of the sky; And dimp'd them in the sable well, The fount of fame or infamy.
"What well? what weapon?" (Flavia cries) "A standish, steel and golden pen!
It came from Bertrand's, not the skies;
I gave it you to write again.
"But, friend, take heed whom you attack;
You'll bring a house (I mean of peers)
Red, blue, and green, nay white and black,
and all about your ears.
"You'd write as smooth again on glass,
And run, on ivory, so glib, As not to stick at fool or ass, Nor stop at flattery or fib. "Athenian queen! and sober charms! I tell you, fool, there's nothing in't: 'Tis Venus, Venus gives these arms; In Dryden's Virgil see the print. "Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
That dares tell neither truth nor lies, I'll list you in the harmless roll
Of those that sing of these poor eyes."
ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD AND FARL
SENT TO THE EARL OF OXFORD WITH DR. PARNELL'S
POEMS PUBLISHED BY OUR AUTHOR, AFTER THE
SAID EARL'S IMPRISONMENT IN THE TOWER, AND
RETREAT INTO THE COUNTRY, IN THE YEAR 1721.
SUCH were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung,
Till Death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue.
Oh just beheld, and lost! admir'd, and mourn'd!
With softest manners, gentlest arts adorn'd!
Blest in each science, blest in every strain!
Dear to the Muse! to Harley dear-in vain!
For him, thou oft hast bid the world attend,
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend;
For Swift and him, despis'd the farce of state,
The sober follies of the wise and great;
Dextrous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit,
And pleas'd to 'scape from flattery to wit.
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
(A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear)
Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days,
Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays,
Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate;
Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great;
Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.
And sure, if aught below the seats divine Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine: A soul supreme, in each hard instance try'd, Above all pain, and passion, and all pride, The rage of power, the blast of public breath, The lust of lucre, and the dread of Death. In vain to deserts thy retreat is made; The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade: "Tis her's, the brave man s latest steps to trace, Re-juige his acts, and dignify disgrace.
When interest calls off all her sneaking train,
And all th' oblig'd desert, and all the vain;
She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell,
When the last lingering friend has bid farewell.
Ev'n now she shades thy evening-walk with bays
(No hireling she, no prostitute to praise);
Ev'n now, observant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm sun-set of thy various day,
Through Fortune's cloud one truly great can see
Nor fears to tell, that Mortimer is he.
JAMES CRAGGS, ES2.
SECRETARY OF STATE IN THE YEAR 1720.
A SOUL as full of worth, as void of pride,
Which nothing seeks to show, or needs to hide;
Which nor to guilt, nor fear, its caution owes,
And boasts a warmth that from no passion flows:
A face untaught to feign; a judging eye,
That darts severe upon a rising lie,
And strikes a blush through frontless flattery:
All this thou wert; and being this before,
Know, kings and fortune cannot make thee more.
Then scorn to gain a friend by servile ways,
Nor wish to lose a foe these virtues raise;
But candid, free, sincere, as you began,
Proceed-a minister, but still a man.
Be not (exalted to whate'er degree)
Asham'd of any friend, not ev'n of me:
The patriot's plain, but untrod, path pursue;
If not, 'tis I must be asham'd of you.
THIS verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
This, from no venal or ungrateful Muse.
Whether thy hand strike out some free design,
Where life awakes, and dawns at every line;
Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass,
And from the canvass call the mimic face:
Read these instructive leaves, in which conspire
Fresnoy's close art, and Dryden's native tire :
And reading wish, like theirs, our fate and fame,
So mix'd our studies, and so join'd our name ;
Like them to shine through long succeeding age,
So just thy skill, so regular my rage.
Smit with the love of sister-arts we came,
And met congenial, mingling flame with flame;
Like friendly colours found them both unite,
And each from each contract new strength and light,
How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day,
While summer-suns roll unperceiv'd away!
How oft our slowly growing works impart,
While images reflect from art to art!
How oft review; each finding like a friend
Something to blame, and something to commend!
What flattering scenes our wandering fancy
Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought!
Together o'er the Alps methinks we fly, Fir'd with ideas of fair Italy.
With thee on Raphael's monument I mourn,
Or wait inspiring dreams at Maro's urn:
With thee repose, where Tully once was laid,
Or seck some ruin's formidable shade:
While Fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view,
And builds imaginary Rome anew.
Here thy well-studied marbles fix our eye;
A fading fresco here demands a sigh:
Each heavenly piece unwearied we compare,
Match Raphael's grace with thy lov'd Guido's air,
Carracci's strength, Correggio's softer line,
Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.
How finish'd with illustrious toil appears
This small, well-polish'd gem, the work of years!
Yet still how faint by precept is express'd
The living image in the painter's breast!
Thence endless streams of fair ideas flow,
Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow;
Thence Beauty, waking all her forms, supplies
An angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes.
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed, Those tears eternal that embalm the dead; Call round her tomb each object of desire, Each purer frame inform'd with purer tire: Bid her be all that cheers or softens life, The tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife: Bid her be all that makes mankind adore; Then view this marble, and be vain no more! Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage; Her modest cheek shall warm a future age. Beauty, frail flower that every season fears, Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years. Thus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprise, And other beauties envy Worsley's eyes; Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow, And soft Belinda's blush for ever glow.
Oh, lasting as those colours may they shine, Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line; New graces yearly like thy works display, Soft without weakness, without glaring gay; Led by some rule, that guides, but not constrains; And finish'd more through happiness than pains! The kindred arts shall in their praise conspire, One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre. Yet should the Graces all thy figures place, And breathe an air divine on every face; Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul; With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie, And these be sung till Granville's Myra die: Alas! how little from the grave we claim ! Thou but preserv'st a face, and I ą name.
WITH THE WORKS OF VOITURE.
His heart, his mistress and his friend did share ;
His time, the Muse, the witty and the fair.
Thus wisely careless, innocently gay,
Cheerful he play'd the trifle, life, away;
Till Fate, scarce felt, his gentle breath supprest,
As smiling infants sport themselves to rest.
Ev'n rival wits did Voiture's death deplore,
And the gay mourn'd who never mourn'd before ;
The truest hearts for Voiture heav'd with sighs,
Voiture was wept by all the brightest eyes:
The Smiles and Loves had died in Voiture's death,
But that for ever in his lines they breathe.
Let the strict life of graver mortal be
A long, exact, and serious comedy;
In every scene some moral let it teach,
And, if it can, at once both please and preach.
Let mine, an innocent gay farce appear,
And more diverting still than regular,
Have humour, wit, a native ease and grace,
Though not too strictly bound to time and place:
Critics in wit, or life, are hard to please;
Few write to those, and none can live to these.
Too much your sex arc by their forms confin'd, Severe to all, but most to womankind; Custom, grown blind with age, must be your guide; Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride; By nature yielding, stubborn but for fame; Made slaves by honour, and made fools by shame. Marriage may all those petty tyrants chase, But sets up one, a greater, in their place. Well might you wish for change by those accurst, But the last tyrant ever proves the worst. Still in constraint your suffering sex remains, Or bound in forthal, or in real chains: Whole years neglected, for some months ador'd, The fawning servant turns a haughty lord. Ah, quit not the free innocence of life, For the dull glory of a virtuous wife; Nor let false shows, nor empty titles please: Aim not at joy, but rest content with ease.
The gods, to curse Pamela with her prayers, Gave the gilt coach and dappled Flanders mares, The shining robes, rich jewels, beds of state, And, to complete her bliss, a fool for mate. She glares in balls, front boxes, and the ring, A vain, unquiet, glittering, wretched thing! Pride, pomp, and state, but reach her outward part; She sighs, and is no dutchess at her heart.
But, madam, if the Fates withstand, and you Are destin'd Hymen's willing victim too; Trust not too much your now resistless charms, Those, age or sickness, soon or late disarms: Good-humour only teaches charms to last, Still makes new conquests, and maintains the past; Love, rais'd on beauty, will like that decay, Our hearts may bear its slender chain a day; As flowery bands in wantonness are worn, A morning's pleasure, and at evening torn; This binds in ties more easy, yet more strong, The willing heart, and only holds it long. Thus Voiture's early care still shone the same, And Monthausier was only chang'd in name;
In these gay thoughts the Loves and Graces shine, By this, ev'n now they live, ev'n now they charm,
And all the writer lives in every line:
His easy art may happy nature seem,
Trifles themselves are elegant in him.
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate,
Who without flattery pleas'd the fair and great;
Still with esteem no less convers'd than read;
With wit well-natur'd, and with books well-bred :
Their wit still sparkling, and their flames still warm.
Now crown'd with myrtle, on th' Elysian coast,
Amid those lovers, joys his gentle ghost:
Pleas'd, while with smiles his happy lines you view,
And finds a fairer Rambouillet in you.
TAE basset table spread, the tallier come; Why stays Smilinda in the dressing-room?
on her leaving the town after the CORONATION, Rise, pensive nymph; the tallier waits for you.
She went to plain-work, and to purling brooks, Old-fashion'd halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks:
She went from opera, park, assembly, play,
To morning-walks, and prayers three hours a day;
To part her time 'twixt reading and bohea,
To muse, and spill her solitary tea;
Or o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon,
Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon;
Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire,
Hum half a tune, tell stories to the 'squire;
Up to her godly garret after seven,
There starve and pray, for that's the way to Heaven.
Some 'squire, perhaps, you take delight to
Whose game is whist, whose treat a toast in sack: Who visits with a gun, presents you birds, [words!" Then gives a smacking buss, and cries," No Or with his hounds comes hallooing from the stable,
Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table; Whose laughs are hearty, though his jests are coarse,
And loves you best of all things---but his horse.
In some fair evening, on your elbow laid,
You dream of triumphs in the rural shade;
In pensive thought recall the fancy'd scene,
See coronations rise on every green;
Before you pass th' imaginary sights
Of lords, and earls, and dukes, and garter'd knights,
While the spread fan o'ershades your closing eyes;
Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies.
Thus vanish sceptres, coronets, and balls,
And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls!
So when your slave, at some dear idle time,
Not plagu'd with head-achs, or the want of rhyme
Stands in the streets, abstracted from the crew,
And while he seems to study, thinks of you:
Just when his fancy points your sprightly eyes,
Or sees the blush of soft Parthenia rise,
Gay pats my shoulder, and you vanish quite,
Streets, chairs, and coxcombs, rush upon my
Vex'd to be still in town, I knit my brow,
Look sour, and hum a tune, as you may now.