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The guests withdrawn had left the treat,
And down the mice sat 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 goutez 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 ashamed-'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!





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"An't please your honour," quoth the peasant,

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AGAIN? new tumults in my breast?

Ah spare me, Venus! let me, let me rest!

I am not now, alas! the man

As in the gentle reign of my Queen Anne.

Ah, sound no more thy soft alarms,

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,

There spread round Murray all your blooming loves; 5 Noble and young, who strike the heart

With every sprightly, every decent part;

Equal, the injured to defend,

To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend.

He, with a hundred arts refined,

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 the involuntary tear?

Why words so flowing, thoughts so free,

Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glance of thee? Thee, dress'd in Fancy's airy beam,

Absent I follow through the extended dream ;

Now, now I seize, I clasp thy charms,

And now you burst (ah cruel!) from my arms,

5 [Murray's chambers were at this time in King's Bench Walks, No. 5.]

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.


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 named;

These raised new empires o'er the earth;
And those, new heavens and systems framed.

Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
They had no poet, and they died.

In vain they schemed, in vain they bled!
They had no poet, and are dead.





[Warburton states that the poet was threatened with a prosecution in the House of Lords for the Epilogue to the Satires. In great resentment, he began a Third Dialogue, more severe and sublime than the first and second," which, becoming known, led to a compromise. The prosecution was dropped, and the poet agreed to leave the Third Dialogue unfinished and suppressed. "This affair," adds Warburton, " occasioned this little beautiful poem, to which it alludes throughout, but more especially in the four last stanzas. Lady Frances Shirley was a daughter of Earl Ferrers, who had at that time a house at Twickenham. She died unmarried in 1762.]

YES, I beheld the Athenian queen


Descend in all her sober charms;

"And take" (she said, and smiled serene),
"Take at this hand celestial arms:

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.”

Awed, on my bended knees I fell,
Received the weapons of the sky;
And dipp'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.

1 [Bertrand's was a toy-shop at Bath.]


But, friend, take heed whom you attack;
You'll bring a house (I mean of peers),
Red, blue, and green, nay white and black,
L- and all about your ears.2

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 ye, 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."3

2 [Lambeth would seem to be here meant. In the Epilogue to the Satires, Dial. I., ver. 120, Pope had hazarded an allusion to a scandal, that the Archbishop of Canterbury had "pocketed" the will of George I. Walpole, however, states that the Archbishop produced the will, and that George II. carried it off. Pope's frequent satires on the Court prelates must have given great offence, and Lord Hervey alludes to the cabals and combinations of the bishops about this time, to oppose and influence the transactions of Parliament.]

8 [One that

sung of Lady Frances Shirley was Chesterfield-
"When Fanny, blooming fair,

First met my ravish'd sight,

Struck with her shape and air,

I gazed with strange delight.”

Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, in one of his light satires, alludes to the intimacy between Chesterfield and Fanny, and—

"That eternal whisper, which begun

Ten years ago, and never will be done."

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