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But if you will not take my word,
May e'en as well be term'd the sea,
An honest man, because not hang'd."
ON MRS. TOFTS, A CELEBRATED OPERA-SINGER.1
SO bright is thy beauty, so charming thy song,
As had drawn both the beasts and their Orpheus along;
ON THE FEUDS ABOUT HANDEL AND BONONCINI.
STRANGE all this difference should be
"Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee!
OU beat your pate, and fancy wit will come:
EPIGRAM FROM THE FRENCH.
But you yourself may serve to show it
1 [This lady, an Englishwoman, maintained her ground against the Italian singers when the opera was first introduced to this country. She had a strong party in her favour, and one night, Feb. 5th, 1703-4, her Italian rival, Francesca Margherita de l'Epine, was hissed and pelted by Katharine Toft's clamorous admirers. Colley Cibber speaks warmly of the English singer's voice and personal attractions.]
ELL then, poor G
lies underground! So there's an end of honest Jack.
So little justice here he found,
"Tis ten to one he'll ne'er come back.
Joannes jacet hic Mirandula-cætera norunt
Applied to F. C. [FRANCIS CHARTRES.] [ERE Francis C lies. Be civil; The rest God knows-perhaps the devil!
THE BALANCE OF EUROPE.
OW Europe balanced, neither side prevails;
TO A LADY WITII THE TEMPLE OF FAME."
WHAT'S fame with men by custom of the nation,
Is call'd in women only reputation :
About them both why keep we such a pother?
["I send you my Temple of Fame, which is just come out; but my senti. ments about it you will see better by this epigram."-Pope to Martha Blount, 1714.]
ON THE TOASTS OF THE KIT-CAT CLUB, ANNO 1716.
WHENCE deathless Kit-Cat took its name,
Few critics can unriddle;
Some say from pastry-cook it came,
From no trim beaux its name it boasts,
But from this pell-mell pack of toasts
[The Kit-cat Club was formed about the year 1700, and met at first in a pastry-cook's in Shire-lane, near Temple-Bar. This person, famous for mutton pies, was called Christopher Cat, whence the name of the club. Toasting ladies after dinner was a rule of the club. A lady was chosen for the year by ballot, and her name written with a diamond on a drinking glass. Poetical jeux d'esprit on the beauties thus selected to reign supreme were written by Addison, Garth, the Earl of Halifax, Lord Dorset, Lord Wharton, &c. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, when a child of only eight years of age, was nominated by her father, Lord Kingston. Jacob Tonson, the publisher. was mainly instrumental in keeping the club together, and the members presented him with their portraits, painted by Kneller, all uniform in size. These portraits, forty-eight in number, Tonson hung up in a room which he had added to his residence at Barn Elms, for the meetings of the club. They are still preserved, and have been often engraved.]
A DIALOGUE (1717).
POPE.-Since my old friend is grown so great
I'm told, but 'tis not true, I hope,
CRAGGS.-Alas! if I am such a creature
To grow the worse for going greater;
ON DRAWINGS OF THE STATUES OF APOLLO, VENUS, AND HERCULES, MADE FOR POPE BY SIR GODFREY KNELLER.
WHAT god, what genius, did the pencil move,
When Kneller painted these?
'Twas friendship warm as Phoebus, kind as love,
UPON THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH'S HOUSE AT WOODSTOCK.
The spacious court, the colonnade,
The chimneys are so well design'd,
But where d'ye sleep, or where d'ye dine?
I find, by all you have been telling,
[Lord Chesterfield has the same idea in his Epigram on Burlington House:
"How well you build, let flattery tell;
Lord Hervey said of Lord Burlington's villa at Chiswick, that it was too small to live in, and too large to hang by one's watch!]
ON A PICTURE OF QUEEN CAROLINE, DRAWN BY
DEACE, flattering Bishop! lying Dean!
[The Bishop was Gilbert; the Dean, Dr. Alured Clarke, satirised in Epilogue to the Satires.]
ON BENTLEY'S "MILTON."
DID Milton's prose, O Charles, thy death defend?
A furious foe unconscious proves a friend. On Milton's verse did Bentley comment? Know A weak officious friend becomes a foe.
While he but sought his author's fame to further,