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The chat on various fubjects ran,
Till angry Hymen thus began:
Relentless Death! whofe iron fway
Mortals reluctant muft obey,
Still of thy pow'r fhall I complain,
And thy too partial hand arraign?
When Cupid brings a pair of hearts,
All over ftuck with equal darts,
Thy cruel thafts my hopes deride,
And cut the knot that Hymen tied.
Shall not the bloody and the bold,
The mifer hoarding up his gold,
The harlot reeking from the ftew,
Alone thy fell revenge purfue?
But muft the gentle and the kind
Thy fury, undiftinguish'd, find?
The monarch calmly thus replied:
Weigh well the caufe, and then decide.
That friend of yours you lately nam'd,
Cupid alone, is to be blam'd;
Then let the charge be justly laid:
That idle boy neglects his trade,
And hardly once in twenty years
A couple to your temple bears.
The wretches, whom your office blends,
Silenus now, or Plutus fends;
Hence care, and bitterness, and strife,
Are common to the nuptial life.
Believe me! more than all mankind
Your vot'ries my compaffion find.
Yet cruel ain I call'd, and base,
Who feck the wretched to releafe;
The captive from his bonds to free,
Indiffoluble but for me.
'Tis I entice him to the yoke;
By me your crowded altars finoke:
For mortals boldly dare the neofe,
Secure that Death will fet them loofe.
$314. FABLE V. The Poet and bis Patron. WHY, Calia, is your fpreading waist
So loofe, fo negligently lac'd ?
Why muft the wrapping bed-gown hide
Your fnowy bofom's fwelling pride?
How ill that drefs adorns your head,
Diftain'd and rumpled from the bed!
Thofe clouds that fhade your blooming face
A little water might difplace,
As Nature ev'ry morn bestows
The cryftal dew to cleanfe the rofe.
Thofe treffes, as the raven black,
That wav'd in ringlets down your back,
Uncomb'd, and injur'd by neglect,
Destroy the face which once they deck'd.
Whence this forgetfulness of dress ?
Pray, Madam, are you married?—Yes.
Nay, then indeed the wonder ceafes;
No matter now how loofe your drefs is;
The end is won, your fortune 's made;
Your fifter now may take the trade.
Alas! what pity 'tis to find
This fault in half the female kind!
From hence procced averfion, ftrife,
And all that fours the wedded life.
Beauty can only point the dart,
'Tis neatnefs guides it to the heart;
Let neatnefs then and beauty strive
To keep a wav'ring flame alive.
'Tis harder far (you'll find it true)
To keep the conqueft, than fubdue;
Admit us once behind the fcreen,
What is there farther to be feen?
A newer face may raife the flame,
But ev'ry woman is the fame.
Then ftudy chiefly to improve
The charm that fix'd your husband's love.
Weigh well his humour. Was it drefs
That gave your beauty pow'r to blefs?
Purfuc it ftill; be neater feen;
'Tis always frugal to be clean;
So fhall you keep alive defire,
And time's fwift wing fhall fan the fire.
In garret high (as ftories fay)
A Poet fung his tuneful lay;
So foft, fo fmooth, his verfe you 'd swear
Apollo and the Mufes there:
Thro' all the town his praifes rung;
His fonnets at the playhoufe fung;
High waving o'er his lab'ring head,
The goddef's Want her pinions fpread,
And with poetic fury fir'd
What Phoebus faintly had infpir'd.
A noble youth, of tafte and wit,
Approv'd the fprightly things he writ,
And fought him in his cobweb dome,
Difcharg'd his rent, and brought him home.
Behold him at the ftately board!
Who but the Poet and my Lord!
Each day deliciously he dines,
And greedy quaff's the genious wines;
His fides were plump, his fkin was fleek,
And plenty wanton'd on his check;
Aftonifh'd at the change fo new,
Away th' infpiring goddess flew.
Now, dropt for politics and news,
Neglected lay the drooping mufe,
Unmindful whence his fortune came,
He ftifled the poetic flame;
Nor tale, nor fonnet, for my lady,
Lampoon, nor epigram, was ready.
With juft contempt his Patron faw
(Refolv'd his bounty to withdraw);
And thus, with anger in his look,
The late-repenting fool bespoke :
Elind to the good that courts thee grown,
Whence has the fun of favour fhone?
Delighted with thy tuneful art,
Efteem was growing in my heart;
But idly thou reject'ft the charm
That gave it birth, and kept it warm.
Unthinking fools alone defpife
The arts that taught them first to rife.
May horror feize his midnight hour,
Who builds upon a parent's pow'r,
And claims, by purchase vile and base,
The loathing maid for his embrace;
Hence virtue fickens; and the breast,
Where peace had built her downy neft,
Becomes the troubled feat of care,
And pines with anguifh and defpair.
A Wolf, rapacious, rough, and bold, Whofe nightly plunders thinn'd the fold, Contemplating his ill-fpent life,
And cloy'd with thefts would take a wife.
His purpofe known, the favage race
In numerous crowds attend the place;
For why, a mighty wolf he was,
And held dominion in his jaws.
Her fav'rite whelp each mother brought,
And humbly his alliance fought;
But cold by age, or elfe too nice,
None found acceptance in his eyes.
It happen'd as at early dawn,
He folitary crofs'd the lawn,
Stray'd from the fold, the fportive Lamb
Skipp'd wanton by her fleecy Dam;
When Cupid, foe to man and beaft,
Ditcharg'd an arrow at his breaft.
The tim'rous breed the robber knew,
And trembling o'er the meadow flew ;
Their nimbleft fpeed the Wolf o'ertook,
And courteous thus the Dam bespoke :
Stay, faireft, and fufpend your fear,
Trust me, no enemy is near:
Thefe jaws, in flaughter oft imbru'd,
At length have known enough of blood;
And kinder bus'nefs brings me now,
Vanquish'd, at beauty's feet to bow.
You have a daughter-fweet, forgive
A Wolf's addrefs-in her I live;
Love from her eyes like lightning came,
And fet my marrow all on flame;
Let your confent confirm my choice,
And ratify our nuptial joys."
Me ample wealth and pow'r attend, Wide o'er the plains any realms extend; What midnight robber dare invade The fold, if 1 the guard am made? At home the shepherd's cur may seep, While I fecure his master's fheep. Difcourfe like this attention claim'd; Grandeur the mother's breaft inflam'd; Now fearless by his fide fhe walk'd, Of fettlements and jointures talk'd; Propos'd, and doubled her demands, Of flow'ry fields, and turnip-lands. The Wolf agrees. Her bofom fwells; To Mifs her happy fate fhe tells; And, of the grand alliance vain, Contemns her kindred of the plain. The loathing Lamb with horror hears, And wearies out her Dam with pray'rs; But all in vain, mamma best knew What unexperienc'd girls fhould do. So, to the neighb'ring meadow carried, A formal afs the couple married.
Torn from the tyrant mother's fide, The trembler goes, a victim-bride; Reluctant meets the rude embrace, And bleats among the howling race. With horror oft her eyes behold Her murder'd kindred of the fold; Each day a fifter lamb is ferv'd, And at the glutton's table carv'd; The crafhing bones he grinds for food, And flakes his thirft with ftreaming blood. Love, who the cruel mind detefts, And lodges but in gentle breafts, Was now no more. Enjoyment paft, The favage hunger'd for the feaft; But (as we find, in human race, A mask conceals the villain's face) Juftice muft authorise the treat; Till then he long'd, but durft not eat.
As forth he walk'd in queft of prey,
The hunters met him on the way:
Fear wings his flight; the marsh he fought:
The fnuffing dogs are fet at fault.
His ftomach baulk'd, now hunger gnaws,
Howling he grinds his empty jaws:
Food must be had, and Lamb is nigh;
His maw invokes the fraud ful lie.
Is this (diffembling rage, he cried)
The gentle virtue of a bride?
That, leagu'd with man's deftroying race,
She fets her husband for the chace >
By treach'ry prompts the noify hound
To fcent his footfteps on the ground?
Thou trait'refs vile! for this thy blood
Shall glut my rage, and dye the wood!
So faying, on the Lamb he flies :
Beneath his jaws the victim dies.
316. FABLE VII. The Goofe and the Swans. HATE the face, however fair, That carries an affected air; The lifping tone, the shape conftrain'd, The ftudied look, the paffion feign'd, Are fopperies which only tend To injure what they ftrive to mend. With what fuperior grace enchants The face, which nature's pencil paints ! Where unexercis'd in art, eyes, Glow with the meaning of the heart! Where freedom and good-humour fit, And eafy gaiety and wit! Though perfect beauty be not there, The mafter lines, the finifh'd air, We catch from ev'ry look delight, And grow enamour'd at the fight: For beauty, though we all approve, Excites our wonder more than love; While the agrecable strikes fure, And gives the wounds we cannot cure. Why then, my Amoret, this care, That forms you, in effect, lefs fair? If nature on your check beftows A bloom that emulates the rofe, Or from fome heavenly image drew A form Apelles never knew,
Your ill-judged aid will you impart,
And fpoil by me e:ricious art?
Or had you, nature's error, come
Abortive from the mother's womb,
Your forming care the ftill rejects,
Which only heightens her defects.
When fuch, of glitt'ring jewels proud,
Still prefs the foremost in the crowd,
At ev'ry public fhow are feen,
With look awry, and awkward mien,
The gaudy drels attracts the eye,
And magnifies deformity.
Nature may underdo her part,
But feldom wants the help of art;
Truft her, fhe is your fureft friend,
Nor made your form for you to mend.
A Goofe, affected, empty, vain,
The fhrilleft of the cackling train,
With proud and elevated creft,
Precedence claim'd above the reft.
Says fhe; I laugh at human race,
Who fay geefe hobble in their pace;
Look here!-the fland'rous lye dete&t ;.
No haughty man is fo erect.
That peacock yonder! Lord, how vain
The creature's of his gaudy train !
If both were ftript, I pawn my word
A goofe would be the finer bird.
Nature, to hide her own defects,
Her bungled work with finery decks;
Were geefe fet off with half that show,
Would men admire the peacock? No.
Thus vaunting, 'crofs the mead the stalks,
The cackling breed attend her walks;
The fun fhot down his noon-tide beams,
The Swans were fporting in the streams;
Their fnowy plumes and ftately pride
Provok'd her spleen. Why there, she cried,
Again what arrogance we fee!
Thofe creatures how they mimic me!
Shall ev'ry fowl the water skim,
Because we geefe are known to swim!
Humility they foon thall learn,
And their own emptiness difcern.
So faying, with extended wings,
Lightly upon the wave the fprings;
Her bofom fwells. The fpreads her plumes,
And the fwan's ftately creat allumes.
Contempt and mockery enfue,
And bursts of laughter fhook the flood.
A Swan, fuperior to the reft,
Sprung forth, and thus the fool addrefs'd;
Conceited thing, clate with pride!
Thy affectation all deride:
Thefe airs thy awkwardness impart,
And thew thee plainly as thou ait.
Among thy equals of the flock
Thou hadit efcap'd the public mock;
And, as thy parts to good conduce,
Been decand an honeft hobbling goofe.
Learn hence to study witdom's rules
Know, foppery 's the pride of fools;
And, ftriving nature to conceal,
You only her defects reveal.
§ 317. FABLE VIII. The Lawyer and Justice.
LOVE! thou divineft good below!
Thy pure delights few mortals know:
Our rebel hearts thy fway difown,
While tyrant luft ufurps thy throne.
The bounteous God of nature made
The fexes for each other's aid;
Their mutual talents to employ,
To leffen ills, and heighten joy.
To weaker woman he affign'd
That soft'ning gentleness of mind,
That can by fympathy impart
Its likeness to the rougheft heart.
Her eyes with magic pow'r endued,
To fire the dull, and awe the rude.
His rofy fingers on her face
Shed lavish ev'ry bloomy grace,
And stamp'd (perfection to display)
His mildeft image on her clay.
Man, active, refolute, and bold,
He fashion'd in a diff'rent mould,
With ufeful arts his mind inform'd,
His breaft with nobler paffions warm'd ;
He gave him knowledge, taste, and sense,
And courage for the fair's defence.
Her frame, refiftlefs to each wrong,
Demands protection from the strong;
To man fhe flies when fear alarms,
And claims the temple of his arms.
By nature's Author thus declar'd
The woman's fov'reign and her guard,
Shall man by treach'rous wiles invade
The weakness he was meant to aid?
While beauty, given to inspire
Protecting love, and foft defire,
Lights up a wild-fire in the heart,
And to its own breast points the dart,
Becomes the fpoiler's bafe pretence
To triumph over innocence.
The wolf, that tears the tim'rous fheep,
Was never fet the fold to keep;
Nor was the tiger, or the pard,
Meant the benighted traveller's guard;
But man, the wildest beaft of prey,
Wears friendship's femblance to betray;
His ftrength against the weak employs ;
And where he should protect, deftroys.
Paft twelve o'clock, the watchman cried
His brief the studious Lawyer plied;
The all-prevailing fee lay nigh,
The earneft of to-morrow's lie.
Sudden the furious winds arife,
The jarring cafement shatter'd flies;
The doors admit a hollow found,
And rattling from their hinges bound;
When Justice, in a blaze of light,
Reveal'd her radiant form to fight.
The wretch with thrilling horror fhook Loofe ev'ry joint, and pale his look; Not having feen her in the courts, Or found her mention'd in reports, He ask'd, with fault'ring tongue, her name, Her errand there, and whence the came ? Sternly
Sternly the white-rob'd Shade replied
(A crimton glow her vifage dyed):
Canft thou be doubtful who I am?
Is Juftice grown fo ftrange a name?
Were not your courts for Juftice rais'd?
'Tis was there, of old, iny altars blaz`d.
My guardian thee I did elect,
My facred temple to protect,
That thou and all thy venal tribe,
Should fpurn the goddess for the bribe.
Aloud the ruin'd client cries,
Juftice has neither cars nor eyes;
In foul alliance with the bar,
'Gainft me the judge denounces war,
And rarely iffues his decree
But with intent to baille me.
She paus'd-her breaft with fury burn'd; The trembling Lawyer thus return'd: I own the charge is juftly laid, And weak th' excufe that can be made; Yet fearch the fpacious globe, and fee If all mankind are not like me,
The gown-man, fkill'd in Romih lies, By faith's falte glafs deludes our eyes; O'er confcience rides without controul, And robs the man to fave his foul.
The doctor, with important face,
By fly defign mistakes the cafe;
Preferibes, and fpins out the difeafe,
To trick the patient of his fees.
The foldier, rough with many a fear,
And red with flaughter, leads the war;
If he a nation's trust betray,
The foe has offer'd double pay.
When vice o'er all mankind prevails,
And weighty int'reft turns the fcales,
Muft I be better than the reft,
And harbour Juftice in my breast?
On one fide only take the fae,
Content with poverty and thee?
Thou blind to fenfe, and vile of mind,
Th' exafperated Shade rejoin'd,
If virtue from the world is flown,
Will other's faults excufe thy own?
For fickly fouls the priest was made ;
Phyficians for the body's aid;
The foldier guarded liberty;
Man, woman, and the lawyer me.
If all are faithlefs to their truft,
They leave not thee the lefs unjuft.
Henceforth your pleadings I difclaim,
And bar the fanction of my name;
Within your courts it fhall be read,
That Justice from the law is fied.
She fpoke; and hid in fhades her face,
Till Hardwicke footh'd her into grace.
Can 't I another's face commend,
Or to her virtues be a friend,
But inftantly your forehead lours,
As if her merit leffen'd yours?
From female envy never free,
All must be blind because you fee.
Survey the garden, fields, and bow'rs,
The buds, the bloffoms, and the flow'rs;
Then tell me where the woodbine grows
That vies in fwectnefs with the rofe;
Or where the lily's fnowy white,
That throws fuch beauties on the fight?
Yet folly is it to declare,
That thefe are neither fweet nor fair.
The cryftal fhines with fainter rays
Before the diamond's brighter blaze;
And fops will fay the diamond dies
Before the luftre of your eyes:
But I, who dea! in truth, deny
That neither thine when you are by.
When zephyrs o'er the bloffom ftray,
And fweets along the air convey,
Sha'n't I the fragrant breeze inhale,
Because you breathe a fweeter gale?
Sweet are the flow'rs that deck the field;
Sweet is the fmell the blooms yield;
Sweet is the fummer gale that blows;
And fweet, tho' fweeter you, the rose.
Shall envy then torment your breaft,
If you are lovelier than the reft?
For while I give to each her due,
By praising them I flatter you;
And praifing moft, I ftill declare
You faireft, where the reft are fair.
As at his board a Farmer fate,
Replenifh'd by his homely treat,
His fav'rite Spaniel near him ftood,
And with his mafter fhar'd the food;
The crackling bones his jaws devour'd,
His lapping tongue the trenchers fcour'd;
Till, fated now, fupine he lay,
And fnor'd the riling fumes away.
The hungry Cat, in turn drew near,
And humbly crav'd a fervat s fhare;
Hei modeft worth the Mafter know,
And ftraight the fattning morfel threw:
Enrag'd, the foarling Cur awoke,
And thus with fpiteful envy fpoke:
They only claim a right to eat,
Who earn by fervices their neat;
Me, zeal and induftry inflame
To fcour the fields, and spring the game;
Or, plunged in the wint'ry wave,
For man the wounded bird to fave.
With watchrul diligence I keep
From prowling wolves his fleecy fheep;
At home his midnight hours fecure,
And drive the robber from the door :
§318. FABLE IX. The Farmer, the Spaniel, For this his breaft with kindness glows,
WHY knits my dear her angry brow?
What rude offence alarms you now?
I faid that Delia's fair, 'tis
But did I fay the equall'd you?
For this his hand the food beflows;
And shall thy indolence impart
A warmer friendship to his heart,
That thus he robs me of my due,
To pamper fuch vile things as you !
I own (with meekness Pufs replied) Superior merit on your fide; Nor does my breaft with envy fwell, To find it recompenc'd fo well; Yet I, in what my nature can, Contribute to the good of man. Whose claws defroy the pilf'ring mouse ? Who drives the vermin from the house? Or, watchful for the lab'ring fwain, From lurking rats fecures the grain? From hence if he rewards beftow, Why fhould your heart with gall o'erflow? Why pine my happiness to fee, Since there's enough for you and me?
Thy words are juft, the Farmer cried, And fpurn'd the fnarler from his fide.
$319. FABLE X. The Spider and the Bee.
THE nymph who walks the public streets,
And fets her cap at all the meets,
May catch the fool who turns to ftare;
But men of fenfe avoid the fnare.
As on the margin of the flood,
With filken line, my Lydia ftood,
1 fmil'd to fee the pains the took
To cover o'er the fraudful hook.
Along the foreft as we ftray'd,
You faw the boy his lime-twigs fpread;
Guefs'd you the reafon of his fear,
Left, heedlefs, we approach too near?
For, as behind the bufh we lay,
The linnet flutter'd on the fpray.
Needs there fuch caution to delude
The fcaly fry, and feather'd brood?
And think you, with inferior art,
To captivate the human heart?
The maid who modeftly conceals
Her beauties, while the hides, reveals.
Give but a glimpfe, and fancy draws
Whate'er the Grecian Venus was.
From Eve's first fig-leaf to brocade,
All drefs was meant for fancy's aid;
Which evermore delighted dwells
On what the bafhful nymph conceals.
When Celia ftruts in man's attire,
She thews too much to raise defire;
But, from the hoop's bewitching round,
Her very fhoe has pow'r to wound.
The roving eye, the bofom bare,
The forward laugh, the wanton air,
May catch the fop; for gudgeons strike
At the bare hook and bait alike;
While falmon play regardlefs by,
Till art like nature forms the fly.
Beneath a peafant's homely thatch
A Spider long had held her watch;
From morn to night, with reftlefs care,
She foun her web, and wove her fnare.
Within the limits of her reign
Lay many a heedlefs captive flain;
Or flutt ring ftruggled in the toils,
To burft the chains, and thun her wiles.
A ftraying Bee, that perch'd hard by,
Beheld her with dildainful eye,
And thus began: Mean thing! give o'er,
And lay thy lender threads no more;
A thoughtlefs fly or two, at most,
Is all the conqueft thou canft boaft;
For becs of fenfe thy arts evade,
We fee fo plain the nets are laid.
The gaudy tulip, that difplays
Her fpreading foliage to gaze;
That points her charms at all the fees,
And yields to ev'ry wanton breeze,
Attracts not me; where blufhing grows,
Guarded with thorns, the modeft rofe,
Enamour'd, round and round I fly,
Or on her fragrant bofom lie;
Reluctant the my ardour meets,
And bathful renders up her fweets.
To wifer heads attention lend,
And learn this leffon from a friend:
She who with modefty retires,
Adds fuel to her lover's fires;
While fuch incautious jilts as you
By folly your own fchemes undo.
$320. FABLE XI. The Young Lion and the Ape.
"TIS true, I blame your lover's choice,
Though flatter'd by the public voice;
And peevith grow, and fick, to hear
His exclamations, O how fair!
I liften not to wild delights,
And tranfports of expected nights;
What is to me your hoard of charms,
The whitenefs of your neck and arms?
Needs there no acquifition more
To keep contention from the door?
Yes; pafs a fortnight, and you'll find
All beauty cloys but of the mind.
Senfe and good-humour ever prove
The fureft cords to faften love.
Yet, Phillis, fimpleft of your fex,
You never think but to perplex;
Coquetting it with ev'ry ape
That ftruts abroad in human fhape;
Not that the coxcomb is your taste.
But that it fings your lover's breast.
To-morrow you refign the fway,
Prepar'd to honour and obey.
The tyrant miftrefs change for life,
To the fubmiffion of a wife.
Your follies, if you can, fufpend,
And learn inftruction from a friend;
Reluctant hear the first addrefs,
Think often ere you answer Yes;
But, once refolv'd, throw off disguise,
And wear your wishes in your eyes;
With caution ev'ry look forbear
That might create one jealous fear,
A lover's ripening hopes confound,
Or give the gen'rous breaft a wound;
Contemn the girlish arts to teaze,
Nor ufe your pow'r, unless to please;
For fools alone with rigour fway,
When, foon or late, they muft obey.
The King of brutes, in life's decline,
Refolv'd dominion to refign;