« PreviousContinue »
Nay, it holds Delia from a second bed,
Though her lov'd lord has four half months been dead.
This passion with a pimple have I seen
Retard a cause, and give a judge the spleen.
By this inspir'd (O ne'er to be forgot!)
Some lords have learn'd to spell, and some to knot,
It makes Globose a speaker in the House;
He hems, and is deliver'd of his mouse:
It makes dear self on well-bred tongues prevail,
And I the little hero of each tale.
Sick with the Love of Fame, what throngs pour in, Unpeople court, and leave the senate thin? My growing subject seems but just begun, And, chariot-like, I kindle as I run.
Aid me, great Homer! with thy epic rules, To take a catalogue of British fools. Satire had I thy Dorset's force divine, A knave or fool should perish in each line, Though for the first all Westminster should plead, And for the last all Gresham intercede.
Begin. Who first the catalogue shall grace?
To quality belongs the highest place.
My Lord comes forward; forward let him come!
Ye vulgar! at your peril give him room:
He stands for fame on his forefathers' feet,
By heraldry prov'd valiant or discrect.
With what a decent pride he throws his eyes
Above the man by three descents less wise?
If virtues at his noble hands you crave,
You bid him raise his fathers from the grave.
Men should press forward in Fame's glorious chase;
Nobles look backward, and so lose the race.
Let high birth triumph! what can be more great? Nothing-but merit in a low estate.
To Virtue's humblest son let none prefer
Vice, though descended from the Conqueror.
Shall men, like figures, pass for high or base,
Slight or important, only by their place?
Titles are marks of honest men, and wise;
The fool or knave that wears a title lies.
They that on glorious ancestors enlarge, Produce their debt instead of their discharge. Dorset let those who proudly boast their line, Like thee in worth hereditary shine.
Vain as false greatness is, the muse must own We want not fools to buy that Bristol stone: Mean sons of Earth, who, on a South-Sea tide Of full success, swam into wealth and pride, Knock with a purse of gold at Anstis' gate, And beg to be descended from the great.
When men of infamy to grandeur soar,
They light a torch to show their shame the more..
Those governments which curb not evils cause,
And a rich knave's a libel on our laws.
Belus with solid glory will be crown'd;
He buys no phantom, no vain empty sound;
But builds himself a name; and, to be great,
Sinks in a quarry an immense estate !
In cost and grandeur Chandos he'll outdo;
And, Burlington, thy taste is not so true.
The pile is finish'd, every toil is past,
And full perfection is arriv'd at last;
When, lo! my Lord to some small corner runs,
And leaves state-rooms to strangers and to duns.
The man who builds, and wants wherewith to pay,
Provides a home from which to run away.
In Britain, what is many a lordly seat,
But a discharge in full for an estate?
In smaller compass lies Pygmalion's fame;
Not domes, but antique statues, are his flame:
Not Fountaine's self more Parian charms has known,
Nor is good Pembroke more in love with stone.
The bailiffs come (rude men, profanely bold!)
And bid him turn his Venus into gold.
No, Sirs,' he cries; I'll sooner rot in gaol: Shall Grecian arts be truck'd for English bail?" Such heads might make their very bustos laugh: His daughter starves; but Cleopatra's safe. Men, overloaded with a large estate,
May spill their treasure in a nice conceit:
The rich may be polite; but, oh! 'tis sad
To say you're curious, when we swear you're mad.
By your revenue measure your expense,
And to your funds and acres join your sense.
No man is bless'd by accident or guess;
True wisdom is the price of happiness;
Yet few without long discipline are sage,
And our youth only lays up sighs for age.
But how, my muse! canst thou resist so long
The bright temptation of the courtly throng,
Thy most inviting theme? the court affords
Much food for satire;-it abounds in lords.
What lords are those saluting with a grin ?'
One is just out, and one as lately in.
How comes it, then, to pass, we see preside
On both their brows an equal share of pride?'
Pride, that impartial passion, reigns through all,
Attends our glory, nor deserts our fall.
As in its home it triumphs in high place,
And frowns a haughty exile in disgrace.
Some lords it bids admire their wands so white,
Which bloom, like Aaron's, to their ravish'd sight:
Some lords it bids resign, and turn their wands,
Like Moses', into serpents in their hands.
These sink, as divers, for renown, and boast,
With pride inverted, of their honours lost:
But against reason sure 'tis equal sin
To boast of merely being out or in.
What numbers here, through odd ambition, strive To seem the most transported things alive?
As if by joy desert was understood,
And all the fortunate were wise and good.
Hence aching bosoms wear a visage gay,
And stifled groans frequent the ball and play.
Completely dress'd by Monteuil and grimace,
They take their birth-day suit, and public face:
Their smiles are only part of what they wear,
Put off at night, with Lady Bristol's hair:
What bodily fatigue is half so bad?
With anxious care they labour to be glad.
What numbers, here, would into fame advance,
Conscious of merit in the coxcomb's dance?
The tavern! park! assembly! mask! and play!
Those dear destroyers of the tedious day!
That wheel of fops! that saunter of the town!
Call it diversion, and the pill goes down.
Fools grin on fools, and, stoic-like, support,
Without one sigh, the pleasures of a court.
Courts can give nothing to the wise and good
But scorn of pomp, and love of solitude.
High stations tumult, but not bliss, create:
None think the great unhappy but the great:
Fools gaze, and envy; envy darts a sting,
Which makes a swain as wretched as a king.
I envy none their pageantry and show;
I envy none the guilding of their woe.
Give me, indulgent gods! with mind serene,
And guiltless heart, to range the silvan scene;
No splendid poverty, no smiling care,
No well-bred hate or servile grandeur there;
There pleasing objects useful thoughts suggest,
The sense is ravish'd, and the soul is bless'd;
On every thorn delightful wisdom grows,
In every rill a sweet instruction flows:
But some, untaught, o'erhear the whispering rill,
In spite of sacred leisure blockheads still :
Nor shoots up Folly to a nobler bloom
In her own native soil, the drawing room.
The 'squire is proud to see his coursers strain,
Or well-breath'd beagles sweep along the plain.
Say, dear Hippolitus! (whose drink is ale,
Whose erudition is a Christmas-tale,
Whose mistress is saluted with a smack,,
And friend receiv'd with thumps upon the back)
When thy sleek gelding nimbly leaps the mound,
And Ringwood opens on the tainted ground,
Is that thy praise? let Ringwood's fame alone;
Just Ringwood leaves each animal his own,
Nor envies when a gipsy you commit,
And shake the clumsy bench with country wit;
When you the dullest of dull things have said,
And then ask pardon for the jest you made.
Here breathe, my muse! and then thy task renew;
Ten thousand fools unsung are still in view.
Fewer lay-atheists made by church-debates,
Fewer great beggars fam'd for large estates,
Ladies, whose love is constant as the wind,
Cits, who prefer a guinea to mankind;
Fewer grave lords to Scroope discreetly bend,
And fewer shocks a statesman gives his friend.
Is there a man of an eternal vein,
Who lulls the Town in winter with his strain,
At Bath, in summer, chants the reigning lass,
And sweetly whistles as the waters pass?
Is there a tongue, like Delia's o'er her cup,
That runs for ages without winding-up?
Is there whom his tenth epic mounts to fame?
Such, and such only, might exhaust my theme;
Nor would these heroes of the task be glad,
For who can write so fast as men run mad?
O fairest of creation! last and best
Of all God's works! creature in whom excell'd
Whatever can to sight or thought be form'd
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou last !---
NOR reigns ambition in bold man alone;
Soft female hearts the rude invader own:
But there, indeed, it deals in nicer things
Than routing armies and dethroning kings.
Attend, and you discern it in the fair,
Conduct a finger, or reclaim a hair,
Or roll the lucid orbit of an eye,
Or in full joy elaborate a sigh.