« PreviousContinue »
An awkward thing, when first she came to town;
I introduced her to the park and plays;
Wretch that I was, how often have I swore,
How many maids have Sharper's vows deceived? How many cursed the moment they believed? Yet his known falsehoods could no warning prove: Ah! what is warning to a maid in love?
But of what marble must that breast be form'd, To gaze on Basset, and remain unwarm'd?
When kings, queens, knaves, are set in decent rank;
What more than marble must that heart compose,
Can hearken coldly to my Sharper's vows?
Then, when he trembles! when his blushes rise!
My panting heart confesses all his charms,
Think of that moment, you who prudence boast;
At the Groom-Porter's batter'd bullies play,
Soft Simplicetta dotes upon a beau;
Cease your contention, which has been too long;
Now leave complaining, and begin your tea.
THE FOLLOWING LINES WERE SUNG BY DURASTANTI, WHEN SHE TOOK HER LEAVE OF
THE ENGLISH STAGE.
THE WORDS WERE IN HASTE PUT TOGETHER BY MR. POPE, AT THE REQUEST
OF THE EARL OF PETERBOROUGH.
GENEROUS, gay, and gallant nation,
Bold in arms, and bright in arts;
Land secure from all invasion,
All but Cupid's gentle darts!
From your charms, oh who would run?
1 [This lady was brought to England by Handel in 1719. Mr. Bowles states that she was so great a favourite at Court that the King stood godfather to one of her children.]
Let old charmers yield to new;
In arms, in arts, be still more shining;
All your tastes be still refining;
But let old charmers yield to new.
WHAT IS PRUDERY?
[“A prude would never have had any charms for Mr. Pope, to whom Mrs. Howe said one day, 'You men call us strange names; some of them I don't
understand. Coquetry, indeed, I guess at; but prudery,-for heaven's sake, make me know thoroughly what that prudery is.' Mr. Pope wrote her an answer in the leaf of an ivory book."-Ayre's Life of Pope.]
Lean and fretful, would seem wise;
That rails at dear Lepell, and you.
[Miss Sophia Howe was one of the Maids of Honour to the Princess Caroline. She was a daughter of General Howe, brother of the first Viscount of that name. An unfortunate acquaintance with Mr. A. Lowther, brother of Lord Lonsdale, lost this young lady her reputation. According to Sir Charles Hanbury Williams,
'Her breaking looks foretold a breaking heart;"
and she died in 1726.]
ON A CERTAIN LADY AT COURT.1
KNOW the thing that's most uncommon;
(Envy be silent and attend!)
I know a reasonable woman,
Handsome and witty, yet a friend.
Not warp'd by passion, awed by rumour,
Not grave through pride, or gay through folly;
And sensible soft melancholy.
"Has she no faults, then, (Envy says) sir?"
When all the world conspires to praise her,
1 [Mrs. Howard, Countess of Suffolk.]
A FAREWELL TO LONDON.
IN THE YEAR 1715.
DEAR. damn'd, distracting town, farewell!
Thy fools no more I'll tease:
Soft B-s and rough C
-s adieu, 1
Earl Warwick make your moan,
The lively H--k and you
May knock up whores alone.
To drink and droll be Rowe allow'd
Farewell, Arbuthnot's raillery
And Garth, the best good Christian he,
Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go;
Heaven gives thee for thy loss of Rowe,3
1 [There was one Brocas-" Beau Brocas "-whom Pope mentions in an epistle to H. Cromwell. Ayre also mentions a Mr. Fettiplace Bellers, of Crown Allins, Gloucestershire, an intimate acquaintance of Mr. Pope's, and much esteemed by him."]
2 [See poem, Sandys' Ghost, in which Frowde is alluded to.]
3 [Rowe had the year before, on the accession of George I., been made Poet-laureate, one of the land-surveyors of the port of London, Clerk of the Closet to the Prince of Wales, and Secretary of Presentations under the Lord Chancellor. Such an accumulation of offices might well suspend for a season the poetical and publishing pursuits of Rowe. But he did not enjoy his good fortune long. His death took place in 1718, when he was only forty-five years of age.]
4 [The "Johnson" coupled with Ambrose Philips, was Charles Johnson, the dramatist, who died in 1748.]