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Serenely gay, and strict in duty, Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.
But when a twelvemonth pass'd away,
Jack found his goddess made of clay;
Found all the charms that deck'd her face
Arose from powder, shreds, or lace;
But still the worst remain'd behind,
That very face had robb'd her mind.
Skill'd in no other arts was she But dressing, patching, repartee; And, just as humour rose or fell, By turns a slattern or a belle; 'Tis true she dress'd with modern grace, Half naked at a ball or race; But when at home, at board or bed, Five greasy night-caps wrapt her head. Could so much beauty condescend To be a dull domestic friend? Could any curtain lectures bring To decency so fine a thing? In short, by night, 'twas fits or fretting; By day, 'twas gadding or coquetting. Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy Of powder'd coxcombs at her levee : The 'squire and captain took their stations, And twenty other near relations. Jack suck'd his pipe, and often broke
A sigh in suffocating smoke;
While all their hours were past between
Insulting repartee or spleen.
Thus as her faults each day were known,
He thinks her features coarser grown :
He fancies ev'ry vice she shows,
Or thins her lip, or points her nose;
Whenever rage envy rise,
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes! He knows not how, but so it is,
Fer face is grown a knowing phyz:
And though her fops are wond'rous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.
Now, to perplex the ravelled noose,
As each a diff'rent way pursues,
While sullen or loquacious strife
Promis'd to hold them on for life,
That dire disease, whose ruthless pow'r
Withers the beauty's transient flow'r,
Lo! the small-pox, with horrid glare
Levell'd its terrours at the fair;
And, rifling ev'ry youthful grace,
Left but the remnant of a face.
The glass, grown hateful to her sight, Reflected now a perfect fright: Each former art she vainly tries To bring back lustre to her eyes. In vain she tries her pastes and creams To smooth her skin, or hide its seams; Her country beaux and city cousins, Lovers no more, flew off by dozens: The 'squire himself was seen to yield, And e'en the captain quit the field.
Poor madam, now condemn'd to hack The rest of life with anxious Jack, Perceiving others fairly flown, Attempted pleasing him alone. Jack soon was dazzled to behold Her present face surpass the old; With modesty her cheeks are dy'd, Humility displaces pride; For tawdry finery, is seen A person ever neatly clean:. No more presuming on her sway, She learns good-nature ev'ry day:
Homo est ratione preditum ;
But for my soul I cannot credit 'em : And must in spite of them maintain That man and all his ways are vain ; And that this boasted lord of nature Is both a weak and erring creature: That instinct is a surer guide
Than reason, boasting mortals' pride;
And that brute beasts are far before 'em,
Deus est anima brutorum.
Who ever knew an honest brute
At law his neighbour prosecute;
Bring action for assault and battery,
Or friend beguile with lies and flattery?
O'er plains they ramble unconfin'd,
No politics disturb their mind;
They eat their meals, and take their sport,
Nor know who's in or out at court;
They never to the levee go
To treat as dearest friend a foe;
They never importune his grace,
Nor ever cringe to men in place;
Nor undertake a dirty job,
Nor draw the quill to write for Bob;
Fraught with invective they ne'er go
To folks at Pater-noster-row:
No jugglers, fidlers, dancing-masters,
No pickpockets, or poetasters,
Are known to honest quadrupedes;
No single brute his fellow leads;
Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
Nor cut each other's throats for pay.
Of beasts, it is confess'd, the ape
Comes nearest us in human shape.
Like man, he imitates each fashion,
And malice is his ruling passion:
But both in malice and grimaces,
A courtier any ape surpasses.
Behold him, humbly cringing, wait
Upon the minister of state:
View him soon after to inferiors
Aping the conduct of superiors:
He promises with equal air,
And to perform takes equal care.
He in his turn finds imitators;
At court, the porters, lackeys, waiters,
Their masters' manners still contract,
And footmen lords and dukes can act;
Thus at the court, both great and small
Behave alike for all ape all.
ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTH,
STRUCK BLIND BY LIGHTNING.
IMITATED FROM THE SPANISH.
SURE 'twas by Providence design'd,
Rather in pity than in hate,
That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
To save him from Narcissus' fate.
A NEW SIMILE.
IN THE MANNER OF SWIFT.
LONG bad I sought in vain to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind;
The modern scribbling kind, who write
In wit, and sense, and Nature's spite :
Till reading, I forget what day on,
A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon,
I think I met with something there,
To suit my purpose to a hair;
But let us not proceed so furious,
First please to turn to god Mercurius:
You'll find him pictur'd at full length
In book the second, page the tenth:
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our simile.
Imprimis, pray observe his hat,
Wings upon either side-mark that.
Well! what is it from thence we gather?
Why these denote a brain of feather.
A brain of feather! very right,
With wit that's flighty, learning light;
Such as to modern bards decreed;
A just comparison-proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse,
Wings grow again from both his shoes;
Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear,
And waft his godship through the air;
And here my simile unites,
For, in a modern poet's flights,
I'm sure it may be justly said, His feet are useful as his head.
Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand, Fill'd with a snake-incircled wand; By classic authors term'd caduceus, And highly fam'd for several uses: To wit-most wond'rously endu'd, poppy-water half so good; For let folks only get a touch, Its soporific virtue's such, Though ne'er so much awake before, That quickly they begin to snore. Add too, what certain writers tell, With this he drives men's souls to Hell.
Now to apply, begin we then:
His wand's a modern author's pen;
The serpents round about it twin'd
Denote him of the reptile kind;
Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom❜d bites;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike too both conduce to sleep.
This diff'rence only, as the god
Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
With his goose-quill the scribbling elf
Instead of others, damns himself.
And here my simile almost tript,
Yet grant a word by way of postscript.
Moreover, Merc'ry had a failing:
Well! what of that? out with it-stealing;
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he:
But e'en this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance.
Our modern bards! why what a pox
Are they but senseless stones and blocks?
INSERTED IN THE MORNING CHRONICLE OF APRIL 3, 1800.
E'EN have you seen, bath'd in the morning dew, The budding rose its infant bloom display: When first its virgin tints unfold to view,
It shrinks, and scarcely trusts the blaze of day. So soft, so delicate, so sweet she came, [cheek; Youth's damask glow just dawning on her I gaz'd, I sigh'd, I caught the tender flame, Felt the fond pang, and droop'd with passion weak.
I SEND YOU a small production of the late Dr. Goldsmith, which has never been published, and which might perhaps have been totally lost, had I not secured it. He intended it as a song in the character of Miss Hardcastle, in his admirable comedy of She Stoops to Conquer, but it was left out, as Mrs. Bulkley, who played the part, did not sing. He sung it himself, in private companies, very agreeably. The tune is a pretty Irish air, called, The Humours of Balamagairy, to which he told me be found it very difficult to adapt words: but he has succeeded very happily in these few lines. could sing the tune, and was fond of them, he was so good as to give me them, about a year ago, just as I was leaving London, and bidding him adieu for that season, little apprehending that it was a last farewell. I preserve this little relic, in his own hand-writing, with an affectionate care. I am, gentlemen,
your humble servant,
Oh, Wolfe, to thee a streaming flood of woe
Sighing we pay, and think e'en conquest dear; Quebec in vain shall teach our breasts to glow, Whilst thy sad fate extorts the heart-wrung
Alive the foe thy dreadful vigour fled,
And saw thee fall with joy-pronouncing eyes: Yet they shall know thou conquerest, tho' dead! Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise.
EPITAPH ON DR. PARNELL.
THIS tomb, inscrit'd to gentle Parnell's name,
May speak our gratitude, but not his fame.
What heart but feels his sweetly-moral lay,
That leads to truth through pleasure's flow'ry
Celestial themes confess'd his tuneful aid;
And Heav'n, that lent him genius, was repaid.
Needless to him the tribute we bestow,
The transitory breath of fame below:
More lasting rapture from his words shall rise,
While converts think their poet in the skies.
EPITAPH ON EDWARD PURDON 1.
HERE lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
Who long was a bookseller's hack ;
He led such a damnable life in this world-
I don't think he'll wish to come back.
ON THE GLORY OF HER SEX,
MRS. MARY BLAIZE.
Good people all, with one accord,
Lament for Madam Blaize,
Who never wanted a good word-
From those who spoke her praise.
The needy seldom pass'd her door,
And always found her kind; She freely lent to all the poorWho left a pledge behind.
She strove the neighbourhood to please,
With manners wond'rous winning,
And never follow'd wicked ways-
Unless when she was sinning.
At church, in silks and satins new,
With hoop of monstrous size;
She never slumber'd in her pew-
But when she shut her eyes.
Her love was sought, I do aver,
By twenty beaux and more;
The king himself has follow'd her-
When she has walk'd before.
But now her wealth and fin'ry fled,
Her hangers-on cut short all;
The doctors found, when she was dead-
Her last disorder mortal.
Let us lament, in sorrow sore,
For Kent-street well may say,
That, had she liv'd a twelvemonth more-
She had not dy'd to day.
WEEPING, murmuring, complaining,
- Lost to ev'ry gay delight;
Myra, too sincere for feigning,
Fears th' approaching bridal night.
Yet why impair thy bright perfection,
Or dim thy beauty with a tear?
Had Myra follow'd my direction,
She long bad wanted cause of fear.
FROM THE ORATORIO OF THE
THE wretch, condemn'd with life to part,
Still, still on hope relies;
And ev'ry pang that rends the heart,
Bids expectation rise,
Hope, like the glimm'ring taper's light,
Adorns and cheers the way,
And still, as darker grows the night.
Emits a brighter ray.
O MEMORY! thou fond deceiver,
Still importunate and vain,
To former joys recurring ever,
And turning all the past to pain;
Thou, like the world, th' opprest oppressing,
Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe!
And he who wants each other blessing,
In thee must ever find a foe.
WRITTEN AND SPOKEN BY
THE POET LABERIUS,
A ROMAN KNIGHT, WHOM CÆSAR FORCED
UPON THE STAGE.
PRESERVED BY MACROBIUS.
WHAT! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!
1 This gentleman was educated at Trinity Col-Scarce half alive, oppress'd with many a year,
lege, Dublin; but having wasted his patrimony, What in the name of dotage drives me here?
be enlisted as a foot soldier. Growing tired of
that employment, be obtained his discharge,
and became a scribbler in the newspapers. He
translated Voltaire's Henriade.
1 This translation was first printed in one of our author's earliest works, The present State of Learning in Europe, 12mo. 1759.
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
Unaw'd by pow'r, and unappall'd by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear;
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honour is no more;
For, ah! too partial to my life's decline,
Cæsar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom Heav'n himself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclin'd to please.
Here then at once I welcome ev'ry shame,
And cancel at threescore a life of fame;
No more my titles shall my children tell,
The old buffoon will fit my name as well; .
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honour ends.
In these bold times, when learning's sons explore
May rosin'd lightning blast me, if I do?
No I will act-I'll vindicate the stage:
PROLOGUE TO THE TRAGEDY OF Shakespeare himself shall feel my tragic rage.
Off! off! vile trappings! a new passion reigns!
The mad'ning monarch revels in my veins.
Oh! for a Richard's voice to catch the theme:
"Give me another horse! bind up my wounds!-
soft-'twas but a dream." [treating;
Aye, 'twas but a dream, for now there's no re-
If I cease Harlequin, I cease from eating.
'Twas thus that sop's stag, a creature blameless,
Yet something vain, like one that shall be name-
Once on the margin of a fountain stood, [less,
The distant climates, and the savage shore;
When wise astronomers to India steer,
And quit for Venus many a brighter here;
While botanists, all cold to smiles and dimpling,
Forsake the fair, and patiently-go simpling;
Our bard into the general spirit enters,
And fits his little frigate for adventures.
With Scythian stores and trinkets deeply laden,
He this way steers his course, in hopes of trad-
Yet ere he lands has order'd me before,
To make an observation on the shore.
Where are we driven? our reck'ning sure is lost!
This seems a rocky and a dang❜rous coast.
Lord! what a sultry climate am I under!
Yon ill-foreboding cloud seems big with thunder:
There mangroves spread, and larger than I've
Here trees of stately size-and billing turtles in
Here ill-condition'd oranges abound- [Stage.
And apples, bitter apples, strew the ground:
Th' inhabitants are cannibals I fear.
I heard a hissing-there are serpents here!
O, there the people are best keep my distance:
Our captain (gentle natives) craves assistance;
Our ship's well stor'd-in yonder creek we've
His honour is no mercenary trader.
This is his first adventure; lend him aid,
And we may chance to drive a thriving trade.
His goods, he hopes, are prime, and brought
Equally fit for gallantry and war.
What, no reply to promises so ample?
-I'd best step back-and order up a sample.
SPOKEN BY MR. LEE LEWES,
IN THE CHARACTER OF HARLEQUIN, AT HIS BENEFIT.
HOLD! prompter, hold! a word before your non
I'd speak a word or two to ease my conscience.
My pride forbids it ever should be said,
My heels eclips'd the honours of my head;
That I found humour in a pyeball vest,
Or ever thought that jumping was a jest,
[Takes off his mask,
Whence and what art thou, visionary birth?
Nature disowns, and reason scorns thy mirth:
In thy black aspect every passion sleeps,
The joy that dimples, and the woe that weeps.
How hast thou fill'd the scene with all thy brood,
Of fools pursuing, and of fools pursu❜d!
Whose ins and outs no ray of sense discloses,
Whose only plot it is to break our noses;
Whilst from below the trap-door demons rise,
And from above the dangling deities.
And shall I mix in this unhallow'd crew?
And cavill'd at his image in the flood.
"The deuce confound," he cries, "these drum-
They neither have my gratitude nor thanks;
They're perfectly disgraceful! strike me dead!
But for a head-yes, yes, I have a head.
How piercing is that eye! how sleek that brow!
My horns! I'm told horns are the fashion now."
Whilst thus he spoke, astonish'd! to his view,
Near, and more near, the hounds and huntsmen
Hoicks! hark forward! came thund'ring from be-
He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind:
He quits the woods, and tries the beaten ways;
He starts, he pants, he takes the circling maze.
At length his silly head, so priz'd before,
Is taught his former folly to deplore;
Whilst his strong limbs conspire to set him free,
And at one bound he saves himself, like me.
[Taking ajump through the stage door.
TO THE COMEDY OF THE SISTERS.
WHAT! five long acts—and all to make us wiser}
Had she consulted me, she should have made
Our authoress, sure, has wanted an adviser.
Her moral play a speaking masquerade;
Warm'd up each bustling scene, and in her rage
Have emptied all the green-room on the stage.
My life on't, this had kept her play from sink-
Have pleas'd our eyes, and sav'd the pain of
Well, since she thus has shown her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade?-1 will.
But how? aye, there's the rub! [pausing]—I've
got my cue:
The world's a masquerade! the masquers, you, you, you. [To Eozes, Pit, and Gallery.