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THE BIRTH OF FLATTERY.
Omaia habeo, nec quicquam habeo ;
In that same plain a nymph, of curious Quidquid dicunt, laudo; id rursum si negant, laudo
taste, id quoque : Negat quis, nego; ait, aio:
A cottage (plann’d with all her skill) had Postremò imperavi egomet mihi
placed; Omnia assentari.
Strange the materials, and for what design'd TERENT. in Eunucho.
The various parts, no simple man might find;
What seem'd the door, each entering guest
What seem'd a window was but painted Will condescend to taste a bit.
But by a secret spring the wall would move,
And daylight drop through glassy door Muse of my Spenser, who so well could
'Twas all her pride, new traps for praise to The passions all, their bearings and their
And all her wisdom was to hide her way; Who could in view those shadowy beings In small attempts incessant were her pains,
And Cunning was her name among the And with bold hand remove each dark
swains. disguise, Wherein love, hatred, scorn, or anger lies : Guide him to Fairy-land, who now intenda Now, whether fate decreed this pair should That way his flight; assist him as he flies,
wed, To mark those passions, Virtue's foes and And blindly drove them to the marriage-bed;
Or whether love in some soft hour inclined By whom when led she droops, when lead- The damsel's heart, and won her to be kind,
ing she ascends.
Is yet unsung: they were an ill-match'd pair,
But both disposed to wed-and wed they Yes! they appear, I see the fairy-train! And who that modest nymph of meek
Yet, though united in their fortune, still Not Vanity, though loved by all the vain; Their ways were diverse; varying was Not Hope, though promising to all success;
their will; Nor Mirth, nor Joy, though foe to all Nor long the maid had bless'd the simple man,
Before dissentions rose, and she begani Thee, sprightly syren, from this train I
choose, Thy birth relate, thy soothing arts confess; Wretch that I am! since to thy fortune Tis not in thy mild nature to refuse,
bound, When poets ask thine aid, so oft their meed What plan, what project, with success is and muse.
crown'd? I, who a thousand secret arts possess, Who every rank approach with right address;
Who've loosed a guinea from a miser's In Fairy-land, on wide and cheerless plain,
chest, Dwelt, in the house of Care, a sturdy swain; And worm’d his secret from a traitor's A hireling he, who, when he tillid the soil,
breast; Look'd to the pittance that repaid his toil; Thence gifts and gains collecting, great and And to a master left the mingled joy
small, And anxious care that follow'd his employ: Have brought to thee, and thou consum'st Sullen and patient he at once appear’d,
them all: As one who murmur'd, yet as one who fear’d; For want like thine-a bog without a baseTh'attire was coarse that clothed his sinewy Ingulfs all gains I gather for the place;
Feeding, unfill’d; destroying, undestroy'd; Rade his address, and Poverty his name. It craves for ever, and is ever void :--
Wretch that I am! what misery have Is For as, when sinking, wretched men are found
To catch at rushes rather than be drown'd; Since my sure craft was to thy calling bound! So on a dream our peasant placed his hope,
And found that rush as valid as a rope.
Oh! vaunt of worthless art, the swain replied,
Swift fled the days, for now in hope they Scowling contempt, how pitiful this pride!
fled, What are these specious gifts, these paltry When a fair daughter bless'd the nuptial bed;
Her infant-face the mother's pains beguiled, But base rewards for ignominious pains ? She look'd so pleasing, and so softly smiled; With all thy tricking, still for bread we Those smiles, those looks, with sweet senstrive,
sations moved Thine is, proud wretch! the care that can- The gazer's soul, and, as he look'd, he loved.
not thrive; By all thy boasted skill and baffled hooks, Thou gainst no more than students by And now the fairies came, with gifts, to their books ;
grace No more than I for my poor deeds am paid, So mild a nature and so fair a face. Whom none can blame, will help, or dare They gave, with beauty, that bewitching art,
That holds in easy chains the human heart; Call this our need, a bog that all devours,—They gave her skill to win the stubborn Then what thy petty arts, but summer
To make the suffering to their sorrows blind, Gaudy and mean, and serving to betray To bring on pensive looks the pleasing smile, The place they make unprofitably gay? And Care's stern brow of every frown beguile. Who know it not,some useless beauties see,- These magic favours graced the infant-maid, But ah! to prove it, was reserved for me. Whose more enlivening smile the charming
gists repaid. Unhappy state! that, in decay of love, Permits harsh truth his errors to disprove; Now Fortune changed, who, were she While he remains, to wrangle and to jar,
constant long, Is friendly tournament, no fatal war; Would leave us few adventures for onr song. Love in his play will borrow arms of hate, wicked elfin roved this land around, Anger and rage, upbraiding and debate; Whose joye proceeded from the griefs he And by his power the desperate weapons
Envy his name:-his fascinating eye Become as safe and pleasant as his own; From the light bosom drew the sudden sigh; But left by him, their natures they assume, Unsocial he, but with malignant mind, And fatal, in their poisoning force, become. He dwelt with man, that he might curse
Like the first foe, be sought th' abode of joy, Time fled, and now the swain, compella Grieved to behold, but eager to destroy ;
Round blooming beauty, like the wasp, he New cause for fear - Is this thy thrift ?
flew, quoth he.
Soild the fresh sweet, and changed the rosy To whom the wife with cheerful voice
hue; replied :
The wise, the good, with anxious heart, he aw, Thou moody man, lay all thy fears aside, And here a failing found, and there a flaw I've seen a vision;- they, from whom I came, Discord in families 'twas his to move, A daughter promise, promise wealth and fame; Distrust in friendship, jealousy in love ; Born with my features, with my arts, yet she He told the poor, what joys the great posShall patient, pliant, persevering be,
sess’d, And in thy better ways resemble thee. The great—what calm content the cottage The fairies round shall at her birth attend,
bless'd ; The friend of all in all shall find a friend, To part the learned and the rich he tried. And save that one sad star that hour must Till their slow friendship perish'd in their gleam
pride. On our fair child, how glorious were my Such was the fiend, and 60 secure of prey,
That only Misery pass'd unstung away.
This heard the husband, and, in surly smile, Soon as he heard the fairy-babe was born Aim'd at contempt, but yet he hoped the Scornful he smiled, but felt no more than while :
For why, when Fortune placed her state 80 | Why art thou grieved? Be rather glad, low,
that he, In useless spite his lofty malice show? Who hates the happy, aims his darts at thee; Why, in a mischief of the meaner kind, But aims in vain; thy favour'd daughter lies, Exhaust the vigour of a ranc'rous mind? Serenely blest, and shall to joy arise. But, soon as Fame the fairy-gifts proclaim'd, For, grant that curses on her name shall Quick-rising wrath his ready soul inflamed,
wait To swear, by vows that e'en the wicked tie, (So envy wills and such the voice of fate), The nyinph should weep her varied destiny; Yet if that name be prudently suppress’d, That every gift, that now appear’d to shine She shall be courted, favour'd, and caress'd. In her fair face and make her smiles divine, For what are names ? and where agrce Should all the poison of his magic prove,
mankind, And they should scorn her, whom she sought In those to persons or to acts assign'd?
Have they the titles or the praise from all ? His spell prepared,in form an ancient dame, Not so, but others will the brave disdain A fiend in spirit, to the cot he came ; As rash, and deem the sons of wisdom vain; There gain'd admittance, and the infant The self-same mind shall scorn or kindness
press'd (Muttering his wicked magic) to his breast; And the same deed attract contempt and love. And thus he said :—Of all the powers, who So all the powers who move the human soul,
With all the passions who the will control, On Jove's decrees and do the work of fate, Have various names One giv'n by Truth Was I alone, despised or worthless, found,
divine Weak to protect, or impotent to wound? (As Simulation thus was fix'd for mine), See then thy foe, regret the friendship lost, The rest by man, who now, as wisdom's, prize And learn my skill, but learn it at your cost. My secret counsels, now as art despise; know then, 0 child ! devote to fates severe, One hour,as just, those counsels they embrace, The good shall hate thy name, the wise And spurn, the next, as pitiful and base.
Thee, too, my child, those fools as Cunning fly, Wit shall deride, and no protecting friend Who on thy counsel and thy craft rely; Thy shame shall cover, or thy name defend. That worthy craft in others they condemn, Thy gentle sex, who, more than ours, should But 'tis their prudence, while conducting spare
them. A humble foe, will greater scorn declare; Be FLATTERY, then, thy happy infant's name, The base alone thy advocates shall be, Let Honour scorn her and let Wit defame; Or boast alliance with a wretch like thee. Let all be true that Envy dooms, yet all,
Not on herself, but one her name, shall fall;
While she thy fortune and her own shall He spake and vanish’d, other prey to find,
raise, And waste in slow disease the conquer'd mind. And decent Truth be call’d, and loved, as
O happy child! the glorious day shall shine, Awed by the elfin's threats, and fill?d with When every ear shall to thy speech incline,
Thy words alluring and thy voice divine: The parents wept, and sought their infant's The sullen pedant and the sprightly wit,
To hear thy soothing eloquence, shall sit; Despair alone the father's soul possess’d; And both, abjuring Flattery, will agree But hope rose gently in the mother's breast; That truth inspires, and they must honour For well she knew that neither grief nor joy
thee. Pain'd without hope,or pleased without alloy; Envy himself shall to thy accents bend, And while these hopes and fears her heart Force a faint smile and sullenly attend,
When thou shalt call him Virtue's jealous A cheerful vision bade the fears subside.
friend, Whose bosom glows with generous rage to
find She saw descending to the world below How fools and knaves are flatter'd by manAn ancient form, with solemn pace and slow.
kind. The sage retired, who spends alone his days,
And flies th’ obstreperous voice of public Daughter, no more be sad (the phantom
praise ; cried),
The vain,the vulgar cry,--shall gladly meet, Success is seldom to the wise denied ; And bid thee welcome to his still retreat ; In idle wishes fools supinely stay,
Much will he wonder, how thou cam’st to find Be there a will and wisdom finds a way: A man to glory dead, to peace consign d.
FLATTER Y. O Fame! he'll cry (for he will call thee | On the cold fen I see thee turn thine eyes,
Its mists recede, its chilling vapour flies; From thee I fly, from thee conceal my name; Th' enraptured lord th’ improving ground But thou shalt say: Though Genius takes
surveys, his flight,
And for his Eden asks the traveller's praise, He leaves behind a glorious train of light, Which yet, unview'd of thec, a bog had And hides in vain : - yet prudent he that
Where spungy rushes hide the plashy green. The flatterer's art, and for himself is wise. I see thee breathing on the barren noor, Yes, happy child! I mark th' approaching That seems to bloom although so bleak day,
before; When warring patures will confess thy sway; There, if beneath the gorse the primrose When thou shalt Saturn's golden reign re
Or the pied daisy smile below the ling, And vice and folly shall be known no moro, They shall new charms, at thy command, Pride shall not then in human - kind have
And none shall miss the myrtle or the rose. Changed by thy skill to Dignity and Grace; The wiry moss, that whitens all the hill, While Shame, who now betrays the inward Shall live a beauty by thy matchless skill;
Gale from the bog shall yield Arabian balm, Of secret ill, shall be thy Diffidence ; And the gray willow wave a golden palm. Avarice shall thenceforth prudent Forecast I see thee smiling in the pictured room,
Now breathing beauty, now reviving bloom; And bloody Vengeance Magnanimity; There, each immortal name 'tis thine to The lavish tongue shall honest truths impart,
give, The lavish hand shall show the generous To graceless forms, and bid the lumber heart,
live. And Indiscretion be Contempt of art: Shouldst thou coarse boors or gloomy marFolly and Vice shall then, no longer known,
tyrs see, Be, this as Virtue, that as Wisdom, shown. These shall thy Gaidos,those thy Teniers be; Then shall the Robber, as the Hero, rise There shalt thou Raphael's saints and angels To seize the good that churlish law denies;
trace, Throughout the world shall rove the There make for Rubens and for Reynolds generous band,
place, And deal the gifts of Heaven from hand to And all the pride of art shall find, in her, hand.
disgrace. In thy blest days no tyrant shall be seen, Delight of either sex! thy reign commence; Thy gracious kings shall rule contented men; With balmy sweetness soothe the weary In thy blest days shall not a rebel be,
sense, Bat patriots all and well approved of thee. And to the sickening soul thy cheering aid Such powers are thine, that man, by thee,
dispense. shall wrest Queen of the mind ! thy golden age begin; The gainful secret from the cautious breast; In mortal bosoms varnish shame and sin, Nor then, with all his care, the good retain, Let all be fair without, let all be calm within. But yield to thee the secret and the gain. In vain shall much experience guard the heart Against the charm of thy prevailing art; The Vision fled, the happy mother rose, Admitted once, so soothing is thy strain, Kiss'd the fair infant, smiled at all her foes, It comes the sweeter, when it comes again; And Flattery made her name:- her reign And when confess'd as thine, what mind so
Her own dear sex she ruled, then vanquish'd Forbears the pleasure it indulged so long?
man ; Soft'ner of every ill! of all our woes A smiling friend, to every class, she spoke The balmy solace! friend of fiercest foes ! Assumed their manners, and their habits Begin thy reign, and like the morning rise!
took; Bring joy, bring beauty, to our eager eyes; Her, for her humble mien, the modest Break on the drowsy world like opening
Her cheerful looks the light and gay ap. While grace and gladness join thy flow'ry
The just beheld her firm; the valiant brave While every voice is praise, while every Her mirth the free, her 'silence pleased the heart is gay.
grave; From thee all prospects shall new beauties Zeal heard her voice, and, as he preach take,
alond, 'Tis thine to seek them and 'tis thine to Well-pleased he caught her whispers from make;
Those whispers, soothing - sweet to every | The rich—could they a constant friend conear,
demn? Which some refuse to pay, but none to hear:- The poor believed — for who should flatter Shame fled her presence; at her gentle strain,
them? Care softly smiled, and guilt forgot its pain; The wretched thought, the happy found her true,
Thus on her name though all disgrace The learn'd confess'd that she their merits
at nd, In every creature she beholds a friend.
R E F L E C T I O N S
UPON THE SUBJECT
Quid juvat errores, mersa jam puppe, fateri ?
What avails it, when shipwreck'd, that error appears?
WAEx all the fiercer passions cease, Can all the worth of these allow,
(The glory and disgrace of youth!) And all their faults discern in those ; When the deluded soul, in peace,
Relentless hatred, erring love, Can listen to the voice of truth;
We can for sacred
ruth forego; When we are taught in whom to trust, We can the warmest friend reprove,
And how to spare, to spend, to give; And bear to praise the fiercest foe: (Our prudence kind, our pity just)
To what effect? Our friends are gone, 'Tis then we rightly learn to live. Beyond reproof, regard, or care ;
And of our foes remains there one, Its weakness when the body feels,
The mild relenting thoughts to share ? Nor danger in contempt defies; To reason when desire appeals, When, on experience, hope relies ;
Now 'tis our boast that we can quell When every passing hour we prize,
The wildest passions in their rage; Nor rashly on our follier spend;
Can their destructive force repel, But use it, as it quickly flies,
And their impetuous wrath assuage :
Ah! Virtue, dost thou arm, when now With sober aim to serious end;
This bold rebellious race are fed ;
When all these tyrants rest, and thou When we can calmly gain or lose,
Art warring with the mighty dead ? 'Tis then we rightly learn to live.
Revenge, ambition, scorn, and pride,
And strong desire and fierce disdain,
The giant-brood, by thee defied,
And can upon our care depend,
Yet Time, who could that race subdue, We've trod the maze of error round,
O'erpow'ring strength, appeasing rage, Long wand'ring in the winding glade;
Leaves yet a persevering crew, And now the torch of truth is found,
To try the failing powers of age. It only shows us where we stray'd :
Vex'd by the constant call of these,
When we no more our way can choose? But weary grown and fond of case,
She makes with them a compromisc: They, in their pride, the boon refuse.
Av'rice himself she gives to rest,
But rules him with her strict commands; By long experience taught, we now Bids Pity touch his torpid breast, Can righily judge of friends and focs, And Justice hold his eager hands.