Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

“ Odious ! in woollen! 'twould a faint provoke, (Were the last words that poor Narçissa spoke) “ No, let a charming Chintz, and Brussels lace, “ Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face: « One would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead “ And–Bettygive this Cheek a little Red.”

The Courtier smooth, who forty years had shin'd An humble servant to all human-kind, Just brought out this, when scarce his tongue could stir, « If-where I'm going-I could serve you, Sir !” 255

“ I give and I devise (old Euclio said, And figh’d) “ my lands and tenements to Ned.” Your money, Sir?—“My money, Sir, what all ? “ Why,-if I must-(then wept) I give it Paul.” The manor, Sir?-" The manor ! hold, he cry'd. 260 “ Not that, I cannot part with that”-and dy'd.

And you! brave Cobham, to the latest breath, Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death : Such in those moments as in all the past, si oh, save my Country, Heaven !" shall be your last,

MORAL

[blocks in formation]

THERE is nothing in Mr. Pope's works more highly

finished than this Epistle: Yet its fuccess was in no proportion to the pains he took in composing it. Something he chanced to drop in a short advertisement prefixed to it, on its first publication, may perhaps account for the small attention given to it. He said that no one character in it was drawn from the life. The public believed him on his word, and expressed little curiosity about a Satire, in which there was nothing personal,

YOTHING so true as what you once let fall,

5

Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear,
And best distinguish'd by black, brown, or fair.

How many pictures of one Nymph we view,
All how unlike each other, all how true!
Arcadia’s Countess, here, in ermin’d pride,
Is there, Pastora by a fountain fide.
Here Fannia, leering on her own good man,
And there, a naked Leda with a Swan.

Let

Let then the fair-one beautifully cry,
In Magdalene's loose hair and lifted eye,
Or drest in smiles of sweet Cecilia shine,
With simpering Angels, Palms, and Harps divine;
Whether the Charmer finner it, or faint it,

15 If Folly grow romantic, I must paint it.

Come then, the colours and the ground prepare !
Dip in the Rainbow, trick her off in Air;
Chuse a firm Cloud, before it fall, and in it
Catch, ere the change, the Cynthia of this minute. 20

Rufa, whose eye, quick glancing o'er the Park,
Attracts each light gay meteor of a Spark,
Agrees as ill with Rufa studying Locke,
As Sappho's diamonds with her dirty smock;
Or Sappho at her toilet's greasy task,

25
With Sappho fragrant at an evening Mark:
So morning Insects, that in muck begun,
Shine, buzz, and fly-blow in the setting-fun.

How soft is Silia! fearful to offend; The frail-one's advocate, the weak-one's friend. To her, Calista prov'd her conduct nice; And good Simplicius alks of her advice. Sudden, she storms ! she raves ! You tip the wink, But spare your censure ; Silia does not drink. All eyes may see from what the change arose, 35 All eyes may see-a Pimple on her nose.

Papillia, wedded to her amorous spark, Sighs for the shades-" How charming is a Park !" A Park is purchas'd, but the Fair he sees All bath'd in tears" Oh odious, odious Trees !" 40

Ladies,

30

Ladies, like variegated Tulips, show, 'Tis to their Changes half their charms we owe ; Fine by defect, and delicately weak, Their happy Spots the nice admirer take. 'Twas thus Calypso once each heart alarmid, 45 Awd without Virtue, without Beauty charm'd; Her Tongue bewitch'd as oddly as her Eyes, Less Wit than Mimic, more a Wit than Wise ; Strange graces still, and stranger flights the had, Was just not ugly, and was just not mad; Yet ne'er so sure our passion to create, As when the touch'd the brink of all we hate.

Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild, To make a walh, would hardly stew a child ; Has ev'n been prov'd to grant a Lover's prayer, 55 And paid a Tradesman once to make him ftare ; Gave alms at Easter, in a Christian trim, And made a Widow happy, for a whim. Why then declare Good-nature is her scorn, When 'tis by that alone she can be born ?

60
Why pique all mortals, yet affect a name?
A fool to Pleasure, yet a flave to fame :
Now deep in Taylor and the Book of Martyrs,
Now drinking Citron with his Grace and Chartres ;
Now Conscience chills her, and now Passion burns; 65
And Atheism and Religion take their turns ;
A
very

Heathen in the carnal part,
Yet still a fad, good Christian at her heart.

See Sin in State, majestically drunk;
Proud as a Peeress, prouder as a Punk;

Chafte

70

Chaste to her Husband, frank to all beside,
A teeming Mistress, but a barren Bride.
What then ? let Blood and Body bear the fault,
Her Head 's untouch'd, that noble Seat of Thought :
Such this day's doctrine-in another fit

75
She sins with Poets through pure love of Wit.
What has not fir'd her bosom or her brain ?
Cæfar and Tall-boy, Charles and Charlemagne.
As Helluo, late Dictator of the Feast,
The Nose of Haut-gout, and the Tip of Taste, 80
Critiqu'd your wine, and analyz'd your meat,
Yet on plain pudding deign’d at home to eat :
So Philomedé, lecturing all mankind
On the soft Passion, and the Taste refin'd,
Th’ Address, the Delicacy-stoops at once,
And makes her hearty meal upon a Dunce.

Flavia's a Wit, has too much sense to pray ; To toast our wants and wishes, is her way; Nor asks of God, but of her Stars, to give The mighty blessing, “ while we live, to live." 90 Then all for Death, that Opiate of the foul ! Lucretia's dagger, Rosamonda's bowl. Say, what can cause such impotence of mind ? A Spark too fickle, or a Spouse too kind. Wise Wretch! with pleasures too refin’d to please ; 95 With too much Spirit to be e'er at ease;

With VARIATION. Ver. 77. What has not fir'd, &c.] In the MS.

whose mad brain the mixt ideas roll,

11-boy's breeches, and of Cæsar's soul.

85

« ZurückWeiter »