Page images

Yet now and then your men of wit

Or whether he at lasts descends Will condscend to take a bit.

To act with less seraphic ends ; So, when Cadenus could not hide,

Or, to compound the business, whether He chose to justify, his pride ;

They temper love and books together; Construing the passion she had shown,

Must never to mankind be told, Much to her praise, more to his own.

*Nor shall the conscious Muse unfold. Nature in him had merit plac'd,

Meantime the mournful Queen of Love In her a most judicious taste.

Led but a weary life above. Love, hitherto a transient guest,

She ventures now to leave the skies, Ne'er held possession of his breast;

Grown by Vanessa's conduct wise : So long attending at the gate,

For, though by one perverse event, Disdain'd to enter in so late.

Pallas had cross'd her first intent; Love why do we one passion call,

Though her design was not obtain'd;
When 'tis a compound of them all ?

Yet had she much experience gain'd,
Where hot and cold, where sharp and sweet, And, by the project vainly try'd,
In all their equipages meet;

Could better now the cause decide.
Where pleasures mix'd with pains appear,

She gave due notice that both parties, Sorrow with jcy, and hope with fear;

Coram Regina, prox' die Martis, Wherein his dignity and age

Should at their peril, without fail, Forbid Cadenus to engage.

Come and appear, and save their bail. But friendship, in its greatest height,

All met; and, silence thrice proclaim’d, A constant, rational delight,

One lawyer to each side was nam'd. On virtue's basis fix'd to last,

The judge discover'd in her face When love allurements long are past;

Resentments for her late disgrace; Which gently warms, but cannot burn;

And, full of anger, shame, and grief, He gladly offers in return;

Directed them to mind their brief, His want of passion will redeem

Nor spend their time to show their reading ; With gratitude, respect, esteem;

She'd have a summary proceeding. With that devotion we bestow,

She gather'd under every head When goddesses appear below.

The sum of what each lawyer said, While thus Cadenus entertains

Gave her own reasons last, and then Vanessa in exalted strains,

Decreed the cause against the men. The nymph in sober words entreats

But, in a weighty case like this, A truce with all sublime conceits :

To show she did not judge amiss, For why such raptures, flights, and fancies,

Which evil tongues might else report, To her who durst not read romances ?

She made a speech in open court; In lofty style to make replies,

Wherein she grievously complains, Which he had taught her to despise ?

“ How she was cheated by the swains;" But wlien her tutor will affect

On whose petition (humbly showing, Devotion, duty, and respect,

That women were not worth the wooing, He fairly abdicates the throne;

And that, unless the sex would mend, The government is now her own;

The race of lovers soon must end)He has a forfeiture incurr'd;

“ She was at Lord knows what expense She vows to take him at his word,

To form a nymph of wit and sense, And hopes he will not think it strange,

A model for her sex design'd, If both should now their stations change.

Who never could one lover find. The nymyh will have her turn to be

She saw her favour was misplac'd; The tutor; and the pupil, he:

The fellows had a wretched taste; Though she already can discern

She needs must tell them to their face, Her scholar is not apt to learn;

They were a stupid, senseless race ; Or wants capacity to reach

And, were she to begin again, The science she designs to teach :

She'd study to reform the men; Wherein his genius was below

Or add some grains of folly more The skill of every common beau,

To women, than they had before, Who, though he cannot spell, is wise

To put them on an equal foot ; Enongh to read a lady's eyes,

And this, or nothing else, would do 't. And will each accidental glance

This might their mutual fancy strike, Interpret for a kind advance.

Since every being loves its like. But what success Vanessa met,

“ But now, repenting what was done, Is to the world a secret yet.

She left all business to her son ; Whether the nymph, to please her swain,

She puts the world in his possession, Talks in a high romantic strain ;

And let him use it at discretion."

[ocr errors]

The cryer was order'd to dismiss

Begin, my Muse. First from our bowers The court, so made his last yes!

We sally forth at different hours ; The goddess would no longer wait;

At seven the Dean in night-gown drest, But, rising from her chair of state,

Goes round the house to wake the rest; Left all below at six and seven,

At nine, grave Nim, and George facetious, Harness'd her doves, and flew to Heaven.

Go to the Dean, to read Lucretius;
At ten, my lady comes and hectors,

And kisses George, and ends our lectures ;

And when she has him by the neck fast, ON THE DEATH OF DEMAR, THE USURER, Hauls him, and scolds us down to breakfast. Who died the 6th of July, 1720.

We squander there an hour or more,

And then all hands, boys, to the oar; Know all men by these presents, Death the tamer,

All, heteroclite Dan except, By mortgage, hath secur’d the corpse of Demar:

Who neither time nor order kept, Nor can four hundred thousand stirling pound

But, by peculiar whimsies drawn, Redeem him from his prison under ground.

Peeps in the ponds to look for spawn; His heirs might well, of all his wealth possessid,

O'ersees the work, or Dragon rows, Bestow to bury him one iron chest.

Or mars a text, or mends his hose ; Plutus the god of wealth will joy to know

Or- but proceed we in our journal His faithful steward in the shades below.

At two, or after, we return all : He walk'd the streets, and wore a threadbare cloak;

From the four elements ascending, He din’d and supp'd at charge of other folk:

Warn’d by the bell, all folks come trembling: And by his looks, had he held out his palms,

From airy garrets some descend, He might be thought an object fit for alms.

Some from the lake's remotest end; So, to the poor, if he refus'd his pelf,

My Lord and Dean the fire forsake ; He us'd them full as kindly as himself.

Dan leaves the earthly spade and rake: Where'er he went, he never saw his betters;

The loiterers quake, no corner hides them, Lords, knights, and squires, were all his humble

And Lady Betty soundly chides them. And under hand and seal the Irish nation (debtors;

Now water's brought, and dinner's done : Were forc'd to own to him their obligation.

With “ Church and King" the lady's gone; He that could once have half a kingdom bought,

(Not reckoning half an hour we pass In half a minute is not worth a groat.

In talking o'er a moderate glass).
His coffers from the coffin could not save,
Nor all his interest kept him from the grave.

Dan, growing drowsy, like a thief

Steals off to dose away his beef; A golden monument would not be right,

And this must pass for reading HammondBecause we wish the earth upon him light.

While George and Dean go to backgammon. Oh London tavern! thou hast lost a friend,

George, Nim, and Dean, set out at four, Though in thy walls he ne'er did farthing spend:

And then again, boys, to the oar. He touch'd the pence, when others touch'd the pot;

But when the sun goes to the deep, The hand that sign’d the mortgage paid the shot.

(Not to disturb him in his sleep, Old as he was, no vulgar known disease

Or make a rumbling o'er his head, On him could ever boast a power to seize;

His candle out and he a-bed) “ But, as he weigh'd his gold, grim Death in spite

We watch his motions to a minute, Cast in his dart, which made three moidores light;

And leave the flood when he goes in it. And, as he saw his darling money fail,

Now stinted in the shortening day, Blew his last breath, to sink the lighter scale.”

We go to prayers, and then to play, He who so long was current, 'twould be strange

Till supper comes; and after that If he should now be cry'd down since his change.

We sit an hour to drink and chat. The sexton shall green sods on thee bestow ;

'Tis late—the old and younger pairs, Alas, the sexton is thy banker now !

By Adam lighted, walk up stairs. A dismal banker must that banker be,

The weary Dean goes to his chamber;
Who gives no bills but of mortality.

And Nim and Dan to garret clamber.
So when the circle we have run,

The curtain falls, and all is done.

I might have mention'd several facts, PART OF A SUMMER SPENT AT GAULSTOWN-HOUSE.

Like episodes between the acts; Thalia, tell in sober lays,

And tell who loses and who wins, How George, Nim, Dan, Dean, pass their days; Who gets a cold, who breaks his shins; And, should our Gaulstown's art grow fallow, How Dan caught nothing in his net, Yet, Neget quis carmina Gallo?

And how the boat was overset. Here (by the way) by Gallus mean I

For brevity I have retrench'd Not Sheridan, but friend Delany.

How in the lake the Dean was drench'd:


It would be an exploit to brag on,

MARY THE COOK-MAID'S LETTER TO How valiant George rode o'er the Dragon ;

How steady in the storm he sat,
And saved his oar, but lost his hat:

Well, if ever I saw such another man since my How Nim (no hunter e'er could match him)

mother bound my head ! Still brings us hares when he can catch them:

You a gentleman! marry come up! I wonder where How skilfully Dan mends his nets ;

you were bred. How fortune fails him when he sets:

I'm sure such words do not become a man of your Or how the Dean delights to vex

cloth; The ladies, and lampoon their sex.

I would not give such language to a dog, faith and I might have told how oft Dean Percivale

troth. Displays his pedantry unmerciful;

Yes, you callid my master a knave: fie, Mr. SheHow haughtily he cocks his nose,

ridan! 'tis a shame To tell what every school-boy knows;

For' a parson, who should know better things, to And with his finger and his thumb,

come out with such a name. Explaining, strikes opposers dumb :

Knave in your teeth, Mr. Sheridan! 'tis both a But now there needs no more be said on't,

shame and a sin; Nor how his wife, that female pedant,

And the Dean, my master, is an honester man than Shows all her secrets of house-keeping;

you and all your kin: For candles how she trucks her dripping;

He has more goodness in his little finger, than you Was forc'd to send three miles for yeast,

have in your whole body: To brew her ale, and raise her paste;

My master is a parsonable man, and not a spindleTells every thing that you can think of,

shank'd hoddy-doddy. How she cur’d Charley of the chincough ;

And now, whereby I find you would fain make an What gave her brats and pigs the measles,


[goose ; And how her doves were kill'd by weasels :

Because my master one day, in anger, call'd you How Jowler howl'd, and what a fright

Which, and I am sure I have been his servant four She had with dreams the other night.

years since October, But now, since I have gone so far on,

And he never called me worse than sweet-heart A word or two of Lord Chief Baron;

drunk or sober: And tell how little weight he sets

Not that I know his reverence was ever concern'd On all Whig papers and Gazettes;

to my knowledge, But for the politics of Pue,

Though you and your come-rogues keep him out so Thinks every syllable is true.

late in your college. And since he owns the King of Sweden

You say you will eat grass on his grave: a chrisIs dead at last, without evading,

tian eat grass ! Now all his hopes are in the Czar:

Whereby you now confess yourself to be a goose Why, Mu-covy is not so far: Down the Black Sea, and up the Streights,

But that's as much as to say, that my master should And in a month he's at your gates ;

die before ye; Perhaps, from what the packet brings,

Well, well, that 's as God pleases; and I don't By Christmas we shall see strange things.”

believe that's a true story: Why should I tell of ponds and drains,

And so say I told you so, and you may go tell my What carps we met with for our pains ;

master; what care 1? Of sparrows tame, and nuts innumerable

And I don't care who knows it; 'tis all one to Mary. To choke the girls, and to consume a rabble ? Every body knows that I love to tell truth and But you, who are a scholar, know

shame the devil; How transient all things are below,

I am but a poor servant; but I think gentlefolks How prone to change is human life!

should be civil. Last night arriv'd Clem and his wife

Besides, you found fault with our victuals one day This grand event hath broke our measures ;

that Their reign began with cruel seizures:

I remember it was on a Tuesday of all days in the The Dean must with his quilt supply

year. The bed in which those tyrants lie:

And Saunders the man says you are always jesting Nim lost his wig-block, Dan bis jordan

and mocking: (My lady says she can't afford one):

Mary, said he, (one day as I was mending my George is half-scar'd out of his wits,

master's stocking) For Clem gets all the dainty bits.

My master is so fond of that minister that keeps the Henceforth expect a different survey,

schoolThis house will soon turn topsy-turvy:

I thought my master a wise man, but that man They talk of further alterations,

makes him a fool. Which causes many speculations.

Saunders, said I, I would rather than a quart of ale

or an ass:

you was here:

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

He would come into our kitchen, and I would pin And but neglects to warm her hair lace, a dish-clout to his tail.

She gets a cold as sure as death, And now I must go, and get Saunders to direct And vows she scarce can fetch her breath; this letter;

Admires how modest women can For I write but a sad scrawl; but my sister Marget,

Be so robustious, like a man. she writes better.

In party, furious to her power; Well, but I must ruu and make the bed, before my A bitter Whig, or Tory sour; master comes from prayers;

Her arguments directly tend And see now, it strikes ten, and I hear hiin coming Against the side she would defend; up stairs;

Will prove herself a Tory plain, Whereof I could say more to your verses, if I could From principles the Whigs maintain; write written hand:

And to defend the Whiggish cause, And so I remain, in a civil way, your servant to Her topics from the Tories draws. command,

O yes! if any man can find
MARY. More virtues in a woman's mind,

Let them be sent to Mrs. Harding;

She'll pay the charges to a farthing; THE FURNITURE OF A WOMAN'S MIND.

Take notice, she has my commission 1727.

To add them in the next edition ; A set of phrases learnt by rote;

They may out-sell a better thing:
A passion for a scarlet coat;

So, halloo, boys; God save the king!
When at a play, to laugh, or cry,
Yet cannot tell the reason why;
Never to hold her tongue a minute,

ON CUTTING DOWN THE OLD THORN While all she prates has nothing in it;

AT MARKET-HILL. Whole hours can with a coxcomb sit,

At Market-hill, as well appears, And take his nonsense all for wit;

By chronicle of ancient date, Her learning mounts to read a song,

There stood for many hundred years
But half the words pronouncing wrong ;

A spacious thorn before the gate.
Hath every repartee in store
She spoke ten thousand times before;

Hither came every village maid,
Can ready compliments supply

And on the boughs her garland hung ; On all occasions, cut and dry;

And here, beneath the spreading shade,
Such hatred to a parson's gown,

Secure from satyrs sat and sung.
The sight would put her in a swoon ;
For conversation well endued,

Sir Archibald, that valorous knight,
She calls it witty to be rude ;

The lord of all the fruitful plain, And, placing raillery in railing,

Would come and listen with delight; Will tell aloud your greatest failing;

For he was fond of rural strain. Nor make a scruple to expose

(Sir Archibald, whose favourite name Your bandy leg, or crooked nose;

Shall stand for ages on record, Can at her morning tea run o'er

By Scottish bards of highest fame,
The scandal of the day before;

Wise Hawthornden and Stirling's lord.)
Improving hourly in her skill
To cheat and wrangle at quadrille.

But time with iron teeth, I ween,
In choosing lace, a critic nice,

Has canker'd all its branches round; Knows to a groat the lowest price ;

No fruit or blossom to be seen,
Can in her female clubs dispute,

Its head reclining towards the ground.
What linen best the silk will suit;
What colours each complexion match,

This aged, sickly, sapless thorn,
And where with art to place a patch.

Which must, alas! no longer stand,

Behold the cruel Dean in scorn
If chance a mouse creeps in her sight,
Can finely counterfeit a fright;

Cuts down with sacrilegious hand.
So sweetly screams, if it comes near her,

Dame Nature, when she saw the blow, She ravishes all hearts to hear her.

Astonish'd, gave a dreadful shriek; Can dextrously her husband teaze,

And mother Tellus trembled so,
By taking fits whene'er she please ;

She scarce recover'd in a week.
By frequent practice learns the trick
At proper seasons to be sick ;

The sylvan powers, with fear perplex'd,
Thinks nothing gives one airs so pretty,

In prudence and compassion, sent At once creating love and pity.

(For none could tell whose turn was next) If Molly happens to be careless

Sad omer of the dire event.


The magpie, lighting on the stock,

“ When thou, suspended high in air, Stood chattering with incessant din ;

Dy'st on a more ignoble tree, And with her beak gave many a knock,

(For thou shalt steal thy landlord's mare), To rouse and warn the nymph within.

Then, bloody caitiff! think on me."

The owl foresaw, in pensive mood,

The ruin of her ancient seat;
And fled in haste, with all her brood,

To seek a more secure retreat.

Last trolled forth the gentle swine,

To ease her itch against the stump, And dismally was heard to whine,

All as she scrubb'd her measly rump.

The nymph who dwells in every tree,

(If all be true that poets chant) Condemn’d by fate's supreme decree,

Must die with her expiring plant.

Thus, when the gentle Spina found

The thorn committed to her care Receiv'd its last and deadly wound,

She fled, and vanish'd into air.

But from the root a dismal groan

First issuing struck the murderer's ears ; And, in a shrill revengeful tone,

This prophecy he trembling hears:

“ Thou chief contriver of my fall,

Relentless Dean, to mischief born ; My kindred ost thine hide shall gall,

Thy gown and cassock oft be torn.


“ And thy confederate dame, who brags

That she condemn'd me to the fire, Shall rend her petticoats to rags,

And wound her legs with every brier.

ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT. Occasioned by reading the following Maxim in Rochefou

CAULT, “ Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis, nous trou

vons toujours quelque chose qui ne nous déplait pas."
"In the adversity of our best friends, we always find some-

thing that doth not displease us."
As Rochefoucault his maxims drew
From nature, I believe them true:
They argue no corrupted mind
In him; the fault is in mankind.

This maxim more than all the rest
Is thought too base for human breast:
“ In all distresses of our friends,
We first consult our private ends;
While nature, kindly bent to ease us,
Points out some circumstance to please us."

If this perhaps your patience move,
Let reason and experience prove.

We all behold with envious eyes
Our equals rais'd above our size.
Who would not at a crowded show
Stand high himself, keep others low?
I love my friend as well as you :
But why should he obstruct my view ?
Then let me have the higher post ;
Suppose it but an inch at most.
If in a battle you should find
One, whom you love of all mankind,
Had some heroic action done,
A champion kill'd, or trophy won ;
Rather than thus be over-topt,
Would you not wish his laurels cropt?
Dear honest Ned is in the gout,
Lies rack'd with pain, and you without:
How patiently you hear him groan!
How glad the case is not your own!

What poet would not grieve to see
His brother write as well as he?
But, rather than they should excel,
Would wish his rivals all in hell ?

Her end when emulation misses,
She turns to envy, stings, and hisses :
The strongest friendship yields to pride,
Unless the odds be on our side.
Vain human-kind! fantastic race !
Thy various follies who can trace ?
Self-love, ambition, envy, pride,
Their empire in our hearts divide.
Give others riches, power, and station,
'Tis all to me an usurpation.
I have no title to aspire;
Yet, when you sink, I seem the higher.
In Pope I cannot read a line,
But with a sigh I wish it mine:
When he can in one couplet fix
More sense than I can do in six;

U u

“ Nor thou, Lord Arthur, shalt escape ;

To thee I often call'd in vain, Against that assassin iu crape ;

Yet thou couldst tamely see me slain.

“ Nor, when I felt the dreadful blow,

Or chid the Dean, or pinch'd thy spouse; Since you could see me treated so

(An old retainer to your house): “ May that fell Dean, by whose command

Was form'd this Machiavelian plot, Not leave a thistle on thy land;

Then who will own thee for a Scot?

“ Pigs and fanatics, cows, and teagues,

Through all thy empire I foresee, To tear thy hedges, join in leagues,

Sworn to revenge my thorn and me. “ And now, thou wretch ordain'd by fate,

Neal Gahagen, Hibernian clown, With hatchet blunter than thy pate,

To hack my hallow'd timber down;

« PreviousContinue »