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And to foft mufic lent her idle ear;
The which with pleafure fo did her enthral,
That for aught elfe fhe had but little care,
For wealth, or fame, or honour feminal,
Or gentle love, fole king of pleafures natural.
Als by her fide, in richeft robes array'd,.
An eunuch fate, of vifage pale and dead,
Unfeemly paramour for royal maid!
Yet him the courted oft and honoured,
And oft would by her place in princely * fted, Though from the dregs of earth he fpringen were, And oft with regal crowns the deck'd his head, And oft, to footh her vain and foolish ear,
She bade him the great names of mighty † Kesars bear. XLVIII.
Thereto herself a pompous title bore,
For she was vain of her great auncestry,
But vainer ftill of that prodigious store
Of arts and learning, which the vaunts to lie
In the rich archives of her treafury.
These she to strangers oftentimes would fhew,
With grave demean and folenin vanity,
Then proudly claim as to her merit due,
The venerable praife and title of Vertù.
Vertù fhe was yclept, and held her court
With outward fhews of pomp and majesty,
To which nathelefs few others did refort,
But men of bafe and vulgar industry.
Emperors. Called or named.
Or fuch perdy as of them cozen'd bé,
Mimes, fidlers, pipers, eunuchs fqueaking fine,
Painters' and builders, fons of mafonry,
Who well could meafure with the rule and line,
And all the orders five right craftily define.
But other skill of cunning architect,
How to contrive the houfe for dwelling beft,
With felf-fufficient fcorn they wont neglect,
As correfponding with their purpose least ;
And herein be they copied of the rest,
Who aye pretending love of science fair,
And generous purpose to adorn the breaft
With liberal arts, to Vertù's court repair,
Yet nought but tunes and names, and coins away do bear.
For long, to vifit her once-honour'd feat
The ftudious fons of learning have forbore:
Who whilom thither ran with pilgrim feet
Her venerable reliques to adore
And load their bofom with the facred store,
Whereof the world large treafure yet enjoys.
But fithence fhe declin'd from wifdom's lore,
They left her to difplay her pompous toys
To virtuofi vain, and wonder-gaping boys.
Forthy to her a numerous train doth † long
Of ushers in her court well practifed,
Who aye about the monied stranger throng,
Offering with fhews of courteous
Him through the rich apartments all to lead,
And fhew him all the wonders of her state,
Whofe names and price they wifely can * areed,
And tell of coins of old and modern date,
And pictures false and true right well discriminate.
Als are they named after him, whose tongue
Shook the dictator in his curule chair,
And thundering through the Roman fenate, rung
His bold Philippicks in Antonius' ear;
Which when the Fairy heard, he figh'd full dear,
And, cafting round his quick difcerning eye,
At every deal he dropt a manly tear,
As he the ftately buildings mote defcry,
Baths, theatres, and fanes, in mouldering fragments lie. LIV.
And, oh! imperial city! then he faid,
How art thou tumbled from thine Alpine throne!
Whereon, like Jove on high Olympus' head,
Thou fittedft erst unequal'd and alone,
And madeft through the world thy greatness known: While from the western ifles, to Indus' fhore, From feven-mouth'd Nilus, to the frozen Don, Thy dradded bolts the ftrong-pounc'd eagle bore, And taught the nations round thy fafces to adore.
*Relate or declare. These under fort of antiquaries, who go about with ftrangers to fhew them the antiquities, &c. of Rome, are called Ciceroni.
† At every turn, every now and then.
And doth among thy reliques nought remain,
No little portion of that haughty fpright,
Which made thee whilom fcorn foft Pleasure's chain,
And in free Virtue place thy chief delight,
Whereby through ages fhone thy glory bright?
And is there nought remaining to confound
Thofe who, regardless of thy woeful plight,
With idle wonder view thy ruins round,
And without thought furvey thy memorable wound?
Arife, thou genuine Cicero, and declare
That all these mighty ruins scatter'd wide
The fepulchres of Roman virtue were,
And trophies vast of luxury and pride,
Thofe fell difeafes whereof Rome erft dy'd.
And do you then with vile mechanic thought
Your courfe, ye fons of Fairy, hither guide,
ye thofe gay refinements may be taught,
Which liberty's fair lond to fhame and thraldom brought ?
Let Rome thofe vaffal arts now meanly boaft,
Which to her vanquish'd thralls fhe erft refign'd;
Ye who enjoy that freedom she has loft,
That great prerogative of human-kind,
Close to your hearts the precious jewel bind,
And learn the rich poffeffion to maintain,
Learn virtue, justice, conftancy of mind,
Not to be mov'd by fear or pleasure's train;
Be these your arts, ye brave; these only are humane.
As he thus fpake, th' enchaunter half asham'd
Wift not what fitting answer to devise,
Als was his caitive heart well-nigh inflam`d,
By that fame knight fo virtuous, brave, and wife,
That long he doubts him farther to entice.
But he was harden'd and remorfeless grown,
Through practice old of villainy and vice;
So to his former wiles he turns him foon,
As in another place hereafter shall be shown.