Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

With such good manners, as the 2 Wife did use,
Who, not accepting, did but just refuse.
There was a glance at parting; such a look,
As bids thee not give o'er, for one rebuke.
But if thou would it be seen, as well as read,
Copy one living author, and one dead :
The standard of thy ftyle let Etheredge be;
For wit, th' immortal spring of Wycherly :
Learn, after both, to draw some just design,
And the next age will learn to copy thine.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

TH

}

HE Grecian wits, who Satire first began,

Were pleasant Pasquins on the life of man;
At mighty villains, who the state opprest,
They durft not rail, perhaps ; they lash'd, at least,
And turn'd them out of office with a jeft.
No fool could peep abroad, but ready ftand
The drolls to clap a baạble in his hand.
Wise legislators never yet could draw
A fop within the reach of common law;
2 The wife in the play, Mrs. Friendall,
K 3

For

}

For posture, dress, grimace and affectation,
Tho' foes to fense, are harmless to the nation.
Our last redress is dint of verse to try,
And Satire is our court of Chancery.
This
way

took Horace to reform an age, Not bad enough to need an author's rage. Bat

you 3, who liv'd in more degenerate times,
Was forc'd to fasten deep, and worry crimes.
Yet you, my friend, have temper'd him so well,
You make him smile in spite of all his zeal :
An art peculiar to yourself alone,
To join the virtues of two styles in one.

Oh! were your author's principle receiv'd,
Half of the lab’ring world would be reliev'd:
For not to wish is not to be deceiv'd.
Revenge would into charity be chang'd,
Because it costs too dear to be reveng'd :
It costs our quiet and content of mind,
And when 'tis compass’d leaves a fting behind.
Suppose I had the better end o'th' ftaff,
Why should I help th' ill-natur'd world to laugh?
'Tis all alike to them, who get the day;
They love the spite and mischief of the fray.
No; I have cur'd myself of that disease;
Nor will I be provok'd, but when I please:
But let me half that cure to you restore;
You give the salve, I laid it to the fore.

Our kind relief against a rainy day,
Beyond a tavern, or a tedious play,
We take your book, and laugh our spleen away.
If all your tribe, too studious of debate,
Would cease falfe hapes and titles to create,
Led by the rare example you begun,
Clients would fail, and lawyers be undone.

3 Juvenala

}

EPISTLE the TENT H.

TO MY DEAR FRIEND

Mr. CONGRE V E.

ON HIS

COMEDY calld, The DOUBLE DEALER,

WE

ELL then, the promis'd hour is come at last,

The present age of wit obscures the past : Strong were our fires, and as they fought they writ, Conqu’ring with force of arms, and dint of wit : Theirs was the giant race, before the flood; And thus, when Charles return'd, our empire itood. Like Janus he the stubborn soil manur’d, With rules of husbandry the rankness cur'd; Tam'd us to manners, when the stage was rude; And boitrous English wit with art indu'd, Our age was cultivated thus at length; But what we gain’d in kill we lost in strength. Our builders were with want of genius curft; The second temple was not like the first : Till you, the best Vitruvius, come at length; Our beauties equal, but excel our strength. Firm Doric pillars found your solid base: The fair Corinthian crowns the higher space: Thus all below is strength, and all above is grace. In easy dialogue is Fletcher's praise; He mov'd the mind, but had not power to raise.

K4

Great

[ocr errors]

}

Great Jonson did by strength of judgment please;
Yet, doubling Fletcher's force, he wants his ease.
In diff’ring talents both adorn'd their age;
One for the Itudy, t'other for the stage.
But both to Congreve justly shall submit,
One match'd in judgment, both o’ermatch'd in wit.
In him all beauties of this age we see,
Etheredge his courtship, Southern's purity,
The satire, wit, and strength of manly Wycherly.
All this in blooming youth you have atchiev'd :
Nor are your foil'd contemporaries griev'd.
So much the sweetness of your manners move,
We cannot envy you, because we love,
Fabius might joy in Scipio, when he saw
A beardless consul made against the law,
And join his fuffrage to the votes of Rome;
Though he with Hannibal was overcome.
Thus old Romano bow'd to Raphael's fame,
And scholar to the youth he taught became.
O that

your
brows

my

laurel had sustain'd !
Well had I been depos’d, if you had reign’d:
The father had descended for the son ;
For only you are lineal to the throne.
Thus, when the state one Edward did depose,
A greater Edward in his room arose.
But now, not I, but poetry is curs’d;
For Tom the second reigns like Tom the first,
But let them not mistake my patron's part,
Nor call his charity their own desert.
Yet this I prophesy; thou shalt be seen,
(Tho' with some short parenthesis between)
High on the throne of wit, and, feated there,
Not mine, that's little, but thy laurel wear.
Thy first attempt an early promise made;
That early promise has this more than paid.

So

[ocr errors]

So bold, yet so judiciously you dare,
That your leaf praise is to be regular.
Time, place, and action, may with pains be wrought;
But genius must be born, and never can be taught.
This is your portion; this your native store;
Heaven, that but once was prodigal before,
To Shakespear gave as much; he could not give him

more,
Maintain your poft: That's all the fame you need;
For 'tis impossible you should proceed.
Already I am worn with cares and age,
And just abandoning th' ungrateful stage :
Unprofitably kept at heaven's expence,
I live a rent-charge on his providence:
But

every

muse and grace adorn,
Whom I forefee to better fortune born,
Be kind to my remains; and O defend,
Against your judgment, your departed friend!
Let not th’ insulting foe my fame pursue,
But shade those laurels which descend to you:
And take for tribute what these lines express:
You merit more; nor could my love do less.

you, whom

[ocr errors][merged small]
« ПредишнаНапред »