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There sober thought pursued the' amusing theme,
Till fancy colour'd it, and form'd a dream.
A vision hermits can to hell transport,
And forc'd ev’n me to see the damn'd at court.
Not Dante, dreaming all the infernal state,
Beheld such scenes of envy, sin, and bate.
Base fear becomes the guilty, not the free,
Suits týrants, pKinderers, but suits not me :
Shall I, the terror of this sinful town,
Care if a liveried lord or smile or frown :
Who cannot flatter, and detest who can,
Tremble before a noble serving-man?
O my fair mistress, Truth! shall I quit thee
For huffing, braggart, poft nobility?
Thou who, since yesterday, hast rollid o'er all
The busy idle blockheads of the ball,
Hast thou, oh sun! beheld an emptier sort
Than such as swell this bladder of a court?
Now p-x on those who show a court in wax !
It ought to bring all courtiers on their backs;
Such painted puppets ! such a varnish'd race
Of hollow gewgaws, only dress and face!
Such waxen noses, stately staring things
No wonder some folks how, and think them kings.
See! where the British youth, engag'd no more.
At Fig's, at White's, with felons, or a whore,
Pay their last duty to the court, and come
All fresh and fragrant to the drawing-room;
In hnes as gay, and odours as divine,
As the fair fields they sold to look so tine.
• That's velvet for a king ! the flatterer swears ;
'Tis true, for ten days hence 'twill be king Lear's.
Our court may justly to our stage give rules,
That helps it both to fools'.coats and to fools.
And why not players strut in courtiers' clothes ?
For these are actors too as well as those.
Wants reach all states; they beg but better dress'd,
And all is splendid poverty at best.
Painted for sight, and essenc'd for the smell,
Like frigates fraught with spice and cochineal,
Sail in the ladies : how each pirate eyes
So weak a vessel and so rich a prize!
Top-gallant he, and she in all her trim;
He boarding her, she striking sail to him.
• Dear countess ! you have charms all hearts to hit!
And, 'sweet Sir Fopling! you have so much wit !
Such wits and beauties are not prais’d for nought,
For both the beauty and the wit are bought.
'T'would burst ev'n Heraclitus with the spleen
To see those antics, Fopling and Courtin :
The presence seems, with things so richly odd,
The mosque of Mahound, or some queer pagod.
See them survey their liinbs by Durer's rules,
Of all beau-kind the best proportion'd fools !
Adjust their clothes, and to confession draw
Those venial sins, an atom, or a straw :
But, oh! what terrors must distract the soul
Convicted of that mortal crime, a hole ;
Or should one pound of powder less bespread
Those monkey-tails that wag behind their head!
Thus finish'd, and corrected to a hair,
They march, to prate their hour before the fair.
So first to preach a white-glov'd chaplain goes,
With band of lily, and with cheek of rose,
Sweeter than Sharon, in immac'late trim,
Neatness itself, impertinent in him.
Let but the ladies smile and they are bless'd ;
Prodigious! how the things protest, protest.
Peace, fools! or Gonson will for papists seize you, If once he catch you at your Jesu ! Jesu!
Nature made every fop to plague his brother,
Just as one beauty mortifies another.
But here's the captain that will plague them both;
Whose air cries, arm! whose very look's an oath.
The captain's honest, sirs, and that's enongh,
Though his soul's bullet, and his body buff.
He spits fore-right; his hanghty chest before,
Like battering rams, beats open every door;
And with a face as red, and as awry,
As Herod's hang-dogs in old tapestry,
Scarecrow to boys, the breeding woman's curse,
Has yet a strangè ambition to look worse :
Confounds the civil, keeps the rude in awe,
Jests like a licens'd fool, commands like law.
Frighted, I quit the room, but leave it so
As men from jails to execution go ;
For hung with deadly sins I see the wall,
And lin’d with giants deadlier than 'em all:
Each man an Askapart, of strength to toss,
For quoits, both Temple-bar and Charing-cross.
Scard at the grisly forms, I sweat, I fly,
And shake all o'er, like a discover'd spy.
Courts are too much for wits so weak as mine :
Charge them with heaven's artillery, bold divine !
From such alone the great rebukes endure,
Whose satire's sacred, and whose rage secure :
'Tis mine to wash a few light stains, but their's
To deluge sin, and drown a court in tears.
Howe'er, what's now apocrypha, my wit,
In time to come, may pass for holy writ.
DIALOGUE I. Fr. Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in print, And when it comes, the court see nothing in't: You grow correct, that once with rapture writ,
besides, too moral for a wit. Decay of parts, alas! we all must feelWhy now, this moment, don't I see you steal? "Tis all from Horace ; Horace long before ye Said · Tories call’d him Whig, and Whigs a Tory;" And taught his Romans, in much better metre, * To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter.'
But Horace, sir, was delicate, was nice; Bubo observes, he lash'd no sort of vice : Horace would say, Sir Billy serv'd the crown, Blunt could do business, Higgins knew the town; In Sappho touch the failings of the sex, In reverend bishops note some small neglects, And own the Spaniard did a waggish thing, Who cropt our ears, and sent them to the king. His sly, polite, insinuating style Could please at court, and make Augustus smile:
An artful manager, that crept between
His friend and shame, and was a kind of screen.
But, 'faith, your very friends will soon be sore ;
Patriots there are who wish you'd jest no more-
And where's the glory ? 'twili be only thought
The great may never offer'd you a groat.
Go see Sir Robert-
P. See Sir Robert !-hum-
And never langb—for all my life to come?
Seen him I have; but in his happier hour
Of social pleasure, ill-exchang'd for pow'r;
Seen him, uncumber'd with a venal tribe,
Smile without art, and win without a bribe.
Would he oblige me? let me only find
He does not think me what he thinks mankind.
Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt ;
The only difference is—I dare laugh out.
Fr. Why, yes : with Scripture still you may be
A borse-laugh, if you please, at honesty;
A joke on Jekyll, or some odd old Whig,
Who never chang'd his principle or wig :
A patriot is a fool in every age,
Whom all lord-chamberlains allow the stage :
These pothing burts; they keep their fashion still,
And wear their strange oid virtue as they will.
If any ask you, 'Who's the man so near
His prince, that writes ip verse, and has his ear?"
Why, anwer, Lyttelton! and I'll engage
The worthy youth shall ne'er be in a rage;
But were his verses vile, bis whisper base,
You'd quickly find him in lord Fanny's case.
Sejanus, Wolsey, hurt not honest Fleury,
But well may put some statesmen iu a fury.