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In complaisance poor Cupid mourn'd;
His grief reliev'd his mother's pain; He vow'd he'd leave no stone unturn'd,
But she should have her dove again. Though none, said he, shall yet be nam’d,
I know the felon well enough: But be she not, mamma,
condemn'd Without a fair and legal proof. With that, his longest dart he took,
As constable would take his staff: That gods desire like men to look,
Would make ev'n Heraclitus laugh. Love's subalterns, a duteous band,
Like watchmen, round their chief appear : Each had his lantern in his hand;
And Venus mask'd brought up the rear. Accoutred thus, their eager step
To Cloe's lodging they directed : (At once I write, alas ! and weep,
That Cloe is of theft suspected).
BENEATH a myrtle's verdant shade
As Cloe half asleep was laid,
Cupid perch'd lightly on her breast,
And in that heaven desir'd to rest :
Over her paps his wings he spread :
Between he found a downy bed,
And nestled in his little head.
Still lay the god : the nymph, surpris'd,
Yet mistress of herself, devis'd
How she the vagrant might enthral,
And captive him, who captives all.
Her bodice half-way she unlac'd :
About his arms she slily cast
The silken bond, and held him fast.
The god awak'd: and thrice in vain
He strove to break the cruel chain;
And thrice in vain he shook his wing,
Incumber'd in the silken string.
Fluttering the god, and weeping, said, Pity poor Cupid, generous maid, Who happend, being blind, to stray, And on thy bosom lost his way; Who stray'd, alas ! but knew too well, He never there must hope to dwell: Set an unhappy prisoner free, Who ne'er intended harın to thee.
To me pertains not, she replies,
To know or care where Cupid flies ;
What are his haunts, or which his way ;
Where he would dwell, or whither stray;
Yet will I never set thee free;
For harm was meant, and harm to me.
Vain fears that vex thy virgin heart !
I'll give thee up my bow and dart;
Untangle but this cruel chain,
And freely let me fly again.
Agreed : secure my virgin heart:
Instant give up thy bow and dart :
The chain I'll in return untie;
And freely thou again shalt fly.
Thus she the captive did deliver ;
The captive thus gave up his quiver ;
The god disarm’d, e'er since that day,
Passes his life in harmless play ;
Flies round, or sits upon her breast,
A little, fluttering, idle guest.
E’er since that day, the beauteous maid
Governs the world in Cupid's stead ;
Directs his arrow as she wills;
Gives grief, or pleasure ; spares, or kills.
Late they set out, had far to go:
St. Dunstan's as they pass’d struck one. Cloe, for reasons good, you know,
Lives at the sober end o' th' town.
With one great peal they rap the door,
Like footmen on a visiting day. Folks at her house at such an hour!
Lord ! what will all the neighbours say ?
The door is open : up they run:
Nor prayers, nor threats, divert their speed : Thieves! thieves ! cries Susan; we're undone ;
They'll kill my mistress in her bed. In bed indeed the nymph had been
Three hours : for all historians say,
She commonly went up at ten,
Unless piquet was in the way.
She wak’d, be sure, with strange surprise :
O Cupid, is this right or law,
Thus to disturb the brightest eyes
That ever slept, or ever saw ?
Have you observ'd a sitting hare,
Listening, and fearful of the storm Of horns and hounds, clap back her car,
Afraid to keep, or leave her form? Or have you mark'd a partridge quake,
Viewing the towering falcon nigh? She cuddles low behind the brake :
Nor would she stay, nor dares she fly. Then have you seen the beauteous maid;
When gazing on her midnight foes, She turn'd each way her frighted head,
Then sunk it deep beneath the clothes. Venus this while was in the chamber
Incognito; for Susan said,
But ah! what maid to Love can trust;
He scorns, and breaks all legal power : Into her breast his hand he thrust;
And in a moment forc'd it lower.
0, whither do those fingers rove,
Cries Cloe, treacherous urchin, whither ? O Venus ! I shall find the dove,
Says he; for sure I touch his feather.
The pride of every grove I chose,
The violet sweet and lily fair,
The dappled pink, and blushing rose,
To deck my charming Cloe's hair. At morn the nymph vouchsaf'd to place
Upon her brow the various wreath ; The flowers less blooming than her face,
The scent less fragrant than her breath. The flowers she wore along the day :
And every nymph and shepherd said, That in her hair they look'd more gay
Than glowing in their native bed.
It smelt so strong of myrrh and amber
And Susan is no lying maid. But, since we have no present need
Of Venus for an episode :
With Cupid let us e'en proceed ;
And thus to Cloe spoke the god :
Hold up your head : hold up your hand :
Would it were not my lot to show ye
This cruel writ, wherein you stand
Indicted by the name of Cloe ! For that, by secret malice stirr’d,
Or by an emulous pride invited, You have purloind the favourite bird,
In which my mother most delighted. Her blushing face the lovely maid
Rais'd just above the milk-white sheet; A rose-tree in a lily bed
Nor glows so red, nor breathes so sweet. Are you not he whom virgins fear,
And widows court? Is not your name Cupid ? If so, pray come not near
Fair maiden, I'm the very same. Then what have I, good Sir, to say,
Or do with her you call your mother ; If I should meet her in my way,
We hardly court'sy to each other. Diana chaste, and Hebe sweet,
Witness that what I speak is true : I would not give my paroquet
For all the doves that ever flew. Yet, to compose this midnight noise,
Go freely search where'er you please (The rage that rais'd, adorn'd her voice)
Upon yon toilet lie my keys.
Her keys he takes; her doors unlocks :
Through wardrobe, and through closet bounces ; Peeps into every chest and box ;
Turns all her furbelows and flounces.
But dove, depend on't, finds he none ;
So to the bed returns again :
And now the maiden, bolder grown,
Begins to treat him with disdain.
I marvel much, she smiling said,
Your poultry cannot yet be found; Lies he in yonder slipper, dead;
Or, may be, in the tea-pot drown'd ? No, traitor, angry Love replies,
He's hid somewhere about your breast ; A place nor God nor man denies
for Venus' dove the proper nest. Search then, she said, put in your hand,
And Cynthia, dear protectress, guard me: As guilty I, or free may stand,
Do thou or punish or reward me.
Undrest at evening, when she found
Their odours lost, their colours past; She chang'd her look, and on the ground
Her garland and her eye she cast.
That eye dropt sense distinct and clear,
As any Muse's tongue could speak, When from its lid a pearly tear
Ran trickling down her beauteous cheek. Dissembling what I knew too well,
My love, my life, said I, explain This change of humour: pr’ythee tell :
That falling tear—what does it mean? She sigh’d; she smil'd : and to the flowers
Pointing, the lovely moralist said ; See, friend, in some few fleeting hours,
See yonder, what a change is made.
Ah me! the blooming pride of May,
And that of Beauty, are but one: At morn both flourish bright and gay;
Both fade at evening, pale, and gone.
At dawn poor Stella danc'd and sung ;
The amorous youth around her bow'd : At night her fatal knell was rung ;
I saw, and kiss'd her in her shroud.
Such as she is, who died to-day:
Such I, alas! may be to-morrow : Go, Damon, bid thy Muse display
The justice of thy Cloe's sorrow,
And love is made but to be told ;
Where the fat bawd and lavish heir
The spoils of ruin'd beauty share ;
And youth, seduc'd from friends and fame,
Must give up age to want and shame.
Let her behold the frantic scene,
The women wretched, false the men:
And when, these certain ills to shun,
She would to thy embraces run ;
Receive her with extended arms,
Seem more delighted with her charms;
Wait on her to the park and play,
Put on good-humour; make her gay;
Be to her virtues very kind;
Be to her faults a little blind;
Let all her ways be unconfin'd;
And clap your padlock-on her mind.
AN ENGLISH PADLOCK.
Miss Danaë, when fair and young,
(As Horace has divinely sung)
Could not be kept from Jove's embrace
By doors of steel, and walls of brass.
The reason of the thing is clear,
Would Jove the naked truth aver.
Cupid was with him of the party ;
And show'd himself sincere and hearty;
For, give that whipster but his errand,
He takes my lord chief justice' warrant;
Dauntless as death away he walks :
Breaks the doors open, snaps the locks ;
Searches the parlour, chamber, study;
Nor stops till he has culprit's body.
Since this has been authentic truth,
By age deliver'd down to youth ;
Tlus, mistaken husband, tell us,
Why so mysterious, why so jealous ?
Does the restraint, the bolt, the bar,
Make us less curious, her less fair ?
The spy, which does this treasure keep,
Does she ne'er say her prayers, nor sleep?
Does she to no excess incline ?
Does she fly music, mirth, and wine ?
Or have not gold and flattery power
To purchase one unguarded hour ?
Your care does further yet extend :
That spy is guarded by your friend.
But has this friend nor eye nor heart ?
May he not feel the cruel dart,
Which, soon or late, all mortals feel ?
May he not, with too tender zeal,
Give the fair prisoner cause to see
How much he wishes she were free?
May he not craftily infer
The rules of friendship too severe,
Which chain him to a hated trust;
Which make him wretched, to be just ?
And may not she, this darling she,
Youthful and healthy, flesh and blood,
Easy with him, ill us'd by thee,
Allow this logic to be good ?
Sir, will your questions never end ?
I trust to neither spy nor friend.
In short, I keep her from the sight
every human face. She'll write.
Has she a bodkin and a card ?
She'll prick her mind. She will, you say:
But how shall she that mind convey ?
I keep her in one room : I lock it :
The key (look here) is in this pocket.
The key-hole, is that left? Most certain.
She'll thrust her letter through.Sir Martin,
Dear angry friend, what must be done? Is there no way ?-There is but one. Send her abroad : and let her see, That all this mingled mass, which she, Being forbidden, longs to know, Is a dull farce, an empty show, Powder, and pocket-glass, and beau; A staple of romance and lies, False tears and real perjuries : Where sighs and looks are bought and sold,
Hans Carvel, impotent and old,
Married a lass of London mould:
Handsome ? enough; extremely gay:
Lov'd music, company, and play:
High flights she had, and wit at will;
And so her tongue lay seldom still:
For in all visits who but she,
To argue or to repartee?
She made it plain, that human passion
Was order'd by predestination ;
That, if weak women went astray,
Their stars were more in fault than they :
Whole tragedies she had by heart;
Enter'd into Roxana's part:
To triumph in her rival's blood,
The action certainly was good.
How like a vine young Ammon curld !
Oh that dear conqueror of the world!
She pitied Betterton in age,
That ridicul'd the god-like rage.
She, first of all the town, was told,
Where newest India things were sold :
So in a morning, without bodice,
Slipt sometimes out to Mrs. Thody's;
To cheapen tea, to buy a screen :
What else could so much virtue mean?
For, to prevent the least reproach,
Betty went with her in the coach.
But, when no very great affair
Excited her peculiar care,
She without fail was wak'd at ten;
Drank chocolate, then slept again :
At twelve she rose; with much ado
Her clothes were huddled on by two;
Then, does my lady dine at home?
Yes, sure !—but is the colonel come?
Next, how to spend the afternoon,
And not come home again too soon :
The Change, the city, or the play,
As each was proper for the day :
A turn in summer to Hyde Park,
When it grew tolerably dark.
Wife's pleasure causes husband's pain : Strange fancies come in Hans's brain :
He thought of what he did not name;
And would reform, but durst not blame.
At first he therefore preach'd his wife
The comforts of a pious life:
Told her how transient beauty was;
That all must die, and flesh was grass :
He bought her sermons, psalms, and graces ;
And doubled down the useful places.
But still the weight of worldly care
Allow'd her little time for prayer:
And Cleopatra was read o'er ;
While Scott, and Wake, and twenty more,
That teach one to deny one's self,
Stood unmolested on the shelf.
An untouch'd Bible grac'd her toilet ;
No fear that thumb of hers should spoil it.
In short, the trade was still the same :
The dame went out: the colonel came.
What's to be done? poor Carvel cry'd:
Another battery must be try'd:
What if to spells I have recourse ?
"Tis but to hinder something worse.
The end must justify the means;
He only sins who ill intends :
Since therefore 'tis to combat evil;
'Tis lawful to employ the devil.
Forthwith the devil did appear
(For name him and he's always near):
Not in the shape in which he plies
At miss's elbow when she lies;
Or stands before the nursery doors,
To take the naughty boy that roars :
But, without saucer-eye or claw,
Like a grave barrister at law.
Hans Carvel, lay aside your grief,
The devil says; I bring relief.
Relief! says Hans: pray, let me crave
Your name, Sir ?-_Satan—Sir, your slave;
I did not look upon your feet :
You'll pardon me:-Ay, now I see't:
And pray, Sir, when came you from hell ?
Our friends there, did you leave them well ?
All well; but pr’ythee, honest Hans,
(Says Satan) leave your complaisance :
The truth is this; I cannot stay
Flaring in sunshine all the day:
For entre nous, we hellish sprites
Love more the fresco of the nights ;
And oftener our receipts convey
In dreams than any other way.
I tell you therefore as a friend,
Ere moming dawns, your fears shall end :
Go then this evening, master Carvel,
Lay down your fowls, and broach your barrel ;
Let friends and wine dissolve your care ;
Whilst I the great receipt prepare :
To-night I'll bring it, by my faith ;
Believe for once what Satan saith.
Away went Hans; glad ? not a little ; Obey'd the devil to a tittle ; Invited friends some half a dozen, The colonel and my lady's cousin. The meat was serv'd; the bowls were crown'd; Catches were sung: and healths went round; Barbadoes waters for the close ; Till Hans had fairly got his dose :
The colonel toasted to the best :"
The dame mov'd off, to be undrest :
The chimes went twelve: the guests withdrew :
But when, or how, Hans hardly knew.
Some modern anecdotes aver,
He nodded in his elbow chair ;
From thence was carried off to bed,
John held his heels, and Nan his head.
My lady was disturbid : new sorrow !
Which Hans must answer for to-morrow.
In bed then view this happy pair ;
And think how Hymen triumph'd there.
Hans fast asleep as soon as laid ;
The duty of the night unpaid :
The waking dame, with thoughts opprest,
That made her hate both him and rest :
By such a husband, such a wife!
'Twas Acme's and Septimius' life:
The lady sigh’d: the lover snord :
The punctual devil kept his word :
Appear’d to honest Hans again;
But not at all by madam seen:
And giving him a magic ring,
Fit for the finger of a king;
Dear Hans, said he, this jewel take,
And wear it long for Satan's sake:
'Twill do your business to a hair:
For, long as you this ring shall wear,
As sure as I look over Lincoln,
That ne'er shall happen which you think on.
Hans took the ring with joy extreme (All this was only in a dream); And, thrusting it beyond his joint, "Tis done, he cry'd: I've gain'd my point.-What point, said she, you ugly beast ? You neither give me joy nor rest : 'Tis done :- What's done, you drunken bear? You've thrust your finger God knows where.
PAULO PURGANTI AND HIS WIFE:
AN HONEST BUT A SIMPLE PAIR.
“ Est enim quiddam, idque intelligitur in omni virtute, quod
deceat: quod cogitatione magis à virtute potest quam re separari."
Cic. de Off. 1. i.
BEYOND the fix'd and settled rules
Of vice and virtue in the schools,
Beyond the letter of the law
Which keeps our men and maids in awe,
The better sort should set before 'em
A grace, a manner, a decorum ;
Something, that gives their acts a light;
Makes them not only just, but bright;
And sets them in that open fame
Which witty malice cannot blame.
For 'tis in life, as 'tis in painting :
Much may be right, yet much be wanting ;
From lines drawn true, our eye may trace
A foot, a knee, a hand, a face;
May justly own the picture wrought
Exact to rule, exempt from fault;
Yet, if the colouring be not there,
The Titian stroke, the Guido air :
To nicest judgments show the piece,
At best 'twill only not displease :
It would not gain on Jersey's eye;
Bradford would frown, and set it by.
Thus in the picture of our mind
The action may be well design'd;
Guided by law, and bound by duty ;
Yet want this ne sçai quoi of beauty :
And though its error may be such,
As Knags and Burgess cannot hit;
It yet may feel the nicer touch
Of Wycherley's or Congreve’s wit.
What is this talk ? replies a friend,
And where will this dry moral end ?
The truth of what you here lay down
By some example should be shown.-
With all my heart—for once ; read on.
An honest but a simple pair
(And twenty other I forbear)
May serve to make this thesis clear.
A doctor of great skill and fame,
Paulo Purganti was his name,
Had a good, comely, virtuous wife;
No woman led a better life:
She to intrigues was ev'n hard-hearted :
She chuckled when a bawd was carted ;
And thought the nation ne'er would thrive,
Till all the whores were burnt alive.
On married men, that dar'd be bad,
She thought no mercy should be had ;
They should be hang'd, or starv'd, or flay'd,
Or serv'd like Romish priests in Swede,-
In short, all lewdness she defied :
And stiff was her parochial pride,
Yet, in an honest way, the dame
Was a great lover of that same ;
And could from scripture take her cuc,
That husbands should give wives their due.
Her prudence did so justly steer
Between the gay and the severe,
That if in some regards she chose
To curb poor Paulo in too close,
In others she relax'd again,
And govern’d with a looser rein.
Thus though she strictly did confine
The doctor from excess of wine:
With oysters, eggs, and vermicelli,
She let him almost burst his belly :
Thus drying coffee was denied ;
But chocolate that loss supplied :
And for tobacco (who could bear it?)
Filthy concomitant of claret :
(Blest revolution !) one might sce
Eringo roots, and bohea tca.
She often set the doctor's band,
And strok'd his beard and squeez'd his hand;
Kindly complain'd, that after noon
He went to pore on books too soon :
She held it wholesomer by much
To rest a little on the couch :
About his waist in bed a-nights
She clung so close_for fear of sprites,
The doctor understood the call;
But had not always wherewithal.
The lion's skin too short, you know,
(As Plutarch's morals finely show)
Was lengthen'd by the fox's tail :
And art supplies, where strength may fail.
Unwilling then in arms to meet
The enemy he could not beat;
He strove to lengthen the campaign,
And save his forces by chicane.
Fabius, the Roman chief, who thus
By fair retreat grew Maximus,
Shows us, that all that warrior can do,
With force inferior, is cunctando.
One day then, as the foe drew near,
With love, and juy, and life, and dear;
Our Don, who knew this tittle-tattle
Did, sure as trumpet, call to battle,
Thought it extremely a propos,
To ward against the coming blow:
To ward : but how? Ay, there's the question.
Fierce the assault, unarm’d the bastion.
The doctor feign'd a strange surprise :
He felt her pulse ; he view'd her eyes :
That beat too fast, these rollid too quick;
She was, he said, or would be sick :
He judg'd it absolutely good,
That she should purge, and cleanse her blood.
Spa waters for that end were got:
If they past easily or not,
What matters it? The lady's fever
Continued violent as ever.
For a distemper of this kind
(Blackmore and Hans are of my mind),
If once it youthful blood infects,
And chiefly of the female sex,
Is scarce remov'd by pill or potion ;
Whate'er might be our doctor's notion.
One luckless night then, as in bed
The doctor and the dame were laid ;
Again this cruel fever came,
High pulse, short breath, and blood in flame,
What measures shall poor Paulo keep
With madam in this piteous taking ?
She, like Macbeth, has murder'd sleep,
And won't allow him rest, though waking.
Sad state of matters! when we dare
Nor ask for peace, nor offer war;
Nor Livy nor Comines have shown
What in this juncture may be done.
Grotius might own, that Paulo's case is
Harder than any which he places
Amongst his Belli and his Pacis.
He strove, alas ! but strove in vain, By dint of logic to maintain That all the sex was born to grieve, Down to her ladyship from Eve. He rang’d his tropes, and preach'd up patience, Back’d his opinion with quotations, Divines and moralists; and run ye on Quite through from Seneca to Bunyan. As much in vain he bid her try To fold her arms, to close her eye; Telling her, rest would do her good, If any thing in nature could : So held the Greeks quite down from Galen, Masters and princes of the calling: So all our modern friends maintain (Though no great Greeks) in Warwick-lane,