By the late Brackley
The Second and Laſt Volume.
Printed: And Sold by J. Roberts, in Warwick-Lane.
Subscribers to Mrs. Leapor’s Poems.
- Right Honourable Counteſs of Arran
- Right Hon. Lady Anſon
- Rev. Mr. Arnold of Burton
- Richard Adams, Eſq; Recorder of London
- Miſs Amcotts, of Lincoln
- Mrs. Aſhhurſt
- Right Hon. Lady Camilla Bennet
- Sir William Beauchamp Proctor, Bart.
- Mrs. Boothby
- Miſs Bicknell
- Miſs Bromly A2 Rev. iv iv A2v
- Rev. Mr. Henry Beſt, of Lincoln
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- Mr. Edward Bloxham
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- Norborne Berkeley, Eſq;
- Lady Beauchamp
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- Mr. Harry Blencowe
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- MiſsLydia Catharine VanhattenMiſs Lydia Catharine Vanhatten
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- Lady Williams
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- Iſaac Whittington, Eſq;
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- Mrs. Whitworth
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- Mrs. Ward
- Hon. Colonel Wardour
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To John * * * * *, Eſq;
1749-02-21Feb. 21. 1749.
You have my ſincereſt Thanks for the kind Information you ſent me of the generous Scheme that is form’d for the Printing Mrs. Leapor’s remaining Papers, for the Benefit of her Father; and that the ingenious Gentlemen you mention, intend to give ſome Account of the Author: For nothing can give me more Pleaſure than to hear of a Deſign that may do Honour to her Memory, and be of Service to Him for whom ſhe always expreſſed a moſt affectionate and dutiful Regard, particularly in her laſt Moments.a I xviii a1v xviii
I ſhall readily contribute any thing in my Power, tho’ I fear that is very little: But, upon making a thorough Search among my Papers, I have found Two or Three of hers, that were miſlaid when the others were ſent to Mrs. J—; which I here ſend you, with two or three Copies wrote in her Childhood, that have ſince been alter’d as they now ſtand in the printed Book.
Several of thoſe ſent to Mrs. J―― were likewiſe wrote when ſhe was very young; and were condemn’d to the Flames by herſelf, but ſpared at my Interceſſion; ſo that I am very dubious, whether they will be thought worth printing or not; though I muſt own myſelf fond of every thing that was hers.
I remember I ſaw, two or three Years before my Acquaintance with her commenced, a Book about the Size of a common Copy- Book (but ſomething thicker) fill’d with Poems of her writing, that much pleas’d me. I thought them extraordinary Performances for a Girl of her Age, and one that xixa2rxix that had ſo little Advantage (or rather none at all) either from Books or Converſation: But my bad State of Health prevented me from making any further Enquiry concerning this young Genius, till about fourteen Months before her Death, when I was inform’d ſhe had wrote a Tragedy.
I could not help ſmiling at this; thinking it at leaſt a very bold Attempt from a Perſon in her Situation. But however, it raiſed my Curioſity very much: And happening to meet with her a Day or two afterwards, I begg’d the Favour of ſeeing it; which was readily granted. You may eaſily gueſs how far it exceeded my Expectation.
Soon after I made her a Viſit; and expreſſing how much I lik’d the Play, deſir’d ſhe would give me Leave to ſee any thing elſe ſhe might have wrote; upon which ſhe brought a little Box, where her Papers lay in a careleſs confus’d manner, and allow’d me to look them all over; which I did with a great deal of Pleaſure, and no ſmall Aſtoniſhment.I xx a2v xx
I then enquired for the little Book I had ſeen before; but ſhe told me ſhe had burnt it long ago, with ſeveral other Papers, which ſhe did not think worth preſerving.
This I could not help blaming her for, as there were a great many pretty Things in it; particularly a Poem, relating the Hiſtory of Iſaac’s Courtſhip and Marriage of Rebecca; which has ſince been much enquir’d for by ſome that had ſeen it.
My mentioning a Subſcription, I believe, occaſioned her Poem, call’d Mopſus, or, The Caſtle-Builder; and I indulg’d my Curioſity in calling upon her often, to ſee how ſhe carried it on. It was really amazeing to ſee how faſt ſhe advanc’d in it; her Thoughts ſeeming to flow as faſt as ſhe could put them upon Paper; and I am perſuaded, that many beautiful ones have been loſt for want of Leiſure to write them.
My expreſſing ſome Fear of being troubleſome in coming ſo frequently, occaſioned a great Variety of Invitations, both in xxia3r xxi in Verſe and Proſe; which I could ſeldom reſiſt: And indeed her whole Behaviour to me was ſo extremely good-natur’d and obliging, that I muſt have been the moſt ungrateful Perſon in the World, if I had not endeavour’d to make ſome Return.
From this Time to that of her Death, few Days paſs’d in which I did not either ſee or hear from her; for ſhe gave me the Pleaſure of ſeeing all her Poems as ſoon as they were finiſh’d. And though I never was extremely fond of Poetry, and don’t pretend to be a Judge of it, there was ſomething ſo peculiarly pleaſing to my Taſte in almoſt every thing ſhe wrote, that I could not but be infinitely pleas’d with ſuch a Correſpondent.
Nor did I admire her in her Poetical Capacity only; but the more I was acquainted with her, the more I ſaw Reaſon to eſteem her for thoſe virtuous Principles, and that Goodneſs of Heart and Temper, which ſo viſibly appeared in her; and I was ſo far from thinking it a Condeſcenſion to cultivate an Acquaintance with a a3 Perſon xxiia3v xxii Perſon in her Station, that I rather eſteem’d it an Honour to be call’d a Friend to one in whom there appear’d ſuch a true Greatneſs of Soul as with me far outweigh’d all the Advantages of Birth and Fortune. Nor do I think it poſſible for any body that was as well acquainted with her as myſelf, to conſider her as a mean Perſon.
I have ſent a Liſt of the Poems that were wrote ſince I was acquainted with her; which, I think, will ſhew the Quickneſs of her Genius, eſpecially when it is conſider’d how much ſhe was engaged in her Father’s Affairs, and the Buſineſs of his Houſe, in which ſhe had nobody to aſſiſt her.
This, you may imagine, was ſome Mortification to a Perſon of her Turn; yet ſhe was always chearful: And as ſhe wanted none of the Neceſſaries of Life, expreſsed herſelf thankful for that. Her chief Ambition ſeem’d to be to have ſuch a Competency as might leave her at Liberty to enjoy the Company of a Friend, and indulge her ſcribbling Humour (as ſhe call’d xxiiia4r xxiii call’d it) when ſhe had a mind, without Inconvenience or Interruption.
I could not ſee how much ſhe was ſtraiten’d in point of Time for her Writing, without endeavouring to remove the Difficulty; and therefore propos’d a Subſcription to ſome of my Acquaintance; which I hoped might be a Means of doing it. And here, Sir, I muſt gratefully acknowledge your kind Aſſiſtance, without which I am ſenſible all my Endeavours had been ineffectual; but through your Good-nature I had the Pleaſure to ſee it brought into a promiſing Way before the Death of the Author; who unfortunately did not live to receive that Benefit by it, which has ſince accrued to her Father.
Since the Publication of her Poems, I hear ſhe has been accuſed of ſtealing from other Authors; but I believe very unjuſtly, and imagine the Cenſure proceeds rather from a random Conjecture that it muſt be ſo, than any juſt Foundation. I don’t find that the Particulars are pointed out; and if there are really any Lines in a4 her xxiva4v xxiv her Book that bear ſo near a Reſemblance to what has been wrote by other Authors, as to give room for ſuch a Conjecture, I, that was ſo well acquainted with her Way of Thinking, dare venture to anſwer for her, that it proceeded from the Impreſſion the Reading thoſe Paſſages ſome time before happen’d to make upon her Mind, without her remembring from whence they came; and therefore ſhe can no more be reckon’d a Plagiary on that Account, than a Perſon could juſtly be accuſed of being a Thief, for making uſe of a Shilling or two of another’s Money that happen’d to be mix’d with his own, without his knowing it.
Beſides, I don’t believe it impoſſible for two People to think exactly alike upon a Subject, and even to expreſs themſelves almoſt in the very ſame Words for a Line or two, without ever having been acquainted with one another’s Thoughts; tho’ I don’t know that this was the Caſe of Myra.
I muſt beg Leave to give you an Inſtance of her Probity in this reſpect.I xxv a5r xxv
I one Day ſhew’d her an old manuſcript Paſtoral of Mr. Newton’s, in Blank Verſe; with which ſhe ſeem’d much pleaſed, and deſired Leave to take it home with her, and amuſe herſelf with putting ſome Parts of it, that ſhe moſt liked, into Rhyme. She did ſo; See the Poems, Vol. I. p. 183, 187, 192. and in my Opinion ſo greatly alter’d and improv’d them, that when the Papers were firſt ſent to you, in order to be printed, I ſaid I thought there was no Occaſion for mentioning Mr. Newton’s Name: But ſhe would not conſent to have them put in her Book without that Diſtinction; and indeed had no occaſion to adopt other Peoples Productions.
Deceit and Inſincerity of all Kinds ſhe abhorred; and (if I may be allowed to give my Opinion) I really believe what ſhe wrote upon Serious and Divine Subjects, proceeded from the inmoſt Sentiments of her Heart; which I take to be one great Reaſon of their appearing ſo extremely natural and beautiful.
As an Inſtance of her uncommon Manner of Thinking, give me Leave to acquaint you xxvia5v xxvi you with a Diſcourſe that paſs’d between us, when the Propoſal for a Subſcription was on foot. I very gravely told her, I thought we muſt endeavour to find out ſome great Lady to be her Patroneſs, and deſir’d her to prepare a handſome Dedication.
But pray, what am I to ſay in this ſame Dedication?
Oh, a great many fine Things, certainly.
But, Madam, I am not acquainted with any great Lady, nor like to be.
No matter for that; ’tis but your ſuppoſing your Patroneſs to have as many Virtues as other Peoples always have: You need not fear ſaying too much; and I muſt inſiſt upon it.
She really ſeemed ſhock’d, and ſaid, But, Dear Madam, could you in good Earneſt approve of my ſitting down to write an Encomium upon a Perſon I know xxviia6r xxvii know nothing of, only becauſe I might hope to get ſomething by it?――No, Myra!
She always call’d it being idle, and indulging her whimſical Humour, when ſhe was employed in writing the humorous Parts of her Poems; and nothing could pique her more than Peoples imagining ſhe took a great deal of Pains, or ſpent a great deal of Time, in ſuch Compoſures; or that ſhe ſet much Value upon them.
She told me, that moſt of them were wrote when croſs Accidents happen’d to diſturb her, purely to divert her Thoughts from dwelling upon what was diſagreeable; and that it generally had the intended Effect, by putting her in a good Humour.
I muſt now come to the melancholy Scene of her Death; which, to my inexpreſſible Concern, happen’d on the 1746-11-1212th of November 1746. and was occaſioned by the Meaſles.A xxviii a6v xxviii
A Day or two before her Departure, while her Senſes remained perfect, ſhe deſir’d to ſpeak to me alone; and after the warmeſt Expreſſions of Gratitude for my Goodneſs to her, as ſhe call’d it, continued, as near as I can remember, in this manner.
But I have ſill one Favour to beg of you.—I find I am going.—I always lov’d my Father; but I feel it now more than ever.—He is growing into Years. —My Heart bleeds to ſee the Concern he is in; and it would be the unmoſt Satisfaction to me, if I could hope any thing of mine could contribute to his comfortable Subſiſtence in his old Age: I therefore beg of you to take the Key of my Buroe; and if any thing is to be made of my poor Papers, that you will, for my ſake, endeavour to promote a Subſcription for his Benefit, which you ſo kindly have propos’d for mine.
They muſt have had harder Hearts than mine, that could have refus’d to comply with ſuch a Requeſt. I promis’d to do the xxixa7r xxix the beſt I could (with which ſhe ſeem’d ſatisfied); and have endeavour’d to perform it to the utmoſt of my Power.
Since I received your Letter, I have applied to Mr. Leapor for what Information he could give me relating to his Daughter.
He tells me, She was born at Marſton St. Laurence in this County, on the 1722-02-2626th of February 1722. at which Time he was Gardener to the late Judge Blencowe, and continued five Years in the Family; and then removed with his Wife and this only Daughter to Brackley, where ſhe ſpent the remaining Part of her Life.
She was bred up under the Care of a pious and ſenſible Mother, who died about four Years before her.
He informs me ſhe was always fond of reading every thing that came in her way, as ſoon as ſhe was capable of it; and that when ſhe had learnt to write tolerably, which, as he remembers, was at about xxxa7v xxx about ten or eleven Years old, She would often be ſcribbling, and ſometimes in Rhyme; which her Mother was at firſt pleas’d with: But finding this Humour increaſe upon her as ſhe grew up, when ſhe thought her capable of more profitable Employment, ſhe endeavour’d to break her of it; and that he likewiſe, having no Taſte for Poetry, and not imagining it could ever be any Advantage to her, join’d in the ſame Deſign: But finding it impoſſible to alter her natural Inclination, he had of late deſiſted, and left her more at Liberty.
He ſays, ſhe never had any intimate Companion, except one agreeable young Woman in this Town, whom ſhe mentions in her Poem upon Friendſhip, by the Name of Fidelia; and that ſhe always choſe to ſpend her leiſure Hours in Writing and Reading, rather than in thoſe Diverſions which young People generally chuſe; inſomuch that ſome of the Neighbours that obſerv’d it, expreſſed their Concern, leſt the Girl ſhould overſtudy herſelf, and be mopiſh. But to me ſhe xxxia8r xxxi ſhe always appeared rather gay, than melancholy.
I think it is now high time to apologize for this long Letter: But as I was reſolved to ſend the beſt Account I could, I hope, Sir, you will excuſe me. It is not for me to pretend to do Juſtice to the Memory of Mrs. Leapor; but if you think any of the little Incidents I have mention’d will be uſeful to the Gentlemen who have ſo kindly form’d that Deſign, and give them a true Idea of her, I ſhall be much pleaſed; and am, with true Reſpect,
* * * * * *.
Postscript. I muſt beg Leave to enter a Caveat againſt printing the Poem call’d Myra’s Picture; becauſe tho’ ſhe may be ſuppos’dpos’d xxxiia8v xxxii pos’d to have made very free with herſelf, I think it may give the Reader a worſe Idea of her Perſon than it deſerv’d, which was very far from being ſhocking; tho’ there was nothing extraordinary in it. The Poem was occcaſioned by her happening to hear that a Gentleman who had ſeen ſome of her Poems, wanted to know what her Perſon was. Mr. Leapor has put down a Grave-Stone in Memory of his Daughter; and I ſhould be glad if any of the ingenious Gentlemen you mention would be ſo good as to write a few Lines to be put upon it. Mrs. Leapor’s whole Library conſiſted of about ſixteen or ſeventeed ſingle Volumes, among which were Part of Mr. Pope’s Works, Dryden’s Fables, ſome Volumes of Plays, &c.
Poems on Several Occasions.
On Patience. To Stella.
Still, Stella, ſtill, you ſigh, and you complain;
And mourn with real, or imagin’d Pain:
But, Stella, ſay, ſhall Things like You and Me
Repine at Nature’s and at God’s Decree?
Whoſe Goodneſs plac’d us in a quiet State,
Above the Wretched, and below the Great.Vol. II. B “But 2 B1v 2
But who are wretched?—Why, Experience tells,
Our Bliſs or Woe exiſts within ourſelves.
Small Comfort feels the diſcontented Breaſt
From the gay Splendor of a ſhining Veſt;
While ſome, whoſe Bodies lie expos’d to Air,
Whoſe Meals are ſlender, and whoſe Feet are bare;
Who want the needful Aid of Cloaths and Fire;
Yet ſing in Want, and laugh in Rags and Mire:
Theſe, bleſt with Ignorance and thoughtleſs Eaſe,
Small Things content, and low-born Trifles pleaſe.
Relfection ne’er diſturbs their vulgar Mirth:
They view alike a Burial, or a Birth.
If theſe are Happy from the Want of Thought,
Then Stella’s Wiſdom is too dearly bought;
If Knowledge only ſerves to make her find
Thoſe Ills o’erlook’d by Hundreds of her Kind.
But gracious Heaven by its Law aſſign’d
More Griefs and Glories for the noble Mind;Where 3 B2r 3
Where awful Reaſon gives a piercing Ray,
And clears the Spirit for a brighter Day.
Thoſe honeſt Beams if we attempt to ſhun,
How ſhall we bear with an immortal Sun?
Then Patience follows, ſtill to Reaſon true;
The Saint’s beſt Virtue, and his Comfort too;
Who ſmooths the Ills from which ſhe can’t defend;
The Sick-man’s Cordial, and the Poor-man’s Friend.
This, Stella, This, will chear the aking Breaſt,
And ſlope our Paſſage to the Realms of Reſt.
This helps the Good to look Affliction through,
Tho’ Friends forſake, and Enemies purſue.
’Tis this that makes the gentle Boſom glow,
And riſe ſuperior through its Weight of Woe.
Let this, O Stella, chear thy drooping Soul,
While o’er thy Roofs the ſwelling Tempeſts roll.
The ſcatter’d Griefs ſhall in their Seaſon fail,
And ſmiling Fortune turn the ſhifting Gale:B2 Far 4 B2v 4
Far from thy Head the baniſh’d Storm ſhall fly,
And thou reſt happy in a fairer Sky.
When Stella’s Spirit ſhall be taught to know
Joy’s proper Medium, and to ſmile in Woe;
When her ſtill Paſſions know their due Degree;
Then teach! O teach the happy Art to me!
Me, who from Thought to frolic Fancy ſkim,
Now wrapt in Morals, and now loſt in Whim;
While a ſtrange Group of mingled Paſſions ſway,
That rule by Changing, and by Turns obey:
Yet, not abandon’d, I would do the beſt,
To aid the Weakneſs of this changing Breaſt,
And catch a Thought, its Errors to controul,
Before the Woman ruſhes on my Soul.
Phoebus to Artemisia.
To Artemiſia, ſofteſt of her Kind,
With Woman’s Features, but a nobler Mind;
A manly Soul, that’s Charmingly refin’d;
All Hail to Her—whom mortal Swains obey!
All Hail from Me—the Monarch of the Day!
For thee (lov’d Mortal), for thy ſake we ſhow
(Once more) our Luſtre to the World below:
For thee we bid the ſprouting Leaves appear,
And bluſhing Infants of the tender Year:
For thee the Floods glide more ſerenely by,
And gentler Zephyrs on the Branches die.
So be thy Heart (releas’d from every Ill)
Calm as the Winds, and as the Waters ſtill.
Hear the Birds warble in delightful Strains,
To call my Fair-one to the healthful Plains.B3 Haſte 6 B3v 6
Haſte then! O haſte! to Mira’s rural Bow’rs,
And my glad Beams ſhall gild the chearful Hours.
No ſickly Blaſt ſhall taint the purer Sky,
Nor rattling Tempeſt through the Groves ſhall fly.
Come, thou dear Nymph, ſo long ador’d by me;
For (truſt me) Daphne never charm’d like thee.
Come then! O, come! and dread no piercing Wind:
’Tis Phœbus ſelf has promis’d to be kind:
Come, when yon Dial points to Number Three;
For that’s the Hour moſtly bleſt by me:
’Tis then I ſhine with more propitious Ray;
Diſpel the Clouds, and give a brighter Day.
So may thy Verſe through diſtant Ages run,
Still the bright Image of its Parent Sun;
Whilſt I with Pleaſure ſhall its Birth declare,
And guard my Offspring with a Father’s Care.
But ſee, alas!—where lonely Mira weeps,
And to her Boſom pale Deſpondence creeps,Leſt 7 B4r 7
Leſt you refuſe—Be merciful—for She
(’Tis true) I pity, tho’ I love but Thee.
Man the Monarch.
Amaz’d we read of Nature’s early Throes:
How the fair Heav’ns and pond’rous Earth aroſe:
How blooming Trees unplanted firſt began;
And Beaſts ſubmiſſive to their Tyrant, Man:
To Man, inveſted with deſpotic Sway,
While his mute Brethren tremble and obey;
Till Heav’n beheld him inſolently vain,
And check’d the Limits of his haughty Reign.
Then from their Lord the rude Deſerters fly,
And, grinning back, his fruitleſs Rage defy;
Pards, Tygers, Wolves, to gloomy Shades retire,
And Mountain-Goats in purer Gales reſpire.B4 To 8 B4v 8
To humble Valleys, where ſoft Flowers blow,
And fatt’ning Streams in cryſtal Mazes flow,
Full of new Life, the untam’d Courſers run,
And roll, and wanton, in the chearful Sun;
Round their gay Hearts the dancing Spirits riſe,
And rouſe the Lightnings in their rolling Eyes:
To cragged Rocks deſtructive Serpents glide,
Whoſe moſſy Crannies hide their ſpeckled Pride:
And monſtrous Whales on foamy Billows ride.
Then joyful Birds aſcend their native Sky:
But where! ah! where, ſhall helpleſs Woman fly?
Here ſmiling Nature brought her choiceſt Stores,
And roſeat Beauty on her Fav’rite pours:
Pleas’d with her Labour, the officious Dame
With-held no Grace would deck the riſing Frame.
Then view’d her Work, and view’d, and ſmil’d again,
And kindly whiſper’d, Daughter, live, and reign.
But now the Matron mourns her lateſt Care,
And ſees the Sorrows of her darling Fair;Beholds 9 B5r 9
Beholds a Wretch, whom ſhe deſign’d a Queen,
And weeps that e’er ſhe form’d the weak Machine.
In vain ſhe boaſts her Lip of ſcarlet Dyes,
Cheeks like the Morning, and far-beaming Eyes;
Her Neck refulgent—fair and feeble Arms,
A Set of uſeleſs and neglected Charms.
She ſuffers Hardſhip with afflictive Moans:
Small Taſks of Labour ſuit her ſlender Bones.
Beneath a Load her weary Shoulders yield,
Nor can her Fingers graſp the ſounding Shield;
She ſees and trembles at approaching Harms,
And Fear and Grief deſtroy her fading Charms.
Then her pale Lips no pearly Teeth diſcloſe,
And Time’s rude Sickle cuts the yielding Roſe.
Thus wretched Woman’s ſhort-liv’d Merit dies:
In vain to Wiſdom’s ſacred Help ſhe flies;
Or ſparkling Wit but lends a feeble Aid:
’Tis all Delirium from a wrinkled Maid.
A tattling Dame, no matter where, or who;
Me it concerns not—and it need not you;
Once told this Story to the liſtening Muſe,
Which we, as now it ſerves our Turn, ſhall uſe.
When our Grandſire Mrs. Leapor frequently writes the Words Sire, Fire, Spire, Hour, &c. each as if two syllables. nam’d the feather’d Kind,
Pond’ring their Natures in his careful Mind,
’Twas then, if on our Author we rely,
He view’d his Conſort with an envious Eye;
Greedy of Pow’r, he hugg’d the tott’ring Throne;
Pleaſed with Homage, and would reign alone;
And, better to ſecure his doubtful Rule,
Roll’d his wiſe Eye-balls, and pronounced her Fool.
The regal Blood to diſtant Ages runs:
Sires, Brothers, Huſbands, and commanding Sons,
The Sceptre claim; and ev’ry Cottage brings
A long Suceſſion of Domeſtic Kings.
Mopsus; or, The Caſtle-Builder.
In Days of yore, ere Britons grew too wiſe
To court proud Fortune, or believe in Lyes,
A Youth was born, his Father’s only Son
(Well for his Sire he had no more than one).
This good old Man with Pleaſure us’d to range
O’er the ſmall Limits of his peaceful Grange:
His Calves and Oxen were his only Care,
His homely Servants, and his ſmiling Heir.
Now tall and ſtrait the pratling Infant grew;
A ſprightly Boy, with Cheeks of crimſon Hue.
His Father plac’d him in a Country School,
To learn Diviſion, and the Golden Rule:
But when the fair aſpiring Youth began,
To walk on Tiptoe to the Verge of Man;His 12 B6v 12
His diſcontented Thoughts began to rove
Beyond the Proſpect of his Father’s Grove.
In vain the Hawthorn ſpreads her ſnowy Pride,
And the pale Lily gilds the Fountain-Side:
He loaths the Country, and his Fellow Swains;
For mighty Projects fill his working Brains:
And when black Shade inveſts the ſleepy Sky,
And the ſtill Herds on dewy Hillocks lie;
When reſtleſs Nature finds herſelf repos’d,
And lazy Eyelids are in Slumber clos’d;
Then Fancy bore the metamorphos’d Swain
Far from his Neat-herds, and deſpiſed Plain;
By Slaves attended; drawn by ſhining Wheels;
With flowing Purple at his graceful Heels;
With royal Gold his manly Temples crown’d;
And thus the Monarch took his awful Round;
Till ſpiteful Morning rais’d her Infant Brow,
And call’d the Prince to guide his ſlaviſh Plough.
But ſtill to Court our happy Youth could ſpeed
Without th’Aſſiſtance of Inchanter’s Reed;
Sometimes a-hunting with his Lordſhip ride,
Or loll on Couches, wrapt in ſilken Pride:
But when the Soul her gay Excurſions made,
His ſtupid Limbs forgot their uſual Trade;
In ſolemn Pauſes he would often ſtand,
And drop the Pitch-fork from his careleſs Hand.
This ſtrange Behaviour much amaz’d his Sire,
And oft the Cauſe his Fondneſs would enquire:
The tattling Goſſips too their Cenſures move:
Some call’d it Phrenſy, and ſome thought it Love.
It happen’d on a Summer’s lovely Morn,
As muſing Mopſus wander’d through the Corn,
Where nodding Poppies dropt with pearly Dew,
And the pure Æther wore a healthy Blue;
His Ear was grated by a noiſy Train,
Who call’d for Pity in a canting Strain.One 14 B7v 14
One ſubtle Beldam, of the ſwarthy Band,
Said with a Smile—and gently grasp’d his Hand;
I’ll tell thee what ſhall hap in future Days,
How thou by Marriage ſhalt thy Fortune raiſe:
I’ll tell thee too what Love-ſick Maids ſhall die
For thoſe ſweet Features, and that leering Eye.
This pretty Jargon won the cheated Clown,
Who ſlily dropt the Sibyl Half a Crown.
The Pelf with Joy the ſable Matron view’d;
Then bleſs’d her Patron, and her Tale purſu’d.
Lay down thy Fork, and throw thy Scrip aſide:
I ſee, my Lad, I ſee thy wealthy Bride;
See her gilt Chariot cut the ſmoaking Fields,
And twelve gay Youths attend the gaudy Wheels.
She’d tall, with Skin as fair as dropping Snow;
And her black Eyes are like the ripen’d Sloe.
Ah, lucky Youth!—my noble Lord, I mean,
Go change your Dreſs, and leave the ruſtic Plain;
For the next Journey you ſhall take, be ſure
You’ll find this Lady at her Father’s Door.2 Obſerve 15 B8r 15
Obſerve her well: I told you ſhe was fair:
Her Eyes are black, and ſo’s her curling Hair:
Take Courage, Lad: Purſue her cloſe, my Son:
Fair Ladies never are by Cowards won.
This ſaid, they part: The Matron takes her Way
O’er the brown Fields, in Search of further Prey.
Mute ſtood the Youth—This pleaſing Picture brought
The bright Alethia to his roving Thought;
Alethia fair, by ſhining Peers ador’d,
The wealthy Heireſs of a neighb’ring Lord.
’Tis true, the Virgin is of high Degree:
But who ſhall alter what the Fates decree?
Tranſported, Mopſus to his Home return’d,
Where his ſwell’d Heart with Expectation burn’d
In vain his Mother wholſome Meat provides;
For down his Throat no ſav’ry Morſel glides;
Till to his Bed the tired Sun withdrew,
And ſummon’d Mopſus to his Chamber too.
There, with diſorder’d Limbs, and waking Eyes,
Stretch’d on his Couch, the fev’riſh Lover lies.So 16 B8v 16
So deathleſs Heroes, as Romances ſhow,
Nor Calls of Sleep, nor pinching Hunger know;
But with thin Diet mere Immortals grow.
Old Night had more than half her Progreſs run;
The Stars grew paler at the diſtant Sun;
The chearful Eaſt was ſtreak’d with lighter Grey;
And the ſhrill Lark began to look for Day;
The Sky was clear, the Zephyrs gently blew;
When daring Mopſus left the ſleeping Crew.
With Face clean waſh’d, and in his beſt Array,
In queſt of Fortune, took his deſp’rate Way.
Five Miles from hence, upon a riſing Plain,
Rich with green Furrows of the promis’d Grain,
A ſhining Palace met the raviſh’d Eye,
Whoſe gilded Spires ſeem’d to reach the Sky.
The great Coreilus did inhabit there,
Alethia’s Father, and a gen’rous Peer.It 17 C1r 17
It chanc’d this Morn, that, reſtleſs in her Mind,
Alethia roſe before her uſual Time;
And to the Park, alone, ſhe took her Way,
To ſhare the Beauties of the infant Day,
While Phœbus darted from his blazing Wheels
His ſlanting Rays along the gliſt’ring Fields:
Acroſs that Path the Virgin chanc’d to roam,
Which led our Mopſus tow’rd the lofty Dome.
The Youth, whoſe Features own’d the mute Surprize,
Stood like a Poſt, In the Original, a Pin is ſtuck againſt the Word Time; alſo, againſt the Words, Stood like a Poſt; and a little lower, againſt the Word reſolv’d; which ſeem intended to be alter’d for ſome other, had the Authreſs lived to reviſe her Works. Where-ever the Pin is found for the future, an Aſteriſk [*] will be inſerted. and fix’d his ſtupid Eyes:
The conſcious Nymph beheld him with a Frown;
And turn’d aſide, to ſhun the gazing Clown:
But Mopſus follow’d, and reſolv’d In the Original, a Pin is ſtuck againſt the Word Time; alſo, againſt the Words, Stood like a Poſt; and a little lower, againſt the Word reſolv’d; which ſeem intended to be alter’d for ſome other, had the Authreſs lived to reviſe her Works. Where-ever the Pin is found for the future, an Aſteriſk [*] will be inſerted. to try,
Nor let th’Occaſion paſs neglected by.
He firſt accoſts her with a Scrape profound,
And made his Bonnet kiſs the humble Ground.C “Madam, 18 C1v 18
Madam, I find the Gipſy’s Words are true;
And my kind Stars have ſent me here to You:
It muſt be You, becauſe you are ſo fair:
Your Eyes are black, and ſo’s your curling Hair.
I pray forgive me—Though my Birth be low,
’Tis vain to ſtruggle with the Fates, you know.
This broken Speech the Virgin heard with Pain,
Nor gueſs’d the Meaning of the ſimple Swain;
But judg’d of Mopſus by the common Rule,
And fear’d the Villain lurk’d beneath the Fool.
Then for Relief ſhe rais’d a fearful Cry:
The frighted Servants to their Miſtreſs fly.
The ſoft Valet that ſcented of Perfume,
The ſturdy Keeper, and the dirty Groom,
On wretched Mopſus each his Fury throws,
And round his Temples rain’d a Storm of Blows;
Hands, Canes, and Clubs together chiming in,
Till his Bones rattled in his batter’d Skin.Then 19 C2r 19
Then ſorely bruis’d, they drag the Youth along,
Whoſe Eyes alone implore the cruel Throng;
For mighty Fear had ſtopt his feeble Tongue.
The Slaves, obedient to their Maſter’s Call,
Conduct their Victim to the ſpacious Hall:
Coreilus frown’d, and with a haughty Air
Firſt aſk’d his Name, and next his Buſineſs there.
The Youth, whoſe Cheeks betray’d his growing Fears,
From his wan Eye-balls pour’d a Flood of Tears,
Confeſs’d the Project of his teeming Brain,
And told the late Adventure of the Plain.
Then ſmil’d the Baron, and addreſs’d the Swain:
My Lord—your Servant—for not leſs, I find,
No meaner Title ſuits your lofty Mind:
But you muſt learn to uſe refulgent Arms,
E’er you can merit bright Alethia’s Charms;
To march thro’ Deſarts, and with Monſters fight,
And ſhare the Labours of a doughty Knight;C2 Make 20 C2v 20
Make trembling Nations to her Beauty yield,
And ſummon Giants to the hoſtile Field:
By this our ſturdy Fathers us’d to prove
Their Right to Fame, and to their Ladies Love;
Tho’ of their Deeds the long-revolving Years
Have left no Witneſs, but their ruſty Spears;
And our rebellious Sons refuſe to quake
At Arthur’s Name, or Lanc’lot of the Lake:
But I expect, before you claim your Prize,
My fair Alethia, with the charming Eyes,
That you exceed them in the Slaying Trade,
And ſpit fell Dragons on your ſmoaking Blade.
If theſe Conditions ſhake your flitting Mind,
Then ſtill be Mopſus, and a peaceful Hind:
Range o’er your Fields, and keep your ſnowy Fold
From Summer Surfeits, and the Winter’s Cold:
Let they white Pigs and tender Poultry ſhare
Thy lov’d Aſſiſtance, and thy daily Care:
From hungry Vermin guard thy Autumn Store,
And truſt thoſe tawny Oracles no more.
Here ceas’d the Baron; but the noiſy Train
With loud Huzza’s purſue the baffled Swain;
Who sought his Cottage with afflicted Mind;
And left Alethia and the Rout behind.
Now wretched Mopſus throught the neighb’ring Towns,
The Sport of Milkmaids, and the Jeſt of Clowns,
Abhors the Beams of all-reviving Light,
And hides in Corners, like the Bird of Night.
Twice three revolving Moons their Courſe had run,
Since our ſad Hero laſt beheld the Sun:
But thoſe low Buildings, that his Limbs confin’d,
Were much too baſe to hold his lofty Mind.
His roving Spirit took her uſual Rounds,
O’er diſtant Mountains, and majeſtic Towns;
From Place to Place romantic Fancy flew;
But London glitter’d in the faireſt View;C3 And 22 C3v 22
And ſtrong Deſires led his panting Soul,
To feaſt where Thames renowned Waters roll.
His Temper ne’er was taught to brook Delay:
He thinks, reſolves, and meditates the Way.
When the ſtill Village took its uſual Reſt,
And vexing Care had left the Peaſant’s Breaſt:
When drowſy Robin on his Couch repos’d,
And Sally’s Eyelids were in Slumber clos’d;
Then Fancy drew before his rolling Brain
The gay Deluſions of a ſhining Dream.
His mimic Steeds conduct the Youth with Eaſe
To Balls, Aſſemblies, Drawing-rooms, and Plays.
Before him now thoſe pompous Scenes appear,
Which in Deſcription charm’d his raviſh’d Ear:
He dines with Lords on Plates of ſolid Gold,
And talks with Ladies he muſt ne’er behold.
One pictur’d Beauty pleas’d the cheated Boy;
Fair as Alethia, and not half ſo coy:But, 23 C4r 23
But, as he reach’d to graſp the blooming Fair,
His baffled Arms enfold a neighb’ring Chair.
The rough Embrace awoke the ſtarting Swain,
And put a Finis to the golden Dream:
Then, riſing haſty, he reſolv’d to fly
Beneath the Covert of the duſky Sky.
Thought only makes our Enterprizes cool;
And daring Mopſus ſcorn’d to live by Rule:
But yet he fear’d his Purſe would ſcarce defray
The doubtful Charges of the tedious Way.
Then fraudful Need, that waits on each Degree,
The Thief’s Temptation, and the Poet’s Fee,
Inſtructed careful Mopſus where to run,
And, without Bond, receive the uſeful Sum.
His good old Sire had in his Coffer told,
Thrice ten Broad-pieces of refulgent Gold;
Which for his Landlord in bright Order lay,
And only wait their Doom at Quarter-Day:
Theſe Mopſus wiſely in his Pocket ſtow’d,
Smil’d at their Weight, and ſhook the pleaſing Load;C4 Then 24 C4v 24
Then with ſoft Pace he trod the ſounding Floor,
And laſt with Caution ſhut the creaking Door.
Farewel, he cry’d, low Roofs, and humble Walls!
Me kinder Stars and better Fortune calls
To ſtately Caſtles, and to ſhining Halls.
Now Chanticleer more loud began to ſing,
Stretch’d his long Neck, and clapp’d his joyful Wing,
Till to his Voice the little Roofs rebound,
And the Clock anſwer’d with a ſolemn Sound.
Three times the Hammer ſtruck the jarring Bell,
When jolly Mopſus took his long Farewel,
And ſped his Way to that majeſtic Town,
Where Paul’s fair Temple rears its lofty Crown.
Five Days did he the toilſome March purſue,
With ſparing Diet, and Adventures few:
But the ſixth Morn before his raviſh’d Eyes
Through ſmoaky Clouds the haughty Buildings riſe.
Now Hunger calls; an Ill he fain would cure;
But none invite him through their friendly Door;And 25 C5r 25
And Mopſus, who was lately taught to fear,
Throught ev’ry Manſion held a ſcornful Peer.
From Street to Street he wander’d tho’ the Croud,
Much wond’ring how they durſt to bawl ſo loud:
He’d often ſtart, expecting ev’ry Scream
Would wake a Counteſs in her Morning Dream.
Now Chloe, who ſat up till Four at Play,
Made ſhift by Twelve to riſe, and drink her Tea.
The buſy Footmen with their How-d’ye’s run:
The Park grew brilliant, and the rolling Sun
In his meridian Throne began to ſhine,
And Mopſus’ Stomach call’d aloud for Chine.
Then by a Stall, where tempting Apples lay,
He took his Station, and reſolv’d to ſtay,
Till Fortune, ſtill propitious to the Bold,
Should lead his ſomewhere, e’er the Meat was cold.
It chanc’d a rev’rent Dame was paſſing by,
Who caſt on Mopſus an experienc’d Eye.This 26 C5v 26
This Matron had, as by her Face appears,
In public Service ſpent her youthful Years:
Now grown too ugly in herſelf to pleaſe,
She thrives by Trade, and takes her needful Eaſe.
She underſtood her Buſineſs to a Hair;
Knew to a Peny what her Stocks would bear:
When ruin’d Beauty to her Mart came in;
A wiſe Director in the Bank of Sin.
This Beldam view’d him as an eaſy Prey,
That little Pains required to betray:
Drew near the Serpent, and her practis’d Guile,
With a low Court’ſy, and a fawning Smile.
Hail, Fortune’s Fav’rite, whom ſhe courts ſo young!
Freſh as the Fields from whence thy Beauty sprung!
I come, induc’d by charitable Laws,
To plead in Love and Beauty’s gentle Cauſe.
A Nymph there is, excelling half her Kind,
In charming Features, and a ſprightly Mind.
Nay, more, attend to what I next unfold;
Ten thouſand Pounds of all-enchanting GoldA 27 C6r 27
A doating Grandame left her, when ſhe dy’d:
How bleſt the Youth that wins the blooming Bride!
But let me now thy ſtrict Attention hold;
For Truths like theſe ſhould be in Whiſpers told:
Thy artleſs Charms have won the ſmiling Dame,
Who for thy ſake refuſes Weath and Fame.
Now ſpeak thy Mind, ſweet Youth, and let me bear
A gentle Sentence to the doubting Fair.
At this Confuſion ſeiz’d the raviſh’d Swain;
He bow’d, and bluſh’d; and bluſh’d, and bow’d again.
The ſubtle Dame beheld him at a Stand,
And with a Smile ſhe graſp’d his willing Hand.
Come on, ſhe cries; the fair Occaſion calls.
And led the Shepherd to her ſmoaky Walls,
Where Celia waited, in her Beſt array’d;
Celia, the wretched, ruin’d Maid,
Whoſe fatal Charms an early Conqueſt came;
A young Proficient in the School of Shame.This 28 C6v 28
This guileful Nymph receiv’d the ſimple Swain
With feign’d Confuſion, and a baſhful Mien:
But Dreams of Glory fill’d the raviſh’d Boy,
And his fluſh’d Features own’d the preſent Joy.
He ſtruts already with imagin’d Fame,
And gaz’d with Rapture on the ſhining Dame:
And now are loſt in Celia’s charming Face
Alethia’s Conqueſt, and his own Diſgrace.
But, Dinner comes; Ragouts and Fricaſies
With Sawces ſtronger than a Dutchman’s Cheeſe,
Are ſerv’d together in a ſmoaking Row;
To hungry Mopſus a delightful Show:
Next, ruddy Wine the ſprightly Banquet crown’d;
And then ſoft Voices to enchanting Sound;
While our briſk Youth, unread in future Harms,
In the gay Bumpers toaſted Celia’s Charms.
But now the Fumes aſcend his glowing Brain,
And mighty Sleep arreſts the feeble Swain:His 29 C7r 29
His careleſs Head againſt the Table fell,
And his dim Eye-balls bid the World farewel:
With Joy the Damſel heard her Victim ſnore,
And from his Purſe extracts the ſhining Ore.
It chanc’d a Thief had lately ’ſcap’d the Hands
Of frowning Juſtice, and her awful Bands:
To theſe fam’d Walls the Villain ſeem’d to ſteer,
And, as ſuſpected, found his Refuge there:
The raging Crew purſue their deſtin’d Game,
And ſearch the Manſion of the guilty Dame.
The Houſe was clear’d of all; they only found
Unhappy Mopſus ſleeping on the Ground.
A Place there is, at whoſe unpleaſing Name
Starts the pale Sinner, and his frighted Dame.
Where the hard Wretch, whom Lectures ne’er could charm,
Is taught Repentance by a Ruler’s Arm;
While lifted Hammers make the Roofs rebound,
And ſwelling Curſes aid the dreadful Sound.Here 30 C7v 30
Here theſe relentleſs drag the trembling Swain,
In ſpite of Pray’rs, and Tears that flow in vain;
For tho’ no Witneſs of his Guilt appear,
’Twas thought ſufficient that they found him there.
Now Mopſus, weeping for his native Bow’rs,
Exclaims at Fate, and blames the cruel Pow’rs;
His injur’d Father to his Soul appears,
And his ſick Eyes behold a Mother’s Tears,
He ſighs for Pity; but his Sighs are vain:
No Friend was near, to aid the ſtarving Swain:
Againſt pale Hunger ’twas in vain to ſtand:
He wrote a Letter with his trembling Hand,
Whoſe homely Phraſe in little, writ, could ſhow
A Son’s Misfortunes, and a Father’s Woe;
Exploring In the Original, a Pin is ſtuck againſt the Word Time; alſo, againſt the Words, Stood like a Poſt; and a little lower, againſt the Word reſolv’d; which ſeem intended to be alter’d for ſome other, had the Authreſs lived to reviſe her Works. Where-ever the Pin is found for the future, an Aſteriſk [*] will be inſerted. how he muſt in Priſon die
Without their Mercy, and a ſmall Supply.
Theſe Lines arriv’d, to wound a Father’s Eyes:
And his ſad Mother fills the Air with Cries:Her 31 C8r 29
Her ſtately Cheeſes in a trice were ſold:
Her Huſband turn’d his Oxen into Gold:
Then, with a Caution to be wild no more,
They to their Darling ſend the welcome Ore.
Now ſtruts the Youth—His Suff’rings at an End;
The Prince of Bridewel, and the Ruler’s Friend.
A pow’rful Guinea brib’d the Keeper’s Will:
He gain’d his Freedom; and the Law was ſtill.
A Peer there was within the Skirts of Fame,
A Viſcount; Simper was the Hero’s Name;
A gentle Lord, much honour’d by the Fair
For his rich Sword-knot, and his curling Hair.
This Chief, while luckleſs Mopſus was confin’d,
Had learn’d the Story of our wand’ring Hind:
A Fool he wanted long; but never yet
Judg’d one ſo aptly for his Purpoſe fit.
Whether by Chance, or by the Fates Decree,
Uncertain, Mopſus—but he fix’d on thee.A 32 C8v 32
A Sage he hir’d, whoſe deeply-thoughtful Skull
Could teach the Vulgar when the Moon was full;
Who ſcatter’d Hate among the friendly Stars,
And made e’en Venus retrograde to Mars.
His Lordſhip poſted this prophetic Seer
Away to Mopſus, with a fawning Leer,
To ſhew his Art, and for a little Sum
Inform our Youth of Ages yet to come.
This luckleſs Shepherd, who would fain be wiſe,
On the Mock-Wizard fix’d his ardent Eyes;
Three times he bow’d, and bleſs’d the awful Man:
This Greeting paſt—Sir Sidrophel began.
O happy Youth! Couldſt thou behold, like me,
What the kind Stars have now in Store for thee!
What Time fair Venus triumph’d o’er thy Form, In the Original, a Pin is ſtuck againſt the Word Time; alſo, againſt the Words, Stood like a Poſt; and a little lower, againſt the Word reſolv’d; which ſeem intended to be alter’d for ſome other, had the Authreſs lived to reviſe her Works. Where-ever the Pin is found for the future, an Aſteriſk [*] will be inſerted.
In the ſame Houſe a noble Lord was born.
Nay, hold—cries Mopſus—by my Father’s Sins,
I think you’re wrong—my Mother ne’er had Twins:
I came that Year my Father built his Barn;
Old Winfred bore me ſqualling in her Arms.’Twas 33 D1r 33
’Twas Valentine, of all the Days i’th’ Year,
As I remember; ſure no Lord was there.
Here ſmil’d the Sage—and thus purſu’d his Tale:
Nay, pr’ythee mind me; for I ſeldom fail.
This noble Lord, the Axle of your Fate,
’Tis he muſt raiſe you from your humble State.
But ſtay—methinks I ſee a double Cauſe:
O, now I find; there’s Marriage in the Clauſe:
His Lordſhip’s Siſter—Yes, it muſt be She.
When this ſhall come to paſs—remember me.
Here ceas’d the Oracle—The raviſh’d Boy,
Whoſe ſparkling Eyes eonfeſs’dconfeſs’d the welcome Joy,
Two Guineas gave—and whiſper’d in his Ear,
On Marriage-Day Two hundred Pounds a Year.
Next comes a Footman, with obſequious Mien;
Strait as a Lath, and as a Paſture, green;Vol. II. D Two 34 D1v 34
Two Pounds of Powder round his Temples ſpread,
And pale as Mario, when his Finger bled.
Good Maſter What-d-’ye’call, if that’s your Name;
My Bus’neſs is with you—Yes, Sir, the ſame.
Why then, in brief, my Lord has ſent to call
Your charming Preſence to his ſtately Hall;
And, if you pleaſe, I’d lead you with me now.
The raviſh’d Shepherd anſwer’d with a Bow.
Now joyful Mopſus bleſs’d the Fates again;
All his paſt Suff’rings ſeem an idle Dream;
And the ſly Guardian led his ſimple Ward
To the proud Palace of his wanton Lord.
The wond’ring Boy, with Rapture and Surprize,
Round the gay Parlours roll’d his dazled Eyes;
Where gaudy Carpets preſs the aking Sight,
And the Pier-Glaſs reflects a glaring Light.
There gilt Buffets their ſhining Doors unfold,
And here ſoft Paintings, in a Verge of Gold.
Now thro’ his Brain the uſual Vapours fly,
From the ſage Prophet to the Gypſy’s Lye;Quick 35 D2r 35
Quick and more quick the nimble Spirits flow,
And fanſy’d Honours round his Temples glow.
But ſee, my Lord, in courtly Diſhabille,
Juſt wak’d from Dreams of Hazard and Quadrille;
At ev’ry Step he took a lazy Yawn,
And his pale Cheek confeſs’d the Morning Qualm;
Firſt turn’d aſide, and whiſper’d with his Man;
And then his Lordſhip with a Smile began:
Accept an Office, gentle Swain, he cry’d,
Which Numbers ſeek, and Crouds have been deny’d:
A tender Charge I to your Care conſign,
A beauteous Siſter, and that Siſter mine.
Your Faith I aſk, and only That deſire,
The firſt Perfection of a Lady’s ’Squire.
Your Taſk is only to oblige the Fair;
A ſoft Employment, and a pleaſing Care:
Conſult your Eaſe;― In the Original, a Pin is ſtuck againſt the Word Time; alſo, againſt the Words, Stood like a Poſt; and a little lower, againſt the Word reſolv’d; which ſeem intended to be alter’d for ſome other, had the Authreſs lived to reviſe her Works. Where-ever the Pin is found for the future, an Aſteriſk [*] will be inſerted. ’tis much the ſame to me:
Chuſe what you like, and let your Choice be free.D2 Here 36 D2v 36
Here ceas’d the Baron—but the gazing Boy
Stood wrapt in Viſions of ecſtatic Joy:
Loſt in Amaze, his Tongue could hardly ſtir;
But ſoftly anſwer’d—At your Service, Sir.
Now Phyllis comes, who with her blaſted Fame
Had loſt the Virtue, and the Senſe of Shame;
Agrees to wed the Fool her Lord preſcribes,
Won by ſoft Language, and perſuaſive Bribes,
To wander through the tedious Path of Life
A ſlighted Miſtreſs, and an odious Wife.
Miſs Philly plays the Prude—looks wond’rous grave,
While the good Lord preſents her humble Slave;
Scarce deigns to ſmile; but with a Toſs or two
Cries, with a Piſh, Perhaps the Wretch may do.
Now dup’d In the Original, a Pin is ſtuck againſt the Word Time; alſo, againſt the Words, Stood like a Poſt; and a little lower, againſt the Word reſolv’d; which ſeem intended to be alter’d for ſome other, had the Authreſs lived to reviſe her Works. Where-ever the Pin is found for the future, an Aſteriſk [*] will be inſerted. Valet, and ſcented with Perfume,
Our Mopſus follow’d to his Lady’s Room:
But the chang’d Tyrant ſeems more humble now,
And ſofter Smiles adorn her gentle Brow:But 37 D3r 37
But the ſhock’d Youth ſtood gazing at the Fair,
Who call’d for Combs, and ſpread her ſhining Hair:
Thro’ Fear and Haſte he ſtumbles o’er the Stools:
The Lady laughs, and calls him fifty Fools:
She aſks for Powder, Patches, Paints and Creams:
Her ſervant ſtares, and wonders what ſhe means.
Next Morning, ere the Sun’s refulgent Eye
Had warm’d the Curtains of the bluſhing Sky;
While ſleeping Mopſus on his Couch was laid,
Beſide his Pillow ſtood a gentle Maid:
A Billet-doux her better Hand ſupplies;
She calls—he ſtarting, rubb’d his drowſy Eyes;
Then takes the Paper, and tranſported ſees
The Back ſubſcrib’d—To gentle Mopſus, Theſe.
The Phraſe was ſuch as warm Romance inſpires,
Compoſ’d of Tortures, Racks, and Darts, and Fires:
The Subject-matter, which the Lines contain,
Was but a Challenge to the ſimple Swain;D3 That 38 D3v 38
That if he durſt to meet the deſp’rate Fair
In yonder Chapel, ere the Hour of Pray’r;
The ready Prieſt ſhould bind their faithful Hands,
She hopes in bliſsful—but in laſting Bands.
Then haſte! O Haſte! Prevent the growing Day;
For thouſand Dangers wait the leaſt Delay. In the Original, a Pin is ſtuck againſt the Word Time; alſo, againſt the Words, Stood like a Poſt; and a little lower, againſt the Word reſolv’d; which ſeem intended to be alter’d for ſome other, had the Authreſs lived to reviſe her Works. Where-ever the Pin is found for the future, an Aſteriſk [*] will be inſerted.
The Youth, tranſported in the laſt Extreme,
Still rubb’d his Eyes, and fear’d ’twas all a Dream:
Then ſtarted from his Bed; but while he dreſt,
Hugg’d the dear Billet to his glowing Breaſt.
Now eager Mopſus to the Chapel run;
Nor ſtay’d the Witneſs of the riſing Sun;
Where Phyllis waited in her ſhining Pride,
And the fall’n Miſtreſs there commenc’d a Bride:
But ſoon, too ſoon, the diſappointed Boy
Found a quick Period to his promis’d Joy.
Now ſwells with Laughter the inſulting Peer;
Pale Mopſus trembles, and the Servants ſneer;
But, undeceiv’d, what Soul-diſtracting Pain,
What ſobbing Anguiſh, fill’d the mourning Swain,
Who found, inſtead of Coronets and Fame,
His Counteſs dwindled to a Hackney Dame!
Then, doubly wretched, from the Roofs of Pride
The Youth retires with his mincing Bride,
And ſought a Lodging, neareſt to the Sky;
For, tho’ dejected, ſtill his Aim was high:
There, when five Nights had their dark Progreſs run,
The ſixth gay Morning brought a ſmiling Son.
But Mopſus, cold with Sorrow and Surprize,
Gaz’d on the Infant with affrighted Eyes:
The careful Nurſe rich Cordials muſt prepare
For his ſick Lady, and adopted Heir;
While with Affliction, better gueſs’d than told,
The ſighing Huſband mourns the flying Gold.
At length his Spouſe bewails her Loſs of Time,
Neglected Beauties, and declining Prime:
Muſt She, who has by more prevailing Charms
Divorc’d a Counteſs from her Huſband’s Arms;
Whom Practice taught, and Nature form’d to pleaſe;
In a loath’d Garret ſpend her irkſome Days?
No; let the Prude, that never walk’d aſtray,
’Cause none would tempt her from the dubious Way,
Grow lean with Railing, and with Envy pine;
Be charming Freedom and ſoft plenty mine.
Thus ſhe: And Fortune ſeconds her Deſire;
She grows the Darling of a keeping ’Squire;
And the ſoft Dame, who from the poliſh’d Times
Had learn’d, that Starving was the worſt of Crimes,
Reſolves to leave her Spouſe, and little Son,
To ſhine once more, before her Glaſs was run.
Thus happier Mopſus loſt the Scourge of Life
(So Unbelievers often term a Wife):
The ſlighted Infant too reſign’d its Breath,
And ſought In the Original, a Pin is ſtuck againſt the Word Time; alſo, againſt the Words, Stood like a Poſt; and a little lower, againſt the Word reſolv’d; which ſeem intended to be alter’d for ſome other, had the Authreſs lived to reviſe her Works. Where-ever the Pin is found for the future, an Aſteriſk [*] will be inſerted. its Refuge in the Arms of Death.
Now preſſive Want induc’d the longing Swain,
Once more to ſeek his late deſpiſed Plain:
According , In the Original, a Pin is ſtuck againſt the Word Time; alſo, againſt the Words, Stood like a Poſt; and a little lower, againſt the Word reſolv’d; which ſeem intended to be alter’d for ſome other, had the Authreſs lived to reviſe her Works. Where-ever the Pin is found for the future, an Aſteriſk [*] will be inſerted. ere the regent Prince of Day
Through the cold Scorpion drove his ſhor’ned Ray,
Repentant Mopſus trudg’d before the Wind,
And left the City and his Woes behind.
No ſhining Slaves his weary Steps attend,
A Scrip his Subſtance, and a Staff his Friend:
No more theſe Viſions in his Boſom ſwell;
For his ſick Heart has bid the Court Farewel.
At length, with Viſage pale, and Garments poor,
The Youth appear’d before his Father’s Door:
Their Neighbors hail the late-returning Boy:
His Father claſp’d him with a Parent’s Joy:His 42 D5v 42
His Mother’s Eyes with Tears of Pleaſure run:
She drops her Knitting, to embrace her Son.
Here with calm Virtue, and a peaceful Mind,
In rural Plenty, dwells the ſober Hind:
His equal Days in one ſmooth Tenor run;
The ſame at riſing as declining Sun:
No more Deluſions in his Fancy riſe,
Grown grave by Sorrow, by Experience wiſe.
An Epiſtle to Artemiſia. On Fame.
Say, Artemiſia, do the Slaves of Fame
Deſerve our Pity, or provoke our Blame?
Whoſe airy Hopes, like ſome new-kindled Fire,
A Moment blaze, and then in Smoke expire;
Or like a Babe i’th’ midſt of Plenty cry,
And leave their Supper for a painted Fly.
Bold Maro paints her of gigantic Size,
And makes her Forehead prop the lofty Skies;
With Eyes and Ears he hung the Lady round,
And her ſhrill Clarion ſhook the Heavens around:
Then worthy Names the trembling Notes prolong,
And Actions blazing in immortal Song;
But, weary now, and grown an antient Maid,
Her Strength exhauſted, and her Lungs decay’d;Her 44 D6v 44
Her unſpread Wings reſign their plumy Pride,
And her hoarſe Trumpet dangles by her Side.
A Handmaid leads the purblind Dame along,
Black Slander call’d, with never-ceaſing Tongue;
And when this Servant whiſpers in her Ears,
She to her Mouth the heavy Trumpet rears:
The rattling Concave ſends a horrid Cry,
And ſmoaking Scandals hiſs along the Sky;
Yet round her ſtill the ſupple Vot’ries croud,
And pay Devotion to a painted Cloud:
The fond Ixions ſpread their longing Arms,
And graſp a Vapour for a Juno’s Charms.
The Hero brave, that never knew to ſhun
The pointed Cannon, or the burſting Gun,
Of Bruiſes vain, and prodigal of Scars,
Returns from Pillage, and ſucceſsful Wars.
But if the ſullen Rout refuſe to pay
The vulgar Triumphs of a noiſy Day,To 45 D7r 45
To his ſad Boſom pale Deſpondence creeps,
And the ſtern Soldier like an Infant weeps:
Caballing Sceptics ſhake the frighted Gown,
And Poets tremble at an Idiot’s Frown:
The Scorn of Fools can pierce a noble Heart,
And wound an Author in the tend’reſt Part.
Rich Merrio thought, like Eaſtern kings, to raiſe
By lofty Columns everlaſting Praiſe;
His broad Foundations half the Field ſurround,
And Piles of Timber load the ſinking Ground.
This Heav’n beheld, and ſmil’d at ſeeing Man,
Whoſe Joy is Vapour, and whoſe Life a Span,
Who Death’s black Warrant ev’ry Moment fears,
Still building Caſtles for a thouſand Years.
On this grand Wretch was paſs’d an early Doom;
And Merrio, ſummon’d to the ſilent Gloom,
Feels, ere his Eyes behold the glowing Spires,
The Stroke of Fate, and with a Sigh expires.All 46 D7v 46
All reas’ning Creatures, tho’ by diff’rent Ways,
Would prove their Title to a Share of Praiſe.
Cornelia’s Praiſe conſists in plaiting well;
Paſtora’s Fingers at a Knot excel:
Her gaudy Ribbands gay Sabina furls;
But looks with Envy on Aurelia’s Curls.
Unhappy Delia thought, a ſhining Gown
Would gain Reſpect, and win the gazing Town;
But Envy roſe, to clip her riſing Wings;
And, grinning ghaſtly (as the Poet ſings),
In Claudia’s Shape diſſolv’d the Lady’s Pride,
And ſlily whiſper’d, Delia’s Gown is dy’d.
Ev’n Mira’s Self, preſuming on the Bays,
Appears among the Candidates for Praiſe:
Has watch’d Applauſe, as from the Lips it fell;
With what Succeſs?—Why, that the Muſe ſhall tell.
May Artemiſia not refuſe to hear!
For Praiſe could ne’er offend her gentle Ear.47 D8r 47
I count the Patrons of my early Song,
And pay the Tribute to their Shares belong:
What Sorrows too oppreſs’d the Muſe’s Wing,
Till your Good-nature gave her Strength to ſing!
Once Delpho read—Sage Delpho, learn’d and wiſe,
O’er the ſcrawl’d Paper caſt his judging Eyes,
Whoſe lifted Brows confeſs’d a Critic’s Pride,
While his broad Thumb mov’d nimbly down the Side.
His Form was like ſome Oracle profound:
This liſt’ning Audience form’d a Circle round:
But Mira, fixing her preſuming Eyes
On the ſtern Image, thus impatient cries:
Sir, will they proſper?—Speak your Judgment, pray.
Replies the Statue—Why, perhaps they may.
For further Anſwers we in vain implore:
The Charm was over, and it ſpoke no more.
Creſſida comes, the next unbidden Gueſt;
Small was her Top-knot, and her Judgment leſs:
A decent Virgin, bleſt with idle Time,
Now gingles Bobbins, and now ponders Rhime:
Not ponders—reads—Not reads—but looks ’em o’er
To little Purpoſe, like a thousand more.
Your Servant, Molly.
I am yours the ſame.
I pay this Viſit, Molly, to your Fame:
’Twas That that brought me here; or let me die.
My Fame’s oblig’d: And truly ſo am I.
Then fetch me ſomething; for I muſt not ſtay
Above four Hours.
But You’ll drink ſome Tea?
We ſip, and read; we laugh, and chat between.
The Air is pleaſant, and the Fields are green.3 “My 49 E1r 49
Well, Molly, ſure, there never was thy Fellow.
But don’t my Ruffles look exceeding yellow?
My Apron’s dirty—Mira, well, I vow,
That Thought of yours was very pretty now.
I’ve read the like, tho’ I forget the Place:
But, Mrs. Mira, How-d’ye like my Lace?
Afflicted Mira, with a languid Eye,
Now views the Clock, and now the Weſtern Sky.
The Sun grows lower: Will you pleaſe to walk?
No; read ſome more.
But I had rather talk.
Perhaps you’re tired.
Truly that may be.
Or think me weak.
Why, Creſſy, Thoughts are free.
At laſt we part, with Congees at the Door:
I’d thank you, Mira, but my Thanks are poor.
I wiſh, alas! But Wiſhes are in vain.
I like your Garden; and I’ll come again.Vol. II. E “Dear, 50 E1v 50
Dear, how I wiſh! — I do, or let me die,
That we liv’d near.
—Thinks Mira, So don’t I.
This Nymph, perhaps, as ſome had done before,
Found the cold Welcome, and return’d no more.
Then Vido next to Mira’s Cott appears,
And with ſoft Praiſe ſalutes her liſt’ning Ears;
Whoſe Maxim was, with Truth not to offend,
And, right or wrong, his Bus’neſs to commend.
Look here, cries Mira; pray peruſe this Song:
Ev’n I, its Parent, ſee there’s ſomething wrong.
But you miſtake: ’Tis excellent indeed.
Then I’ll correct it.
No, there is no need.
Pray, Vido, look on theſe: Methinks they ſmell
Too much of Grub-ſtreet: That myſelf can tell.
Not ſo indeed, they’re eaſy and polite.
And can you bear ’em?
I could read till Night.4 But 51 E2r 51
But Mira, tho’ too partial to the Bays,
And, like her Brethren, not averſe to Praiſe,
Had learn’d this Leſſon: Praiſe, if planted wrong,
In more deſtructive than a ſpiteful Tongue.
Comes Codrus next, with Talents to offend;
A ſimple Tutor, and a ſaucy Friend,
Who pour’d thick Sonnets like a troubled Spring,
And ſuch as Butler’s wide-mouth’d Mortals ſing:
In ſhocking Rhimes a Nymph’s Perfections tells,
Like the harſh Ting-Tong of ſome Village-Bells.
Then a rude Quarrel ſings thro’ either Ear,
And Mira’s Levee once again is clear.
Now the dull Muſes took their uſual Reſt;
The Babes Her Poems. ſlept ſoundly in their tiny Cheſt.
Not ſo their Parent: Fortune ſtill would ſend
Some proud Director, or ill-meaning Friend:E2 At 52 E2v 52
At leaſt we thought their ſowre Meanings ill,
Whoſe Lectures ſtrove to croſs a ſtubborn Will.
Parthenia cries, Why, Mira, you are dull,
And ever muſing, till you crack your Skull;
Still poking o’er your What-d’ye-call—your Muſe:
But pr’ythee, Mira, when doſt clean thy Shoes?
Then comes Sophronia, like a barb’rous Turk:
You thoughtleſs Baggage, when d’ye mind your Work?
Still o’er a Table leans your bending Neck:
Your Head will grow prepoſt’rous, like a Peck.
Go, ply your Needle: You might earn your Bread;
Or who muſt feed you when your Father’s dead?
She sobbing anſwers, Sure, I need not come
To you for Lectures; I have ſtore at home.
What can I do?
—But I will.
Then get thee packing—and be aukward ſtill.
Thus wrapp’d in Sorrow, wretched Mira lay,
Till Artemiſia ſwept the Gloom away:
The laughing Muſe, by her Example led,
Shakes her glad Wings, and quits the drowſy Bed.
Yet ſome Impertinence purſues me ſtill;
And ſo I fear it ever muſt, and will.
So ſoft Pappilia o’er the Table bends
With her ſmall Circle of inſipid Friends;
Who wink, and ſtretch, and rub their drowſy Eyes,
While o’er their Heads Imperial Dulneſs flies.
What can we do? We cannot ſtir for Show’rs:
Or what invent, to kill the irkſome Hours?
Why, run to Leapor’s, fetch that idle Play:
’Twill ſerve to laugh at all the live-long Day.
Preferment great! To beat one’s weary Brains,
To find Diverſion only when it rains!
Methinks I feel this coward Boſom glow:
Say, Artemiſia, ſhall I ſpeak, or no?
The Muſe ſhall give herſelf no ſaucy Airs,
But only bid ’em ſoftly—Read their Pray’rs.
Advice to Sophronia.
When Youth and Charms have ta’en their wanton Flight,
And tranſient Beauty bids the Fair Good-night;
When her once ſparkling Eyes ſhall dimly roll;
Then let the Matron dreſs her lofty Soul;
Quit Affectation, Partner of her Youth,
For Goodneſs, Prudence, Purity, and Truth.
Theſe Virtues will her laſting Peace prepare,
And give a Sanction to her Silver Hair.Theſe 55 E4r 55
Theſe Precepts let the fond Sophronia prove,
Nor vainly dreſs her blinking Eyes with Love.
Can Roſes flouriſh on a leafleſs Thorn,
Or dewy Woodbines grace a wintry Morn?
The weeping Cupids languſh in your Eye;
On your brown Cheek the ſickly Beauties die.
Time’s rugged Hand has ſtrok’d your Viſage o’er;
The gay Vermilion ſtains your Lip no more.
None can with Juſtice now your Shape admire;
The drooping Lilies on your Breaſt expire.
Then, dear Sophronia, leave thy fooliſh Whims:
Diſcard your Lover with your fav’rite Sins:
Conſult your Glaſs; then prune your wanton Mind;
Nor furniſh Laughter for ſucceeding Time.
’Tis not your own; ’tis Gold’s all-conqu’ring Charms
Invites Myrtillo to your ſhrivell’d Arms:
And ſhall Sophronia, whoſe once lovely Eyes
Beheld thoſe Triumphs which her Heart deſpis’d:E4 Who 56 E4v 56
Who look’d on Merit with a haughty Frown;
At Five-and-fifty take a bearleſs Clown?
Ye pitying Fates, this wither’d Damſel ſave,
And bear her ſafely to her Virgin Grave.
Proper Ingredients for the Head of a Beau, found amongſt the Rules of Prometheus.
First, with Spring-Water, and unweary’d Pain,
Cleanſe the ſmall Fibres, and take out the Brain;
No Jot of Senſe muſt in your Skull be found;
But ſixteen Pounds of Folly, nicely ground;
A dozen Pound of Ignorance, or more,
Mixt up with Noiſe and Impudence good Store:
Infuſe them ſoftly o’er a mod’rate Heat;
To which you add ten Pounds of Self-Conceit.A 57 E5r 57
A little Learning you muſt take: Likewiſe
Juſt as much Wit as on a Six-pence lies:
A Drachm of Poetry may not be ill;
Two Pounds of Rhet’ric, with an Ounce of Skill.
Theſe, rightly manag’d, will expreſly ſhow
That pleaſing Trifle Mortals call a Beau:
For each depending Pow’r, by Nature led,
Will more ſpontaneous to its kingly Head:
And when the Joints their uſual Taſk begin,
You’ll ſee the Coxcomb ſhine in ev’ry Limb.
To Lucinda. 1746-08[August, 1746.]
Lucinda, Fav’rite of indulgent Heav’n,
To whom its Bleſſings are profuſely giv’n;
By Nature with each uſeful Talent grac’d;
In an exalted Sphere by Fortune plac’d;
Where all that Art or Learning can beſtow,
T’improve thoſe Talents, ’tis thy Lot to know;
Thou, who haſt ever been the poor Man’s Friend,
Vouchſafe thy kind Protection to extend:
Accept this Tribute of a rural Maid,
Who longs, aſſiſted by thy friendly Aid,
To nobleſt Themes her artleſs Voice to raiſe,
And ſtrives to ſing her Great Creator’s Praiſe.
Like a poor Bird, who ſwells its little Throat,
And warbles forth its native untaught Note:If 59 E6r 59
If chance ſome ſkilful Maſter tune the Reed,
To his rough Lay melodious Sounds ſucceed:
He learns th’harmonious Leſſon to repeat,
Wond’ring to hear his Muſic grown ſo ſweet.
Fain would I to Lucinda’s Ear impart
How Reaſon dawn’d upon my Infant Heart,
Whilſt in laborious Toils I ſpent my Hours,
Employ’d to cultivate the ſpringing Flow’rs.
Happy, I cry’d, are thoſe who Leiſure find,
With Care, like this, to cultivate their Mind:
But partial Fate to me this Bliſs denies,
To ſearch for Knowledge with unweary’d Eyes;
To turn, well pleas’d, th’ inſtructive Volume o’er;
The ſecret Springs of Science to explore;
And by the Taper’s pale and trembling Light
In uſeful Studies to conſume the Night.
’Tis not your Pomp, your Titles, or your State,
That move my Envy, O ye Rich and Great!The 60 E6v 60
The nobleſt Gift God can on Man beſtow,
Is teaching him his ſacred Will to know:
Th’ Almighty’s ſacred Will’s to you reveal’d;
But from the Ignorant in Clouds conceal’d.
The Chains of Want forbid my Heart to riſe,
When ſhe would ſoar to reach her Kindred Skies.
While thus I ſpake, methought a Voice I heard,
Which all my Doubts remov’d, and Darkneſs clear’d:
Forbear, it cry’d, raſh, impious Maid! forbear
T’ arraign thy Maker’s providential Care:
Tho’ diff’rent Stations are aſſign’d by Heav’n,
Virtue and Happineſs to all are giv’n.
When the bright Source of Life withdraws his Fires,
What if thou know’ſt not whither he retires,
Or whence returns to glad the teeming Earth?
Thou ſeeſt his Preſence gives to all Things Birth:
Thou hear’ſt the Birds ſalute the riſing Day:
Thou feelſt the Warmth of his all-chearing Ray.Learn 61 E7r 61
Learn hence the Lord of Nature to adore
In all his Works: Say, can the Sage do more?
Or wouldſt thou learn thy Paſſions to controul,
To pierce the dark Receſſes of the Soul?
Ev’n here the Lamp of Reaſon is thy Guide;
Nay more, th’Almighty has not here deny’d
The bleſt Aſſiſtance of a clearer Light,
To teach us how to ſhape tow’rds Heav’n our Flight:
One little Book the mighty Sum contains:
To all alike their Father’s Will explains:
To all who with ſincere and humble Hearts
Reſolve to ſeek him, God his Laws imparts.
O Thou Great Being, whom all Things obey,
From the leaſt Atom to the Globe of Day!Whom 62 E7v 62
Whom (from bleſt Europe to the Pagan Shore)
Jews, Chriſtians, Turks, in diff’rent Forms adore!
Ev’n the blind Infidel, whoſe narrow Mind
Was ne’er by Morals, nor by Arts refin’d;
Who frames his Deity of temper’d Clay,
Or hails a Serpent at the riſing Day;
Is ſurely by his glimm’ring Reaſon told
There’s ſomething further than his Eyes behold:
And when he bows before the lifeleſs Stone,
His Heart pays Homage to the God Unknown.
O Thou, have Mercy on the wretched Bands,
Who to their Fellows lift their weary Hands
In vain—for Pity (that celeſtial Gueſt)
Is found but ſeldom in a Victor’s Breaſt.
See gazing Crouds the trembling Wretch deride,
Who ſtands arraign’d before the Seats of Pride;
Whoſe Pageant Forms delay the deſtin’d Blow,
As Death were made for Paſtime and for Show.Who, 63 E8r 63
Who, without Sorrow, can a Sight behold
Of rattling Chains, and Cheeks with Horror cold;
Of mournful Peers inſulted by their Slaves,
And Hundreds dragg’d from Dungeons to their Graves?
’Tis Juſtice calls, the ſtern Enthuſiaſts cry,
Who dreſs her up in Robes of purple Dye.
I love her Charms when ſofter they appear:
But O, ſhe’s ghaſtly, when ſhe frowns ſevere!
What Crouds are there by Prejudice undone;
With Error blinded, and Perſuaſion won!
Some with a Friend have trod the fatal Way,
Whoſe Morals elſe were fair as riſing Day:
Theſe undiſtinguiſhed with the Numbers die:
And do not Theſe deſerve a melting Eye?
Whoſe Fate embitters the ſucceeding Lives
Of their ſad Orphans, and their widow’d Wives.
My Heart, no more—but thy own Buſineſs mind:
’Tis not for me—to regulate Mankind.
An Eſſay on Woman.
Woman—a pleaſing, but a ſhort-liv’d Flow’r,
Too ſoft for Buſineſs, and too weak for Pow’r:
A Wife in Bondage, or neglected Maid;
Deſpis’d, if ugly; if ſhe’s fair—betray’d.
’Tis Wealth alone inſpires ev’ry Grace,
And calls the Raptures to her plenteous Face.
What Numbers for thoſe charming Features pine,
If blooming Acres round her Temples twine?
Her Lip the Strawberry; and her Eyes more bright
Than ſparkling Venus in a froſty Night.
Pale Lilies fade; and when the Fair appears,
Snow turns a Negro, and diſſolves in Tears.And 65 F1r 65
And where the Charmer treads her magic Toe,
On Engliſh Ground the Arabian Odours grow;
Till mighty Hymen lifts his ſceptred Rod,
And ſiks her Glories with a fatal Nod;
Diſſolves her Triumphs; ſweeps her Charms away,
And turns the Goddeſs to her native Clay.
But, Artemiſia, let your Servant ſing
What ſmall Advantage Wealth and Beauties bring.
Who would be wife, that knew Pamphilia’s Fate?
Or who be fair, and join’d to Sylvia’s Mate?
Sylvia, whoſe Cheeks are freſh as early Day;
As Ev’ning mild, and ſweet as ſpicy May:
And yet That Face her partial Huſband tires,
And thoſe bright Eyes, that all the World admires.
Pamphilia’s Wit who does not ſtrive to ſhun,
Like Death’s Infection, or a Dog-Day’s Sun?
The Damſels view her with malignant Eyes:
The Men are vex’d to find a Nymph ſo wiſe:Vol. II. F And 66 F1v 66
And Wiſdom only ſerves to make her know
The keen Senſation of ſuperior Woe.
The ſecret Whiſper, and the liſt’ning Ear,
The ſcornful Eyebrow, and the hated Sneer;
The giddy Cenſures of her babbling Kind,
With thouſand Ills that grate a gentle Mind,
By her are taſted in the firſt Degree,
Tho’ overlooked by Simplicus, and me.
Does Thirſt of Gold a Virgin’s Heart inſpire,
Inſtill’d by Nature, or a careful Sire?
Then let her quit Extravagance and Play;
The briſk Companion; and expenſive Tea;
To feaſt with Cordia in her filthy Sty
On ſtew’d Potatoes, or on mouldy Pye;
Whoſe eager Eyes ſtare ghaſtly at the Poor,
And fright the Beggars from her hated Door:
In greaſy Clouts ſhe wraps her ſmoky Chin,
And holds, that Pride’s a never-pardon’d Sin.If 67 F2r 67
If this be Wealth, no matter where it falls;
But ſave, ye Muſes, ſave your Mira’s Walls:
Still give me pleaſing Indolence, and Eaſe;
A Fire to warm me, and a Friend to pleaſe.
Since, whether ſunk in Avarice, or Pride;
A wanton Virgin, or a ſtarving Bride;
Or, wond’ring Crouds attend her charming Tongue;
Or deem’d an Idiot, ever ſpeaks the Wrong:
Tho’ Nature arm’d us for the growing Ill,
With fraudful Cunning, and a headſtrong Will;
Yet, with ten thouſand Follies to her Charge,
Unhappy Woman’s but a Slave at large.
The Epiſtle of Deborah Dough.
Dearly beloved Couſin, Theſe
Are ſent to thank you for your Cheeſe:
The Price of Oats is greatly fell:
I hope your Children are all well
(Likewiſe the Calf you take Delight in);
As I am at this preſent writing.
But I’ve no News to ſend you now;
Only I’ve loſt my brindled Cow;
And that has greatly ſunk my Dairy:
But I forgot our Neighbour Mary;
Our Neighbour Mary, —who, they ſay,
Sits ſcribble-ſcribble all the Day,
And making—what—I can’t remember;
But ſure ’tis ſomething like December;A 69 F3r 69
A froſty Morning—Let me ſee—
O! now I have it to a T.
She throws away her precious Time
In ſcrawling nothing elſe but Rhyme;
Of which, they ſay, ſhe’s mighty proud,
And lifts her Noſe above the Croud;
Tho’ my young Daughter Cicely
Is taller by a Foot than ſhe,
And better learnt (as People ſay):
Can knit a Stocken in a Day:
Can make a Pudden, plump and rare;
And boil her Bacon, to an Hair:
Will coddle Apples nice and green,
And fry her Pancakes—like a Queen.
But there’s a Man that keeps a Dairy,
Will clip the Wings of Neighbor Mary:
Things wonderful they talk of him;
But I’ve a Notion ’tis a Whim.F3 Howe’er, 70 F3v 70
Howe’er, ’tis certain he can make
Your Rhymes as thick as Plumbs in Cake:
Nay more, they ſay, that from the Pot
He’ll take his Porridge, ſcalding hot,
And drink ’em down;—and yet they tell ye,
Thoſe Porridge ſhall not burn his Belly:
A Cheeſe-cake o’er his Head he’ll throw;
And when ’tis on the Stones below,
It ſha’n’t be found ſo much as quaking,
Provided ’tis of his Wife’s making:
From this ſome People would infer
That this good Man’s a Conjurer.
But I believe it is a Lye;
I never thought him so; not I:
Tho’ Win’fred Hobble, who, you know,
Is plagu’d with Corns on ev’ry Toe,
Sticks on his Verſe with faſt’ning Spittle,
And ſays it helps her Feet a little.
Old Frances too his Paper tears,
And tucks it cloſe behind her Ears;And 71 F4r 71
And (as ſhe told me t’other Day)
It charm’d her Tooth-ach quite away.
Now as thou’rt better learnt than me,
Dear Cos, I leave it all to thee,
To judge about this puzzling Man,
And ponder wiſely; —for you can.
Now, Couſin, I muſt let you know,
That while my Name is Deborah Dough,
I ſhall be always glad to ſee ye,
And what I have, I’ll freely gi’ ye.
’Tis One o’Clock, as I’m a Sinner;
The Boys are all come home to Dinner;
And I muſt bid you now Farewel:
I pray remember me to Nell,
And for your Friend I’d have you know
Your loving Couſin
Complaining Daphne. A Pastoral.
Old Tellus’ Head was newly crown’d with Flow’rs,
And wanton Zephyrs fann’d the youthful Bow’rs:
The glowing Foreſts ſhone with purple Pride
And each fond Turtle ſought his gentle Bride:
Gay Phœbus too had drove his flaming Wheels
To the blue Verge of Thetis’ liquid Fields;
When Celia muſing took her lonely Way,
To ſhare the Fragrance of declining Day.
The charming Scene induc’d the Numph to rove
Thro’ the ſmooth Viſta’s of a blooming Grove.
A Silver Brook along the Surface ſtray’d,
Whoſe ſhallow Waters prattled as they play’d.Here 73 F5r 73
Here crouding Daiſies bluſh’d with fairer Dye,
And the fair Cowſlip rais’d its golden Eye,
While panting Gales along the Borders die.
Not far from hence (where thicker Branches made
A ſolemn Whiſtling, and a duſky Shade,
Where Philomela ſooth’d the Shepherd’s Care)
Sat blooming Daphne with a penſive Air.
On her fair Hand ſhe lean’d her beauteous Head,
And with her Elbow preſs’d the flow’ry Bed;
Some ſecret Sorrow made her Boſom riſe,
And drew a Miſt before her lovely Eyes.
Grave Celia, ſafe behind the friendly Shade,
Attentive ſtood, to hear the tuneful Maid:
The liſt’ning Waters gently roll’d along,
While thus the Dame began her plaintive Song:
Ye gaudy Meadows, rich with Flora’s Charms,
Where cooling Rivers ſtretch their ſhining Arms;0,3 74 F5v 74
O, lend your Sweets! ’Tis Daphne calls your Aid;
And let your Odours chear a drooping Maid.
Ye waving Oaks, with Honeyſuckles twin’d,
Beneath your Shade, O, let me Slumber find!
Come, ſweet Oblivion, ſeize my reſtleſs Mind.
Alas! I preſs the moſſy Couch in vain:
New Thoughts are crouding on my fertile Brain:
Theſe weary Eyelids ſhun their wiſh’d Repoſe,
And with new Fire this aking Boſom glows.
Not ſo the laughing Days were wont to glide,
When ſmiling Cynthio wander’d by my Side:
But far! ah! far, from this dejected Plain,
Now roves my cruel, marble-hearted Swain.
Cruel! But why?—He knows not Daphne’s Woe,
Nor ſees the Tears that for his Abſence flow.
Be ſecret, O ye Groves; nor let the Charmer know.
Ye gentle Winds! O, bear my darling Swain,
My lovely Cynthio, to his native Plain.
At ſultry Noon I ſeek the cooling Streams;
At Ev’ning wander o’er the dewy Plains:
In vain my Soul for Recreation tries;
His Image ſwims before my ſickly Eyes.
Then flatt’ring Fancy ſummons ev’ry Grace,
And paints the Beauties of his pleaſing Face.
I hear the Accents of his tuneful Tongue,
More ſweet than Muſic, and harmonious Song;
See his bright Eyes with ſprightly Fancies roll,
And winning Smiles, that prove a tender Soul.
Ye gentle Winds! O, bear my darling Swain,
My lovely Cynthio, to his native Plain.
Ye Pow’rs!—but hold—Thoſe happy Forms above,
My ſacred Guardians, heed no Tales of Love;And 76 F6v 76
And myſtic Fate perhaps foreſaw it wiſe,
To raviſh Cynthio from my aking Eyes.
’Tis true, the Swain is fair as riſing Day;
The Loves and Graces round his Features play:
Yet he may wear a Heart replete with Guile,
And cover Miſchief with a fraudful Smile:
And fooliſh Daphne to her Coſt ſhall find
Her heav’nly Cynthio like his earthly Kind.
Then ſtay, O ſtay, far from our peaceful Plain;
Nor let me ſee that pleaſing Face again.
Go, fly, my Cynthio, where Ambition calls,
And ſmiling Flatt’ry paints her gilded Walls:
Let happier Daphne ſpend her equal Days
With guiltleſs Pleaſure, and ſubſtantial Eaſe.
Ye Winds, forbear to bring the charming Swain,
The lovely Cynthio, to his native Plain.
Oft, I remember, in my Infant Pride,
When Daphne wander’d by her Mother’s Side;
When, fledg’d with Joy, the dancing Minutes flew,
Nor Grief nor Care this guildleſs Boſom knew;
As oft ſhe led me at Meridian Day,
To weed our Corn, or turn the fragrant Hay;
If then I ſunk beneath the parching Heat,
And my quick Pulſe with flutt’ring Motion beat,
While fainting Sweats my weary Limbs invade;
Her Care convy’d me to a Beechen Shade.
There with her Hand ſhe preſs’d my throbbing Head,
And laid me panting on a flow’ry Bed;
Then ſat beſide me in the friendly Bow’r;
Long Tales ſhe told, to kill the tedious Hour;
Of lovely Maids to early Ruin led,
Who once were harmleſs as the Flocks they fed;
Of ſome induc’d with gaudy Knights to roam
From their dear Parents, and their bliſsful Home;Till, 78 F7v 78
Till, each deſerted by her changing Friend,
The pageant Wretches met a woful End.
And ſtill howe’er the mournful Tale began,
She always ended—Child, beware of Man.
Yes, ſacred Shade! you ſhall Obedience find;
I’ll baniſh Cynthio from my ſickly Mind.
Come, ſweet Content, and long-deſired Reſt!
Two welcome Strangers! to my aking Breaſt:
Purl on, ye Streams! ye Flow’rets, ſmile again!
Your chearful Daphne ſhall no more complain:
Haſte, Philomela, with thy charming Lay,
And tune thy Chorals to the falling Day:
Ye Sylvan Siſters! come; ye gentle Dames,
Whoſe tended Souls are ſpotleſs as your Names!
Henceforth ſhall Daphne only live for you;
Content—and bid the lordly Race Adieu;
See the clear Streams in gentler Murmurs flow,
And freſher Gales from od’rous Mountains blow.Now 79 F8r 79
Now the charm’d Tempeſt from my Boſom flies:
Sweet Slumber ſeizes on my willing Eyes.
Ye Winds, no more I aſk the tempting Swain:
Go fan the Sweets of yonder flow’ry Plain.
When you, Sophronia, did my Senſe beguile
With your Half-promiſe, and conſenting Smile;
What Shadows ſwam before theſe dazled Eyes!
Fans, Lace, and Ribbands, in bright Order riſe:
Methought theſe Limbs your ſilken Favours found,
And thro’ ſtreight Entries bruſh’d the ruſtling Gown;
While the gay Veſtment of delicious Hue
Sung thro’ the Iſle, and whiſtled in the Pew.
Then, who its Wearer, by her Form ſhall tell:
No longer Mira, but a ſhining Belle.Such 80 F8v 80
Such Phantoms fill’d theſe giddy Brains of mine;
Such golden Dreams on Mira’s Temples ſhine;
Till ſtern Experience bid her Servant riſe,
And Diſappointment rubb’d my drowſy Eyes.
Do thou Sophronia, now thy Arts give o’er,
Thy little Arts; for Mira’s Thoughts no more
Shall after your imagin’d Favours run,
Your ſtill-born Gifts, that ne’er behold the Sun.
Your Nods, ſly Glances, and ſoft Whiſpers, are
Like well-bred Vido’s Friendſhip to the Fair,
So fine, ’tis melted at th’Approach of Air.
When Vido ſpeaks, the liſt’ning Nymphs attend
The ſmooth Locution of their ſmiling Friend;
Deluded Girls! whom Reaſon has not taught
To ſound the mazy Depths of Vido’s Thought.
His praiſe is not to make the Graces known
Of Celia’s Wiſdom, but exalt his own;
Or, when he chuſes for his ſkilful Tongue
A Theme ſo low as Mira’s ſimple Song,’Tis 81 G1r 81
’Tis not his Comment on the artleſs Lines,
But his own Genius in the Lecture ſhines;
And when he bows, ’tis that the World may ſee
His own good Manners, not Reſpect to me.
Live long, Sophronia, under Fortune’s Smile,
Happy and eaſy, let your Slave the while,
Regardleſs both of Cenſure and of Praiſe,
Enjoy her Whims, and wrap herſelf in Bays.
To You who ne’er our Verſe refuſe,
A Friend to Mira, and her Muſe.
When Night, array’d in ſable Robe,
Spreads her ſoft Pinions o’er the Globe:
When Care her murm’ring Plaint gives o’er,
And reſtleſs Lovers ſigh no more;Vol. II. G Let 82 G1v 82
Let not thoſe Eyes be kept till Day
Awake—for Mira’s luckleſs Lay.
Let not a Sigh your Boſom teaze,
Nor reſtleſs Thought diſturb its Eaſe;
Nor penſive Vapours ſeal your Tongue,
’Cauſe Folks will cenſure Mira’s Song.
Let not its Guardian mourn—for why?
Its Parent’s not inclin’d to cry.
Still we ſhall eat; and ſtill be gay;
And range the Fields at cloſing Day.
Should Fortune (yes) or or Frienſhip flie,
There ſtill remains the Muſe and I,
Until the ſhort-breath’d Race be o’er,
And I muſt view the Sun no more.
Then ſome kind Friend (when they ſhall lay
This Body in its deſtin’d Clay)
Around my Grave ſhall twiſt a Briar;
No lying Marble I deſire.But 83 G2r 83
But the palin Stone with Chizel form’d,
But rudely ſhapen and adorn’d;
Inſcrib’d with—Natus Anno Dom
Here lies Mary in this Tomb.
And there’s no odds, that I can ſpy,
’Twixt Mary Queen of Scots and I.
So Poets, ſo ſhall Critics fall,
Cits, Wits, and Courtiers, Kings and all,
Hands that wrote or held a Flail,
Tongues that us’d to ſooth or rail;
Rivals there no more contend,
And there Ambition finds an End.
Cicely, Joan, and Deborah: An Eclogue.
’Twas when the Sun had bid our Fields Adieu,
And thirſty Flowers ſip the riſing Dew;G2 That 84 G2v 84
That ruddy Joan (a ſprightly Dame, I ween)
Walk’d forth to Viſit Cicely o’th’ Green.
All ſadly dight the hapleſs Maid ſhe found
In ſable Night-cap, and in Sorrows drown’d,
With Eyes caſt downward, and diſhevel’d Hair;
Till thus her Neighbour greets the mourning Fair.
Why how now, Cicely?—What’s the Matter now?
What a cold Sweat hangs dropping on thy Brow!
Thy Eyes brim-full—Why how thou look’ſt Today!
Like Verjuice ſowre, and as pale as Whey!
For what I weep, Ah! Joan, didſt thou but know,
Thou’dſt pity (ſure) not wonder at my Woe.
Ah wretched Maid! thus ever let me cry,
From Morn till Night; then lay me down, and die.
Ah! tell me, Cicely—tho’ to aſk I dread;
Yet, pr’ythee, tell me; Is old Brindle dead?
(Since yeſter Morn I have not heard her lowe)
If ſo—who would not weep for ſuch a Cow?
’Tis not for her I ſhed this ſcalding Tear:
Ah! no—old Brindle is not half ſo dear!
I’ve loſt—But who—for Sobs I cannot tell;
And his laſt Word was—Cicely, farewel.
O how I tremble!—pr’ythee, tell me who?
Young Colin Clumſey—He was known to you.
For ever curs’d be that ſame Market-day,
When a vile Serjeant led my Youth aſtray!
Far from his Home my Colin’s doom’d to die,
My lovely Colin with the rolling Eye.
Yet bear thy Sorrows with a patient Mind:
They ſay the Duke is to his Soldiers kind.
So may he thrive, and all Rebellions quell,
As he ſhall uſe thy much-lov’d Colin well!
Ah! ſooth me not—There’s nothing left for me,
But the clear Fountain, and the Willow Tree.
Since Colin’s fled, no more I turn the Wheel:
There lies the Spindle, and the uſeleſs Reel.
Be patient, Girl; and ſtop that falling Tear:
For here comes Deb’rah with a Quart of Beer.
So, Neighbour, ſo; we’ve ſpecial News To-day,
Or elſe Dame Deb’rah wou’d not look ſo gay.
We’ve kill’d two thouſand of the Rogues (d’ye mind?)
Egad, their Gen’ral durſt not look behind;Tho’ 87 G4r 87
Tho’ Gaffer Doubt-man (with the blinking Eye)
Says, ’tis but Fifty—and that’s pretty nigh.
Then let us Drink—Come, Cicely, to thy Dear!
We’ll have no Whining nor no Sniv’ling here.
Health to the Duke, and all that do him Aid!
How Cicely drinks!—but Cicely is a Maid.
’Tis a brave Man, and has a lucky Hand,
This Duke of what d’ye call it—Cumberland.
Heav’n bleſs this Duke, and all his Train! ſay I.
Let’s pledge thee, Cicely; for I’m deadly dry.
My Huſband loſt his Purſe at Cheatham Fair.
Laſt Night a Beam broke down, and kill’d the Mare.
Theſe Things are hard to ſuch as thee and I:
But yet we’ll drink, becauſe the Rebels fly.
This Beer is good—Say, how d’ye like it? ho!
And shall I fetch the other Pot, or no?
Hark, the Men ſhout, and Bonfires light the Plain:
Then ſhall we ſit, and lick our Lips in vain?
Troth, Goody Deb’rah, troth, it is a Crime
To drink ſo much—but only for the Time.
Bring t’other Quart, although there is no need
But one Draught more, and I have done indeed.
Was I the Sport of Simo’s idle Tongue,
Did ſowre Maurus criticize my Song,
Did ſtern Prœciſus blame my want of Grace,
Or ſprightly Strephon titter at my Face,This 89 G5r 89
This I cou’d bear with an heroic Mind;
Nor (like a Poet) take Revenge in kind:
Their rude Reproach wou’d glide neglected by,
Nor ſteal one Slumber from my cloſing Eye;
Paſs by un-felt, as diſtant Thunders roll:
But, from a Friend, it ſtabs the inmoſt Soul;
Darts through the Boſom with a mortal Sting;
Strikes to the Heart, and probes the vital Spring.
O Reaſon! ſay, Haſt thou a cordial Balm
To ſtop this Tear, and make the Tempeſt calm?
Tell me, ’tis I that aggravate the Pain:
My Friend was kind; but only ſpoke too plain.
This may be true—But ’tis a conſtant Rule,
They muſt deſpiſe me, who can think me Fool.
With fanſy’d Spots ſhou’d we our Friends upbraid?
Why muſt that Folly to her Charge be laid,
Which Mira’s Foes, who at a Lye excell,
Forget to number, when her Faults they tell;
And which (tho’ I no mighty Wiſdom boaſt)
Amongſt all Follies I abhor the moſt?
With Face that never chang’d its wonted Hue,
See Dunco, bleſt, amid the ſtupid Crew;
Whoſe lazy Blood ſtill keeps an equal Flow;
Whoſe Cheek with Bluſhes ne’er was taught to glow.
Ill-natur’d Jeſts may round the Table fly:
You read no Anguiſh in his ſtedfaſt Eye.
He finds them not, by Dullneſs fortify’d;
But ſtill reſts happy with un-feeling Pride.
This Friend is falſe; but he will ne’er complain:
And This expires; yet he feels no Pain.
Let Friends, or Fortune, fly which Way they will;
Yet ſtupid Dunco will be Dunco ſtill.
He neither Sorrow nor Compaſſion knows:
Theſe are the Souls that ſhare a fix’d Repoſe.
Wretched are they, whoſe tender Spirits know
A keen Sensation from the ſlighteſt Woe;
Whoſe ſwelling Hearts each little Blow offends,
That’s giv’n by Malice, or miſtaken Friends;3 Whoſe 91 G6r 91
Whoſe buſy Thoughts are always on the Wing,
And pick out Satire when there’s no ſuch thing.
Such through falſe Optics all their Wrongs behold.
(Who would be faſhion’d in ſo fine a Mould?)
Hence-forth, ye Wits, receive it as a Rule;
There’s none ſo happy, as the Dunce and Fool.
The Pocket-Book’s Soliloquy.
Ah! cruel Fortune, fickle Dame,
Alas! where am I now?
With me let Mortals curſe the Name,
And ſhun thy tempting Brow.
Directed to a fairer Dome,
From Lud’s great Town I came:
Contented left my native Home,
To ſerve a gentle Dame.
There fondly hoping to endure,
I bleſt the happy Change,
And reſted in her Smile ſecure:
For who would wiſh to range?
But She, alas! the cruel She!
Has caſt me from her Arms;
And not a Hope remains for me,
And my degraded Charms.
Was it for this the Artiſt made
Theſe ſhining Robes for me,
In hopes to pleaſe ſome beauteous Maid,
Or Nymph of high Degree?
Muſt I for ever here remain,
And in Oblivion ſleep?
Some Poet’s God, oh! eaſe my Pain,
Or give me Eyes to weep!
Some Friend in Pity tear away
This Robe of ſhining Hue;
And like my Fate, be my Array,
A Gown of dirty Blue.
And thou, great Saturn, Foe to Rhyme!
Be thou a Friend to me:
Preſerve me in this dang’rous Time:
From Metre keep me free.
Should Mira ſtain my ſnowy Page,
Do thou compoſe her Head.
Let thy cold Opium ſpoil her Rage,
And turn her Pen to Lead.
The Pocket-Book Petition to Parthenissa.
Slaves will be heard, and ſo will I.
Tho’ Princes ſhun the hated Cry;Yet 94 G7v 94
Yet Partheniſſa’s gentle Ear,
At leaſt, will not refuſe to hear.
Tho’ I’m diſcarded from your Train,
To grace the Cottage of a Swain;
In Darkneſs doom’d to curſe my Fate,
And ſerve a Miſtreſs that I hate;
Yet no Invectives will I throw
On you, whoſe Bounty caus’d my Woe.
I only aſk, to pleaſe my Pride,
I aſk—(and now you look aſide)
The Favour’s great to Me, ’tis true;
But ſure it means no Harm to you.
Dear Madam, only take your Pen,
And dip it in your Ink; and then
Move o’er my Leaves your eaſy Hand:
Then ſprinkle on a little Sand:
This done, return me when you pleaſe,
And I from hence will live at Eaſe;
Nor once, repining at my Cell,
With Darkneſs, Dirt, and Mira, dwell.
Parthenissa’sAnſwer to the PocketBook’s Soliloquy.
Written in the ſame; and returned to Mrs. Leapor next Day.
Can Mira’s Pen offend thy Pride?
Inſulting Varlet! come:
Then mine ſhall ſcrall thy ſwelling Side,
And ſend thee raving Home.
Yes, Minion, ſince thou can’ſt decline
The Honours of her Hand,
And fawningly ſolicit mine;
Enjoy thy wiſe Demand.
Already would’ſt thou fly? But ſtay:
Not yet you paſs my Door.
’Tis true I have not much to ſay;
Yet long to plague thee more.
How undeſerv’d thy happy Fate!
Till thou haſt learnt to prize
True Merit planted in a State
That blinds thy partial Eyes.
Oh! ſpare your Lead: It hurts my Page.
Hold out, avenging Pow’r!
Thou well deserv’ſt it, if my Rage
Should keep thee here this Hour.
Didſt thou not inſolently dare
To ſpurn at Mira’s Lays?
So may each mean Deſpiſer fare;
That envies her the Bays!
To mortify thy fooliſh Pride,
That ſtands ſo plain confeſs’d,
Take a Friend’s Word; thy gay Outſide
Is Tinſel, at the beſt.
Then boaſt no more thy gaudy Cloaths,
Nor once preſume to think,
Thou can’ſt deſerve, in Verſe or Proſe,
A Drop of Mira’s Ink.
But go, and humbly ſue thy Peace:
Then, if ſhe can forgive,
And deign to touch thy vacant Leaves,
They may for Ages live.
What better could thy Fate decree,
What more Ambition hope?
Know’ſt thou who ’twas accepted thee?
The Succeſſor of Pope.
The pitying Muſes, at his Death,
The drooping World to chear,
Reclaim’d his fleeting tuneful Breath,
And kindly fix’d it here.
Who would have thought it? Let me go:
For Pity let me pray.
So haſty, Friend?―Releaſe me, oh!
’Tis cruel to delay.
Nature undone by Art.
When firſt Alexis bleſs’d our wond’ring Eyes,
Like ſome young De’ty of the pregnant Skies;
His blooming Form by Nature richly dreſs’d;
Nor purple Crime had ſtain’d his iv’ry Breaſt:His 99 H2r 99
His pleaſing voice diffus’d a gen’ral Joy,
And liſt’ning virgins bleſs’d the charming Boy.
His juſt Reflections, while they taught, allur’d;
His Smiles were harmleſs, and his Language pure:
He learn’d with Pleaſure, and he taught with Eaſe:
Whate’er Alexis did, was ſure to pleaſe.
Gorgonian Malice found a ſoothing Charm;
No envious Tongue could wiſh Alexis Harm:
For thrifty Nature, like a partial Mother,
To form one lovely Image, ſtrips another;
And makes the beauteous Darling of her Breaſt
Perfection only, while ſhe ſtarves the reſt.
On this gay Youth ſhe laviſh’d all her Pride,
Till he, ingrateful, wander’d from her Side:
Then poliſh’d Art, with her affected Train
Of glitt’ring Shadows, won the cheated Swain;
Diſſimulation roll’d her leering Eyes,
With courteous Knavery, and well-bred Lyes;
Affectation, Pride; a motly Throng;
And ſmiling Flatt’ry, with her ſilver Tongue:H2 Theſe 100 H2v 100
Theſe taught thoſe once engaging Eyes to roll,
And caſt Pollution on his tainted Soul.
In his dark Breaſt tumultuous Paſſions riſe,
Where guilty Flame and ſmother’d Hatred lies.
Now the chang’d Idiot can his Rhet’ric ſpend
To praiſe a Coxcomb, or deceive his Friend.
His Heart, whence Truths eternal us’d to ſpring,
Where Honour reign’d as undiſputed King,
Is now a Dungeon for the Dregs of Sin.
Deceit, Ingratitude, and Av’rice, now
Have ſtain’d the Whiteneſs of his alter’d Brow:
Not worth our Pity, and below Diſdain;
We look with Loathing, and we hear with Pain.
Mira to Octavia.
Octavia, lovelieſt of thy charming Kind,
Whoſe pleaſing Form is but a beauteous Shrine
To thouſand Virtues, and a fairer Mind;Your 101 H3r 101
Your wond’ring Servant has been lately told,
That you, deſpiſing Settlements and Gold,
Reſolve to take Philander, poor and gay,
To Have and Hold, for Ever and for Aye.
Pardon my Fault, in off’ring to adviſe
A thinking Virgin, like Octavia wiſe:
Fate knew your Worth, and did her Fav’rite raiſe
Above my Cenſure, and beyond my Praiſe:
But out-law’d Poets ſcorn the beaten Rules,
And leave Diſtinction to the Forms of Fools;
Can make e’en Jove deſcend in golden Show’rs,
And form new Statues on Olympian Bow’rs:
Or, ſhiv’ring by the Side of rural Springs,
At Courtiers rail, and ſatirize on Kings.
Of theſe am I, who with preſumptuous Pen,
Subſcribe myſelf the fair Octavia’s Friend:
But how ſhall we that honour’d Title prove
To a young Lady, and attack her Love?H3 Frown 102 H3v 102
Frown not, ſweet Virgin; we’ll Decorums keep;
Philander’s Faults ſhall in Oblivion ſleep.
Peace to his Name!—Theſe only are deſign’d
A ſimple Lecture to our eaſy Kind.
But round us firſt an Audience let me call:
Draw near, and liſten, O ye Maidens all.
of Wives I ſing, and Huſbands, not a few:
Examples rare! ſome fictions, and ſome true.
You, bright Octavia, need no cautious Rule,
To know, deteſt, and ſhun an irkſome Fool:
But leſs ſagacious Virgins often take
Nonſenſe for Wit, and rue the dire Miſtake.
Of theſe, Pamela, beauteous without Pride;
Bleſs’d with more Senſe than half her Sex beſide;
Was in her Prime by Youths incircled round,
Who, as ſhe trod, adr’d the hallow’d Ground;
Till, tir’d of Flatt’ry, and the odious Chace,
She fled for Shelter to a Fool’s Embrace:Yet 103 H4r 103
Yet her calm Brow betrays no ſullen Frown,
And her own Virtue ſpares the Idiot’s Crown.
But could our Eyes behold the deep Receſs,
Where ſoft Pamela’s Thoughts in private reſt,
You’d find, in ſpite of Hymen’s ſacred vows,
Ten Hours in Twelve that ſhe abhors her Spouſe.
’Tis true, this Caſe will not Octavia fit;
For ev’n his Foes allow Philander Wit;
In whoſe dear Cauſe ſo ſtrongly you diſpute:
But then remember Sylvia, and be mute.
Sylvia the Fair, her Father’s only Pride,
To noble Lyſias was a beauteous Bride;
Lyſias, admir’d by all the gazing Croud,
With Wit good-natur’d, nor with Learning proud;
Well vers’d in Morals, and in ſacred Song;
Nor e’er was heard to give his Judgment wrong.
His Smiles more Converts than his Precepts won;
The Proud and Stubborn to his Lectures run:H4 For 104 H4v 104
For none like Lyſias could the Froward win;
And Youths were proud of a Rebuke from him:
A kind Companion, and a faithful Guide;
Pleaſant to all, except his doating Bride.
Ah! now his Guilt our next Attention calls:
The Act is over, and the Curtain falls.
Through a bright Scene of Virtues we have ran;
But here our Saint degen’rates into Man.
Yet Sylvia might the niceſt Fancy pleaſe;
And all her Actions wore a graceful Eaſe:
Adorn’d with ev’ry Charm that ſweetens Life;
No Fault ſhe had, except the name of Wife;
Till ſmother’d Grief the fading Roſes tore
From her ſoft Cheek, and Sylvia ſhines no more.
Now her gay Spouſe amongſt his Friends ſurvey,
Smiling as ſweetly as the riſing Day;
Who Fit in Rapture, with their Senſes hung,
On the bewitching Muſic of his Tongue.Juſt 105 H5r 105
Juſt in their Mirth comes in his humble Fair,
With ſmiling Viſage, and obſequious Air;—
My Dear, are you at Leiſure? Dinner ſtays—
He, frowning, anſwers: I’ll conſult my Eaſe.
Hence with your dull Impertinence, I pray;
And talk of Vapours o’er your darling Tea.
She goes, with aching Heart, and ſtreaming Eyes,
To curſe her Fondneſs, and the Fate of Wives.
Tycho, with Study and Ill-nature ſour’d;
With Learning peeviſh, and with Spleen devour’d;
Diſdains to look on aught below the Sky:
And his bright Celia ſits neglected by.
His prattling Infants make their Court in vain;
The rolling Planets fill his working Brain;
Whoſe Syſtems make the trembling Stars afraid,
And Virgo bluſhes like an earthy Maid.
While thus he triumphs thro’ th’ ethereal Way,
Can Tycho bear the Sight of human Clay?Ah! 106 H5v 106
Ah! Celia, no:—I pray give o’er your Tears:
No Room for Wife among the ſhining Spheres.
Chloe, a Prude, the ſtricteſt of her Tribe,
Renounc’d all Sin, except her darling Pride:
Pamphilia’s Wit as Blaſphemy ſhe view’d,
And call’d the Smiles of Leonora lewd.
If Men were by, ſhe could not taſte her Tea;
Nor ſcarce diſtinguiſh Brandy from Bohea.
To Church ſhe ventur’d, if the Sky was clear;
But ſaw no Soul, except the Parſon, there.
She read the Pſalms, ſecur’d behind her Fan;
But loſt her Sentence at the Sight of Man.
Enthuſianio ſaw this ſober Maid:
Enthuſianio was to Love betray’d.
As great a Sinner, and a Saint, was he;
And much a greater Hypocrite than She.
Twelve honeſt Youths he to the Army ſent:
Their Crimes were eating Sauſages in Lent.He 107 H6r 107
He broke his Page unhappy Ralpho’s Crown,
Becauſe he trod upon the Parſon’s Gown.
He courted Chloe in no vulgar Style;
Nor e’er approach’d her with an earthly Smile:
With Sternhold’s Phraſe he won the lovely Dame:
No witty Couplet did his Lips profane:
He ſcorn’d the Language and the Court of Beaux,
And ſent her Bibles, ’ſtead of Billet-doux.
This modeſt Virgin took her ſerious Slave,
As a kind Uſher to her ſilent Grave;
With him would rail at Poetry and Play,
And mutter Scandal o’re her morning Tea;
The Hearts of Maidens in their Dreſs could view,
And ſhrewdly blame the Tye on Celia’s Shoe,
The Knot of Sylvia, —Zephalinda’s Curl;
And Wretches headlong to Deſtruction hurl.
But now her Lamb has ſhed his borrow’d Skin,
And ſtands confeſt the brazen Wolf of Sin.And 108 H6v 108
And yet the Fool, with Impudence and Pride,
Still preaches Duty to his mourning Bride;
That Men unqueſtion’d round the World may roam,
While the good Wife, at her induſtrious Home,
Without repining, muſt her Lord obey,
Nor without Leave ſhould taſte her fav’rite Tea:
Women ſhould feed on ſimple Meats and thin:
High Food inſpir’d the wand’ring Mind to Sin.
And when her Spouſe in ſecret would attend
His wanton Miſtreſs, or his drunken Friend.
He to her Cloſet leads this humble Fair;
Bids her be good; and ſhuts her up to Pray’r:
Thus may Octavia in our Picture ſee,
What others are, and She muſt ſhortly be.
Poets and Painters then, perhaps you’ll cry,
Oft in their Satire, and their Canvas, lye.
But, dear Octavia, in the Caſe of Wife,
I fear the Shade but faintly apes the Life.
Yet, not a Rebel to your Hymen’s Law,
His ſacred Altars I behold with Awe:
Nor Foe to Man, for I acknowledge yet
Some Men have Honour, as ſome Maids have Wit.
But then remember, theſe, my learned Fair,
Old Authors tell us, are extremely rare.
And ſhall Octavia proſtitute her Store,
To buy a Tyrant with the tempting Ore?
Beſides, I fear your Shackles will be found
Too dearly purchas’d with a thouſand Pound.
Then be the charming Miſtreſs of thy Gold;
While young, admir’d; and rev’renc’d, when you’re Old.
The Grave and Sprightly ſhall thy Board attend,
The gay Companion, and the ſerious Friend.
Let meagre Wits a kind Acceptance find,
And boaſt they lately with Octavia din’d.Let 110 H7v 110
Let hungry Orphans there redreſs their Woes;
Pity for theſe, let Mira plead for thoſe.
So may your Days in Halcyon Moments run,
Happy at riſing and declining Sun!
Still may Octavia bleſs the infant Day,
And ſtill with Smiles behold its parting Ray!
Till thoſe gay Roſes bid your Cheeks adieu,
And your brown Locks ſhall take a ſilver Hue.
Then, calm as weary Infants ſeek Repoſe,
Octavia ſhall her beauteous Eye-lids cloſe;
Then ſable Night ſhall lead a weeping Train
Of melting Sorrows o’er the mourning Plain:
With real Sighs ſhall youthful Boſoms ſwell,
And crouding Virgins ſeek a laſt Farewel:
Pity ſhall triumph in the Breaſts of Men;
And Eyes ſhall weep, which never wept till then.
When Friends or Fortune frown on Mira’s Lay,
Or gloomy Vapours hide the Lamp of Day;
With low’ring Forehead, and with aching Limbs,
Oppreſs’d with Head-ach, and eternal Whims,
Sad Mira vows to quit the darling Crime:
Yet takes her Farewel, and repents, in Rhyme.
But ſee (more charming than Armida’s Wiles)
The Sun returns, and Artemiſia ſmiles:
Then in a trice the Reſolutions fly;
And who ſo frolick as the Muſe and I?
We ſing once more, obedient to her Call;
Once more we ſing; and ’tis of Crumble-Hall;That 112 H8v 112
That Crumble-Hall, whoſe hoſpitable Door
Has fed the Stranger, and reliev’d the Poor;
Whoſe Gothic Towers, and whoſe ruſty Spires,
Were known of old to Knights, and hungry Squires.
There powder’d Beef, and Warden-Pies, were found:
And Pudden dwelt within her ſpacious Bound:
Pork, Peas, and Bacon (good old Engliſh Fare!),
With tainted Ven’ſon, and with hunted Hare:
With humming Beer her Vats were wont to flow,
And ruddy Nectar in her Vaults to glow.
Here came the Wights, who battled for Renown,
The ſable Frier, and the ruſſet Clown:
The loaded Tables ſent a ſav’ry Gale,
And the brown Bowls were crown’d with ſimp’ring Ale;
While the Gueſts ravag’d on the ſmokling Store,
Till their ſtretch’d Girdles would contain no more.
Of this rude Palace might a Poet ſing
From cold December to returning Spring;Tell 113 I1r 113
Tell how the Building ſpreads on either Hand,
And two grim Giants o’er the Portals ſtand;
Whoſe griſled Bears are neither comb’d nor ſhorn,
But look ſevere, and horribly adorn.
Then ſtep within—there ſtands a goodly Row
Of oaken Pillars—where a gallant Show
Of mimic Pears and carv’d Pomgranates twine,
With the plump Cluſters of the ſpreading Vine.
Strange Forms above, preſent themſelves to View,
Some Mouths that grin, ſome ſmile, and ſome that ſpew.
Here a ſoft Maid or Infant ſeems to cry:
Here ſtands a Tyrant, with diſtorted Eye:
The Roof—no Cyclops e’er could reach ſo high:
Not Polypheme, tho’ form’d for dreadful Harms,
The Top could meaſure with extended Arms.
Here the pleas’d Spider plants her peaceful Loom:
Here weaves ſecure, nor dreads the hated Broom.Vol. II I But 114 I1v 114
But at the Head (and furbiſh’d once a Year)
The Heralds myſtic Compliments appear:
Round the fierce Dragon Honi Soit twines,
And Royal Edward o’er the Chimney ſhines.
Safely the Mice through yon dark Paſſage run,
Where the dim Windows ne’er admit the Sun.
Along each Wall the Stranger blindly feels;
And (trembling) dreads a Spectre at his Heels.
The ſav’ry Kitchen much Attention calls:
Weſtphalia Hams adorn the ſable Walls:
The Fires blaze; the greaſy Pavements fry;
And ſteaming Odours from the Kettles fly.
See! yon brown Parlour on the Left appears,
For nothing famous, but its leathern Chairs,
Whoſe ſhining Nails like poliſh’d Armour glow,
And the dull Clock beats audible and ſlow.
But on the Right we ſpy a Room more fair:
The Form—’tis neither long, nor round, nor ſquare;
The Walls how lofty, and the Floor how wide,
We leave for learned Quadrus to decide.
Gay China Bowls o’er the broad Chimney ſhine,
Whoſe long Deſcription would be too ſublime:
And much might of the Tapeſtry be ſung:
But we’re content to ſay, The Parlour’s hung.
We count the Stairs, and to the Right aſcend,
Where on the Walls the gorgeous Colours blend.
There doughty George beſtrides the goodly Steed;
The Dragon’s ſlaughter’d, and the Virgin freed:
And there (but lately reſcu’d from their Fears)
The Nymph and ſerious Ptolemy appears:
Their aukward Limbs unwieldy are diſplay’d;
And, like a Milk-wench, glares the royal Maid.
From Hence we turn to more familiar Rooms;
Whoſe Hangings ne’er were wrought in Grecian Looms:
Yet the ſoft Stools, and eke the lazy Chair,
To Sleep invite the Weary, and the Fair.
Shall we proceed?—Yes, if you’ll break the Wall:
If not, return, and tread once more the Hall.
Up ten Stone Steps now pleaſe to drag your Toes,
And a bright Paſſage will ſucceed to thoſe.
Here the ſtrong Doors were aptly fram’d to hold
Sir Wary’s Perſon, and Sir Wary’s Gold.
Here Biron ſleeps, with Books encircled round;
And him you’d gueſs a Student moſt profound.
Not ſo—in Form the duſty Volumes ſtand:
There’s few that wear the Mark of Biron’s Hand.
Would you go farther?—Stay a little then:
Back thro’ the Paſſage—down the Steps again;
Thro’ yon dark Room—Be careful how you tread
Up theſe ſteep Stairs—or you may break your Head.
Theſe Rooms are furniſh’d amiably, and full:
Old Shoes, and Sheep-ticks bred in Stacks of Wool;
Grey Dobbin’s Gears, and Drenching-Horns enow;
Wheel-ſpokes—the Irons of a tattr’d Plough.
No farther—Yes, a little higher, pray:
At yon ſmall Door you’ll find the Beams of Day,
While the hot Leads return the ſcorching Ray.
Here a gay Proſpect meets the raviſh’d Eye:
Meads, Fields, and Groves, in beauteous Order lie.
From hence the Muſe precipitant is hurl’d,
And drags down Mira to the nether World.
Thus far the Palace—Yet there ſtill remain
Unſung the Gardens, and the menial Train.I3 Its 118 I3v 118
Its Groves anon—its People firſt we ſing:
Hear, Artemiſia, hear the Song we bring.
Sophronia firſt in Verſe ſhall learn to chime,
And keep her Station, tho’ in Mira’s Rhyme;
Sophronia ſage! whoſe earned Knuckles know
To form round Cheeſe-cakes of the pliant Dough;
To bruiſe the Curd, and thro’ her Fingers ſqueeze
Ambroſial Butter with the temper’d Cheeſe:
Sweet Tarts and Pudden, too, her Skill declare;
And the ſoft Jellies, hid from baneful Air.
O’er the warm Kettles, and the ſav’ry Steams,
Grave Colinettus of his Oxen dreams:
Then, ſtarting, anxious for his new-mown Hay,
Runs headlong out to view the doubtful Day:
But Dinner calls with more prevailing Charms;
And ſurly Gruffo in his aukward Arms
Bears the tall Jugg, and turns a glaring Eye,
As tho’ he fear’d ſome Inſurrection nigh
From the fierce Crew, that gaping ſtand a-dry.
O’er-ſtuff’d with Beef; with Cabbage much too full,
And Dumpling too (fit Emblem of his Skull!)
With Mouth wide open, but with cloſing Eyes
Unwieldy Roger on the Table lies.
His able Lungs diſcharge a rattling Sound:
Prince barks, Spot howls, and the tall Roofs rebound.
Him Urs’la views; and, with dejected Eyes,
Ah! Roger, Ah! the mournful Maiden cries:
Is wretched Urs’la then your Care no more,
That, while I ſigh, thus you can ſleep and ſnore?
Ingrateful Roger! wilt thou leave me now?
For you theſe Furrows mark my fading Brow:
For you my Pigs reſign their Morning Due:
My hungry Chickens loſe their Meat for you:
And, was it not, Ah! was it not for thee,
No goodly Pottage would be dreſs’d by me.
For thee theſe Hands wind up the whirling Jack,
Or place the Spit acroſs the ſloping Rack.I4 “I 120 I4v 120
I baſte the Mutton with a chearful Heart,
Becauſe I know my Roger will have Part.
Thus ſhe—But now her Diſh-kettle began
To boil and blubber with the foaming Bran
The greaſy Apron round her Hips ſhe ties,
And to each Plate the ſcalding Clout applies:
The purging Bath each glowing Diſh refines,
And once again the poliſh’d Pewter ſhines.
Now to thoſe Meads let frolick Fancy rove,
Where o’er yon Waters nods a pendant Grove;
In whoſe clear Waves the pictur’d Boughs are ſeen,
With fairer Bloſſoms, and a brighter Green.
Soft flow’ry Banks the ſpreading Lakes divide:
Sharp-pointed Flags adorn each tender Side.
See! the pleas’d Swans along the Surface play;
Where yon cool Willows meet the ſcorching Ray,
When fierce Orion gives too warm a Day.
But, hark! what Scream the wond’ring Ear invades!
The Dryads howling for their threaten’d Shades:
Round the dear Grove each Nymph diſtracted flies
(Tho’ not diſcover’d but with Poet’s Eyes):
And ſhall thoſe Shades, where Philomela’s Strain
Has oft to Slumber lull’d the hapleſs Swain;
Where Turtles us’d to clap their ſilken Wings;
Whoſe rev’rend Oaks have known a hundred Springs;
Shall theſe ignobly from their Roots be torn,
And periſh ſhameful, as the abject Thorn;
While the ſlow Carr bears off their aged Limbs,
To clear the Way for Slopes and modern Whims;
Where baniſh’d Nature leaves a barren Gloom,
And aukward Art ſupplies the vacant Room?
Yet (or the Muſe for Vengeance calls in vain)
The injur’d Nymphs ſhall haunt the ravag’d Plain:Strange 122 I5v 122
Strange Sounds and Forms ſhall teaze the gloomy Green;
And Fairy-Elves by Urs’la ſhall be ſeen:
Their new-built Parlour ſhall with Echoes ring:
And in their Hall ſhall doleful Crickets ſing.
Then ceaſe, Diracto, ſtay thy deſp’rate Hand;
And let the Grove, if not the Parlour, ſtand.
Upon her Play being returned to her, ſtained with Claret.
Welcome, dear Wanderer, once more!
Thrice welcome to thy native Cell!
Within this peaceful humble Door
Let Thou and I contented dwell!
But ſay, O whither haſt thou rang’d?
Why doſt thou bluſh a Crimſon Hue?
Thy fair Complexion’s greatly chang’d:
Why, I can ſcarce believe ’tis you.
Then tell, my Son, O tell me, Where
Didſt thou contract this ſottiſh Dye?
You kept ill Company, I fear,
When diſtant from your Parent’s Eye.
Was it for This, O graceleſs Child!
Was it for This, you learn’d to ſpell?
Thy Face and Credit both are ſpoil’d:
Go drown thyſelf in yonder Well.
I wonder how thy Time was ſpent:
No News (alas!) hadſt thou to bring.
Haſt thou not climb’d the Monument?
Nor ſeen the Lions, nor the King?
But now I’ll keep you here ſecure:
No more you view the ſmoaky Sky:
The Court was never made (I’m ſure)
For Idiots, like Thee and I.
The Unhappy Father. A Tragedy.126 I7v 127 I8r
Dycarbas, the Unhappy Father.
Polonius,Sons of Dycarbas, in Love with Terentia.
Eustathius, Nephew of Dycarbas, and Huſband of Emilia.
Leonardo, Couſin to Euſtathius.
Paulus, Servant to Dycarbus.
Plynus, Servant to Euſtathius.
Timnus, Servant to Polonius.
Emilia, Daughter of Dycarbus.
Terentia, a young Lady under the Guardianſhip of Dycarbas.
Claudia, Servant to Terentia.
The Unhappy Father.
Scene an Apartment.Polonius and Terentia meeting.
Oh! my Terentia, not the dawning Sun,
That now ſhines lovely on the dewy Hills,
Wears half the Sweetneſs of thy pleaſing Form:
This docile Heart, confeſſing thy Approach,
Leaps in its Boſom like the bounding Roe:
No other Object theſe fond Eyes behold;
No other Wiſh, but ſtill to gaze on thee.
Yes, my Polonius, yes; I will confeſs,
That my glad Spirits triumph in thy Love;Vol.II. K That, 130 K1v 130
That, while I ſee thee here, and know thee kind,
The laughing Days unheeded glide away,
And the ſoft Seaſons wear eternal Spring;
My former Woes lie bury’d in Oblivion,
The Wrongs and Sorrows of my Infant Years:
Then are we truly happy, or deceiv’d?
Then are we happy!—Where remains the Doubt?
Didſt thou, Terentia, didſt thou doat like me,
Sure thy full Soul would find no vacant room
For dull Miſgivings, and for cold Surmiſe:
No wand’ring Gueſt would find Admittance there;
But ſmiling Hope, Joy, Conſtancy, and Love.
In this ſtrange World, made up of Sun and Show’rs,
Who e’er was plac’d beyond the Reach of Woe?
The Cheek, that late was dimpled o’er with Smiles,
Pleas’d with the Farce of tranſitory Joy,
Grows pale and languid, if the Curtain falls,
Till the next Scene exhibits ſomething gay:
Then childiſh Fancy, glad to catch the Laugh,
Is happy till the next returning Storm.
But why this grave Philoſophy To-day?
Leave theſe dull Leſſons for more gloomy Hours:
Thy charming Voice far better would become
The gentle Numbers of enchanting Song:
’Tis thine to ſmooth, to harmonize the Soul,
Soft warbling to the Lute’s reſponſive Sound.
O ſay, thou ſmiling, dear Deceiver, ſay,
Canſt thou, with Shew of Ecſtaſy and Truth,
Avow thy Heart the Slave of its Terentia?
But ſoon, if Honour, if Ambition call,
The careleſs Youth can throw his Darling by,
For brighter Views; and part without a Pang.
Laſt Night I heard—I heard with wounded Ears,
Your cruel Father (never ſo till then)
Give the ſtrict Orders for your haſty Voyage.
My ſwelling Heart was ſtung with bitter Grief;
But you receiv’d the Sentence with a Smile.
Alas! Terentia, why wouldſt thou alarm
The lurking Woes that ſlumber’d in my Breaſt?K2 Why 132 K2v 132
Why wouldſt thou tear from this unguarded Heart
The little Fort which Reaſon lately made?
(Weak Engineer againſt thy Sex’s Charms!)
Could thoſe bright Eyes pierce thro’ my naked Soul,
And there behold the Tumult thou haſt rais’d;
See the rous’d Paſſions wage a deſp’rate War,
And Love and Duty ſtruggle for the Crown;
’Twould merit Pity, not deſerve Reproach:
For I muſt own, in ſpite of artful Smiles,
Put on to hide the Weakneſs of my Heart,
To part with thee is ſomething more than Death:
’Tis more than Darkneſs, or the yawning Grave:
For thou art all—Believe me, thou art all
The Good, the Joy, the Life, of thy Polonius.
Small Arguments confute the willing Maid,
Whoſe partial Reaſon takes the Bribe of Love.
I truſt thy Faith, thou Partner of my Soul:
Tho’ Mountains part us, Oceans roll between,
Or Whirlwinds bear us to the diſtant Poles,
Yet the freed Spirits ſhall again unite,
And take their Flight beyond the Reach of Fate.
But, ſee! —Your Father. Let us part a while,
Till ſome kind Moment favour us again.
May many Mornings, all as fair as this,
Come, fraught with Pleaſure, to attend on thee,
Thou pleaſing Object of thy Guardian’s Care.
I found your Goodneſs in my Infant Years,
When, like the Genius of my Fate, you came,
Took me from Want, from Avarice, and Wrong,
And the ſtern Uſage of a barb’rous Uncle;
My Fortune ſav’d from the voracious Law;
And plac’d me here to thrive beneath your Smile.
If Deeds like this demand a Bleſſing, then
Sure Heav’n has Millions ſtill in Store for you:
For You, aſcend the Pray’rs of hoary Age,
Who ſhare the Comfort of your bounteous Hand:
Deſerted Babes are taught to liſp your Name,
And, ſmiling, ſtretch their little Hands to you.
To Heav’n I point my Actions, and my Hopes:
I aſk no Praiſes, nor Reward, from Man:
Who follows Virtue for the ſake of Fame,K3 Will 134 K3v 134
Will find his Pay Remorſe and Diſappointment;
And the loſt Wretch will then be twice undone.
But ſay, Terentia, why this ſerious Air?
Why has thy Face forgot its wonted Smile?
Does Sickneſs, Grief, or Care, oppreſs thy Heart?
Unload your Woes, and they ſhall find a Friend.
My Woes, my Lord, are far beneath your Care;
Only the common Vapours of the Brain:
A Turn or two in yonder Garden Walks
Will bring my Spirits to their uſual State.
May ſome bleſt Guardian wait upon thy Steps,
Watch o’er thy Thoughts, and lift them to the Sky!
Aſſiſt me, Heav’n! and teach me how to act
In this ſo nice, ſo delicate Affair:
My youngeſt Hope adores yon lovely Maid;
And (if I’m right) the ſame ill-fated Paſſion
Torments the Spirit of my elder Son:
Tho’ he in Secret hides the lambent Flame,Yet 135 K4r 135
Yet the ſtill Treaſon wanders in his Eyes.
And have I nurs’d with Care theſe rival Flow’rs,
And taught them long to love each other’s Shade?
Now ſhall I ſee ’em claſh their Hands together,
And in a Moment blaſt the Toil of Years.
Her Inclination my Conſent has join’d
To give this beauteous Bleſſing to Polonius:
Then how? Ah! how, ſhall I recant; or how
See one Child happy, while another mourns?
’Tis Abſence then muſt cure this growing Ill:
And while they both are diſtant from her Smiles,
Corroding Jealouſy will find no Room:
And ſome new Beauty from Lycander’s Breaſt
Perhaps may baniſh this forbidden Fair.
And Thou, great Pow’r, whom none can comprehend;
At whoſe Command the rolling Worlds around
Keep their due Diſtance; nor tranſgreſs their Sphere;
O let ſome delegated Saint receive
My erring Children to his ſacred Charge,
And lead them ſoftly in the Paths of Peace.
Scene the Garden.Lycander. Terentia.
Why do you haunt my ſolitary Walk,
And make Retreat ſeem painful to my Soul?
When for the Bleſſing of a Moment’s Thought
To theſe ſoft Shades I take my lonely Way,
Methinks I hear your ſwifter Step behind:
I fly from thence; yet in the next dark Alley
Expect to meet the Face I fled before.
Yet ’tis no Monſter that purſues you thus:
I wear no Serpent’s, nor no Tyger’s Form:
In me what is there that may cauſe Affright,
And move at once your Horror and your Hate?
Your Form, perhaps, may pleaſe ſome brighter Fair,
And find a Conqueſt worthy of itſelf.
My heavy Taſte was ne’er deſign’d to fit
The Judge of Beauty, and external Charms;And 137 K2r 137
And ſure I am your Spirit would diſdain
That it ſhould paſs a Sentence on your Mind:
How then can you debaſe that lofty Soul,
Where proud Philoſophy and Science reign,
And puſh your lordly Reaſon from its Throne,
To court the Favour of a peeviſh Girl?
Inſulting Fair!—Theſe are your Sex’s Arts:
You ſpread your Charms to catch the heedleſs Eye,
To bring down Wiſdom to your ſhining Lure;
And then upbraid the Idiots you have made.
But know, proud Maid, your Reign ſubſiſts on Folly:
Let Men grow wiſe, and they will ſoon forſake you;
While you, like Eaſtern Kings, grown mad with Power,
Manage ſo ill the Morning of your Empire,
You ſeldom ever reach to its Meridian.
Your florid Tongue, that can ſo aptly paint
Another’s Fault—had better turn its Theme,
And try to make Atonement for its own.Think 138 K5v 138
Think you thoſe Powers that our Actions view,
Whoſe piercing Eyes ſee thro’ the duſky Maze
Of winding Subtlety, and dark Deceit,
Will turn their ſtrict impartial Eyes away,
Nor look, while you ſupplant a Friend and Brother?
Doſt thou reproach me, thou, whoſe ſubtle Charms
Firſt tore the Uſe of Reaſon from my Soul?
To Darkneſs go with that bewitching Face;
In ſome lone Cloyſter hide thee from the Sun:
Perdition hovers in thy curling Locks,
And on thy Brow Deſtruction keeps her Throne.
Oh give me back, thou ſmiling Sorc’reſs, do,
My former Reaſon, and ſubſtantial Eaſe.
Your Cure’s at Hand, if Abſence be the Means:
This Form no longer ſhall offend your Eyes.
Yet ſtay, Terentia—Yet a Moment ſtay,
And give the Audience of a ſhort-liv’d Minute
To him whoſe Story would employ an Age.
Proud as I am, this ſtubborn Heart muſt ownTerentia’s 139 K6r 139
Terentia’s Conqueſt—tho’ it curſe the Chain;
Couldſt thou behold the agonizing Pains,
The whirling Racks, that tear my ravag’d Soul,
’Twould claim a Tear from thoſe relentleſs Eyes.
Then give me one ſoft Smile before we part;
At leaſt, diſſemble, and deceive my Woe.
Adieu, my Lord! I’ll ſee your Face no more.
Hah! gone!—She’s gone, and I am left behind:
How left? —My Judgment, Senſe, and Thought, are fled,
And ev’ry reaſoning Faculty of Soul.
There’s nothing left of me but a mere Image,
A worthleſs Statue of unthinking Clay.
Can Love do this? —Confuſion to its Name!
Shall I, who long have ſcorn’d their little Arts,
Their practis’d Bluſhes, and affected Smiles;
Shall I at laſt commence the whining Boy,
And ſcribble Sonnets to the Queen of Charms?
Ye pitying Powers, lift me to myſelf;
If not, Oh ſweep me to an inſtant Grave:Take 140 K6v 140
Take back my Spirit, or reſtore its Eaſe;
And give me Death, or Freedom; which you pleaſe.
Scene an Apartment.
O What a pleaſing Magazine of Sweets
Does Virtue, planted early in the Soul,
Lay up for ſerious and reflecting Age!
When round my plenteous Table I behold
My lovely Daughter, with her noble Spouſe;
And next to them my two majeſtic Sons,
Who look as tho’ they were of royal Lineage,
And born to give obedient Kingdoms Law;
Methinks I flouriſh like the ſpreading Vine,
Whoſe curling Branches are with Cluſters hung,
That draw their Juices from its friendly Stem.
’Tis true, Euſtathius is giv’n to Storms,
But quickly calm’d by Reaſon’s potent Sway,
Like Clouds that fly before the conqu’ring Sun:
Theſe little Jars, that ſhake the Stream of Peace,
And vex the Spirits of theſe angry Lovers,
A Father’s Care muſt diſſipate, and joinTheſe 141 K7r 141
Theſe adverſe Winds in one united Blaſt:
With him I’ve met Succeſs; and over her
I claim th’ Authority of paternal Power.
But ſee, ſhe comes――
Good Morrow, ſacred Sir.
Have you lately ſeen Euſtathius?
No—Like an Infant Criminal I fled,
To hide me from a Huſband’s angry Frown.
Rather, Emilia, ſhould you try to ſooth it:
For your tempeſtuous Souls, ſo much reſembling,
Are both too haughty, and diſdain Subjection:
Such little Feuds as theſe would quickly ceaſe,
If either Side did but incline to Reaſon.
But ſay, Emilia, are your Brothers ready?
My Orders were to forward their Departure,
And haſten each to his appointed Way.
Your Orders, Sir, will certainly be honour’d;
But yet I grieve at parting with Polonius:
Ah! wherefore would you truſt that tender Youth
To foreign Climates, and the dang’rous Ocean?
I ſee no Reaſon that I have to fear:
That ſacred Pow’r, which oft has led Dycarbas
Thro’ bleeding Armies, and recoiling Hoſts,
While the pale Legions trembled with Diſmay,
Through all the Terrors of the hoſtile Field,
While the ſtain’d Armour pent my fainting Limbs,
His Mercy will preſerve my darling Son
From barb’rous Rage, and the devouring Waves:
Beſides, when Honour calls a Youth to Arms,
She will not liſten to our puny Fears,
But ſtamps the Coward on a Wretch that lingers.
You ſent Lycander to a diſtant Seat:
But why, my Father, will you part at once
With both the Pillars of your drooping Age?
You know his Preſence is required there:
But now, Emilia, liſt to what I ſay.
I ſee your ſtruggling Soul is ſtill in Motion:
The rebel Paſſions labour for a Vent.
But look you curb theſe intellectual Storms,
That ſhake the Regions of your troubled Breaſt:
And if the rugged Tyrandts will have Paſſage,
Let them be ſoften’d to repenting Tears:
Let Frowns no more contract thy lovely Brow,
But gentle Peace, and chearful Joy, reſtore
Thy ſmiling Features to their wonted Charms:
For wouldſt thou pleaſe, the Way is eaſy.—
No more—for ſee the Morning Sun grows high,
And I have ſome Affairs require Attendance.
When this cold Heart comes like a ſhiv’ring Exile
Wandering back again to this ſad Boſom,
The diſcontented Vagrant finds with Grief
Its Habitation ſtrange, and long forgotten
With Anguiſh fill’d, and longing to return;The 144 K8v 144
The mourning Criminal again repents,
And courts the Friendſhip of its lov’d Euſtathius.
In Tears, Emilia? —Spare thoſe brilliant Eyes.
The Earth’s not worthy of that precious Dew:
O my Emilia, ſure the ſavage Race
That range on Libya’s unfrequented Wilds,
Would ſoften into human Souls, could they
Behold the Charms of a relenting Beauty.
Canſt thou forgive, Euſtathius?—If thou canſt,
Receive again this penitential Heart;
And with it take a reconciling Band
Of Reſolutions to offend no more.
Forgive thee, Fair one!—Who beholds that Face,
And would not give the Indies for a Smile?
What tho’ the lordly Reaſon of Euſtathius
Be ſometimes driven from his tott’ring Throne,
By rebel Paſſions, and tumultuous Storms?
This Breaſt has not imbib’d the Soul of Nero;But 145 L1r 145
But when the fumy Vapours are diſpers’d,
And leave the Regions of my whirling Brain,
The frighted Virtues ſoon regain their Seats,
And ſmiling Peace unveils her tranquil Brow.
Then we again are happier than before:
So the Clouds hover round a Morning Sun,
To ſcreen his Luſtre from the drooping Flow’rs;
Till his Rays, piercing through the gilded Furls,
Chear the glad World, and make a double Day.
Believe, Emilia, when I chid thee from me,
This fond Heart pleaded ſtrongly in thy Cauſe,
And gave the Lye to my offending Tongue:
But now ’tis paſt; the Rebels are ſubdu’d;
The warring Pow’rs return to their Allegiance,
And court the gentle Empire of Emilia.
Such ſhort-liv’d Anger fills a Mother’s Breaſt,
When from her Side ſhe caſts the froward Babe:
But when the little Criminal returns,
Panting with Grief, and reaching at her Arms,
The joyful Parent views him with a Smile,
And to her Boſom takes her darling Son;Vol.II L Perceives 146 L1v 146
Perceives new Charms, that ne’er were ſeen before;
And to her Heart ſhe hugs the ſmiling Store.
Scene the Fourth.Dycarbas. Lycander. Polonius.
My Sons, be careful; ’tis a dang’rous Age;
Nor think, becauſe you’re diſtant from the Reach
And ſtrict Obſervance of your Father’s Eye,
That you have Licence to indulge your Senſe
In modern Luxury, and vicious Pleaſure:
No!—Think, my Children, you are ſtill in View
Of Heav’n’s broad Eye, and ſelf-convicting Conſcience.
Let the juſt Powers with a vengeful Hand
Sweep off our Bodies to an early Grave,
Ere we ſhould live to blot your Days with Sorrow,
And ſhame the ſacred Fountain of our Lives.
’Tis nobly ſpoke!—Yet Heav’n’s avenging Hand
Could not a heavier Sentence find than this,
My Childrens Death.――Ye Pow’rs, avert the Thought.
No!—Firſt let me to my cold Habitation
Be calmly borne, and water’d with their Tears.
’Tis not, my Sons, I dread your flagrant Sins;
But there are ſmaller Crimes of Inadvertence,
Which make a Man look little in the World,
And blot his fair Pretenſion to Eſteem.
And, firſt, Polonius, as your Buſineſs lies
Amongſt thoſe People, who, to human View,
Appear the Groſs and Rabble of Mankind,
Let winning Mildneſs temper your Commands,
And keep your Heart from Inſolence and Pride.
Be juſt; but fly, O fly, the Name of Cruel;
Nor cloud thy Face with arbitrary Frowns.
Heav’n ſhuts its Gates againſt the Name of Tyrant;
But Mercy will unbar the bliſsful Doors.
You long have taught this Leſſon to my Soul,
Enforc’d by Precept, and Example too:L2 And 148 L2v 148
And ſhould my rebel diſobedient Heart
Attempt to blot the charitable Law,
Moſt juſtly you the Traitor might diſown,
And from my Anceſtors unſpotted Line
Eraſe my Name, and put a Cypher there.
For you, Lycander; when you travel round
That fair Eſtate, which ſhall be ſoon your own,
View ev’ry Spot; ſee which will beſt employ
The wiling Peaſant, and th’induſtrious Hind;
That quaking Poverty may find Relief,
And Plenty triumph o’er the laughing Fields.
And now, my Children, for a while we part,
Only to meet again with double Joy.
So—from our Eyes the radiant Sun retires,
And Nature ſeems to mourn his parting Fires.
Dejected Flow’rs their fading Heads recline,
And thro’ their Tears the drooping Lilies ſhine;
Till ruddy Morning lifts her dawning Eye,
And freſher Gales perfume the healthful Sky:
Then the gay Fields in fairer Beauty ſhow,
And roſy Buds in dewy Mantles glow;
The joyful Linnets hop from Spray to Spray,
Clap their glad Wings, and hail returning Day.
Scene a Dreſſing-Room.Terentia. Claudia.
What mean, ye Pow’rs, theſe viſionary Fears,
Theſe horrid Forms, that hover round my Soul,
And with pale Terror ſhake her Midnight Hours?
Laſt Night, when Nature, wrapp’d in ſolemn Shade,
Sank down to Reſt, and Cynthia’s Silver Beams
Had lighted up the Canopy of Heav’n;
My thoughtful Soul, grown weary of herſelf,
Forſook the Guidance of her cumbrous Charge,
And dropp’d ſupine into the Arms of Reſt.
Then ſickly Fancy, with a dreadful Crew
Of black Ideas, crouded on my Brain.
Methought, in penſive Darkneſs, and alone,
I wander’d thro’ yon high and gloomy Hall;L3 When 150 L3v 150
When at the farther End a feeble Light
Sprung up, and quiver’d o’er a marble Tomb;
There lay the perfect Figure of Emilia,
With Cheeks like Aſhes, and her Boſom bloody:
A ſleeping Phantom at her Feet was laid,
Whoſe pale Hand graſp’d a viſionary Dagger.
Trembling, and ſhrieking, from the horrid Sight
I turn’d;—but ſtumbled on a ſlaughter’d Heap,
Whoſe muffled Faces from my Eyes were hid.
I drew the Cov’ring from the Head of one;
And, O! methought—methought, it was Dycarbas.
Theſe are but idle Phantoms, only drawn
From broken Reſt, and indigeſted Fumes.
So may it be!—Yet ſomething like a Doubt
Still hovers on my diſcontented Soul.
Lycander has again renew’d the Siege,
And teas’d my Patience with his hated Love.
I know his Temper haughty and ſevere,
And to the utmoſt jealous of his Honour.
But, O ye Powers, ſweep me from the Light,
Ere I ſhould blaſt theſe hoſpitable Doors,And, 151 L4r 151
And, like the blazing Heralds of Deſpair,
Point out Deſtruction to this friendly Dwelling.
See!—The Lord Polonius.
Terentia, ſofteſt of thy gentle Kind,
What ſullen Sorrows dare approach thy Soul,
And draw a Miſt before thoſe chearful Eyes?
Where are the Graces, and the ſportive Smiles,
That us’d to wanton in thy pleaſing Face?
What has Terentia now to do with Smiles?
No! let them grace ſome happier Maid than I,
Whoſe kinder Genius crowns her Days with Pleaſure,
And her ſoft Nights with undiſturb’d Repoſe.
My Soul is rack’d with viſionary Woes,
And boding Whiſpers fill her waking Hours.
Unkind Polonius! Wherefore would you fly,
And leave Terentia, for the ſake of Fame?
Ah! cheated Youth! thy disappointed Heart
Will ſoon grow weary of its airy Miſtreſs.L4 Tho’ 152 L4v 152
Tho’ ſmiling Honour with her painted Plumes
May draw thy partial Reaſon to her Side;
Yet think what Handmaids wait behind her Throne;
Double-tongu’d Flatt’ry, and deſigning Fraud;
Care in the Front, and Danger in the Rear.
Thy Voice, my Fair, is ſweet as hymning Angels;
Thy ſoft Complaining enters deeply here,
And melts the Manhood from my yielding Soul.
O then forbear! Nor clip my riſing Wings.
Ere Nature cuts the ſlender Twine of Life,
I’d fain do ſomething worthy of my Birth;
Something that may inform a future Age,
Polonius liv’d; and Thus and Thus did he.
When I have heard my good old Father paint
The dreadful Splendor of a glorious Field,
Methought I ſaw the ſtreaming Colours wave,
And ſhining Lances ſparkle to the Sun:
My youthful Cheeks grew warm at the Deſcription,
And Hopes of Glory fill’d my infant Soul.
And where will all theſe ſhort-liv’d Glories fly,
When thoſe fair Eyelids ſhall be clos’d in Death,
And thou no more behold the chearful Sun?
Then ſhall thoſe Laurels, dearly bought by thee,
Be ſoon tranſplanted to ſome worthleſs Brow.
Deluded Boy!—But go, I will not ſtay thee;
And leave me here to Solitude and Care.
Some fairer Dame ſhall pleaſe thy lofty Mind;
I ne’er was made to fit a Hero’s Arms.
No, barb’rous Maid!—Not doting Miſers dwell
So fondly o’er their ſhining Heaps of Gold,
As my ſad Spirits on their lov’d Terentia.
Could I ſuſpect that lurking e’er A Blank left here.
Would ſtain the Core of this apoſtate Heart;
Myſelf ſhould tear it from its ſecret Cell,
And throw the panting Victim at your Feet.
No Oaths, my Friend; leave them to ſmiling Vilains,Who 154 L5v 154
Who plot the Ruin of unthinking Maids:
I’d rather truſt Polonius on his Word,
Than take the Bond of all his Sex beſide.
But ſee, alas! the rolling Sun grows high,
And we muſt part—O! When to meet again?
Let no foreboding Thought diſturb thy Peace,
Nor wound my trembling Spirit with thy Tears:
Fear not but we ſhall quickly meet. —Till then
May heav’nly Guardians hover round my Fair,
And ſmiling Angels fan her into Slumbers!
Ye Powers, make this Innocent your Care;
And teach me how to bid my Love—Farewel.
Farewel.—O ſpare the ſolitary Sound:
Juſt then the Raven rais’d a fearful Cry,
And from yon gloomy Elm the Bird of Night
Return’d her Anſwer with a hideous Scream.
You pitying Heavens, whoſe eternal Gates
Are always open to the Cries of Woe;
O! ſhut them not againſt Terentia’s Prayer:
Whatever Sorros are for her decreed,4 This 155 L6r 155
This willing Head ſhall meet the falling Rod:
But only ſpare, O! ſpare, my lov’d Polonius;
And when you blend the deadly Draught of Life,
Throw this one Jewel in the fatal Cup,
This only Gem; and let the reſt be Gall.
Scene the Second.
Why, what a Bubble is this Creature, Man!
So light! So inconſiſtent with himſelf!
That at ten times he ſeems ten diff’rent Creatures.
Juſt ſo I find it here.—This haughty Soul,
That never trembled at a threat’ning Foe,
Muſt own the Empire of a puny Woman.
O! ſay, ye heav’nly Delegates, that bear
The kingly Guidance of this moving Clay,
What Power is it plays the Tyrant thus,
That binds my Soul in theſe ignoble Chains?
Muſt I at laſt be call’d the Slave of Beauty,
And wear the Shackles of a ſmiling Girl?
O! Reaſon, Reaſon, help my failing Senſe,
And free theſe Regions that were once thy own.
Lycander here!—A Tempeſt on his Brow!
How now! my Brother, do you linger here?
My Father lately told me you was gone.
’Tis not Lycander, but a coward Shade,
That fears to launch in Death’s eternal Ocean,
And panting hovers round its earthly Dome.
O my Emilia, I’ve ſurviv’d myſelf,
And know not how to act in this new Being.
How comes it? I, whoſe Soul was only read
In ſtern Philoſophy, and ſacred Morals;
Who look’d on Beauty with a careleſs Eye,
Nor paid the leaſt Attention to its Charms;
What Magic bids me now ſo fondly dote
On what ſo lately I diſdain’d to look on?
Woman, a Feather in the Cap of Nature!
I hate the Sex: And yet I love Terentia.
And can you then ſo eaſily reſignYour 157 L7r 157
Your fair Pretenſions to imperial Wiſdom?
Canſt thou be taught the Fawn of ſupple Lovers,
And the loſt Languiſh of pretending Swains?
We are not won by honeſt homely Truths,
But gilded Artifice, and well-bred Lyes.
Couldſt thou do this to gain a beauteous Idol,
With childiſh Features, and a ſprightly Air?
I know the Weakneſs of your ſimple Kind:
You ſtand like bluſhing Beds of annual Flow’rs,
For one ſhort Seaſon, to allure the Eye:
Yet this fair Miſchief! She has ſomething ſtill,
That wins our partial Senſes to her Side:
Each little Action wears a graceful Eaſe,
And doubly charms, becauſe it was Terentia’s.
But then, Lycander, ſhe’s your Brother’s Right:
O ſtrive to conquer this unlucky Flame,
Leſt it ſhould blaze into a Conflagration,
And light up Diſcord, with her Hand-maid Ruin.
Hence with thy dull Philoſophy, and leave
Thoſe ſtupid Waters for the Draught of Fools;
For I am half-way down the deſp’rate Steep:
My Brain grows giddy, and I can’t go back,
Altho’ ’tis moated round with deep Deſtruction:
Is there not a rev’rend Sage, call’d Time,
Who guides the Infancy of great Events;
A Foſter-father to the Babes of Fate?
To him I’ll truſt the Sceptre of my Paſſion,
And let the End be Happineſs, or Woe.
But get thee gone to this enchanting Maid,
And plead the Cauſe of thy unhappy Brother:
I know the Friendſhip that ſubſiſts between you:
To you ſhe’ll liſten, tho’ you talk of me.
Go, ſummon all thy Sex’s gentle Wiles,
And with Perſuaſion tip thy artful Tongue.
How if it chance our Father comes to know
You linger here, and ſhould ſuſpect the Cauſe?
Alas! Lycander— Be thyſelf again,
Or find ſome Way to hide this new-born Folly.
This native Pride binds up my ſtubborn Soul:
And yet I’d ſee Terentia ere we part.
I’ll to yon Grove, and hide myſelf from View,
Till duſky Gloom o’erſpreads the Ev’ning Sky:
Do thou, my beſt Emilia, meet me there,
And bring Terentia to the balmy Shade.
And canſt thou injure thus thy abſent Brother?
Canſt thou ſteal in upon his blooming Hope,
And from his Boſom rend the darling Joy?
O! my Emilia, ſpare the keen Reproach,
Leſt I grow deſp’rate, and forget my Nature.
Brother, ’tis true, was late a pleaſing Name;
But Rival now is twiſted with the Sound.
This boiling Boſom cannot bear Remorſe;
So, for my Eaſe, I’ll never think again.
Once more, be calm; you ſhall command Emilia:
I find my better Reaſon muſt give wayTo 160 L8v 160
To mightier Fondneſs, and a Siſter’s Love.
My partial Tongue ſhall learn to plead thy Cauſe,
And bring Terentia to the Poplar Grove.
Hark, Emilia――’tis my Father’s Step;
I’d rather meet my Death than him.—Farewel.
Didſt thou not call, Emilia?
Not I, my Lord.
Then, alas! What means my coward Fancy?
As lately in my Chair I ſat reclin’d,
A heavy Gloom crept o’er my weary Soul,
And peaceful Slumber clos’d my willing Eyes:
But then a Voice ſtruck thro’ my trembling Ears,
And call’d for Succour with a horrid Scream.
I am not ſuperſtitious: Yet my Soul
Would fain perſuade ſome Evil is at hand.
The gracious Pow’rs will guard theſe ſilver Hairs
From black Misfortune, and diſaſt’rous Chance;
Nor let the Pictures of a ſickly Fancy
Diſturb the Quiet of your guiltleſs Soul.
Our Fates can ne’er employ th’immortal Pow’rs,
Nor call for Omens from the troubled Sky.
’Tis true, perhaps, to ſhake a guilty Empire,
Heav’n ſends its fiery Heralds of Deſpair;
Then frightful Meteors through the Welkin fly;
The conſcious Earth ſhakes with convulſive Tremors,
And Kingdoms nod upon her failing Brow;
But we are diſtant from theſe pale-ey’d Fears
That hover round Ambition, and a Crown.
’Tis true, my Child; yet this foreboding Spirit
Still droops and trembles with unuſual Fears.
Griefs and Miſfortunes all Mankind muſt ſhare;
They ſhake the Baſis of the ſhining Throne,
And ſcatter Thorns upon the Labourer’s Pillow.
The Diff’rence is; the’ Afflictions of the PoorVol.II M In 162 M1v 162
In ſecret lurk within the narrow Walls,
While the diſaſtrous Hap of haughty Kings
Strikes like a fun’ral Dirge through trembling Nations:
But tho’ in Silence lie the Peaſant’s Woes;
Though they’re not wafted round the wond’ring Globe,
Nor doubly ſounded thro’ the Trump of Fame;
Yet may his Spirit taſte the keen Senſation
Of biting Sorrow, and Heart-rackng Care.
Think not, Emilia, that thy Father’s Soul,
Enur’d to Watchings, Dangers and Alarms,
Can ſtartle at the Jaws of gaping Death:
No! ’Tis not Death I fear:—The griſly Horror wants a Name.
Yet why ſhould I torment this feeble Heart
With groundleſs Doubts, and ſuperſtitious Fears?
I’ll to my Cloſet, and reſign my Life
To the Protection of its heav’nly Guard.
Scene the Court.
Thus am I paſt through theſe free-op’ning Gates,
Who know not what a Foe is enter’d in.
This Day I’ve meaſur’d thirty weary Miles,
And at their End am ſafely ’lighted here.
And what’s my Bus’neſs here? —It is Revenge,
The only Cordial of neglected Love.
Here lives Emilia and Euſtathius.—Confuſion to their Names!
Emilia! O thou marble-hearted Minion!
What reſtleſs Days have I endur’d for thee?
My Love, my honourable Vows refus’d!
And that fair Prize which I ſo vainly ſought,
In Triumph carry’d by my Uncle’s Son.
Yet, ſtay; beat ſoftly, O my ſwelling Heart,
And wait the Vengeance of victorious Fraud.
If I am right, this unexpected Viſit
Shall prove unlucky to the doting Pair.
How gay, how blithſom are yon flow’ry Hills
And blooming Groves, that ſhade this happy Dwelling!M2 All 164 M2v 164
All theſe I hate; and, for their Owners ſake,
Could wiſh ’em barren, like a Scythian Wild.
So the grand Foe of human Kind, like me,
Arriv’d within fair Eden’s bliſsful Bounds;
There felt, like me, the keen alternate Pangs
Of Admiration, Hatred, and Deſpair.
Alike our Aim; both Miſchief, his and mine.
No Matter; I have loſt the Senſe of Joy,
Excepting this,—To breed Diſſenſion here.
Inventon, aid me; for I know the Temper,
The fiery Spirit of my hot-brain’d Couſin.
His lordly Soul will ſtartle into Rage
Upon the leaſt Surmiſe of twinging Jealouſy:
And next I know the mercenary Soul
Of his corrupt Attendant――apt in Fraud,
And free to ſell his Conſcience for a Bribe.
All this I find will do.—But here’s Euſtathius.
Leonardo!—Welcome, gentle Couſin,
’Tis long, my Friend, ſince laſt you bleſs’d our Eyes:
But for the future be you leſs unkind,And 165 M3r 165
And with your Preſence chear our ſmiling Plains.
Our good old Fathers liv’d in ſtricteſt Amity,
And left a fair Example to their Sons.
Give me thy Hand, my deareſt Leonardo:
Couſins we are;—our Fathers made us ſo;
But let our Friendſhip ſpeak us more than Brothers.
Thrice welcome, Leonard—Methinks I ſee
Thy Father’s Image in thy pleaſing Form.
Such Entertainment as the Country yields,
Be thine, together with our beſt Eſteem.
I thank you both――
Full well I know where Gratitude is due:
And being ſhortly to ſet out for Travel,
I could not calmly leave my native Shore,
Till I had ſeen the Faces of my Friends,
I’th’foremoſt Rank of which I place Euſtathius.
Come, let us ſeek Refreſhment for thy Spirits,
And toaſt our Sires o’er the ſparkling Wine.
I’ll follow in a Moment.Exeunt Dyc. & Euſtath.
Now, potent Malice, now aſſiſt my Brain,
And bring the ſtill-born Miſchief into Life.
Revenge, thou Goddeſs, with the foamy Jaws,
Inſtruct thy Vot’ry, and protect his Cauſe.
Send out thy Hand-maid with her ſnaky Hair;
Let raging Diſcord ſeize the hated Pair.
So may thy Temples ring with ſhrieking Woe,
And purple Fires on their Altars glow;
Till Tyrants grim o’er Hills of Slaughter ſtride,
And Death ſhall wallow in a crimſon Tide;
While flaming Arrows, by thy Fury hurl’d,
Shall pour Deſtruction o’er the bleeding World.
Scene the Firſt.
O! What a Torment is the reſtleſs Soul,
When ſhe would imp her Wings with noble Vengeance,
But wants a Hand to aid the precious Work!
Who’s here?—Hah! ’Tis the Servant of Euſtathius.
Now for a luſty Bribe, and larger Promiſe,
To ſweep off Conſcience from his harden’d Breaſt,
And make the temper’d Villain all my own.
Sir, your Servant.
That Title, Plynus, is too mean for thee:M4 Wouldſt 168 M4v 168
Wouldſt thou be rul’d, my Hero, I would make thee
Thy Maſter’s Betters, and myſelf thy Friend.
Sir, without Vanity, I cannot think
That Nature form’d me for his Lordſhip’s Slave.
I have a Spirit daring and ambitious;
’Tis faſhion’d too with ev’ry little Art:
Might ſerve its End in ſome genteel Employment.
Firſt for the Law a Conſcience ready ſear’d;
A Soldier’s Impudence; a Draper’s Lye;
Diſſimulation for the Court;—and then
Perhaps my Brains would hardly ſtyle me Poet;
Yet by my Poverty I think I’m one.
Why, thou’rt the very Eſſence of my Wants;
A uſeful Complication of Abilities.
Here, take this Purſe, and with it ev’ry Wiſh;
For there lies Honour, Pleaſure, and Eſteem,
Nay, Friendſhip too; for in our Trading Age,
That, like the reſt, is hourly bought and ſold.
What future Service muſt your Slave perform,
For this ſo large unmerited Reward?
Thy Faith, my Plynus; That I only aſk:
To wear my Truſt; and ſhake thy Maſter’s off.
But firſt away with ev’ry puny Doubt,
Each Pauſe of Honour, and religious Qualm.
That’s a Diſtemper that I never knew.
Know then, our Bus’neſs is Revenge and Hate,
To light up Jealouſy, and cruel Rage:
But be thou ſecret; yes, and faithful too;
For if thou dar’ſt to make this Friend thy Foe,
’Twere better thou hadſt play’d with burning Sulphur,
Or ventur’d naked through a Conflagration.
But come with me, and thou ſhalt learn thy Leſſon.
Scene the Second.Emilia. Terentia.
Alas! forbear thy Suit, my gentle Friend.
The Alpine Mountains are not colder:—No;
Nor frozen Scythia’s unfrequented Wilds,
Than is my Heart, whene’er Lycander’s nam’d.
And yet, my lov’d Terentia, one would think
The ſunny Beams that round thy Features play,
Join’d to the Sighs of a beſeeching Friend,
Would make the icy Citadel diſſolve.
No, my Emilia; not the ſcorching Rays
That ſparkle on Arabia’s burning Sands,
Could change the State of this relentleſs Breaſt,
Without the Image of its lov’d Polonius.
Lycander’s Form may pleaſe the niceſt Eye:
His Shape, his Features, and majeſtic Air,Are 171 M6r 171
Are ſuch as Queens might gaze on with Delight.
Then ſay, Terentia, what’s the ſecret Charm,
The wond’rous Spell that clouds thy partial Eyes,
And draws thy Spirit to my younger Brother?
Polonius wears an univerſal Charm.
Whate’er you find that ſtrikes a tender Fancy
In ſoft Romances, or in rapt’rous Song:
What charming Objects meet our raviſh’d Eyes
In ſmiling Nature, or the Realms of Art:
Theſe Graces fly, as to their native Home,
And centre in the Face of my Polonius.
I know, my Friend, ’tis Folly to diſpute
With Love, with Madneſs, and a Woman’s Fancy:
But yet, Terentia, yet I fain would know
Where lies the Ground of your Diſtaſte; and why
Lycander, who can charm his liſt’ning Friends,
Who never ceas’d, but the admiring Circle
Attentive ſat, and wiſh’d him to proceed,
Should thus fall ſhort of his Terentia’s Favour.
Pride is a fav’rite Paſſion of the Soul.
Some latent Sparks and ſome minute Degrees
Of Self-Conceit are wove with ev’ry Mind.
This Vice, when planted in a gen’rous Soil,
Shoots into Enterprizes and Exploits,
To manly Courage, and to grand Ambition.
Our Souls are much more nice, tho’ not ſo daring.
Small Trifles take Poſſeſſion of our Spirits,
And ſtir them up to Rapture, or Diſdain;
And ſure there’s nothing grates a Woman’s Pride
Like the Behaviour of a haughty Lover.
Methinks, whene’er Lycander walks beſide me
With awful Brows, and ſtern Interrogations,
I gaze upon him with a kind of Horror,
While his fierce Eye-balls ſparkle with Diſdain.
Then, who, my dear Emilia, who would truſt
Her Perſon with a Man that fain would hate her?
Your tender Years, Terentia, make you ſlight
Subſtantial Merit for a ſmiling Face.
Too partial Maid, you wrong Lycander’s Love,Who 173 M7r 173
Who for your ſake has riſqu’d his Father’s Anger,
And wanders lonely in the poplar Shade,
Till the dim Night ſhall favour his Retreat:
Till then, he ſtays to take a ſhort Farewel,
And begs an Audience of his lov’d Terentia.
What ſays Emilia!—Surely I miſtake:
Thou art my Guide, my Counſellor, and Friend:
And wouldſt thou lead my unexperienc’d Soul
Thro’ the dark Paths of Falſhood and Deceit?
Shall I delude the dear believing Youth
With Shews of Kindneſs, and fictitious Vows?
But ere the Sun, that ſaw our parting Tears,
Has made his nimble Circuit round the Globe,
Shall I (i’th’ Face of Heaven and Dycarbas)
Diſcard his Image from my changing Heart,
And make an Aſſignation with his Brother?
Not ſo, Terentia: You have wrong’d my Love,
To think I favour Perjury and Crimes.
’Tis true, Lycander for his Portion claims
The greater Share of this too partial Heart.
Our equal Years, our mutual Pleaſures, join’d,And 174 M7v 174
And gave to him the Birth-right of Eſteem.
I view his Failings with a mournful Eye,
Partake his Sorrows, and divide his Care.
And well, Terentia—O! too well you know
Th’impetuous Temper of my Brother’s Mind.
Hearts, great as his, are not with Eaſe reclaim’d:
Mad with Reproach, they’d rather break than yield:
Such boiling Spirits ſhould be gently tam’d,
Gain’d o’er by Hope, and cheated into Reaſon.
Then what, Emilia, wouldſt thou have me do?
Ah! find ſome Way, without the Help of Guile,
Or ſome Excuſe, to palliate its Wrong.
Why was I born? And wherefore came I here?
To breed Diſtraction in theſe friendly Walls?
O! had I liv’d neglected and forlorn
In ſome low Dome, where Dirt and Hunger reign;
Then ſhould this Form, enwrapp’d in ruſtic Weeds,
And rudely blaſted by the Summer’s Sun,
Allure no wand’ring Eye, nor be the Cauſe,
The curſed Cauſe of Jealouſy and Rage.
Be calm, Terentia, and reſtrain thy Tears,
And form no more imaginary Crimes.
What mighty Boon is this, that I requeſt,
To ſee Lycander?—Take a gentle Leave,
And ſend him hence in Doubts, but not Deſpair.
Then ſay, Where lies the Guilt in this Conceſſion?
And where’s the Cauſe of this romantic Grief;
This frighted Aſpect, and theſe ſtreaming Eyes?
This Tongue, unlearn’d in the diſſembling Trade,
Will ſurely ſpeak the Dictates of my Heart:
Nor think, Emilia, tho’ the balmy Sweets
Of Hybla dwelt upon thy melting Tongue,
Think not to change the Temper of my Soul:
Then yet deſiſt, and drop th’ unpleaſing Theme.
So deeply fix’d—Then I will try no more,
No more, to change the Object of thy Love:
But, O! if Friendſhip ever warm’d thy Breaſt,
Or Pity touch’d the Fibres of thy Heart,
I charge thee yet comply with my Requeſt,The 176 M8v 176
The little Favour of a ſhort Farewel;
For, ah, the deadly Conſequence I dread,
Which may attend on thy too raſh Denial.
In what a Labyrinth am I involv’d?
And who will bear me from the giddy Maze?
Am I—Am I, to be th’ imputed Cauſe
Of Hate, Diſſenſion, and—(O! ſave, Emilia,
O my Emilia! ſave me from the Thought)
Of Death and Slaughter? Horrible to name!
Yes, I will go: I’ll go where you deſire:
And when the Sun has left our weeping In the Original, a Pin is ſtuck againſt the Word Time; alſo, againſt the Words, Stood like a Poſt; and a little lower, againſt the Word reſolv’d; which ſeem intended to be alter’d for ſome other, had the Authreſs lived to reviſe her Works. Where-ever the Pin is found for the future, an Aſteriſk [*] will be inſerted. Field,
Thyſelf ſhalt lead me to the poplar Grove;
Tho’ my foreboding Heart is big with ſomething
Fearfully black, and terrible as Night.
Throw off theſe coward Vapours of the Brain,
Theſe fanſy’d Shadows, that torment the Sex.
We rack our Boſoms with prophetic Ills,
Yet ruſh on thoſe that lie before our View.
There can no Ill from your Compliance ſpring;
From your Refuſal many might ariſe:But 177 N1r 177
But let us walk a little, and divert
Theſe gloomy Thoughts that hover on thy Mind.
Scene the Third.Plynus. Leonardo.
Soft! This is my Lady’s Chamber.
Now for ſome Inſtrument of ſweet Revenge:
And here is one that ſuits my Purpoſe well.
Takes up a Glove, and wraps a Paper in it.
Come hither, Plynus: Do thy Spirits faint?
Look, here is that will make the Coward bold;
Can ſweep the Horrors from Meduſa’s Brow,
And make her lovely as the Queen of Charms.
But hearkye, Wilt thou be a faithful Villain?
For by Alecto, and the ſteaming Lakes,
That roll blue Sulphur thro’ the Stygian Realms,
If thou art falſe, and balk’ſt my juſt Revenge,
Not Doors of burning Braſs, nor Rocks of Adamant,
Nor Hell itſelf, ſhall guard thee from my Fury.
Sir, fear me not; I am your Slave for ever.
Come hither then. Doſt thou behold this Brand?
This little Torch ſhall light up burning Rage,
And prove the Baſis of eternal Jars.
This Paper ſeems as written by Emilia:
I have, with Care, exactly match’d her Hand;
Thanks to a ſcornful Billet of her own,
That ſerv’d me for a Copy.—But d’ye mark?
Thoſe fraudful Lines contain an Aſſignation
Beneath the Shade of yonder poplar Grove;
And I have fill’d the well-diſſembled Scrawl
With kind Reproaches, Hints of former Love,
And all the Daggers for a jealous Soul.
Now, what remains depends upon thy Care.
In one ſhort Minute I ſhall leave this Place;
Then thou muſt bring this Paper with its Token,
To wound the Eyes of thy deteſted Lord,
And ſay I dropp’d it, as you held my Stirrup.
O! how it would delight my thirſty Soul,
To ſee Euſtathius rage, and wiſh in vain
To meet the Sword of his imagin’d Rival.Then, 179 N2r 179
Then, for Emilia, ſhe but juſtly ſuffers;
Her Puniſhment’s not equal to her Scorn.
I lov’d her once; but ſoon the tranſient Flame
Chang’d into Fury, and relentleſs Hate.
This haughty Spirit was not made to cringe,
Nor tremble at the Frown of worthleſs Woman.
Your Orders, Sir, ſhall truly be obſerv’d.
See that thou doſt it; and expect Reward:
I’ll heap Preferments on thy faithful Brow:
But, if you fail, make up thy ’Count with Heav’n;
For Death and Vengeance follow at thy Heels.
A bloody Fellow this!――
Why, what a Medly here has he made up
Of Vengeance, Death, and Heaven, all at once!
I fear the Bill is long ’twixt me and Heav’n;
We have not reckon’d for theſe many Years.
But, what ſaid he before?
It was Preferment.—That’s a glorious Sound:N2 Who 180 N2v 180
Who would not be a Villain for Preferment?
Now to my Cue.—But if I chance to meet
A Stab i’th’ Guts, for my unwelcome Meſſage?
What then!—Why, then I die a Soldier’s Death,
And ſleep amongſt thoſe honourable Fools,
Who take the ſhorteſt Way to meet Preferment.
Scene the Fourth.
What Whims are theſe?—I am not jealous, ſure.
Methought, when Leonardo parted from us,
His cunning Eyes ſpoke ſomething to Emilia;
But look’d on me with a diſdainful Glare.
I know he once laid Siege to my Emilia;
But then he met a vigorous Repulſe:
Her Inclination gave her Hand to me.
Beſides, I’ve watch’d her Countenance; but there
The ſtricteſt Eye could trace no guilty Feature.
Then what curſt Fury, with a Serpent’s Fraud
Has breath’d Suſpicion in this aking Breaſt?
Henceforth I’ll guard the Outworks of my Heart,And 181 N3r 181
And not a Thought ſhall find Admittance there,
But, what are Friends to my belov’d Emilia.
Well: —And wherefore doſt thou ſtart and tremble?
What’s in thy Hand; a Woman’s Glove? Whoſe is it?
Indeed, my Lord, I know not whoſe it is:
Your Couſin dropt it, as I held his Stirrup.
Hah! Let’s ſee’t. Confuſion! ’Tis my Wife’s.
Slave, ſpeak.—Say once again, Where didſt thou find it?
Damnation!—Doſt thou trifle?N3 Speak 182 N3v 182
Speak quick, or elſe I’ll pin thee to the Ground,
And tread thy worthleſs Carcaſe to the Centre.
Patience, my Lord! I told you once before,
Your Couſin dropp’d it. I can tell no further.
Hence, Raven!Exit Plynus.
My Wife’s Glove!—Yes, it is my Wife’s.
O Torture! Stay; there’s ſomething in it too.
Come out, thou curſed Packet of Iniquity!
Death and Furies! ’Tis Emilia’s Hand!
O! my ſick Eyes would ſhun the hateful Scrawl;
But this inquiſitive and curious Soul
Will needs be ſearching for the Depths of Ruin.Reads.
My deareſt Leonardo! Euſt. Confuſion blaſt him!
Not your Unkindneſs, no, nor Death itſelf,
Can blot the dear Remembrance from my Heart!
Of thoſe paſt Hours that crown’d Emilia’s Joy.
I love thee ſtill, thou dear diſſembling Man:
Your late Repentance too has melted down
My Reſolutions ne’er to ſee you more.
But, O! I fear my Huſband’s jealous Eye;
Euſt. Confounded Harlot!There- 183 N4r 183
Therefore be gone, and take a formal Leave:
But when the Night has ſpread her ſable Wing
O’er the ſtill Regions; then, my Leonardo,
O then, my lovely Penitent, return,
And I will meet thee in the poplar Grove.
Racks, Whirlwinds, Lakes of living Fire!
O! theſe are nothing to the Pangs I feel.
The fabled Wretch in Pluto’s dreary Realms,
Whoſe riſing Liver feeds eternal Pain,
And the keen Hunger of two raging Vulturs;
The Moral of the Tale is only this:
The Slave was jealous.—O my throbbing Heart!
The poplar Grove!—Remember that: —’Tis well.
O ſweet Revenge! I hear thy cordial Whiſper.
This Sword ſhall waſh that horrid Shade with Blood,
And make it famous as the Walls of Ilion.
But firſt on thee I’ll wreak my growing Rage,
Thou ſecret Pander of deteſted Luſt:
To Atoms go, and mingle with the Air:
Infect the healthy Atmoſphere, and breathe
A Race of Cuckolds on the tainted Kingdom.
What’s here? Emilia?—O thou fair Betrayer!
Look how ſhe walks with that unruffled Air,N4 As 184 N4v 184
As unconcern’d as tho’ her Breaſt were Heav’n.
O! ſay, is’t poſſible tha beauteous Form
Should prove the painted Sepulchre of Sin?
Yet wonder not; ſince Fiends themſelves can wear
Celeſtial Plumes, and tinge their Cheeks with Heav’n.
But I’ll begone; for thoſe bewitching Eyes
Would melt Reſentment to unmanly Tears.
Alas! What made Euſtathius quit the Place,
As tho’ I’d been a Baſiliſk, and brought
Infectious Poiſon in my deathful Eyes?
Methought his Cheeks were pale, and wet with Tears;
Grim Horror ſat upon his alter’d Brow;
And when he caſt his rolling Eyes on me,
Methought his angry Soul was mounted there,
And look’d as tho’ ’twould burſt the cryſtal Caſements.
What have I done that may deſerve this Uſage?
Perhaps ſome Villain has defam’d my Virtue:
But that’s an idle Thought: For who was e’er
Condemn’d without th’ Appearance of a Crime?
I’ll think no more; but truſt myſelf to Heav’n:And 185 N5r 185
And yet there’s ſomething hovers on my Soul:
This cold Heart flutters, tho’ it knows not why;
And my Eyes rain involuntary Showers.
The Night comes on: I’ll haſte to meet Lycander,
And lead Terentia to th’ appointed Shade.
Alas! what mean theſe melancholy Thoughts?
There’s ſomething tells, this fooliſh Interview
Will find a Period tragical and dark.
My Father’s Fears dwell heavy on my Heart;
But ſure no Puniſhment can point at him.
O Thou, from whom theſe rolling Worlds began,
Thou great Protector of unworthy Man!
What ſecret Guilt for angry Vengeance calls;
Whate’er Misfortunes threat our deſtin’d Walls,
Let good Dycarbas ’ſcape the falling Blow:
O! keep my Parent from the Jaws of Woe.
On me! On me, let all thy Shafts be hurl’d,
And ſweep Emilia from the gazing World.
But when in Death theſe ghaſtly Eyes ſhall roll,
Extend thy Mercy to my parting Soul:
And let her riſe amid the ſhining Hoſt,
A bliſsful Being, and a guiltleſs Ghoſt.
Scene the Firſt.Eustathius. Emilia.
In vain you fly from her that ſtill purſues,
And ſtill unkindly hide the ſecret Cauſe
Of Diſcontent, that ſhakes your lab’ring Breaſt.
I know there’s ſomething in your solemn Heaves,
Your broken Anſwers, and your ſullen Frowns.
Muſt I for Days, for Months, and rolling Years,
Be thus tormented with the Din of Tongues?
Suppoſe I’m ſick: What then? — Or out of Temper:—
My Thoughts are not accountable to you.
Heceforward know the Diſtance of a Wife;
Nor dare to ſtep beyond her ſcanty Bounds.
Is this your Fondneſs for your lov’d Emilia?
Am I already loathſome to your Eyes?
Look on my Face, that Face you lately ſwore
Was fair as Morning, or the ſmiling Spring.
Am I grown old ſince Yeſterday? And have
The tranſient Charms ſo quickly loſt their Dwelling?
Am I deſpis’d, while yet the ruddy Bluſh
Glows in my Cheek?—In Youth am I deſpis’d?
What then remains for Wrinkles and old Age?
O Crocodile! O well-diſſembled Tears!
Say, ſhall I now upbraid her with her Crime,
And daſh her Guilt on that deſigning Face?
No, that will but employ her female Arts,
Dark-winding Subtlety, and ſmooth Evaſion:
As yet in ſecret I’ll endure my Wrongs,
And trace her Falſhood to its utmoſt Length.To Emilia.
No, my Emilia, thou art ſtill as fair.As 188 N6v 188
As Love’s bright Queen, to ev’ry Eye but mine:
Yet I had rather, for the ſake of Change,
That thou wert foul and ugly as Meduſa.
’Tis ſtrange, my Lord, how much your Palates vary,
Ere your proud Stomachs are reduc’d by Marriage.
Agreeable and ſoft will not go down;
Your Taſte can reliſh nothing leſs than Charms;
Till Hymen comes with his contraſted Magic,
Makes ev’ry Object wear a brighter Face,
And nothing then is odious, but your Wives.
Your Satire has exactly hit the Caſe:
Yet let us, ſince we can no more be happy,
Be calmly cold, and faſhionably ſullen.
Reproaches ſound too harſhly on the Ear;
They tire the Hearer, and the Speaker too.
I’ll to my Study: Shall I aſk your Preſence?
Not yet, my Lord; I’d take the Air a little.
The ſolitary Skies are thick and gloomy;
Yet not unpleaſant; and it ſuits my Temper.
Confuſion!—Aſide. To Emilia.
Harkye, my Friend; a Word, before you go.
Have you not heard of unſuſpected Danger;
Of Snakes, of Adders, hid with flow’ring Roſe?
Once more, I ſay, beware of walking late,—Aſide Leſt ſome of theſe may reach thy guilty Heart. To Emilia.
What does he mean? His rolling Eyes ſhot Fire,
And turn’d upon me with a horrid Glare.
Is this the Treatment of unhappy Wives?
Ah! who would then be counted in the Number?
And why did Heav’n’s creating Power form
Amongſt his Works, one Creature only doom’d
To laſting Anguiſh, and perpetual Chains?
And yet inſpir’d us with a thinking Soul,
To taſte our Sorrows with a keener Reliſh?
Our ſervile Tongues are taught to cry for Pardon
Ere the weak Senſes know the Uſe of Words:
Our little Souls are tortur’d by Advice;
And moral Lectures ſtun our Infant Years:Thro’ 190 N7v 190
Thro’ check’d Deſires, Threatnings, and Reſtraint,
The Virgin runs; but ne’er outgrows her Shackles;
They ſtill will fit her, even to hoary Age.
With lordly Rulers Women ſtill are curs’d;
But the laſt Tyrant always proves the worſt.
Scene the Grove.
In what dark Alley have I loſt Terentia?
What Whim, what ſep’rate Fancy could induce
That ſimple Girl to wander from my Side?
I thought my Brother had been here before me.
The Night is gloomy, and the ſullen Clouds
In Circles gather round the ſickly Moon.
Hark!—What was that? The Raven’s horrid Cry!
What means this Alteration in my Temper?
My Soul has hitherto a Stranger been
To female Cowardice, and Virgin Fears;
Yet now I ſtartle at the ſmalleſt Noiſe.
The Winds that pant amongſt the trembling Leaves,
To me are diſmal as a fun’ral Bell.
I’ll ſit me down, and try if potent Reaſon
Can drive the Coward from my trembling Heart.
What do I fear?—Is not this Spot our own?The 191 N8r 191
The Shade where I and my unkind Euſtathius
Have wander’d many—many a happy Hour?
No injur’d Spirits haunt this peaceful Gloom;
Nor murd’rous Hounds, that hunt for Blood and Slaughter.
Again!—There’s ſomething made a ruſtling Noiſe!
’Twas only Fancy: All is ſilent now,
And ſtill as Midnight, and the lonely Grave.
Euſt. Aſide.— Softly. ’Tis ſo.—Emilia’s here already!
When comes her Paramour?—O curſed Thought.
Now for a thouſand Daggers, all at once.
To print ten thouſand Wounds upon their Bodies.
But, ſoft, my Soul.—Whence comes this killing Anguiſh?
And why this coward Trembling at my Heart?
Is it the Sight of that beloved Traitreſs;
That beauteous Serpent of my aking Breaſt?
’Tis that which makes my feeble Hand go back,
And palls the Rigour of its juſt Revenge.
Emilia!—O! there dwells a ſecret Charm
In ev’ry Letter of the Fair-one’s Name.
That I could find ſome other, which would paint
The faireſt Perſon, and the baſeſt Mind,And 192 N8v 192
And ſpeak at once the Traitreſs, and her Treaſon!
O ſay! thou ſhining Miniſter of Wrath,
Dares thy rude Point invade her tender Boſom,
And ſtain with Crimſon that unblemiſh’d Snow?
And ſhall this Hand arreſt her guilty Soul,
And plunge it headlong to eternal Shade?
O that I ne’er had ſeen this curſed Hour!
That I could wake, and find it but a Viſion,
Or ſleep and dream my future Life away!
Hah! — Here he comes; and Darnkeſs ſhan’t ſecure him.
Now, riſe Revenge.—Ye tender Thoughts, farewel.
Villain, thou dy’st—
Euſtathius!—Ah! what would thy deſp’rate Hand?
I’ll tell thee—Stabs her.
Ah! wherefore am I ſlain?—O cruel Huſband!
Monſter!—black as Midnight, or the Depths of Hell,
Receive a Death, too glorious for a Villain.
Was that the Bird of Night which ſtruck my Ear
With boding Shrieks; or was’t my Brother’s Voice?
Brother!—No, Traitor, I diſown the Name;
And curſed be the Day, the fatal Day,
That gave my Siſter to thy baneful Arms.
Behold thoſe Hands ſtill reeking with her Blood;
My Siſter’s Blood! — And dar’ſt thou call me Brother?
O thou, Lycander! who waſt once my Friend,
(Whatever myſtic Fates have brought thee here)
Forgive a Wretch that never meant thee Wrong.
’Tis true, this furious Hand has done a Deed
Which racks my tortur’d Soul with bitter Anguiſh,Vol. II. O And 194 O1v 194
And makes this Heart bleed faſter than my Wound.
But ſhe was falſe: Abominably falſe.
’Twas not Euſtathius did this horrid Deed;
’Twas Love: ’Twas madding Jealouſy, more fell
Than hunted Tygers on the Libyan Shore.
Take heed, Euſtathius! You’re a dying Man:
You ſtand upon the Outſide of this World;
And the next Step you take is Hell, or Heaven.
Let Heav’n diſpoſe the Fortune of my Soul:
But ſhe was falſe:—Yes, falſe with Leonardo.
He dropt a Letter, which my Servant found,
Wrote by my Wife:—’Twas wrote by my Emilia,
Where the loſt Fair made him an Aſſignation;
And this, O this, was the deteſted Place.
Here are ſome Fragments that my Fury ſpar’d;
And this will ſerve to prove the horrid Truth.
Is’t not Emilia’s Hand?
’Tis ſo: But ſtrange, and full of Contradiction!
That ſhe would fly to ſcreen her guilty LoveIn 195 O2r 195
In the ſame Place ſhe was to meet her Brother.
O! what a Tyrant is a guilty Conſcience?
’Tis Night; and yet I cannot think of Reſt.
Theſe Shades are pleaſant; yet to me they ſeem
Black as the Grave; and ev’ry Tree a Ghoſt.
Hah! What is here?—O miſerable Sight!
Emilia murder’d!— and my Maſter too!
Is this the End of my apoſtate Guile?
Nay, then, I ſtand the firſt of branded Villains;
And curs’d be he that drew me in the Snare!
Ah! my dear Lord, behold a guilty Wretch:
Look up, and ſeal my Pardon, ere you die.
What art thou?—Why doſt roll thy haggard Eyes?
What Guilt is this that ſhakes thy trembling Frame?
O! you’re deceiv’d; and fair Emilia’s wrong’d.
The Letter’s forg’d; and I was hir’d to bring it.
Hah, Slave!—’Tis well thou art not worth my Sword,O2 Elſe 196 O2v 196
Elſe would I ſcar thee with ten thouſand Wounds:
But I’ll reſerve thee for the Rod of Juſtice;
And thou ſhalt periſh by the Hangman’s Hand.
I’ve told our Story; and you ſee its End:
My Horſe is ready; I’ll purſue the Traitor.
Should the Winds lend him their officious Wings,
My ſwifter Vengeance ſhall o’ertake his Heels,
And plungeplunge this Dagger in his guilty Breaſt.
My Father here!—Fly hence, thou good old Man:
Turn off thy Eyes; nor wound them with a Sight
Will freeze thy Heart, and turn thy Limbs to Marble.
Here lies the Darling of thy hoary Age;
A wither’d Roſe; and ſhe was cropt by me.
O Torture! Torture! I’ll not bear the Thought,
Nor drag the Chain of Life a Moment longer.
Her Lips are cold, and have forgot to ſmile:That 197 O3r 197
That pleaſing Form is pale and breathleſs now;
But ſtill ’tis fair as monumental Marble.
Where ſhall I find thee, O my injur’d Wife!
What happy Fields retain thy ſmiling Shade!
Alas! he’s gone.—Farewel, thou noble Youth!
May Angels bear thee to the Realms of Bliſs!
Ill-fated Couple!—Yet, be ſtill, my Heart:
’Tis Heav’n afflicts; and I ſhould not complain:
But Nature, ſtruggling Nature, will have way,
Or mighty Grief will crack the ſwelling Strings.
Emilia, O thou Flower of my Age!
Where is that Face, which not an Hour paſt
Blom’dBloom’d like a Morning of the early Spring?
But now the Roſes have forſook their Dwelling,
And thy pale Cheeks are cold as ſhiv’ring Winter:
Too early wither’d, O unhappy Girl!
Thou canſt not hear me, tho’ my Griefs are loud
As the rude Winds, that vex the raging Tide.
My frozen Heart is ſtung with killing Anguiſh:
I ſtand myſelf a Monument of Woe:
What can I ſay, my Lord, to comfort you?
Forbear thy Conſolations, gentle Maid:
I am a Man, and therefore cannot ſee
This horrid Sight without a Father’s Pang:
But when the Tranſport of my Grief is over;
Then Reaſon ſhall again reſume her Throne,
And the ſtill Soul will liſten to her Lore.
I only aſk to have my Share of Woe;
I’ll be a faithful Partner in your Grief;
Sigh when you ſigh, and anſwer to your Tears.
No! Heav’n has ſure reſerv’d a milder Fate
And happier Days for thee, thou lovely Mourner.
Ye gracious Pow’rs, preſerve this weeping Fair;
Keep her from Sorrow, and divide her Fate
Far—far from that of her unhappy Friend.
Can any tell me where Lycander went?
I fear ſome Ill from his ungovern’d Rage.
He went, my Lord, in Chace of Leonardo.
Then Rage and bloody Vengeance will enſue.
O! ſpare, ye Powers—ſpare theſe aged Eyes;
Let them no more behold the Face of Death,
Nor the black Image of deteſted Murder.
The ſavage Race of unfrequented Wilds,
Voracious Wolves, fierce Pards, and roaring Lions,
In ſpite of Hunger’s unrelenting Call,
Break not the Ties of Nature with their Kind.
O Shame to Man! whoſe far more cruel Eyes
With vengeful Smiles can ſee another’s Ruin.
Behold, your Son; and with him comes the Traitor.
See! here’s a Sight would melt a Heart of Stone:
Thou curſed Flower of eternal Villainy,
Lie there, a pleaſing Sacrifice to thoſe
Thy Project brought to this untimely End.
What haſt thou done to rob the Hand of Juſtice?
Preſumptuous Boy! His Life was not thy Due.
Thou feeble Dotard!—Think’ſt thou Leonardo
Was born to ſuffer by the puny Laws?
That I am conquer’d, let him thank his Stars.
Had not the Fates oppos’d my beſt Endeavour,
This better Arm had laid thy Son as low:
But I have liv’d to taſte of ſweet Revenge,
And glut my Eyes with their deſired Ruin.
Boaſt not of Miſchief with your lateſt Breath:
You ſtand on tiptoe on the ſlipp’ry Shore,
With Death’s immeaſurable Gulph before you:
Ah! weigh the Danger of your parting Soul,
And ſend a few repentant Sighs to Heaven.
Repentance!—Preach it to your coward Slaves,
Whoſe daſtard Spirits tremble at their Fate.
I only wiſh my fainting Lungs would hold,
To breathe a Curſe on yon aſpiring Boy.
Now for ſome horrid Earthquake, that would rock
The ſtrong Foundations of the ſolid Globe;
That nodding Tow’rs might cruſh their Owners Heads,And 201 O5r 201
And Kingdoms ſhare the Fate of Leonardo!
The furious Soul has left her Habitation:
Yet ſtill his Viſage wears the Mark of Rage.
Ah! ſo it is when Anger and Revenge
Are grown habitual to a guilty Mind.
They ſhut out Penitence and pleaſing Hope;
And plunge the Wretch in horrible Deſpair.
How is’t, Lycander? You are pale, my Son.
Ah! Doſt thou bleed!—Oh, for Aſſiſtance! Quick!
All Help is vain; and ’tis as I would have it.
That Villain’s Sword has ſav’d my own the Labour.
Think not, my Father, I would live to bear
The keen Reproaches of a conſcious Soul,
Which ev’ry Hour would tell this gloomy Breaſt,
My Folly caus’d the Death of dear Emilia.
O! ſtay your Tears; I cannot bear the Sight:
’Tis far more painful than my aking Wound.
Terentia, now come near, thou lovely Maid;
I only ſtay’d to view that pleaſing Face:
And now I take a long Farewel indeed.Hah! 202 O5v 202
Hah!—Doſt thou weep? Reſtrain thoſe falling Showers,
And laviſh not thoſe precious Drops for me.
Remember this: —When next you meet Polonius,
Tell him I bleſs’d him with my dying Breath,
And left Terentia to his faithful Arms.
Merciful Pow’rs, aſſiſt my feeble Age,
And let not Reaſon ſtagger from her Throne!
Can theſe wan Eye-balls keep their frighted Orbs?
My Spirit ſtruggles in her aged Priſon,
And threat’ning Tremors ſhake the feeble Walls.
If e’er ſucceeding Ages ſhould produce
A miſerable Father, like myſelf,
Whoſe Soul can reliſh nought but gloomy Tales;
Who wants ſome ſad Compariſon of Woe,
To charm the Preſſure of his own Misfortunes;
Let them repeat the Story of Dycarbas.
Have Patience, my dear Lord.
Of that hereafter.—Patience ſeems at preſentToo 203 O6r 203
Too cold a Virtue for my boiling Soul.
Let ſome be ſent to fetch Polonius back,
If yet his Bark has not forſook the Shore:
Let him return to his dear Father’s Side,
From whence theſe Branches are ſo lately torn.
Farewel, ye ſmiling Comforts of my Age.
O dreadful Sight! Theſe Soles are dipt in Blood.
My Childrens Blood.――O Heavens!—
Ah! ſee! he faints; the weary Spirit fails:
Come let us bear him from this fatal Place.
Now where, ah! whither, ſhall Terentia fly?
Emilia! O thou more than lovely Siſter!
Thou dear Companion of my infant Days!
Are theſe the Wages of thy kind Indulgence?
The ſad Requital of a Siſter’s Love?
Unhappy Youth! — Unfortunate Lycander!
What cruel Star preſided at our Births,
And ſent us here, as Omens of Deſtruction,
To blaſt the World, and mark our Steps with Ruin?
That Villain’s Plot had fail’d its tragic End,Had 204 O6v 204
Had not Lycander met Emilia here.
But, O! thy Face, Terentia, was the Cauſe;
For which I’ll ſtain it with continual Tears.
Each throbbing Art’ry ſhall its Juices yield,
Till the dry Carcaſe can afford no more;
Till theſe chang’d Features ſhew no more Terentia,
But look the meagre Skeletons of Woe.
So, conſtant dropping, ſtands a wounded Vine,
Till the Leaves wither, and the Boughs recline:
The Root grows ſhrivel’d in its native Mold:
Its feeble Arms forſake their curling Hold:
The foſt’ring Sap from ev’ry Tendril flies,
And thus, like me, the ſenſeleſs Mourner dies.
Scene the Firſt.Paulus with a Sailor.
Fain would I diſbelieve your horrid Tale,
But that your Proofs are ocular and ſtrong.
Did none attempt his Reſcue?—
All Help was vain; but yet his deſp’rate Servant
Leap’d in the Ocean to his Lord’s Relief;
And, as we think, ſerv’d to enlarge the Meal,
And glut the Maw of that voracious Monſter.
Now, who ſhall bear this Story to my Lord?
Ah, wretched Man! no more a Father now.
His eldeſt Hope, the Glory of his Youth,
His lovely Daughter with her noble Spouſe,
Swept from the World by Treach’ry and Revenge.
All theſe To-morrow’s Ev’ning Sun muſt ſee
Laid in the cold Receptacles of Death.
One Hope was left, the Darling of his Age,
Polonius; but the unrelenting Fates
Have torn that only Bloſſom from his Side;
Made the Proviſion of a hungry Shark;
O Gods!—And buried in a living Tomb.
Now, who will be the Raven, which ſhall wound
A Father’s Ear with this moſt horrid Tale?
O ye unpitying Fates! if yet you have
In your black Regiſter ſome future Plagues,
Down with them all, that we may find an End.
Thro’ theſe black Scenes of unexampled Woe,
That hang ſo heavy on my drooping Soul,
Methinks there’s ſomething dreadful yet to come:
So let it be; with Patience I would bear:
When Heav’n afflicts, ’tis Folly to repine.
Preſumptuous Man! at whom wouldſt thou repine!
At that great Pow’r who made thee what thou art?
Who brought thee from a State of Non-Exiſtence
To chearful Day-light and the glorious Sun?
Whoſe Breath inſpir’d this imperial Clay
With conſcious Knowledge, and a reas’ning Soul;
A glorious Soul, whoſe Birth-right is Eternity?
For ſoon this feeble Caſe, worn out with Age,
Shall ſleep and moulder in its duſty Cell.
Then the freed Spirit ſhall exulting fly
To glorious Regions, and immortal Fields.
Perhaps th’ All-wiſe Diſpenſer ſaw ’twas good,
That ſad Dycarbas ſhould be thus afflicted.
The Heart grows wanton with continual Joy,
And gathers Ruſt beneath the Wings of Pleaſure.
Then Sorrow comes to rouſe the lazy Senſe;Turns 207 O8r 207
Turns up the cloſe Receſſes of the Breaſt,
And ſet the trembling Soul before its Judge,
A naked, humble, and repenting Criminal.
Yet hear, O hear me, thou all-gracious Power!
In thy large Store-houſe of unnumber’d Joys,
If there is any Good reſerv’d for me,
Beſtow it on my yet surviving Child;
(O killing Throught!) my only Son Polonius.
Alas! my deareſt Lord!
Hah! What art thou, that with a hollow Tone
Art like the ſhrieking Meſſenger of Fate?
Why doſt thou look ſo like a warning Shade,
Sent from the Regions of imperial Death,
To ſhake my Reaſon with thy Spectre’s Viſage.
Ah! dreadful Tale, my Lord!—Your Son Polonius—
Hah! What of him?—Speak 208 O8v 208
Speak quickly; do—unfold thy horrid Tale,
While yet my ſtagg’ring Senſe has Pow’r to hear.
Prepare your Temper for the ſad Relation,.
And ſummon all the Courage of your Soul.
We ſent, my Lord, to call your much-lov’d Son
Back to the Side of his unhappy Father.
The Ship was launch’d, and had forſook the Bay,
Yet not ſo far but that a Boat might reach her.
Aſtoniſh’d at the News of our Misfortunes,
With too much Haſte he left the Ship, and ſet
His heedleſs Foot upon the ſlipp’ry Plank,
Which with a Slide betray’d him to the Waves.
The ſcreaming Sailors flew to his Relief:
But of a ſudden the convulſive Ocean
Appear’d to labour with a monſtrous Birth.
A fatal Shark, the largeſt of its Kind
Roll’d his unwieldy Carcaſe through the Deep,
and toſs’d above the Waves his horrid Jaw.
The ſtouteſt Boſoms then were froze with Fear:
But Timnus, faithful to his dying Lord,
Ruſh’d in the Waters to partake his Fate.
O! ſay, ye Pow’rs, Why this uncommon Scourge?This 209 P1r 209
This reeling Frame that ſtoops beneath the Weight
Of threeſcore Winters, and a wounded Soul,
Would ſoon have dropt into its deſtin’d Grave,
And needed not this laſt, this deadly Blow.
But now ’tis done: —My Art’ries throb no more,
And this ſtill Heart has quite forgot to heave.
Mount;—Mount, my Soul, where the Afflicted reſt;
Where Sorrow ſmiles, and Orphans weep no more;
Where wretched Fathers may forget their Woes,
And Hallelujahs fill the Place of Groans.
And you, my Children, if your ſainted Shades
Can ſtoop a Moment from their happy Fields;
This once deſcend, and on your filial Wings
Receive the Spirit of a dying Father.Dies.
Alas! he faints:—Ah, no! ’tis Death indeed.
Down his pale Temples rolls a mortal Dew:
His Eyes are clos’d, and he is gone for ever.
O horrid Triumph of luxurious Death!Vol. II. P This 210 P1v 210
This Houſe is now a Scene of matchleſs Woe.
Ah, my lov’d Guardian! Ah, my deareſt Lord!
Thus will I claſp in Death thy rev’rent Image:
Thus will I on thy lifeleſs Boſom ſigh,
Till my Heart burſt, and crack the ſtubborn Strings.
Have Comfort, deareſt Lady.
Blaſted be the imaginary Name!
When the ſtern Fates in their eternal Book
In ſable Characters ſet down Terentia,
They underneath it writ a Liſt of Woes,
And baniſh’d Comfort from the deadly Scroll.
Come, let us haſten from this gloomy Place:
Time will ſweep away the ſad Remembrance,
And there may ſtill be happy Days for you.
Hence, Claudia, with thy ill-tim’d Conſolations.
Did I not lately view a horrid Sea
Of kindred Blood, in one promiſcuous Tide,
And ſtreaming dreadful on the crimſon Floor?Behold 211 P2r 211
Behold the Guardian of my youthful Years,
My Foſter-father, pale and breathleſs there;
And then to ſtrike all Nature dumb with Horror,
Think on the Partner of my faithful Breaſt
Deny’d the uſual Honours of a Grave;
His trembling Fleſh torn from the living Bones,
To glut the Hunger of a raging Monſter.
O Guardian Angels! Save me from the Thought,
Leſt my diſtracted Soul ſhould turn a Fury.
Go, ſearch the Globe, and find where Sorrow reigns;
Explore the Dwellings of unpity’d Woe;
Turn up the Dens of Wretches, doubly curſt,
Who hide their Eyelids from the hateful Sun;
There ſee; ah! ſee, if thou canſt find a Wretch
Will change a ſingle Torment with Terentia.
Ah! deareſt Lady,—ſee your Servant’s Tears:
If Claudia e’er was pleaſing in your Eyes,
Thus on my Knees I beg you would not ſtay
In this ſad Place, to aggravate your Sorrows.
Then take me; lead me to ſome gloomy Cave,
Never inhabited by human Creature.P2 Let 212 P2v 212
Let it be ſeated in a thorny Wild,
And ev’n a Stranger to the glimm’ring Moon:
Let frowning Rocks compoſe the diſmal Roof,
And not a Star preſume to twinkle there.
So let us dwell with only one dim Taper,
And think and talk of nothing but Deſpair.
Ye Powers! If Innocence be ſtill your Care,
Reſtore the Peace of this afflicted Maid.
What do I hear? —A Knocking at the Gate?
Who is ſo wretched to come near this Place,
And crave an Entrance at the Doors of Woe?Re-enter Paulus with Timnus.
O Timnus! Thou art like the chearing Sun,
When Storms have lately ſhook the troubled Sky.
Polonius lives!――O, Heart-reviving Sound!
But comes too late for his unhappy Father.
Thou might’ſt, hadſt thou been here an Hour paſt,
Have ſav’d a Life more precious than a Kingdom.
No Speed was wanting on my Side: But thatOfficious 213 P3r 213
Officious Sailor found his Way before me:
Nor had we liv’d, but that the heav’nly Pow’rs
Still temper Mercy with their ſtern Decrees,
And ſent between us and the raging Monſter
The floating Carcaſe of a ſhipwreck’d Man:
His greedy Jaws devour’d the ready Prey,
And left purſuing our forbidden Lives.
Now, who ſhall bid Polonius welcome here?
For this ill-fated Manſion is become
The gloomy Seat of arbitrary Death;
And the pale Tyrant keeps a Revel here,
With his grim Siſters, Horror and Deſpair.
Claudia, how fares your Lady now?
I went, tranſported with the joyful News;
But found my lady in a peaceful Slumber.
I drew the Curtain, with Intent to wake her;
But Reaſon ſoon recall’d the raſh Deſign.
I ſtay’d my Hand, and thought it might be ill.
’Tis well thou didſt: Perhaps the ſudden Joy
Had ſeiz’d her Spirits with too great a Violence,
And prov’d an Evil, worſe than all her Woes:
But, let us haſte to meet my Lord Polonius.
This well-diſſembled Slumber has deceiv’d
The prying Eyes of my officious Maid.
Claudia, farewel.――Ah! when thy faithful Care
Shall wait the Riſing of thy wretched Miſtreſs,
Then thou wilt find her in a Sleep indeed.
Thrice to my frighted Ears the warning Cock
Has ſent the Notice of approaching Day.
The pale Light ſtruggles with the ſullen Clouds;
But I will ne’er behold its Beams again.
Methinks the ſympathizing Air grows ſenſible,
And Nature trembles at my horrid Purpoſe:
A heavy Miſt hangs o’er the dreary Room,
And this dim Taper burns a mournful Blue:
This ſable Garment ſuits the blacker Deed;It 215 P4r 215
It anſwers to my Soul; ’tis dark and diſmal.
But wherefore do I aggravate the Horrors?
’Tis but a Draught, and all will then be ſtill.
Stern Death lies frowning in theſe ſilver Walls;
This little Cup can hold the King of Terrors.
Why does it tremble in my ſhaking Hand?
Why o’er my Temples rolls a fainting Dew?
But, ſure, it is a weighty Thing, to die!
I’ll ſet it down, and think on’t once again.
How will Terentia look, when that cold Draught
Has ta’en Poſſeſſion of her frozen Bowels?
Eyes wan and ghaſtly!—Cheeks, as Winter, pale!
With the rank Poiſon feſt’ring on my Lips!
All living Creatures will abhor the Sight,
And hurry this loath’d Carcaſe to a Grave.
Then for my Soul; thro’ what immortal Paths
Muſt that pale Wand’rer take its dubious Way?
But we are taught, that there are happy Fields,
To give afflicted Innocence Repoſe.
But then—I fear—Ah! yes, I feel I do,
That this raſh Deed will ſhut the Gates of Heav’n.
’Tis not too late:—I breathe the vital Air:
Yon deadly Potion yet remains untaſted,
And I may live:—But how,—without Polonius?
That Thought, again, has rous’d my tim’rous Soul.P4 Thou 216 P4v 216
Thou deſp’rate Cordial! we will part no more;
I’ll drink thee off, and quaff the baneful Lees.
Hark—what was that!—O tardy Wretch, be quick;
Some friendly Ghoſt is come to ſee thee die.
What Wretch is this, who with Terentia’s Voice
Dares talk of dying, while Polonius lives?
Hah!—That was like the Voice of my Polonius:
Then ’tis his wand’ring Spirit come to take
A ſad Farewel, and bid Terentia follow.
This way it call’d:—O, ſave!—O, ſave me, Heav’n!
Ah, deſp’rate Girl! What was thy raſh Deſign?
What means this Cup within thy trembling Hand?
Haſt thou been dealing with the Drugs of Death,
To heap more Horrors on my loaded Heart,
And make my Woes too great for human Nature?
Why doſt thou look ſo earneſtly upon me?
Why ſits Amazement in thy rolling Eyes?
Speak out, my Fair, and give thy Paſſion Vent.
O! my Polonius!—But it cannot be;
’Tis ſome Illuſion, or the Dream of Death.
Methinks I’ve newly paſt the dreadful Streams
Of Styx, and now am landed on Elyſium.
Yet tell, O tell me, if thou art Polonius,
What gracious Pow’r has giv’n thee back to Life?
And ſent thee, like the Genius of her Soul,
To ſave Terentia from the yawning Grave?
That ſhall be told my Love at happier Hours:
But now my tott’ring Senſe is ſhook with Anguiſh;
Nature rends up the Sluices of my Heart,
And from their Fountain draws the living Streams.
Late, my Terentia, I could boaſt a Father,
A Brother, Siſter, and a fair one too.
But now they’re gone, and thou art all that’s left
To keep a Wretch from terrible Deſpair.
O! that ſome Cherub would inſtruct my Tongue
To charm thy Sorrows with celeſtial Muſic!
For I have quite forgot the Uſe of Words,
And know no Eloquence, but to complain.
Forgive, thou faireſt Partner of my Soul,
Forgive Polonius theſe unmanly Tears:
The ſtubborn Griefs will force me to complain,
Ev’n in thy Preſence, whoſe delightful Charms
Smile like the Morning thro’ her pearly Dews.
Nay, ſtill weep on; I’ll anſwer Tear for Tear:
Let frequent Sighs employ the lonely Hours,
And Grief be all the Bus’neſs of our Lives.
If Tears could make but Yeſter-morn return,
And to theſe Arms reſtore my living Friends,
I’d call the Juices from their ſecret Cells,
And teach theſe Eyes to pour continual Streams.
But Death regards nor Pray’rs, nor melting Woe;
Fate ſtands between, and frowns upon our Tears;
Then pointing ſhews the Grave,—our common Way.
Unſeen we tread th’irremed’able Path,
And ſtagger thither ere our Cheeks are dry.So 219 P6r 219
So two kind Friends in ſome toſs’d Veſſel ride,
Where a black Tempeſt ſwells the raging Tide:
Trembling they ſtand, and weep their native Shore,
While the Sky thunders, and the Waters roar;
Till unawares ſome envious Billow ſweeps
One lov’d Companion in the frothy Deeps.
His wretched Fellow rends the Air with Cries,
Calls on his Name, and rolls his ghaſtly Eyes
Round the vex’d Ocean, and the diſmal Skies:
His frantic Hands tear off his ſcatter’d Hairs;
Now calls on Heav’n, yet of its Help deſpairs;
Till the kind Waves his ſhort-liv’d Sorrows end,
And waſh the Mourner to his ſinking Friend.
The following Scene, which ſeems to have been deſigned by the Author to be interwoven in the preceding Play (together with the brief Hiſtory, as it may be preſumed, of the Parties introduced in it) has ſome Strokes in it, that render it, altho’ imperfect, deſerving of a Place among her Works.
Scene the Field.Lucy and Meriah, meeting.
Good Morrow, Lucy! —How’s thy Heart To-day?
Methinks thy Eyes expreſs a happier Soul,
And all thy Features ſmile.
Your Friendſhip, Madam, and the chearful Seaſon,
Have help’d a little to divert my Spleen.
And tho’ ’tis impoſſible for a Perſon in my Circumſtances to be happy, yet my preſent State agrees with my Notions of the Popiſh Purgatory; that is, neither bleſt nor wretched, but a kind of gentle Torment, or imperfect Pleaſure.
It is not right to whet thy Griefs again,
Nor conjure up thy Wrongs, that long have ſlept:
Yet, Lucy, I could wiſh that thou hadſt ended
The mournful Tale which you begun laſt Night.
I’ve us’d ſo long to muſe upon my Woes,
That I can tell ’em now without Emotion.
I’ve told you that my Parents left me young,
An helpless Orphan, with a narrow Fortune:
A cruel Guardian ſhar’d the moſt of That.
I’d little left, except the Care of Heav’n.
And uſeleſs Pity from the tender Few:
My Age Sixteen, with Spirits ſoft and mild;
A Stranger both to Artifice and Sin.
In this weak Age I ſaw myſelf involv’d
In the black Jaws of Poverty and Care.
My Face was fair: —Curs’d be the Name of Beauty!’Twas 223 P8r 223
’Twas that which drew Lycander’s Eyes on me:
Lycander, whoſe proud Heart diſdain’d to loſe
Whate’er it aſk’d for;—whether the Deſire
Was lawleſs Love, Ambition, or Revenge.
He firſt ſeduc’d me from my native Home,
With Vows of Friendship, and Platonic Love
My thoughtleſs Soul was eaſily deceiv’d,
And ſaw no Fraud upon his artful Brow:
But ſoon the Saint threw off his borrow’d Robe,
And ſtood confeſt, a Villain doubly dy’d.
Some Acts of a Second Play, Written At the Requeſt of a Friend, In about a Fortnight.Q 226 Q1v 227 Q2r 227
Why ſits pale Sorrow on your faded Cheek?
Why on the Ground are fixt your mournful Eyes?
Look up, my Lord!—Tho’ Fortune frown To-day,
To-Morrow’s Sun may ſee her dreſs’d in Smiles:
Fear, Grief, and Cares, are but the Shades of Life,
That ſerve to brighten each opponent Joy:
And who aſpires at a godlike Crown,
Muſt wade to Glory thro’ a Gulph of Woe.
Ah! ſooth me not: —In vain, my gentle Mother,
In vain you try to heal this wounded Heart.
You ’noint the Surface; but the cheating Balm
Finds no Acceſs to the corrupting Core.
Few Months are paſt, ſince Edwi you beheld
I’th’Robes of pompous Majeſty array’d;
Plac’d on a Throne, and courteouſly teaz’d
With the mock Homage of my ſilken Slaves:
Now view me, now, abandon’d and betray’d,
A pageant Wretch, the Shadow of a King.
Behold yon Army, whoſe proud Banners wave
High in the Air, and dare me to the Field:
Thoſe late approach’d me with a cringing Knee,
Obey’d my Nod, and trembled at my Frown;
But now their Spears are pointed at my Breaſt:
Their greedy Fauchions thirſt for royal Blood,
And Edwi’s Name is made the Sport of Tongues.
I’m told the Traitors have this Morning ſent,
To ſee if you’d agree on certain Terms;
But ſure the tow’ring Eagle ſhould not ſtoop
To ſtand a Parley with the abject Crow.
O, Eleonora! Can theſe Eyes behold
My Country ravag’d by a Civil War?
See madding Sons againſt their Fathers riſe,
And raging Sires ſhed their Childrens Blood?
Pale Nature ſtarts and ſhivers at the Sight,
And the ſick Earth refuſes to imbibe
The kindred Gore that on her Surface flows.
The Fields, untillag’d, yield their Fruits no more;
But o’er his Plough the famiſh’d Hind expires.
O horrid Scene!—My languid Spirits faint,
And this ſad Heart bleeds from its inmoſt Cell.
Might Edwi’s Death my People’s Peace reſtore,
This willing Head ſhould bend beneath their Rage,
And meet with Pleaſure the deciſive Blow.
And are you conquer’d?—Will you tamely yield?
But know, fond Prince, ’tis not thy Death alone:
Not That their impious Fury will apeaſe.
Me they abhor: And let them hate me ſtill;
I neither aſk their Mercy, nor their Love.
But, O, my Elgiva, my tender Child!
That faireſt Bloſſom of my wither’d Age!Q3 The 230 Q3v 230
The gath’ring Tempeſt hovers round her Head,
And Rage and Luſt bring on the horrid Storm.
Ah, Edwi, ſay, how wilt thou bear the Sight,
When they ſhall drag her ſhrieking from thy Arms,
While thou with fruitleſs Rage ſhalt ſpurn the Ground,
And call on Death and Elgiva in vain?
She ſhall be led in ignominious Chains,
To ſerve the Pleaſures of the Victor Foe.
Think—Think on this—.
I do— O Eleonora!
O, thou haſt ſtabb’d me to the inmoſt Soul:
Shall that ſoft Dove, ſhall Elgiva be torn,
From theſe fond Arms, that graſp their Hold in vain?
Shall ſhe be led through unrelenting Crouds
(Whoſe brutal Souls Compaſſion never knew)
To the proud Tent of an uſurping Foe,
There left to weep, and ſtrike her throbbing Breaſt,
To call on Edwi, but to call in vain?
He, in ſome diſtant Dungeon ſtrongly pent,
Shall mourn for her, and with convulſive PangsStrain 231 Q4r 231
Strain the black Sinews of his ſhackled Arms,
And waſh the Ground with unavailing Tears.
Shall it be thus?—Ah, no! Methinks I feel
The Lion rouſe within my glowing Breaſt:
Ere this ſhall be, let Edwi preſs the Field,
All grim in Duſt, and purpled o’er with Wounds.
The Sun grows high—I’ll to each loyal Tent
And rouſe my Troops to the deciſive Blow:
This Sword ſhall know its lazy Sheath no more;
No more ſhall reſt, till I or Treaſon fall.
Thus have I wrought his Temper to my Will:
Thanks to my Genius, and ſucceſsful Arts:
His quiet Spirit ne’er was made for War;
But mighty Love can warm his frozen Blood,
And wake the Lamb to more than Tyger Rage.
He doats on Elgiva: ――On that depends,
On that nice Point, her Safety, and my own.
My Father ne’er obey’d thoſe froward Prieſts;
For which they vow’d Revenge to him and his,
Through the long Record of ſucceeding Time.
Then what have I to hope from Peace?—’Tis War!
War, crown’d with Victory, muſt be my Aim,Q4 And 232 Q4v 232
And the hard Taſk to warm this gentle Prince,
To ſhake off Pity from his ſhrinking Soul,
And puſh him on to Laurels, or Oblivion.
Scene the Enemy’s Camp.Odoff and Dusterandus.
Our Meſſengers are juſt return’d, and bring
A haughty Meſſage from the headſtrong Prince:
That blinded Boy returns our proffer’d Peace
With ſcornful Air, and inſolent Reply:
But ere the Sun ſhall drive his weary Wheels
Down the bright Slope of yon deſcending Sky;
Or I’m miſtaken, or the lofty Youth
His Morning Arrogance ſhall dearly buy.
The Fortune of the Day be ours.—Then
O then, my Odoff, —ſay; beats not thy Heart
At Thought of ſomething dearer than Ambition?
Or I am poorly read in Love’s ſoft Page;Or 233 Q5r 233
Or elſe thoſe Eyes betray the lambent Fire,
When they are caſt on Elgiva the Fair.
Yes, Duſterandus, yes, I will confeſs,
That thoſe bright Eyes have gain’d upon my Heart;
So far have gain’d, that to obtain the Prize,
I’d wade thro’ Seas of reeking Blood, and make
Such horrid Devaſtation, that the Sun
Should ſtart to look on:—Yet this roving Soul
Not long ſhall wear her Chain: —I would but taſte
Her Charms;—Then caſt her off for ſomething new.
That’s well, my Friend, and like a Soldier ſpoke!
Juſt ſo the beauteous Emmel I adore;
Emmel, whoſe Cheeks are like the opening Roſe,
Ere the bright Sun has warm’d its dewy Leaves.
Give me to ſhare the Morning of her Charms,
When thoſe are flown, like other ruſty Spoils
I’d caſt her by, and throw her to my Slaves.
The rev’rend Fathers have begun this War:Thanks 234 Q5v 234
Thanks to their Zeal that furniſh’d us with Means,
Under the Shew of public Good, to ſerve
Love and Ambition.—That’s a Soldier’s Pay;
And the grave Dotards ſhall be taught, that we
Are not put off with ſcanty Recompence:
Weath, and Dominion, Elgiva, and Emmel,
They are the Sounds that charm my glowing Breaſt;
Nor let them fanſy theſe aſpiring Swords,
That dare to hurl young Edwi from his Throne,
Shall creep into their Scabbards, at the Frown
Of ſable-veſted Prieſts, and bald-pate Friers.
That’s right, my Friend! O! let me claſp thee here,
Thus, to my Breaſt, and join our faithful Hands;
And vow to ſerve no Deities, but Love;
Love and Ambition, Int’reſt and Revenge.
A Warrior’s Soul ſhould like his Limbs be fram’d,
Robuſt and hard, nor quickly made to feel;
Of Braſs his Forehead, and his Heart of Steel.
Look up, my Love, and ſtay thoſe lucid Streams:
Look up, and chear thy Huſband with a Smile:
Not all the Horrors we muſt ſoon behold,
Of bleeding Armies, and expiring Troops,
Can wound my Soul like thoſe fair ſtreaming Eyes.
Yet Edwi lives! Then wherefore doſt thou mourn?
O! ſtay thy Tears, till ſome more potent Cauſe
(Perhaps) ſhall force them from thy melting Eye.
What greater Cauſe!—Already I behold,
Already view thee proſtrate on the Duſt
Breathleſs and pale, and ſcarr’d with purple Wounds.
Diſtraction!—Where, then, whither ſhall I flee?
In what black Dungeon hide this curſed Head
This Head, the Cauſe of royal Edwi’s Woe!
My Fathers, and the froward Clergy liv’d
At Enmity; and ſtill their Hate deſcendsOn 236 Q6v 326
On guiltleſs Me, who never wiſh’d them Wrong.
But ſay, ye Powers, whoſe Foreknowledge ſees
Our Torments in the Embryo of Fate,
Why did you not in Mercy ſweep me off,
And let me periſh, while a thoughtleſs Babe?
Then had theſe Lips been Strangers to Complaint,
But calmly clos’d, and have a parting Smile.
Be calm, thou deareſt Partner of my Soul,
And let us not expoſtulate with Heav’n;
That Heav’n which ſtill can bleſs thy happier Days,
And make them chearful as a Morning Sun:
Thy Edwi yet may ’ſcape the furious Bands;
May live to ſee this troubled Land in Peace,
And at thy Feet the ſmiling Olive lay.
O! truſt not to the Chance of doubtful War;
But make thy Peace with yon aſpiring Prieſts,
Ere their proud Banners dare thee to the Field:
Think not of me:—Tho baniſh’d from thy Arms,
In ſome lone Iſland, where no human Foot
E’er preſs’d the Shore, or mark’d the hollow Sand,
Without repining I could ſpend my Days,3 So 237 Q7r 237
So theſe glad Ears might hear the joyful Tale,
How undiſturb’d my Edwi wore the Crown,
And wiſer Albion bleſs’d his gentle Reign.
O, Elgiva! art thou ſo little known
In Edwi’s Soul, to think that he would buy
Crowns and Dominions, with the Loſs of thee?
(Unjuſt Suſpicion!) — No, thoſe lovely Eyes
Shall ſee this Arm ſuſtain the horrid Shock
Of black Rebellion, and ward off the Blow
From thy lov’d Head, or periſh in the Cauſe.
Not all the Torments Nero’s Rage could find,
(Improv’d by ſome inventive Tyrant’s Brain)
Should tear thy Image from this loyal Heart,
Or make it waver in its Truſt to thee.
Come then; O come! and on this faithful Breaſt
Pour out thy Sorrows, and divide thy Cares.
Haſte, royal Edwi! for thy honeſt Troops
Are plac’d in Form on the deciſive Ground:
The vaunting Foes are pouring from their Tents,
And thick as Locuſts darken all the Field:Our 238 Q7v 238
Our daring Soldiers only wait for thee,
To lead them on, to Glory, or the Grave.
I come, my Oſwin! —(Thou for ever dear!)
I fly this Inſtant to the loyal few,
Who dare be honeſt, and defend their King.
But, O ye Gods! Muſt each ſucceſsful Dart,
Each guilty Lance, be ſtain’d with Britiſh Blood,
Whoſe gaſping Sons ſhall preſs the purpled Ground!
That Thought ſtrikes Horror to my bleeding Soul.
No more on’t for the preſent.—Now, farewel!
Farewel, my Queen. Ah! ſtop that guſhing Tide;
Nor fright thy Spirit with imagin’d Ills:
Thoſe Pow’rs that wait on Innocence, like thine,
Will for Thy ſake preſerve thy Edwi’s Life,
And give him back to thy expecting Arms.
O! for the Conſtancy of Cato’s Daughter!
Now, Elgiva, ſuſtain the deadly Shock.
Ah! Wretch, thou’rt loſt: —Loſt on the ſtormy Sea;
And who will bring thee to the friendly Shore?
O, Heavens!—But ſhe wakes:—My Queen! My Love!
O gentle Emmel! take her to thy Care:
Preſt to thy Boſom, lull her into Peace,
And try to ſooth the Anguiſh of her Soul.
Ye Guardian Angels, round her Curtains wait;
Wrapt in celeſtial Viſions let her reſt,
Loſt to her Griefs; and ſlumber out the Day,
Is Emmel gone; and not One Farewel Sigh?
But Sorrow reigns without Diſtinction here:
Each faithful Breaſt is full of Edwi’s Wrongs,
And mean Self-Intereſt can find no Room.
But ſhe returns, fair as the Morning Ray.Enter Emmel.
O thou, too dear! ſay, ſhall thy Oſwin go
To Death’s grim Mart, unbleſs’d, without a Smile?
Talk’ſt thou of Smiles, where gloomy Terrors reignO’er 240 Q8v 240
O’er the dull Roofs, and threaten us with Ruin?
On yonder Couch behold the Royal Fair
Trembling and pale, with Lips as Winter cold;
And languid Eyes that pour inceſſant Show’rs:
Her Spirit ſeems full of preſaging Horrors.
Juſt now ſhe ſtrove to cloſe her weary Lids;
Then, ſtarting, cry’d, O! Oſwin, ſave my King!
And, groaning, fell, and grovel’d on her Pillow.
Ah! wretched Pair, whoſe Lives are, in their Dawn,
O’ercaſt with Clouds of Miſery and Tears!
But I muſt fly to head the martial Bands
Who ſtill are faithful to my Edwi’s Cauſe.
Adieu, thou Fair one; thou whoſe firmer Soul
Bears calmly up amidſt the growing Storm;
In whoſe bright Frame united we behold
Thy Mother’s Prudence, and thy Siſter’s Charms:
But if this Day ’tis Oſwin’s Lot to fall;
If he muſt view thoſe dazling Eyes no more;
Grant me One Sigh (I aſk but One) to pleaſe
My ſhiv’ring Ghoſt, and chear the Paths of Death.
Adieu!—One Sigh!—No, One will not ſuffice:
I have not gain’d ſuch Conqueſt o’er myſelf.
Spite of the Calm that dwells upon my Brow,
Within this Breaſt the ſmother’d Tempeſt rolls:
Philoſophy but wanders round the Verge:
This ſilly Heart ſtill wears the Stamp of Woman.
And when to Heaven I direct my Vows,
For my ſad Siſter, and her Royal Spouſe,
For Edwi’s Safety, and this Land, I pray;
Yet then my Lips this glowing Heart betray;
And while I preſs each Guardian of the Sky,
O, ſave my Oſwin! (unawares) I cry.
Scene the Tent.Emmel and Elgiva.
My Royal Siſter, ſtay theythy Tears a while,
And ſtop the Torrent of this fruitleſs Woe.
You catch the Rod of Heaven, ere it falls,R And 242 R1v 242
And heap dark Mountains of prophetic Ills:
But let us not foreſtal the Hand of Fate:
Let chearful Hope delude the preſent Hour,
Our Lives will yet be long enough for Woe.
O gentle Emmel! Thou, whoſe quiet Breaſt
No Paſſion tears, but Reaſon keeps her Throne;
Nor dreads Rebellion from her ſubject Pow’rs:
Thy prudent Thoughts enjoy perpetual Calm,
Still as the Ev’ning of a Summer’s Day.
Not ſo this Boſom!—That unguarded Fort
Is hourly ravag’d by contending Foes;
Cold Fears, and waſting Sorrows, melt me down,
Till Life’s warm Current ſtagnates in my Veins.
Theſe gloomy Evils gather Strength, while you
Indulge the native Softneſs of your Soul:
A Woman’s Heart, ſo aptly fram’d for Woe,
Has much more Need of Fortitude, than Man’s.
We want the Art to gild a Paſſion o’er
With fraudful Smiles, or hide it with another:
Our ready Organs all betray their Truſt;2 Our 243 R2r 243
Our Eyes, our Tongues, confeſs the ruling Storm,
Or whether it be Sorrow, Rage, or Love.
In vain, my Siſter, yes, in vain, you try
To ſooth the Griefs of this diſtracted Breaſt:
Not Reaſon there, but Edwi’s Image rules.
I ſee him now in Duſt and Blood involv’d,
Oppreſs’d with Numbers, and with ſmarting Wounds:
See the Roſe tremble in his fading Cheek,
While down his Temples rolls a fainting Dew:
Then yelling Crouds ſhall ruſh like Tygers on,
And tread him down—My Edwi!—O! my Heart!
Ah Emmel! ſave me; hide me from myſelf;
From my own Thoughts, and from the Light, for ever.
A Moment’s Patience!—Yet your Edwi lives,
And yet may live for long ſucceeding Years.
When the dark Minute ſhall come on to cloſe
His Life, and lay him with his Parents low,
’Twill then be ſoon enough (believe me ’twill)
To ſigh, and waſh your widow’d Veil with Tears:R2 But 244 R2v 244
But now to Reſt devote the preſent Hour,
And try to loſe the Terrors of this Day.
O gracious Heav’n! if e’er thou heard’ſt the Cry
Of a wrong’d Orphan, or a widow’d Wife;
Hear me; —me Wretched, as the laſt of thoſe!
And ſpare my King, or ſweep us off together.
I aſk—(Ye Saints, be Witneſs to my Pray’r)
For him to live, or with him greatly die.
Scene the Second.
Ambition!—O what Cares have I gone through,
To ſerve thy End!—And more are yet to come.
Not long it is ſince with my Daughter’s Charms
I won the Friendſhip of this luckleſs Prince:
But this Alliance anſwers not its End:
His Throne already from its Bottom ſhakes,
And with the pond’rous Ruin we muſt fall,
If ſome Expedient be not quickly found.
The Traitor Barons are of Beauty fond;Hah! 245 R3r 245
Hah! there’s a Hint:—My Girls are young and fair,
And, as I’m told, are by the Gen’rals lov’d.
It ſhall be ſo:—But why comes not Leander?
I ſent him out, to ſpy the Field of Death,
And ſee which Way Succeſs would move her Wing.
He comes.—Ill Tidings by that mournful Brow.
Ah, noble Lady! Pleas’d with your Commands,
I took th’Advantage of a neighb’ring Hill,
Whoſe Top commanded the deſtructive Field:
There my ſad Eyes beheld the hated Sight
Of kindred Arms againſt each other rais’d,
And bleeding Britons proſtrate on the Duſt:
Strong was the Conteſt, horrible the Fray,
And ſhifting Conqueſt often mov’d her Wing:
At length the Royal Troops began to faint,
And the fluſh’d Rebels viſibly prevail’d.
Three times young Edwi from his Steed was hurl’d,
And thrice he rallied on the vaunting Foe:
I ſaw no more; but turn’d my Eyes away,
And haſted hither with the mournful Tale.
Enough—Leander, leave me to myſelf.Exit Leand.
Now, Eleonora, What is to be done?
Haſte, ſome inventive Genius, to my Aid!
I’ll write to Odoff in ſubmiſſive Terms,
And vow this Night to quit young Edwi’s Camp,
And give my lovely Daughters to their Arms.
Twill do; —and Eleonora ſtill ſhall live
In Splendor,—ſafe beneath the Victor’s Smile.
But now my Daughters, with their puny Virtues,
In them the hardeſt of my Taſk remains.
I’ll truſt ’em not, but ſerpentizing Fraud
Shall from our Guards the Simple ones allure:
Then they are ſafe; and let ’em rage in vain.
’Tis not their Anger I have Cauſe to fear:
And ſhould they curſe me, ’twill be loſt in Air.
It is reſolv’d; and now for the Event.
Scene the Field.Odoff. Dusterandus.
Thus far we’ve conquer’d; made the ſtubborn Foe
Recoil, and leave us Maſters of the Field.
Who would have thought the Royal Stripling bore
Such wond’rous Mettle in his ſlender Frame?
The Victory is not ſo cheaply won
As I could wiſh;—But let it reſt a while:
I truſt the fainting Troops, that yet remain,
Shall not behold To-morrow’s Ev’ning Sun.
Our rev’rend Prelates take a ſpeedy Way
To win their Converts; not with ſlow-pac’d Reaſon,
But the ſhrill Trumpet, and the ſhining Spear.
Then who would to a ſleepy Audience preach,
When ſuch keen Rhetoric as this, brings o’er
Five thouſand Proſelytes in one ſhort Day?
I like their Method, as it ſerves our End.R4 We 248 R4v 248
We Soldiers cannot live by canting Morals:
’Tis Pay and Plunder is the Text for us.
So let ’em ſquabble with ſucceeding Kings:
Be theirs the Pride, the Profit ſhall be ours.
Well ſaid, my Friend;— and let religious Fools
Stand humming o’er a Cauſe:—We know ’tis good,
Provided it can ſhew the Stamp of Gold;
Gold that can heal a formidable Breach,
Or break a Flaw in the moſt ſacred Bond.
My Lord—A Letter from King Edwi’s Camp.
Hah! A Letter! Would the Varlet treat?
It comes too late.—Let’s ſee’t.Reads.
My Lord—Knowledge of your Virtue—
Valour—Pity—Love to Elgiva—
’Tis well!—Retire.Exit Sold.
Come here, my Duſterandus: Here, my Boy.
Who would not be a Soldier!—See, proud Fortune,
That flies indignant from her Slaves of Merit,
Creeps like a Spaniel fawning to our Knees.
Behold theſe Lines! They’re ſign’d by Eleonora;
Who vows to bring her lovely Daughters forth,
Through the King’s Guards, and meet us in the Field,
And give thoſe Beauties to our happy Arms!
Surpriſing this!—’Twere beſt to go attended;
Nor truſt too firmly on the fraudful Lines.
Is Nature baniſh’d from her impious Heart,
That ſhe can ſell her Children to the Foe,
As the rich Price of that unworthy Head?
She dares not now diſſemble; for her Life,
She knows, will quickly be at my Diſpoſal.
’Tis Fear has made her fly for Shelter here:And 250 R5v 250
And what’s her Crime to us?—The Joy be ours:
The Puniſhment be hers.—The Bawd ſhall periſh
As ſoon as we’ve ſecur’d each blooming Fair:
We have no room for greaſy Matrons here.
’Tis right, my Oracle!—O bleſs this Night!
This Night the haughty Emmel ſhall be mine!
Not Cæſar I could envy, bleſt with her,
As thou with Elgiva’s more gentle Charms!
O how ’twou’d pleaſe my Pride to claſp her here
To this glad Breaſt!—While Horror, Rage, and Grief,
Shall reign alternate in her glowing Eyes!
Whilſt raving, weeping, ſtruggling, in my Arms,
I gaze with Rapture on her vary’d Charms.
Scene the Tent.Eleonora and an Officer.
You ſay King Edwi ſleeps i’th’ Field To-night.
He does, encircled by his faithful Troops,
Who vow to laviſh their remaining Blood
For his lov’d Perſon, and his rightful Crown.
Take back our beſt of Wiſhes to the King:
I’ll bear your Meſſage to the Royal Ear.
This Errand ſuits my purpoſe to an Hair:Exit Officer.
And the King’s Abſence.—But behold his Spouſe.Enter Elgiva.
Look up, my Child; thy much-lov’d Edwi lives,
And ſends fair Greeting to his gentle Bride.
Does Edwi live? O let me hear once more
That Sound! More ſoft than Muſic to my Soul!But 252 R6v 252
But why returns he not to bleſs theſe Eyes?
Theſe Eyes, whoſe only Buſineſs is to weep,
And find no Reſpite till they’re bent on him.
To-night he ſleeps amidſt his circling Troops,
On the cold Ground; nor to the Tent returns.
Unhappy King! In a dark Moment born!
What ſullen Star preſided at our Births,
And ſtamp’d us wretched with the Mark of Fate?
Shall thoſe ſoft Limbs, unus’d to rugged War,
Preſs the cold Earth, and claſp the ruthleſs Stones?
Is this the Badge of Royalty and Pow’r?
The ſad Diſtinction of a ſceptred Wretch?
In ſome lone Village better had we liv’d,
The happy Children of two neighb’ring Swains:
There our ſtill Lives had ſmoothly paſs’d away,
Alike unknown to Flattery or Woe;
Our mournful Story had not then been told,
Nor pitying Eye ſhou’d melt at Edwi’s Name;
But we, not ſingled from the common Herd,
Liv’d calmly bleſt, and happily obſcure.
It grieves me, Elgiva, to hear thee mourn;
And more, that Edwi comes not to his Tent.
To-morrow will renew the Face of War:
Why will you rack me with a horrid If?
I know theſe Eyes ſhall ne’er behold him more.
I ſee, already ſee, my Edwi ſlain!
Nor ſhall we meet to ſigh a kind Farewel.
Weep not, my Child; thou ſhalt behold the King:
Myſelf will lead thee to the martial Field:
One of our Guards ſhall lead us to the Place,
Where Edwi reſts amidſt his loyal Friends:
We’ll take no more than one――No pompous Train;
Leſt haply we alarm the diſtant Foe.
And will you tempt the Dangers of the Night,To 254 R7v 254
To pleaſe your Child, and ſooth her frantic Grief?
With thee o’er Waves and horrid Rocks I’d go,
To ſtop thoſe Tears, and ſet thy Heart at Eaſe.
Come then to Reſt, till Midnight’s ſable Wing
Has wrapt the World in Silence and Repoſe.
Scene the Field.Edwi. Oswin.
Methinks the Sun, with more than uſual Haſte,
Has drove his Chariot down yon Æther Steep,
As tho’ his blazing Eye abhorr’d to view
This Field of Blood――Offended at the Rage,
And impious Folly, of unthinking Man;
Of Man, to whom a reas’ning Soul was giv’n;
Fram’d for Benevolence and friendly Pity,
And all the Virtues of celeſtial Mould.
Yet this bleſt Creature, whom the Pow’rs aſſign’dNot 255 R8r 255
Not more to rule than harmonize the reſt,
Throws down his grand Commiſſion—fond to join
The ſavage Herd, and feaſt on purple Gore.
Ah Prince! thy gentle Spirit ne’er was form’d
For waſtful Rapine, and for clam’rous War:
Thy ſhrinking Arm would let the Poniard fall,
Ere it could reach the Breaſt of trembling Age:
Thy Heart would ſoften at an Infant’s Smile,
And weeping Orphans find Compaſſion there:
Such Souls as thine were form’d for happier Worlds,
Where Virtue finds her long-expected Pay;
Where Peace reigns happy in eternal Smiles;
Nor Guilt, nor Sorrow, taints the bliſsful Shore.
To thoſe bleſt Regions let me quickly fly;
For theſe ſick Eyes abhor the Face of Light,
And dread the Beams of next returning Sun:
That Sun, whoſe dawning Luſtre ſhall diſplay
The horrid Scene, which now all-friendly Night,
Beneath her ſhaded Mantle, kindly veils.Can 256 R8v 256
Can I, O Oſwin! can I bear the Sight
Of Thouſands, who but Yeſter-morn were gay;
All freſh and chearful as the blooming Spring;
Now proſtrate lain, and welt’ring in the Duſt?
Some fix’d by Death—The vital Flame extinct;
And ſome yet ſtruggling with convulſive Pangs?
There bleeding Merit undiſtinguiſh’d lies,
And mighty Barons mingled with their Slaves.
Is this (ye Pow’rs) the Price of Albion’s Crown?
Muſt the Foundation of my ſhaking Throne
Be fix’d on Horrors cemented with Blood,
Like the grim Palace of ſome fabled King,
Whoſe ſavage Maw was fed with human Food?
In vain your tender ſympathizing Heart
Bleeds with Compaſſion for a thankleſs Crew:
But now, my Prince, lay by theſe uſeleſs Morals,
Nor longer thus refine upon your Woe:
Let Prudence only claim the preſent Hour,
And that invites you to a ſhort Repoſe.
And ſhall I ſleep on this important Night?
This dreadful Night, when the portentous SkySeems 257 S1r 257
Seems big with Terrors, and each threat’ning Cloud
From its hot Entrails breathes ſulphureous Flames;
The hoarſe-tongu’d Raven, and ſhrill-ſcreaming Owls,
Rend the Black Foreſt with diſcordant Cries:
The wakeful Herds from diſtant Paſtures lowe;
And Nature ſeems to reſt no more than me.
You caſt Imagination on the Rack;
You form dark Viſions, and torment your Breaſt
With fancy’d Evils, and prophetic Fears:
But thou (whoſe Virtues claim the Care of Heaven)
Rid thy preſs’d Soul of this ill-boding Gloom,
Our Cauſe demands Protection from the Sky;
And theſe glad Eyes ſhall ſee the happier Day,
When Edwi, ſeated on his ſtedfaſt Throne,
Shall guide the Reins of unmoleſted Power;
While the pleas’d Nations round his Palace throng,
To court his Friendſhip, and partake his Smiles.
O thou, more precious to my Soul than Crowns!
Cheat not my Fancy with theſe pictur’d Joys:Vol. II. S My 258 S1v 258
My Soul already loaths a Monarch’s Name.
Curſe on the pageant Title that involves,
This glowing Breaſt in never-ceaſing Care;
That ſteals their Slumbers from my weary Eyes,
And bids me ſtand as a diſtinguiſh’d Wretch,
Superior only in my Weight of Woe!
Then hear and pity:—Hear the Servant’s Pray’r,
Thou mighty Being, whom alone I fear;
Whoſe Laws I honour, and whoſe Name adore;
O! ſave my People, and their Peace reſtore:
But if their Peace this forfeit Head muſt buy,
Be England bleſs’d, and let its Monarch die:
To Death’s pale Gloom a willing Shade I’ll go,
Smile at each Pang, and bleſs the fatal Blow.
Scene the Field.Eleonora, Elgiva, and Emmel.
Is this the Path that to my Edwi leads?
Methinks ’tis pav’d with Horrors:—O! my Heart!
It faints and flutters with unuſual Fears:
Why did we venture from the guarded Tents,
Thus unattended, through the dreadful Gloom?
Hah! See, my Siſter! Did you ſee that Star?
Along the Sky it drew a crimſon Train;
Then ſtopp’d, and ſhone with more than uſual Brightneſs;
Sparkled awhile, and vaniſh’d in a Blaze.
Come on, thou ſlow-pac’d Coward!—mind thy Path;
Nor ſearch for Omens in the ſtarry Sky.Exeunt.
Thus far we’ve follow’d them:—What can it mean
That unattended they ſhould wander forth,
And point their Way directly to the Foe?
Whate’er the Motive that induc’d them out;
The Path they take will have a dang’rous End.
I’ll follow ſtill, and intercept their Way,
Altho’ my Life ſhould pay for the Intruſion;
But thou ſtay here— Exit Leand.
The Night is diſmal:—What a Flaſh was there!
The Welkin ſeem’d as one expanded Flame:
How the Sky frowns!—The lab’ring Clouds hang low,
And look as tho’ they had imbib’d the Waves
Of ſable Styx,—and drench’d in ruddy Fires.
Hah! what was that?—the Sound of Womens Cries?
Heav’n guard the Queen.
My Queen!—My Royal Miſtreſs!――Now, ye Powers,
Where are you now, you Guardians of the Juſt?
Was there no Delegate to ſhield her Charms
From the rude Gripe of an inſulting Slave?
Theſe Eyes beheld her, and the beauteous Emmel
Born off by Ruffians to the Traytor’s Camp.
I heard their Screams; but Eleonor was ſtill.
Hah! that has wak’d a Thought.—That curſed Woman,
Mad with Ambition, and the Thirſt of Gain,
Has drawn thoſe Turtles in her fraudful Snare;
Betray’d and ſold them to the Victor Foe.
’Tis ſo. But let us haſten to the King.
Scene Odoff’s Tent.
Where art thou now—O miſerable Wretch!
Say, canſt thou hope to meet thy Edwi here?
Am I a Queen?—Then where’s the pompous TrainS3 That 262 S3v 262
That us’d to follow cringing at my Heels?
Now ſunk beneath the meaneſt of my Slaves,
A captive Wretch, and in a Traitor’s Power:
Yon hoſtile Guards, with a familiar Stare,
Gaze at my Tears, and hiſs me as I paſs.
O! ſay, ye Powers, What is yet to come?
What Weight of Miſery ſtill lags behind?
Juſt then a Thought, more terrible than Death,
Struck like an Arrow thro’ my bleeding Soul.
O! ſave me, Heaven! Save this helpleſs Frame,
From Violence;—or thou, kind Earth, give Way,
And to thy Centre let me ſink alive.
Hail, lovely Queen, whom Nature form’d to rule,
And lead in Chains the unreſiſting World!
What ruthleſs Savage could unmov’d behold
Cheeks bright as Morning ſhaded o’er with Grief;
Afflicted Charms, and Majeſty in Tears?
Curſe on that Sound!—Ah! bear me hence, ye Winds,
To the rude Boſom of ſome trackleſs Wild,
Whoſe unfrequented Shades were ne’er reform’dFrom 263 S4r 263
From their firſt Rudeneſs;—nor the moſſy Ground
E’er knew the Preſſure of a gilded Car;
Where pageant Slaves (like me) may hide their Heads,
And hear the Sound of Majeſty no more.
Why will you thus torment your gentle Soul
With needleſs Sorrows, and afflicting Rage?
Think not I claim you as a Victor’s Due.
Behold me here the Conqueſt of your Eyes:
This ſtubborn Heart, that never bent till now,
Is here ſubdu’d, and more than twice your Slave.
Hence with thy ill-tim’d Flattery; nor dare
To wound my Senſes with a nauſeous Tale.
Curs’d be the Hour, when our heedleſs Steps
(Seduc’d by ſome falſe Genius) took the Path,
The fatal Path, that led to hoſtile Ground.
To Elgiva no Guardian Saint was near:
None;—none to ſave her from a Ruffian’s Hand.
Yet call me not by that opprobrious Name;S4 Behold 264 S4v 264
Behold the Genius that has led you here.
Gives a Letter.
Your Mother ſought her Safety in our Camp,
And prudently reſign’d you to our Care.
What do I ſee!—Now, Nature, boaſt no more
Thy ſacred Ties;—but let all Union ceaſe:
Henceforth ſhall Mothers, with a Tyger’s Rage,
From their warm Boſoms hurl the clinging Babe;
Relentleſs Sons ſhall ſpurn their aged Sires;
And Love and Pity ſhall be heard no more.
Is there no Corner in this Place, to hide
A Wretch that now abhors the chearful Sun:
I’ll find it out, or, grov’ling like my Fate,
Grow to the Earth, and dig myſelf a Grave.
Ye Gods, ſhe’s lovely;—and, like dewy Flowers,
Appears more beauteous thro’ her ſhining Tears;
Her Rage but fans the Fuel of my Love.
I like not thoſe tame Beauties that reſign
Their Charms like Autumn Apples to your Touch,
And with their Bounty cloy you at a Meal:The 265 S5r 265
The yielding Fair-ones pall upon our Hands;
’Tis Contradiction brightens up the Fire:
Smiles often ſeen, no more our Hearts alarm;
But a new Miſtreſs with a Frown can charm.
Ambition lately was my only Aim,
The ſecret Spring whence ev’ry Action mov’d;
But now I find a ſtronger Paſſion glow
In my ſcorch’d Breaſt, that hurries me to Madneſs.
Love at my Years!—and yet it muſt be ſo;
In vain I try to ſtem the ſwelling Tide;
In vain does Reaſon form her ſhallow Mound,
When the ſtrong Torrent ruſhes on my Soul.
Let the dull Stoic boaſt a ſtupid Calm,
Like the ſtill Waters of a muddy Pool:
My warmer Thoughts are in perpetual Motion,
And ſtill puſh forward to ſome diſtant View.
Odoff!—His Image hovers round my Heart;
But how to gain him—that’s a Taſk indeed;
This wither’d Form has long forgot to charm;
My Cheek ſhall know the roſy Bluſh no more;
And theſe dim Eyes neglected roll in vain;
’Tis Fraud, not Charms, muſt gain the lovely Prize.He 266 S5v 266
He comes:—How graceful!—how ſublime his Air!
He looks a Hero, and he moves a King.
The Queen, your Daughter, is inexorable;
No Arts of mine can pacify her Tears.
You mov’d your Suit, my Lord, in a wrong Hour,
And took her in the Tempeſt of her Soul:
But now the Fair-one, weary of her Tears,
Sinks into Slumbers;—all her Woes forgot,
While a gay Viſion ſwims before her Eyes.
Now your ſoft Story, with a better Grace,
Would ſteal thro’ Darkneſs to her liſt’ning ear.
But you are wiſe, and ſhould know how to act.
I leave you to your ſelf――Adieu.
This Woman, ſure, has all the Serpent in her:
The Particles that form’d her ſubtle Soul,
Seem like the Dregs of ſome infernal Lake:
Yet ſhe is uſeful;—and, like the firſt Tempter,
We hate the Counſellor, but love the Fruit.But 267 S6r 267
But ſoft a Moment.—Let not Odoff ſtain
The Name of Soldier with a Villain’s Act.
Perſuaſion, and ſmooth Eloquence, may do;
If not—No Leiſure for Reflection now.
Scene the Apartment of Elgiva.Eleonora covered, as ſleeping. Enter Odoff, with a Taper.
Sleeps Royal Elgiva?—So ſlumb’ring Saints
Are often rous’d from their celeſtial Pillows,
By Mortal Prayers, and complaining Cries.
A Light!—Nay then I’m ruin’d.
Yes, my Lord, ’tis ſhe;
She whoſe unbridled Paſſion brought her hereTo 268 S6v 268
To perſonate the Object of your Love.
The haughty Queen diſdains you;—me ſhe flies,
And ſeeks the darkeſt Corner of the Tent,
Where ſhe may breathe her Curſes on us both;
Yet ſtill can you adore her froward Charms,
While a fond Heart that glories in its Chain,
Is thrown a diſregarded Victim by.
You frown.—I ſee this Form offends your Eye;
But, know, I have an enterprizing Brain,
That may be uſeful thro’ your various Scenes
Of grand Ambition, or of gentle Love.
Then hear me—
Yes, thy dying Groans I will; Stabs her.
More grateful than a Tale of Love from thee.
Confuſion! Where—Ah! whither am I going!
Thou Villain!—O, that I had Strength to rend
Thy parted Limbs, and ſcatter them in Air.
Why haſt thou ſwept me from the World at once?
O! for a Moment――Dies.
’Tis well! Thou haſt the Wages of thy Guilt.
So periſh all who wear the Stamp of thee.
The Delicate Hen. A Fable.
To a Lady who had told the Author, ſhe thought her in Love with a certain Perſon, by her talking ſo much of him, tho’ not in his Commendation.
Not lately, but ſome Years ago,
When Æsop was alive (you know)
Each Pullet, Crow and ſpeckled Pye,
Could talk as well as you or I.
It was in this loquacious Age,
When Æsop wrote his moral Page,
That in the Garden of a Clown,
Who liv’d upon a healthful Down,
A Plat of Vetches wildly grew,
Not greatly pleaſing to the View:The 270 S7v 270
The Soil was barren—(ſo, I ween,
Its Product was not mighty green);
And here and there a Bloſſom bore;
But Thorns and Thiſtles many more.
It happen’d on a Summer’s Day,
When Fields and Gardens all were gay,
A Brace of Pullets that were nigh,
(Pleas’d with the blue and chearful Sky)
O’er theſe ſame Vetches took a Race,
And (like us Women) talk’d apace.
Dame Partlet bore the higheſt Strain;
She ſqueak’d, and cackled out amain:
The Subject of her Chat was this,
If Vetches boil’d, would eat amiſs.
Sometimes ſhe lik’d ’em mighty well;
But ſoon from that Opinion fell,
And to the Negative inclin’d;
As thinking they were full of Wind;
Their Taſte inſipid, harſh, and dry,
Rough to the Palate, as the Eye:Beſides, 271 S8r 271
Beſides, their Colour, it was dun:
And thus her Tongue at random run.
It chanc’d a liſt’ning Dove was near,
Who ſmartly anſwer’d; But, my Dear,
Although you run the Vetches down,
I dare to forfeit half a Crown,
(Nay, I ſuſpected it at firſt)
You’d dine upon them, if you durſt.
She ſaid,—And Partlet made Reply,
(Firſt turning up a ſullen Eye)
Doves may be out, as well as Crows:
I’m not ſo keen as you ſuppoſe.
’Tis true, this Sort of Pulſe may do
For ſome of the voracious Crew;
But mine’s a Stomach pretty nice,
Can better reliſh Wheat and Rice:
Yet if theſe are not to be had,
Barley may do, if ’tis not bad:
No coarſer Food;—not Vetch nor Pea,
Tho’ there were Buſhels in my Way:For 272 S8v 272
For if no better I can find,
(Tho’ you may blame my haughty Mind)
I vow and ſwear, as I’m a Sinner,
I’ll rather go without my Dinner.
Why did that Day neglected flee
Which gave you the World, and me?
But you muſt ſuffer now for all;
Nor think to ’ſcape without a Scraul.
A ſhocking Compliment have I
To make its Ent’rance by-and-by
(In which not Flamus rivals me);
And ’tis by way of Simile.
But firſt, as Dedicators do,
I muſt acquaint the World and you,
That I to flatter can’t tell you how:
But what we write we dare avow;And 273 T1r 273
And, in a Word, we ſhall declare,
’Tis all as true as you are there.
For tho’ your Mira loves you more,
Than ever Mira’s did before;
Believe her, ſhe has no ſuch Views
As your grave Servant Mr. H—s.
Mince-Pye, green Beans, and a fine Hen,
We had for Supper, you know when;
Which Pullet we intend (’tis true)
As Emblem of its Owner, You.
And now you ſtart, and cry—Nay, then!
’Cauſe we compare you to a Hen:
But do not Swains compre their Loves
To Kids, and Lambs, and Turtle-Doves?
And ſmall the Odds, if we may gueſs,
Save one is larger, t’other leſs.
But to proceed;—The Sauce was rare;
The Fowl was tempting, plump, and fair:Vol.II. T And 274 T1v 274
And yet yourſelf unkindly told,
I fear the Chick is ſomething old.
’Thad been a Secret, but for you,
And undiſcern’d by Taſte or View:
But now (as ’tis the Poets Faſhion)
Proceed we to the Application.
As firſt;—Regard this faithful Page;
Nor rank yourſelf with hoary Age:
For who amongſt the Crew, whom Pride
Leads to your chearful Fire-ſide,
Can judge the Number of your Days,
Which not your Face nor Wit betrays?
And tho’ not Shrivla’s Hat you wear,
Nor Fadia’s bugle Solitair;
Nor Olga’s Curls, which (ah!) betray:
What would the babling Monſter ſay?
No Treaſon.—Ogla’s Locks are grey.
Yet the ſpruce Mob, that with a Pin
You careleſs fix beneath the Chin,Is 275 T2r 275
Is more becoming fifty times,
If you will truſt a Poet’s Rhymes:
Yet I am told, (can prove it too)
There’s a Coſmetic us’d by you,
Whoſe ſov’reign Virtue can infuſe
More Sweetneſs than Arabian Dews:
It ſmooths the brow that’s mark’d by Care,
And gives the Lips a ſmiling Air:
The ſoften’d Cheek it gently warms,
And gives the Eyes reſiſtleſs Charms.
From Heav’n it came; yet none declares
What Name the wond’rous Med’cine bears
Above the Stars. We only know
’Tis call’d Good-Nature here below.
The Muses Embassy.
The Muſes, as ſome Authors ſay,
Who found their Empire much decay,
Since Prior’s Lute was ſtopp’d by Death,
And Pope reſign’d his tuneful Breath,
Fair Iris call’d, and bid her go,
And ſearch the buſy World below:
But chief among the female Kind
They bid her look, if ſhe could find
(Altho’ her Journey ſhould be long)
The fruitful Parent of a Song.
The careful Goddeſs took her Round,
And travel’d long: At laſt ſhe found,
Beyond the very Skirts of Fame,
An humble, but a fertile Dame,
Who brought forth Infants, two and two;
But ſuch no Creature ever knew:With 277 T3r 277
With Scars and Botches blemiſh’d o’er;
Some hump’d behind, and ſome before;
And Cripples in the laſt Degree,
Some ne’er a Foot, and ſome had three.
The puzzled Goddeſs hardly knew,
Nor gueſs’d at what ſhe’d beſt to do;
Or ſtill on Earth to let them lie,
Or bear the Pygmies to the Sky,
To ſhame the wretched Parent more,
And ſet Parnaſſus in a Roar.
Thus ſtood Iris, full of Care,
Till came by a gentle Fair,
Who on the crippled Infants ſmil’d,
And pity’d each neglected Child.
The doubting Goddeſs lik’d the Dame;
Inquired of her Place and Name;
And did not ſcruple to declare,
She’d truſt the Infants to her Care,
To form their Bodies, and their Minds,
Till they ſhould flouriſh into Rhymes;T3 And 278 T3v 278
And for the Charge, ſhe durſt to ſay,
The Muſes would be ſure to pay.
This done, ſhe bid a ſhort Adieu,
And to her Hill the Goddeſs flew,
Where ſat the Muſes in a Ring,
And in the midſt their laurel’d King.
In brief fair Iris told her Tale,
And what ſhe found on yonder Vale;
But to conform them into Rule,
She ſet the wayward Brats to School.
To whom? The tuneful Virgins cry’d:
To Partheniſſa, ſhe reply’d.
Much Wonder thro’ the Circle ran,
Till Thalia roſe, and thus began:
To Partheniſſa! cries the Dame;
I’m not a Stranger to her Name:
Nor had I ſent, if you muſt know,
Swift Iris to the World below,
The drowſy Nation to explore,
But to enhance her Fame the more.Now, 279 T4r 279
Now, to the World let it be known,
She has a Daughter of her own.
Then from Amaranthine Bowers,
Spangled with immortal Flowers,
She brought the Babe.――Polyhymnia ſmil’d,
And each, by turns, ſalute the Child.
Hail! fair Mortal, cries the Ring:
Hail! replies their laurel’d King.
Welcome to our bliſsful Bowers,
Fields of ever-blooming Flowers!
Here for ever mayſt thou ſhine,
Beauteous Darling of the Nine!
To all the World let this appear,
To tell them Timon has been here,
To viſit both my Verſe and me.
Was Timon here?—And what ſaid he?
Nay, that’s a Tale too hard, d’ye ſee:
As well you might to Queſtion call
The Eloquence of yonder Wall;
Or aſk how mould’ring Statues ſing,
Or Buſts of Arthur, England’s King.
Hold, Mira!—nay, conſider—fie!
Your Pardon, Madam—Bards will lye:
By their Example, ſo may I.
But now (from Jealouſy to ſcreen us)
I’ll tell you all that paſs’d between us.
In came the Swain, with Cap in Hand:
You’ll pleaſe to ſit—I’d rather ſtand:Look, 281 T5r 281
Look, here are Seats, Sir, three or four:
But I approve the Window more.
Then Mira’s Tongue began to clack,
As if ſhe’d oil’d it o’er with Sack:
What a cold Shower lately fell!
Your Siſter looks exceeding well:
(For ſoft Janira too was there)
You, Madam, look extremely fair.
I’m mighty glad you both are come:
And how do all your Friends at home?
Now, wanting Breath, a Pauſe ſucceeds:
The Muſe is call’d, and Timon reads.
All ſerious ſat the awful Swain;
But Mira could not long contain.
Well, how d’ye like the Rhymes, I pray?
D’ye think they’ll paſs?—Good Madam, ſay?
Look! here is an heroic Letter;
But ſome approve of Doggrel better:
And here’s an Ode—Peruſe it—come;
And let us hear your Judgment—Hum!Nay, 282 T5v 282
Nay, I muſt own they’re ſimple Things:
The Muſe ſhould prune her aukward Wings.
O, Sir! what! you have finiſh’d this?
And how d’ye like— Your Servant, Miſs.
Fuddling Dicky, and Scolding Nelly.
So! you’re come home exceeding ſober!
Thou reeling Hogſhead of October:
Faugh! out upon’t!—There comes a Gale
Of ſtinking Pipes, and ſowre Ale!
Uh! what a plague’s the Matter now?
Why let’s alone, you dirty Sow.
Don’t fright yourſelf: Whate’er I do,
I ſhall keep far enough from you.
So thou hadſt beſt, thou dirty Beaſt!
What would I give to be releas’d,
To ſee the End of all my Sorrow,
And have thee laid i’th’Ground To-morrow?
And ſo I find you’d have me die:
I thank you Nelly――By-and-by.
They ſay that Bed is cold; alack!
I’d fain have Nelly at my Back.
Thou Scoundrel!—But I might have thought,
That I ſhould live to want a Groat,
When I, that came of good Degree,
Debas’d myſelf, and marry’d thee.
’Tis true, indeed, like ſparkling Perry,
My Anceſtors were poor and merry:My 284 T6v 284
My Father’s Name was honeſt Saunders:
A Fig for Lords and Alexanders.
You might have been aſham’d to ſtay,
And guzzle, guzzle, all the Day:
With what kind Dame have you been billing?
And have you ſpent your South-Sea Shilling?
Huzza!――Hold not ſo hot, my Dear:
Send Cic’ly for a Pint of Beer:
This Life, you know, how ſoon it ends:
Let’s drink together, and be Friends.
Minutius. Artemisia. A Dialogue.
Dear Ma’am, your Servant—How d’ye do?
Indiff’rent, Sir――And how do you?
Why, my offended Taſte declares
This Br――ly is the worſt of Airs;
Where ſtanding Wells, and putrid Drains,
And ſweating Nymphs, and ſpawling Swains,
On either Side, before, behind,
Provide a Stench for ev’ry Wind.
Who can endure the hideous Scene,
Where ev’ry Face creates the Spleen?And 286 T7v 286
And were it not for one or two
Of Ladies, delicate as you,
No Gentleman of Taſte would ſtay
In this loath’d Pariſh half a Day.
But, now we talk of fulſome Things,
I fain would hear how Mira ſings;
(Ye Muſes! fly to diſtant Climes,
Nor let our ſpinſters ſcribble Rhymes)
For you, dear Madam, I am told,
Have help’d to make the Damſel bold;
Have help’d to ſtain the ſacred Bays,
By ſmiling on her fooliſh Lays.
Your Informations are not wrong;
For I’m a Friend to Mira’s Song;
And love the Rhymes, altho’ I know
From whence the rude Productions flow:
Nay (what’s a Paradox to you)
I likewiſe can the Author view;Can 287 T8r 287
Can bear her nigh—yet calmly ſit
Without a Qualm, or fainting Fit.
But here—peruſe this artleſs Scribble,
And ſift it thro’ a Critic’s Riddle;
Then ſhall we taſte its Beauties more,
When you have purg’d the droſſy Ore;
And ſee the Senſe diſtinct and plain,
The Chaff extracted from the Grain.
He! he!—Are theſe the Verſes then?
She wrote ’em with a filthy Pen.
As I’m a Gentleman, I vow
I never ſaw the like till now:
There’s not a Stop throughout the Song;
Or, if there is, ’tis planted wrong:
The hideous Scrawl offends my Sight:
But how ſhould ſhe know how to write
’Tis time to lay all Science by,
If ſuch as ſhe muſt verſify.
Nay, ſoftly, Sir!—If I am right,
You ſtep beſide the Queſtion quite.
That you ſhould mark,—was my Intention,
Her Thought, her Language, and Invention;
Point out the Blemiſhes, and tell
Where the Lines fall, and where excel;
Yet keep your Patience, tho’ you ſee
A crump-back’d H or faulty G;
For, truſt me, Sir, I never try’d
To recommend her for a Scribe.
Your Pardon, Madam! But I find
It is the Fault of Womankind
To overlook theſe ſolid Cares,
For Wit, and Froth, and ſprightly Airs.
But to the ’foreſaid Obſervation:
This Line is an Interrogation:Then 289 U1r 289
Then where’s the proper Mark to ſhow it?
(A-pize on ſuch an empty Poet!)
Next, to all Eyes it will appear,
An Aſteriſk is wanting here.
Look! here ſhould be a Pauſe—and this
Inclos’d in a Parentheſis:
And here――Nay, Madam, do not frown,
For here’s a Comma upſide down.
Shall Crimes like theſe go by unheeded?
Might I adviſe, I’d have her bleeded.
The Girl is ſure beſide her Wits,
And ſcribbles in her frantic Fits.
But ſtay—Your Patience I offend:
I wiſh your Poeteſs would mend:
Till then, I ſolemnly declare,
Her Verſes are not worth your care.
With Walking ſick, with Court’ſies lame,
And frighted by the ſcolding Dame,
Poor Mira once again is ſeen
Within the Bounds of Goſslin-Green.
O Artemisia! dear to me,
As to the Lawyer golden Fee;
Whoſe Name dwells pleaſant on my Tongue,
And firſt, and laſt, ſhall grace my Song;
Receive within your friendly Door
A Wretch that vows to rove no more:
In ſome cloſe Corner let me hide,
Remote from Compliments and Pride;
Where Morals grave, or Sonnets gay,
Delude the guiltleſs chearful Day;
Where we a ſprightly Theme may find,
Beſides enquiring where’s the Wind,Or 291 U2r 291
Or whiſp’ring who and who’s together,
And criticizing on the Weather;
Where careleſs Creatures, ſuch as I,
May ’ſcape the penetrating Eye
Of Students in Phyſiognomy;
Who read your want of Wit or Grace,
Not from your Manners, but your Face;
Whoſe Tongues are for a Week ſupply’d
From one poor Mouth that’s ſtretch’d too wide;
Who greatly blame a freckled Hand,
A ſkinny Arm, full Shoulders; and,
Without a Microſcope, can ſpy
A Noſe that’s plac’d an Inch awry.
In vain to gloomy Shades you flee;
Like Mice, in darkneſs they can ſee:
In vain to glaring Lights you run;
Their Eyes can face a mid-day Sun:
You’ll find no Safety in Retreat;
Like Sharks, they never mince their Meat;
Their dreadful Jaws they open throw,
And, if they catch you, down you go.
A New Ballad. To the Tune of Goſslin Common.
Once on a time, all in a Town,
There liv’d a Lady gay,
As Poets ſing—of great Renown:
But whether now on Earth ſhe roves,
Alas! we cannot ſay;
Or in the fair Elyſian Groves:
But if ſhe walks beneath the Moon,
Among the Sons of Clay,
For her our ſmiling Fields ſhall bloom:
Ah! come away.
Now in his Chariot ſhines the Sun,
So brilliant and ſo gay;
The ſtormy Rains are paſt and gone:
Ah! come away.
Before her may the Puddles dry,
And Jetty point the Way;
While gentle Zephyrs fan the Sky:
Make no Delay.
Corydon. Phillario. Or, Mira’s Picture. A Paſtoral
Within the Bounds of yonder fruitful Plain
Liv’d Corydon, a harmleſs Shepherd Swain;
Whoſe Care was chiefly to his Flock confin’d,
Whoſe ſmiling Features ſpoke a chearful Mind.
Behind his Dwelling ſtood a friendly Hill;
Before it, Paſtures, and a purling Rill.
From the great Mart of Buſineſs, and of Fame,
To this Retreat, the gay Phillario came:
He came—But how he ſpent the ling’ring Hours,
Amid ſtill Meadows, and ambroſial Bow’rs;
Whether he liv’d on Blackberries and Whey,
Or if he ſigh’d for Ombre and Bohea;
Whether he thought a Summer’s Day too long;
To tell, is not the Purpoſe of my Song:’Tis 295 U4r 295
’Tis their Diſcourſe alone that fills our Tale.
Begin—One Morning, in a flow’ry Vale,
This Couple walk’d, to hear the Linnet ſing,
And ſhare the Beauties of the dawning Spring:
Phillario thus—What Nymph, O Shepherd! reigns
The rural Toaſt of theſe delightful Plains?
For much I fear th’ Arcadian Nymphs outſhine
The ſhiv’ring Beauties of this Northern Clime.
Young Daphne ſome, and ſome Amynta praiſe;
Some doat on Delia for her graceful Eaſe:
Some wond’ring Swain bright Cynthia’s Eye inſpires;
Another Claudia’s charming Voice admires:
Some like no Face but Phillada’s the fair;
And ſome Cymene’s, with the raven Hair.
But who is ſhe that walks from yonder Hill,
With ſtudious Brows, and Night-cap Diſhabille?U4 That 296 U4v 296
That looks a Stranger to the Beams of Day;
And counts her Steps, and mutters all the Way?
’Tis Mira, Daughter to a Friend of mine;
’Tis ſhe that makes your what-d’ye-call—your Rhyme.
I own the Girl is ſomething out o’th’way:
But how d’ye like her? Good Phillario, ſay!
Like her!—I’d rather beg the friendly Rains
To ſweep that Nuiſance from thy loaded Plains;
—Hold, Phillario! She’s a Neighbour’s Child:
’Tis true, her Linen may be ſomething ſoil’d.
Her Linen, Corydon!—Herſelf, you mean.
Are ſuch the Dryads of thy ſmiling Plain?Why, 297 U5r 297
Why, I could ſwear it, if it were no Sin,
That yon lean Rook can ſhew a fairer Skin.
What tho’ ſome Freckles in her Face appear?
That’s only owing to the time o’th’Year.
Here Eyes are dim, you’ll ſay: Why, that is true:
I’ve heard the Reaſon, and I’ll tell it you.
By a Ruſh-Candle (as her Father ſays)
She ſits whole Ev’nings, reading wicked Plays.
She read!—She’d better milk her brindled Cows:
I wiſh the Candle does not ſinge her Brows,
So like a dry Furze-faggot; and, beſide,
Not quite ſo even as a Mouſe’s Hide.
Come, come; you view her with malicious Eyes:
――Where Mountains upon Mountains riſe!And, 298 U5v 298
And, as they fear’d ſome Treachery at hand,
Behind her Ears her liſt’ning Shoulders ſtand.
But ſhe has Teeth――
――Conſid’ring how they grow,
’Tis no great matter if ſhe has or no:
They look decay’d with Poſſet, and with Plumbs,
And ſeem prepar’d to quit her ſwelling Gums.
No more, my Friend! for ſee, the Sun grows high,
And I muſt ſend the Weeders to my Rye:
Thoſe ſpurious Plants muſt from the Soil be torn,
Leſt the rude Brambles over-top the Corn.
The XVIIIth Psalm Imitated, to the 15th Verſe.
Ye ſainted Virgins, and celeſtial Choirs,
With ſacred Hymns my riſing Heart inſpire;
A grateful Off’ring to your Gates I bring,
A Song of Praiſe to Heav’n’s tremendous King.
Let ev’ry Creature join the grateful Sound,
That ſkim thro’ Air, or tread the moſſy Ground:
The God of Iſrael, and Jehovah ſing;
The dread and glorious Guard of Jacob’s King.
Be ſtill, ye Winds, that o’er the Ocean fly,
Nor with your Motion vex the beauteous Sky.
Swelling Raptures in my Boſom roll,
And great Ideas lift my riſing Soul.Praiſe 300 U6v 300
Praiſe the Lord, ye Nations, Pow’rs, and Tongues;
Both Slaves, and Sceptres, join the chearful Song:
Let balmy Odours from the Altars riſe,
And Hallelujahs fill the joyful Skies.
While the warm Life ſhall in my Art’ries ſpring,
My Tongue ſhall talk to Heav’n’s immortal King;
Whoſe Mercy led me thro’ ſurrounding Fires,
And bore me ſafely o’er the quaking Mires.
When, ſwifter than the foaming Surges roll,
Pale Woes came ruſhing on my wounded Soul;
When the grim Deep, with her extended jaw,
Breathed Deſtruction from the hideous Flaw;
Unhurt I paſs’d, beneath His ſacred Hand,
Thro’ hiſſing Legions, and deſtructive Brands.
Bleak Envy trembled at his awful Nod,
And frighted Malice dropt her baneful Rod:
The God of Mercy view’d my bleeding Wrongs;
His Fury kindled at the impious Throng;The 301 U7r 301
The Darts of Vengeance at my Foes He threw,
And forky Lightnings ſhone with dreadful Hue:
Then Wrath deſcended from the heav’nly Fields,
And hurling Tempeſts drove the rapid Wheels:
With Terror crown’d, and with Confuſion rob’d,
Then from her Centre ſhook the trembling Globe;
The Stars, affrighted, from their Orbs retir’d,
And Whirlwinds rage amidſt the curling Fires:
Smoke before him roll’d in purple Clouds;
Vengeance follow’d in a flaming Shroud:
Then the low-brow’d Rocks affrighted ſaw
The yawning Deep ſtretch out her fearful Jaw,
Rend her Foundations, and expoſe to Sight
The Realms of Chaos, and perpetual Night.
Vindictive Hail in horrid Sheets was hurl’d;
And awful Thunder ſhook the quaking World;
A dreadful Shade poſſeſs’d the troubled Sky,
And thro’ the Whirlwinds temp’rate Angels fly;At 302 U7v 302
At whoſe Command the livid Lightings glare,
Blended with Confuſion and Deſpair.
Contention, in the Shape of ſcorching Brands,
Poured Deſtruction on the waſting Lands.
Bleak Sickneſs, wrapt with her infectious Robe,
Led on a Train of complicated Woes:
Vengeance frown’d, and ſhook her dreadful Rod;
The Heavens tremble, and the Mountains nod.
Letters, &c. Written by Mrs. Leapor.
The following Piece was written by the Author when very young.
Upon my lately reading a Diſcourſe, wherein the Author ſeemed to reflect with great Severity on the Errors and Vices of wealthy People, and at the ſame time to congratulate the Poor, in that their Poverty ſecured them againſt various Temptations, eſpecially Pride; ſome little Contradiction ariſing in my Mind, led me inſenſibly into a Train of Thoughts, which I ſhall preſent to the Reader without any further Apology.—If we conſider the Behaviour of Mankind, from the Prince to the Peaſant, we ſhall find the Seeds of the ſame Paſſions, the ſame Virtues and Vices 304 U8v 304 Vices, in all Ranks and Degrees of People: Pride is a kind of epidemical Vice in the Minds of Youth; with which, in different Degrees, all are poſſeſs’d, and exert themſelves according to their diffrent Circumſtances. A new Gown, a lac’d Mob, a Necklace, and a Topknot, are Felicities courted with as much Impatience, and purſued with as great Anxiety, by ordinary Females, as rich Brocades, gilt Chariots, and powder’d Footmen, are by thoſe in a more conſpicuous Station. The ſame Obſervation may be made in the Male World; and, in my Opinion, a new Surtout, or a modiſh Wig, are Motives full as worthy to engage the Attention of a reaſonable Creature, as a Silver- hilted Sword, or an embroider’d Waiſtcoat. Wealth is certainly a great Bleſſing, when it falls into the Poſſeſſion of worthy Perſons: It gives a Luſtre to thoſe Virtues and Attainments, that, without it, dwindle away, and are loſt in Obſcurity: It adds Reverence to the Divine, Authority to the Philoſopher, Honour to the Soldier, and at leaſt, his uſual Recompence, Praiſe to the Poet. On the other hand, altho’ the modeſt Virgin, the tender Mother, the agreeable Friend, and the pious Matron, are Gems that will ſhew themſelves to Advantage, even in a Cottage; 305 X1r 305 Cottage; yet how much more amiable are theſe Accompliſhments in a higher Station, when adorned with Generoſity, Learning, and a refined Behaviour! But then, as Virtue appears in a more majeſtic Form by the Addition of Wealth and Power; ſo the Vices and ill Qualities of People of Condition appear with a Face of double Deformity, by reaſon their Behaviour has a ſort of Influence on the reſt of Mankind. I have before obſerved, that there is a Tincture of Ambition in all Degrees; and thoſe who cannot come up to the Wiſdom and Sublimities of their Superiors, can at leaſt imitate their Vices and Imperfections. How ſhocking then is the Behaviour of ſome Perſons bleſſed with plenteous Fortunes, good Underſtanding, ſprightly Wit, and Talents which, if rightly applied, would diſtinguiſh them more from the reſt of Mankind, than the Number of their Acres, or the Inſolence of their Power; yet, charmed with the mock Homage of their ſilken Slaves, and ſtupid with intoxicating Pleaſure, he gives a Looſe to his long-ſtruggling Paſſions, to take in Luxury, with its licentious Train! Diſcarded Reaſon having taken her Flight, charmed with his new Companions, the intoxicated Idiot ſcarce believes he is mortal; Pride, Tyranny, Vol.II. X and 306 X1v 306 and Rapine, follow; and Innocence and Beauty fall unpitied Victims at his lawleſs Altar. Thus, if pamper’d Vice makes ſo terrible a Figure, how careful ought thoſe to be, whom Providence has entruſted with a larger Share of what we call the Goods of Fortune, that they may not, by their Example, corrupt the Minds of thoſe below them! For altho’, as I have before hinted, there are the ſame Inclinations to Ill in all ſorts of People, yet the Vices, as well as Virtues, of the Indigent are not ſo viſible, nor ſo much regarded in the Eye of the World, tho’ they are of the ſame Conſequence to their own Perſons; and neither Wealth nor Power, Poverty nor Subjection, can ſecure us from thoſe Paſſions and Inquietudes ſo natural and ſo painful to a thinking Being. Ambition is the conſtant Torment of ſprightly and aſpiring Minds: It haunts the Wiſe thro’ all their varied Syſtems of Philoſophy, and reigns within the Boſom of the Satiriſt, even whilſt he ridicules it as an unſatisfying and empty Folly. Providence does not think fit always to beſtow Wealth upon the greateſt Minds; but, on the contrary, People of the beſt Capacities are often under the Frowns, or at leaſt the Indifference, of Fortune: It is a great Happineſs, when ſuch 7 Perſons 307 X2r 307 Perſons can ſuit their Minds to their Condition. It is not in every one’s Power to be rich; but it is in every one’s Power to be content, if he will endeavour it; unleſs the Party be under the immediate Hand of great Poverty, or real Sorrow; and then I believe it ſcarce poſſible for a Perſon that has any Taſte of Happineſs or Miſery to be truly eaſy, while he is under the dreadful Apprehenſion of wanting the common Neceſſaries of Life: But where Poverty does not appear in ſuch a frightful Shape, it is a great Abſurdity to loſe the Taſte of preſent Enjoyments, by graſping and mourning for Things beyond all Poſſibility of our ever obtaining. Thoſe who cannot ſhine in a partial and ingrateful World, may deſpiſe it; and, conſcious of their Innocence and concealed Perfections, may, with equal Temper, look down on Cenſure and Applauſe. This happy Virtue will bear the Perſon who enjoys it ſafe thro’ the tumultous Waves of Sorrow, Diſappointment, Cenſure, and Deriſion; and open a Proſpect, thro’ the Gloom that hangs about him, to a more more joyful Scene of Peace, Juſtice, and Immortality.
On the Eſſay on Woman in Vol. II. p. 64.
I Have read your agreeable Raillery with much Pleaſure.—I muſt own your Weapons are pretty keen; and I can find no better Defence, than by turning ſome of them back upon my Accuſer.—Firſt, as to the Whole: You are very well acquainted with the Chriſtian Syſtem, and muſt know, that as I turned out naked my youngeſt and moſt neglected Child The Eſſay on Woman. to your Mercy, you ought to have given it a Garment this cold Seaſon, and not upbraid its Poverty.— Next, great Letters are my Averſion: IcouldI could never write them well; and they always look like a Parcel of misſhapen Dutchmen.—Notwithſtanding your Compliment, of ſeeing my Picture in Pamphilia, I muſt affirm it is not ſo.—Now to the Feaſt: You are not to ſuppoſe a Woman of Corelia’s Character would admit of Two Diſhes upon her Table at once: No; they are ſeparate Meals; and the Potatoes are not introduced as Sawce to the Pye.— Now, 309 X3r 309 Now, dear Madam, if you conſider this, you will find nothing inconſiſtent there.—Now to the Muſes: I don’t call them to fortify my Walls againſt Wealth itſelf, but againſt Wealth in ſuch a Shape as we had then deſcribed; and you are not to think, that Poets, who love Eaſe and Pleaſure, and the moſt gay Delights of Life, ſhould hate the only Means of obtaining it.— You will pardon this Remonſtrance from
Your humble Servant,
Sent with the Poem called The Procalamtion of Apollo, inſerted in Vol. I. p. 41.
The Occaſion of this Whim was the reading of that Liſt prefixed to Mr. Pope’s Dunciad, which tells us the Number of his Enemies.—After having fretted at their Impudence, who durſt ſcribble againſt my favourite Author, I began to reflect on the Stupidity of Gooſe-quill Wars, and theſe Knight-Errants of Apollo.X3 This 310 X3v 310
This Paper has nothing to boaſt of; but, as it is new, you may perhaps think it worth reading: And if I have the Happineſs to amuſe you at a leiſure Hour, it is enough for
Your humble Servant,
Thalia, To Miſs Biddy.
I Won’t command, but I think I have a Right to entreat you, to pay a Viſit to Mira ſhortly; for ſhe is extremely buſy, adding, curtailing, and eraſing one Piece of Nonſenſe, to ſubſtitute another in its ſtead: So that, without your ſpeedy Admonition, the Tragedy will probably be reduced to a Farce, and from that to a ſimple Dialogue. I therefore beg you to check her Inſolence, and you will highly oblige
Your humble Servant,
On her Verſes being ſent to London.
I Yeſterday received a Letter from my Aunt, who commends the Verſes, as a Boy would do his Firmity: They are very good, and I deſire ſome more. She is very ſententious, but ſeems uneaſy thro’ too much Buſineſs; and has concluded her Epiſtle with a Brace of Lines, which I ſhrewdly ſuſpect to be ſtolen from St. Matthew. They are theſe: So you ſee, my Dear, I am cumbered about many things; and you have choſen the better Part. I caſt a languiſhing Eye upon the Waggon Yeſterday. It is impoſſible to expreſs the Hopes, the Fears, the various Conjectures, and Reveries, that your humble Servant muſt undergo this important Seaſon. I am like the unhappy Gentleman mentioned in the Guardian; and can ſcarce endure the bare Pronunciation of the Letter S: The hiſſing of the Tea-kettle diſtracts me; and if I meet a Gooſe, I ſhun him as I would a Lion, or a Crocodile. I intend ſpeedily to provide a Quantity of Hyſteric Drops, being apprehenſiveX4 prehen- 312 X4v 312 prehenſive of Fits at the SoundSound of the Poſt- horn. I can’t hear the Playhouſe ſpoke of without trembling; and ſhall not dare to look into a News-paper, for fear of meeting with the Name of Cibber.
Yet, after all, Mira has her gay Intervals, and an excellent Knack at Caſtle-building. In ſhort, if our Scheme ſucceeds, I intend to ſhew my Public Spirit: As, firſt, I ſhall open two or three more Windows in the College-Chapel, and perhaps add another Iſle to it. I ſhall erect a few Alms-houſes; and have ſome Thoughts of founding an Hoſpital for indigent or diſtracted Poets. I preſume this will take up as much of my ſuperfluous Wealth as I can ſpare from the Extravagance of a gay Retinue and ſplendid Equipage, in which I intend to abound. Amidſt all this, I ſhall not be ingrateful, tho’ perhaps ſomewhat haughty. Yet my Chariot or Landau ſhall be ever at your Service, and ready to convey you to my Country-ſeat, or to my Houſe in Hanover-ſquare. But, till all this ſhall happen, I am proud to ſubſcribe myſelf
Your humble Servant,
On her Writings being to be printed.
I Am ſorry to hear you are not well, and am afraid you are uneaſy about the Succeſs of my Writings; which I ſhould be grieved to think of. Let the worſt happen, I am but as I was before: I ſhall eat as long as I can, and ſleep when I am eaſy. There is the ſame Air for me to breathe in, and the ſame all-chearing Sun. And as my few Acquaintance did not take to me upon the Account of Poetry, ſo they will ſcarcely fall off upon its ill Succeſs.
Dear Madam, I thank you for your kind Admonition: Yet I believe you miſtook my Intention; which was not to meditate upon Homer, but, out of an exceſſive Curioſity (peculiar to my Temper), to know the latter End; tho’ I intend to read and digeſt him at a more proper time. I beg your Pardon for ſcribbling to you twice in one Day; but, as it is a Pleaſure to me to be talking to you, I hope you will pardon this, and many ſuch Faults, in
Your humble Servant,
On the ſame Subject.
I Am obliged to the Gentleman for his Criticiſms on my Verſe, and think they are moſt of them right; and if it is not led to the Flames, like many of its Predeceſſors, thoſe Lines which he has taken Notice of ſhall be altered.
But as to what he obſerves concerning Stephen Duck, I am of Opinion, that it was not his Situation, but the Royal Favour, which gained the Country over to his Side; and therefore I think it needleſs to paint the Life of a Perſon, who depends more upon the Curioſity of the World, than its Good-nature. Beſides, the ſeeing myſelf deſcribed in Print would give me the ſame Uneaſineſs as being ſtared at. For this Reaſon, whenever my Verſes ſhall appear amongſt the Public, I hope they will excuſe the Author in this Particular. I hope the Lines will not fall greatly ſhort of the firſt-mentioned Number; for I made but a random Computation; and there have been ſeveral Papers wrote ſince that was made.I 315 X6r 315
I ſend theſe Verſes, not upon Account of their ſuperior Merit, but that they are of a ſuitable Length; for I ſuppoſe it will be proper to print Two, that the Reader may have ſome Variety: Yet, if all or either of theſe are not approved, I ſhall very willingly ſubmit to the Deciſion of your better Judgment, and will change them for any other. I have very little Notion of what will pleaſe the Public: But, if I might ſpeak my own private Thoughts, it is this: That there was no need of a Specimen: For I am ſure there is no Paper of mine has any Title to Perfection: They are only a Parcel of chequer’d Thoughts, ſcarce tolerable when together; but, if we part them, they make a ſad Figure. But whatever be the Fate of my Verſe, the Endeavours of my Friends will be gratefully acknowledged, and all Informations gladly accepted. For altho’ Self-conceit be reckon’d the inſeparable Companion of an Author, I hope it will never (juſtly) be laid to the Charge of
Your humble Servant,
On her Mopsus. See Vol. II. p. 11.
I Did not think to have finiſhed Mopſus Today: But, hoping it may divert you, and as I had but a few Lines to write, I have ſent him out to make his Court immediately. ’Tis true, he is but an uncouth Gentleman: But, dear Madam, let his conſtant Deſire to pleaſe the Fair make up his want of Merit. I am to confeſs, that I have drawn my own Picture in many Places where I have deſcribed this unlucky Hero. But it is a kind of popular Piece, and may ſerve for many a real Mopſus. It is impoſſible to gueſs at the Fate of this new-born Son: But, as he was produced under your Smile, he cannot but thrive. You are to obſerve, that I ſend him to you, as to a private School, in order to receive his firſt Principles, before I truſt him in the Hands of more ſevere Teachers. I hope your Health will ſoon permit you to go abroad. In the mean time, if any thing of mine will entertain you, I am pleas’d it ſhould.
Sent with the Pſalm inſerted Page 299.
I Have, in Obedience to your Commands, endeavoured to put this Pſalm into Verſe, at leaſt the Senſe of it. The Imitation (for it can be called no other) does not begin till the Tenth Verſe, the latter End being much the ſame as the Beginning. Perhaps you may think it ſhort; but I would not puſh the Theme too far, for fear you ſhould not approve it, it being the firſt I ever threw into the Shape of an Ode. It is not for me to do Juſtice to that ſublime Prophet: But, ſuch as it is, I commit it to your Judgment, and am ready to correct its Errors. The laſt Verſe is taken out of another Pſalm. Mrs. ―― has took the Play, in order to carry to Miſs. ――. It is a fooliſh Temper in me; but I cannot help being uneaſy at parting with a Piece I moſt value.
I have great Apprehenſions, that the Ladies won’t think it worth their Care. In this Temper of Mind I cannot help ſighing, to think,that 318 X7v 318 that my Way of Life obliges me to ſeek the Approbation of a giddy World, and People whoſe manner of thinking I am a Stranger to, as well as to their Friendſhip. Thoſe lines of Mr. Pope now occur to my Memory, where he profeſſes only to conſult the End of his Being, and reſolves toMaintain a Poet’s Dignity and Eaſe, And ſee what Friends, and read what Books I pleaſe.
But this Quotation will not ſerve for me: And the chief Conſolation I have, is, that I am allowed to profeſs myſelf
Your humble Servant,
Dear Madam, I could wiſh you would throw away an Afternoon upon me, when you have one to ſpare; for your Viſits, tho’ full of Good-nature, are exceeding ſhort.
On the Son of Sirach, and the Prayer of Manaſſes.
That I have not ſpoke to you theſe Two Days, Face to Face, is the Occaſion of this Scrawl. I am, as I always was, mightily pleaſed with that ſublime Book, called The Wiſdom of the Son of Sirach; and have a a Mind to collect the Sentences that beſt pleaſe me, and ſuit my Purpoſe, and write them in my Table-book, in order to form a Poem in the manner of Mr. Pope’s Meſſiah: But it ſhall wait for your Opinion. You may perhaps wonder that I ſhould take it into my Head to aſk Leave to do what I have done for Years without: But you will conſider, that I was reſolved to write, but yet had nothing to ſay: So that, unleſs you will ſuffer me to be impertinent, I muſt be ſilent; an intolerable Puniſhment to a prating Humour.
There is another Part in the Apocrypha, which ſtrikes me vaſtly. It is the Prayer of Manaſſes King of Iſrael, in his Captivity. I don’t doubt but you have obſerved it, and am ſure you muſt approve. prove, 320 X8v 320 prove. I wonder why it was not admitted into our Church-Services; for, in my Opinion, there never was any thing more moving: Not all the ſacred Authors I ever look’d into, not the fineſt Sentence in a well-written Tragedy, ever left ſo deep an Impreſſion on my Spirits, as the Sentiments of this repenting King; tho’ I don’t remember to have ſeen it mentioned in any Author; and that methinks is ſtrange. But I ſuppoſe the Doubt is, whether this Monarch was the Author or not. Be that as it will, the thing is in itſelf excellent: The Style is pleaſant, and has ſomething in it of modern Eloquence; and thoſe agreeable Repetitions awaken the Reader’s Attention, and leave a pleaſing Anguiſh on the Mind. In the Whole, it is the perfect Picture of a wounded Soul: And Manaſſes, in his Chains and Afflictions, is a greater Favourite of mine, than all the Cæsars, Cicero or Cato himſelf.
I would beg of you, if you pleaſe, to ſend me the reſt of the Odyſſey; for I long to know the End of the Fable; and I have Leiſure To-day from dirty Work. O law! how the Word dirty looks in this ſublime Letter! Pray let me hear of your Health, and believe me
Your humble Servant,
Sent to a Lady in the Illneſs of that Lady’s Mother.
I Can find no Excuſe for ſending you a Parcel of Nonſenſe t’other Day, but Ignorance of your Mother’s Condition. I am too well acquainted with your Mother’s Temper, not to feel for you in your preſent Circumſtances: And, if I was Miſtreſs of any tolerable Eloquence, would endeavour to reconcile your Spirits to what muſt certainly happen to you, to me, and to all Mankind; viz. a Separation from our Friends, at leaſt ſo far as concerns our preſent Life and Enjoyments. I, who cannot boaſt of a Heart ſo ſuſceptible and delicate as yours, have at leaſt felt the Strength of Nature in the parting Pang; and can aſſure you from Experience, that (to a Soul capable of ſtrong Ideas) the Apprehenſion of this formidable Evil is more terrible than its real Approach; tho’ I hope there is no immediate Danger: But I would prepare you for the worſt: And, if my Arguments are ſilly, they proceed from a well-meant Sincerity. In ſpite of all our Vol. II. Y Sorrow 322 Y1v 322 Sorrow for the Loſs of a good and worthy Perſon, there is a Conſolation that will ſhine thro’ the Cloud, and reproach our Grief, as proceeding from a ſelf-intereſted Motive. This Conſideration, with the Help of Time, is a great Allay to this afflicting Paſſion. To ſay you have enjoy’d a Parent much longer than you could probably expect, is nothing to the Purpoſe: We know habitual Converſe makes the Link more ſtrong: And ’tis eaſier to part with a Friend at Nineteen, while we are full of aſpiring Hopes, and gay Deſires, than at a riper Age.
All this is Nature; yet it is not Reaſon. If, amidſt that Whirl of Paſſion, in which the Soul at ſuch a time is uſually engaged, we had Power to reflect, we ſhould think in another manner.
Another aggravating Circumſtance which I know preſents itſelf to your Imagination, is this: That your laſt Friend is now at Stake: That in her you loſe all the Tenderneſs of a Relation; at leaſt all that is worthy to be called ſo. This is true. And I cannot tell how to reconcile you to this Misfortune better, than to ſet before you the Pictures of numberleſs miſerable Orphans, 323 Y2r 323 Orphans, expoſed in their tender Years to Hunger and Cruelty. But theſe Examples ſeem too wide to make any great Impreſſion on your Mind. We will therefore leave the Wretched, and turn our Eyes to thoſe who are more properly ſtyled the Unhappy. If I might be allowed to make the Compariſon, our Conditions, in this Place, ſeem a little parallel: But, ſhould I ſurvive my Parent, the Event would be very different. You loſe a fond Parent, that doats upon you, and all the tender Comforts that flow from her: I loſe both that, and all the Neceſſaries of Life: Left naked and defenceleſs, without Friend, and without Dependence; with a weak and indolent Body to provide for its own Subſiſtence; and a reſtleſs Mind, rack’d with unprofitable Invention. This is no very pleaſing Proſpect; but I ſeldom dwell long upon it.
I am now to beg Pardon for this long Epiſtle. Dear Madam, if you find I can be of any Uſe, this whole Frame, ſuch as it is, is at your Service, at any Hour.
That you may not want theſe Conſolations, but long enjoy Health, Happineſs, and a Mother,ther, 324 Y2v 324 ther, ſhall be not only the Wiſh, but the Prayer, of
Your humble Servant,
I muſt recommend to you the Preſervation of your own Health; and ſhould be glad if it was in my Power to do more than wiſh you well.
Epitaph on Molly Leapor.
Rest, gentle Shade: Thy Virtue, Wit, and Worth,
Survive the Tomb, and dignify thy Birth.
Living, thy Virtue eas’d a Parent’s Care;
Dying, thy Works ſuſpend his dropping Tear.
Wit, pure as flow’d from Infant Nature’s Tongue;
Juſt—not ſevere; tho’ inoffenſive—ſtrong.
Such Worth as points to Man, what Heav’n deſign’d,
True human Greatneſs, Dignity of Mind.