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And, as by old record appears,
Worn since in Kunigunda's years,
Now sparkling in the froein's hair;
No rocket breaking in the air
Can with her starry head compare.
Such ropes of pearl her arms encumber,
She scarce can deal the cards at omber;
So many rings each finger freight,
They tremble with the mighty weight.
The like in England ne'er was seen,
Since Holbein drew Hal† and his queen:
But after these fantastic flights,
The lustre's meaner than the lights.
The thing that bears this glittering pomp
Is but a tawdry ill-bred romp,
Whose brawny limbs and martial face
Proclaim her of the Gothic race,
More than the mangled pageantry
Of all the father's heraldry.
But there's another sort of creatures,
Whose ruddy look and grotesque features
Are so much out of nature's way,
You'd think them stamped on other clay,
No lawful daughters of old Adam.
'Mongst these behold a city madam,
With arms in mittins, head in muff,
A dapper cloak, and reverend ruff:
No farce so pleasant as this maukin,
And the soft sound of High-Dutch talking.
Here, unattended by the Graces,
The queen of love in a sad case is.
Nature, her active minister,
Neglects affairs, and will not stir;
Thinks it not worth the while to please,
But when she does it for her ease.
Even I, her most devout adorer,
With wandering thoughts appear before her,
And when I'm making an oblation,
Am fain to spur imagination
With some sham London inclination:
The bow is bent at German dame,
The arrow flies at English game.
Kindness, that can indifference warm,
And blow that calm into a storm,
Has in the very tenderest hour
Over my gentleness a power;
True to my country-women's charms,
When kissed and pressed in foreign arms.
Quere, Did Pope think of this passage in his famous account of Belinda's bodkin? + Henry VIII,
To you, who live in chill degree,
As map informs, of fifty-three, *
And do not much for cold atone,
By bringing thither fifty-one,
Methinks all climes should be alike,
From tropic even to pole artique;
Since you have such a constitution
As no where suffers diminution.
You can be old in grave debate,
And young in love affairs of state;
And both to wives and husbands show
The vigour of a plenipo.
Like mighty missioner you come
Ad Partes Infidelium.
A work of wonderous merit sure,
So far to go, so much t' endure;
The map does not convey any such information. Ratisbon lies in latitude 48° 58′ N. Dryden alludes to the commencement of Etherege's epistle to Middleton, in which he mentions having gone three degrees northward, London being 41° 15′ N. Dryden transfers Ratisbon into a high latitude, merely to suit the rhyme, and produce the antithesis of 53 degrees latitude, to 52 years of
And all to preach to German dame,
Where sound of Cupid never came.
Less had you done, had you been sent
As far as Drake or Pinto went,
For cloves or nutmegs to the line-a,
Or even for oranges to China.
That had indeed been charity,
Where love-sick ladies helpless lie,
Chapt, and, for want of liquor, dry.
But you have made your zeal appear
Within the circle of the Bear.
What region of the earth's so dull,
That is not of your labours full?
Triptolemus (so sung the Nine)
Strewed plenty from his cart divine;
But spite of all these fable-makers,
He never sowed on Almain acres.
No, that was left by fate's decree
To be performed and sung by thee.
Thou break'st through forms with as much ease
As the French king through articles.
In grand affairs thy days are spent,
In waging weighty compliment,
With such as monarchs represent.
They, whom such vast fatigues attend,
Want some soft minutes to unbend,
To shew the world that, now and then,
Great ministers are mortal men.
Then Rhenish rummers walk the round;
In bumpers every king is crowned;
Besides three holy mitred Hectors,
And the whole college of Electors.
*The three ecclesiastical Electors WERE, the Electors of Treves, Cologne, and Mentz. At this time the Diet of the empire was sitting at Ratisbon.
No health of potentate is sunk,
That pays to make his envoy drunk.
These Dutch delights, I mentioned last,
Suit not, I know, your English taste :
For wine to leave a whore or play,
Was ne'er your Excellency's way. †
+ Etherege has been pleased to confirm our author's opinion of the German jollity, and his own inclination to softer pleasures, by the following passage of a letter to the Duke of Buckingham.
"I find that to this day, they (i. e. the Germans) make good the observation that Tacitus made of their ancestors; I mean, that their affairs (let them be never so serious and pressing) never put a stop to good eating and drinking, and that they debate their weightiest negociations over their cups.
""Tis true, they carry this humour by much too far for one of my complexion; for which reason I decline appearing among them, but when my master's concerns make it necessary for me to come to their assemblies: They are, indeed, a free-hearted open sort of gentlemen that compose the Diet, without reserve, affectation, and artifice; but they are such unmerciful plyers of the bottle, so wholly given up to what our sots call good-fellowship, that 'tis as great a constraint upon my nature to sit out a night's entertainment with them, as it would be to hear half a score long-winded Presbyterian divines cant successively one after another.
"To unbosom myself frankly and freely to your grace, I always looked upon drunkenness to be an unpardonable crime in a young fellow, who, without any of these foreign helps, has fire enough in his veins to enable him to do justice to Cælia whenever she demands a tribute from him. In a middle-aged man, I consider the bottle only as subservient to the nobler pleasures of love; and he that would suffer himself to be so far infatuated by it, as to neglect the pursuit of a more agreeable game, I think deserves no quarter from the ladies: In old age, indeed, when it is convenient very often to forget and even steal from ourselves, I am of opinion, that a little drunkenness, discreetly used, may as well contribute to our health of body as tranquillity of soul.
"Thus I have given your grace a short system of my morals and belief in these affairs. But the gentlemen of this country go upon a quite different scheme of pleasure; the best furniture of their parlours, instead of innocent china, are tall overgrown rum
Nor need this title give offence,
For here you were your Excellence;
For gaming, writing, speaking, keeping,
His Excellence for all-but sleeping.
Now if you tope in form, and treat,
"Tis the sour sauce to the sweet meat,
The fine you pay for being great.
Nay, here's a harder imposition,
Which is indeed the court's petition,
That, setting worldly pomp aside,
Which poet has at font denied,
You would be pleased in humble way
To write a trifle called a Play.
This truly is a degradation,
But would oblige the crown and nation
Next to your wise negociation.
If you pretend, as well you may,
Your high degree, your friends will say,
The duke St Aignon made a play.
If Gallic wit convince you scarce,
His grace of Bucks has made a farce,
And you, whose comic wit is terse all,
Can hardly fall below Rehearsal.
mers; and they take more care to enlarge their cellars, than their patrimonial estates. In short, drinking is the hereditary sin of this country; and that hero of a deputy here, that can demolish, at one sitting, the rest of his brother envoys, is mentioned with as much applause as the Duke of Lorain for his noble exploits against the Turks, and may claim a statue, erected at the public expence, in any town in Germany.
"Judge, then, my lord, whether a person of my sober principles, and one that only uses wine (as the wiser sort of Roman Catholics do images,) to raise up my imagination to something more exalted, and not to terminate my worship upon it, must not be reduced to very mortifying circumstances in this place; where I cannot pretend to enjoy conversation, without practising that vice that directly ruins it.'