Слике страница
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

none.

Who would not praise Patritio's high

desert, His hand unstained, his uncorrupted heart, His comprehensive head! all interests

weighed, All Europe saved, yet Britain not betrayed. He thanks you not, his pride is in piquet, Newmarket fame, and judgment at a bet. What made (say, Montagne, ** or more

sage Charron) Otho a warrior, Cromwell a buffoon? A perjured prince a leaden saint revere, tt A godless regent tremble at a star? The throne a bigot keep, a genius quit, $S Faithless through piety, and duped through

wit? Europe a woman, child, or dotard rule, ||||| And just her wisest monarch made a fool?

True, some are open, and to all men

known ; Others so very close, they're hid from (So darkness strikes the sense no less than

light.) Thus gracious Chandos* is beloved at

sight; And every child hates Shylock, though his

soul Still sits at squat, and peeps not from his

hole. At half mankind when generous Manly

raves, t All know 'tis virtue, for he thinks them

knaves. When universal homage Umbra pays, I All see 'tis vice and itch of vulgar praise. When flattery glares, all hate it in a queen, While one there is who charms us with his

spleen.|| But these plain characters we rarely find. Though strong the bent, yet quick the

turns of mind : Or puzzling contraries confound the whole, Or affectations quite reverse the soul. The dull, flat falsehood serves for policy; And in the cunning, truth itself's a lie: Unthought-of frailties cheat us in the wise; The fool lies hid in inconsistencies.

See the same man, in vigour, in the gout; Alone, in company; in place or out; Early at business, and at hazard late; Mad at a fox-chase, wise at a debate; Drunk at a borough, civil at a ball ; Friendly at Hackney, faithless at White

hall.

Know, God and Nature only are the

same:

In man, the judgment shoots at flying

game, A bird of passage! gone as soon as found, Now in the moon, perhaps, now under

ground,

THE RULING PASSION.

Catius is ever moral, ever grave, Thinks who endures a knave is next a

knave; Save just at dinner - then prefers, no

doubt, A rogue with venison to a saint without,

* "Chandos." James Brydges, first Duke of Chandos.

“Manly." The principal character in Wycherly's “ Plain Dealer," a comedy taken from Molière's “Misanthrope.

* "Umbra" was supposed to be Bubb Dod. dington, the favourite adviser of Augusta, Princess of Wales, mother of George III. For political subserviency to Sir Robert Walpole he was created Lord Melcombe-Regis.

§ Meaning Queen Caroline, Consort of George II., whom he disliked.

# Dean Swift.

SEARCH then the Ruling Passion: there,

alone, The wild are constant, and the cunning

known; The fool consistent, and the false sincere; Priests, princes, women, no dissemblers

here. | Lord Godolphin ; "though he was a great gamester," says Warton, “yet he was an able and honest minister."

** Montaigne, the celebrated French essayist -his name was often thus spelt in Pope's time. He lived between 1533 and 1592. Peter Charron was his dearest friend; he permitted Charron to bear the Montaigne arms.

It Louis XI. of France wore in his hat a leaden image of the Virgin Mary, which, when he swore by, he feared to break his oath.Pope.

11 The Regent Duke of Orleans, who, though an infidel, believed in astrology.

$$ Philip V. of Spain, who, after renouncing the throne for religion, resumed it to gratify his Queen; and Victor Amadeus II., King of Sardinia, who resigned the crown, and, trying to resume it, was imprisoned till his death.-Pope.

Í ll The Czarina Catherine II., the King of France, then a child, the Pope, and the King of Sardinia

This clue once found, unravels all the rest, The prospect clears, and Wharton stands

confest. * Wharton, the scorn and wonder of our

days, Whose ruling passion was the lust of praise: Born with whate'er could win it from the

wise, Women and fools must him like, or he dies; Though wond'ring senates hung on all he

spoke, The club must hail him master of the joke. Shall parts so various aim at nothing new? He 'll shine a Tully and a Wilmot too.

“No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace

sless face: Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeOne would not, sure, be frightful when

one's dead And-Betty-give this a cheek little red." The courtier smooth, who forty years

had shined An humble servant to all human kind, Just brought out this, when scarce his tongue could stir,

(sir?" “If-where I'm going—I could serve you,

“I give and I devise" (old Euclio said, And sighed) "my lands and tenements to

Ned." Your money, sir?" "My money, sir!

what, all ? Why,—if I must" (then wept) "I give it

Paul." "The manor, sir?"-"The manor! hold," he cried,

(and died. * Not that,-I cannot part with that,' And you, brave Cobham! to the latest breath

(death: Shall feel your ruling passion strong in Such in those moments as in all the past, "Oh, save my country, Heaven!” shall be

Thus with each gift of nature and of art,
And wanting nothing but an honest heart;
Grown all to all, from no one vice exempt;
And most contemptible, to shun contempt:
His passion still, to covet general praise,
His life, to forfeit it a thousand ways;
A constant bounty which no friend has

made; An angel tongue, which no man can per

suade; A fool, with more of wit than half man

kind; Too rash for thought, for action too refined; A tyrant to the wife his heart approves; A rebel to the very king he loves ; He dies, sad outcast of each church and

state, And, harder still ! flagitious, yet not great. Ask you why Wharton broke through every

rule? 'Twas all for fear the knaves should call

him fool. Nature well known no prodigies remain, Comets are regular, and Wharton plain.

your last.

CHARACTERISTICS OF WOMAN.

The frugal crone, whom praying priests

attend, Still tries to save the hallowed taper's end, Collects her breath, as ebbing life retires, For one puff more, and in that puff expires.

Bur grant, in public men sometimes are

shown, A woman's seen in private life alone: Our bolder talents in full light displayed; Your virtues open fairest in the shade. Bred to disguise, in public 'tis you hide; There, none distinguish 'twixt your shame

or pride, Weakness or delicacy; all so nice, That each may seem a virtue, or a vice.

In men, we various ruling passions find; In women, two almost divide the kind; Those, only fixed, they first or last obey, The love of pleasure, and the love of sway. That, nature gives; and where the lesson

taught Is but to please, can pleasure seem a fault? Experience, this ; by man's oppression

curst, They seek the second not to lose the first.

Sir William Bateman used those very words on his death-bed.-Warton.

[blocks in formation]

POPE-PRIOR-GOLDSMITH.

327

Men, some to bus'ness, some to pleasure

take, But ev'ry woman is at heart a rake: Men, some to quiet, some to public strife; But ev'ry lady would be queen for life. Yet mark the fate of a whole sex of queens! Pow'r all their end, but beauty all the

means:

In youth they conquer with so wild a rage As leaves them scarce a subject in their age: For foreign glory, foreign joy, they roam; No thought of peace or happiness at home. But wisdom's triumph is well-timed retreat, As hard a science to the fair as great! Beauties, like tyrants, old and friendless

grown, Yet hate repose, and dread to be alone; Worn out in public, weary ev'ry eye, Nor leave one sigh behind them when they

die.

Heav'n, when it strives to polish all it can Its last best work, but forms a softer man; Picks from each sex, to make the fav'rite

blest, Your love of pleasure, our desire of rest; Blends, in exception to all gen'ral rules, Your taste of follies with our scorn of fools: Reserve with frankness, art with truth

allied, Courage with softness, modesty with pride; Fixed principles, with fancy ever new; Shakes all together, and produces-you. Be this a woman's fame: with this unblest,

[jest. Toasts live a scorn, and queens may die a This Phoebus promised (I forget the year) When those blue eyes first opened on the

sphere; Ascendent Phoebus watched that hour with

care, Averted half your parents' simple pray'r, And gave you beauty, but denied the pelf That buys your sex a tyrant o'er itself. The generous God, who wit and gold re

fines, And ripens spirits as He ripens mines, Kept dross for duchesses, the world shall

know it, To you gave sense, good-humour, and a poet.

-:0:

See how the world its veterans rewards! A youth of frolics, an old age of cards; Fair to no purpose, artful to no end, Young without lovers, old without a friend; A fop their passion, but their prize a sot; Alive ridiculous, and dead, forgot!

Ah, friend! to dazzle let the vain design; To raise the thought, and touch the heart

be thine: That charm shall grow, while what fatigues the Ring,

[thing: Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded So when the sun's broad beam has tired the sight,

[light, All mild ascends the moon's more sober Serene in virgin modesty she shines, And unobserved the glaring orb declines,

MATTHEW PRIOR.

1664—1721.

EPIGRAM.

I LOVED thee, beautiful and kind,

And plighted an eternal vow; So altered are thy face and mind

'Twere perjury to love thee now.

0:

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

1728-1774.

Oh! blest with temper, whose unclouded

ray Can make to-morrow cheerful as to-day; She, who can love a sister's charms, or hear; Sighs for a daughter with unwounded ear; She, who ne'er answers till a husband cools, Or, if she rules him, never shows she rules; Charms byaccepting, by submitting sways, Yet has her humour most when she obeys; Let fops or fortune fly which way they will; Disdains all loss of tickets or codille; [all, Spleen, vapours, or small-pox, above them And mistress of herself, though china fall.

And yet, believe me, good as well as ill, Woman's at best a contradiction still.

AN ELEGY ON THE GLORY OF HER SEX, MRS. MARY BLAIZE.

Good people all, with one accord

Lament for Madam Blaize, Who never wanted a good word

From those who spoke her praise.

AN ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A

MAD DOG.

GOOD people all, of every sort,

Give ear unto my song, And if you find it wondrous short,

It cannot hold you long.

The needy seldom passed her door,

And always found her kind; She freely lent to all the poor

Who left a pledge behind. She strove the neighbourhood to please

With manners wondrous winning;
And never followed wicked ways-

Unless when she was sinning.
At church, in silks and satins new,

With hoop of monstrous size,
She never slumbered in her pew-

But when she shut her eyes.
Her love was sought, I do aver,

By twenty beaux and more;
The king himself has followed her-
When she has walked before.

In Islington there was a man,

Of whom the world might say That still a godly race he ran

Whene'er he went to pray.

But now her wealth and finery fled,

Her hangers-on cut short all; The doctors found, when she was dead

Her last disorder mortal.

Let us lament in sorrow sore,

For Kent Street well may say That had she lived a twelvemonth more

She had not died to-day.

A kind and gentle heart he had

To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad-

When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found,

As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,

And curs of low degree.
This dog and man at first were friends;

But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,

Went mad, and bit the man.
Around from all the neighbouring streets

The wond'ring neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,

To bite so good a man.
The wound it seemed both sore and sad

To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,

They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,

That showed the rogues they lied, The man recovered of the bite,

The dog it was that died !

BURLESQUE ELEGY. YE muses, pour the pitying tear

For Pollio snatched away;
Oh, had he lived another year-

He had not died to-day.
Oh, were he born to bless mankind

In virtuous times of yore,
Heroes themselves had fall'n behind

Whene'er he went before.
How sad the groves and plains appear,

And sympathetic sheep : Ev'n pitying hills would drop a tear

If hills could learn to weep. His bounty in exalted strain

Each bard may well display, Since none implored relief in vain

That went relieved away.
And hark! I hear the tuneful throng

His obsequies forbid :
He still shall live, shall live as long-

As ever dead man did.

-:0:

WILLIAM COWPER.

1731–1800. THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF

JOHN GILPIN. Showing how he went farther than he in

tended, and came safe home again. The story of John Gilpin's ride was related to Cowper by his friend, Lady Austen, who had heard it as a child. It caused the poet à sleepless night, we are told, as he was kept

[blocks in formation]

So three doors off the chaise was stayed,

Where they did all get in; Six precious souls, and all agog

To dash through thick and thin.

Smack went the whip, round went the

wheels, Were never folks so glad ! The stones did rattle underneath

As if Cheapside were mad.

John Gilpin at his horse's side

Seized fast the flowing mane, And up he got, in haste to ride,

But soon came down again ;

awake by laughter at it. During these restless hours he turned it into the famous ballad. It appeared in the “Public Advertiser," November 14th, 1782, anonymously.

A celebrated actor named Henderson took it for one of his public recitations at Freemasons' Hall. It became immediately so popular that it was printed everywhere -- in newspapers, magazines, and separately. It was even sung as a common ballad in the streets. It has preserved its popularity to the present date.

The original John Gilpin was, it is said, a Mr. Beyer, a linendraper, who lived at the Cheapside corner of Paternoster Row. He died in 1791, at the age of nearly a hundred years. JOHN GILPIN was a citizen

Of credit and renown,
A trainband captain eke was he

Of famous London town.
John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,

Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we

No holiday have seen. " To-morrow is our wedding day,

And we will then repair Unto the Bell at Edmonton,

All in a chaise and pair.
My sister, and my sister's child,

Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride

On horseback after we.

For saddletree scarce reached had he,

His journey to begin, When, turning round his head, he saw

Three customers come in.

[ocr errors]

So down he came; for loss of time,

Although it grieved him sore, Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,

Would trouble him much more.

'Twas long before the customers

Were suited to their mind, When Betty screaming came downstairs

The wine is left behind !"

He soon replied, "I do admire

Of womankind but one, And you are she, my dearest dear,

Therefore it shall be done.

"Good lack !" quoth he; "yet bring it me,

My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword

When I do exercise."

Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)

Had two stone bottles found, To hold the liquor that she loved,

And keep it safe and sound.

“I am a linendraper bold,

As all the world doth know, And my good friend the calender

Will lend his horse to go."
Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, “That's well said :

And for that wine is dear,
We will be furnished with our own,

Which is both bright and clear."

Each bottle had a curling ear,

Through which the belt he drew, And hung a bottle on each side,

To make his balance true.

Then over all, that he might be

Equipped from top to toe, His long red coat, well brushed and neat,

He manfully did throw.

John Gilpin kissed his loving wife;

O'erjoyed was he to find That, though on pleasure she was bent,

She had a frugal mind.
The morning came, the chaise was brought,

But yet was not allowed
To drive up to the door, lest all
Should say that she was proud.

Now see him mounted once again

Upon his nimble steed, Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,

With caution and good hecdl.

« ПретходнаНастави »