Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Be this thy screen, and this thy wall of brass : 95 Compared to this, a minister's an ass.

And say, to which shall our applause belong? This new court jargon, or the good old song? The modern language of corrupted peers, Or what was spoke at Cressy and Poitiers ? 100 Who counsels, best? who whispers ; — Be but

great; With praise or infamy, leave that to fate; Get place and wealth, if possible, with grace; If not, by any means get wealth and place.' For what? to have a box where eunuchs sing, 105 And foremost in the circle eye a king : Or he, who bids thee face with steady view Proud fortune, and look shallow greatness through ; And, while he bids thee, sets the example too? If such a doctrine, in St. James's air, Should chance to make the well-dress'd rabble

stare; If honest S**z take scandal at a spark, That less admires the palace than the park : Faith I shall give the answer Reynard gave :-• I cannot like, dread sir, your royal cave; Because I see, by all the tracks about, Full

many a beast goes in, but none come out.' Adieu to virtue, if you're once a slave: Send her to court, you send her to her grave.

Well, if a king's a lion, at the least, The people are a many-headed beast. Can they direct what measures to pursue, Who know themselves so little what to do? Alike in nothing but one lust of gold, Just half the land would buy, and half be sold :

110

115

120

124

Their country's wealth our mightier misers drain;
Or cross, to plunder provinces, the main;
The rest, some farm the poor-box, some the

pews;
Some keep assemblies, and would keep the stews;
Some with fat bucks on childless dotards fawn;
Some win rich widows by their chine and brawn;
While with the silent growth of ten per cent, 132
In dirt and darkness, hundreds stink content.

Of all these ways, if each pursues his own, Satire, be kind, and let the wretch alone : 135 But show me one who has it in his power To act consistent with himself an hour. Sir Job sail'd forth, the evening bright and still ; No place on earth,' he cried, like Greenwich

hill!' Up starts a palace: lo, the obedient base 140 Slopes at its foot; the woods its sides embrace; The silver Thames reflects its marble face. Now let some whimsey, or that devil within, Which guides all those who know not what they

mean, But give the knight, or give his lady, spleen ; 145

Away, away ! take all your scaffolds down; For snug 's the word : my dear! we'll live in

town.' At amorous Flavio is the stocking thrown? That very night he longs to lie alone. The fool, whose wife elopes some thrice a quarter, For matrimonial solace dies a martyr.

151 126 Some farm the poor-bor. Perhaps referring to the Charitable Corporation;' a swindling scheme, by which multitudes were duped, and many beggared.

6

156

Did ever Proteus, Merlin, any witch,
Transform themselves so strangely as the rich?
Well, but the poor—the poor have the same itch;
They change their weekly barber, weekly news,
Prefer a new japanner to their shoes,
Discharge their garrets, move their beds, and run,
They know not whither, in a chaise and one:
They hire their sculler; and when once aboard,
Grow sick, and damn the climate-like a lord. 160

You laugh, half beau, half sloven if I stand,
My wig all powder, and all snuff my band;
You laugh, if coat and breeches strangely vary;
White gloves, and linen worthy lady Mary! 164
But when no prelate's lawn, with hair-shirt lined,
Is half so incoherent as my mind;
When (each opinion with the next at strife,
One ebb and flow of follies all my life)
I plant, root up; I build, and then confound;
Turn round to square, and square again to round;
You never change one muscle of your
You think this madness but a common case ;
Nor once to chancery, nor to Hale apply;
Yet hang your lip, to see a seam awry!
Careless how ill I with myself agree,
Kind to my dress, my figure, not to me.
Is this my guide, philosopher, and friend?
This he, who loves me, and who ought to mend?

face;

171

175

164 Linen worthy lady Mary. Pope could never forgive lady Mary's at once laughing at his passion, and libelling his poetry. This celebrated woman, though a beauty, and vain of her charms, was supposed to be singularly negligent of her person. Walpole says, ' that when she left Florence, after a three weeks' stay in one of the archduke's palaces, they were obliged to fumigate the rooms. And this in Italy !

Who ought to make me (what he can, or none) That man divine whom wisdom calls her own; Great without title, without fortune bless’d, 181 Rich ev'n when plunder'd, honor'd while op

press'd; Loved without youth, and follow'd without power; At home, though exiled; free, though in the

184 In short, that reasoning, high, immortal thing, Just less than Jove, and much above a king; Nay, half in heaven; except (what's mighty odd) A fit of vapors clouds this demigod.

Tower;

THE SIXTH EPISTLE

OF THE

FIRST BOOK OF HORACE.

« AnteriorContinuar »