« AnteriorContinuar »
There sober thought pursued the amusing theme,
Than such as swell this bladder of a court?
See! where the British youth, engag'd no more. At Fig's, at White's, with felons, or a whore, Pay their last duty to the court, and come All fresh and fragrant to the drawing-room ; In hnes as gay, and odours as divine, As the fair fields they sold to look so fine. • That's velvet for a king ! the flatterer swears ; 'Tis true, for ten days hence 'twill be king Lear's. Our court may justly to our stage give rules, That helps it both to fools'-coats and to fools.
And why not players strut in courtiers' clothes ?
Painted for sight, and essenc'd for the smell,
Peace, fools! or Gonson will for papists seize you, If once he catch you at your Jesu! Jesu!
Nature made every fop to plague his brother, Just as one beauty mortifies another. But here's the captain that will plague them both; Whose air cries, arm! whose very look's an oath. The captain's honest, sirs, and that's enongh, Though his soul's bullet, and his body buff. He spits fore-right; his hanghty chest before, Like battering rams, beats open every door ; And with a face as red, and as awry, As Herod's hang-dogs in old tapestry, Scarecrow to boys, the breeding woman's curse, Has yet a strangè ambition to look worse : Confounds the civil, keeps the rude in awe, Jests like a licens'd fool, commands like law.
Frighted, I quit the room, but leave it so As men from jails to execution go; For hung with deadly sins I see the wall, And lind with giants deadlier than 'em all: Each man an Askapart, of strength to toss, For quoits, both Temple-bar and Charing.cross. Scar'd at the grisly forms, I sweat, I fly, And shake all o'er, like a discover'd spy.
Courts are too much for wits so weak as mine : Charge them with heaven's artillery, bold divine ! From such alone the great rebukes endure, Whose satire's sacred, and whose rage secure : 'Tis mine to wash a few light stains, but their's To deluge sin, and drown a court in tears. Howe'er, what's now apocrypha, my wit, In time to come, may pass for holy writ.
IN TWO DIALOGUES.
Written in 1738.
DIALOGUE I. Fr. Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in print, And when it comes, the court see nothing in't: You grow correct, that once with rapture writ, And are, besides, too moral for a wit. Decay of parts, alas! we all must feel Why now, this moment, don't I see you steal? "Tis all from Horace ; Horace long before ye Said · Tories call'd bin Whig, and Whigs a Tory;" And taught his Romans, in much better metre, * To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter.'
But Horace, sir, was delicate, was nice; Bubo observes, he lashd no sort of vice : Horace would say, Sir Billy serv'd the crown, Blunt could do business, Higgins knew the town; In Sappho touch the failings of the sex, In reverend bishops note some small neglects, And own the Spaniard did a waggish thing, Who cropt our ears, and sent them to the king. His sly, polite, insinuating style Could please at court, and make Augustus smile:
An artful manager, that crept between
P. See Sir Robert !-hum-
free ; A borse-laugh, if you please, at honesty; A joke on Jekyll, or some odd old Whig, Who never chang'd his principle or wig : A patriot is a fool in every age, Whom all lord-chamberlains allow the stage : These pothing burts; they keep their fashion still, And wear their strange old virtue as they will.
If any ask you, . Who's the man so near His prince, that writes in verse, and has his ear?" Why, anwer, Lyttelton! and I'll engage The worthy youth shall ne'er be in a rage; But were his verses vile, bis whisper base, You'd quickly find him in lord Fanny's case. Sejanus, Wolsey, hurt not honest Fleury, But well may put some statesmen iu a fury.