« AnteriorContinuar »
My house should no such rude disorders know,
As from high drinking consequently flow;
Nor would I use what was so kindly given,
To the dishonour of indulgent Heaven.
If any neighbour came, he should be free,
Used with respect, and not uneasy be,
In my retreat, or to himself or me.
m, prudence, and ght reason ive,
All men may, with impunity, receive:
But the least swerving from their rules too much,
And what's forbidden us, 'tis death to touch.
That life may be more comfortable yet,
And all my joys refined, sincere, and great;
I'd choose two friends, whose company would be
A great advance to my felicity:
Well-born, of humours suited to my own,
Discreet, that men as well as books have known;
Brave, generous, witty, and exactly free
From loose behaviour or formality;
Airy and prudent, merry but not light;
Quick in discerning; and in judging, right;
They should be secret, faithful to their trust,
In reasoning cool, strong, temperate, and just;
Obliging, open, without huffing, brave;
Brisk in gay talking, and in sober, grave;
Close in dispute, but not tenacious; tried
By solemn reason, and let that decide;
Not prone to lust, revenge, or envious hate;
Nor busy meddlers with intrigues of state;
Strangers to slander, and sworn foes to spite,
Not quarrelsome, but stout enough to fight;
Loyal and pious, friends to Cæsar; true
As dying martyrs to their Makers too.
In their society I could not miss
A permanent, sincere, substantial bliss.
Would bounteous Heaven once more indulge, I'd choose
(For who would so much satisfaction lose
As witty nymphs in conversation give ?)
Near some obliging modest fair to live:
For there's that sweetness in a female mind,
Which in a man's we cannot [hope to] find;
That, by a secret but a powerful art,
Winds up the spring of life, and does impart
Fresh, vital heat to the transported heart.
I'd have her reason all her passions sway;
Easy in company, in private gay;
Coy to a fop, to the deserving free;
Still constant to herself, and just to me.
She should a soul have for great actions fit;
Prudence and wisdom to direct her wit;
Courage to look bold danger in the face,
Not fear, but only to be proud or base;
Quick to advise, by an emergence pressed,
To give good counsel, or to take the best.
I'd have th' expressions of her thoughts be such,
She might not seem reserved, nor talk too much:
That shows a want of judgment and of sense;
More than enough is but impertinence.
Her conduct regular, her mirth refined;
Civil to strangers, to her neighbours kind;
Averse to vanity, revenge, and pride;
In all the methods of deceit untried;
So faithful to her friend, and good to all,
No censure might upon her actions fall:
Then would e'en envy be compelled to say
She goes the least of womankind astray.
To this fair creature I'd sometimes retire;
Her conversation would new joys inspire;
Give life an edge so keen, no surly care
Would venture to assault my soul, or dare
Near my retreat to hide one secret snare.
But so divine, so noble a repast
I'd seldom, and with moderation, taste:
For highest cordials all their virtue lose,
By a too frequent and too bold an use;
And what would cheer the spirits in distress
Ruins our health when taken to excess.
VI. HIS PEACEABLE LIFE I'd be concerned in no litigious jar; Beloved by all, not vainly popular. Whate'er assistance. I had power to bring T'oblige my company, or to serve my king, Whene'er they called, I'd readily afford, My tongue, my pen, my counsel, or my sword. Lawsuits I'd shun, with as much studious care, As I would dens where hungry lions are; And rather put up injuries, than be A plague to him who'd be a plague to me. I value quiet at a price too great To give for my revenge so dear a rate: For what do we by all our bustle gain, But counterfeit delight for real pain?
If Heaven a date of many years would give,
Thus I'd in pleasure, ease, and plenty live.
And as I near approach[ed] the verge of life,
Some kind relation (for I'd have no wife)
Should take upon him all my worldly care
While I did for a better state prepare.
Then I'd not be with any trouble vexed,
Nor have the evening of my days perplexed;
But by a silent and a peaceful death,
Without a sigh, resign my aged breath.
And, when committed to the dust, I'd have
Few tears, but friendly, dropped into my grave;
Then would my exit so propitious be,
All men would wish to live and die like me.
FROM THE TRUE-BORN ENGLISHMAN
The Romans first with Julius Cæsar came,
Including all the nations of that name,
Gauls, Greeks, and Lombards, and, by computation,
Auxiliaries or slaves of every nation.
With Hengist, Saxons; Danes with Sueno came;
In search of plunder, not in search of fame.
Scots, Picts, and Irish from th' Hibernian shore,
And conquering William brought the Normans o’er.
All these their barbarous offspring left behind,
The dregs of armies, they of all mankind;
Blended with Britons, who before were here,
Of whom the Welsh ha' blessed the character.
From this amphibious ill-born mob began
That vain, ill-natured thing, an Englishman.
And lest by length of time it be pretended
The climate may this modern breed ha' mended,
Wise Providence, to keep us where we are,
Mixes us daily with exceeding care.
We have been Europe's sink, the jakes where she
Voids all her offal outcast progeny.
From our fifth Henry's time, the strolling bands
Of banished fugitives from neighbouring lands
Have here a certain sanctuary found:
Th' eternal refuge of the vagabond,
Where, in but half a common age of time,
Borrowing new blood and manners from the clime,
Proudly they learn all mankind to contemn;
And all their race are true-born Englishmen.
Dutch, Walloons, Flemings, Irishmen, and Scots,
Vaudois, and Valtelins, and Huguenots,
In good Queen Bess's charitable reign,
Supplied us with three hundred thousand men.
Religion—God, we thank thee!-sent them hither,
Priests, Protestants, the Devil and all together:
Of all professions and of every trade,
All that were persecuted or afraid;
Whether for debt or other crimes they fled,
David at Hachilah was still their head.
The offspring of this miscellaneous crowd,
Had not their new plantations long enjoyed,
But they grew Englishmen, and raised their votes
At foreign shoals for interloping Scots.
The royal branch from Pictland did succeed,
With troops of Scots and Scabs from North-by-Tweed.
The seven first years of his pacific reign
Made him and half his nation Englishmen.
Scots from the northern frozen banks of Tay,
With packs and plods came whigging all away;
Thick as the locusts which in Egypt swarmed,
With pride and hungry hopes completely armed;
With native truth, diseases, and no money,
Plundered our Canaan of the milk and honey.
Here they grew quickly lords and gentlemen,
And all their race are true-born Englishmen.
The wonder which remains is at our pride,
To value that which all wise men deride.
For Englishmen to boast of generation
Cancels their knowledge, and lampoons the nation.
A true-born Englishman's a contradiction,
In speech an irony, in fact a fiction;
A banter made to be a test of fools,
Which those that use it justly ridicules;
A metaphor invented to express
A man akin to all the universe.
FROM A HYMN TO THE PILLORY
Hail hieroglyphic state-machine,
Contrived to punish fancy in!
Men that are men in thee can feel no pain,
And all thy insignificants disdain.
Contempt, that false new word for ame,
Is, without crime, an empty name,