« PreviousContinue »
Who with much pains, exerting all his sense,
Can range aright his shillings, pounds, and pence.
The booby father craves a booby son ;
And by Heaven's blessing thinks himself undone.
Wants of all kinds are made to fame a plea;
One learns to lisp; another not to see :
Miss D-, tottering, catches at your hand :
Was ever thing so pretty born to stand ? (pride,
Whilst these, what Nature gave, disown through
Others affect what Nature has denied ;
What Nature has denied, fools will pursue :
As apes are ever walking upon two.
Crassus, a grateful sage, our awe and sport !
Supports grave forms; for forms the sage support.
He hems; and cries, with an important air,
“ If yonder clouds withdraw, it will be fair :"
Then quotes the Stagyrite, to prove it true : [new.”
And adds, “ The learn’d delight in something
Is 't not enough the blockhead scarce can read,
But must he wisely look, and gravely plead ?
As far a formalist from wisdom sits,
In judging eyes, as libertines from wits.
These subtle wights (so blind are mortal men,
Though Satire couch them with her keenest pen)
For ever will hang out a solemn face,
To put off nonsense with a better
As pedlars with some hero's head make bold,
Illustrious mark ! where pins are to be sold.
What 's the bent brow, or neck in thought reclin’d ?
The body's wisdom to conceal the mind.
A man of sense can artifice disdain;
As men of wealth may venture to go plain ;
And be this truth eternal ne'er forgot,
Solemnity's a cover for a sot.
I find the fool, when I behold the skreen;
For 't is the wise man's interest to be seen.
Hence, Chesterfield, that openness of heart, And just disdain for that poor mimic art; Hence (manly praise !) that manner nobly free, Which all admire, and I commend, in thee.
With generous scorn how oft hast thou survey'd Of court and town the noontide masquerade; Where swarms of knaves the vizor quite disgrace, And hide secure behind a naked face! Where Nature's end of language is declin'd, And men talk only to conceal the mind: Where generous hearts the greatest hazard run, And he who trusts a brother, is undone!
These all their care expend on outward show For wealth and fame: for fame alone, the beau. Of late at White's was young Florello seen! How blank his look! how discompos'd his mien! So hard it proves in grief sincere to feign! Sunk were his spirits; for his coat was plain.
Next day his breast regain'd its wonted peace;
His health was mended with a silver lace.
A curious artist, long inured to toils
Of gentler sort, with combs, and fragrant oils,
Whether by chance, or by some god inspir'd,
So touch'd his curls, his mighty soul was fir'd.
The well-swoln ties an equal homage claim,
And either shoulder has its share of fame;
His sumptuous watch-case, though conceal'd it lies,
Like a good conscience, solid joy supplies.
He only thinks himself (so far from vain!)
Stanhope in wit, in breeding Deloraine.
Whene'er, by seeming chance, he throws his eye
On mirrors that reflect his Tyrian dye,
With how sublime a transport leaps liis heart !
But Fate ordains that dearest friends must part.
In active measures, brought from France, he wheels,
And triumphs, conscious of his learned heels.
So have I seen, on some bright summer's day,
A calf of genius, debonnair and gay,
Dance on the bank, as if inspir'd by fame,
Fond of the pretty fellow in the stream.
Morose is sunk with shame, whene'er surpris'd
In linen elean, or peruke undisguis’d.
No sublunary chance his vestments fear;
Valued, like leopards, as their spots appear.
A fam'd surtout he wears, which once was blue,
And his foot swims in a capacious shoe ;
One day his wife (for who can wives reclaim ?)
Leveli'd her barbarous needle at his fame :
But open force was vain ; by night she went,
And, while he slept, surpris’d the darling rent :
Where yawn'd the frieze is now become a doubt,
“ And glory, at one entrance, quite shut out." *
He scorns Florello, and Florello him;
This hates the filthy creature; that, the prim :
Thus, in each other, both these fools despise
Their own dear selves, with undiscerning eyes;
Their methods various, but alike their aim;
The sloven and the fopling are the same.
Ye Whigs and Tories! thus it fares with you, When party-rage too warmly you pursue ; Then both club nonsense, and impetuous pride, And folly joins whom sentiments divide. You vent your spleen, as monkeys, when they pass, Scratch at the mimic monkey in the glass; While both are one : and henceforth be it known, Fools of both sides shall stand for fools alone.
" But who art thou ?" methinks Florello cries :
* Of all thy species art thou only wise ?”
Since smallest things can give our sins a twitch,
As crossing straws retard a passing witch,
Florello, thou my monitor shalt be;
I'll conjure thus some profit out of thee.
O thou myself! abroad our counsels roam,
And, like ill husbands, take no care at home :
Thou too art wounded with the common dart,
And Love of Fame lies throbbing at thy heart;
And what wise means to gain it hast thou chose ?
Know, fame and fortune both are made of prose.
Is thy' ambition sweating for a rhyme,
Thou unambitious fool, at this late time?
While I a moment name, a moment 's past;
I'mn nearer death in this verse, than the last :
What then is to be done? Be wise with speed;
A fool at forty is a fool indeed.
And what so foolish as the chase of fame?
How vain the prize ! how impotent our aim !
For what are men who grasp at praise sublime,
But bubbles on the rapid stream of time,
That rise, and fall, that swell, and are no more,
Born, and forgot, ten thousand in an hour ?
TO THE RIGHT HON. MR. DODINGTON,
LONG, Dodington, in debt I long have sought
To ease the burthen of my grateful thought;
And now a poet's gratitude you see;
Grant him two favours, and he 'll ask for three :
For whose the present glory, or the gain ?
You give protection, I a worthless strain.
You love and feel the poet's sacred flame,
And know the basis of a solid fame;
Though prone to like, yet cautious to commend,
You read with all the malice of a friend ;
Nor favour my attempts that way alone,
But, more to raise my verse, conceal your own.
An ill-tim’d modesty! turn ages o'er,
When wanted Britain bright examples more?
Her learning, and her genius too, decays;
And dark and cold are her declining days;
As if men now were of another cast,
They meanly live on alms of ages past.
Men still are men; and they who boldly dare,
Shall triumph o'er the sons of cold despair ;
Or, if they fail, they justly still take place
Of such who run in debt for their disgrace ;
Who borrow much, then fairly make it known,
And damn it with improvements of their own.
We bring some new materials, and what 's old
New-cast with care, and in no borrow'd mould
Late times the verse may read, if these refuse ;
And from sour critics vindicate the Muse.