Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

If you resent, and wish a woman ill,
But turn her o'er one moment to her will.

The languid lady next appears in state,
Who was not born to carry her own weight;
She rolls, reels, staggers, till some foreign aid
To her own stature lifts the feeble maid.
Then, if ordain'd to so severe a doom,
She, by just stages, journeys round the room:
But, knowing her own weakness, she despairs
To scale the Alps-that is, ascend the stairs.
My fan! let others say, who laugh at toil;
Fan! hood! glove! scarf! is her laconic style;
And that is spoke with such a dying fall,
That Betty rather sees than hears the call:
The motion of her lips, and meaning eye,
Piece out th' idea her faint words deny.
O listen with attention most profound!
Her voice is but the shadow of a sound.
And help! oh help! her spirits are so dead,
One hand scarce lifts the other to her head.
If, there, a stubborn pin it triumphs o'er,
She pants! she sinks away! and is no more.
Let the robust and the gigantic carve,
Life is not worth so much, she'd rather starve:
But chew she must herself; ah cruel fate!
That Rosalinda can't by proxy eat.

An antidote in female caprice lies
(Kind Heaven!) against the poison of their eyes.
Thalestris triumphs in a manly mien ;
Loud is her accent, and her phrase obscene.
In fair and open dealing where's the shame?
What Nature dares to give, she dares to name.
This honest fellow is sincere and plain,
And justly gives the jealous husband pain.
(Vain is the task to petticoats assign'd,
If wanton language shows a naked mind.)
And, now and then, to grace her eloquence,
An oath supplies the vacancies of sense.
Hark! the shrill notes transpierce the yielding air,
And teach the neighboring Echoes how to swear.
By Jove, is faint, and for the simple swain;
She, on the Christian system, is profane.
But though the volley rattles in your ear,
Believe her dress, she's not a grenadier.
If thunder's awful, how much more our dread,
When Jove deputes a lady in his stead!
A lady? pardon my mistaken pen,
A shameless woman is the worst of men.

Leads on your train, and sparkles at your head,
What seems most hard, is, not to be well-bred
Her bright example with success pursue,
And all, but adoration, is your due.

"But adoration! give me something more,"
Cries Lycé, on the borders of threescore:
Nought treads so silent as the foot of Time;
Hence we mistake our autumn for our prime;
"Tis greatly wise to know, before we're told,
The melancholy news, that we grow old.
Autumnal Lycé carries in her face
Memento mori to each public place.

O how your beating breast a mistress warms,
Who looks through spectacles to see your charms!
While rival undertakers hover round,

Few to good-breeding make a just pretence; Good-breeding is the blossom of good-sense; The last result of an accomplish'd mind, With outward grace, the body's virtue, join'd. A violated decency now reigns; And nymphs for failings take peculiar pains. With Chinese painters modern toasts agree, The point they aim at is deformity: They throw their persons with a hoyden air Across the room, and toss into the chair. So far their commerce with mankind is gone, They, for our manners, have exchang'd their own. The modest look, the castigated grace, The gentle movement, and slow-measur'd pace, For which her lovers died, her parents paid, Are indecorums with the modern maid. Stiff forms are bad; but let no worse intrude, Nor conquer art and nature, to be rude. Modern good-breeding carry to its height, And Lady D's self will be polite.

Ye rising fair! ye bloom of Britain's isle! When high-born Anna, with a soften'd smile,

And with his spade the sexton marks the ground.
Intent not on her own, but others' doom,
She plans new conquests, and defrauds the tomb.
In vain the cock has summon'd sprites away,
She walks at noon, and blasts the bloom of day.
Gay rainbow silks her mellow charms infold,
And nought of Lycé but herself is old.
Her grizzled locks assume a smirking grace,
And art has levell'd her deep-furrow'd face.
Her strange demand no mortal can approve,
We'll ask her blessing, but can't ask her love.
She grants, indeed, a lady may decline
(All ladies but herself) at ninety-nine.

O how unlike her was the sacred age
Of prudent Portia! Her grey hairs engage,
Whose thoughts are suited to her life's decline;
Virtue's the paint that can with wrinkles shine;
That, and that only, can old age sustain ;
Which yet all wish, nor know they wish for pain
Not numerous are our joys, when life is new;
And yearly some are falling of the few;
But when we conquer life's meridian stage,
And downward tend into the vale of age,
They drop apace; by nature some decay,
And some the blasts of fortune sweep away;
Till, naked quite of happiness, aloud
We call for death, and shelter in a shroud.
Where's Portia now?-But Portia left behind
Two lovely copies of her form and mind.
What heart untouch'd their early grief can view,
Like blushing rose-buds dipp'd in morning dew?
Who into shelter takes their tender bloom,
And forms their minds to flee from ills to come?
The mind, when turn'd adrift, no rules to guide,
Drives at the mercy of the wind and tide;
Fancy and passion toss it to and fro;
Awhile torment, and then quite sink in woe.
Ye beauteous orphans, since in silent dust
Your best example lies, my precepts trust.
Life swarms with ills; the boldest are afraid:
Where then is safety for a tender maid?
Unfit for conflict, round beset with woes,

And man, whom least she fears, her worst of foes.
When kind, most cruel; when oblig'd the most,
The least obliging; and by favors lost.
Cruel by nature, they for kindness hate;
And scorn you for those ills themselves create.
If on your fame our sex a blot has thrown,
"Twill ever stick, through malice of your own.
Most hard! in pleasing your chief glory lies;
And yet from pleasing your chief dangers rise :
Then please the best; and know, for men of sense,
Your strongest charms are native innocence.
Arts on the mind, like paint upon the face,

| Fright him, that's worth your love, from your embrace

In simple manners all the secret lies;
Be kind and virtuous, you'll be blest and wise.
Vain show and noise intoxicate the brain,
Begin with giddiness, and end in pain.
Affect not empty fame, and idle praise,
Which, all those wretches I describe, betrays.
Your sex's glory 'tis, to shine unknown ;
Of all applause, be fondest of your own.
Beware the fever of the mind! that thirst
With which the age is eminently curst:
To drink of pleasure, but inflames desire;
And abstinence alone can quench the fire;
Take pain from life, and terror from the tomb;
Give peace in hand; and promise bliss to come.

SATIRE VI.

ON WOMEN.

INSCRIBED TO THE RIGHT HON. THE LADY
ELIZABETH GERMAIN.

[ocr errors]

Interdum tamen et tollit comœdia vocem.-Hor.

I SOUGHT a patroness, but sought in vain.
Apollo whisper'd in my ear-" Germain."

I know her not." Your reason's somewhat odd;
Who knows his patron, now?" replied the god.

Men write, to me, and to the world, unknown;
Then steal great names, to shield them from the

Flavia is constant to her old gallant,
And generously supports him in his want
But marriage is a fetter, is a snare,
A hell, no lady so polite can bear.
She's faithful, she's observant, and with pains
Her angel-brood of bastards she maintains.
Nor least advantage has the fair to plead,
But that of guilt above the marriage-bed.

Amasia hates a prude, and scorns restraint;
Whate'er she is, she'll not appear a saint:
Her soul superior flies formality;

So gay her air, her conduct is so free,
Some might suspect the nymph not over-good.—
Nor would they be mistaken, if they should.
Unmarried Abra puts on formal airs;

Her cushion's threadbare with her constant prayers

Her only grief is, that she cannot be

At once engag'd in prayer and charity.

And this, to do her justice, must be said,

Who would not think that Abra was a maid ?"
Some ladies are too beauteous to be wed;

For where's the man that's worthy of their bed?
If no disease reduce her pride before,
Lavinia will be ravish'd at threescore.
Then she submits to venture in the dark;
And nothing now is wanting-but her spark.

Lucia thinks happiness consists in state;
She weds an idiot, but she eats in plate.

The goods of fortune, which her soul possess,
Are but the ground of unmade happiness;
The rude material: wisdom add to this,
Wisdom, the sole artificer of bliss;
She from herself, if so compell'd by need,
Of thin content can draw the subtle thread;
But (no detraction to her sacred skill)
If she can work in gold, 'tis better still.

If Tullia had been blest with half her sense,

Her lifted fan, to give a solemn air,
Conceals her face, which passes for a prayer:
Curt'sies to curt'sies, then, with grace, succeed ;
Not one the fair omits, but at the Creed.
Or, if she joins the service, 'tis to speak;
Through dreadful silence the pent heart might break: None could too much admire her excellence :
Untaught to bear it, women talk away
But since she can make error shine so bright,
To God himself, and fondly think they pray. She thinks it vulgar to defend the right.
But sweet their accent, and their air refin'd; With understanding she is quite o'errun;
For they're before their Maker—and mankind: And by too great accomplishments undone :
When ladies once are proud of praying well, With skill she vibrates her eternal tongue,
Satan himself will toll the parish-bell.
For ever most divinely in the wrong.

Acquainted with the world, and quite well-bred,
Drusa receives her visitants in bed;
But, chaste as ice, this Vesta, to defy
The very blackest tongue of calumny,
When from the sheets her lovely form she lifts,
She begs you just would turn you, while she shifts.
Those charms are greatest which decline the sight,
That makes the banquet poignant and polite.

Naked in nothing should a woman be;
But veil her very wit with modesty :
Let men discover, let not her display,
But yield her charms of mind with sweet delay
For pleasure form'd, perversely some believe,
To make themselves important, men must grieve.

* Shakspeare.

town:

Detected worth, like beauty disarray'd,
To covert flies, of praise itself afraid;
Should she refuse to patronize your lays,
In vengeance write a volume in her praise.
Nor think it hard so great a length to run;
When such the theme, 'twill easily be done."

Ye fair! to draw your excellence at length,
Exceeds the narrow bounds of human strength;
You, here, in miniature your picture see;
Nor hope from Zinck more justice than from me.
My portraits grace your mind, as his your side;
His portraits will inflame, mine quench, your pride:
He's dear, you frugal; choose my cheaper lay;
And be your reformation all my pay.

Lavinia is polite, but not profane;
To church as constant as to Drury-lane.
She decently, in form, pays Heaven its due;
And makes a civil visit to her pew.

There is no woman, where there's no reserve;
And 'tis on plenty your poor lovers starve.
But with a modern fair, meridian merit
Is a fierce thing, they call a nymph of spirit.
Mark well the rollings of her flaming eye;
And tread on tiptoe, if you dare draw nigh.
"Or if you take a lion by the beard,*
Or dare defy the fell Hyrcanian pard,
Or arm'd rhinoceros, or rough Russian bear,"
First make your will, and then converse with her.
This lady glories in profuse expense;
And thinks distraction is magnificence.
To beggar her gallant is some delight;
To be more fatal still, is exquisite;
Had ever nymph such reason to be glad?
In duel fell two lovers; one run mad;
Her foes their honest execrations pour;
Her lovers only should detest her more.

"

Lesbia the fair, to fire her jealous lord,
Pretends, the fop she laughs at, is ador'd.
In vain she's proud of secret innocence;
The fact she feigns were scarce a worse offence.
Mira, endow'd with every charm to bless,
Has no design, but on her husband's peace :
He lov'd her much; and greatly was he mov'd
At small inquietudes in her he lov'd.
"How charming this!"--The pleasure lasted long;
Now every day the fits come thick and strong:
At last he found the charmer only feign'd;
And was diverted when he should be pain'd.
What greater vengeance have the gods in store?
How tedious life, now she can plague no more!
She tries a thousand arts; but none succeed:
She's forc'd a fever to procure indeed:
Thus strictly prov'd this virtuous, loving wife,
Her husband's pain was dearer than her life.
Anxious Melania rises to my view,
Who never thinks her lover pays his due :
Visit, present, treat, flatter, and adore;
Her majesty, to-morrow, calls for more.
His wounded ears complaints eternal fill,
As unoil'd hinges, querulously shrill.

"You went last night with Celia to the ball."
You prove it false. Not go! that's worst of all."
Nothing can please her, nothing not inflame;
And arrant contradictions are the same.

[ocr errors]

Her lover must be sad, to please her spleen; His mirth is an inexpiable sin;

[ocr errors]

For of all rivals that can pain her breast,
There's one, that wounds far deeper than the rest;
To wreck her quiet, the most dreadful shelf
Is if her lover dares enjoy himself.

And this, because she's exquisitely fair:
Should I dispute her beauty, how she'd stare!
How would Melania be surpris'd to hear
She's quite deform'd! And yet the case is clear;
What's female beauty, but an air divine,
Through which the mind's all-gentle graces shine?
They, like the Sun, irradiate all between;
The body charms because the soul is seen.
Hence, men are often captives of a face,
They know not why, of no peculiar grace:
Some forms, though bright, no mortal man can bear;
Some, none resist, though not exceeding fair.

Aspasia's highly born, and nicely bred, Of taste refin'd, in life and manners read; Yet reaps no fruit from her superior sense, But to be teas'd by her own excellence.

Folks are so awkward! Things so unpolite!" She's elegantly pain'd from morn till night. Her delicacy's shock'd where'er she goes; Each creature's imperfections are her woes. Heaven by its favor has the fair distrest, And pour'd such blessings-that she can't be blest.

Ah! why so vain, though blooming in thy spring? Thou shining, frail, ador'd, and wretched thing! Old-age will come; disease may come before; Fifteen is full as mortal as threescore. Thy fortune, and thy charms, may soon decay: But grant these fugitives prolong their stay, Their basis totters, their foundation shakes; Life; that supports them, in a moment breaks; Then wrought into the soul let virtues shine; The ground eternal, as the work divine.

Julia's a manager; she's born for rule; And knows her wiser husband is a fool; Assemblies holds, and spins the subtle thread That guides the lover to his fair-one's bed:

For difficult amours can smooth the way,
And tender letters dictate, or convey.
But, if depriv'd of such important cares,
Her wisdom condescends to less affairs.
For her own breakfast she'll project a scheme,
Nor take her tea without a stratagem;
Presides o'er trifles with a serious face;
Important, by the virtue of grimace.
Ladies supreme among amusements reign;
By nature born to soothe, and entertain.
Their prudence in a share of folly lies:
Why will they be so weak, as to be wise?

Syrena is for ever in extremes,

And with a vengeance she commends, or blames
Conscious of her discernment, which is good,
She strains too much to make it understood.
Her judgment just, her sentence is too strong;
Because she's right, she's ever in the wrong.

Brunetta's wise in actions, great, and rare:
But scorns on trifles to bestow her care.
Thus every hour Brunetta is to blame,
Because th' occasion is beneath her aim.
Think nought a trifle, though it small appear;
Small sands the mountain, moments make the year
And trifles life. Your care to trifles give,
Or you may die, before you truly live.

Go breakfast with Alicia, there you'll see, Simplex munditiis, to the last degree: Unlac'd her stays, her night-gown is untied, And what she has of head-dress, is aside. She draws her words, and waddles in her pace; Unwash'd her hands, and much besnuff'd her face A nail uncut, and head uncomb'd, she loves; And would draw on jack-boots, as soon as gloves. Gloves by queen Bess's maidens might be mist; Her blessed eyes ne'er saw a female fist. Lovers, beware! to wound how can she fail, With scarlet finger, and long jetty nail? For Harvey, the first wit she cannot be, Nor, cruel Richmond, the first toast, for thee. Since full each other station of renown, Who would not be the greatest trapes in town? Women were made to give our eyes delight; A female sloven is an odious sight.

Fair Isabella is so fond of fame,

That her dear self is her eternal theme;

Through hopes of contradiction, oft she'll say
Methinks I look so wretchedly to-day!"

[ocr errors]

When most the world applauds you, most beware,
"Tis often less a blessing than a snare.
Distrust mankind; with your own heart confer;
And dread even there to find a flatterer.
The breath of others raises our renown;
Our own as surely blows the pageant down.
Take up no more than you by worth can claim,
Lest soon you prove a bankrupt in your fame.

But own I must, in this perverted age,
Who most deserve, can't always most engage.
So far is worth from making glory sure,
It often hinders what it should procure.
Whom praise we most? The virtuous, brave, and wise!
No; wretches, whom, in secret, we despise.
And who so blind, as not to see the cause?
No rivals rais'd by such discreet applause;
And yet, of credit it lays in a store,

By which our spleen may wound true worth the more.
Ladies there are who think one crime is all :
Can women, then, no way but backward fall?
So sweet is that one crime they don't pursue
To pay its loss, they think all others few.

Who hold that crime so dear, must never claim
Of injur'd modesty the sacred name.

But Clio thus: "What! railing without end? Mean task! how much more generous to commend!"

Yes, to commend as you are wont to do,
My kind instructor, and example too.

64

Daphnis," says Clio, “has a charming eye:
What pity 'tis her shoulder is awry!
Aspasia's shape indeed-But then her air-
The man has parts who finds destruction there.
Almeria's wit has something that's divine;
And wit's enough-how few in all things shine!
Selina serves her friends, relieves the poor-
Who was it said Selina's near threescore?
At Lucia's match I from my soul rejoice;
The world congratulates so wise a choice;
His lordship's rent-roll is exceeding great-
But mortgages will sap the best estate.
In Shirley's form might cherubims appear;
But then-she has a freckle on her ear."
Without a but, Hortensia she commends,
The first of women, and the best of friends;
Owns her in person, wit, fame, virtue bright;
But how comes this to pass ?-She died last night.

Thus nymphs commend, who yet at Satire rail:
Indeed that's needless, if such praise prevail.
And whence such praise? Our virulence is thrown
On others' fame, through fondness for our own.

Of rank and riches proud, Cleora frowns;
For are not coronets akin to crowns?
Her greedy eye, and her sublime address,
The height of avarice and pride confess.
You seek perfections worthy of her rank;
Go, seek for her perfections at the Bank.
By wealth unquench'd, by reason uncontroll'd,
For ever burns her sacred thirst of gold.
As fond of five-pence, as the veriest cit;
And quite as much detested as a wit.

Grand reservoirs of public happiness,
Through secret streams diffusively they bless;

And, while their bounties glide, conceal'd from view,
Relieve our wants, and spare our blushes too.
But Satire is my task; and these destroy
Her gloomy province, and malignant joy.
Help me, ye misers! help me to complain,
And blast our common enemy, Germain :
But our invectives must despair success;
For, next to praise, she values nothing less.

What picture's yonder, loosen'd from its frame?
Or is 't Asturia, that affected dame ?
The brightest forms, through affectation, fade
To strange new things, which Nature never made.
Frown not, ye fair! so much your sex we prize,
We hate those arts that take you from our eyes.
In Albucinda's native grace is seen
What you, who labor at perfection, mean.
Short is the rule, and to be learnt with ease,
Retain your gentle selves, and you must please.
Here might I sing of Memmia's mincing mien,
And all the movements of the soft machine :
How two red lips affected Zephyrs blow,
To cool the bohea, and inflame the beau:
While one white finger and a thumb conspire
To lift the cup, and make the world admire.

Tea! how I tremble at thy fatal stream!
As Lethe, dreadful to the Love of Fame.
What devastations on thy banks are seen!
What shades of mighty names which once have been
A hecatomb of characters supplies
Thy painted altars' daily sacrifice.
H, P, B-, aspers'd by thee, decay,
As grains of finest sugars melt away,
And recommend thee more to mortal taste;
Scandal's the sweetener of a female feast.

But this inhuman triumph shall decline,
And thy revolting Naiads call for wine;
Spirits no longer shall serve under thee;
But reign in thy own cup, exploded tea!
Citronia's nose declares thy ruin nigh,
And who dares give Citronia's nose the lie?

Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine?
Can we dig peace, or wisdom, from the mine?
Wisdom to gold prefer; for 'tis much less
To make our fortune, than our happiness.
That happiness which great ones often see,
With rage and wonder, in a low degree;
Themselves unblest. The poor are only poor!
But what are they who droop amid their store!
Nothing is meaner than a wretch of state;
The happy only are the truly great.
Peasants enjoy like appetites with kings;
And those best satisfied with cheapest things.
Could both our Indies buy but one new sense,
Our envy would be due to large expense.
Since not, those pomps which to the great belong,
Are but poor arts to mark them from the throng.
See how they beg an alms of flattery!
They languish! oh support them with a lie!
A decent competence we fully taste;
It strikes our sense, and gives a constant feast:
More, we perceive by dint of thought alone;
The rich must labor to possess their own,
To feel their great abundance; and request
Their humble friends to help them to be blest;
To see their treasures, hear their glory told,
And aid the wretched impotence of gold.

But some, great souls! and touch'd with warmth
divine,

Give gold a price, and teach its beams to shine.
All hoarded treasures they repute a load;
Nor think their wealth their own, till well bestow'd.

The ladies long at men of drink exclaim'd,
And what impair'd both health and virtue, blam'd.
At length, to rescue man, the generous lass
Stole from her consort the pernicious glass;
As glorious as the British queen renown'd,
Who suck'd the poison from her husband's wound
Nor to the glass alone are nymphs inclin'd,
But every bolder vice of bold mankind.

O Juvenal! for thy severer rage!
To lash the ranker follies of our age.

Are there, among the females of our isle,
Such faults, at which it is a fault to smile?
There are. Vice, once by modest Nature chain'd
And legal ties, expatiates unrestrain'd;
Without thin decency held up to view,
Naked she stalks o'er Law and Gospel too.
Our matrons lead such exemplary lives,
Men sigh in vain for none but for their wives;
Who marry to be free, to range the more,
And wed one man, to wanton with a score.
Abroad too kind, at home 'tis stedfast hate,
And one eternal tempest of debate.
What foul eruptions, from a look most meek!
What thunders bursting, from a dimpled cheek!
Their passions bear it with a lofty hand!
But then, their reason is at due command.
Is there whom you detest, and seek his life?
Trust no soul with the secret-but his wife.

Wives wonder that their conduct I condemn,
And ask, what kindred is a spouse to them?
What swarms of amorous grandmothers I see!
And misses, ancient in iniquity!
What blasting whispers, and what loud declaiming!
What lying, drinking, bawding, swearing, gaming!
Friendship so cold, such warm incontinence;
Such griping avarice, such profuse expense;
Such dead devotion, such a zeal for crimes;
Such licens'd ill, such masquerading times;
Such venal faith, such misapplied applause;
Such flatter'd guilt, and such inverted laws!

Such dissolution through the whole I find,
"Tis not a world, but chaos of mankind.
Since Sundays have no balls, the well-dress'd belle
Shines in the pew, but smiles to hear of Hell;
And casts an eye of sweet disdain on all
Who listen less to Collins than St. Paul.
Atheists have been but rare; since Nature's birth,
Till now, she-atheists ne'er appear'd on Earth.
Ye men of deep researches, say, whence springs
This daring character, in timorous things?
Who start at feathers, from an insec! fly,
A match for nothing-but the Deity.
But, not to wrong the fair, the Muse must own
In this pursuit they court not fame alone;
But join to that a more substantial view,
"From thinking free, to be free agents too."
They strive with their own hearts, and keep them
down,

In complaisance to all the fools in town.
O how they tremble at the name of prude!
And die with shame at thought of being good!
For what will Artimis, the rich and gay,
What will the wits, that is, the coxcombs, say?
They Heaven defy, to Earth's vile dregs a slave;
Through cowardice, most execrably brave.
With our own judgments durst we to comply,
In virtue should we live, in glory die.
Rise then, my Muse, in honest fury rise;
They dread a Satire, who defy the skies.

Atheists are few: most nymphs a Godhead own;
And nothing but his attributes dethrone.
From atheists far, they stedfastly believe
God is, and is Almighty-to forgive.
His other excellence they'll not dispute;
But mercy, sure, is his chief attribute.
Shall pleasures of a short duration chain
A lady's soul in everlasting pain?
Will the great Author us poor worms destroy,
For now and then a sip of transient joy?
No, he's for ever in a smiling mood;

He's like themselves; or how could he be good?
And they blaspheme, who blacker schemes suppose.
Devoutly, thus, Jehovah they depose,
The pure! the just! and set up, in his stead,
A deity, that's perfectly well-bred.

"Dear Tillotson! be sure the best of men;
Nor thought he more, than thought great Origen.
Though once upon a time he misbehav'd;
Poor Satan! doubtless, he'll at length be sav'd.
Let priests do something for their one in ten;
It is their trade; so far they're honest men.
Let them cant on, since they have got the knack,
And dress their notions, like themselves, in black;
Fright us with terrors of a world unknown,
From joys of this, to keep them all their own.
Of Earth's fair fruits, indeed, they claim a fee;
But then they leave our untith'd virtue free.

Virtue's a pretty thing to make a show:
Did ever mortal write like Rouchefoucault?"
Thus pleads the Devil's fair apologist,
And, pleading, safely enters on his list.

Let angel-forms angelic truths maintain;
Nature disjoins the beauteous and profane.
For what's true beauty, but fair virtue's face?
Virtue made visible in outward grace?
She, then, that's haunted with an impious mind,
The more she charms, the more she shocks mankind.

But charms decline: the fair long vigils keep · They sleep no more! Quadrille has murder'd sleep.*

Poor K-p!" cries Livia; "I have not been there These two nights; the poor creature will despai I hate a crowd-but to do good, you knowAnd people of condition should bestow." Convinc'd, o'ercome, to K-p's grave matrons ru Now set a daughter, and now stake a son; Let health, fame, temper, beauty, fortune, fly; And beggar half their race-through charity. Immortal were we, or else mortal quite, I less should blame this criminal delight: But since the gay assembly's gayest room Is but an upper story to some tomb, Methinks, we need not our short being shun, And, thought to fly, contend to be undone. We need not buy our ruin with our crime; And give eternity to murder time.

The love of gaming is the worst of ills; With ceaseless storms the blacken'd soul it fills; Inveighs at Heaven, neglects the ties of blood; Destroys the power and will of doing good; Kills health, pawns honor, plunges in disgrace, And, what is still more dreadful-spoils your face See yonder set of thieves that live on spoil, The scandal and the ruin of our isle! And see (strange sight!) amid that ruffian band, A form divine high wave her snowy hand; That rattles loud a small enchanted box, Which, loud as thunder, on the board she knocks. And as fierce storms, which Earth's foundation shook,

[ocr errors]

From Æolus's cave impetuous broke,

From this small cavern a mix'd tempest flies,
Fear, rage, convulsion, tears, oaths, blasphemies!
For men, I mean-the fair discharges none;
She (guiltless creature!) swears to Heaven alone.
See her eyes start! cheeks glow! and muscles
swell!

Like the mad maid in the Cumean cell.

Thus that divine one her soft nights employs!
Thus tunes her soul to tender nuptial joys!
And when the cruel morning calls to bed,
And on her pillow lays her aching head,
With the dear images her dreams are crown'd,
The die spins lovely, or the cards go round;
Imaginary ruin charms her still;

Her happy lord is cuckol'd by spadille: And if she's brought to bed, 'tis ten to one, He marks the forehead of her darling son.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]
« PoprzedniaDalej »