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Honestius putamus, quod frequentius; recti apud nos locum tenet error, ubi publicus factus. Seneca.
YES, yes, my Friend, disguise it as you will,
To right or wrong 'tis Fashion guides us still;
A few perhaps rise singularly good,
Defy and stem the fool-o'erwhelming flood;
The rest to wander from their brethren fear,
As social herrings in large shoals appear.
'Twas not a taste, but pow'rful mode, that bade Yon purblind, poking peer run picture mad; With the same wonder-gaping face he stares On flat DUTCH dawbing, as on GUIDO's airs;_10 What might his oak-crown'd manors mortgag'd gain?
Alas! five faded landscapes of LORAINE.
Not so GARGILIUS-sleek, voluptuous lord,
A hundred dainties smoke upon his board;
Earth, air, and ocean ransack'd for the feast,
In masquerade of foreign OLIOS dress'd;
Who praises, in this sauce-enamour'd age,
Calm, healthful temp'rance, like an INDIAN sage:
But could he walk in public, were it said,
"GARGILIUS din'd on beef, and eat brown bread
Happy the grotto'd hermit with his pulse,
Who wants no truffles, rich ragouts—nor HULSE.
How strict on Sundays gay LAETITIA's face!
How curl'd her hair, how clean her Brussels lace!
She lifts her eyes, her sparkling eyes to Heav'n,
Most nun-like mourns, and hopes to be forgiv'n.
Think not she prays, or is grown penitent
She went to church-because the parish went.
Close CHREMES, deaf to the pale widow's grief,
Parts with an unsunn'd guinea for relief;
No meltings o'er his ruthless bosom steal,
More than fierce Arabs, or proud tyrants feel;
Yet, since his neighbours give, the churl unlocks,
Damning the poor, his triple-bolted box.
Why loves not HIPPIA rank obscenity? Why would she not with twenty porters lie? Why not in crowded Malls quite naked walk?
Not aw'd by virtue but "The world would talk.".
Yet how demurely looks the wishing maid,
For ever, but in bed, of man afraid!
Thus HAMMON's spring by day feels icy-cool,
At night is hot as hell's sulphureous pool.
Each panting warble of VESCONTI's throat,
To DICK, is heav'nlier than a seraph's note;
The trills, he swears, soft-stealing to his breast,
Are lullabies, to sooth his cares to rest;
Are sweeter far, than LAURA's luscious kiss,
Charm the whole man, and lap his soul in bliss:
Who can such counterfeited raptures bear,
Of a deaf fool who scarce can thunders hear?__
CROWDERO might with him for FESTIN pass,
And touching HANDEL yield to trifling HASSE
But curd-fac'd CURIO comes! all prate and smile, Supreme of beaux, great bulwark of our isle! Mark well his feather'd hat, his gilt cockade, Rich rings, white hand, and coat of stiff brocade ; Such weak-wing'd May-flies BRITAIN'S troops dis
That FLANDRIA, wond'ring, mourns our alter'd
With him the fair, enraptur'd with a rattle,
Of VAUXHALL, GARRICK, or PAMELA prattle:
This self-pleas'd king of emptiness permit
At the dear toilette harmlessly to sit;
As mirthless infants, idling out the day,
With wooden swords, or toothless puppies play:
'Tis meaner (cries the manling) to command
A conquering host, or save a sinking land,
Than furl fair FLAVIA's fan, or lead a dance,
Or broach new-minted FASHIONS fresh from FRANCE.
O FRANCE, whose edicts govern dress and meat,
Thy victor BRITAIN bends beneath thy feet! 70
Strange! that pert grashoppers should lions lead,
And teach to hop, and chirp across the mead:
Of fleets and laurell'd chiefs let others boast,
Thy honors are to bow, dance, boil, and roast,
Let ITALY give mimic canvass fire,
Carve rock to life, or tune the lulling lyre;
For gold let rich POTOSI be renown'd,
Be balmy-breathing gums in INDIA found:
'Tis thine for sleeves to teach the shantiest cuts,
Give empty coxcombs more important struts, 86
Prescribe new rules for knots, hoops, manteaus, wigs,
Shoes, soups, complexions, coaches, farces, jigs.
MUSCALIA dreams of last night's ball till ten,
Drinks chocolate, stroaks FoPS, and sleeps agen;
Perhaps at twelve dares ope her drowsy eyes,
Asks Lucy if 'tis late enough to rise;
By three each curl and feature justly set,
She dines, talks scandal, visits, plays piquette:
Meanwhile her babes with some foul nurse remain,
For modern dames a mother's cares disdain;
Each fortnight once she bears to see the brats,
"For oh they stun one's ears, like squalling cats!"
Tigers and pards protect, and nurse their young,
The parent-snake will roll her forked tongue,
The vulture hovers vengeful o'er her nest,
If the rude hand her helpless brood infest;
Shall lovely woman, softest frame of heav'n,☛
To whom were tears, and feeling pity giv❜n,
Most fashionably cruel, less regard
Her offspring, than the vulture, snake, and pardi
What art, O FASHION, pow'r supreme below!
You make us virtue, nature, sense, forego ;
You sanctify knave, atheist, whore, and fool,
And shield from justice, shame, and ridicule.
Our grandames' modes, long absent from our eyes,
At your all-powerful bidding duteous rise;
AS ARETHUSA sunk beneath the plain
For many a league, emerging flows again;
Now Mary's mobs, and flounces you approve,
Now shape-disguising sacks, and slippers love: =
Scarce have you chose (like Fortune fond to joke)
Some reigning dress, but you the choice revoke:
So when the deep-tongu'd organ's notes swell high,
And loud HOSANNAHS reach the distant sky,
Hark, how at once the dying strains decay,
And soften unexpectedly away.
The peer, prince, peasant, soldier, squire, divine,
Goddess of Change, bend low before your shrine,
Swearing to follow, wheresoe'er you lead,
Though you eat toads, or walk upon your head. 120°