[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

That then she mounts by just degrees

In dying accents he complains Up to the ancles, legs, and knees;

Of cruel fires, and raging pains. Next, as the sap of life does rise,

The nymph too longs to be alone, She lends her vigor to the thighs ;

Leaves all the swains, and sighs for one. And all these under-regions past,

The nymph is warm'd with young desire, She nestles somewhere near the waist;

And feels, and dies lo quench his fire. Gives pain or pleasure, grief or laughter,

They meet each evening in the grove; As we shall show at large hereafter.

Their parley but augments their love: Mature, if not improv'd by time,

So to the priest their case they tell : Up to the heart she loves to climb;

He ties the knot; and all goes well. From thence, compellid by craft and age,

" But, O my Muse, just distance keep; She makes the head her latest stage.

Thou art a maid, and must not peep. “ From the feet upward to the head"

In ninc months' time, the bodice loose, “Pithy and short,” says Dick, "proceed."

And petticoats too short, disclose “ Dick, this is not an idle notion :

That at this age the active mind Observe the progress of the motion.

About the waist lies most confin'd; First, I demonstratively prove,

And that young life and quickening sense That feet were only made to move;

Spring from his influence darted thence And legs desire to come and go,

So from the middle of the world
For they have nothing else to do.

The Sun's prolific rays are hurld :
Hence, long before the child can crawl,

'Tis from thai seat he darts those beams, He learns to kick, and wince, and sprawl:

Which quicken Earth with genial flames."

Dick, who thus long had passive sat,
To hinder which, your midwise knows
To bind those parts extremely close ;

Here strok'd his chin, and cock'd his hat; Lest Alma, newly enter'd in,

Then slapp'd his hand upon the board, And stunn'd at her own christening's din,

And thus the youth put in his word.

Love's advocates, sweet sir, would find him Fearful of future grief and pain, Should silently sneak out again.

A higher place than you assign'd him."

• Love's advocales! Dick, who are those ?"Full piteous seems young Alma's case ; As in a luckless gamester's place,

“ The poets, you may well suppose. She would not play, yet must not pass.

I'm sorry, sir, you have discarded

The men with whom till now you herded. “ Again; as she grows something stronger,

Prose-men alone, for private ends, And master's feet are swath'd no longer,

I thought, forsook their ancient friends. If in the night too oft he kicks,

In cor stillavit, cries Lucretius; Or shows his locomotive tricks;

If he may be allow'd to teach us. These first assaults fat Kate repays him;

The self-same thing soft Ovid says, When half asleep, she overlays him.

(A proper judge in such a case,) " Now mark, dear Richard, from the age Horace's phrase is, torrel jecur ; That children tread this worldly stage,

And happy was that curious speaker. Broom-staff or poker they bestride,,

Here Virgil 100 has plac'd this passion. And round the parlor love to ride;

What signifies too long quotation ? Till thoughtful father's pious care

In ode and epic, plain the case is, Provides his brood, next Smithfield Fair,

That Love holds one of these two places." With supplemental hobby-horses :

“ Dick, without passion or reflection, And happy be their infant courses!

I'll straight demolish this objection.
Hence for some years they ne'er stand still:

“ First, poeis, all the world agrees, Their legs, you see, direct their will;

Write half to profit, half to please. From opening morn till setting sun,

Matter and figure they produce; Around the fields and woods they run;

For garnish this, and that for use : They frisk, and dance, and leap, and play,

And in the structure of their feasts, Nor heed what Freind or Snape can say.

They seek to feed and please their guests : To her next stage as Alma flies,

But one may balk this good intent, And likes, as I have said, the thighs,

And iake things otherwise than meant. With sympathetic power she warms

Thus, if you dine with my lord-mayor, Their good allies and friends, the arms;

Roast-beef and venison is your fare ; While Betty dances on the green,

Thence you proceed to swan and bustard, And Susan is at stool-ball seen;

And persevere in tart and custard : While John for nine-pins does declare,

But tulip-leaves and lemon-peel And Roger loves to pitch the bar:

Help only to adorn the meal ; Both legs and arms spontaneous move;

And painted Nags, superb and neat,
Which was the thing I meant to prove.

Proclaim you welcome to the treat.
Another motion now she makes :

The man of sense his meat devours,
O, need I name the seat she takes ?

But only smells the peel and flowers;
His thought quite chang'd the stripling finds ; And he must be an idle dreamer,
The sport and

he minds;

Who leaves the pie, and gnaws the streamer. Neglected Tray and

“ That Cupid goes with bow and arrows, And covies Sudden the jocund s unmolesAy.

And Venus keeps her coach and sparrows,

Is all but emblem, to acquaint one, And for the

The son is sharp, the mother wanton. secret grieves.




ler lie,



he leaves,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

His noble negligences teach
What others' toils despair to reach.
He, perfect dancer, climbs the rope,
And balances your fear and hope:
If, after some distinguish'd leap,
He drops his pole, and seems to slip,
Straight gathering all his active strength,
He rises higher half his length.
With wonder you approve his sleight,
And owe your pleasure to your fright:
But like poor Andrew I advance,
False mimic of my master's dance.
Around the cord awhile I sprawl,
And thence, though low, in earnest fall.

“My preface tells you, I digress'd :
He's half absolv'd who has confess'd."

“I like," quoth Dick, “your simile,
And, in return, take two from me.
As masters in the clare obscure
With various light your eyes allure,
A flaming yellow here they spread,
Draw off in blue, or charge in red;
Yet, from these colors oddly mix'd,
Your sight upon the whole is fix'd :
Or as, again, your courtly dames
(Whose clothes returning birth-day claims)
By arts improve the stuffs they vary,
And things are best as most contrary ;

gown, with stiff embroidery shining,
Looks charming with a slighter lining ;
The out-, if Indian figure stain,
The in-side must be rich and plain.
So you great authors have thought fit
To make digression temper wit:
When arguments too fiercely glare,
You calm them with a milder air:
To break their points, you turn their force,
And furbelow the plain discourse."

“ Richard," quoth Mat, “ these words of thine
Speak something sly, and something fine :
But I shall e'en resume my theme,
However thou may’st praise or blame.

“ As people marry now, and settle,
Fierce Love abates his usual metile:
Worldly desires, and household cares,
Disturb the godhead's soft affairs:
So now, as health or temper changes,
In larger compass Alma ranges.
This day below, the next above,
As light or solid whimsies move.
So merchant has his house in town,
And country-seat near Bansted-down:
From one he dates his foreign letters,
Sends out his goods, and duns his debtors :
In t'other, at his hours of leisure,
He smokes his pipe, and takes his pleasure.

" And now your matrimonial Cupid,
Lash'd on by Time, grows tir'd and stupid.
For story and experience tell us
That man grows old, and woman jealous.
Both would their little ends secure;
He sighs for freedom, she for power:
His wishes tend abroad to roam,
And hers to domineer at home.
Thus passion flags by slow degrees,
And, ruffled more,

The busy mind does
But, in the breast
For well-bred leints

op'd, prepares

The man suspects his lady's crying
(When he last autumn lay a-dying)
Was but to gain him to appoint her
By codicil a larger jointure.
The woman finds it all a trick,
That he could swoon when she was sick;
And knows, that in that grief he reckon'd
On black-ey'd Susan for his second.

“ Thus having strove some tedious years
With feign'd desires, and real fears;
And, tir'd with answers and replies
Of John affirms, and Martha lies,
Leaving this endless altercation,
The Mind affects a higher station.

“Poltis, that generous king of Thrace, I think, was in this very case. All Asia now was by the ears, And gods beat up for volunteers To Greece and Troy; while Poltis sat In quiet governing his state. • And whence,' said the pacific king, Does all this noise and discord spring ?' • Why, Paris took Atrides' wife.'– With ease I could compose this strife : The injur'd hero should not lose, Nor the young lover want a spouse. But Helen chang'd her first condition, Without her husband's just permission. What from the dame can Paris hope ? She may as well from him elope. Again, how can her old good man, With honor, take her back again? From hence I logically gather, The woman cannot live with either. Now, I have two right honest wives, For whose possession no man strives : One to Atrides I will send, And t'other to my Trojan friend. Each prince shall thus with honor have What both so warmly seem to crave : The wrath of gods and man shall cease, And Poltis live and die in peace.'

Dick, if this story pleaseth thee, Pray thank Dan Pope, who told it me.

“Howe'er swift Alma's flight may vary, (Take this by way of corollary) Some limbs she finds the very same, In place, in dignity, in name: These dwell at such convenient distance, That each may give his friend assistance. Thus he who runs or dances begs The equal vigor of two legs ; So much to both does Alma trust, She ne'er regards which goes the first. Teague could make neither of them stay, When with himself he ran away. The man who struggles in the fight, Fatigues left arm as well as right; For, whilst one hand exalts the blow, And on the earth extends the foe, T'other would take it wondrous ill, If in your pocket it lay still. And, when you shoot, and shut one eye, You cannot think he would deny To lend the other friendly aid, Or wink as coward, and afraid. No, sir; whilst he withdraws his flame, His comrade takes the surer aim : One moment if his beams recede, As soon as e'er the bird is dead,

[ocr errors]

dolighted less,

[ocr errors]

seldom go

seats below;


future wars.

Opening again, he lays his claim

Her tallies useless lie, and idle, To half the profit, half the fame,

If plac'd exactly in the middle : And helps to pocket up the game.

But, forc'd from this unactive state 'Tis thus one tradesman slips away,

By virtue of some casual weight, To give his partner fairer play.

On either side you hear them clatter, “Some limbs again, in bulk or stature

And judge of right and left hand matter. Unlike, and not akin by nature,

“Now, Richard, this coercive force, In concert act, like modern friends,

Without your choice, must take its course ; Because one serves the other's ends.

Great kings to wars are pointed forth, The arm thus waits upon the heart,

Like loaded needles to the north. So quick to take the bully's part,

And thou and I, by power unseen, That one, though warm, decides more slow Are barely passive, and suck'd-in Than t'other executes the blow.

To Henault's vaults, or Celia's chamber, A stander-by may chance to have it,

As straw and paper are by amber. Ere Hack himself perceives he gave it.

If we sit down to play or set, “The amorous eyes thus always go

(Suppose at ombre or basset,) A-strolling for their friends below;

Let people call us cheats or fools, For, long before the squire and dame

Our cards and we are equal tools. Have tête-à-tête reliev'd their flame,

We sure in vain the cards condemn: Ere visits yet are brought about,

Ourselves both cut and shuffled them. The eye by sympathy looks out,

In vain on Fortune's aid rely: Knows Florimel, and longs to meet her,

She only is a stander-by. And, if he sees, is sure to greet her,

Poor men! poor papers! we and they Though at sash-window, on the stairs,

Do some impulsive force obey : At court, nay (authors say) at prayers.

And are but play'd with—do not play. “The funeral of some valiant knight

But space and matter we should blame; May give this thing its proper light.

They palm'd the trick that lost the game. View his two gauntlets; these declare

“ Thus, to save further contradiction That both his hands were us’d to war.

Against what you may think but fiction, And from his two gilt spurs 'tis learn'd

I for attraction, Dick, declare : His feet were equally concern'd.

Deny it those bold men that dare. But have you not, with thought, beheld

As well your motion, as your thought, The sword hang dangling o'er the shield? Is all by hidden impulse wrought : Which shows the breast, that plate was us'd to, Ev'n saying that you think or walk, Had an ally right arm to trust to:

How like a country squire you talk ! And, by the peep-holes in his crest,

"Mark then ;-Where fancy, or desire, Is it not virtually confest,

Collects the beams of vital fire; That there his eyes took distant aim,

Into that limb fair Alma slides, And glanc'd respect to that bright dame,

And there, pro tempore, resides. In whose delight his hope he center'd,

She dwells in Nicolini's tongue, And for whose glove his life was ventur'd ? When Pyrrhus chants the heavenly song. “Objections to my general system

When Pedro does the lute command, May rise, perhaps; and I have mist them ; She guides the cunning artist's hand. But I can call to my assistance

Through Macer's gullet she runs down, Proximity (mark that!) and distance;

When the vile glutton dines alone. Can prove, that all things, on occasion,

And, void of modesty and thought, Love union, and desire adhesion;

She follows Bibo's endless draught. That Alma merely is a scale,

Through the soft sex again she ranges, And motives, like the weights, prevail.

As youth, caprice, or fashion, changes. If neither side turn down nor up,

Fair Alma, careless and serene, With loss or gain, with fear or hope,

In Fanny's sprightly eyes is seen ; The balance always would hang even,

While they diffuse their infant beams, Like Mab'met's tomb, 'twixt Earth and Heaven. Themselves not conscious of their flames “This, Richard, is a curious case :

Again fair Alma sits confest Suppose your eyes sent equal rays

On Florimel's experter breast; Upon two distant pots of ale,

When she the rising sigh constrains, Not knowing which was mild or stale :

And, by concealing, speaks her pains. In this sad state your doubtful choice

In Cynthia's neck fair Alma glows, Would never have the casting voice ;

When the vain thing her jewels shows : Which best or worst you could not think,

When Jenny's stays are newly lac'd, And die you must for want of drink;

Fair Alma plays about her waist : Unless some chance inclines your sight,

And when the swelling hoop sustains Setting one pot in fairer light;

The rich brocade, fair Alma deigns Then you prefer or A, or B,

Into that lower space to enter, As lines and angles best agree:

Of the large round herself the centre. Your sense resolv'd impels your will :

“Again: that single limb or feature, She guides your hand—so drink your fill.

(Such is the cogent force of Nature,) * Have you not seen a baker's maid

Which most did Alma's passion move Between two equal panniers sway'd ?

In the first object of her love,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

For ever will be found confest,

For evermore all care is vain, And printed on the amorous breast.

That would bring Alma down again. “ Abelard ! ill-fated youth,

As, in habitual gout or stone, Thy tale will justify this truth:

The only thing that can be done, But well I weet, thy cruel wrong

Is to correct your drink and diet, Adorns a nobler poet's song.

And keep the inward foe in quiet; . Dan Pope, for thy misfortune griev'd,

So, if for any sins of ours, With kind concern and skill has weav'd

Or our forefathers’, higher powers, A silken web; and ne'er shall fade

Severe, though just, afflict our life Its colors; gently has he laid

With that prime ill, a talking wife ; The mantle o'er thy sad distress,

Till Death shall bring the kind relief, And Venus shall the texture bless,

We must be patient, or be deaf. He o'er the weeping nun has drawn

“You know a certain lady, Dick, Such artful folds of sacred lawn,

Who saw me when I last was sick: That Love, with equal grief and pride,

She kindly talk’d, at least three hours, Shall see the crime he strives to hide,

of plastic forms, and mental powers ; And, softly drawing back the veil,

Describ'd our pre-existing station, The god shall to his votaries tell

Before this vile terrene creation; Each conscious tear, each blushing grace,

And, lest I should be wearied, madam, That deck'd dear Eloisa's 'face.

To cut things short, came down to Adam ; Happy the poet, blest the lays,

From whence, as fast as she was able, Which Buckingham has deign'd to praise ! She drowns the world, and builds up Babel

“ Next, Dick, as youth and habit sways, Through Syria, Persia, Greece, she goes, A hundred gambols Alma plays.

And takes the Romans in the close. If, whilst a boy, Jack ran from school,

“But we'll descant on general nature : Fond of his hunting-horn and pole ;

This is a system, not a satire. Though gout and age his speed detain,

“Turn we this globe, and let us see Old John halloos his hounds again;

How different nations disagree By his fire-side he starts the hare,

In what we wear, or eat and drink; And turns her in his wicker-chair;

Nay, Dick, perhaps in what we think. His feet, however lame, you find,

In water as you smell and taste Have got the better of his Mind.

The soils through which it rose and past, “ If, while the Mind was in her leg,

In Alma's manners you may read The dance affected nimble Peg;

The place where she was born and bred. Old Madge, bewitch'd at sixty-one,

“One people from their swaddling-bands Calls for Green Sleeves, and Jumping Joan. Releas'd their infants' feet and hands; In public mask, or private ball,

Here Alma to these limbs was brought, From Lincoln's-inn to Goldsmiths'-hall,

And Sparta's offspring kick'd and fought. All Christmas long away she trudges,

“ Another taught their babes to talk, Trips it with prentices and judges.

Ere they could yet in go-carts walk: In vain her children urge her stay,

There Alma settled in the tongue, And age or palsy bar the way.

And orators from Athens sprung, But, if those images prevail

“ Observe but in these neighboring lands Which whilom did affect the tail,

The different use of mouths and hands; She still renews the ancient scene,

As men repos'd their various hopes, Forgets the forty years between :

In battles these, and those in tropes. Awkwardly gay, and oddly merry,

“ In Britain's isles, as Heylin notes, Her scarf pale pink, her head-knot cherry ; The ladies trip in petticoats ; O'er-heated with ideal rage,

Which, for the honor of their nation, She cheats her son, to wed her page.

They quit but on some great occasion. “ If Alma, whilst the man was young,

Men there in breeches clad you view: Slipp'd up too soon into his tongue,

They claim that garment as their due. Pleas’d with his own fantastic skill,

In Turkey the reverse appears ; He lets that weapon ne'er lie still.

Long coats the haughty husband wears, On any point if you dispute,

And greets his wife with angry speeches Depend upon it, he'll confute :

If she be seen without her breeches. Change sides, and you increase your pain,

"In our fantastic climes, the fair For he'll confute you back again.

With cleanly powder dry their hair : For one may speak with Tully's tongue,

And round their lovely breast and head Yet all the while be in the wrong.

Fresh flowers their mingled odors shed. And 'tis remarkable, that they

Your nicer Hottentots think meet Talk most, who have the least to say.

With guts and tripe to deck their feet : Your dainty, speakers have the curse,

With downcast looks on Totta's legs To plead bad causes down to worse :

The ogling youth most humbly begs As dames, who native beauty want,

She would not from his hopes remove Still uglier look, the

At once his breakfast and his love: “ Again: if in the

And, if the skittish nymph should fly, Alma should on (A cruel and a

He in a double sense must die. From which leaven

“We simple toasters take delight

To see our women's teeth look white, eld my lovely lass !)

more they paint.




Perber fix,



« VorigeDoorgaan »