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The Graces, maids of honour to the queen,
And modest Virtue, fearful to be seen,
And Pleasure and the muses here resort,
The lover's pantheon is Fashion’s court.
A rainbow diadem her temples crowns,
And a cameleon zone her waist surrounds ;
With every motion, her caprice so strange,
Her robes, their size, and shape, and colour change ;
In graceful folds around her feet they wind,
Or fall in flowing negligence behind.
Now in transparent drapery displayed,
Increase the beauties they pretend to shade.
By Pleasure's band the court of Fashion graced,
If Virtue deign to, guide the hand of Taste,
Her sovereign power both Wit and Wisdom own,
And kneeling, swear allegiance at her throne.
But this inconstant, this capricious power
Removes a favourite every passing hour,
When Vice beneath the mask of Pleasure sways,
Indignant Virtue sullenly obeys. -
Then mingled ranks no marks distinct express,
Opposed in manners, but alike in dress,
In like array, the sportive, the demure,
The spotless vestal, and the frail impure.
Thus the same light transparent paintings claim,
For the cold moonbeam and the furnace flame.
If Vice appear, she comes in deep disguise,
The garb which wit adorned by taste supplies ;
Then she conceals her wild, licentious air,
Her boisterous accent, her intrepid stare,
Her rough salute, her cheek with rouge imbued,
Which mocks the flush of innocence subdued.
Let folly, pleasure, whim, alternate reign,
So Vice be banished with her lawless train.
Be not, my pupil, sage Experience said,
By her insidious blandishment misled ;
Like him who sailed the syren shore along,
Deaf be thine ear, nor list the witching song.
For when such meteors baneful influence shed,
Fools gape and gaze at mischief, wise men dread.
Be thou advised ; and if thy curious eye
Pursue their course eccentrick through the sky,
When o'er the disk of decency they pass,
“See but in part, and darkly through a glass.”
Tired of this prospect, be the scenery changed;
Far on the plain see yonder crowd arranged.
The mercenary troop are clothed and paid
By Science, not for service, but parade ;
Who scorns in secret her degenerate train,
Their wisdom cunning, and their art chicane.
Here are a band, by no employ disgraced ; All their vocation to be men of taste : A living catalogue, which neverlooks o' " Beyond the title, size, and price of books; This stupid signpost stands at Learning's door, Tells, “Entertainment here,” but knows no more. The spawn of Idleness, a vagrant crew, Base sons of Genius, whom he never knew, Complain, unless a brazen pillar rise” 150 To note their fame—neglected merit dies; Bid the revolving world its course forbear, To hear a sonnet—to Melissa's hair. Are they to learn, the author should unite Wisdom with wit, and profit with delight? Who thank the shower denied the thirsty plain, Were all its blessings scattered on the main : If the cold soil no genial heat expand ; ' '. The sunbeam wasted on the desart sand 2 -
As they proceed within the mirrour rise
160 A sable group, and thus Experience cries,
Ruin to them who dare mislead mankind
Shut their own eyes, and then direct the blind ;
Ruin to those who gain dishonest bread
With lips unclean—unconsecrated head :
Who from the worship of the temple rove
To the high hill, or the unhallowed grove ;
Unlicensed on the sacred offering feast,
Degrade Heaven's altar, and defraud his priest.
Empiricks who destroy without control,
170 The moral constitution of the soul ;
Promise to free the heart from sinful stain,
As quacks draw teeth, nor give the patient pain.
To heal the broken spirit, they infuse
Some grand specifick “ for an inward bruise.”?
Say, can the patent opiate they advise,
Compose to sleep the worm which never dies ;
Their lotions purify from guilty fears,
Like bitter floods of penitence and tears?
To restrain vice and folly is their plan,
180 Not by the fear of God, but fear of man ;
Unless the offence be known, no law is broke,
And future recompense for crime, a joke.
Oh, strip the miscreants of the robe they stain,
And drive them from the altar they profane.
Vain were the task, and endless, to describe
Of shape, so varied, each degenerate tribe
* —monumentum aeris perennius. HoR. f —telling me the sov’reignest thing-on earth Was parmacity for an inward bruise. SHAk. Vol. III. No. 9. 3N
* * * * • * * * * * - a
Of vile impostors; wretches, who degrade
A liberal science to a menial trade or a on 1 or
Riches and power their sordid souls enflame; , , , , ,
Content with fortune, they deserve not fame. . . . , , , ,
These haunt the Forum...these the law disgrace. ... .
Like birds of prey, who wear the human face, - b. ,
Voracious harpies, they the food defile, v not * * * By rapine seized, that none may share the spoil..... . .” They can fix bounds, or landmarks can remove, Last testaments at pleasure break, or prove; . . . . ." To furnish proof, in perjury they trade, - or-. Invent an oath, or sell one ready made, to . . in a And from a chaos of discordant lies, 1 to - of 200 Systems elaborately harmonize. * . . . . ." If raised by fortune, though by crime debased, or Have these the senatorial robe disgraced? to o They have a patient ear, smiles at command, i. . . . . . . . A supple body, an extended hand, ow |- so - . . . . A rapid sight to instantly decide - * * * Which is the weak, and which the strongest side ; , , . For right or wrong indifferently they vote, . . on 1
Change principle or party with their coat.
There is to man, and so there is to heaven, o',
210 A crime so black it cannot be forgiven -
"Tis not of human growth; the root is laid " .
In hell, and earth the branches overshade ; o o
It is the sin of fiends, apostates base, o -- or , o,
Who shun the light which flashes in their face,
Whose lips express the lie the heart denies, -
And the conviction which it feels, defies ;
The patient power, protecting them, deride,
And spurn the bounty which their wants supplied.
Who scatter, like a mist, delusion round, o 220 Folly to blind, and ignorance to confound,
When they obscure the light of truth divine,
Then, sprung from filth, these exhalations shine.
Sir, you mean me ! some warning conscience cries. .
You mean yourself, Experience replies: - - - Full many a tedious corner I go round, o Lest, my good friend, I trespass on your ground. . . . . Who sat —the picture of a dog I drew, f Not “ Tray," nor Blanch, nor Sweetheart”—Sir, did you ? Indeed no fancy portraits were designed, o, 230 Far less the individual...but the kind. - of I’m no assassin, murdering in the dark,
'Tis not the fool...the folly is my mark ; -
Swift flies the vagrant arrow from the string, ... . . . . .
Shot at a venture, it may pierce a king. -
the little dogs, Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, see they bark at me. Shak. Lettr
Behind the gathering cloud misfortune spread ;
When secret slander bids her ruffian band
“Strike the death blow, but hide the guilty hand,”
And with the point of her envenomed dart - -
Slowly engraves her mermory qm the heart ;
Then he will change...not firinciple, but flace,
Far worse than death, the patriot fears disgrace ;”
With dignified retirement live content,
Self-satisfied, contemplate life well spent.
And when at last his country shall be just,
Malice and envy buried with the dust, o
Then from the tomb, ascending to the skies, o
Truth's injured spirit, just released, shall rise ; , , ,
There memory feels her power of voice too weak, ,
There kneeling Gratitude, too full to speak,
His eye with mute, but most expressive praise,
In yonder temple views with steadfast gaze,
Beyond the grasp of Time, immortal Fame
Unite to WASHINGTox's her ADAMs' name.
Experience ceased ; his eyes the traveller cast
Within the mirrour, to review the past ;
A straight and narrow path the plain divides,
Which to the rugged mountain's summit guides.
Above, her temple stood ; the pillars rise
Founded on adamant, and reach the skies.
Let us approach, he cried, the sacred fane,
Nor longer traverse this ignoble plain.
To him the sage replied, with frown severe,
Yet, as he spoke, restrained the falling tear,....
Just undeceived 2 why hast thou spent the day r
Where fashion, folly, vice, and pleasure stray 2
Now thy limbs totter, scarce the blood maintains -
Its lazy current through thy stiffening veins;
Weary and weak, 'tis now too late to climb
The mount; behold the downward course of Time ;
This was no mirrour, but a vacant frame,
To teach thee, fast and future are the same.
What seemed illusive to thine eyes, was true ;
What seemed reflection, was the distant view.
Not an amused spectator hast thou been,
Thou wert a real actor in the scene.
The plain, the mountain, both appeared in sight;
'This promised glory, that ensured delight. * *
Reason subdued, thy conquering senses chose,
Averse to toil, inglorious repose. .
Farewell ! and learn, 'tis man's disastrous fate,
Time flies too soon, Erherience comes too late.
go os o---------------------- o as a o os a He ceased. With languid look the traveller glanced The distant point from whence he first advanced ; Now far behind him, dwindling in his sight, With swiftest pinion Time pursued his flight ; He with the western sun declining fast, The outward circle of the horizon past, No more like him the “eastern hill to climb”; -290 Death is to man the eternal night of Time.
- That truant garter, she adorned with stars—Line 182. * *
The order of the garter was instituted by Edward III, in the year 1350. Many events, which belong to remote periods of English history, are involved in obscurity. Its origin has been attributed to an accident, which is related to have happened to the countess of Salisbury, the mistress of Edward. Perhaps other conjectures are more plausible, and have nearer affinity to truth; but, all the world knows, truth better suits the purpose of the historian than the poet.
Charles I. afterwards added the star to the insignia of the order.
~ Voracious harpies, they the food defile.—L. 193. * They are described in the third book of the Æneid: , ,
Harpía”, & magnis quatiunt clangoribus alas t
Diripiuntoue dapes, contactuque omnia foedant
Immundo: tum vox tetrum dira inter odorem. / -
Rursuin in secessu longo, sub rupe cavata
Arboribus clausi circum atque horrentibus umbris,
Instruimus mensas, arisque reponimus ignem.
Rursum ex diverso coeli, carcisque latebris,
Turba sonans praedam pedibus circumvolat uncis,
• Polluit ora dapes:–
invadunt socii & nova praelia tentant
Obscarnas pelagi ferro facdare volucres
Sed neque vim plumis ullam, nec vulnera tergo *
If this were not narrative, the nefarious practices of an unprincipled attorney could not be more faithfully delineated in allegorical representation. We instantly know the griping talons, the pale famished visage, the noisy nonsense, “magnis clangoribus alas.” We see him impertinently intrude into the recesses of domestick retirement, an unwelcome guest both at the table and the altar. If his conduct provoke indignation, he neither feels, nor regards in character or person, disgrace or chastisement. “....neque vim plumis ullam, nec vulnera tergo “Accipiunt.” Asave these the senatorial robe disgraced 2–L. 202. In ancient Rome, eloquence was principally confined to the senate and the sorum. Having described characters who disgrace the bar, we proceed to mark others engaged in political pursuits. The term, senatorial, is here opposed to the term, forensick, and is not intended for a particular body, but for all who dishonour the legislative station, whether at present in publick or private life. By illnature more than ignorance it may be invidiously misapplied.
Swift flies the vagrant arrow from the string—L. 233.
Experience may not be so happy in this allusion to the sacred writings as to be readily understood. Chronicles, b. II. chap. xviii. “And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king between the joints of the harness,” &c.He intends to illustrate his preceding remarks....He aims at the whole flock, he does not select a particular bird. Yet small and great being equally exposed, it may happen that one of the leaders may be casually wounded by his arrow.