« PreviousContinue »
Oh! mortals, short of sight; who think the past
Hic pietatis honos ? sic nos in sceptra reponis ? And oft in life form one perpetual chain ;
VIRG. Fear buries fear, and ills on ills attend, Till life and sorrow meet one common end. Her Guilford clasps her, beautiful in death,
She thinks that she has nought but death to fear, . And with a kiss recalls her deeting breath. And death is conquer'd. Worse than death is To tapers thus, which by a blast expire,
A lighted taper, touch'd, restores the fire : Her rigid trials are not yet complete;
She rear'd her swimming, eye, and saw the light, The news arrives of her great father's fate: And Guilford tov, or she had loath'd the sight : She sees his hoary head, all white with age,
Her father's death she bore, despis'l her own, A victim to th' offended monarch's rage.
But now she must, she will, have leave to groan: How great the mercy, had she breath'd her last, "Ah! Guilford,” she began, and would have spoke; Ere the dire sentence on her father past !
But sobs rush'd in, and every accent broke :
Reason itself, as gusts of passion blew,
So the youth lost his image in the well,
To touch the soft affections, and control
The manly temper of the bravest soul, She weeps, and weeps ! but so she weeps and What with aflicted beauty can compare, sighs,
And drops of love distilling fro.n the fair? As silent dews descend, and vapours rise.
It melts us down; our pains delight bestow ; Celestial Patience! how dost thou defeat And we with fondness languish v'er our woe. The foe's proud menace, and elude his hate ? This Guilford prov'd; and, with excess of pain, While Passion takes his part, betrays our peace ; And pleasure too, did to his bosom strain To death and torture swells each slight disgrace; The weeping fair : sunk deep in soft desire, By not opposing, thou dost ills destroy,
Indulg'd his love, and nurs'd the raging fire: And wear thy conquer'd sorrows into joy. Then tore himself away; and, standing wide, Now she revolves within her anxious mind,
As fearing a relapse of fundness, cried, What woe still lingers in reserve behind.
With ill-dissembled grief ; " My life, forbear! Griefs rise on griefs, and she can see no bound, You wound your Guilford with each cruel tear : While Nature lasts, and can receive a wound. Did you not chide my grief?-Repress your own; The sword is drawn: the queen to rage inclin’d, Nor want compassion for yourself alone : By mercy, nor by piety, contin'd.
Have you beheld, how, from the distant main, What mercy can the zealot's heart assuage, The thronging waves roll on, a numerous train, Whose piety itself converts to rage ?
And foam, and bellow, till they reach the shore; She thought, and sigh’d. And now the blood There burst their noisy pride, and are no more; began
Thus the successive flows of human race, To leave her beauteous cheek all cold and wan.. Chasd by the coming, the preceding chase ; New sorrow dimm'd the lustre of her eye,
They sound, and swell, their haughty heads they And on her cheek the fading roses die.
rear ; Alas! should Guilford too—when now she's brought Then fall, and flatten, break, and disappear. To that dire view, that precipice of thought,
Life is a forfeit we inust shortly pay; While there she trembling 'stands, nor dares look And where's the mighty lucre of a day? down,
Why should you mourn my fate? 'Tis most unkind; Nor can recede, till Heaven's decrees are known; Your own you bore with an unshaken mind : Cure of all ills, till now her lord appears
And which, can you imagine, was the dart But not to cheer her heart and dry her tears ! That drank most blood, sunk deepest in my heart? Not now, as usual, like the rising day,
I cannot live without you; and my doom To chase the shadows and the damps away : I meet with joy, to share ono common tomb.-But, like a gloomy storm, at once to sweep And are again your tears profusely spilt ! And plunge her to the bottom of the deep. Ob ! then, my kindness blackens to my guilt; Black were his robes, dejected was his air, It foils itself, if it recall your pain ; His voice was frozen by his cold despair :
Life of my life, I beg you to refrain! Slow, like a ghost, he mov'd with solemn pace;
The load wbich Fate imposes, you increase; A dying paleness sat upon his face.
And help, Maria, to destroy my peace.” Back she recoil'd, she smote her lovely breast, But, oh! against himself bis labour turn'd; Her eyes the anguish of her heart confess'd; The more He comforted, the more She mourn'd: Struck to the soul, she stagger'd with the wound, Compassion swells our grief ; words soft and kind And sunk, a breathless image, to the ground. But sooth our weakness, and dissolve the mind :
Thus the fair lily, when the sky's o'ercast, Her sorrow flow'd in streams: nor her's alone; At first but shudders in the feeble blast;
While that he blam'd, he yielded to his own. But when the winds and weighty rains descend, Where are the smiles she wore, when she, so late, The fair and upright stem is forc'd to bend; Hail'd him great partner of the regal state; Till broke at length, its snowy leaves are shed, When orient gems around her temples blaz'd, And strew with dying sweets their native bed. And bending nations on the glory gaz'd ?
Tis now the queen's command, they both retreat, | Life seems suspended, on his words intent; To weep with dignity, and mourn in state :
And her soul trembles for the great event. She forms the decent misery with joy,
The priest proceeds: “Embrace the faith of Rome, And loads with pomp the wretch she would destroy. And ward your own, your lord's, and father's doom." A spacious hall is hung with black; all light Ye blessed spirits! now your charge sustain; Shut out, and noon-day darken'd into night. The past was ease; now first she suffers pain. From the mid-roof a lamp depends on high, Must she pronounce her father's death? must she Like a dim crescent in a clouded sky:
Bid Guilford bleed ?-It must not, cannot, be. It sheds a quivering melancholy gloom,
It cannot be! But 't is the Christian's praise,
The weakness of our nature; and deride
In this sad scene the lovers are confin'd; What though our feeble sinews scarce impart A scene of terrours, to a guilty mind!
A moment's swiftness to the feather'd dart; A scene, that would have damp'd with rising cares, Though tainted air our vigorous youth can break, And quite extinguish’d, every love but theirs. And a chill blast the hardy warrior shake, What can they do? They fix their mournful eyes Yet are we strong: hear the loud tempest roar Then Guilford, thus abruptly; “I despise
From east to west, and call us weak no more; An empire lost; I fing away the crown;
The lightning's unresisted force proclaims Numbers have laid that bright delusion down; Our might; and thunders raise our humble names; But where's the Charles, or Dioclesian where, "Tis our Jehovah fills the Heavens; as long Could quit the blooming, wedded, weeping fair) As he shall reign Almighty, we are strong : Oh! to dwell ever on thy lip! to stand
We, by devotiou, borrow from his throne ; In full possession of thy snowy hand!
And almost make Omnipotence onr own : And, through th' unclouded crystal of thine eye, We force the gates of Heaven by fervent prayer ; The heavenly treasures of the mind to spy! And call forth triumph out of man's despair. Till rapture reason happily destroys,
Our lovely mourner, kneeling, lifts her eyes And my soul wanders through immortal joys ! And bleeding heart, in silence, to the skies, Give me the world, and ask me, Where's my bliss ? Devoutly sad—Then, brightening, like the day, I clasp thee to my breast, and answer, This. When sudden winds sweep scatter'd clouds away, And shall the grave' --Hegroans, and can no more; Shining in majesty, till now'unknown; But all her charms in silence traces o’er;
And breathing life and spirit scarce her own; Her lip, ber cheek, and eye, to wonder wrought; She, rising, speaks : “ If these the termsAnd, wondering, sees, in sad presaging thought, Here, Guilford, cruel Guilford, (barbarous man ! From that fair neck, that world of beauty fall, Is this thy love ?) as swift as lightning ran; And roll along the dust, a ghastly ball!
O’erwheli'd her, with tempestuous sorrow fraught, Ob! let those tremble, who are greatly bless'd! And stifled, in its birth, the mighty thought; For who, but Gnilford, could be thus distress'd? Then bursting fresh into a flood of tears, Come hither, all you happy, all you great, Fierce, resolute, delirious with his fears; From flowery meadows, and from rooms of state; His fears for her alone : be beat his breast, Nor think I call, your pleasures to destroy,
And thus the fervour of his soul exprest : But to refine, and to exalt your joy:
“Oh! let thy thought o'er our past converse rore, Weep not; but, smiling, fix your ardent care And show one moment uninflam'd with love! On nobler titles than the brave or fair.
Ob! if thy kindness can no longer last, Was ever such a mournful, moving, sight? In pity to thyself, forget the past ! See, if you can, by that dull, trembling, light : Else wilt thou never, void of shame and fear, Now they embrace; and, mix'd with bitter woe, Pronounce his doom, whom thou hast held so dear: Like Isis and her Thames, one stream they flow: Thou who hast took me to thy arms, and swore Now they start wide; fix'd in benumbing care, Empires were vile, and Fate could give no more ; They stiffen into statues of despair:
That to continue, was its utmost power, Now, tenderly severe, and fiercely kind,
And make the future like the present hour. They rush at once; they fing their cares behind, Now call a ruffian; bid his cruel sword And clasp, as if to death; new vows repeat; Lay wide the bosom of thy worthless lord ; And, quite wrapp'd up in love, forget their fate. Transfix his heart (since you its love disclaim), A short delusion! for the raging pain
And stain his honour with a traitor's name. Returns; and their poor hearts must bleed again. This might perhaps be borne without remorse ;
Meantime, the queen new cruelty decreed; But sure a father's pangs will have their force ! But ill content that they should only bleed, Shall his good age, so near its journey's end, A priest is sent; who, with insidious art,
Through cruel torment to the grave descend ? Instills his poison into Suffolk's heart;
His shallow blood all issue at a wound, And Guilford drank it: hanging on the breast, Wash a slave's feet, and smoke upon the ground? He from his childhood was with Rome possest. But he to you has ever been serere ; When now the ministers of death draw nigh, Then take your vengeance"-Suffolk now drew And in her dearest lord she first must die,
His robes neglected, and his head was bare;
'Thus slowly creeps, to meet the blooming Spring : Her bosom pants; she draws her breath with pain; | Downward he cast a melancholy look; A sudden horrour thrills through every vein; Thrice turn'd, to hide his grief; then faintly spoke:
* Now deep in years, and forward in decay,
LOVE OF FAME,
SEVEN CHARACTERISTICAL SATIRES.
-Fulgente trahit constrictos gloria curru And bid her plant a dagger in his breast;
Non minus ignotos generosis.
HOR, Then, sinking, call'd her piety unjust, And soil'd his hoary temples in the dust.
Hard-hearted men! will you no mercy know?
These Satires have been favourably received at And fetch her bleeding from the middle sky!
home and abroad. I am not conscious of the least And can her virtue, springing from the ground,
malevolence to any particular person through all Her flight recover, and disdain the wound,
the characters; though some persons may be so selfWhen cleaving love, and human interest, bind
ish as to engross a general application to themselves. The broken force of her aspiring mind ;
A writer in polite letters should be content with reAs round the generous eagle, which in vain putation; the private amusement he finds in his Exerts her strength, the serpent wreaths bis train, compositions; the good influence they have on his Her struggling wings entangles, curling plies
severer studies; that admission they give him to His poisonous tail, and stings her as she dies ! his superiors; and the possible good effect they may While yet the blow's first dreadful weight she have on the public; or else he should join to his fcels,
politeness some more lucrative qualification. And with its force her resolution reels;
But it is possible, that satire may not do much Large doors, unfolding with a mournful sound,
good : men may rise in their affections to their folTo view discover, weltering on the ground.
lies, as they do to their friends, when they are abused Three headless trunks, of those whose arins main-by others. It is much to be feared, that misconduct tain'd,
will never be chased out of the world by satire; all And in her wars immortal glory gain'd;
therefore that is to be said for it, is, that misconThe lifted axe assur'd her ready doom,
duct will certainly never be chased out of the world by And silent mourners sadden'd all the room.
satire, if no satires are written: nor is that term unShall I proceed; or here break off my tale? applicable to the graver compositions. Ethics, HeaNor truths, to stagger human faith, reveal.
then and Christian, and the Scriptures themselves, She met this utmost malice of her fate
are, in a great measure, a satire on the weakness With Christian dignity, and pious state :
and iniquity of men; and some part of that satire The beating storm's propitions rage she blest,
is in verse tvo: nay, in the first ages, philosophy And all the martyr triumph'd in ber breast : and poetry were the same thing; wisdom wore no Her lord and father, for a moment's space,
other dress : so that, I hope, these satires will be She strictly folded in her soft embrace !
the more easily pardoned that misfortune by the Then thus she spoke, while angels heard on high,
If they like not the fashion, let them take And sudden gladness smil'd along the sky:
them by the weight; for some weight they have, or “ Your over-fondness has not mov'd my hate ;
the author has failed in his aim. Nay, historians I am well pleas'd you make my death so great ; themselves may be considered as satirists, and I joy I cannot save you; and have given
satirists most severe; since such are most human Two lives, much dearer than my own to Heaven, actions, that to relate is to expose them. If so the queen decrees':- But I have cause
No man can converse much in the world, but, at To hope my blood will satisfy the laws;
what he meets with, he must either be insensible, And there is mercy still, for you, in store: or grieve, or be angry, or smile. Some passion (if With me the bitterness of death is o'er.
we are not impassive) must be moved; for the geHe shot his sting in that farewell-embrace ;
neral conduct of mankind is by no means a thing And all, that is to come, is joy and peace.
indifferent to a reasonable and virtuous man. Now Then let mistaken sorrow be supprest,
to smile at it, and turn it into ridicule, I think Nor seem to envy my approaching rest.”
most eligible; as it hurts ourselves least, and gives Then, turning to the ministers of late,
vice and folly the greatest offence : and that for She, smiling, says, “My victory's complete : this reason; because what men aim at by them, And tell your queen, I thank her for the blow, is, generally, public opinion and esteem; which And grieve my gratitude I cannot show :
truth is the subject of the following satires; and A poor return I leave in England's crown,
joins thein together, as several branches from For everlasting pleasure, and renown:
the same root; an unity of design, which has Her guilt alone allays this happy hour;
not, I think, ip a set of satires, been attempted Her guilt, the only vengeance in her power.”
before. Not Rome, untouch'd with sorrow, heard her fate; Laughing at the misconduct of the world, will, And fierce Maria pitied her too late.
in a great ineasure, ease us of any more disagree
able passion about it. One passion is more effec* Here she embraces them.
tually driven out by another, than by reason; what
ever some may teach: for to reason we owe our that are for lessening the true dignity of mankind, passions; had we not reason, we should not be of- are not sure of being successful, but with regard fended at what we find amiss : and the cause seems to one individual in it. It is this conduct that not to be the natural cure of any effect.
justly makes a wit a term of reproach. Moreover, laughing satire bids the fairest for suc- Which puts me in mind of Plato's fable of The cess: the world is too proud to be fond of a serious Birth of Love: one of the prettiest fables of all antutor; and when an author is in a passion, the tiquity; which will hold likewise with regard to laugh, generally, as in conversation, turns against modern poetry. Love, says he, is the son of the him. This kind of satire only has any delicacy in goldess of Poverty, and the god of Riches: he has it. Of this delicacy Horace is the best inaster : from his father his daring genius; his elevation of he appears in good humour while he censures; and thought; his building castles in the air; his pruditherefore his censure has the more weight, as sup- gality; his neglect of things serious and useful; posed to proceed from judginent, not froin passion. his vain opinion of his own merit; and his affectaJuvenal is ever in a passion : he has little valuable tion of preference and distinction: froin his mother but bis eloquence and morality: the last of which he inherits his indigence, which makes bim a conI have had in my eye, but rather for emulation stant beggar of favours; that importunity with than imitation, through my whole work,
which he begs; his flattery; his servility; his fear But though I comparatively condemn Juvenal, of being despised, which is inseparable from him. in part of the sixth Satire (where the occasion most This addition may be made; viz. that Poetry, like required it), I endeavoured to touch on his manner; Love, is a little subject to blindness, which makes but was forced to quit it soon, as disagreeable to her mistake her way to preferments and honours; the writer, and reader too. Boileau has joined both that she has her satirical quiver; and, lastly, that the Roman satirists with great success; but has too she retains a dutiful admiration of her father's famuch of Juvenal in his very serious Satire on Wo-mily; but divides her favours, and generally lives man, which should have been the gayest of all. with her mother's relations. An excellent critic of our own commends Boileau's However, this is not necessity, but choice : were closeness, or, as he calls it, pressness, particularly; Wisdom her governess, she might have much more whereas, it appears to me, that repetition is his of the father than the mother; especially in such fault, if any fault should be imputed to him. an age as this, which shows a due passion for her
'There are some prose satirists of the greatest charms. delicacy and wit; the last of which can never, or should never, succeed without the former. An author without it, betrays too great a contempt for mankind, and opinion of himself; which are
SATIRE I. bad advocates for reputation and success. What a difference is there between the merit, if not the
HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF DORSET. wit, of Cervantes and Rabelais ! The last has a particular art of throwing a great deal of genius and learning into frolic and jest; but the genius Tanto major Famæ sitis est, quam and the scholar is all you can admire; you want Virtutis.
Juv. Sat. x. the gentleman to converse with in him : he is like a criminal who receives his life for some services; you commend, but you pardon too. Indecency My verse is Satire; Dorset, lend your car, offends our pride, as men; and our unaffected And patronize a Muse you cannot fear. taste, as judges of composition: Nature has wisely To poets sacred is a Dorset's name; formed us with an aversion to it; and he that suc- . Their wonted passport through the gates of Fame; ceeds in spite of it is, aliena venia, quam sua It bribes the partial reader into praise, providentia tutior!
And throws a glory round the shelter'd lays: Such wits, like false oracles of old (which were The dazzled judgment fewer faults can see, wits and cheats), shonld set up for reputation among And gives applause to Blackmore, or to me. the weak, in some Bæotia, which was the land of But you decline the mistress we pursue: oracles; for the wise will hold them in contempt. Others are fond of Fame, but Fame of you. Some wits too, like oracles, deal in ambiguities; Instructive Satire, true to virtue's cause ! but not with equal success: for though ambiguities Thou shining supplement of public laus ! are the first excellence of an impostor, they are the When flatter'd crimes of a licentious age last of a wit.
Reproach our silence, and demand our rage; Some satirical wits and humourists, like their when purchas'd follies, from each distant land, father Lucian, laugh at every thing indiscrimi- Like arts, improve in Britain's skilful hand; nately; which betrays such a poverty of wit, as When the Law shows her teeth, but dares not bite, cannot afford to part with any thing; and such a And South-sen treasures are not brought to light; want of virtue, as to postpone it to a jest. Such When churchmen Scripture for the classics quit, writers encourage vice and folly, which they pre- Polite apostates from God's grace to wil; tend to combat, by setting them on an equal foot When men grow great from their revenue spent, with better things: and while they labour to bring And fly from bailiffs into parliament; every thing into contempt, how can they expect When dying sinners, to blot out their score, their own parts should escape? Some French wri- | Bequeath the church the leavings of a whore ; ters particularly, are guilty of this in matters of To chafe ourspleen, when themes like these increase, the last consequence; and some of our own. They shall panegyric reign, and censure cease?
Shall poesy, like law, turn wrong to right, · Val. Max
And dedications wash an Æthiop white,
Set up each senseless wretch for Nature's boast, Of folly, vice, disease, men proud we see;
By spitting on your face, to make it clean.
Why slumbers Pope, who leads the tuneful train, What can she not perform? The Love of Fame Nor hears that virtue, which he loves, complain ? Made bold Alphonsus his Creator blame: Donne, Dorset, Dryden, Rochester, are dead, Empedocles hurl'd down the burning steep : And guilt's chief foe, in Addison, is fled;
And (stronger still!) made Alexander weep.
Though her lov'd lord has four half-months beendead.
Doubly distrest, 'what author shall we find, By this inspird (O ne'er to be forgot!) Discreetly daring, and severely kind,
Some lords have learn'd to spell, and some to knot. The courtly Roman's shining path to tread, It makes Globose a speaker in the house ; And sharply smile prevailing folly dead ?
He hems, and is deliver'd of his mouse. Will no superior genius snatch the quill,
It makes dear self on well-bred tongues prevail, And save me, on the brink, from writing ill ? And I the little hero of each tale. Though vain the strife, I'll strive my voice to raise. Sick with the Love of Fame, what throngs pour in, What will not men attempt for sacred praise ? l'npeople court, and leave the senate thin? The love of praise, howe'er conceal'd by art, My growing subject seems but just begun, Reigns, more or less, and glows, in every heart : And, chariot-like, I kindle as I run. The proud, to gain it, toils on toils endure;
Aid me, great Homer! with thy epic rules, The modest shun it, but to make it sure.
To take a catalogue of British fools. O'er globes, and sceptres, now on thrones it swells; Satire ! had I thy Dorset's force divine, Now, trims the midnight lamp in college cells : A knave or fool should perish in each line; 'Tis Tory, W hig; it plots, prays, preaches, pleads, Though for the first all Westminster should plead, Harangues in senates, squeaks in masquerades. And for the last all Gresham intercede. Here, io Steele's humour makes a bold pretence; Begin. Who first the catalogue shall grace ? There, bolder, aims at Pulteney's eloquence. To quality belongs the highest place. It aids the dancer's heel, the writer's head,
My lord comes forward; forward let him come! And heaps the plain with mountains of the dead; Ye vulgar! at your peril, give him room : Nor ends with life; but nods in sable plunes, He stands for fame on his forefathers' feet, Adorns our hearse, and flatters on our tomis. By heraldry, prov'd valiant or discreet :
What is not proud? The pimp is proud to see With what a decent pride he throws his eyes
Above the man by three descents less wise !
You bid him raise his father's from the grave.
Nobles look backward, and so lose the race. Some go to church, proud humbly to repent, Let high birth triumph! What can be more great; And come back much more guilty than they went: Nothing—but merit in a low estate. One way they look, another way they steer, To virtue's humblest son let none prefer Pray to the gods, but would have mortals hear; Vice, thongh descended from the Conqueror. And when their sins they set sincerely down, Shall men, like figures, pass for high, or base, They'll find that their religion has been one. Slight, or important, only by their place? Others with wistful eyes on glory look,
Titles are marks of honest men, and wise; When they have got their picture towards a book : The fool, or knave, that wears a title, lyes. Or pompous title, like a gandy sign,
They that on glorious ancestors enlarge, Meant to betray dull sots to wretched wine. Produce their delt, instead of their discharge. If at his title T- had dropp'd bis quill, Dorset, let those who proudly boast their line, T- might have pass'd for a great genius still. Like thee, in worth hereditary, shine. But T- - alas! (excuse him, if you can) Vain as false greatness is, the Muse must own Is now a scrilbler, who was once a man.
We want not fools to buy that Bristol stone. Imperious some a classic fame demand,
Mean sons of earth, who on a South-sea tide For heaping up, with a laborious hand,
Of full success, swam into wealth and pride. A waggon load of meanings for one word,
Knuck with a purse of gold at Anstis' gate, While A's depos'd, and B with pomp restor’d. And beg to be descended from the great.
Somne, for renown, on scraps of learning doat, When men of infamy to grandeur soar, And think they grow immortal as they quote. They light a torch to show their share the more. To patch-wurk learn'd quotations are ally'd ; Those governments which curb not evils, cause ! Both strive to make our poverty our pride.
And a rich knare's a libel on our laws. On glass how witty is a noble peer!
Belus with solid glory will be crown'd; Did ever diamond cost a man so dear?
He buys no phantom, no vain empty sound; Polite diseases make some idiots vain ;
But builds himself a name; and, to be great, Which, if unfortunately well, they feign.
Sinks in a quarry an immense estate!
In cost and grandeur, Chandos he'll out-do; 1 Horace.
And Burlington, thy taste is not so true.