« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Lend these to paper-sparing * Pope;
And when he sits to write,
No letter with an envelope
Could give him more delight.
When Pope has fill'd the margins round,
Why then recall your loan;
Sell them to Curll for fifty pound,
And swear they are your own.
WHO DESIRED THE AUTHOR TO WRITE SOME
VERSES UPON HER IN THE HEROICK STYLE,
FTER venting all my spite,
Tell me, what have I to write?
Every errour I could find
Through the mazes of your mind,
Have my busy Muse employ'd,
Till the company was cloy'd.
Are you positive and fretful,
Heedless, ignorant, forgetful?
Those, and twenty follies more,
I have often told before.
Hearken what my lady says:
Have I nothing then to praise?
Ill it fits you to be witty,
Where a fault should move your pity,
If you think me too conceited,
Or to passion quickly heated;
* The original copy of Pope's celebrated translation of Homer (preserved in the British Museum) is almost entirely written on the covers of letters, and sometimes between the lines of the letters themselves. N..
If my wandering head be less
Set on reading than on dress ;
If I always seem too dull t-ye;
I can solve the difficulty.
You would teach me to be wise:
Truth and honour how to prize;
How to shine in conversation,
And with credit fill my
station; How to relish notions high; How to live, and how to die.
But it was decreed by Fate
Mr. Dean, you come too late.
Well I know, you can discern,
I am now too old to learn :
Follies, from iny youth instilla,
Have my soul entirely fillid;
In my head and heart they centre,
Nor will let your lessons enter.
Bred a fondling and an heiress;
Drest like any lady mayoress:
Cocker'd by the servants round,
Was too good to touch the ground;
Thought the life of every lady
Should be one continued playday-
Balls, and masquerades, and shows,
Visits, plays, and powder'd beaux.
have my case at large,
And may now perform your charge.
Those materials I have furnish'd,
When you refin’d and burnishid,
Must, that all the world may know 'em,
Be reduc'd into a poem.
But, I beg, suspend a while
That same paltry, burlesque style;
Drop for once your constant rule,
Turning all to ridicule;
Teaching others how to ape you ;
Court nor parliament can 'scape you;
Treat the publick and your friends
Both alike, while neither mends.
Sing my praise in strain sublime:
Treat me not with doggrel rhyme.
'Tis but just, you should produce,
With each fault, each fault's excuse;
Not to publish every trifle,
And my few perfections stifle. .
With some gifts at least endow me,
Which my very foes allow me.
Am I spiteful, proud, unjust ?
Did I ever break my trust?
Which of all our modern dames
Censures less, or less defames?
In good manners an I faulty?
call me rude or haughty?
Did I e'er my mite withhold
From the impotent and old ?
When did ever I omit
Due regard for men of wit?
When have I esteem express'd
For a coxcomb gaily dressid ?
Do I, like the female tribe,
Think it wit to fleer and gibe?
Who with less designing ends
Kindlier entertains her friends;
With good words and countenance sprightly,
Strives to treat them more politely *?
Think not cards my chief diversion:
'Tis a wrong, unjust aspersion :
Never knew I any good in 'em,
But to dose my head like laudanum,
We, by play, as men, by drinking,
Pass our nights, to drive out thinking.
From my ailments give me leisure,
I shall read and think with pleasure ;
* In some editions, this couplet is wanting. N
Conversation learn to relish,
And with books my mind'embellish.
Now, methinks, I hear you cry,
Mr. Dean, you must reply.
Madam, I allow 'tis true:
All these praises are your due.
You, like some acute philosopher,
Every fault have drawn a gloss over;
Placing in the strongest light
All your virtue to my sight.
Though you lead a blameless life,
Are an humble prudent wife,
Answer all domestick ends :
What is this to us your friends?
Though your children by a nod
Stand in awe without a rod;
Though, by your obliging sway,
and obey; Though you treat us with a smile; Clear your looks, and smooth your style; Load our plates from every dish; This is not the thing we wish. Colonel *****
We expect employment better.
You must learn, if you would gain us,
With good sense to entertain us.
Scholars, when good sense describing, Call it tasting and imbibing : Metaphorick meat and drink Is to understand and think: We may carve for others thusz And let others carve for us ; To discourse, and to attend, Is, to help yourself and friend. Conversation is but carving; Carve for all, yourself is starving : Give no more to every guest, Than he's able to digest;
Give him always of the prime;
And but little at a time.
Carve to all but just enough:
Let them neither starve nor stuff:
And, that you may have your due,
Let your neighbours carve for
[This comparison will hold,
Could it well in rhyme be told,
How conversing, listening, thinking,
Justly may resemble drinking;
For a friend a glass you fill,
What is this but to instil *
*?] To conclude this long essay; Pardon, if I disobey ; Nor against my natural vein, Treat you in heroick strain. 1, as all the parish knows, Hardly can be grave in prose: Still to lash, and lashing smile, Ill befits a lofty style. From the planet of my birth I encounter vice with mirth. Wicked ministers of state I can easier scorn than hate; And I find it answers right: Scorn torments them more than spite: All the vices of a.court Do but serve to make me sport. [Were I in some foreign realm, Which all vices overwhelm; Should a monkey wear a crown, Must I tremble at his frown? Could I not, through all his ermine, Spy the strutting, chattering vermin? Safely write a smart lampoon, To expose the brisk baboon t?] * These six lines are wanting in some editions. N. + These eight lines are also wanting in some editions. N,