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Shall charm me with aërial notes.-As thus
I wander musing, lo, what awful forms
Yonder appear! sharp-ey'd Philosophy
Clad in dun-robes, an eagle on his wrist,
First meets my eye; next, virgin Solitude
Serene, who blushes at each gazer's sight;
Then Wisdom's hoary head, with crutch in hand,
Trembling, and bent with age; last, Virtue's self
Smiling in white array'd, who with her leads
Sweet Innocence, that prattles by her side,
A naked boy!-Harass’d with fear I stop,
I gaze, when Virtue thus~ Whoe'er thou art,
Mortal, by whom I deign to be beheld
In these my midnight walks, depart, and say
That henceforth I and my immortal train
Forsake Britannia's isle; who fondly stoops
To Vice, her favourite paramour.' She spoke',
And as she turn'd her round and rosy neck,
Her flowing train, and long ambrosial hair
Breathing rich odours, I enamourd view.
Oh! who will bear me then to western climes,
(Since Virtue leaves our wretched land) to fields
Yet unpolluted with Iberian swords :
The isles of Innocence, from mortal view
Deeply retird, beneath a plantane's shade,
Where Happiness and Quiet sit enthron'd
With simple Indian swains, that I may hunt
The boar and tiger through savannahs wild,
Through fragrant deserts,and through citron groves
There fed on dates and herbs, would I despise
The far-fetch'd cates of Luxury, and hoards
Of narrow-hearted Avarice; nor heed
The distant din of the tumultuous world,
So when rude whirlwinds rouse the roaring main,
Beneath fair Thetis sits, in coral caves,
Serenely gay; nor sinking sailors' cries
Disturb her sportive nymphs, who round her form
The light fantastic dance, or for her hair
Weave rosy crowns, or with according lutes
Grace the soft warbles of her honied voice.
Horestius putamus, quod frequentius; recti apud nos locum
tenet error, ubi publicas factus.
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 powerful 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
What might his oak-crown'd manors mortgag'd gain?
Alas! five faded landscapes of Loraine'.
Not so Gargilius-sleek, voluptuons lord, A hundred dainties smoke upon his board; Earth, air, and ocean's ransack'd for the feast, In masquerade of foreign olios dress'd; Who praises, in this sauce-epamour'd age, Calm, healthful temperance, like an Indian sage:
But could he walk in public, were it said,
• Gargilius din'd on beef, and ate brown bread?
Happy the grotto'd hermit with his pulse,
Who wants no truffles, rich ragouts—nor Hulse ?.
How strict on Sundays gay Lætitia'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 unsun'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,
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 soothe 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?
? Sir Edward Hulse, the physician.
3 Lucretius, lib. vi. 848.
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 featherd 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, wondering, mourns our alter'd race.
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 toilet 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 froin France,
O France, whose edicts govern dress and meat,
Thy victor, Britain, bends beneath thy feet!
Strange! that pert grasshopper should lions lead,
And teach to hop, and chirp across the mead:
Of fleets and laurell'd chiefs let others boast,
Thy honours are to bow, dance, boil, and roast.
Let Italy give mimic canvas 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;
Prescribe new rules for knots, hoops, mantcaus,
wigs, Shoes, soups, complexions, coaches, farces, jgs.
Muscalia dreams of last night's ball till ten,
Drinks chocolate, strokes Fop, and sleeps again ;
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 piquet:
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 tongne,
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 pard?
What art, O Fashion, power 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 4, 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-tongued organ's notes swell high, And loud hosannahs reach the distant sky;