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Should Oxford to her sister Cambridge join
A year's rack-rent, and arbitrary fine :
Thence not one winter's charge would be defray'd,
For play-house, opera, ball, and masquerade,
Glad I congratulate the judging age,
The players are the world, the world the stage.
I am a politician too, and hate
Of any party, ministers of state :
I'm for an Act, that he, who sev’n whole years
Has serv'd his king and country, lose his ears.
Thus from my birth I’m qualified you find,
To give the laws of Taste to human kind.
Mine are the gallant schemes of politesse,
For books, and buildings, politics, and dress,
This is true Taste, and whoso likes it not,
Is blockhead, coxcomb, puppy, fool, and fot.
Oderunt hilarem tristes, triftemque jocosi,
Sedatum celeres, agilem gnavumque remissi.
THE art of converse, how to footh the soul
1 Of haughty man, his passions to controul,
His pride at once to humble and to please,
And join the dignity of life with ease,
Be now my theme. Q thou, whom Nature's hand
Fram'd for this best, this delicate command,
And taught, when lisping without reason's aid,
At the same time to speak and to persuade,
Wyndham, with diligence awhile attend,
Nor scorn th’instructions of an older friend ;
Who when the world's great commerce shall have join'd
The deep reflection, and the strength of mind,
To the bright talents of thy youthful state,
In turn shall on thy better lessons wait.
Whence comes it, that in every art we see
Many can rise to a supreme degree;
Yet in this art, for which all seem design'd
By nature, scarcely one compleat we find ?
You'll say, perhaps, we think, we speak, we move,
By the strong springs alone of selfish love: '
Yet among all the species, is there one,
Whom with more caution than ourselves, we shun?
What is it fills a puppet-show or court ?
Go none but for the profit or the sport?
If so, why comes each soul fatigu'd away,
And curses the dull puppets fame dull play;
Yet unconvinc'd, is tempted still to go?
'Tis that we find at home our greatest foe.
And reason good why solitude we flee;
Can wants with self-sufficiency agree?
Yet, such our inconsistency of mind, We court fociety, and hate mankind.
With some we quarrel, for they're too sincere :
With others, for they're close, reserv'd and queer;
This is too learn’d, too prudent, or too wise ;
And that we for his ignorance despise :
A voice perhaps our ear shall harshly strike,
Then strait ev'n wit itself shall raise disiké ;
Our eye may by some feature be annoy'd,
Behold at once a character destroy'd :
One's so good-natur’d, he's beyond all bearing,
He'll ridicule no friend, though out of hearing:
Another warm'd with zeal, offends our eyes,
Because he holds the mirror up to vice.
No wonder then, since fancies wild as these
Can move our spleen, that real faults displease.
When Mævius, spite of dullness, will be bright,
And teach ARGYLL to speak, and Swift to write ;
When Flavia entertains us with her dreams,
And Macer with his no less airy schemes ;
When peevishness, and jealousy and pride,
And intrest that can brother hearts divide,
In their imagin’d forms our eyesight hit,
Of an old maid, a poet, peer or cit;
Can then, you'll fay, philosophy refrain,
And check the torrent of each boiling vein?
Yes. She can still do more; view passion's slave
With mind serene, indulge him, and yet save.
But self-conceit steps in, and with strict eye
Scans every man, and every man awry;
That reigning passion, which through every stage
Of life, still haunts us with unceasing rage.
No quality so mean, but what can raife'
Some drudging driveling candidate for praise ;
Ev'n in the wretch, who wretches can despise,
Still self-conceit will find a time to rise.
Quintus salutes you with forbidding face,
And thinks he carries his excufe in lace:
You ask, why Clodius bullies all he can?
Clodius will tell you, he's a gentleman :
Myrtilla struts and shudders half the year,
With a round cap, that shews a fine-turn'd ear:
The lowest jest makes Delia laugh to death;
Yet The's no fool, she has only handsome teeth.
Ventoso lolls, and scorns all human kind
From the gilt coach with four lac'd saves behind ;
Does all this pomp and state proceed from merit?
Mean thought! he deems it nobler to inherit:
While Fopling from some title draws his pride,
Meanless, or infamous, or misapply'd ;