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Nature well known, no prodigies remain, Comets are regular, and Wharton plain.
Yet, in this search, the wisest may mistake, If second qualities for first they take. When Catiline by rapine swellid his store ; When Cæsar made a noble dame a whore; In this the lust, in that the avarice, Were means, not ends; ambition was the vice That very Cæsar, born in Scipio's days, Had aim'd, like him, by chastity, at praise. Lucullus, when frugality could charm, Had roasted turnips in the Sabine farm. In vain the observer eyes the builder's toil, But quite mistakes the scaffold for the pile.
In this one passion man can strength enjoy,
Old politicians chew on wisdom past,
Behold a reverend sire, whom want of grace,
A salmon's belly, Helluo, was thy fate; The doctor callid, declares all help too late :
“ Mercy !” cries Helluo, “mercy on my soul ! Is there no hope ? - Alas !—then bring the jowl.”
The frugal crone, whom praying priests attend, Still strives to save the hallow'd taper's end, Collects her breath, as ebbing life retires, For one puff more, and in that puff expires.
“ Odious! in woollen ! 'twould a saint provoke," (Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke,) “ No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace, Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face : One would not, sure, be frightful when one's deadAnd - Betty-give this cheek a little red.”
The courtier smooth, who forty years had shin'd An humble servant to all human-kind, (stir, Just brought out this, when scarce his tongue could “ If—where I'm going I could serve you, sir !"
" I give and I devise" (old Euclio said, And sigh'd) “my lands and tenements to Ned.” Your money, sir ?—“My money, sir, what all ? Why, if I must-(then wept) “ I give it Paul.” The manor, sir ? -" The manor ! hold,” he cry'd. “ Not that I cannot part with that,”—and dydd.
And you ! brave Cobham, to the latest breath, Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death : Such in those moments as in all the past, “Oh, save my country, Heaven !” shall be your last.
TO A LADY.
Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear,
How many pictures of one nymph we view,
Come then, the colours and the ground prepare ! Dip in the rainbow, trick her off in air; Choose a firm cloud, before it fall, and in it Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute.
Rufa, whose eye, quick glancing o'er the Park, Attracts each light gay meteor of a spark, Agrees as ill with Rufa studying Locke, As Sappho's diamonds with her dirty smock; Or Sappho at her toilet's greasy task, With Sappho fragrant at an evening mask: So morning insects, that in muck begun, Shine, buzz, and fly-blow in the setting-sun.
How soft is Silia! fearful to offend; The frail-one's advocate, the weak-one's friend. To her Calista prov'd her conduct nice, And good Simplicius asks of her advice. Sudden, she storms! she raves! You tip the wink, But spare your censure; Silia does not drink.
All eyes may see from what the change arose,
Papillia, wedded to her amorous spark,
Ladies, like variegated tulips, show, 'Tis to their changes half their charms we owe; Fine by defect, and delicately weak, Their happy spots the nice admirer take. 'Twas thus Calypso once each heart alarm'd, Aw'd without virtue, without beauty charm’d; Her tongue bewitch'd as oddly as her eyes, Less wit than mimic, more a wit than wise ; Strange graces still, and stranger flights she had, Was just not ugly, and was just not mad; Yet ne’er so sure our passion to create, As when she touch'd the brink of all we hate.
Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild, To make a wash, would hardly stew a child; Has ev'n been prov'd to grant a lover's prayer, And paid a tradesman once to make him stare; Gave alms at Easter, in a Christian trim, And made a widow happy, for a whim. Why then declare good-nature is her scorn, When 'tis by that alone she can be borne ? Why pique all mortals, yet affect a name? A fool to pleasure, yet a slave to fame: Now deep in Taylor and the Book of Martyrs, Now drinking citron with his grace and Chartres ; Now conscience chills her, and now passion burns; And atheism and religion take their turns;
A very heathen in the carnal part,
See Sin in state, majestically drunk, .
Flavia's a wit, has too much sense to pray; To toast our wants and wishes, is her way; Nor asks of God, but of her stars, to give The mighty blessing, “ while we live, to live." Then all for death, that opiate of the soul ! Lucretia's dagger, Rosamonda's bowl. Say, what can cause such impotence of mind ? A spark too fickle, or a spouse too kind ? Wise wretch! with pleasures too refin'd to please ; With too much spirit to be e'er at ease; With too much quickness ever to be taught; With too much thinking to have common thought.