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You ask me, if Parisian Dames, like our's, With rattling Dice profane the Sunday's Hours ? If they the Gamester's pale-ey'd Vigils keep, And stake their Honour while their Husbands sleep? Yes, Sir; like English Toasts, the Dames of France Will risque their Income on a single Chance : But here no Wife can blast her Husband's Fame, Cuckold is grown an honourable Name. Stretch'd on the Grass, the Shepherd fighs his Pain; And on the Grass what Shepherd sighs in vain? Such were our Pleasures in the Days of Yore, When am'rous CHARLES Britannia's Scepter bore; The Nightly Scene of Joy the Park was made, And Love, in Couples, peopled ev'ry Shade ; But since at Court the Rural-Tafte is loft, What mighty Sums have Velvet-Couches cost? Like France, our Courtiers keep a num'rous Train, To load their Coach; and Tradesmen dun in vain.
Nor has Religion left us in the Lurch, And, as in France, our Vulgar croud the Church; Our Ladies too support the Masquerade ; The Sex, by Nature, love the’ Intriguing-Trade.
Here, on the Opera-Stage, the Youth of France, In bright Array attract the Female Glance: This languishes, this struts, to shew his Mien; And not a gold-clock'd Stocking moves unseen,
But hark! the full Orchestra strikes the Strings; The Hero ftruts, and the whole Audience fings: My jarring Ear harsh, grating, Murmurs wound, Hoarse and confus’d, like Babel's mingled Sound.
O sooth me with some soft Italian Air, Let Harmony compose my tortur'd Ear! When Anaftafia's Voice commands the Strain, The melting Warble thrills thro' ev'ry Vein; Thought stands, Suspence and Silence pleasʼd attends, While in her Notes the heav'nly Choir descends.
You'll think 'tis Time some other Theme to chuse, And not with Beaus and Fops fatigue the Muse. Should I let Satire loose on English Ground, There, Fools of various Characters abound; But here, my Verse is to one Race confin'd; All Frenchmen are of Petit-maitre Kind.
On his Return from France, the Friendship between Mr. Pope and him, was grown to such an Height, that they began to think of living entirely together, which, however, they did not do, Mr. Gay being call?d for a Time to Stanton Harcourt, my Lord being excessively fond of his Company; while he was there, a Storm of Thunder and violent Lightning put all the Inhabitants into a very great Confternation, and two people were kill'd by it, who happened to be out in the Field, and too far off other Shelter, could only reach the side of a Cock of Barley, of which he writes in a very particular Manner to Mr. Fenton, dating his Letter from that Place, Aug. 3, 1718.
from me here, is News from Heaven, for I am quite out of the World, and there is scarce any Thing can reach me except the Noise of Thunder, which undoubtedly you have heard too. We have Tead in old Authors of high Towers level'd by it to the Ground, while the humble Valleys have escap'd : The only Security against it is the Laurel, which however, I take to be no great Security to the Brains of modern Authors. But to let you see that the contrary of this oft happens, I must acquaint you, that the highest and most extravagant Heap of Towers in the Universe, which is in this Neighbourhoad, stands &ill undefac’d, while a Cock of Barley in our next
Field has been consum'd to Ashes. Would to God that this Heap of Barley had been all that had
perish’d! For unhappily beneath this little Shelter fate two much more constant Lovers than ever were found in Romance under the Shade of a Beech Tree. John Hewet was a well-set Man of about five and twenty, Sarah Drew might be rather call'd comely than beautiful, and was about the same Age. They had pass'd thro' the various Labours of the Year together, with the greatest Satisfaction; if the milk’d, 'twas his Morning and Evening Care, _to bring the Cows to her Hand; it was but laft Fair that he bought her a Present of green Silk for her Straw Hat, and the Pofy on her silver Ring was of his chusing. Their Love was the Talk of the whole Neighbourhood; for Scandal never affirm'd, that they had any other Views than the lawful Poffeffion of each other in Marriage. It was that very Morning that he had obtain'd the Consent of her parents, and it was but till the next Week they were to wait to be happy. Perhaps in the Intervals of their work they were now talking of the Wedding Cloaths, and John was suiting several Sorts of Poppies and Field Flowers to her Complexion, to chuse her a Knot for the Wedding-day. While they were thus bufied, (it was on the last of July between two and three in the Afternoon) the Clouds grew black, and such a Storm of Lightning and Thunder ensued, that all the Labourers made the best of their way to what shelter the Trees and Hedges' afforded. Sarah was frightned and fell down in a Swoon on a Heap of Barley. John who never separated from her, sat down by her, having rak'd together two or three Heaps the better to secure her from the Storm. Immediately there was heard so loud a Crack, as if Heaven had split afunder; every one was now solicitous for the Safety
of his Neighbour, and called to one another through-
When Eastern Lovers feed the Funeral Fire,
But my Lord is apprehenfive the Country People will not understand this, and Mr. Pope fays he'll make one with something of Scripture in it, and with as little of Poetry as Hopkins and Sternhold.
Whenever Mr. Gay had any Time upon his Hands, or was free from the Great, who usd to be giving him continual Invitations to their Seats, Mr. Pope was still harping upon the old String of their living together, which only now depended upon the
Death of his Mother; this is evident in a Letter of his to Mr. Gay, just after he was recover'd from a Fit of Illness, and while Mr. Pope's Mother was in such declining Health, as well as Age, that he daily expected she would be call'd hence. Thus he writes to Mr. Gay :
Faithfully assure you, in the Midst of that Melan
choly with which I have been so long encompass’d, in an hourly Expectation almost of my Mother's Death; there was no Circumstance that render'd it more insupportable to me, than that I could not leave her to see you. Your own present Escape from so imminent Danger, I pray God may prove less precarious than my poor Mother's can be ; whose Life at best can be but a short Reprieve, or a longer dying. But I fear, even that is more than God will please to grant me; for, these two Days past, her most dangerous Symptoms are return'd upon her ; and unless there be a sudden Change, I must in a few Days, if not in a few Hours, be depriv'd of her. In the afflicting Prospect before me, I know nothing that can so much alleviate it as the View now given me (Heaven grant it may encrease) of your Recovery. In the Sincerity of my Heart, I am excessively concern'd, not to be able to pay you, dear Gay, any Part of the Debt I very gratefully remember I owe you on a like fad Occasion, when you was here comforting mein her last great Illness. May your Health augment as fast as I fear her's must decline: I believe that would be very fast - may the Life that is added to you be past in good Fortune and Tranquility, rather of your own giving to yourself, than from any Expectations or Trust in others. May you and I live together, without wishing more Felicity or Acquisitions than Friendship can give and re