The ghost: By the author.

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THE GHOST. BY THE AUTHOR.

LONDON: Printed for the AUTHOR, and Sold by WILLIAM FLEXNEY, near Gray's-Inn Gate, Holborn. M.DCC.LXII.

1. THE GHOST.

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WITH eager ſearch to dart the ſoul,
Curiouſly vain, from Pole to Pole,
And from the Planets wand'ring ſpheres
T'extort the number of our years,
And whether all thoſe years ſhall flow
Serenely ſmooth, and free from woe,
Or rude Misfortune ſhall deform
Our life, with one continual ſtorm;
Or if the Scene ſhall motley be,
Alternate Joy and Miſery,
Is a deſire which, more or leſs,
All men muſt feel, tho' few confeſs.
[Page 2]
HENCE ev'ry place and ev'ry age
Affords ſubſiſtence to the Sage,
Who free from this world and it's cares,
Holds an acquaintance with the Stars,
From whom he gains intelligence
Of things to come ſome ages hence,
Which unto friends at eaſy rates
He readily communicates.
AT its firſt riſe, which all agree on,
This noble Science was CHALDEAN.
That antient people, as they fed
Their flocks upon the Mountain's head,
Gaz'd on the Stars, obſerv'd their motions,
And ſuck'd in Aſtrologic notions,
Which they ſo eagerly purſue,
As folks are apt whate'er is new,
That things below at random rove
Whilſt they're conſulting things above;
And when they now ſo poor were grown
That they'd no houſes of their own,
They made bold with their friends the Stars,
And prudently made uſe of their's.
[Page 3]
TO EGYPT from CHALDEE it travell'd,
And Fate at MEMPHIS was unravell'd,
Th' exotic Science ſoon ſtruck root,
And flouriſh'd into high repute.
Each learned Prieſt, O ſtrange to tell,
Could circles make, and caſt a ſpell,
Could read and write, and taught the Nation
The holy art of Divination.
Nobles themſelves, for at that time
Knowledge in Nobles was no crime,
Could talk as learned as the Prieſt,
And propheſie as much at leaſt.
Hence all the fortune-telling Crew,
Whoſe crafty ſkill mars Nature's hue,
Who in vile tatters, with ſmirck'd face
Run up and down from place to place,
To gratify their friends' deſires,
From BAMPFIELD CAREW, to MOLL SQUIRES,
Are rightly term'd EGYPTIANS all,
Whom we, miſtaking, GYPSIES call.
THE GRECIAN Sages borrow'd this,
As they did other Sciences,
[Page 4] From fertile EYGPT, tho' the loan
They had not honeſty to own.
DODONA's Oaks, inſpir'd by JOVE,
A learned and prophetic Grove,
Turn'd vegetable Necromancers,
And to all comers gave their anſwers;
At DELPHOS, to APOLLO dear,
All men the voice of Fate might hear,
Each ſubtle Prieſt on three-legg'd ſtool,
To take in wiſe men, play'd the fool.
A Myſtery, ſo made for gain,
E'en now in faſhion muſt remain.
Enthuſiaſts never will let drop
What brings ſuch buſineſs to their ſhop,
And that Great Saint, we WH-TF—LD call,
Keeps up the HUMBUG SPIRITUAL.
AMONG the ROMANS not a Bird
Without a Prophecy was heard;
Fortunes of Empires often hung
On the Magician Magpye's tongue,
And ev'ry Crow was to the State
A ſure interpreter of Fate.
[Page 5] Prophets, embodied in a College,
(Time out of mind your ſeat of knowledge,
For Genius never fruit can bear
Unleſs it firſt is planted there,
And ſolid Learning never falls
Without the verge of College walls)
Infallible accounts would keep
When it was beſt to watch or ſleep,
To eat or drink, to go or ſtay,
And when to fight or run away,
When matters were for action ripe
By looking at a double tripe;
When Emperors would live or die
They in an Aſs's ſcull could ſpy,
When Gen'rals would their ſtation keep
Or turn their backs, in hearts of ſheep.
In matters, whether ſmall or great,
In private families or ſtate,
As amongſt us, the holy Seer
Officiouſly would interfere,
With pious arts and rev'rend ſkill
Would bend Lay Bigots to his will,
Would help or injure foes or friends,
Juſt as it ſerv'd his private ends.
[Page 6] Whether in honeſt way of trade
Traps for Virginity were laid,
Or if, to make their party great,
Deſigns were form'd againſt the State,
Regardleſs of the Common Weal,
By Int'reſt led which they call zeal,
Into the ſcale was always thrown,
The will of Heav'n to back their own.
ENGLAND, a happy land we know,
Where Follies naturally grow,
Where without Culture they ariſe,
And tow'r above the common ſize;
ENGLAND, a fortune-telling hoſt,
As num'rous as the Stars could boaſt,
MATRONS, who toſs the Cup, and ſee
The grounds of Fate in grounds of Tea,
Who vers'd in ev'ry modeſt lore,
Can a loſt Maidenhead reſtore,
Or if their Pupils rather chuſe it
Can ſhew the readieſt way to loſe it;
GYPSIES, who ev'ry ill can cure,
Except the ill of being poor,
[Page 7] Who charms 'gainſt Love and Agues ſell,
Who can in Henrooſt ſet a ſpell,
Prepar'd by arts, to them beſt known,
To catch all feet except their own,
Who as to Fortune can unlock it,
As eaſily as pick a pocket;
SCOTCHMEN, who in their Country's right
Poſſeſs the gift of ſecond-ſight,
Who (when their barren heaths they quit,
Sure argument of prudent wit,
Which reputation to maintain,
They never venture back again)
By lies prophetic heap up riches,
And boaſt the luxury of breeches.
AMONG the reſt, in former years,
CAMPBELL, illuſtrious name, appears,
Great Heroe of futurity,
Who blind could ev'ry thing foreſee,
Who dumb could ev'ry thing foretel,
Who, Fate with equity to ſell,
Always dealt out the will of Heaven,
According to what price was given.
[Page 8]
OF SCOTTISH race, in HIGHLANDS born,
Poſſeſs'd with native pride and ſcorn,
He hither came, by cuſtom led,
To curſe the hands which gave him bread.
With want of truth, and want of ſenſe,
Amply made up by impudence,
(A ſuccedaneum, which we find,
In common uſe with all mankind,
Careſs'd and favour'd too by thoſe,
Whoſe heart with Patriot feelings glows,
Who FOOLISHLY, where'er diſpers'd,
Still place their native Country firſt;
For ENGLISHMEN alone have ſenſe,
To give a ſtranger preference,
Whilſt modeſt merit of their own,
Is left in poverty to groan)
CAMPBELL foretold, juſt what he wou'd,
And left the Stars to make it good,
On whom he had impreſs'd ſuch awe,
His dictates current paſs'd for LAW;
Submiſſive all his Empire own'd;
No Star durſt ſmile, when CAMPBELL frown'd.
[Page 9]
THIS Sage deceas'd, for all muſt die,
And CAMPBELL's no more ſafe than I,
No more than I can guard the heart,
When Death ſhall hurl the fatal dart;
Succeeded ripe in art and years,
Another fav'rite of the ſpheres,
Another and Another came,
Of equal ſkill, and equal fame;
As white each wand, as black each gown,
As long each beard, as wiſe each frown,
In ev'ry thing ſo like, you'd ſwear,
CAMPBELL himſelf was ſitting there.
To all the happy Art was known,
To tell our fortunes, make their own.
SEATED in Garret, for you know,
The nearer to the Stars we go,
The greater we eſteem his art,
Fools curious flock'd from ev'ry part.
The Rich, the Poor, the Maid, the Married,
And thoſe who could not walk, were carried.
[Page 10]
THE BUTLER, hanging down his head,
By Chamber-Maid, or Cook-Maid led,
Enquires, if from his friend the Moon,
He has advice of pilfer'd ſpoon.
THE COURT-BRED WOMAN OF CONDITION,
(Who, to approve her diſpoſition,
As much ſuperior, as her birth,
To thoſe compos'd of common earth,
With double ſpirit muſt engage
In ev'ry folly of the age)
The honourable arts would buy,
To pack the Cards, and cog a Die.
THE PARSON too (for now and then,
PARSONS are juſt like other men,
And here and there a grave DIVINE
Has Paſſions ſuch as yours and mine)
Burning with holy luſt to know
When FATE Preferment will beſtow,
'Fraid of detection, not of ſin,
With circumſpection ſneaking in,
[Page 11] To Conj'rer, as he does to Whore,
Thro' ſome bye Alley, or Back-door,
With the ſame caution Orthodox,
Conſults the Stars, and gets a Pox.
THE CITIZEN, in fraud grown old,
Who knows no Deity but Gold,
Worn out, and gaſping now for breath,
A Med'cine wants to keep off Death;
Would know, if THAT he cannot have,
What Coins are current in the grave;
If, when the Stocks (which by his pow'r,
Would riſe or fall in half an hour,
For, tho' unthought of and unſeen,
He work'd the ſprings behind the ſcreen)
By his directions came about,
And roſe to Par, he ſhould ſell out;
Whether he ſafely might or no,
Replace it in the Funds below.
BY all addreſs'd, believ'd, and paid,
Many purſu'd the thriving trade,
And great in reputation grown,
Succeſſive held the MAGIC throne.
[Page 12] Favour'd by ev'ry darling paſſion,
The love of Novelty and Faſhion,
Ambition, Av'rice, Luſt, and Pride,
Riches pour'd in on ev'ry ſide.
But when the prudent Laws thought fit,
To curb this inſolence of Wit;
When Senates wiſely had Provided,
Decreed, Enacted, and Decided,
That no ſuch vile and upſtart elves,
Should have more knowledge than themſelves,
When Fines and Penalties were laid
To ſtop the progreſs of the trade,
And Stars no longer could diſpenſe
With honour farther influence,
And Wizards (which muſt be confeſt,
Was of more force than all the reſt)
No certain way to tell had got,
Which were Informers, and which not,
Affrighted SAGES were perforce,
Oblig'd to ſteer ſome other courſe.
By various ways theſe Sons of Chance,
Their Fortunes labour'd to advance,
Well-knowing by unerring rules,
KNAVES ſtarve not in the Land of Fools.
[Page 13]
SOME with high Titles and Degrees,
Which wiſe Men borrow when they pleaſe,
Without or trouble or expence,
PHYSICIANS inſtantly commence,
And proudly boaſt an equal ſkill
With thoſe who claim the right to kill.
OTHERS about the Countries roam,
(For not ONE thought of going home)
With piſtol and adopted leg
Prepar'd at once to rob or beg.
SOME, the more ſubtle of their race,
(Who felt ſome touch of Coward Grace,
Who TYBURN to avoid had wit,
But never fear'd deſerving it)
Came to their Brother SM-LL-T's aid,
And carried on the CRITIC trade.
ATTACH'D to Letters and the Muſe
Some Verſes wrote, and ſome wrote News.
Thoſe each revolving Month are ſeen,
The Heroes of a Magazine;
[Page 14] Theſe ev'ry morning great appear
In LEDGER, or in GAZETTEER;
Spreading the falſhood of the day,
By turns for F-D-N and for S-Y;
Like SWISS, their force is always laid
On that ſide where they beſt are paid.
Hence mighty PRODIGIES ariſe,
And daily MONSTERS ſtrike our eyes,
Wonders, to propagate the trade,
More ſtrange than ever BAKER made,
Are hawk'd about from ſtreet to ſtreet,
And Fools believe, whilſt Liars eat.
Now armies in the Air engage
To fright a ſuperſtitious age;
Now Comets thro' the Aether range
In Governments portending change;
Now Rivers to the Ocean fly,
So quick, they leave their channels dry;
Now monſtrous Whales on LAMBETH ſhore,
Drink the THAMES dry, and thirſt for more;
And ev'ry now and then appears
An IRISH Savage, numb'ring years
[Page 15] More than thoſe happy Sages cou'd,
Who drew their breath before the flood.
Now, to the wonder of all people,
A Church is left without a Steeple;
A Steeple now is left in lurch,
And mourns departure of the Church,
Which borne on wings of mighty wind
Remov'd a furlong off we find.
Now, wrath on Cattle to diſcharge,
Hail ſtones as deadly fall and large
As thoſe which were on EGYPT ſent,
At once their crime and puniſhment,
Or thoſe which, as the Prophet writes,
Fell on the necks of AMORITES,
When ſtruck with wonder and amaze,
The Sun ſuſpended ſtay'd to gaze,
And, from her duty longer kept,
In AJALON his Siſter ſlept.
BUT if ſuch things no more engage
The Taſte of a politer age,
To help them out in time of need
Another TOFFS muſt Rabbits breed.
[Page 16] Each pregnant Female trembling hears,
And, overcome with ſpleen and fears,
Conſults her faithful glaſs no more,
But madly bounding o'er the floor,
Feels hairs all o'er her body grow,
By FANCY turn'd into a Doe.
Now, to promote their private ends,
NATURE her uſual courſe ſuſpends,
And varies from the ſtated plan
Obſerv'd e'er ſince the World began.
Bodies, (which fooliſhly we thought,
By Cuſtom's ſervile maxims taught,
Needed a regular ſupply,
And without nouriſhment muſt die);
With craving appetites, and ſenſe
Of Hunger eaſily diſpenſe,
And, pliant to their wond'rous ſkill,
Are taught, like watches, to ſtand ſtill
Uninjur'd, for a month or more;
Then go on as they did before.
The Novel takes, the Tale ſucceeds,
Amply ſupplies its author's needs,
[Page 17] And BETTY CANNING is at leaſt,
With GASCOYNE's help, a ſix months feaſt.
WHILST, in contempt of all our pains,
The Tyrant SUPERSTITION reigns
Imperious in the heart of Man,
And warps his thoughts from Nature's plan;
Whilſt fond CREDULITY, who ne'er
The weight of wholeſome doubts could bear,
To Reaſon and Herſelf unjuſt,
Takes all things blindly up on truſt;
Whilſt CURIOSITY, whoſe rage
No Mercy ſhews to Sex or Age,
Muſt be indulg'd at the expence
Of Judgment, Truth, and Common Senſe;
Impoſtures cannot but prevail,
And when old Miracles grow ſtale,
JUGGLERS will ſtill the art purſue,
And entertain the World with New.
FOR THEM, obedient to their will,
And trembling at their mighty ſkill,
Sad SPIRITS, ſummon'd from the tomb,
Glide ghaſtly glaring thro' the gloom.
[Page 18] In all the uſual Pomp of ſtorms,
In horrid cuſtomary forms,
A Wolf, a Bear, a Horſe, an Ape,
As Fear and Fancy give them ſhape,
Tormented with deſpair and pain,
They roar, they yell, and clank the chain.
FOLLY and GUILT (for GUILT, howe'er
The face of Courage it may wear,
Is ſtill a Coward at the heart)
At fear-created phantoms ſtart.
The PRIEST, that very word implies
That he's both innocent and wiſe,
Yet fears to travel in the dark,
Unleſs eſcorted by his CLERK.
BUT let not ev'ry Bungler deem
Too lightly of ſo deep a ſcheme.
For reputation of the Art,
Each GHOST muſt act a proper part,
Obſerve Decorum's needful grace,
And keep the laws of Time and Place,
Muſt change with happy variation
His manners with his ſituation.
[Page 19] What in the Country might paſs down,
Would be impertinent in Town.
No SPIRIT of diſcretion HERE
Can think of breeding awe and fear,
'Twill ſerve the purpoſe more by half
To make the Congregation laugh.
We want no enſigns of ſurprize,
Locks ſtiff with gore, and ſawcer eyes,
Give us an entertaining Sprite,
Gentle, Familiar, and Polite,
One who appears in ſuch a form
As might an holy Hermit warm,
Or who on former ſchemes refines,
And only talks by ſounds and ſigns,
Who will not to the eye appear
But pays her viſit to the ear,
And knocks ſo gently, 'twould not fright
A Lady in the darkeſt Night.
Such is Our FANNY, whoſe good will,
Which cannot in the Grave lie ſtill,
Brings her on Earth to entertain
Her Friends and Lovers in COCK-LANE.
END OF THE FIRST BOOK.

2. THE GHOST. BOOK II.

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A SACRED ſtandard Rule we find
By Poets held time out of mind,
To offer at APOLLO's ſhrine,
And call on One, or All the NINE.
THIS Cuſtom, thro' a Bigot zeal,
Which MODERNS of fine Taſte muſt feel,
For thoſe who wrote in days of yore,
Adopted ſtands, like many more,
Tho' ev'ry Cauſe, which then conſpir'd
To make it practis'd and admir'd,
Yielding to Time's deſtructive courſe,
For ages paſt hath loſt its force.
[Page 21]
WITH antient Bards an INVOCATION
Was a true act of Adoration,
Of Worſhip an eſſential part,
And not a formal piece of Art,
Of paultry reading a Parade,
A dull Solemnity in trade,
A pious Fever taught to burn
An hour or two, to ſerve a turn.
THEY talk'd not of CASTALIAN SPRINGS,
By way of ſaying pretty things,
As we dreſs out our flimſy Rhimes;
'Twas the RELIGION of the Times,
And they believ'd that holy ſtream
With greater force made FANCY teem,
Reckon'd by all a true ſpecific,
To make the barren brain prolific.
Thus ROMISH CHURCH (a ſcheme which bears
Not half ſo much excuſe as theirs)
Since FAITH implicitly hath taught her,
Reveres the force of Holy Water.
THE PAGAN SYSTEM, whether true
Or falſe, its ſtrength, like Buildings, drew
[Page 22] From many parts diſpos'd to bear
In one great Whole, their proper ſhare.
Each GOD of eminent degree,
To ſome vaſt Beam compar'd might be;
Each GODLING was a Peg, or rather
A Cramp, to keep the Beams together.
And Man as ſafely might pretend
From JOVE the thunder-bolt to rend,
As with an impious pride aſpire
To rob APOLLO of his Lyre.
WITH ſettled faith and pious awe,
Eſtabliſh'd by the voice of Law,
Then POETS to the MUSES came
And from their Altars caught the flame.
GENIUS, with PHOEBUS for his guide,
The MUSE aſcending by his ſide,
With tow'ring pinions dar'd to ſoar,
Where Eye could ſcarcely ſtrain before.
BUT why ſhould WE, who cannot feel
Theſe glowings of a Pagan zeal,
That wild enthuſiaſtic force,
By which above her common courſe,
[Page 23] NATURE in Exſtaſy up-borne,
Look'd down on earthly things with ſcorn;
Who have no more regard, 'tis known,
For their Religion than our own,
And feel not half ſo fierce a flame
At CLIO's as at FISHER's name;
Who know theſe boaſted ſacred ſtreams
Were mere romantic idle dreams,
That THAMES has waters clear as thoſe
Which on the top of PINDUS roſe,
And that the FANCY to refine,
Water's not half ſo good as Wine;
Who know, if Profit ſtrikes our eye,
Should we drink HELICON quite dry,
Th' whole fountain would not thither lead
So ſoon as one poor jug from TWEED,
Who, if to raiſe poetic fire
The Pow'r of Beauty we require,
In any public place can view
More than the GRECIANS ever knew;
If Wit into the ſcale is thrown,
Can boaſt a LENOX of our own,
Why ſhould we ſervile cuſtoms chuſe,
And court an antiquated Muſe?
[Page 24] No matter why — to aſk a Reaſon
In PEDANT BIGOTRY is Treaſon.
IN the broad, beaten, turnpike-road
Of hackney'd Panegyric Ode,
No Modern Poet dares to ride
Without APOLLO by his ſide,
Nor in a Sonnet take the air,
Unleſs his Lady Muſe be there.
SHE, from ſome Amaranthine grove,
Where little Loves and Graces rove,
The Laurel to my Lord muſt bear,
Or Garlands make for Whores to wear;
SHE with ſoft Elegeiac verſe
Muſt grace ſome mighty Villain's hearſe,
Or for ſome Infant, doom'd by Fate
To wallow in a large eſtate,
With Rhimes the Cradle muſt adorn,
To tell the World a Fool is born.
SINCE then our CRITIC LORDS expect,
No hardy Poet ſhould reject
Eſtabliſh'd maxims, or preſume
To place much better in their room,
[Page 25] By Nature fearful, I ſubmit,
And in this dearth of Senſe and Wit,
With nothing done, and little ſaid,
(By wild excurſive FANCY led,
Into a ſecond Book thus far,
Like ſome unwary Traveller,
Whom varied ſcenes of wood and lawn,
With treacherous delight have drawn;
Deluded from his purpos'd way,
Whom ev'ry ſtep leads more aſtray;
Who gazing round can no where ſpy,
Or houſe, or friendly cottage nigh,
And reſolution ſeems to lack
To venture forward or go back)
Invoke ſome GODDESS to deſcend
And help me to my journey's end.
Tho' conſcious — — all the while
Hears the petition with a ſmile,
Before the glaſs her charms unfolds,
And in herſelf MY Muſe beholds.
TRUTH, GODDESS of celeſtial birth,
But little lov'd, or known on earth,
[Page 26] Whoſe pow'r but ſeldom rules the heart,
Whoſe name, with hypocritic art,
An errant ſtalking horſe is made,
A ſnug pretence to drive a trade,
An inſtrument convenient grown
To plant, more firmly, FALSHOOD's throne,
As Rebels varniſh o'er their cauſe
With ſpecious colouring of Laws,
And pious Traitors draw the knife
In the KING's Name againſt his life,
Whether (from Cities far away,
Where Fraud and Falſhood ſcorn thy ſway)
The faithful Nymph's and Shepherd's pride,
With LOVE and VIRTUE by thy ſide,
Your hours in harmleſs joys are ſpent
Amongſt the Children of CONTENT;
Or, fond of gaiety and ſport,
You tread the round of ENGLAND's COURT,
Howe'er my LORD may frowning go,
And treat the Stranger as a Foe,
Sure to be found a welcome gueſt
In GEORGE's and in CHARLOTTE's breaſt;
If, in the giddy hours of Youth,
My conſtant Soul adher'd to TRUTH;
[Page 27] If, from the Time I firſt wrote Man,
I ſtill purſued thy ſacred plan,
Tempted by Intereſt in vain
To wear mean Falſhood's golden chain;
If, for a ſeaſon drawn away,
Starting from Virtue's path aſtray,
All low diſguiſe I ſcorn'd to try,
And dar'd to ſin, but not to lie;
Hither, O hither, condeſcend,
ETERNAL TRUTH, thy ſteps to bend,
And favour Him, who ev'ry hour
Confeſſes and obeys thy pow'r!
BUT come not with that eaſy mien
By which you won the lively DEAN,
Nor yet aſſume that Strumpet air
Which RABELAIS taught Thee firſt to wear,
Nor yet that arch ambiguous face
Which with CERVANTES gave thee grace,
But come in ſacred veſture clad,
Solemnly dull, and truly ſad!
FAR from thy ſeemly Matron train
Be Idiot MIRTH, and LAUGHTER vain!
[Page 28] For WIT and HUMOUR, which pretend
At once to pleaſe us and amend,
They are not for my preſent turn,
Let them remain in France with STERNE.
OF Nobleſt City Parents born,
Whom Wealth and Dignities adorn,
Who ſtill one conſtant tenor keep,
Not quite awake, nor quite aſleep;
With THEE let formal DULNESS come,
And deep ATTENTION, ever dumb,
Who on her lips her fingers lays,
Whilſt every circumſtance ſhe weighs,
Whoſe down-caſt Eye is often found
Bent without motion to the ground,
Or to ſome outward thing confin'd
Remits no image to the mind,
No pregnant mark of meaning bears,
But ſtupid without Viſion ſtares;
Thy ſteps let GRAVITY attend,
Wiſdom's and Truth's unerring friend.
For One may ſee with half an eye,
That GRAVITY can never lie;
[Page 29] And his arch'd brow, pull'd o'er his eyes,
With ſolemn proof proclaims him Wiſe.
FREE from all waggeries and ſports,
The produce of luxurious Courts,
Where Sloth and Luſt enervate Youth,
Come Thou, a down-right City TRUTH;
The CITY, which we ever find
A ſober pattern for Mankind,
Where Man in EQUILIBRIO hung,
Is ſeldom Old, and never Young,
And from the Cradle to the Grave
Not Virtue's friend, nor Vice's ſlave;
As Dancers on the Wire we ſpy,
Hanging between the Earth and Sky.
SHE comes — I ſee her from afar
Bending her courſe to Temple-Bar:
All ſage and ſilent is her train,
Deportment grave, and garments plain,
Such as may ſuit a Parſon's wear,
And fit the Head-piece of a Mayor.
[Page 30]
BY TRUTH inſpir'd, our BACON'S force
Open'd the way to Learning's ſource;
BOYLE thro' the works of NATURE ran;
And NEWTON, ſomething more than man,
Div'd into Nature's hidden ſprings,
Laid bare the principles of things,
Above the earth our ſpirits bore,
And gave us Worlds unknown before.
By TRUTH inſpir'd, when Lauder's ſpight
O'er MILTON caſt the Veil of Night,
DOUGLAS aroſe, and thro' the maze
Of intricate and winding ways,
Came where the ſubtle Traitor lay,
And dragg'd him trembling to the day;
Whilſt HE (O ſhame to nobleſt parts,
Diſhonour to the Lib'ral Arts,
To traffic in ſo vile a ſcheme!)
Whilſt HE, our Letter'd POLYPHEME,
Who had Confed'rate forces join'd,
Like a baſe Coward, ſkulk'd behind.
By TRUTH inſpir'd, our Critics go
To track FINGAL in Highland ſnow,
[Page 31] To form their own and others Creed
From Manuſcripts they cannot read.
By TRUTH inſpir'd, we numbers ſee
Of each Profeſſion and Degree,
Gentle and Simple, Lord and Cit,
Wit without wealth, wealth without wit;
When PUNCH and SHERIDAN have done,
To FANNY's Ghoſtly Lectures run;
By TRUTH and FANNY now inſpir'd,
I feel my glowing boſom fir'd;
Deſire beats high in ev'ry vein
To ſing the SPIRIT of COCK-LANE;
To tell (juſt as the meaſure flows
In halting rhime, half verſe, half proſe)
With more than mortal arts endued,
How She united force withſtood,
And proudly gave a brave defiance
To Wit and Dulneſs in Alliance.
THIS APPARITION (with relation
To antient modes of Derivation,
This we may properly ſo call,
Although it ne'er appears at all,
[Page 32] As, by the way of Inuendo,
Lucus is made à non lucendo)
Superior to the vulgar mode,
Nobly diſdains that ſervile road,
Which Coward Ghoſts, as it appears,
Have walk'd in full five thouſand years,
And for reſtraint too mighty grown,
Strikes out a method of her own.
OTHERS, may meanly ſtart away,
Aw'd by the Herald of the Day,
With faculties too weak to bear
The freſhneſs of the Morning air,
May vaniſh with the melting gloom,
And glide in ſilence to the tomb;
She dares the Sun's moſt piercing light,
And knocks by Day as well as Night;
Others, with mean and partial view,
Their viſits pay to one or two,
She, great in Reputation grown,
Keeps the beſt Company in Town.
Our active enterpriſing Ghoſt,
As large and ſplendid Routs can boaſt
[Page 33] As thoſe, which rais'd by PRIDE's command,
Block up the paſſage thro' the Strand.
GREAT adepts in the fighting trade,
Who ſerv'd their time on the Parade;
She Saints, who true to pleaſure's plan,
Talk about God, and luſt for man;
Wits, who believe nor God, nor Ghoſt,
And Fools, who worſhip ev'ry poſt;
Cowards, whoſe lips with war are hung;
Men truly brave, who hold their tongue;
Courtiers, who laugh they know not why,
And Cits, who for the ſame cauſe cry;
The canting Tabernacle Brother,
(For one Rogue ſtill ſuſpects another)
Ladies, who to a Spirit fly,
Rather than with their Huſbands lie;
Lords, who as chaſtly paſs their lives
With other Women as their Wives;
Proud of their intellects and cloaths,
Phyſicians, Lawyers, Parſons, Beaux,
And, truant from their deſks and ſhops,
Spruce Temple Clerks, and 'Prentice Fops,
To FANNY come, with the ſame view
To find her falſe, or find her true.
[Page 34]
HARK! ſomething creeps about the houſe!
Is IT a Spirit, or a Mouſe?
HARK! ſomething ſcratches round the room!
A Cat, a Rat, a ſtubb'd Birch-broom.
HARK! on the wainſcote now IT knocks!
If Thou'rt a Ghoſt, cried ORTHODOX,
With that affected ſolemn air
Which HYPOCRITES delight to wear,
And all thoſe forms of CONSEQUENCE
Which FOOLS adopt inſtead of Senſe,
If Thou'rt a Ghoſt, who from the tomb
Stalk'ſt ſadly ſilent thro' this gloom,
In breach of NATURE's ſtated laws,
For good, or bad, or for no cauſe,
Give now NINE knocks; like PRIESTS of old,
NINE we a ſacred Number hold.
'PSHA, cried PROFOUND, (a man of parts
Deep read in all the curious Arts,
Who to their hidden ſprings had trac'd
The force of NUMBERS, rightly plac'd)
As to the NUMBER you are right,
As to the form miſtaken quite.
What's NINE?—Your ADEPTS all agree,
The VIRTUE lies in Three times Three.
[Page 35]
HE ſaid, no need to ſay it twice,
For THRICE She knock'd, and THRICE, and THRICE.
THE Croud, confounded and amaz'd,
In ſilence at each other gaz'd.
From CAELIA's hand the Snuff-box fell,
TINSEL, who ogled with the Belle,
To pick it up attempts in vain,
He ſtoops, but cannot riſe again.
Immane POMPOSO was not heard
T' import one crabbed foreign word.
Fear ſeizes Heroes, Fools, and Wits,
And PLAUSIBLE his pray'rs forgets.
AT length, as People juſt awake,
Into wild diſſonance they break;
All talk'd at once, but not a word
Was underſtood, or plainly heard.
Such is the noiſe of chatt'ring Geeſe
Slow ſailing on the Summer breeze;
Such is the language DISCORD ſpeaks
In Welch women o'er beds of Leeks;
[Page 36] Such the confus'd and horrid ſounds
Of Iriſh in Potatoe grounds.
BUT tir'd, for even Woman's tongue
Is not on Iron hinges hung,
FEAR and CONFUSION ſound retreat,
REASON and ORDER take their ſeat.
The fact confirm'd beyond all doubt,
They now would find the cauſes out.
For this a ſacred rule we find
Among the niceſt of Mankind,
Which never might exception brook
From HOBBES e'en down to BOLINGBROKE,
To doubt of facts, however true,
Unleſs they know the cauſes too.
TRIFLE, of whom 'twas hard to tell
When he intended ill or well,
Who, to prevent all farther pother,
Probably meant nor one nor to'ther,
Who to be ſilent always loth,
Would ſpeak on either ſide or both,
Who, led away by love of Fame,
If any new Idea came,
[Page 37] Whate'er it made for, always ſaid it,
Not with an eye to Truth, but Credit.
For ORATORS profeſt, 'tis known,
Talk not for our ſake, but their own;
Who always ſhew'd his talents beſt
When ſerious things were turn'd to jeſt,
And, under much impertinence,
Poſſeſs'd no common ſhare of ſenſe;
Who could deceive the flying hours,
To chat on Butterflies and Flow'rs;
Could talk of Powder, Patches, Paint,
With the ſame zeal as of a Saint;
Could prove a Sibil brighter far,
Than Venus, or the Morning Star;
Whilſt ſomething ſtill ſo gay, ſo new,
The ſmile of approbation drew,
That Females ey'd the charming man,
And their hearts flutter'd with their Fan;
TRIFLE, who would by no means miſs
An opportunity like this,
Proceeding on his uſual plan,
Smil'd, ſtrok'd his Chin, and thus began.
[Page 38]
WITH Sheers, or Sciſſars, Sword, or Knife,
When the Fates cut the thread of life,
(For, if we to the Grave are ſent,
No matter with what inſtrument)
The Body in ſome lonely ſpot,
Or Dung-hill vile, is laid to rot,
Or ſleeps among more holy dead,
With Pray'rs irreverently read;
The Soul is ſent, where Fate ordains,
To reap rewards, or ſuffer pains.
THE VIRTUOUS to thoſe manſions go,
Where Pleaſures unembitter'd flow,
Where, leading up a jocund band,
VIGOUR and YOUTH dance hand in hand,
Whilſt ZEPHYR with harmonious gales
PIPES ſofteſt Muſic thro' the vales,
And SPRING and FLORA, gaily crown'd,
With Velvet Carpets ſpread the ground;
With livelier bluſh where Roſes bloom,
And every ſhrub expires perfume,
Where chryſtal ſtreams maeandring glide,
Where warbling flows the amber tide,
[Page 39] Where other Suns dart brighter beams,
And LIGHT thro' purer aether ſtreams.
FAR other ſeats, far diff'rent ſtate
The Sons of Wickedneſs await.
JUSTICE (not that old Hag I mean,
Who's nightly in the Garden ſeen,
Who lets no ſpark of Mercy riſe
For Crimes, by which men loſe their eyes;
Nor HER, who with an equal hand,
Weighs Tea and Sugar in the STRAND;
Nor HER, who by the World deem'd wiſe,
Deaf to the Widow's piercing cries,
Steel'd 'gainſt the ſtarving Orphan's tears,
On Pawns her baſe Tribunal rears;
But HER, who after Death preſides,
Whom ſacred TRUTH unerring guides,
Who, free from partial influence,
Nor ſinks, nor raiſes Evidence,
Before whom nothing's in the dark,
Who takes no bribe, and keeps no Clerk)
JUSTICE with equal ſcale below,
In due proportion weighs out woe,
[Page 40] And always with ſuch lucky aim
Knows puniſhments ſo fit to frame,
That ſhe augments their grief and pain,
Leaving no Reaſon to complain.
SLOVENS and Beaux are join'd together,
Coquettes and Prudes, like April weather,
Wit's forc'd to Chum with Common Senſe,
And Luſt is yok'd to Impotence.
PROFESSORS (Juſtice ſo decreed)
Unpaid muſt conſtant Lectures read;
On Earth it often doth befal,
They're paid, and never read at all.
Parſons muſt practice what they teach,
And B—ps are compell'd to preach.
SHE, who on earth was nice and prim,
Of delicacy full, and whim,
Whoſe tender Nature could not bear
The rudeneſs of the churliſh air,
Is doom'd, to mortify her pride,
The change of weather to abide,
And ſells, whilſt tears with liquor mix,
Burnt Brandy on the Shore of STYX.
[Page 41]
AVARO, by long uſe grown bold
In ev'ry ill which brings him gold,
Who his REDEEMER would pull down,
And ſell his GOD for Half a Crown,
Who, if ſome Block-head ſhould be willing
To lend him on his Soul a Shilling,
A well-made bargain would eſteem it,
And have more ſenſe than to redeem it,
JUSTICE ſhall in thoſe ſhades confine,
To drudge for PLUTUS in the Mine,
All the Day long to toil and roar,
And curſing work the ſtubborn ore,
For Coxcombs here who have no brains,
Without a Sixpence for his pains.
Thence, with each due return of Night,
COMPELL'D the tall, thin, half-ſtarv'd SPRITE,
Shall earth re-viſit, and ſurvey
The place where once his treaſure lay,
Shall view the ſtall, where holy PRIDE,
With letter'd IGNORANCE allied,
Once hail'd him mighty and ador'd,
Deſcended to another Lord.
Then ſhall He ſcreaming pierce the air,
Hang his lank jaws, and ſcowl deſpair;
[Page 42] Then ſhall He ban at Heav'n's decrees,
And howling ſink to Hell for eaſe.
THOSE, who on Earth thro' life have paſt
With equal pace from firſt to laſt,
Nor vex'd with paſſions, nor with ſpleen,
Inſipid, eaſy, and ſerene,
Whoſe heads were made too weak to bear
The weight of buſineſs, or of care,
Who without Merit, without Crime,
Contriv'd to while away their time,
Nor Good, nor Bad, nor Fools, nor Wits,
Mild JUSTICE with a ſmile permits,
Still to purſue their darling plan,
And find amuſement how they can.
THE BEAU, in gaudieſt plumage dreſt,
With lucky Fancy, o'er the reſt
Of AIR a curious mantle throws,
And chats among his Brother BEAUX;
Or, if the weather's fine and clear,
No ſign of rain or tempeſt near,
Encourag'd by the cloudleſs day,
Like gilded Butterflies at play,
[Page 43] So lively All, ſo gay, ſo briſk,
In AIR They flutter, float, and friſk.
THE BELLE (what mortal doth not know,
BELLES after death admire a BEAU?)
With happy grace renews her art,
To trap the Coxcomb's wand'ring heart.
And after death, as whilſt they live,
A heart is all which BEAUX can give.
IN ſome ſtill ſolemn ſacred ſhade,
Behold a group of AUTHORS laid.
News-paper WITS, and SONNETEERS,
Gentlemen BARDS, and Rhiming PEERS,
BIOGRAPHERS, whoſe wond'rous worth,
Is ſcarce remember'd now on earth,
Whom FIELDING's humour led aſtray,
And plaintive FOPS, debauch'd by GRAY,
All ſit together in a ring,
And laugh, and prattle, write and ſing.
ON his own works, with laurel crown'd,
Neatly and elegantly bound,
[Page 44] (For this is one of many rules,
With writing Lords and laureat Fools,
And which for ever muſt ſucceed
With other Lords who cannot read,
However deſtitute of wit,
To make their works for BOOKCASE fit)
Acknowledg'd Maſter of thoſe ſeats,
CIBBER his Birth-Day Odes repeats.
WITH Triumph now poſſeſs that ſeat,
With Triumph now thy Odes repeat,
Unrivall'd Vigils proudly keep,
Whilſt ev'ry hearer's lull'd to ſleep,
But know, Illuſtrious BARD, when Fate,
Which ſtill purſues thy name with hate,
The Regal Laurel blaſts, which now
Blooms on the placid WHITEHEAD's brow,
Low muſt deſcend thy Pride and Fame,
And CIBBER's be the ſecond Name.
HERE TRIFLE cough'd (for Coughing ſtill
Bears witneſs to the Speaker's ſkill,
A neceſſary piece of art,
Of Rhet'ric an eſſential part,
[Page 45] All Adepts in the Speaking trade
Keep a Cough by them ready made,
Which they ſucceſsfully diſpenſe
When at a loſs for words or ſenſe)
Here TRIFLE cough'd, here paus'd—but while
He ſtrove to recollect his ſmile,
That happy engine of his art,
Which triumph'd o'er the female heart,
CREDULITY, the Child of FOLLY,
Begot on Cloyſter'd MELANCHOLLY,
Who heard with grief the florid Fool
Turn ſacred things to ridicule,
And ſaw him, led by WHIM away,
Still farther from the ſubject ſtray,
Juſt in the happy nick, aloud
In ſhape of M—E addreſs'd the Crowd.
WERE we with Patience here to ſit,
Dupes to th' impertinence of Wit,
Till TRIFLE his harangue ſhould end,
A Greenland Night we might attend,
Whilſt He, with fluency of ſpeech,
Would various mighty nothings teach,
[Page 46] (Here TRIFLE, ſternly looking down,
Gravely endeavour'd at a Frown,
But NATURE unawares ſtept in,
And, mocking, turn'd it to a Grin)
And when, in FANCY's Chariot hurl'd,
We had been carried round the world,
Involv'd in error ſtill and doubt,
He'd leave us where we firſt ſet out.
Thus Soldiers (in whoſe exerciſe
Material uſe with Grandeur vies)
Lift up their legs with mighty pain,
Only to ſet them down again.
BELIEVE ye not (yes, all I ſee
In ſound belief concur with me)
That PROVIDENCE for worthy ends,
To us unknown, this SPIRIT ſends?
Tho' ſpeechleſs lay the trembling tongue,
Your Faith was on your Features hung,
Your Faith I in your eyes could ſee
When all were pale and ſtar'd like me.
But ſcruples to prevent, and root
Out ev'ry ſhadow of diſpute,
[Page 47] POMPOSO, PLAUSIBLE, and I,
With FANNY have agreed, to try
A deep concerted ſcheme. This night,
To fix, or to deſtroy HER quite.
If it be True, before we've done
We'll make it glaring as the Sun;
If it be falſe, admit no doubt,
E're Morning's dawn we'll find it out.
Into the vaulted womb of Death,
Where FANNY now, depriv'd of breath,
Lies feſt'ring, whilſt her troubled Sprite
Adds horror to the gloom of night,
Will We deſcend, and bring from thence
Proofs of ſuch force to Common Senſe,
Vain Triflers ſhall no more deceive,
And ATHEISTS tremble, and believe.
HE ſaid, and ceas'd; the Chamber rung
With due applauſe from ev'ry tongue.
The mingled ſound (now let me ſee,
Something by way of Simile)
Was it more like Strymonian Cranes,
Or Winds, low murm'ring, when it rains,
[Page 48] Or drowſy hum of cluſt'ring Bees,
Or the hoarſe roar of angry Seas,
Or (ſtill to heighten and explain,
For elſe our Simile is vain)
Shall we declare it like all four,
A Scream, a Murmur, Hum, and Roar?
LET FANCY now in awful ſtate
Preſent this great TRIUMVIRATE,
(A method which receiv'd we find
In other caſes by mankind)
Elected with a joint conſent
All Fools in Town to repreſent.
THE Clock ſtrikes Twelve — M—E ſtarts and ſwears,
In Oaths we know as well as Pray'rs
RELIGION lies, and a Church Brother
May uſe at will or one or t'other;
PLAUSIBLE, from his Caſſock drew,
A holy Manual, ſeeming new,
A Book it was of private Pray'r,
But not a pin the worſe for wear,
For, as we by the bye may ſay,
None but ſmall Saints in private pray.
[Page 49] RELIGION, faireſt Maid on earth,
As meek as good, who drew her birth
From that bleſt union, when in heaven
PLEASURE was Bride to VIRTUE given,
RELIGION, ever pleas'd to pray,
Poſſeſs'd the precious gift one day;
HYPOCRISY, of CUNNING born,
Crept in and ſtole it e'er the morn.
WH—T F—D, that greateſt of all Saints,
Who always prays, and never faints,
Whom SHE to her own Brothers bore,
RAPINE and LUST, on SEVERN's ſhore,
Receiv'd it from the ſquinting Dame;
From Him to PLAUSIBLE it came,
Who, with unuſual care oppreſt,
Now trembling pull'd it from his breaſt.
Doubts in his boding heart ariſe,
And fancied Spectres blaſt his eyes.
DEVOTION ſprings from abject fear,
And ſtamps his Pray'rs for once ſincere.
POMPOSO (inſolent and loud,
Vain idol of a ſcribbling croud,
[Page 50] Whoſe very name inſpires an awe,
Whoſe ev'ry word is Senſe and Law,
For what his Greatneſs hath decreed,
Like Laws of PERSLAN and of MEDE,
Sacred thro' all the realm of Wit,
Muſt never of Repeal admit;
Who, curſing flatt'ry, is the tool
Of ev'ry fawning flatt'ring fool;
Who Wit with jealous eye ſurveys,
And ſickens at another's praiſe;
Who, proudly ſeiz'd of Learning's throne,
Now damns all Learning but his own;
Who ſcorns thoſe common wares to trade in,
Reas'ning, Convincing, and Perſuading,
But makes each Sentence current paſs
With Puppy, Coxcomb, Scoundrel, Aſs,
For 'tis with him a certain rule,
The Folly's prov'd, when He calls Fool;
Who, to increaſe his native ſtrength,
Draws words, ſix ſyllables in length,
With which, aſſiſted with a frown,
By way of Club, he knocks us down;
Who 'bove the Vulgar dares to riſe,
And ſenſe of Decency defies,
[Page 51] For this ſame Decency is made
Only for Bunglers in the trade;
And, like the Cobweb Laws, is ſtill
Broke thro' by Great ones when they will)—
POMPOSO, with ſtrong ſenſe ſupplied,
Supported, and confirm'd by Pride,
His Comrades' terrors to beguile,
Grin'd horribly a ghaſtly ſmile:
Features ſo horrid, were it light,
Would put the Devil himſelf to flight.
SUCH were the Three in Name and Worth,
Whom ZEAL and JUGDMENT ſingled forth
To try the Sprite on REASON's plan,
Whether it was of God or Man.
DARK was the Night; it was that Hour,
When TERROR reigns in fulleſt Pow'r,
When, as the Learn'd of old have ſaid,
The yawning Grave gives up her dead,
When MURDER, RAPINE by her ſide,
Stalks o'er the earth with Giant ſtride;
Our QUIXOTES (for that Knight of old
Was not in Truth by half ſo bold,
[Page 52] Tho' REASON at the ſame time cries
Our QUIXOTES are not half ſo wiſe,
Since they with other follies boaſt
An Expedition 'gainſt a Ghoſt)
Thro' the dull deep ſurrounding gloom
In cloſe array tow'rds FANNY's tomb
Adventur'd forth—CAUTION before
With heedful ſtep the lanthorn bore,
Pointing at Graves, and in the Rear,
Trembling, and talking loud, went FEAR.
The Church-yard teem'd—th' unſettled ground,
As in an Ague, ſhook around;
While in ſome dreary vault confin'd,
Or riding on the hollow Wind,
HORROR, which turns the heart to ſtone,
In dreadful ſounds was heard to groan.
All ſtaring, wild, and out of breath,
At length they reach the place of death.
A VAULT it was, long time applied
To hold the laſt remains of Pride:
No Beggar there, of humble race,
And humble fortunes, finds a place;
[Page 53] To reſt in Pomp as well as Eaſe
The only way's to pay the Fees.
FOOLS, ROGUES, and WHORES, if Rich and Great,
Proud e'en in death, HERE rot in State.
No Thieves diſrobe the well-dreſt Dead,
No Plumbers ſteal the ſacred lead,
Quiet and ſafe the Bodies lie,
No SEXTONS ſell, no SURGEONS buy.
THRICE each the pond'rous key apply'd,
And Thrice to turn it vainly try'd,
Till taught by Prudence to unite,
And ſtraining with collected might,
The ſtubborn wards reſiſt no more,
But open flies the growling door.
THREE paces back They fell amaz'd,
Like Statues ſtood, like Madmen gaz'd.
The frighted blood forſakes the face,
And ſeeks the heart with quicker pace;
The throbbing heart its fears declares,
And upright ſtand the briſtled hairs;
The head in wild diſtraction ſwims;
Cold ſweats bedew the trembling limbs;
[Page 54] NATURE, whilſt Fears her boſom chill,
Suſpends her Pow'rs, and LIFE ſtands ſtill.
THUS had they ſtood till now, but SHAME
(An uſeful, tho' neglected Dame,
By Heav'n deſign'd the Friend of Man,
Tho' we degrade Her all we can,
And ſtrive, as our firſt proof of Wit,
Her Name and Nature to forget)
Came to their aid in happy hour,
And with a wand of mighty pow'r
Struck on their hearts; vain Fears ſubſide,
And baffled leave the field to PRIDE.
SHALL THEY, (forbid it Fame) ſhall THEY
The dictates of vile Fear obey?
Shall They, the Idols of the Town,
To Bugbears Fancy-form'd bow down?
Shall They, who greateſt zeal expreſt,
And undertook for all the reſt,
Whoſe matchleſs Courage all admire,
Inglorious from the taſk retire?
How would the Wicked Ones rejoice,
And Infidels exalt their voice,
[Page 55] If M—E and PLAUSIBLE were found,
By ſhadows aw'd, to quit their ground?
How would Fools laugh, ſhould It appear
POMPOSO was the ſlave of Fear?
"Periſh the thought! tho' to our eyes
"In all its terrors Hell ſhould riſe,
"Tho' thouſand Ghoſts in dread array,
"With glaring eye-balls croſs our way,
"Tho' CAUTION trembling ſtands aloof,
"Still will we on, and dare the proof."
They ſaid, and without farther halt,
Dauntleſs march'd onward to the VAULT.
WHAT mortal men, whoe'er drew breath,
Shall break into the Houſe of DEATH
With foot unhallow'd, and from thence
The Myſt'ries of that State diſpenſe,
Unleſs they with due rites prepare
Their weaker ſenſe, ſuch ſights to bear,
And gain permiſſion from the State,
On Earth their journal to relate?
POETS themſelves, without a crime,
Cannot attempt it e'en in Rhime,
[Page 56] But always on ſuch grand occaſion,
Prepare a ſolemn Invocation,
A Poſy for grim PLUTO weave,
And in ſmooth numbers aſk his leave.
But why this Caution? why prepare
Rites needleſs now, for thrice in air
The SPIRIT of the NIGHT hath ſneez'd,
And thrice hath clap'd his wings well-pleas'd.
DESCEND then TRUTH, and guard my ſide,
My Muſe, my Patroneſs, and Guide!
Let Others at Invention aim,
And ſeek by falſities for fame;
Our Story wants not at this time,
Flounces and Furbelows in Rhime:
Relate plain Facts; be brief and bold;
And let the POETS, fam'd of old,
Seek, whilſt our artleſs tale we tell,
In vain to find a PARALLEL:
SILENT ALL THREE WENT IN, ABOUT
ALL THREE TURN'D SILENT, AND CAME OUT.
END OF THE SECOND BOOK.