The works: in verse and prose, of Dr. Thomas Parnell, ... Enlarged with variations and poems, not before publish'd.










SUCH were the notes thy once lov'd Poet ſung,
'Till death untimely ſtop'd his tuneful tongue.
O juſt beheld, and loſt! admir'd, and mourn'd!
With ſofteſt manners, gentleſt arts, adorn'd!
Bleſt in each ſcience, bleſt in ev'ry ſtrain!
Dear to the Muſe, to HARLEY dear—in vain!
FOR him, thou oft haſt bid the world attend,
Fond to forget the ſtateſman in the friend;
For SWIFT and him, deſpis'd the farce of ſtate,
The ſober follies of the wiſe and great;
Dextrous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit,
And pleas'd to 'ſcape from flattery to wit.
ABSENT or dead, ſtill let a friend be dear,
(A ſigh the abſent claims, the dead a tear)
Recall thoſe nights that clos'd thy toilſome days,
Still hear thy PARNELL in his living lays:
[Page] Who careleſs, now, of int'reſt, fame, or fate,
Perhaps forgets that OXFORD e'er was great;
Or deeming meaneſt what we greateſt call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.
And ſure if ought below the ſeats divine
Can touch immortals, 'tis a ſoul like thine:
A ſoul ſupreme, in each hard inſtance try'd,
Above all pain, all anger, and all pride,
The rage of pow'r, the blaſt of public breath,
The luſt of lucre, and the dread of death.
IN vain to deſarts thy retreat is made;
The muſe attends thee to the ſilent ſhade:
'Tis her's, the brave man's lateſt ſteps to trace,
Re-judge his acts, and dignify diſgrace.
When int'reſt calls off all her ſneaking train,
When all th' oblig'd deſert, and all the vain;
She waits, or to the ſcaffold, or the cell,
When the laſt ling'ring friend has bid farewel.
Ev'n now ſhe ſhades thy evening walk with bays,
(No hireling ſhe, no proſtitute to praiſe)
Ev'n now, obſervant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm ſun-ſet of thy various day,
Thro' fortune's cloud one truly great can ſee,
Nor fears to tell, that MORTIMER is he.

SEPT. 25. 1721.



  • HESIOD, or the Riſe of Woman. PAGE 1
  • Song. PAGE 11, 12, 13
  • Anacreontic. PAGE 15, 17
  • A Fairy Tale, in the antient Engliſh Style. PAGE 20
  • The Vigil of Venus, written in the Time of Julius Caeſar, and by ſome aſcribed to Catullus. PAGE 29
  • Battle of the Frogs and Mice. PAGE 43
  • To Mr. Pope. PAGE 62
  • Part of the firſt Canto of the Rape of the Lock, with a Tranſlation in Leonine Verſe, after the Manner of the antient Monks. PAGE 66
  • Health; an Eclogue. PAGE 69
  • The Flies; an Eclogue. PAGE 72
  • An Elegy. To an old Beauty. PAGE 75
  • The Book-Worm. PAGE 78
  • An Allegory on Man. PAGE 82
  • An Imitation of ſome French Verſes. PAGE 86
  • A Night-Piece on Death. PAGE 89
  • A Hymn to Contentment. PAGE 93
  • The Hermit. PAGE 96


  • VISION I. PAGE 109
  • Viſion II. PAGE 116
  • Viſion III. PAGE 123
  • Viſion IV. PAGE 131
  • Viſion V. PAGE 132
  • [Page] The Life of Zoilus. To which is prefixed a Preface by the Author. PAGE 145
  • The Remarks of Zoilus upon Homer's Battle of the Frogs and Mice. PAGE 177
  • Variations. PAGE 203
  • Bacchus, or the Vines of Leſbos. PAGE 211
  • Elyſium. PAGE 215
  • To Dr. Swift. PAGE 221
  • Piety, or the Viſion. PAGE 225
  • Ecſtaſy. PAGE 229




WHAT antient times (thoſe times we fancy wiſe)
Have left on long record of Woman's riſe,
What morals teach it, and what fables hide,
What author wrote it, how that author dy'd,
All theſe I ſing. In Greece they fram'd the tale
(In Greece, 'twas thought a Woman might be frail.)
Ye modern beauties! where the poet drew
His ſofteſt pencil, think he dreamt of you;
And warn'd by him, ye wanton pens, beware
How Heav'n's concern'd to vindicate the fair.
The caſe was Heſiod's; he the fable writ;
Some think with meaning, ſome with idle wit:
Perhaps 'tis either, as the ladies pleaſe;
I wave the conteſt, and commence the lays.
In days of yore, (no matter where or when,
'Twas ere the low creation ſwarm'd with men)
That one Prometheus, ſprung of heav'nly birth,
(Our author's ſong can witneſs) liv'd on earth.
[Page 2] He carv'd the turf to mold a manly frame,
And ſtole from Jove his animating flame.
The ſly contrivance o'er Olympus ran,
When thus the monarch of the ſtars began.
Oh vers'd in arts! whoſe daring thoughts aſpire
To kindle clay with never-dying fire!
Enjoy thy glory paſt, that gift was thine;
The next thy creature meets, be fairly mine:
And ſuch a gift, a vengeance ſo deſign'd,
As ſuits the counſel of a God to find;
A pleaſing boſom-cheat, a ſpecious ill,
Which felt thy curſe, yet covet ſtill to feel.
He ſaid, and Vulcan ſtrait the ſire commands,
To temper mortar with etherial hands;
In ſuch a ſhape to mold a riſing fair,
As virgin-goddeſſes are proud to wear;
To make her eyes with diamond-water ſhine,
And form her organs for a voice divine.
'Twas thus the ſire ordain'd; the pow'r obey'd;
And work'd, and wonder'd at the work he made;
The faireſt, ſofteſt, ſweeteſt frame beneath,
Now made to ſeem, now more than ſeem, to breathe.
As Vulcan ends, the chearful Queen of Charms
Claſp'd the new-panting creature in her arms;
From that embrace a fine complexion ſpread,
Where mingled whiteneſs glow'd with ſofter red.
Then in a kiſs ſhe breath'd her various arts,
Of trifling prettily with wounded hearts;
[Page 3] A mind for love, but ſtill a changing mind;
The liſp affected, and the glance deſign'd;
The ſweet confuſing bluſh, the ſecret wink,
The gentle-ſwimming walk, the courteous ſink,
The ſtare for ſtrangeneſs fit, for ſcorn the frown,
For decent yielding looks declining down,
The practis'd languiſh, where well-feign'd deſire
Wou'd own its melting in a mutual fire;
Gay ſmiles to comfort; April ſhow'rs to move;
And all the nature, all the art, of love.
Gold-ſcepter'd Juno next exalts the fair;
Her touch endows her with imperious air,
Self-valuing fancy, highly-creſted pride,
Strong ſov'reign will, and ſome deſire to chide:
For which, an eloquence, that aims to vex,
With native tropes of anger, arms the ſex.
Minerva (ſkilful goddeſs) train'd the maid
To twirl the ſpindle by the twiſting thread,
To fix the loom, inſtruct the reeds to part,
Croſs the long weft, and cloſe the web with art,
An uſeful gift; but what profuſe expence,
What world of faſhions, took its riſe from hence!
Young Hermes next, a cloſe-contriving god,
Her brows encircled with his ſerpent rod:
Then plots and fair excuſes, fill'd her brain,
The views of breaking am'rous vows for gain,
The price of favours; the deſigning arts
That aim at riches in contempt of hearts;
[Page 4] And for a comfort in the marriage life,
The little, pilf'ring temper of a wiſe.
Full on the fair his beams Apollo flung,
And fond perſwaſion tip'd her eaſy tongue;
He gave her words, where oily flatt'ry lays
The pleaſing colours of the art of praiſe;
And wit, to ſcandal exquiſitely prone,
Which frets another's ſpleen to cure its own.
Thoſe ſacred virgins whom the bards revere,
Tun'd all her voice, and ſhed a ſweetneſs there,
To make her ſenſe with double charms abound,
Or make her lively nonſenſe pleaſe by ſound.
To dreſs the maid, the decent Graces brought
A robe in all the dies of beauty wrought,
And plac'd their boxes o'er a rich brocade
Where pictur'd Loves on ev'ry cover play'd;
Then ſpread thoſe implements that Vulcan's art
Had fram'd to merit Cytherea's heart;
The wire to curl, the cloſe indented comb
To call the locks that lightly wander, home;
And chief, the mirrour, where the raviſh'd maid
Beholds and loves her own reflected ſhade.
Fair Flora lent her ſtores, the purpled Hours
Confin'd her treſſes with a wreath of flow'rs;
Within the wreath aroſe a radiant crown;
A veil pellucid hung depending down;
Back roll'd her azure veil with ſerpent fold,
The purfled border deck'd the floor with gold.
[Page 5] Her robe (which cloſely by the girdle brac't
Reveal'd the beauties of a ſlender waſte)
Flow'd to the feet; to copy Venus' air,
When Venus' ſtatues have a robe to wear.
The new-ſprung creature finiſh'd thus for harms,
Adjuſts her habit, practiſes her charms,
With bluſhes glows, or ſhines with lively ſmiles,
Confirms her will, or recollects her wiles:
Then conſcious of her worth, with eaſy pace
Glides by the glaſs, and turning views her face.
A finer flax than what they wrought before,
Thro' time's deep cave the Siſter Fates explore,
Then fix the loom, their fingers nimbly weave,
And thus their toil prophetic ſongs deceive.
Flow from the rock, my flax! and ſwiftly flow,
Purſue thy thread; the ſpindle runs below.
A creature fond and changing, fair and vain,
The creature Woman, riſes now to reign.
New beauty blooms, a beauty form'd to fly;
New love begins, a love produc'd to dye;
New parts diſtreſs the troubled ſcenes of life,
The fondling miſtreſs, and the ruling wife.
Men, born to labour, all with pains provide;
Women have time, to ſacrifice to pride:
They want the care of man, their want they know,
And dreſs to pleaſe with heart-alluring ſhow,
The ſhow prevailing, for the ſway contend,
And make a ſervant where they meet a friend.
[Page 6]
Thus in a thouſand wax-erected forts
A loitering race the painful bee ſupports,
From ſun to ſun, from bank to bank he flies,
With honey loads his bag, with wax his thighs,
Fly where he will, at home the race remain,
Prune the ſilk dreſs, and murm'ring eat the gain.
Yet here and there we grant a gentle bride,
Whoſe temper betters by the father's ſide;
Unlike the reſt that double human care,
Fond to relieve, or reſolute to ſhare:
Happy the man whom thus his ſtars advance!
The curſe is gen'ral, but the bleſſing chance.
Thus ſung the Siſters, while the gods admire
Their beauteous creature, made for man in ire;
The young Pandora ſhe, whom all contend
To make too perfect not to gain her end:
Then bid the winds that fly to breathe the Spring,
Return to bear her on a gentle wing;
With wafting airs the winds obſequious blow,
And land the ſhining vengeance ſafe below,
A golden coffer in her hand ſhe bore,
(The preſent treach'rous, but the bearer more)
'Twas fraught with pangs; for Jove ordain'd above,
That gold ſhould aid, and pangs attend on love.
Her gay deſcent the man perceiv'd afar,
Wond'ring he run to catch the falling ſtar;
But ſo ſurpriz'd, as none but he can tell,
Who lov'd ſo quickly, and who lov'd ſo well.
[Page 7] O'er all his veins the wand'ring paſſion burns,
He calls her nymph, and ev'ry nymph by turns.
Her form to lovely Venus he prefers,
Or ſwears that Venus' muſt be ſuch as hers.
She, proud to rule, yet ſtrangely fram'd to teize,
Neglects his offers while her airs ſhe plays,
Shoots ſcornful glances from the bended frown,
In briſk diſorder trips it up and down,
Then hums a careleſs tune to lay the ſtorm,
And ſits, and bluſhes, ſmiles; and yields, in form.
"Now take what Jove deſign'd (ſhe ſoftly cry'd)
"This box thy portion, and myſelf thy bride:"
Fir'd with the proſpect of the double charms,
He ſnatch'd the box, and bride, with eager arms.
Unhappy man! to whom ſo bright ſhe ſhone:
The fatal gift, her tempting ſelf, unknown!
The winds were ſilent, all the waves aſleep,
And heav'n was trac'd upon the flatt'ring deep;
But whilſt he looks unmindful of a ſtorm,
And thinks the water wears a ſtable form,
What dreadful din around his ears ſhall riſe!
What frowns confuſe his picture of the ſkies!
At firſt the creature man was fram'd alone,
Lord of himſelf, and all the world his own.
For him the nymphs in green forſook the woods,
For him the nymphs in blue forſook the floods;
In vain the Satyrs rage, the Tritons rave,
They bore him heroes in the ſecret cave.
[Page 8] No care deſtroy'd, no ſick diſorder prey'd,
No bending age his ſprightly form decay'd,
No wars were known, no females heard to rage,
And Poets tell us, 'twas a golden age.
When Woman came, thoſe ills the box confin'd
Burſt furious out, and poiſon'd all the wind,
From point to point, from pole to pole they flew,
Spread as they went, and in the progreſs grew:
The nymphs regretting left the mortal race,
And alt'ring nature wore a ſickly face;
New terms of folly roſe, new ſtates of care;
New plagues, to ſuffer, and to pleaſe, the fair!
The days of whining, and of wild intrigues,
Commenc'd, or finiſh'd, with the breach of leagues;
The mean deſigns of well-diſſembled love;
The ſordid matches never join'd above;
Abroad, the labour, and at home the noiſe,
(Man's double ſuff'rings for domeſtic joys)
The curſe of jealouſy; expence, and ſtrife;
Divorce, the public brand of ſhameful life;
The rival's ſword; the qualm that takes the fair;
Diſdain for paſſion, paſſion in deſpair—
Theſe, and a thouſand, yet unnam'd, we find;
Ah fear the thouſand, yet unnam'd behind!
Thus on Parnaſſus tuneful Heſiod ſung,
The mountain echo'd, and the valley rung,
The ſacred groves a fix'd attention ſhow,
The chryſtal Helicon forbore to flow,
[Page 9] The ſky grew bright, and (if his verſe be true)
The Muſes came to give the laurel too.
But what avail'd the verdant prize of wit,
If Love ſwore vengeance for the tales he writ?
Ye fair offended, hear your friend relate
What heavy judgment prov'd the writer's fate,
Tho' when it happen'd, no relation clears,
'Tis thought in five, or five and twenty years.
Where, dark and ſilent, with a twiſted ſhade
The neighb'ring woods a native arbour made,
There oft a tender pair for am'rous play
Retiring, toy'd the raviſh'd hours away;
A Locrian youth, the gentle Troilus he,
A fair Mileſian, kind Evanthe ſhe:
But ſwelling nature in a fatal hour
Betray'd the ſecrets of the conſcious bow'r;
The dire diſgrace her brothers count their own,
And track her ſteps, to make its author known.
It chanc'd one evening, ('twas the lover's day)
Conceal'd in brakes the jealous kindred lay;
When Heſiod wand'ring, mus'd along the plain,
And fix'd his ſeat where love had fix'd the ſcene;
A ſtrong ſuſpicion ſtrait poſſeſt their mind,
(For poets ever were a gentle kind.)
But when Evanthe near the paſſage ſtood,
Flung back a doubtful look, and ſhot the wood,
"Now take (at once they cry) thy due reward,"
And urg'd with erring rage, aſſault the bard.
[Page 10] His corps the ſea receiv'd. The dolphins bore
('Twas all the Gods would do) the corps to ſhore.
Methinks I view the dead with pitying eyes,
And ſee the dreams of antient wiſdom riſe;
I ſee the Muſes round the body cry,
But hear a Cupid loudly laughing by;
He wheels his arrow with inſulting hand,
And thus inſcribes the moral on the ſand.
"Here Heſiod lies: ye future bards, beware
"How far your moral tales incenſe the fair:
"Unlov'd, unloving, 'twas his fate to bleed;
"Without his quiver Cupid caus'd the deed:
"He judg'd this turn of malice juſtly due,
"And Heſiod dy'd for joys he never knew."

1.2. SONG.

[Page 11]
WHEN thy beauty appears,
In its graces and airs,
All bright as an angel new dropt from the ſky;
At diſtance I gaze, and am aw'd by my fears,
So ſtrangely you dazzle my eye!
But when without art,
Your kind thoughts you impart,
When your love runs in bluſhes thro' ev'ry vein;
When it darts from your eyes, when it pants in your heart,
Then I know you're a woman again.
There's a paſſion and pride
In our ſex (ſhe reply'd)
And thus (might I gratify both) I wou'd do:
Still an angel appear to each lover beſide,
But ſtill be a woman to you.

1.3. A SONG.

[Page 12]
THYRSIS, a young and am'rous ſwain,
Saw two, the beauties of the plain;
Who both his heart ſubdue:
Gay Caelia's eyes were dazzling fair,
Sabina's eaſy ſhape and air
With ſofter magic drew.
He haunts the ſtream, he haunts the grove;
Lives in a fond romance of love,
And ſeems for each to die;
'Till each a little ſpiteful grown,
Sabina Caelia's ſhape ran down,
And ſhe Sabina's eye.
Their envy made the ſhepherd find
Thoſe eyes, which love could only blind;
So ſet the lover free:
No more he haunts the grove or ſtream,
Or with a true-love knot and name
Engraves a wounded tree.
Ah Caelia! (ſly Sabina cry'd)
Tho' neither love, we're both deny'd;
Now to ſupport the ſex's pride,
[Page 13] Let either fix the dart.
Poor girl! (ſays Caelia) ſay no more;
For ſhou'd the ſwain but one adore,
That ſpite which broke his chains before,
Wou'd break the other's heart.

1.4. SONG.

MY days have been ſo wond'rous free,
The little birds that fly
With careleſs eaſe from tree to tree,
Were but as bleſs'd as I.
Aſk gliding waters, if a tear
Of mine encreas'd their ſtream?
Or aſk the flying gales, if e'er
I lent one ſigh to them?
But now my former days retire,
And I'm by beauty caught,
The tender chains of ſweet deſire
Are fix'd upon my thought.
Ye nightingales, ye twiſting pines!
Ye ſwains that haunt the grove!
Ye gentle echoes, breezy winds!
Ye cloſe retreats of love!
[Page 14]
With all of nature, all of art,
Aſſiſt the dear deſign;
O teach a young unpractis'd heart,
To make my Nancy mine.
The very thought of change I hate,
As much as of deſpair;
Nor ever covet to be great,
Unleſs it be for her.
'Tis true, the paſſion in my mind
Is mix'd with ſoft diſtreſs;
Yet while the fair I love is kind,
I cannot wiſh it leſs.


[Page 15]
WHEN Spring came on with freſh delight,
To cheer the ſoul, and charm the ſight,
While eaſy breezes, ſofter rain,
And warmer ſuns ſalute the plain;
'Twas then, in yonder piny grove,
That Nature went to meet with Love.
Green was her robe, and green her wreath,
Where-e'er ſhe trod, 'twas green beneath;
Where-e'er ſhe turn'd, the pulſes beat
With new recruits of genial heat;
And in her train the birds appear,
To match for all the coming year.
Rais'd on a bank, where daizys grew,
And vi'lets intermix'd a blue,
She finds the boy ſhe went to find;
A thouſand pleaſures wait behind,
Aſide, a thouſand arrows ly,
But all unfeather'd wait to fly.
When they met, the Dame and Boy,
Dancing Graces, idle Joy,
Wanton Smiles, and airy Play,
Conſpir'd to make the ſcene be gay;
Love pair'd the birds through all the grove,
And Nature bid them ſing to Love,
[Page 16] Sitting, hopping, flutt'ring, ſing,
And pay their tribute from the wing,
To fledge the ſhafts that idly ly,
And yet unfeather'd wait to fly.
'Tis thus, when Spring renews the blood,
They meet in ev'ry trembling wood,
And thrice they make the plumes agree,
And ev'ry dart they mount with three,
And ev'ry dart can boaſt a kind,
Which ſuits each proper turn of mind.
From the tow'ring Eagle's plume
The gen'rous Hearts accept their doom;
Shot by the Peacock's painted eye
The vain and airy lovers dye:
For careful dames and frugal men,
The ſhafts are ſpeckled by the Hen.
The Pyes and Parrots deck the darts,
When Prattling wins the panting hearts:
When from the Voice the paſſions ſpring,
The warbling Finch affords a wing:
Together, by the Sparrow ſtung,
Down fall the wanton and the young:
And fledg'd by Geeſe the weapons fly,
When others love they know not why.
All this (as late I chanc'd to rove)
I learn'd in yonder waving grove.
And ſee, ſays Love, (who call'd me near)
How much I deal with Nature here,
[Page 17] How both ſupport a proper part,
She gives the feather, I the dart:
Then ceaſe for ſouls averſe to ſigh,
If Nature croſs ye, ſo do I;
My weapon there unfeather'd flies,
And ſhakes and ſhuffles through the ſkies.
But if the mutual charms I find
By which ſhe links you, mind to mind,
They wing my ſhafts, I poize the darts,
And ſtrike from both, through both your hearts.


GAY Bacchus liking Eſtcourt's wine,
A noble meal beſpoke us;
And for the gueſts that were to dine,
Brought Comus, Love, and Jocus.
The God near Cupid drew his chair,
Near Comus, Jocus plac'd;
For Wine makes Love forget its care,
And Mirth exalts a feaſt.
The more to pleaſe the ſprightly God,
Each ſweet engaging Grace
Put on ſome cloaths to come abroad,
And took a waiter's place.
[Page 18]
Then Cupid nam'd at every glaſs
A lady of the ſky;
While Bacchus ſwore he'd drink the laſs,
And had it bumper-high.
Fat Comus toſt his brimmers o'er,
And always got the moſt;
Jocus took care to fill him more,
When-e'er he miſs'd the toaſt.
They call'd, and drank at every touch;
He fill'd, and drank again;
And if the gods can take too much,
'Tis ſaid, they did ſo then.
Gay Bacchus little Cupid ſtung,
By reck'ning his deceits.
And Cupid mock'd his ſtamm'ring tongue,
With all his ſtagg'ring gaits:
And Jocus droll'd on Comus' ways,
And tales without a jeſt;
While Comus call'd his witty plays
But waggeries at beſt.
Such talk ſoon ſet 'em all at odds;
And, had I Homer's pen,
I'd ſing ye, how they drunk like gods,
And how they fought, like men.
[Page 19]
To part the fray, the Graces fly,
Who make 'em ſoon agree;
Nay, had the furies ſelves been nigh,
They ſtill were three to three.
Bacchus appeas'd, rais'd Cupid up,
And gave him back his bow;
But kept ſome darts to ſtir the cup,
Where ſack and ſugar flow.
Jocus took Comus' roſy crown,
And gayly wore the prize,
And thrice, in mirth, he puſh'd him down,
As thrice he ſtrove to riſe.
Then Cupid ſought the myrtle grove,
Where Venus did recline,
And Venus cloſe embracing Love,
They join'd to rail at wine.
And Comus loudly curſing Wit,
Roll'd off to ſome retreat,
Where boon companions gravely ſit
In fat unweildy ſtate.
Bacchus and Jocus, ſtill behind,
For one freſh glaſs prepare;
They kiſs, and are exceeding kind,
And vow to be ſincere.
[Page 20]
But part in time, whoever hear
This our inſtructive ſong;
For tho' ſuch friendſhips may be dear,
They can't continue long.


IN Britain's iſle and Arthur's days,
When midnight Faeries daunc'd the maze,
Liv'd Edwin of the green,
Edwin, I wis, a gentle youth,
Endow'd with courage, ſenſe and truth,
Tho' badly ſhap'd he been.
His mountain back mote well be ſaid
To meaſure heigth againſt his head,
And lift itſelf above:
Yet ſpite of all that nature did
To make his uncouth form forbid,
This creature dar'd to love.
[Page 21]
He felt the charms of Edith's eyes,
Nor wanted hope to gain the prize,
Cou'd ladies look within;
But one Sir Topaz dreſs'd with art,
And, if a ſhape cou'd win a heart,
He had a ſhape to win.
Edwin (if right I read my ſong)
With ſlighted paſſion pac'd along
All in the moony light:
'Twas near an old enchaunted court,
Where ſportive Faeries made reſort
To revel out the night.
His heart was drear, his hope was croſs'd,
'Twas late, 'twas farr, the path was loſt
That reach'd the neighbour-town;
With weary ſteps he quits the ſhades,
Reſolv'd the darkling dome he treads,
And drops his limbs adown.
But ſcant he lays him on the floor,
When hollow winds remove the door,
A trembling rocks the ground:
And (well I ween to count aright)
At once an hundred tapers light
On all the walls around.
[Page 22]
Now ſounding tongues aſſail his ear,
Now ſounding feet approachen near,
And now the ſounds encreaſe,
And from the corner where he lay
He ſees a train profuſely gay
Come pranckling o'er the place.
But (truſt me Gentles!) never yet
Was dight a maſquing half ſo neat,
Or half ſo rich before;
The country lent the ſweet perfumes,
The ſea the pearl, the ſky the plumes,
The town its ſilken ſtore.
Now whilſt he gaz'd, a Gallant dreſt
In flaunting robes above the reſt,
With awfull accent cry'd;
What Mortall of a wretched mind,
Whoſe ſighs infect the balmy wind,
Has here preſum'd to hide?
At this the Swain, whoſe vent'rous ſoul
No fears of Magic art controul,
Advanc'd in open ſight;
'Nor have I cauſe of dreed, he ſaid,
'Who view (by no preſumption led)
'Your revels of the night.
[Page 23]
''Twas grief, for ſcorn of faithful love,
'Which made my ſteps unweeting rove
'Amid the nightly dew.'
'Tis well, the Gallant cries again,
We Faeries never injure men
Who dare to tell us true.
Exalt thy love-dejected heart,
Be mine the taſk, or ere we part,
To make thee grief reſign;
Now take the pleaſure of thy chaunce;
Whilſt I with Mab my part'ner daunce,
Be little Mable thine.
He ſpoke, and all a ſudden there
Light muſic floats in wanton air;
The Monarch leads the Queen:
The reſt their Faerie partners found,
And Mable trimly tript the ground
With Edwin of the green.
The dauncing paſt, the board was laid,
And ſiker ſuch a feaſt was made
As heart and lip deſire;
Withouten hands the diſhes fly,
The glaſſes with a wiſh come nigh,
And with a wiſh retire.
[Page 24]
But now to pleaſe the Faerie King,
Full ev'ry deal they laugh and ſing,
And antic feats deviſe;
Some wind and tumble like an ape,
And other-ſome tranſmute their ſhape
In Edwin's wond'ring eyes.
'Till one at laſt that Robin hight,
(Renown'd for pinching maids by night)
Has hent him up aloof;
And full againſt the beam he flung,
Where by the back the Youth he hung
To ſpraul unneath the roof.
From thence, "Reverſe my charm, he crys,
"And let it fairly now ſuffice
"The gambol has been ſhown."
But Oberon anſwers with a ſmile,
Content thee Edwin for a while,
The vantage is thine own.
Here ended all the phantome play;
They ſmelt the freſh approach of day,
And heard a cock to crow;
The whirling wind that bore the crowd
Has clap'd the door, and whiſtled loud,
To warn them all to go.
[Page 25]
Then ſcreaming all at once they fly,
And all at once the tapers dy;
Poor Edwin falls to floor;
Forlorn his ſtate, and dark the place,
Was never wight in ſike a caſe
Through all the land before.
But ſoon as dan Apollo roſe,
Full jolly creature home he goes,
He feels his back the leſs;
His honeſt tongue and ſteady mind
Han rid him of the lump behind
Which made him want ſucceſs,
With luſty livelyhed he talks,
He ſeems a dauncing as he walks,
His ſtory ſoon took wind;
And beauteous Edith ſees the youth,
Endow'd with courage, ſenſe and truth,
Without a bunch behind.
The ſtory told, Sir Topaz mov'd,
(The youth of Edith erſt approv'd)
To ſee the revel ſcene:
At cloſe of eve he leaves his home,
And wends to find the ruin'd dome
All on the gloomy plain.
[Page 26]
As there he bides, it ſo befell,
The wind came ruſtling down a dell,
A ſhaking ſeiz'd the wall:
Up ſpring the tapers as before,
The Faeries bragly foot the floor,
And muſic fills the hall.
But certes ſorely ſunk with woe
Sir Topaz ſees the Elphin ſhow,
His ſpirits in him dy:
When Oberon cries, 'a Man is near,
'A mortall paſſion, cleeped fear,
'Hangs flagging in the ſky.'
With that Sir Topaz (hapleſs youth!)
In accents fault'ring ay for ruth
Intreats them pity graunt;
For als he been a miſter wight
Betray'd by wand'ring in the night
To tread the circled haunt;
'Ah loſell vile, at once they roar!
'And little ſkill'd of Faerie lore,
'Thy cauſe to come we know:
'Now has thy keſtrell courage fell;
'And Faeries, ſince a ly you tell,
'Are free to work thee woe.'
[Page 27]
Then Will, who bears the wiſpy fire
To trail the ſwains among the mire,
The caitive upward flung;
There like a tortoiſe in a ſhop
He dangled from the chamber-top,
Where whilome Edwin hung.
The revel now proceeds apace,
Deffly they friſk it o'er the place,
They ſit, they drink, and eat;
The time with frolic mirth beguile,
And poor Sir Topaz hangs the while
'Till all the rout retreat.
By this the ſtarrs began to wink,
They ſkriek, they fly, the tapers ſink,
And down ydrops the knight.
For never ſpell by Faerie laid
With ſtrong enchantment bound a glade
Beyond the length of night.
Chill, dark, alone, adreed, he lay,
'Till up the welkin roſe the day,
Then deem'd the dole was o'er:
But wot ye well his harder lot?
His ſeely back the Bunch has got
Which Edwin loſt afore.
[Page 28]
This tale a Sybil-Nurſe ared;
She ſoftly ſtrok'd my youngling head,
And when the tale was done,
'Thus ſome are born, my ſon (ſhe cries)
'With baſe impediments to riſe,
'And ſome are born with none.
'But virtue can itſelf advance
'To what the fav'rite fools of chance
'By fortune ſeem'd deſign'd;
'Virtue can gain the odds of fate,
'And from itſelf ſhake off the weight
'Upon th'unworthy Mind.


[Page 29]
"LET thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more,"
The Spring, the new, the warb'ling Spring appears,
The youthful ſeaſon of reviving years;
In Spring the Loves enkindle mutual heats,
The feather'd nation chaſe their tuneful mates,
The trees grow fruitful with deſcending rain
And dreſt in diff'ring greens adorn the plain.
[Page 30] She comes; to-morrow Beauty's Empreſs roves
Thro' walks that winding run within the groves;
She twines the ſhooting myrtle into bow'rs,
And ties their meeting tops with wreaths of flow'rs,
Then rais'd ſublimely on her eaſy throne
From Nature's pow'rful dictates draws her own.
"Let thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more."
'Twas on that day which ſaw the teeming flood
Swell round, impregnate with celeſtial blood;
Wand'ring in circles ſtood the finny crew,
The midſt was left a void expanſe of blue,
There parent Ocean work'd with heaving throes,
And dropping wet the fair Dione roſe.
"Let thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more."
[Page 31]
She paints the purple year with vary'd ſhow,
Tips the green gem, and makes the bloſſom glow.
She makes the turgid buds receive the breeze,
Expand to leaves, and ſhade the naked trees.
When gath'ring damps the miſty nights diffuſe,
She ſprinkles all the morn with balmy dews;
Bright trembling pearls depend at every ſpray,
And kept from falling, ſeem to fall away.
A gloſſy freſhneſs hence the Roſe receives,
And bluſhes ſweet through all her ſilken leaves;
(The drops deſcending through the ſilent night,
While ſtars ſerenely roll their golden light,)
Cloſe 'till the morn, her humid veil ſhe holds;
Then deckt with virgin pomp the ſlow'r unfolds.
Soon will the morning bluſh: ye maids! prepare,
In roſy garlands bind your flowing hair;
'Tis Venus' plant: the blood fair Venus ſhed,
O'er the gay beauty pour'd immortal red;
[Page 32] From Love's ſoft kiſs a ſweet Ambroſial ſmell
Was taught for ever on the leaves to dwell;
From gemms, from flames, from orient rays of light
The richeſt luſtre makes her purple bright;
And ſhe to-morrow weds; the ſporting gale
Unties her zone, ſhe burſts the verdant veil;
Thro' all her ſweets the rifling lover flies,
And as he breathes, her glowing fires ariſe.
"Let thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more."
Now fair Dione to the myrtle grove
Sends the gay Nymphs, and ſends her tender Love.
And ſhall they venture? is it ſafe to go?
While Nymphs have hearts, and Cupid wears a bow?
Yes, ſafely venture, 'tis his mother's will;
He walks unarm'd, and undeſigning ill,
[Page 33] His torch extinct, his quiver uſeleſs hung,
His arrows idle, and his bow unſtrung.
And yet, ye Nymphs, beware, his eyes have charms,
And Love that's naked, ſtill is Love in arms.
"Let thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more."
From Venus' bow'r to Delia's lodge repairs
A virgin train compleat with modeſt airs:
'Chaſte Delia! grant our ſuit! or ſhun the wood,
'Nor ſtain this ſacred lawn with ſavage blood.
'Venus, O Delia! if ſhe cou'd perſuade,
'Wou'd aſk thy preſence, might ſhe aſk a maid.'
Here chearful quires for three auſpicious nights
With ſongs prolong the pleaſurable rites:
Here crouds in meaſures lightly-decent rove;
Or ſeek by pairs the covert of the grove,
[Page 34] Where meeting greens for arbours arch above,
And mingling flowrets ſtrow the ſcenes of love.
Here dancing Ceres ſhakes her golden ſheaves:
Here Bacchus revels, deckt with viny leaves:
Here wit's enchanting God in lawrel crown'd
Wakes all the raviſh'd Hours with ſilver ſound.
Ye fields, ye foreſts, own Dione's reign,
And Delia, huntreſs Delia, ſhun the plain.
"Let thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more."
Gay with the bloom of all her opening year,
The Queen at Hybla bids her throne appear;
And there preſides; and there the fav'rite band
(Her ſmiling Graces) ſhare the great command.
Now beauteous Hybla! dreſs thy flow'ry beds
With all the pride the laviſh ſeaſon ſheds;
[Page 35] Now all thy colours, all thy fragrance yield,
And rival Enna's aromatic field.
To fill the preſence of the gentle court
From ev'ry quarter rural Nymphs reſort,
From woods, from mountains, from their humble vales,
From waters curling with the wanton gales.
Pleas'd with the joyful train, the laughing Queen
In circles ſeats them round the bank of green;
And [...]lovely girls, (ſhe whiſpers) guard your hearts;
'My boy, tho' ſtript of arms, abounds in arts.
"Let thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more."
Let tender graſs in ſhaded alleys ſpread,
Let early flow'rs erect their painted head.
To-morrow's glory be to-morrow ſeen,
That day, old Ether wedded Earth in green.
[Page 36] The Vernal Father bid the Spring appear,
In clouds he coupled to produce the year,
The ſap deſcending o'er her boſom ran,
And all the various ſorts of ſoul began.
By wheels unknown to ſight, by ſecret veins
Diſtilling life, the fruitful Goddeſs reigns,
Through all the lovely realms of native day,
Through all the circled land, and circling ſea;
With fertil ſeed ſhe fill'd the pervious earth,
And ever fix'd the myſtic ways of birth.
"Let thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more."
'Twas ſhe the Parent, to the Latian ſhore
Through various dangers Troy's remainder bore.
She won Lavinia for her warlike ſon,
And winning her, the Latian empire won.
[Page 37] She gave to Mars the maid, whoſe honour'd womb
Swell'd with the Founder of immortal Rome.
Decoy'd by ſhows the Sabin dames ſhe led,
And taught our vig'rous youth the means to wed.
Hence ſprung the Romans, hence the race divine
Thro' which great Caeſar draws his Julian line.
"Let thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more."
In rural ſeats the ſoul of pleaſure reigns;
The life of Beauty fills the rural ſcenes;
Ev'n Love (if Fame the truth of Love declare)
Drew firſt the breathings of a rural air.
Some pleaſing meadow pregnant Beauty preſt,
She laid her infant on its flow'ry breaſt,
From Nature's ſweets he ſipp'd the fragrant dew,
He ſmil'd, he kiſs'd them, and by kiſſing grew.
[Page 38]
"Let thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more."
Now Bulls o'er ſtalks of broom extend their ſides,
Secure of favours from their lowing brides.
Now ſtately Rams their fleecy conſorts lead,
Who bleating follow thro' the wand'ring ſhade.
And now the Goddeſs bids the birds appear,
Raiſe all their muſic, and ſalute the year:
Then deep the Swan begins, and deep the ſong
Runs o'er the water where he ſails along;
While Philomela tunes a treble ſtrain,
And from the poplar charms the liſt'ning plain.
We fancy love expreſt at ev'ry note,
It melts, it warbles, in her liquid throat.
Of barb'rous Tereus ſhe complains no more,
But ſings for pleaſure, as for grief before.
And ſtill her graces riſe, her airs extend,
And all is ſilence 'till the Syren end.
[Page 39]
How long in coming is my lovely Spring?
And when ſhall I, and when the Swallow ſing?
Sweet Philomela ceaſe—Or here I ſit,
And ſilent loſe my rapt'rous hour of wit:
'Tis gone, the ſit retires, the flames decay,
My tuneful Phoebus flies averſe away.
His own Amycle thus, as ſtories run,
But once was ſilent, and that once undone.
"Let thoſe love now, who never lov'd before;
"Let thoſe who always lov'd, now love the more."


[Page 29]
"CRAS amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."
Ver novum, ver jam canorum: vere natus orbis eſt,
Vere concordant amores, vere nubent alites,
Et nemus comam reſolvit de maritis imbribus.
[Page 30] Cras amorem copulatrix inter umbras arborum
Implicat gazas virentes de flagello myrteo.
Cras Dione jura dicit, ſulta ſublimi throno.
"Cras amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."
Tunc liquore de ſuperno, ſpumeo ponti e globo,
Caerulas inter catervas, inter et bipedes equos,
Fecit undantem Dionen de maritis imbribus.
"Cras amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."
[Page 31]
Ipſa gemmas purpurantem pingit annum floribus,
Ipſa ſurgentis papillas de Favonî ſpiritu,
Urguet in toros tepentes; ipſa roris lucidi,
Noctis aura quem relinquit, ſpargit humentis aquas,
Et micant lacrymae trementes decidivo pondere.
Gutta praeceps orbe parvo ſuſtinet caſus ſuos.
In pudorem florulentae prodiderunt purpurae.
Humor ille, quem ſerenis aſtra rorant noctibus,
Mane virgines papillas ſolvit humenti peplo.
[Page 32] Ipſa juſſit mane ut udae virgines nubant roſae,
Fuſae prius de cruore deque amoris oſculis,
Deque gemmis, deque flammis, deque Solis purpuris.
Cras ruborem qui latebat veſte tectus ignea,
Unica marito nodo non pudebit ſolvere.
"Cras amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."
Ipſa Nimfas Diva luco juſſit ire myrteo,
It Puer comes puellis. Nec tamen credi poteſt
Eſſe Amorem feriatum, ſi ſagittas vexerit.
Ite Nimfae: pofuit arma, feriatus eſt Amor.
Juſſus eſt inermis ire, nudus ire juſſus eſt:
[Page 33] Neu quid arcu, neu ſagitta, neu quid igne laederet.
Sed tamen cavete Nimfae, quod Cupido pulcer eſt:
Totus eſt inermis idem, quando nudus eſt Amor.
"Cras amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."
Compari Venus pudore mittit ad te virgine.
Una res eſt quam rogamus, cede virgo Delia,
Ut nemus ſit incruentum de ferinis ſtragibus.
Ipſa vellet ut venires, ſi deceret virginem:
Jam tribus choros videres feriatos noctibus:
Congreges inter catervas ire per ſaltus tuos,
[Page 34] Floreas inter coronas, myrteas inter caſas.
Nec Ceres, nec Bacchus abſunt, nec Poetarum Deus;
Decinent, et tota nox eſt pervigila cantibus.
Regnet in ſilvis Dione: to recede Delia.
"Cras amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."
Juſſit Hiblaeis tribunal ſtare diva floribus.
Praeſens ipſa jura dicit, adſederunt Gratiae.
Hibla totos funde flores quidquid annus adtulit.
[Page 35] Hibla florum rumpe veſtem, quantus Aennae campus eſt.
Ruris hic erunt puellae, vel puellae montium,
Quaeque ſilvas, quaeque lucos, quaeque montes incolunt.
Juſſit omnis adſidere pueri mater alitas,
Juſſit et nudo puellas nil amori credere.
"Cras amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."
Et recentibus virentes ducat umbras floribus.
Cras erit qui primus aether copulavit nuptias,
[Page 36] Ut pater roris crearet vernis annum nubibus
In ſinum maritus imber fluxit almae conjugis,
Ut foetus immixtus omnis aleret magno corpore.
Ipſa venas atque mentem permeante ſpiritu
Intus occultus gubernat procreatrix viribus,
Perque coelum, perque terras, perque pontum ſubditum,
Pervium ſui tenorem ſeminali tramite
Imbuit, juſſitque mundum noſſe naſcendi vias.
"Cras amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."
Ipſa Trojanos nepotes in Latino tranſtulit;
Ipſa Laurentem puellam conjugem nato dedit:
[Page 37] Moxque Marti de ſacello dat pudicam virginem.
Romuleas ipſa fecit cum Sabinis nuptias,
Unde Rames et Quirites, proque prole poſterûm
Romuli matrem crearet et nepotem Caeſarem.
"Cras amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."
Rura foecundat voluptas: rura Venerem ſentiunt.
Ipſe Amor puer Dionae rure natus dicitur.
Hunc ager cum parturiret, ipſa ſuſcepit ſinu,
Ipſa florum delicatis educavit oſculis.
[Page 38] "Cras amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."
Ecce, jam ſuper geneſtas explicant tauri latus.
Quiſque tuus quo tenetur conjugali foedere.
Subter umbras cum maritis ecce balantum gregem.
Et canoras non tacere Diva juſſit alites.
Jam loquaces ore rauco ſtagna cygni perſtrepunt,
Adſonat Terei puella ſubter umbram populi,
Ut putas motus Amoris ore dici muſico,
Et neges queri ſororem de marito barbaro.
[Page 39]
Illa cantat: nos tacemus: quando ver venit meum?
Quando faciam ut celidon, at tacere deſinam?
Perdidi Muſam tacendo, nec me Phoebus reſpicit.
Sic Amyclas, cum tacerent, perdidit ſilentium.
"Cras amet, qui numquam amavit; quique amavit, "cras amet."




  • PSYCARPAX, One who plunders granaries.
  • Troxartas, A bread-eater.
  • Lychomile, A licker of meal.
  • Pternotroctas, A bacon-eater.
  • Lychopinax, A licker of diſhes.
  • Embaſichytros, A creeper into pots.
  • Lychenor, A name for licking.
  • Troglodytes, one who runs into holes.
  • Artophagus, Who feeds on bread.
  • Tyroglyphus, A cheeſe ſcooper.
  • Pternoglyphus, A bacon ſcooper.
  • Pternophagus, A bacon-eater.
  • Cniſſodioctes, One who follows the ſteam of kitchens.
  • Sitophagus, An eater of wheat.
  • Meridarpax, One who plunders his ſhare.


  • PHYSIGNATHUS, One who ſwells his cheeks.
  • Pelus, A name from mud.
  • Hydromeduſe, A ruler in the waters.
  • Hypſiboas, A loud bawler.
  • Pelion, From mud.
  • Seutlaeus, Call'd from the beets.
  • Polyphonus, A great babbler.
  • Lymnocharis, One who loves the lake.
  • Crambophagus, Cabbage-eater.
  • Lymniſius, Call'd from the lake.
  • Calaminthius, From the herb.
  • Hydrocharis, Who loves the water.
  • Borborocates, Who lies in the mud.
  • Praſſophagus, An eater of garlick.
  • Peluſius, From mud.
  • Pelobates, Who walks in the dirt.
  • Praſſaens, Call'd from garlick.
  • Craugaſides, From croaking.


TO fill my riſing ſong with ſacred fire,
Ye tuneful Nine, ye ſweet celeſtial quire!
From Helicon's imbow'ring height repair,
Attend my labours, and reward my pray'r.
The dreadful toils of raging Mars I write,
The ſprings of conteſt, and the fields of fight;
How threat'ning Mice advanc'd with warlike grace,
And wag'd dire combats with the croaking race.
Not louder tumults ſhook Olympus' tow'rs,
When earth-born giants dar'd immortal pow'rs.
Thoſe equal acts in equal glory claim,
And thus the Muſe records the tale of fame.
Once on a time, fatigu'd and out of breath,
And juſt eſcap'd the ſtretching claws of death,
A gentle Mouſe, whom Cats purſu'd in vain,
Fled ſwift-of-foot acroſs the neighb'ring plain,
Hung o'er a brink, his eager thirſt to cool,
And dipt his whiſkers in the ſtanding pool;
[Page 44] When near a courteous Frog advanc'd his head;
And from the waters, hoarſe-reſounding ſaid:
What art thou, ſtranger? what the line you boaſt?
What chance has caſt thee panting on our coaſt?
With ſtricteſt truth let all thy words agree,
Nor let me find a faithleſs Mouſe in thee.
If worthy friendſhip, proffer'd friendſhip take,
And ent'ring view the pleaſurable lake:
Range o'er my palace, in my bounty ſhare,
And glad return from hoſpitable fare.
This ſilver realm extends beneath my ſway,
And me, their monarch, all its Frogs obey.
Great Phyſignathus I, from Peleus' race,
Begot in fair Hydromede's embrace,
Where by the nuptial bank that paints his ſide,
The ſwift Eridanus delights to glide.
Thee too, thy form, thy ſtrength, and port proclaim
A ſcepter'd king; a ſon of martial fame;
Then trace thy line, and aid my gueſſing eyes.
Thus ceas'd the Frog, and thus the Mouſe replies.
Known to the Gods, the men, the birds that fly
Thro' wild expanſes of the midway ſky,
My name reſounds; and if unknown to thee,
The ſoul of great Pſycarpax lives in me.
Of brave Troxartas' line, whoſe ſleeky down
In love compreſs'd Lychomile the brown.
My mother ſhe, and princeſs of the plains
Where-e'er her father Pternotroctas reigns:
[Page 45] Born where a cabin lifts its airy ſhed,
With figs, with nuts, with vary'd dainties fed.
But ſince our natures nought in common know,
From what foundation can a friendſhip grow?
Theſe curling waters o'er thy palace roll;
But man's high food ſupports my princely ſoul.
In vain the circled loaves attempt to lye
Conceal'd in flaſkets from my curious eye,
In vain the tripe that boaſts the whiteſt hue,
In vain the gilded bacon ſhuns my view,
In vain the cheeſes, offspring of the paile,
Or honey'd cakes, which Gods themſelves regale.
And as in arts I ſhine, in arms I fight,
Mix'd with the braveſt, and unknown to flight.
Tho' large to mine the human form appear,
Not Man himſelf can ſmite my ſoul with fear.
Sly to the bed with ſilent ſteps I go,
Attempt his finger, or attack his toe,
And ſix indented wounds with dext'rous ſkill;
Sleeping he feels, and only ſeems to feel.
Yet have we foes which direful dangers cauſe,
Grim owls with talons arm'd, and Cats with claws,
And that falſe Trap, the den of ſilent fate,
Where Death his ambuſh plants around the bait:
All-dreaded theſe, and dreadful o'er the reſt
The potent warriors of the tabby veſt;
If to the dark we fly, the dark they trace,
And rend our heroes of the nibbling race.
[Page 46] But me, nor ſtalks, nor watriſh herbs delight,
Nor can the crimſon radiſh charm my ſight,
The lake-reſounding Frogs ſelected fare,
Which not a Mouſe of any taſte can bear.
As thus the downy prince his mind expreſt,
His anſwer thus the croaking king addreſt.
Thy words luxuriant on thy dainties rove,
And, ſtranger, we can boaſt of bounteous Jove:
We ſport in water, or we dance on land,
And born amphibious, food from both command,
But truſt thyſelf where wonders aſk thy view,
And ſafely tempt thoſe ſeas, I'll bear thee thro':
Aſcend my ſhoulders, firmly keep thy ſeat,
And reach my marſhy court, and feaſt in ſtate.
He ſaid, and bent his back; with nimble bound
Leaps the light Mouſe, and claſps his arms around,
Then wond'ring floats, and ſees with glad ſurvey
The winding banks reſembling ports at ſea.
But when aloft the curling water rides,
And wets with azure wave his downy ſides,
His thoughts grow conſcious of approaching woe,
His idle tears with vain repentance flow,
His locks he rends, his trembling feet he rears,
Thick beats his heart with unaccuſtom'd fears;
His ſighs, and chill'd with danger, longs for ſhore:
His tail extended forms a fruitleſs oar.
Half-drench'd in liquid death his pray'rs he ſpake,
And thus bemoan'd him from the dreadful lake.
[Page 47]
So paſs'd Europa thro' the rapid ſea,
Trembling and fainting all the vent'rous way;
With oary feet the bull triumphant rode,
And ſafe in Crete depos'd his lovely load.
Ah ſafe at laſt! may thus the Frog ſupport
My trembling limbs to reach his ample court.
As thus he ſorrows, death ambiguous grows,
Lo! from the deep a water-Hydra roſe;
He rolls his ſanguin'd eyes, his boſom heaves,
And darts with active rage along the waves.
Confus'd, the monarch ſees his hiſſing foe,
And dives, to ſhun the ſable fates, below.
Forgetful Frog! the friend thy ſhoulders bore,
Unſkill'd in ſwimming, floats remote from ſhore.
He graſps with fruitleſs hands to find relief,
Supinely falls, and grinds his teeth with grief,
Plunging he ſinks, and ſtruggling mounts again,
And ſinks, and ſtrives, but ſtrives with fate in vain.
The weighty moiſture clogs his hairy veſt,
And thus the Prince his dying rage expreſt.
Nor thou, that fling'ſt me flound'ring from thy back,
As from hard rocks rebounds the ſhatt'ring wrack,
Nor thou ſhalt 'ſcape thy due, perfidious king!
Purſu'd by vengeance on the ſwifteſt wing:
At land thy ſtrength could never equal mine,
At ſea to conquer, and by craft, was thine;
But heav'n has Gods, and Gods have ſearching eyes:
Ye Mice, ye Mice, my great avengers riſe!
[Page 48] This ſaid, he ſighing gaſp'd, and gaſping dy'd.
His death the young Lychopinax eſpy'd,
As on the flow'ry brink he paſs'd the day,
Baſk'd in the beams, and loiter'd life away.
Loud ſhrieks the Mouſe, his ſhrieks the ſhores repeat;
The nibbling nation learn their heroe's fate:
Grief, diſmal grief enſues; deep murmurs ſound,
And ſhriller fury fills the deafen'd ground.
From lodge to lodge the ſacred Heralds run,
To fix their council with the riſing ſun;
Where great Troxartas crown'd in glory reigns,
And winds his length'ning court beneath the plains;
Pſycarpax' father, father now no more!
For poor Pſycarpax lies remote from ſhore;
Supine he lies! the ſilent waters ſtand,
And no kind billow wafts the dead to land!

1.10.2. BOOK II.

WHEN roſy-ſinger'd morn had ting'd the clouds,
Around their Monarch-Mouſe the nation crouds;
Slow roſe the ſov'reign, heav'd his anxious breaſt,
And thus, the council fill'd with rage, addreſt.
For loſt Pſycarpax much my ſoul endures,
'Tis mine the private grief, the public, yours.
Three warlike ſons adorn'd my nuptial bed,
Three ſons, alas! before their father dead!
[Page 49] Our eldeſt periſh'd by the rav'ning Cat,
As near my court the Prince unheedful ſate.
Our next, an engine fraught with danger drew,
The portal gap'd, the bait was hung in view,
Dire Arts aſſiſt the Trap, the Fates decoy,
And men unpitying kill'd my gallant Boy!
The laſt, his Country's hope, his Parent's pride,
Plung'd in the lake by Phyſignathus, dy'd.
Rouſe all the war, my friends! avenge the deed,
And bleed that Monarch, and his Nation bleed.
His words in ev'ry breaſt inſpir'd alarms,
And careful Mars ſupply'd their hoſt with arms.
In verdant hulls deſpoil'd of all their beans,
The buſkin'd warriors ſtalk'd along the plains:
Quills aptly bound, their bracing corſelet made,
Fac'd with the plunder of a Cat they flay'd:
The lamp's round boſs affords their ample ſhield;
Large ſhells of nuts their cov'ring helmet yield;
And o'er the region, with reflected rays,
Tall groves of needles for their lances blaze.
Dreadful in arms the marching Mice appear;
The wond'ring Frogs perceive the tumult near,
Forſake the waters, thick'ning form a ring,
And aſk, and hearken, whence the noiſes ſpring.
When near the croud, diſclos'd to public view,
The valiant chief Embaſichytros drew:
The ſacred herald's ſcepter grac'd his hand,
And thus his words expreſt his king's command.
[Page 50]
Ye Frogs! the Mice, with vengeance fir'd, advance,
And deckt in armour ſhake the ſhining lance:
Their hapleſs Prince by Phyſignathus ſlain,
Extends incumbent on the watry plain.
Then arm your hoſt, the doubtful battle try;
Lead forth thoſe Frogs that have the ſoul to die.
The chief retires, the crowd the challenge hear,
And proudly-ſwelling yet perplex'd appear:
Much they reſent, yet much their Monarch blame,
Who riſing, ſpoke to clear his tainted fame.
O friends, I never forc'd the Mouſe to death,
Nor ſaw the gaſpings of his lateſt breath,
He, vain of youth, our art of ſwimming try'd,
And vent'rous; in the lake the wanton dy'd.
To vengeance now by falſe appearance led,
They point their anger at my guiltleſs head,
But wage the riſing war by deep device,
And turn its fury on the crafty Mice.
Your King directs the way; my thoughts elate
With hopes of conqueſt, form deſigns of fate.
Where high the banks their verdant ſurface heave,
And the ſteep ſides confine the ſleeping wave,
There, near the margin, clad in armour bright,
Suſtain the firſt impetuous ſhocks of fight:
Then, where the dancing feather joins the creſt,
Let each brave Frog his obvious Mouſe arreſt;
Each ſtrongly graſping, headlong plunge a foe,
'Till countleſs circles whirl the lake below;
[Page 51] Down ſink the Mice in yielding waters drown'd;
Loud flaſh the waters; and the ſhores reſound:
The Frogs triumphant tread the conquer'd plain,
And raiſe their glorious trophies of the ſlain.
He ſpake no more: his prudent ſcheme imparts
Redoubling ardour to the boldeſt hearts.
Green was the ſuit his arming heroes choſe,
Around their legs the greaves of mallows cloſe,
Green were the beets about their ſhoulders laid,
And green the colewort, which the target made.
Form'd of the vary'd ſhells the waters yield,
Their gloſſy helmets gliſt'ned o'er the field:
And tap'ring ſea-reeds for the poliſh'd ſpear,
With upright order pierc'd the ambient air.
Thus dreſs'd for war, they take th'appointed height,
Poize the long arms, and urge the promis'd fight.
But now, where Jove's irradiate ſpires ariſe,
With ſtars ſurrounded in aetherial ſkies,
(A ſolemn council call'd) the brazen gates
Unbar; the Gods aſſume their golden ſeats:
The ſire ſuperior leans, and points to ſhow
What wond'rous combats mortals wage below:
How ſtrong, how large, the num'rous heroes ſtride!
What length of lance they ſhake with warlike pride!
What eager fire, their rapid march reveals!
So the fierce Centaurs ravag'd o'er the dales;
And ſo confirm'd, the daring Titans roſe,
Heap'd hills on hills, and bid the Gods be foes.
[Page 52]
This ſeen, the pow'r his ſacred viſage rears,
He caſts a pitying ſmile on worldly cares,
And aſks what heav'nly guardians take the liſt,
Or who the Mice, or who the Frogs aſſiſt?
Then thus to Pallas. If my daughter's mind
Have join'd the Mice, why ſtays ſhe ſtill behind?
Drawn forth by ſav'ry ſteams they wind their way,
And ſure attendance round thine altar pay,
Where while the victims gratify their taſte,
They ſport to pleaſe the Goddeſs of the feaſt.
Thus ſpake the Ruler of the ſpacious ſkies;
But thus, reſolv'd, the blue-ey'd maid replies.
In vain, my Father! all their dangers plead,
To ſuch, thy Pallas never grants her aid.
My flow'ry wreaths they petulantly ſpoil,
And rob my chryſtal lamps of feeding oil.
(Ills following ills!) but what afflicts me more,
My veil, that idle race profanely tore.
The web was curious, wrought with art divine;
Relentleſs wretches! all the work was mine!
Along the loom the purple warp I ſpread,
Caſt the light ſhoot, and croſt the ſilver thread;
In this their teeth a thouſand breaches tear,
The thouſand breaches ſkilful hands repair,
For which vile earthly dunns thy daughter grieve,
(The Gods, that uſe no coin, have none to give,
And Learning's Goddeſs never leſs can owe,
Neglected learning gains no wealth below.)
[Page 53] Nor let the Frogs to win my ſuccour ſue.
Thoſe clam'rous fools have loſt my favour too.
For late, when all the conflict ceaſt at night,
When my ſtretch'd ſinews work'd with eager fight;
When ſpent with glorious toil, I left the field,
And ſunk for ſlumber on my ſwelling ſhield;
Lo from the deep, repelling ſweet repoſe,
With noiſy croakings half the nation roſe:
Devoid of reſt, with aking brows I lay,
'Till cocks proclaim'd the crimſon dawn of day.
Let all, like me, from either hoſt forbear,
Nor tempt the flying furies of the ſpear;
Leſt heav'nly blood (or what for blood may flow)
Adorn the conqueſt of a meaner foe.
Some daring Mouſe may meet the wond'rous odds,
Tho' Gods oppoſe, and brave the wounded Gods.
O'er gilded clouds reclin'd, the danger view,
And be the wars of mortals ſcenes for you.
So mov'd the blue-ey'd Queen; her words perſuade,
Great Jove aſſented, and the reſt obey'd.

1.10.3. BOOK III.

[Page 54]
NOW front to front the marching armies ſhine,
Haltere they meet, and form the length'ning line:
The chiefs conſpicuous ſeen and heard afar,
Give the loud ſignal to the ruſhing war;
Their dreadful trumpets deep-mouth'd hornets ſound,
The ſounded charge remurmurs o'er the ground,
Ev'n Jove proclaims a field of horror nigh,
And rolls low thunder thro' the troubled ſky.
Firſt to the fight the large Hypſiboas flew,
And brave Lychenor with a javelin ſlew.
The luckleſs warrior fill'd with gen'rous flame,
Stood foremoſt glitt'ring in the poſt of fame;
When in his liver ſtruck, the jav'lin hung;
The Mouſe fell thund'ring, and the target rung;
Prone to the ground he ſinks his cloſing eye,
And ſoil'd in duſt his lovely treſſes lie.
A ſpear at Pelion Troglodytes caſt,
The miſſive ſpear within the boſom paſt;
Death's ſable ſhades the fainting Frog ſurround,
And life's red tide runs ebbing from the wound.
Embaſichytros felt Seutlaeus' dart
Transfix, and quiver in his panting heart;
But great Artophagus aveng'd the ſlain,
And big Seutlaeus tumbling loads the plain,
[Page 55] And Polyphonus dies, a Frog renown'd,
For boaſtful ſpeech and turbulence of ſound;
Deep thro' the belly pierc'd, ſupine he lay,
And breath'd his ſoul againſt the face of day.
The ſtrong Lymnocharis, who view'd with ire,
A victor triumph, and a friend expire;
And fiercely flung where Troglodytes fought;
With heaving arms a rocky fragment caught,
(A warrior vers'd in arts, of ſure retreat,
But arts in vain elude impending fate;)
Full on his ſinewy neck the fragment fell,
And o'er his eye-lids clouds eternal dwell.
Lychenor (ſecond of the glorious name)
Striding advanc'd, and took no wand'ring aim;
Thro' all the Frog the ſhining jav'lin flies,
And near the vanquiſh'd Mouſe the victor dies.
The dreadful ſtroke Crambophagus affrights,
Long bred to banquets, leſs inur'd to fights,
Heedleſs he runs, and ſtumbles o'er the ſteep,
And wildly flound'ring flaſhes up the deep;
Lycheror following with a downward blow,
Reach'd in the lake his unrecover'd foe;
Gaſping he rolls, a purple ſtream of blood
Diſtains the ſurface of the ſilver flood;
Thro' the wide wound the ruſhing entrails throng,
And ſlow the breathleſs carcaſs floats along.
Lymniſius good Tyroglyphus aſſails,
Prince of the Mice that haunt the flow'ry vales,
[Page 56] Loſt to the milky fares and rural ſeat,
He came to periſh on the bank of fate.
The dread Pternoglyphus demands the fight,
Which tender Calaminthius ſhuns by ſlight,
Drops the green target, ſpringing quits the foe,
Glides thro' the lake, and ſafely dives below.
But dire Pternophagus divides his way
Thro' breaking ranks, and leads the dreadful day.
No nibbling prince excell'd in fierceneſs more,
His parents fed him on the ſavage boar;
But where his lance the field with blood imbru'd,
Swift as he mov'd, Hydrocharis putſu'd,
'Till fall'n in death he lies, a ſhatt'ring ſtone
Sounds on the neck, and cruſhes all the bone.
His blood pollutes the verdure of the plain,
And from his noſtrils burſts the guſhing brain.
Lycopinax with Borbocaetes fights,
A blameleſs Frog, whom humbler life delights;
The fatal jav'lin unrelenting flies,
And darkneſs ſeals the gentle croaker's eyes.
Incens'd Praſſophagus with ſpritely bound,
Bears Cniſſodioctes off the riſing ground,
Then drags him o'er the lake depriv'd of breath,
And downward plunging, ſinks his ſoul to death.
But now the great Pſycarpax ſhines afar,
(Scarce he ſo great whoſe loſs provok'd the war)
Swift to revenge his fatal jav'lin fled,
And thro'the liver ſtruck Peluſius dead;
[Page 57] His freckled corps before the victor fell,
His ſoul indignant ſought the ſhades of hell.
This ſaw Pelobates, and from the flood
Heav'd with both hands a monſtrous maſs of mud,
The cloud obſcene o'er all the hero flies,
Diſhonours his brown face, and blots his eyes.
Enrag'd, and wildly ſputt'ring, from the ſhore
A ſtone immenſe of ſize the warrior bore,
A load for lab'ring earth, (whoſe bulk to raiſe,
Aſks ten degen'rate Mice of modern days.)
Full on the leg arrives the cruſhing wound;
The Frog ſupportleſs, writhes upon the ground.
Thus fluſh'd, the victor wars with matchleſs force,
'Till loud Craugaſides arreſts his courſe,
Hoarſe-croaking threats precede! with fatal ſpeed
Deep thro' the belly run the pointed reed,
Then ſtrongly tugg'd, return'd imbru'd with gore,
And on the pile his reeking entrails bore.
The lame Sitophagus, oppreſs'd with pain,
Creeps from the deſp'rate dangers of the plain;
And where the ditches riſing weeds ſupply
To ſpread their lowly ſhades beneath the ſky,
There lurks the ſilent Mouſe reliev'd from heat,
And ſafe embour'd, avoids the chance of fate.
But here Troxartes, Phyſignathus there,
Whirl the dire furies of the pointed ſpear:
But where the foot around its ankle plies,
Troxartes wounds, and Phyſignathus flies,
[Page 58] Halts to the pool, a ſafe retreat to find,
And trails a dangling length of leg behind.
The Mouſe ſtill urges, ſtill the Frog retires,
And half in anguiſh of the flight expires:
Then pious ardor young Preſſaeus brings,
Betwixt the fortunes of contending kings:
Lank, harmleſs Frog! with forces hardly grown,
He darts the reed in combats not his own,
Which faintly tinkling on Troxartes' ſhield,
Hangs at the point, and drops upon the field.
Now nobly tow'ring o'er the reſt appears
A gallant prince that far tranſcends his years,
Pride of his ſire, and glory of his houſe,
And more a Mars in combat than a Mouſe:
His action bold, robuſt his ample frame,
And Meridarpax his reſounding name.
The warrior ſingled from the fighting crowd,
Boaſts the dire honours of his arms aloud;
Then ſtrutting near the lake, with looks elate,
To all its nations threats approaching fate.
And ſuch his ſtrength, the ſilver lakes around
Might roll their waters o'er unpeopled ground.
But pow'rful Jove, who ſhews no leſs his grace
To Frogs that periſh, than to human race,
Felt ſoft compaſſion riſing in his ſoul,
And ſhook his ſacred head, that ſhook the pole.
Then thus to all the gazing pow'rs began
The ſire of Gods, and Frogs, and Mice, and Man.
[Page 59]
What ſeas of blood I view! what worlds of ſlain!
An Iliad riſing from a day's campaign!
How fierce his jav'lin o'er the trembling lakes
The black-furr'd hero Meridarpax ſhakes!
Unleſs ſome fav'ring deity deſcend,
Soon will the Frogs loquacious empire end.
Let dreadful Pallas wing'd with pity fly,
And make her Aegis blaze before his eye:
While Mars refulgent on his rattling car,
Arreſts his raging rival of the war.
He ceas'd reclining with attentive head,
When thus the glorious God of combats ſaid.
Nor Pallas, Jove! tho' Pallas take the field,
With all the terrors of her hiſſing ſhield,
Nor Mars himſelf, tho' Mars in armour bright
Aſcend his car, and wheel amidſt the fight;
Not theſe can drive the deſp'rate Mouſe afar,
Or change the fortunes of the bleeding war.
Let all go forth, all heav'n in arms ariſe,
Or launch thy own red thunder from the ſkies.
Such ardent bolts as flew that wond'rous day,
When heaps of Titans mix'd with mountains lay,
When all the giant-race enormous fell,
And huge Enceladus was hurl'd to hell.
'Twas thus th' Armipotent advis'd the Gods,
When from his throne the cloud-compeller nods,
Deep lengthning thunders run from pole to pole,
Olympus trembles as the thunders roll.
[Page 60] Then ſwift he whirls the brandiſh'd bolt around,
And headlong darts it at the diſtant ground;
The bolt diſcharg'd inwrap'd with light'ning flies,
And rends its flaming paſſage thro' the ſkies,
Then Earth's inhabitants, the nibblers, ſhake:
And Frogs, the dwellers in the waters, quake.
Yet ſtill the Mice advance their dread deſign,
And the laſt danger threats the croaking line,
'Till Jove, that inly mourn'd the loſs they bore,
With ſtrange aſſiſtants fill'd the frighted ſhore.
Pour'd from the neighb'ring ſtrand, deform'd to view,
They march, a ſudden unexpected crew!
Strong ſutes of armour round their bodies cloſe,
Which, like thick anvils, blunt the force of blows;
In wheeling marches turn'd oblique they go;
With harpy claws their limbs divide below;
Fell ſheers the paſſage to their mouth command;
From out the fleſh their bones by nature ſtand;
Broad ſpread their backs, their ſhining ſhoulders riſe;
Unnumber'd joints diſtort their lengthen'd thighs;
With nervous cords their hands are firmly brac'd;
Their round black eye-balls in their boſom plac'd;
On eight long feet the wond'rous warriors tread;
And either end alike ſupplies a head.
Theſe, mortal wits to call the Crabs, agree;
The Gods have other names for things than we.
Now where the jointures from their loins depend,
The heroes tails with ſev'ring graſps they rend.
[Page 61] Here, ſhort of feet, depriv'd the pow'r to fly,
There, without hands, upon the field they lie.
Wrench'd from their holds, and ſcatter'd all around,
The bended lances heap the cumber'd ground.
Helpleſs amazement, fear purſuing fear,
And mad confuſion thro' their hoſt appear:
O'er the wild waſte with headlong flight they go,
Or creep conceal'd in vaulted holes below.
But down Olympus to the weſtern ſeas
Far-ſhooting Phoebus drove with fainter rays;
And a whole war (ſo Jove ordain'd) begun,
Was fought, and ceas'd, in one revolving ſun.

1.11. TO MR. POPE.

[Page 62]
TO praiſe, yet ſtill with due reſpect to praiſe,
A Bard triumphant in immortal bays,
The learn'd to ſhow, the ſenſible commend,
Yet ſtill preſerve the province of the friend,
What life, what vigour, muſt the lines require?
What muſic tune them? what affection fire?
O might thy genius in my boſom ſhine!
Thou ſhouldſt not fail of numbers worthy thine,
The brighteſt ancients might at once agree
To ſing within my lays, and ſing of thee.
Horace himſelf wou'd own thou doſt excell
In candid arts to play the critic well.
Ovid himſelf might wiſh to ſing the dame
Whom Windſor Foreſt ſees a gliding ſtream,
On ſilver feet, with annual oſier crown'd,
She runs for ever thro' poetic ground.
How flame the glories of Belinda's hair,
Made by thy Muſe the envy of the fair;
[Page 63] Leſs ſhone the treſſes Egypt's princeſs wore,
Which ſweet Callimachus ſo ſung before.
Here courtly trifles ſet the world at odds,
Belles war with Beaux, and Whims deſcend for Gods.
The new Machines in names of ridicule,
Mock the grave phrenzy of the Chymic fool:
But know, ye fair, a point conceal'd with art,
The Sylphs and Gnomes are but a woman's heart:
The Graces ſtand in ſight; a Satyr train
Peep o'er their heads, and laugh behind the ſcene.
In Fame's fair Temple, o'er the boldeſt wits
Inſhrin'd on high the ſacred Virgil ſits,
And ſits in meaſures, ſuch as Virgil's muſe
To place thee near him might be fond to chuſe.
How might he tune th' alternate reed with thee,
Perhaps a Strephon thou, a Daphnis he,
While ſome old Damon o'er the vulgar wiſe
Thinks he deſerves, and thou deſerv'ſt the prize.
Rapt with the thought my Fancy ſeeks the plains,
And turns me ſhepherd while I hear the ſtrains.
Indulgent nurſe of ev'ry tender gale,
Parent of ſlowrets, old Arcadia hail!
Here in the cool my limbs at eaſe I ſpread,
Here let thy poplars whiſper o'er my head,
Still ſlide thy waters ſoft among the trees,
Thy aſpins quiver in a breathing breeze,
Smile all thy vallies in eternal Spring,
Be huſh'd, ye winds! while Pope and Virgil ſing.
[Page 64]
In Engliſh lays, and all ſublimely great,
Thy Homer warms with all his antient heat,
He ſhines in council, thunders in the fight,
And flames with ev'ry ſenſe of great delight.
Long has that Poet reign'd, and long unknown,
Like monarchs ſparkling on a diſtant throne;
In all the majeſty of Greek retir'd,
Himſelf unknown, his mighty name admir'd,
His language failing, wrap'd him round with night,
Thine rais'd by thee, recals the work to light.
So wealthy mines, that ages long before
Fed the large realms around with golden oar,
When choak'd by ſinking banks, no more appear,
And ſhepherds only ſay, The mines were here:
Shou'd ſome rich youth (if Nature warm his heart,
And all his projects ſtand inform'd with art)
Here clear the caves, there ope the leading vein;
The mines detected flame with gold again.
How vaſt, how copious are thy new deſigns!
How ev'ry muſic varies in thy lines!
Still as I read, I feel my boſom beat,
And riſe in raptures by another's heat.
Thus in the wood, when Summer dreſs'd the days,
When Windſor lent us tuneful hours of eaſe,
Our ears the Lark, the Thruſh, the Turtle bleſt,
And Philomela ſweeteſt o'er the reſt:
The ſhades reſound with ſong—O ſoftly tread!
While a whole ſeaſon warbles round my head.
[Page 65]
This to my friend—and when a friend inſpires
My ſilent harp its maſter's hand requires,
Shakes off the duſt, and makes theſe rocks reſound,
For fortune plac'd me in unfertile ground;
Far from the joys that with my ſoul agree,
From wit, from learning,—far, oh far from thee!
Here moſs-grown trees expand the ſmalleſt leaf,
Here half an acre's corn is half a ſheaf,
Here hills with naked heads the tempeſt meet,
Rocks at their ſide, and torrents at their feet,
Or lazy lakes unconſcious of a flood,
Whoſe dull brown Naiads ever ſleep in mud.
Yet here content can dwell, and learned eaſe,
A friend delight me, and an author pleaſe,
Ev'n here I ſing, while Pope ſupplies the theme,
Show my own love, tho' not increaſe his fame.


[Page 66]
AND now unveil'd, the Toilet ſtands diſplay'd,
Each ſilver vaſe in myſtic order laid.
Firſt, rob'd in white, the nymph intent adores,
With head uncover'd, the Coſmetic pow'rs.
A heav'nly image in the glaſs appears,
To that ſhe bends, to that her eyes ſhe rears:
[Page 67] Th' inferior prieſteſs, at her altar's ſide,
Trembling, begins the ſacred rites of pride.
Unnumber'd treaſures ope at once, and here
The various off'rings of the world appear;
From each ſhe nicely culls with curious toil,
And decks the Goddeſs with the glitt'ring ſpoil.
This caſket India's glowing gems unlocks,
And all Arabia breathes from yonder box.
The Tortoiſe here and Elephant unite,
Transform'd to combs, the ſpeckled, and the white.
Here files of pins extend their ſhining rows,
Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux.
Now awful beauty puts on all its arms,
The fair each moment rifes in her charms,
[Page 68] Repairs her ſmiles, awakens ev'ry grace,
And calls forth all the wonders of her face;
Sees by degrees a purer bluſh ariſe,
And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes.
The buſy Sylphs ſurround their darling care;
Theſe ſet the head, and thoſe divide the hair,
Some fold the ſleeve, while others plait the gown,
And Betty's prais'd for labours not her own.


[Page 66]
ET nunc dilectum ſpeculum, pro more retectum,
Emicat in mensâ, quae ſplendet pyxide densâ:
Tum primum lymphâ, ſe purgat candida Nympha;
Jamque ſine mendâ, coeleſtis imago videnda,
Nuda caput, bellos retinet, regit, implet, ocellos.
Hâc ſtupet explorans, ſeu cultus numen adorans:
[Page 67] Inferior claram Pythoniſſa apparet ad aram,
Fertque tibi cautè, dicatque Superbia! lautè,
Dona venuſta; oris, quae cunctis, plena laboris,
Excerpta explorat, dominamque deamque decorat.
Pyxide devotâ, ſe pandit hic India tota,
Et tota ex iſtâ tranſpirat Arabia ciſtâ;
Teſtudo hic flectit, dum ſe mea Lesbia pectit;
Atque elephas lentè, te pectit Lesbia dente;
Hunc maculis nôris, nivei jacet ille coloris.
Hic jacet et mundè, mundus muliebris abundè;
Spinulà reſplendens aeris longo ordine pendens,
Pulvis ſuavis odore, et epiſtola ſuavis amore.
Induit arma ergo, Veneris pulcherrima virgo;
Pulchrior in praeſens tempus de tempore creſcens;
[Page 68] Jam reparat riſus, jam ſurgit gratia visūs,
Jam promit cultu, mirac'la latentia vultu.
Pigmina jam miſcet, quo plus ſua Purpura gliſcet,
Et geminans bellis ſplendet magè fulgor ocellis.
Stant Lemures muti, Nymphae intentique ſaluti,
Hic figit Zonam, capiti locat ille Coronam,
Haec manicis formam, plicis dat et altera normam;
Et tibi vel Betty, tibi vel nitidiſſima Letty!
Gloria factorum temerè conceditur horum.


[Page 69]
NOW early ſhepherds o'er the meadow paſs,
And print long foot-ſteps in the glittering graſs;
The cows neglectful of their paſture ſtand,
By turns obſequious to the milker's hand.
When Damon ſoftly trod the ſhaven lawn,
Damon, a youth from city cares withdrawn;
Long was the pleaſing walk he wander'd thro',
A cover'd arbour clos'd the diſtant view;
There reſts the Youth, and while the feather'd throng
Raiſe their wild muſic, thus contrives a ſong.
Here waſted o'er by mild Eteſian air,
Thou country Goddeſs, beauteous Health! repair;
Here let my breaſt thro' quiv'ring trees inhale
Thy roſy bleſſings with the morning gale.
What are the fields, or flow'rs, or all I ſee?
Ah! taſteleſs all, if not enjoy'd with thee.
Joy to my ſoul! I feel the Goddeſs nigh,
The face of Nature cheers as well as I;
O'er the flat green refreſhing breezes run,
The ſmiling dazies blow beneath the ſun,
The brooks run purling down with ſilver waves,
The planted lanes rejoice with dancing leaves,
[Page 70] The chirping birds from all the compaſs rove
To tempt the tuneful echoes of the grove:
High funny ſummits, deeply ſhaded dales,
Thick moſſy banks, and flow'ry winding vales,
With various proſpect gratify the ſight,
And ſcatter fix'd attention in delight.
Come, country Goddeſs, come; nor thou ſuffice,
But bring thy mountain-ſiſter, Exerciſe.
Call'd by thy lively voice, ſhe turns her pace,
Her winding horn proclaims the finiſh'd chace;
She mounts the rocks, ſhe ſkims the level plain,
Dogs, hawks, and horſes, crowd her early train;
Her hardy face repels the tanning wind,
And lines and meſhes looſely float behind.
All theſe as means of toil the feeble ſee,
But theſe are helps to pleaſure join'd with thee.
Let Sloth lye ſoftning 'till high noon in down,
Or lolling fan her in the ſult'ry town,
Unnerv'd with reſt; and turn her own diſeaſe,
Or foſter others in luxurious eaſe:
I mount the courſer, call the deep-mouth'd hounds,
The fox unkennell'd flies to covert grounds;
I lead where ſtags thro' tangled thickets tread,
And ſhake the ſaplings with their branching head;
I make the faulecons wing their airy way,
And ſoar to ſeize, or ſtooping ſtrike their prey;
To ſuare the fiſh I fix the luring bait;
To wound the fowl I load the gun with fate.
[Page 71] 'Tis thus thro' change of exerciſe I range,
And ſtrength and pleaſure riſe from ev'ry change.
Here beauteous Health for all the year remain,
When the next comes, I'll charm thee thus-again.
Oh come, thou Goddeſs of my rural ſong,
And bring thy daughter, calm Content, along,
Dame of the ruddy cheek and laughing eye,
From whoſe bright preſence clouds of ſorrow fly:
For her I mow my walks, I plait my bow'rs,
Clip my low hedges, and ſupport my flow'rs;
To welcome her, this Summer ſeat I dreſt,
And here I court her when ſhe comes to reſt;
When ſhe from exerciſe to learned eaſe
Shall change again, and teach the change to pleaſe.
Now friends converſing my ſoſt hours refine,
And Tully's Tuſculum revives in mine:
Now to grave books I bid the mind retreat,
And ſuch as make me rather good than great.
Or o'er the works of eaſy fancy rove,
Where flutes and innocence amuſe the grove:
The native bard that on Sicilian plains
Firſt ſung the lowly manners of the ſwains;
Or Maro's muſe that in the faireſt light
Paints rural proſpects and the charms of ſight:
Theſe ſoft amuſements bring content along,
And fancy, void of ſorrow, turns to ſong.
Here beauteous Health for all the year remain,
When the next comes, I'll charm thee thus again.


[Page 72]
WHEN in the river cows for coolneſs ſtand,
And ſheep for breezes ſeek the lofty land,
A youth, whom Aeſop taught that ev'ry tree,
Each bird and inſect ſpoke as well as he:
Walk'd calmly muſing in a ſhaded way,
Where flow'ring hawthorn broke the ſunny ray,
And thus inſtructs his moral pen to draw
A ſcene that obvious in the field he ſaw.
Near a low ditch, where ſhallow waters meet,
Which never learnt to glide with liquid feet,
Whoſe Naiads never prattle as they play,
But ſcreen'd with hedges ſlumber out the day,
There ſtands a ſlender fern's aſpiring ſhade,
Whoſe anſw'ring branches regularly lay'd
Put forth their anſw'ring boughs, and proudly riſe
Three ſtories upward, in the nether ſkies.
For ſhelter here, to ſhun the noon-day heat,
An airy nation of the Flies retreat;
Some in ſoft air their ſilken pinions ply,
And ſome from bough to bough delighted ſly,
[Page 73] Some riſe, and circling light to perch again;
A pleaſing murmur hums along the plain.
So, when a ſtage invites to pageant ſhows,
(If great and ſmall are like) appear the Beaux;
In boxes ſome with ſpruce pretenſion ſit,
Some change from ſeat to ſeat within the pit,
Some roam the ſcenes, or turning ceaſe to roam;
Preluding muſic fills the lofty dome.
When thus a fly (if what a fly can ſay
Deſerves attention) rais'd the rural lay.
Where late Amintor made a nymph a bride,
Joyful I flew by young Favonia's ſide,
Who, mindleſs of the feaſting, went to ſip
The balmy pleaſure of the ſhepherd's lip.
I ſaw the wanton, where I ſtoop'd to ſup,
And half reſolv'd to drown me in the cup;
'Till bruſh'd by careleſs hands, ſhe ſoar'd above:
Ceaſe, beauty, ceaſe to vex a tender love.
Thus ends the youth, the buzzing meadow rung,
And thus the rival of his muſic ſung.
When ſuns by thouſands ſhone in orbs of dew,
I wafted ſoft with Zephyretta flew;
Saw the clean pail, and ſought the milky chear,
While little Daphne ſeiz'd my roving dear.
Wretch that I was! I might have warn'd the dame,
Yet ſat indulging as the danger came,
But the kind huntreſs left her free to ſoar:
Ah! guard, ye Lovers, guard a miſtreſs more.
[Page 74]
Thus from the fern, whoſe high-projecting arms,
The ſleeting nation bent with duſky ſwarms,
The Swains their love in eaſy muſic breathe,
When tongues and tumult ſtun the field beneath.
Black Ants in teams come darkning all the road,
Some call to march, and ſome to lift the load;
They ſtrain, they labour with inceſſant pains,
Preſs'd by the cumbrous weight of ſingle grains.
The Flies ſtruck ſilent gaze with wonder down:
The buſy Burghers reach their earthy town;
Where lay the burthens of a wint'ry ſtore,
And thence unwearied part in ſearch of more.
Yet one grave Sage a moment's ſpace attends,
And the ſmall city's loftieſt point aſcends,
Wipes the ſalt dew that trickles down his face,
And thus harangues them with the graveſt grace.
Ye fooliſh Nurſlings of the Summer air,
Theſe gentle tunes and whining ſongs forbear;
Your trees and whiſp'ring breeze, your Grove and Love,
Your Cupid's quiver, and his mother's dove:
Let bards to buſineſs bend their vig'rous wing,
And ſing but ſeldom, if they love to ſing:
Elſe, when the flourets of the ſeaſon fail,
And thus your fenny ſhade forſakes the vale,
Tho' one would ſave ye, not one grain of wheat
Shou'd pay ſuch ſongſters idling at my gate.
He ceas'd: the Flies, incorrigibly vain,
Heard the May'r's Speech, and fell to ſing again.


[Page 75]
IN vain, poor nymph, to pleaſe our youthful fight
You ſleep in cream and frontlets all the night,
Your face with patches ſoil, with paint repair,
Dreſs with gay gowns, and ſhade with foreign hair.
If truth in ſpight of manners muſt be told,
Why really Fifty-five is ſomething old.
Once you were young; or one, whoſe life's ſo long
She might have born my mother, tells me wrong.
And once (ſince Envy's dead before you dye,)
The women own, you play'd a ſparkling eye,
Taught the light foot a modiſh little trip,
And pouted with the prettieſt purple lip—
To ſome new charmer are the roſes fled,
Which blew, to damaſk all thy cheek with red;
Youth calls the Graces there to fix their reign,
And Airs by thouſands fill their eaſy train.
So parting Summer bids her flow'ry prime
Attend the ſun to dreſs ſome foreign clime,
[Page 76] While with'ring ſeaſons in ſucceſſion, here,
Strip the gay gardens, and deform the year.
But thou (ſince Nature bids) the world reſign,
'Tis now thy daughter's daughter's time to ſhine.
With more addreſs, (or ſuch as pleaſes more)
She runs her female exerciſes o'er,
Unfurls or cloſes, raps or turns the fan,
And ſmiles, or bluſhes at the creature Man.
With quicker life, as gilded coaches paſs,
In ſideling courteſy the drops the glaſs.
With better ſtrength, on viſit-days, ſhe bears
To mount her fifty flights of ample ſtairs.
Her mien, her ſhape, her temper, eyes and tongue
Are ſure to conquer,—for the rogue is young;
And all that's madly wild, or oddly gay,
We call it only pretty Fanny's way.
Let time, that makes you homely, make you ſage;
The ſphere of wiſdom is the ſphere of age.
'Tis true, when beauty dawns with early fire,
And hears the flatt'ring tongues of ſoft deſire,
If not from virtue, from its graveſt ways
The ſoul with pleaſing avocation ſtrays.
But beauty gone, 'tis eaſier to be wiſe;
As harpers better, by the loſs of eyes.
Henceforth retire, reduce your roving airs,
Haunt leſs the plays, and more the public pray'rs,
Reject the Mechlin head, and gold brocade,
Go pray, in ſober Norwich crape array'd.
[Page 77] Thy pendent diamonds let thy Fanny take,
(Their trembling luſtre ſhows how much you ſhake;)
Or bid her wear thy necklace row'd with pearl,
You'll find your Fanny an obedient girl.
So for the reſt, with leſs incumbrance hung,
You walk thro life, unmingled with the young;
And view the shade and Subſtance as you paſs
With joint endeavour trifling at the glaſs,
Or Folly dreſt, and rambling all her days,
To meet her counterpart, and grow by praiſe:
Yet ſtill ſedate yourſelf, and gravely plain,
You neither fret, nor envy at the vain.
'Twas thus (if man with woman we compare)
The wiſe Athenian croſt a glittering fair,
Unmov'd by tongues and ſights, he walk'd the place,
Thro' tape, toys, tinſel, gimp, perfume, and lace;
Then bends from Mars's hill his awful eyes,
And What a world I never want? he cries;
But cries unheard: for Folly will be free.
So parts the buzzing gaudy crowd, and he:
As careleſs he for them, as they for him;
He wrapt in Wiſdom, and they whirl'd by Whim.


[Page 78]
COME hither, boy, we'll hunt to-day
The Book-Worm, ravening beaſt of prey,
Produc'd by parent Earth, at odds
(As fame reports it) with the Gods.
Him frantic hunger wildly drives
Againſt a thouſand authors lives:
Thro' all the fields of wit he flies;
Dreadful his head with cluſt'ring eyes,
With horns without, and tuſks within,
And ſcales to ſerve him for a ſkin.
Obſerve him nearly, leſt he climb
To wound the bards of antient time,
Or down the vale of fancy go
To tear ſome modern wretch below:
On ev'ry corner fix thine eye,
Or ten to one he ſlips thee by.
See where his teeth a paſſage eat:
We'll rouſe him from the deep retreat.
But who the ſhelter's forc'd to give?
'Tis ſacred Virgil, as I live!
[Page 79] From leaf to leaf, from ſong to ſong,
He draws the tadpole form along,
He mounts the gilded edge before,
He's up, he ſcuds the cover o'er,
He turns, he doubles, there he paſt,
And here we have him, caught at laſt.
Inſatiate Brute, whoſe teeth abuſe
The ſweeteſt ſervants of the Muſe.
(Nay never offer to deny,
I took thee in the fact to fly.)
His Roſes nipt in ev'ry page,
My poor Anacreon mourns thy rage.
By thee my Ovid wounded lies;
By thee my Leſbia's Sparrow dies:
Thy rabid teeth have half deſtroy'd
The work of love in Biddy Floyd,
They rent Belinda's locks away,
And ſpoil'd the Blouzelind of Gay.
For all, for ev'ry ſingle deed,
Relentleſs Juſtice bids thee bleed.
Then fall a Victim to the Nine,
Myſelf the Prieſt, my deſk the Shrine.
Bring Homer, Virgil, Taſſo near,
To pile a ſacred altar here;
Hold, boy, thy band out-run thy wit,
You reach'd the plays that D—s writ;
You reach'd me Ph—s ruſtic ſtrain;
Pray take your mortal bards again.
[Page 80]
Come bind the victim,—there he lies,
And here between his num'rous eyes
This venerable duſt I lay,
From Manuſcripts juſt ſwept away.
The goblet in my hand I take,
(For the libation's yet to make)
A health to poets! all their days
May they have bread, as well as praiſe;
Senſe may they ſeek, and leſs engage
In papers fill'd with party-rage.
But if their riches ſpoil their vein,
Ye Muſes, make them poor again.
Now bring the weapon, yonder blade,
With which my tuneful pens are made.
I ſtrike the ſcales that arm thee round,
And twice and thrice I print the wound;
The ſacred altar floats with red,
And now he dies, and now he's dead.
How like the ſon of Jove I ſtand,
This Hydra ſtretch'd beneath my hand!
Lay bare the monſter's entrails here,
To ſee what dangers threat the year:
Ye Gods! what ſonnets on a wench?
What lean tranſlations out of French?
'Tis plain, this lobe is ſo unfound,
S—prints, before the months go round.
But hold, before I cloſe the ſcene,
The ſacred altar ſhou'd be clean.
[Page 81] Oh had I Sh—ll's ſecond bays,
Or T—! thy pert and humble lays!
(Ye pair, forgive me, when I vow
I never miſs'd your works 'till now)
I'd tear the leaves to wipe the ſhrine,
(That only way you pleaſe the Nine)
But ſince I chance to want theſe two,
I'll make the ſongs of D—y do.
Rent from the corps, on yonder pin,
I hang the ſcales that brac'd it in;
I hang my ſtudious morning gown,
And write my own Inſcription down.
'This Trophy from the Python won,
'This Robe, in which the deed was done,
'Theſe, Parnell, glorying in the feat,
'Hung on theſe ſhelves, the Muſes ſeat.
'Here Ignorance and Hunger, found
'Large realms of wit to ravage round;
'Here Ignorance and Hunger fell;
'Two foes in one I ſent to hell.
'Ye Poets, who my labours ſee,
'Come ſhare the triumph all with me!
'Ye Critics! born to vex the Muſe,
'Go mourn the grand Ally you loſe.'


[Page 82]
A Thoughtful being, long and ſpare,
Our race of mortals call him Care:
(Were Homer living, well he knew
What name the Gods have call'd him too)
With fine mechanic genius wrought,
And lov'd to work, tho' no one bought.
This being, by a model bred,
In Jove's eternal ſable head,
Contriv'd a ſhape impower'd to breathe,
And be the Worldling here beneath.
The Man roſe ſtaring, like a ſtake;
Wond'ring to ſee himſelf awake!
Then look'd ſo wiſe, before he knew
The bus'neſs he was made to do;
That pleas'd to ſee with what a grace
He gravely ſhew'd his forward face,
Jove talk'd of breeding him on high,
An Under-ſomething of the ſky.
[Page 83]
But ere he gave the mighty Nod,
Which ever binds a Poet's God:
(For which his curls ambroſial ſhake,
And mother Earth's oblig'd to quake:)
He ſaw old mother Earth ariſe,
She ſtood confeſs'd before his eyes;
But not with what we read ſhe wore,
A caſtle for a crown before,
Nor with long ſtreets and longer roads
Dangling behind her, like commodes:
As yet with wreaths alone ſhe dreſt,
And trail'd a landſkip-painted veſt.
Then thrice ſhe rais'd (as Ovid ſaid)
And thrice ſhe bow'd her weighty head.
Her honours made, great Jove; ſhe cry'd,
This Thing was faſhion'd from my ſide;
His hands, his heart, his head are mine;
Then what haſt thou to call him thine?
Nay rather aſk, the monarch ſaid,
What boots his hand, his heart, his head,
Were what I gave remov'd away?
Thy part's an idle ſhape of clay.
Halves, more than halves! cry'd honeſt Care,
Your pleas wou'd make your titles fair,
You claim the body, you the foul,
But I who join'd them, claim the whole.
Thus with the Gods debate began,
On ſuch a trivial cauſe, as Man.
[Page 84] And can celeſtial tempers rage?
(Quoth Virgil in a later age.)
As thus they wrangled, Time came by;
(There's none that paint him ſuch as I,
For what the fabling Ancients ſung
Makes Saturn old, when Time was young.)
As yet his Winters had not ſhed
Their ſilver honours on his head;
He juſt had got his pinions free
From his old ſire Eternity.
A Serpent girdled round he wore,
The tail within the mouth before;
By which our Almanacks are clear
That learned Egypt meant the year.
A ſtaff he carry'd, where on high
A glaſs was fix'd to meaſure by,
As amber boxes made a ſhow
For heads of canes an age ago.
His veſt, for day, and night, was py'd;
A bending ſickle arm'd his ſide;
And Spring's new months his train adorn;
The other ſeaſons were unborn.
Known by the Gods, as near he draws,
They make him Umpire of the cauſe.
O'er a low trunk his arm he laid,
(Where ſince his Hours a Dial made;)
Then leaning heard the nice debate,
And thus pronounc'd the words of Fate.
[Page 85]
Since Body from the parent Earth,
And Soul from Jove receiv'd a birth,
Return they where they firſt began;
But ſince their Union makes the Man,
'Till Jove and Earth ſhall part theſe two,
To Care, who join'd them, Man is due.
He ſaid, and ſprung with ſwift career
To trace a circle for the year;
Where ever ſince the Seaſons wheel,
And tread on one another's heel.
'Tis well, ſaid Jove; and for conſent
Thund'ring he ſhook the firmament.
Our umpire Time ſhall have his way,
With Care I let the creature ſtay:
Let Bus'neſs vex him, Av'rice blind,
Let Doubt and Knowledge rack his mind,
Let Error act, Opinion ſpeak,
And Want afflict, and Sickneſs break,
And Anger burn, Dejection chill,
And Joy diſtract, and Sorrow kill.
'Till arm'd by Care, and taught to mow,
Time draws the long deſtructive blow;
And waſted Man, whoſe quick decay
Comes hurrying on before his day,
Shall only find, by this decree,
The Soul flies ſooner back to me.


[Page 86]
RELENTLESS Time! deſtroying power
Whom ſtone and braſs obey,
Who giv'ſt to ev'ry flying hour
To work ſome new decay;
Unheard, unheeded, and unſeen,
Thy ſecret ſaps prevail,
And ruin Man, a nice machine
By Nature form'd to fail.
My change arrives; the change I meet,
Before I thought it nigh.
My Spring, my years of pleaſure fleet,
And all their beauties dye.
In Age I ſearch, and only find
A poor unfruitful gain,
Grave Wiſdom ſtalking ſlow behind,
Oppreſs'd with loads of pain.
[Page 87] My ignorance cou'd once beguile,
And fancy'd joys inſpire;
My errors cheriſh'd Hope to ſmile
On newly-born Deſire.
But now experience ſhews, the bliſs
For which I fondly fought,
Not worth the long impatient wiſh,
And ardour of the thought.
My youth met Fortune fair array'd,
(In all her pomp ſhe ſhone)
And might, perhaps, have well eſſay'd
To make her gifts my own:
But when I ſaw the bleſſings ſhow'r
On ſome unworthy mind,
I left the chace, and own'd the Pow'r
Was juſtly painted blind.
I paſs'd the glories which adorn
The ſplendid courts of kings,
And while the perſons mov'd my ſcorn,
I roſe to ſcorn the things.
My manhood felt a vig'rous fire,
By love encreas'd the more;
But years with coming years conſpire
To break the chains I wore.
In weakneſs ſafe, the Sex I ſee
With idle luſtre ſhine;
For what are all their joys to me,
Which cannot now be mine?
[Page 88] But hold—I feel my Gout decreaſe,
My troubles laid to reſt;
And truths, which wou'd diſturb my peace,
Are painful truths at beſt.
Vainly the time I have to roll
In ſad reflection flies;
Ye fondling paſſions of my ſoul!
Ye ſweet deceits! ariſe.
I wiſely change the ſcene within,
To things that us'd to pleaſe;
In Pain, Philoſophy is Spleen,
In Health, 'tis only Eaſe.


[Page 89]
BY the blue taper's trembling light,
No more I waſte the wakeful night,
Intent with endleſs view to pore
The ſchoolmen and the ſages o'er:
Their books from Wiſdom widely ſtray,
Or point at beſt the longeſt way.
I'll ſeek a readier path, and go
Where Wiſdom's ſurely taught below.
How deep yon azure dyes the ſky!
Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lye,
While thro' their ranks in ſilver pride
The nether creſcent ſeems to glide.
The ſlumb'ring breeze forgets to breathe,
The lake is ſmooth and clear beneath,
Where once again the ſpangled ſhow
Deſcends to meet our eyes below.
[Page 90] The grounds which on the right aſpire,
In dimneſs from the view retire:
The left preſents a place of graves,
Whoſe wall the ſilent water laves.
That ſteeple guides thy doubtful ſight
Among the livid gleams of night.
There paſs with melancholy ſtate,
By all the ſolemn heaps of fate,
And think, as ſoftly-ſad you tread
Above the venerable dead,
"Time was, like thee they life poſſeſt,
"And time ſhall be, that thou ſhalt reſt.
Thoſe graves with bending oſier bound,
That nameleſs heave the crumbled ground,
Quick to the glancing thought diſcloſe
Where Toil and Poverty repoſe.
The flat ſmooth ſtones that bear a name,
The chiſſel's ſlender help to fame,
(Which ere our ſett of friends decay
Their frequent ſteps may wear away;)
A Middle Race of Mortals own,
Men, half ambitious, all unknown.
The marble tombs that riſe on high,
Whoſe dead in vaulted arches lye,
Whoſe pillars ſwell with ſculptur'd ſtones,
Arms, angels, epitaphs and bones,
Theſe (all the poor remains of ſtate)
Adorn the Rich, or praiſe the Great;
[Page 91] Who while on earth in fame they live,
Are ſenſeleſs of the fame they give.
Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades,
The burſting earth unveils the ſhades!
All ſlow, and wan, and wrap'd with ſhrouds,
They riſe in viſionary crouds,
And all with ſober accent cry,
"Think, Mortal, what it is to die."
Now from yon black and fun'ral yew,
That bathes the charnel-houſe with dew,
Methinks I hear a Voice begin;
(Ye Ravens, ceaſe your croaking din,
Ye tolling clocks, no time reſound
O'er the long lake and midnight ground)
It ſends a peal of hollow groans,
Thus ſpeaking from among the bones.
When men my ſcythe and darts ſupply,
How great a King of Fears am I!
They view me like the laſt of things:
They make, and then they dread, my ſtings,
Fools! if you leſs provok'd your fears,
No more my ſpectre-form appears.
Death's but a path that muſt be trod,
If Man wou'd ever paſs to God:
A port of calms, a ſtate of eaſe
From the rough rage of ſwelling ſeas.
Why then thy flowing ſable ſtoles,
Deep pendent cypreſs, mourning poles,
[Page 92] Looſe ſcarfs to fall athwart thy weeds,
Long palls, drawn herſes, cover'd ſteeds,
And plumes of black, that as they tread,
Nod o'er the 'ſcutcheons of the dead?
Nor can the parted body know,
Nor wants the ſoul, theſe forms of woe:
As men who long in priſon dwell,
With lamps that glimmer round the cell,
When-e'er their ſuffering years are run,
Spring forth to greet the glitt'ring ſun:
Such joy, tho' far tranſcending ſenſe,
Have pious ſouls at parting hence.
On earth, and in the body plac'd,
A few, and evil years they waſte:
But when their chains are caſt aſide,
See the glad ſcene unfolding wide,
Clap the glad wing, and tow'r away,
And mingle with the blaze of day,


[Page 93]
LOVELY, laſting peace of mind!
Sweet delight of human-kind!
Heav'nly born, and bred on high,
To crown the fav'rites of the ſky
With more of happineſs below,
Than victors in a triumph know!
Whither, O whither art thou fled,
To lay thy meek, contented head!
What happy region doſt thou pleaſe
To make the ſeat of calms and eaſe?
Ambition ſearches all its ſphere
Of pomp and ſtate, to meet thee there.
Encreaſing Avarice would find
Thy preſence in its gold enſhrin'd.
The bold advent'rer ploughs his way,
Thro' rocks amidſt the foaming ſea,
To gain thy love; and then perceives
Thou wert not in the rocks and waves.
[Page 94] The ſilent heart which grief aſſails,
Treads ſoft and loneſome o'er the vales,
Sees daiſies open, rivers run,
And ſeeks (as I have vainly done)
Amuſing thought; but learns to know
That ſolitude's the nurſe of woe.
No real happineſs is found
In trailing purple o'er the ground:
Or in a ſoul exalted high,
To range the circuit of the ſky,
Converſe with ſtars above, and know
All nature in its forms below;
The reſt it ſeeks, in ſeeking dies,
And doubts at laſt for knowledge riſe.
Lovely, laſting peace, appear!
This world itſelf, if thou art here,
Is once again with Eden bleſs'd,
And man contains it in his breaſt.
'Twas thus, as under ſhade I ſtood,
I ſung my wiſhes to the wood,
And loſt in thought, no more perceiv'd
The branches whiſper as they wav'd:
It ſeem'd, as all the quiet place
Confeſs'd the preſence of the grace,
When thus ſhe ſpoke—go rule thy will,
Bid thy wild paſſions all be ſtill,
Know God—and bring thy heart to know,
The joys which from religion flow:
[Page 95] Then ev'ry grace ſhall prove its gueſt,
And I'll be there to crown the reſt.
Oh! by yonder moſſy ſeat,
In my hours of ſweet retreat;
Might I thus my ſoul employ,
With ſenſe of gratitude and joy:
Rais'd as ancient prophets were,
In heav'nly viſion, praiſe, and pray'r;
Pleaſing all men, hurting none,
Pleas'd and bleſs'd with God alone:
Then while the gardens take my ſight,
With all the colours of delight;
While ſilver waters glide along,
To pleaſe my ear, and court my ſong:
I'll lift my voice, and tune my ſtring,
And Thee, great ſource of Nature, ſing.
The fun that walks his airy way,
To light the world, and give the day;
The moon that ſhines with borrow'd light;
The ſtars that gild the gloomy night;
The ſeas that roll unnumber'd waves;
The wood that ſpreads its ſhady leaves;
The field whoſe ears conceal the grain,
The yellow treaſure of the plain;
All of theſe, and all I ſee,
Shou'd be ſung, and ſung by me:
They ſpeak their Maker as they can,
But want and aſk the tongue of man.
[Page 96]
Go ſearch among your idle dreams,
Your buſy or your vain extreams;
And find a life of equal bliſs,
Or own the next begun in this.


FAR in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age a rev'rend Hermit grew;
The moſs his bed, the cave his humble cell,
His food the fruits, his drink the chryſtal well:
Remote from man, with God he paſs'd the days,
Pray'r all his bus'neſs, all his pleaſure praiſe.
A life ſo ſacred, ſuch ſerene repoſe,
Seem'd heav'n itſelf, 'till one ſuggeſtion roſe;
That Vice ſhou'd triumph, Virtue Vice obey,
This ſprung ſome doubt of Providence's ſway:
His hopes no more a certain proſpect boaſt,
And all the tenour of his ſoul is loſt:
So when a ſmooth expanſe receives impreſt
Calm Nature's image on its wat'ry breaſt,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
And ſkies beneath with anſw'ring colours glow:
[Page 97] But if a ſtone the gentle ſea divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on ev'ry ſide,
And glimmering fragments of a broken ſun,
Banks, trees, and ſkies, in thick diſorder run.
To clear this doubt, to know the world by ſight,
To find if books, or ſwains, report it right;
(For yet by ſwains alone the world he knew,
Whoſe feet came wand'ring o'er the nightly dew)
He quits his cell; the pilgrim-ſtaff he bore,
And fix'd the ſcallop in his hat before;
Then with the ſun a riſing journey went,
Sedate to think, and watching each event.
The morn was waſted in the pathleſs graſs,
And long and loneſome was the wild to paſs;
But when the Southern ſun had warm'd the day,
A youth came poſting o'er a croſſing way;
His rayment decent, his complexion fair,
And ſoft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair.
Then near approaching, Father, Hail! he cry'd;
And Hail, my Son, the reverend Sire reply'd;
Words follow'd words, from queſtion anſwer flow'd,
And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road;
'Till each with other pleas'd, and loth to part,
While in their age they differ, join in heart:
Thus ſtands an aged elm in ivy bound,
Thus youthful ivy claſps an elm around.
Now ſunk the ſun; the cloſing hour of day
Came onward, mantled o'er with ſober gray;
[Page 98] Nature in ſilence bid the world repoſe:
When near the road a ſtately palace roſe:
There by the moon thro' ranks of trees they paſs,
Whoſe verdure crown'd their ſloping ſides of graſs.
It chanc'd the noble maſter of the dome
Still made his houſe the wand'ring ſtranger's home:
Yet ſtill the kindneſs, from a thirſt of praiſe,
Prov'd the vain flouriſh of expenſive eaſe.
The pair arrive: the liv'ry'd ſervants wait;
Their lord receives them at the pompous gate.
The table groans with coſtly piles of food,
And all is more than hoſpitably good.
Then led to reſs, the day's long toil they drown,
Deep ſunk in ſleep, and ſilk, and heaps of down.
At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day
Along the wide canals the Zephyrs play;
Freſh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep,
And ſhake the neighb'ring wood to baniſh ſleep.
Up riſe the gueſts, obedient to the call:
An early banquet deck'd the ſplendid hall;
Rich luſcious wine a golden goblet grac'd,
Which the kind maſter forc'd the gueſts to taſte.
Then pleas'd and thankful, from the porch they go;
And, but the landlord, none had cauſe of woe;
His cup was vaniſh'd; for in ſecret guiſe
The younger gueſt purloin'd the glitt'ring prize.
As one who ſpies a ſerpent in his way,
Gliſtning and baſking in the Summer ray,
[Page 99] Diſorder'd ſtops to ſhun the danger near,
Then walks with faintneſs on, and looks with fear:
So ſeem'd the fire; when far upon the road,
The ſhining ſpoil his wiley partner ſhow'd.
He ſtopp'd with ſilence, walk'd with trembling heart,
And much he wiſh'd, but durſt not aſk to part:
Murm'ring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard,
That generous actions meet a baſe reward.
While thus they paſs, the ſun his glory ſhrouds,
The changing ſkies hang out their ſable clouds;
A ſound in air preſag'd approaching rain,
And beaſts to covert ſcud a-croſs the plain.
Warn'd by the ſigns, the wand'ring pair retreat,
To ſeek for ſhelter at a neighb'ring ſeat.
'Twas built with turrets, on a riſing ground,
And ſtrong, and large, and unimprov'd around;
Its owner's temper, tim'rous and ſevere,
Unkind and griping, caus'd a deſert there.
As near the Miſer's heavy doors they drew,
Fierce riſing guſts with ſudden fury blew;
The nimble light'ning mix'd with ſhow'rs began,
And o'er their heads loud-rolling thunder ran.
Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain,
Driv'n by the wind, and batter'd by the rain.
At length ſome pity warm'd the maſter's breaſt,
('Twas then, his threſhold firſt receiv'd a gueſt)
Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care,
And half he welcomes in the ſhivering pair;
[Page 100] One frugal faggot lights the naked walls,
And Nature's fervor thro' their limbs recals:
Bread of the coarſeſt ſort, with eager wine,
(Each hardly granted) ſerv'd them both to dine;
And when the tempeſt firſt appear'd to ceaſe,
A ready warning bid them part in peace.
With ſtill remark the pond'ring Hermit view'd
In one ſo rich, a life ſo poor and rude;
And why ſhou'd ſuch, (within himſelf he cry'd)
Lock the loſt wealth a thouſand want beſide?
But what new marks of wonder ſoon took place,
In ev'ry ſettling feature of his face!
When from his veſt the young companion bore
That Cup, the gen'rous landlord own'd before,
And paid profuſely with the precious bowl
The ſtinted kindneſs of this churliſh ſoul.
But now the clouds in airy tumult fly,
The ſun emerging opes an azure ſky;
A freſher green the ſmelling leaves diſplay,
And glitt'ring as they tremble, cheer the day:
The weather courts them from the poor retreat,
And the glad maſter bolts the wary gate.
While hence they walk, the Pilgrim's boſom wrought
With all the travel of uncertain thought;
His partner's acts without their cauſe appear,
'Twas there a vice, and ſeem'd a madneſs here:
Deteſting that, and pitying this he goes,
Loſt and confounded with the various ſhows.
[Page 101]
Now night's dim ſhades again involve the ſky;
Again the wand'rers want a place to lye,
Again they ſearch, and find a lodging nigh.
The ſoil improv'd around, the manſion neat,
And neither poorly low, nor idly great:
It ſeem'd to ſpeak its maſter's turn of mind,
Content, and not for praiſe, but virtue kind.
Hither the walkers turn with weary feet,
Then bleſs the manſion, and the maſter greet:
Their greeting fair, beſtow'd with modeſt guiſe,
The courteous maſter hears, and thus replies:
Without a vain, without a grudging heart,
To him who gives us all, I yield a part;
From him you come, for him accept it here,
A frank and ſober, more than coſtly cheer.
He ſpoke, and bid the welcome table ſpread,
Then talk'd of virtue till the time of bed,
When the grave houſhold round his hall repair,
Warn'd by a bell, and cloſe the hours with pray'r.
At length the world renew'd by calm repoſe
Was ſtrong for toil, the dappled morn aroſe;
Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept,
Near the clos'd cradle where an infant ſlept,
And writh'd his neck: the landlord's little pride,
O ſtrange return! grew black, and gaſp'd, and dy'd.
Horror of horrors! what I his only ſon!
How look'd our Hermit when the fact was done?
[Page 102] Not hell, tho' hell's black jaws in ſunder part,
And breathe blue fire, cou'd more aſſault his heart.
Confus'd, and ſtruck with ſilence at the deed,
He flies, but trembling fails to fly with ſpeed.
His ſteps the youth purſues; the country lay
Perplex'd with roads, a ſervant ſhow'd the way:
A river croſs'd the path; the paſſage o'er
Was nice to find; the ſervant trod before;
Long arms of oaks an open bridge ſupply'd,
And deep the waves beneath the bending glide.
The youth, who ſeem'd to watch a time to ſin,
Approach'd the careleſs guide, and thruſt him in;
Plunging he falls, and riſing lifts his head,
Then flaſhing turns, and ſinks among the dead.
Wild, ſparkling rage inflames the father's eyes,
He burſts the bands of fear, and madly cries,
Deteſted wretch—but ſcarce his ſpeech began,
When the ſtrange partner ſeem'd no longer man:
His youthful face grew more ſerenely ſweet;
His robe turn'd white, and flow'd upon his feet;
Fair rounds of radiant points inveſt his hair;
Celeſtial odours breathe thro' purpled air;
And wings, whoſe colours glitter'd on the day,
Wide at his back their gradual plumes diſplay.
The form etherial burſts upon his ſight,
And moves in all the majeſty of light.
Tho' loud at firſt the pilgrim's paſſion grew,
Sudden he gaz'd, and wiſt not what to do;
[Page 103] Surprize in ſecret chains his word ſuſpends,
And in a calm his ſettling temper ends.
But ſilence here the beauteous angel broke,
(The voice of muſic raviſh'd as he ſpoke.)
Thy pray'r, thy praiſe, thy life to vice unknown,
In ſweet memorial riſe before the throne:
Theſe charms, ſucceſs in our bright region find,
And force an angel down, to calm thy mind;
For this commiſſion'd, I forſook the ſky:
Nay, ceaſe to kneel—thy fellow-ſervant I.
Then know the truth of government divine,
And let theſe ſcruples be no longer thine.
The Maker juſtly claims that world he made,
In this the right of providence is laid;
Its ſacred majeſty thro' all depends
On uſing ſecond means to work his ends:
'Tis thus, withdrawn in ſtate from human eye;
The Pow'r exerts his attributes on high,
Your actions uſes, nor controuls your will,
And bids the doubting ſons of men be ſtill.
What ſtrange events can ſtrike with more ſurprize,
Than thoſe which lately ſtrook thy wond'ring eyes?
Yet taught by theſe, confeſs th'Almighty juſt,
And where you can't unriddle, learn to truſt!
The Great, Vain Man, who far'd on coſtly food,
Whoſe life was too luxurious to be good;
Who made his iv'ry ſtands with goblets ſhine,
And forc'd his gueſts to morning draughts of Wine,
[Page 104] Has, with the Cup, the graceleſs cuſtom loſt,
And ſtill he welcomes, but with leſs of coſt.
The mean, ſuſpicious Wretch, whoſe bolted door,
Ne'er mov'd in duty to the wand'ring poor;
With him I left the cup, to teach his mind
That Heav'n can bleſs, if mortals will be kind.
Conſcious of wanting worth, he views the bowl,
And feels compaſſion touch his grateful ſoul.
Thus artiſts melt the ſullen oar of lead,
With heaping coals of fire upon its head;
In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow,
And looſe from droſs, the ſilver runs below.
Long had our pious Friend in virtue trod,
But now the child half-wean'd his heart from God;
(Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain,
And meaſur'd back his ſteps to earth again.
To what exceſſes had his dotage run?
But God, to ſave the father, took the ſon.
To all but thee, in fits he ſeem'd to go,
(And 'twas my miniſtry to deal the blow.)
The poor fond parent humbled in the duſt,
Now owns in tears the puniſhment was juſt.
But how had all his fortune felt a wrack,
Had that falſe ſervant ſped in ſafety back?
This night his treaſur'd heaps he meant to ſteal,
And what a fund of charity wou'd fail!
Thus Heav'n inſtructs thy mind: this trial o'er,
Depart in peace, reſign, and ſin no more.
[Page 105]
On ſounding pinions here the youth withdrew,
The ſage ſtood wond'ring as the Seraph flew.
Thus look'd Eliſha, when to mount on high
His maſter took the chariot of the ſky;
The fiery pomp aſcending left the view;
The prophet gaz'd, and wiſh'd to follow too.
The bending Hermit here a pray'r begun,
"Lord! as in heav'n, on earth thy will be done."
Then gladly turning, ſought his ancient place,
And paſs'd a life of piety and peace.




2.1.1. VISION I. SPECTATOR. No 460.

[Page 109]
‘Decipimur Specie Recti— HOR.

OUR defects and follies are too often unknown to us; nay, they are ſo far from being known to us, that they paſs for demonſtrations of our worth. This makes us eaſy in the midſt of them, fond to ſhew them, fond to improve in them, and to be eſteemed for them. Then it is that a thouſand unaccountable conceits, gay inventions, and extravagant actions muſt afford us pleaſures, and diſplay as to others in the colours which we ourſelves take a fancy to glory in: and indeed there is ſomething ſo amuſing for the time in this ſtate of vanity and ill-grounded ſatisfaction, that even the wiſer world has choſen an exalted word to deſcribe its enchantments, and called it THE PARADISE OF FOOLS. Perhaps the latter part of this reflection may ſeem a falſe thought to ſome, and bear another turn [Page 110] than what I have given; but it is at preſent none of my buſineſs to look after it, who am going to confeſs that I have been lately amongſt them in a viſion.

Methought I was tranſported to a hill, green, flowery, and of an eaſy aſcent. Upon the broad top of it reſided ſquint-eyed ERROR, and popular OPINION with many heads; two that dealt in ſorcery, and were famous for bewitching people with the love of themſelves. To theſe repaired a multitude from every ſide, by two different paths which lead towards each of them. Some who had the moſt aſſuming air went directly of themſelves to ERROR, without expecting a conductor; others of a ſofter nature went firſt to popular OPINION, from whence as ſhe influenced and engaged them with their own praiſes, ſhe delivered them over to his government.

When we had aſcended to an open part of the ſummit where OPINION abode, we found her entertaining ſeveral who had arrived before us. Her voice was pleaſing; ſhe breathed odours as ſhe ſpoke: ſhe ſeemed to have a tongue for every one; every one thought he heard of ſomething that was valuable in himſelf, and expected a paradiſe which ſhe promiſed as the reward of his merit. Thus we were drawn to follow her, 'till ſhe ſhould bring us where it was to be beſtowed: and it was obſervable, that all the way we went, the company was either praiſing themſelves in their qualifications, or one another for thoſe qualifications which they [Page 111] took to be conſpicuous in their own characters, or diſpraiſing others for wanting theirs, or vying in the degrees of them.

At laſt we approached a bower, at the entrance of which ERROR was ſeated. The trees were thick woven, and the place where he ſat artfully contrived to darken him a little. He was diſguiſed in a whitiſh robe, which he had put on, that he might appear to us with a nearer reſemblance to TRUTH: and as ſhe has a light whereby ſhe manifeſts the beauties of nature to the eyes of her adorers, ſo he had provided himſelf with a magical wand, that he might do ſomething in imitation of it, and pleaſe with deluſions. This he liſted ſolemnly, and muttering to himſelf, bid the glories which he kept under enchantment to appear before us. Immediately we caſt our eyes on that part of the ſky to which he pointed, and obſerved a thin blue proſpect, which cleared as mountains in a Summer morning when the miſts go off, and the palace of VANITY appeared to ſight.

The foundation hardly ſeemed a foundation, but a ſet of curling clouds, which it ſtood upon by magical contrivance. The way by which we aſcended was painted like a rainbow; and as we went the breeze that played about us bewitched the ſenſes. The walls were gilded all for ſhow; the loweſt ſet of pillars were of the ſlight fine Corinthian order, and the top of the building being rounded, bore ſo far the reſemblance of a bubble.

[Page 112] At the gate the travellers neither met with a porter, nor waited 'till one ſhould appear; every one thought his merits a ſufficient paſſport, and preſſed forward. In the hall we met with ſeveral phantoms, that rov'd amongſt us, and rang'd the company according to their ſentiments. There was decreaſing HONOUR, that had nothing to ſhew in but an old coat of his anceſtor's atchievements: there was OSTENTATION, that made himſelf his own conſtant ſubject, and GALLANTRY strutting upon his tip-toes. At the upper end of the hall ſtood a throne, whoſe canopy glitter'd with all the riches that gayety could contrive to laviſh on it; and between the gilded arms ſat VANITY deck'd in the Peacock's feathers, and acknowledged for another Venus by her votaries. The boy who ſtood beſide her for a Cupid, and who made the world to bow before her, was called SELF-CONCEIT. His eyes had every now and then a caſt inwards, to the neglect of all objects about him; and the arms which he made uſe of for conqueſt, were borrowed from thoſe againſt whom he had a deſign. The arrow which he ſhot at the ſoldier, was fledg'd from his own plume of feathers; the dart he directed againſt the man of wit, was winged from the quills he writ with; and that which he ſent againſt thoſe who preſumed upon their riches, was headed with gold out of their treaſuries: he made nets for ſtateſmen from their own contrivances; he took fire from the eyes of ladies, with which he melted their [Page 113] hearts; and lightning from the tongues of the eloquent, to enflame them with their own glories. At the foot of the throne ſat three falſe Graces. FLATTERY with a ſhell of paint, AFFECTATION with a mirrour to practiſe at, and FASHION ever changing the poſture of her cloaths. Theſe applied themſelves to ſecure the conqueſts which SELF-CONCEIT had gotten, and had each of them their particular polities. FLATTERY gave new colours and complexions to all things; AFFECTATION new airs and appearances, which, as ſhe ſaid, were not vulgar; and FASHION both concealed ſome home defects, and added ſome foreign external beauties.

As I was reflecting upon what I ſaw, I heard a voice in the crowd, bemoaning the condition of mankind, which is thus managed by the breath of OPINION, deluded by ERROR, [...]ir'd by SELF-CONCEIT, and given up to be trained in all the courſes of VANITY, 'till SCORN or POVERTY come upon us. Theſe expreſſions were no ſooner handed about, but I immediately ſaw a general diſorder, till at laſt there was a parting in one place, and a grave old man, decent and reſolute, was led forward to be puniſhed for the words he had uttered. He appeared inclined to have ſpoken in his own defence, but I could not obſerve that any one was willing to hear him. VANITY caſt a ſcornful ſmile athim; SELF-CONCEIT was angry; FLATTERY, who knew him for PLAIN-DEALING, put on a vizard, and turned away; AFFECTATION toſſed her fan, made mouths, and called [Page 114] him ENVY or SLANDER; and FASHION would have it, that at leaſt he muſt be ILL-MANNERS. Thus ſlighted and deſpiſed by all, he was driven out for abuſing people of merit and figure; and I heard it firmly reſolved, that he ſhould be uſed no better where-ever they met with him hereafter.

I had already ſeen the meaning of moſt part of that warning which he had given, and was conſidering how the latter words ſhould be fulfilled, when a mighty noiſe was heard without, and the door was blackned by a numerous train of harpies crowding in upon us. FOLLY and BROKEN CREDIT were ſeen in the houſe before they entered. TROUBLE, SHAME, INFAMY, SCORN and POVERTY brought up the rear. VANITY, with her Cupid and Graces, diſappeared; her ſubjects ran into holes and corners; but many of them were found and carried off (as I was told by one who ſtood near me) either to priſons or cellars, ſolitude, or little company, the mean arts or the viler crafts of life. But theſe, added he with a diſdainful air, are ſuch who would fondly live here, when their merits neither matched the luſtre of the place, nor their riches its expences. We have ſeen ſuch ſcenes as theſe before now; the glory you ſaw will all return when the hurry is over. I thank'd him for his information, and believing him ſo incorrigible as that he would ſtay till it was his turn to be taken, I made off to the door, and overtook ſome few, who, though they would not hearken [Page 115] to PLAIN-DEALING, were now terrified to good purpoſe by the example of others: but when they had touched the threſhold, it was a ſtrange ſhock to them to find that the deluſion of ERROR was gone, and they plainly diſcerned the building to hang a little up in the air without any real foundation. At firſt we ſaw nothing but a deſperate leap remained for us, and I a thouſand times blamed my unmeaning curioſity that had brought me into ſo much danger. But as they began to ſink lower in their own minds, methought the palace ſunk along with us; till they were arrived at the due point of ESTEEM which they ought to have for themſelves; then the part of the building in which they ſtood touched the earth, and we departing out, it retired from our eyes. Now, whether they who ſtayed in the palace were ſenſible of this deſcent, I cannot tell; it was then my opinion that they were not. However it be, my dream broke up at it, and has given me occaſion all my life to reflect upon the fatal conſequences of following the ſuggeſtions of VANITY.

2.1.2. VISION II. SPECTATOR. No 501.

[Page 116]

HOW are we tortured with the abſence of what we covet to poſſeſs, when it appears to be loſt to us! what excurſions does the ſoul make in imagination after it! and how does it turn into itſelf again, more fooliſhly fond and dejected, at the diſappointment! our grief, inſtead of having recourſe to reaſon, which might reſtrain it, ſearches to find a further nouriſhment. It calls upon memory to relate the ſeveral paſſages and circumſtances of ſatisfactions which we formerly enjoyed; the pleaſures we purchaſed by thoſe riches that are taken from us; or the power and ſplendour of our departed honours; or the voice, the words, the looks, the temper, and affections of our friends that are deceaſed. It needs muſt happen from hence, that the paſſion ſhould often ſwell to ſuch a ſize as to burſt the heart which contains it, if time did not make theſe circumſtances leſs ſtrong and lively, ſo that reaſon ſhould become a more equal match for the paſſion, or [Page 117] if another deſire which becomes more preſent did not overpower them with a livelier repreſentation. Theſe are thoughts which I had, when I fell into a kind of viſion upon this ſubject, and may therefore ſtand for a proper introduction to a relation of it.

I found myſelf upon a naked ſhore, with company whoſe afflicted countenances witneſſed their conditions. Before us flowed a water deep, ſilent, and called the river of TEARS, which iſſuing from two fountains on an upper ground, encompaſſed an iſland that lay before us. The boat which plied in it was old and ſhatter'd, having been ſometimes overſet by the impatience and haſte of ſingle paſſengers to arrive at the other ſide. This immediately was brought to us by MISFORTUNE who ſteers it, and we were all preparing to take our places, when there appeared a woman of a mild and compoſed behaviour, who began to deter us from it, by repreſenting the dangers which would attend our voyage. Hereupon ſome who knew her for PATIENCE, and ſome of thoſe too who 'till then cry'd the loudeſt, were perſuaded by her, and return'd back. The reſt of us went in, and ſhe (whoſe good-nature would not ſuffer her to forſake perſons in trouble) deſired leave to accompany us, that ſhe might at leaſt adminiſter ſome ſmall comfort or advice while we ſailed. We were no ſooner embarked but the boat was puſhed off, the ſheet was ſpread; and being filled with ſighs, which are the winds of that country, we made a paſſage to the farther [Page 118] bank thro' ſeveral difficulties of which t of us ſeem'd utterly regardleſs.

When we landed, we perceived the iſland to be ſtrangely over-caſt with fogs, which no brightneſs could pierce, ſo that a kind of gloomy horror ſat always brooding over it. This had ſomething in it very ſhocking to eaſy tempers, inſomuch that ſome others, whom PATIENCE had by this time gain'd over, left us here, and privily convey'd themſelves round the verge of the iſland to find a ford by which ſhe told them they might eſcape.

For my part, I ſtill went along with thoſe who were for piercing into the centre of the place; and joining ourſelves to others whom we found upon the ſame journey, we marched ſolemnly as at a funeral, thro' bordering hedges of roſemary, and thro' a grove of yew-trees, which love to over-ſhadow tombs and flouriſh in church-yards. Here we heard on every ſide the wailings and complaints of ſeveral of the inhabitants, who had caſt themſelves diſconſolately at the feet of trees; and as we chanc'd to approach any of theſe, we might perceive them wringing their hands, beating their breaſts, tearing their hair, or after ſome other manner viſibly agitated with vexation. Our ſorrows were heightened by the influence of what we heard and ſaw, and one of our number was wrought up to ſuch a pitch of wildneſs, as to talk of hanging himſelf upon a bough which ſhot temptingly a-croſs the path we travelled in; [Page 119] but he was reſtrain'd from it by the kind endeavours of our above-mentioned companion.

We had now gotten into the moſt duſky ſilent part of the iſland, and by the redoubled ſounds of ſighs, which made a doleful whiſtling in the branches, the thickneſs of air which occaſioned faintiſh reſpiration, and the violent throbbings of heart which more and more affected us, we found that we approach'd the GROTTO OF GRIEF. It was a wide, hollow, and melancholy cave, ſunk deep in a dale, and watered by rivulets that had a colour between red and black. Theſe crept ſlow, and half congealed amongſt its windings, and mixed their heavy murmur with the echo of groans that rolled thro' all the paſſages. In the moſt retired part of it ſat the DOLEFUL BEING herſelf; the path to her was ſtrewed with goads, ſtings, and thorns; and the throne on which ſhe ſat was broken into a rock with ragged pieces pointing upwards for her to lean upon. A heavy miſt hung above her, her head oppreſſed with it reclined upon her arm: thus did ſhe reign over her diſconſolate ſubjects, full of herſelf to ſtupidity, in eternal penſiveneſs, and the profoundeſt ſilence. On one ſide of her ſtood DEJECTION juſt dropping into a ſwoon, and PALENESS waſting to a ſkeleton; on the other ſide were CARE inwardly tormented with imaginations, and ANGUISH ſuffering outward TROUBLES to ſuck the blood from her heart in the ſhape of VULTURES. The whole vault had a genuine diſmalneſs in [Page 120] it, which a few ſcattered lamps, whoſe blueiſh flames aroſe and ſunk in their urns, diſcovered to our eyes with encreaſe. Some of us fell down, overcome and ſpent with what they ſuffer'd in the way, and were given over to thoſe tormenters that ſtood on either hand of the preſence; others, galled and mortified with pain, recover'd the entrance, where PATIENCE, whom we had left behind, was ſtill waiting to receive us.

With her (whoſe company was now become more grateful to us by the want we had found of her) we winded round the grotto, and aſcended at the back of it, out of the mournful dale in whoſe bottom it lay. On this eminence we halted, by her advice, to pant for breath; and liſting our eyes, which till then were fixed downwards, felt a ſullen ſort of ſatisfaction, in obſerving thro' the ſhades what numbers had entered the iſland. This ſatisfaction, which appears to have ill-nature in it, was excuſable, becauſe it happened at a time when we were too much taken up with our own concern, to have reſpect to that of others; and therefore we did not conſider them as ſuffering, but ourſelves as not ſuffering in the moſt forlorn eſtate. It had alſo the groundwork of humanity and compaſſion in it, though the mind was then too deeply engaged to perceive it; but as we proceeded onwards it began to diſcover itſelf, and from obſerving that others were unhappy, we came to queſtion one another, when it was that we met, and what were the ſad occaſions that [Page 121] brought us together. Then we heard our ſtories, we compared them, we mutually gave and received pity, and ſo by degrees became tolerable company.

A conſiderable part of the troubleſome road was thus deceived; at length the openings among the trees grew larger, the air ſeemed thinner, it lay with leſs oppreſſion upon us, and we could now and then diſcern tracts in it of a lighter greyneſs, like the breakings of day, ſhort in duration, much enlivening, and called in that country GLEAMS OF AMUSEMENT. Within a ſhort while theſe gleams began to appear more frequent, and then brighter and of a longer continuance; the SIGHS that hitherto filled the air with ſo much dolefulneſs, altered to the ſound of common breezes, and in general the horrors of the iſland were abated.

When we had arrived at laſt at the ford by which we were to paſs out, we met with thoſe faſhionable mourners who had been ferried over along with us, and who being unwilling to go as far as we, had coaſted by the ſhore, to find the place, where they waited our coming; that by ſhewing themſelves to the world only at that time when we did, they might ſeem alſo to have been among the troubles of the grotto. Here the waters, that rolled on the other ſide ſo deep and ſilent, were much dried up, and it was an eaſter matter for us to wade over.

The river being croſſed, we were received upon the further bank by our friends and acquaintance, whom [Page 122] COMFORT had brought out to congratulate our appearance in the world again. Some of theſe blamed us for ſtaying ſo long away from them, others adviſed us againſt all temptations of going back again; every one was cautious not to renew our trouble, by aſking any particulars of the journey; and all concluded, that in a caſe of ſo much affliction, we could not have made choice of a fitter companion than PATIENCE. Here PATIENCE, appearing ſerene at her praiſes, delivered us over to COMFORT. COMFORT ſmiled at his receiving the charge; immediately the ſky purpledon that ſide to which he turned, and double day at once broke in upon me.


[Page 123]
Quid mentem traxiſſe polo, quid profuit altum
Erexiſſe caput? pecudum ſi more pererrant.

I Was conſidering laſt night, when I could not ſleep, how noble a part of the creation Man was deſign'd to be, and how diſtinguiſhed in all his actions above other earthly creatures. From whence I fell to take a view of the change and corruption which he has introduced into his own condition, the groveling appetites, the mean characters of ſenſe, and wild courſes of paſſions, that caſt him from the degree in which Providence had placed him, the debaſing himſelf with qualifications not his own, and his degenerating into a lower ſphere of action. This inſpired me with a mixture of contempt and anger; which, however, was not ſo violent as to hinder the return of ſleep, but grew confuſed as that came upon me, and made me end my [Page 124] reflections with giving mankind the opprobrious names of inconſiderate, mad and fooliſh.

Here methought, where my waking reaſon left the ſubject, my fancy purſued it in a dream; and I imagined myſelf in a loud ſoliloquy of paſſion, railing at my ſpecies, and walking hard to get rid of the company I deſpiſed; when two men who had over-heard me made up on either hand. Theſe I obſerved had many features in common, which might occaſion the miſtake of the one for the other in thoſe to whom they appear ſingle, but I, who ſaw them together, could eaſily perceive, that tho' there was an air of ſeverity in each, it was tempered with a natural ſweetneſs in the one, and by turns conſtrained or tuſſled by the deſigns of malice in the other.

I was at a loſs to know the reaſon of their joining me ſo briſkly, when he whoſe appearance diſpleaſed me moſt, thus addreſſed his companion. Pray, brother, let him alone, and we ſhall immediately ſee him tranſformed into a Tyger. This ſtruck me with horror, which the other perceived, and pitying my diſorder, bid me be of good courage, for tho' I had been ſavage in my treatment of mankind, (whom I ſhould rather reform than rail againſt) he would, however, endeavour to reſcue me from my danger. At this I looked a little more chearful, and while I teſtified my reſignation to him, ve ſaw the angry brother ſling away from us in a paſſion for his diſappointment. Being now left to my [Page 125] friend, I went back with him at his deſire, that might know the meaning of thoſe words which ſo affrightted me.

As we went along, to inform you, ſays he, with whom you have this adventure, my name is REPROOF and his REPROACH, both born of the ſame mother, but of different fathers. TRUTH is our common parent. FRIENDSHIP. who ſaw her, fell in love with her, and ſhe being pleaſed with him, he begat me upon her; but a while after ENMITY lying in ambuſh for her, became the father of him whom you ſaw along with me. The temper of our mother enclines us to the fame ſort of buſineſs, the informing mankind of their faults; but the differing complexions of our fathers make us differ in our deſigns and company. I have a natural benevolence in my mind which engages me with friends, and he a natural impetuoſity in his, which caſts him among enemies.

As he thus diſcourſed he came to a place where there were three entrances into as many ſeveral walks, which lay beſide one another. We paſſed into the middlemoſt, a plain, ſtrait, regular walk, ſet with trees, which added to the beauty of the place, but did not ſo cloſe their boughs over head as to exclude the light from it. Here as we walked I was made to obſerve, how the road on one hand was full of rocks and precipices, over which REPROACH (who had already gotten thither) was furiouſly driving unhappy wretches; the other ſide [Page 126] was all laid out in gardens of gaudy tulips, amongſt whoſe leaves the ſerpents wreath'd, and at the end of every graſſy walk the enchantreſs FLATTERY was weaving bowers to lull ſouls aſleep in. We continued ſtill walking on the middle way, 'till we arrived in a building in which it terminated. This was formerly erected by TRUTH for a watch tower, from whence ſhe took a view of the earth, and, as ſhe ſaw occaſion, ſent out REPROOF, or even REPROACH, for our reformation. Over the door I took notice that a face was carved with a heart upon the lips of it, and preſently call'd to mind that this was the ancients emblem of SINCERITY. In the entrance I met with FREEDOM OF SPEECH and COMPLAISANCE, who had for a long time looked upon one another as enemies; but REPROOF has ſo happily brought them together, that they now act as friends and fellow-agents in the ſame family. Before I aſcended up the ſtairs, I had my eyes purified by a water which made me ſee extremely clear, and I think they ſaid it ſprung in a pit, from whence (as Democritus had reported) they formerly brought up TRUTH, who had hid herſelf in it. I was then admitted to the upper chamber of proſpect, which was called THE KNOWLEDGE OF MANKIND; here the window was no ſooner opened but I perceived the clouds to roll off and part before me, and a ſcene of all the variety of the world preſented itſelf.

But how different was mankind in this view, from [Page 127] what it uſed to appear! methought the very ſhape of moſt of them was loſt; ſome had the heads of Dogs, others of Apes or Parrots, and in ſhort, where-ever any one took upon him the inferior and unworthy qualities of other creatures, the change of his ſoul became viſible in his countenance. The ſtrutting pride of him who is endued with brutality inſtead of courage, made his face ſhoot out in the form of a Horſe's; his eyes became prominent, his noſtrils widened, and his wig untying flowed down on one ſide of his neck in a waving mane. The talkativeneſs of thoſe who love the ill-nature of converſation made them turn into aſſemblies of Geeſe, their lips hardened into bills by eternal uſing, they gabbled for diverſion, they hiſs'd in ſcandal, and their ruffles falling back on their arms, a ſucceſſion of little feathers appeared, which formed wings for them to flutter with from one viſit to another. The envious and malicious lay on the ground with the heads of different ſorts of Serpents, and not endeavouring to erect themſelves, but meditating miſchief to others, they ſuck'd the poiſon of the earth, ſharpened their tongues to ſtings upon the ſtones, and rolled their trains unperceivably beneath their habits. The hypocritical oppreſſors wore the faces of Crocodiles, their mouths were inſtruments of cruelty, their eyes of deceit; they committed wickedneſs, and bemoaned that there ſhould be ſo much of it in the world; they devoured the unwary, and wept over the remains of them. [Page 128] The covetous had ſo hook'd and worn their fingers by counting intereſt upon intereſt, that they converted to the claws of Harpies, and theſe they ſtill were ſtretching out for more, yet ſeem'd unſatisfied with their acquiſitions. The ſharpers had the looks of Camelions; they every minute changed their appearance, and fed on ſwarms of Flies which fell as ſo many Collies amongſt them. The bully ſeemed a dunghil Cock, he creſted well, and bore his comb aloft; he was beaten by almoſt every one, yet ſtill ſung for triumph; and only the mean coward prick'd up the ears of a Hare to fly before him. Critics were turned into Cats, whoſe pleaſure and grumbling go together. Fopes were Apes in embroidered jackets. Flatterers were curled Spaniels, ſawning and crouching. The crafty had the face of a Fox, the ſlothful of an Aſs, the cruel of a Wolf, the ill-bred of a bear, the leachers were Goats, and the gluttons Swine. Drunkenneſs was the only vice that did not change the face of its profeſſors into that of another creature; but this I took to be far from a privilege, for theſe two reaſons; becauſe it ſufficiently deforms them of itſelf, and becauſe none of the lower ranks of beings is guilty of ſo fooliſh an intemperance.

As I was taking a view of theſe repreſentations of things, without any more order than is uſual in a dream, or in the confuſion of the world itſelf, I perceived a concern within me for what I ſaw; my eyes [Page 129] began to moiſten, and as if the virtue of that water with which they were purified was loſt for a time, by their being touched with that which aroſe from a paſſion, the clouds immediately began to gather again, and cloſe from either hand upon the proſpect I then turned towards my guide, who addreſſed himſelf to me after this manner. You have ſeen the condition of mankind when it deſcends from its dignity; now therefore guard yourſelf from that degeneracy by a modeſt greatneſs of ſpirit on one ſide, and a conſcious ſhame on the other. Endeavour alſo with a generoſity of goodneſs to make your friends aware of it; let them know what defects you perceive are growing upon them; handle the matter as you ſee reaſon, either with the airs of ſevere or humourous affection; ſometimes plainly deſcribing the degeneracy in its full proper colours, or at other times letting them know that if they proceed as they have begun, you give them to ſuch a day or ſo many months to turn Bears, Wolves, or Foxes, &c. Neither neglect your more remote acquaintance, where you ſee any worthy and ſuſceptible of admonition; expoſe the beaſts whoſe qualities you ſee them putting on, where you have no mind to engage with their perſons. The poſſibility of their applying this is very obvious: the Egyptians ſaw it ſo clearly, that they made the pictures of animals explain their minds to one another inſtead of writing; and [Page 130] indeed it is hardly to be miſſed, ſince Aeſop took them out of their mute condition, and taught them to ſpeak for themſelves with relation to the actions of mankind.

2.1.4. VISION IV. GUARDIAN. No 66.

[Page 131]

THERE is a ſett of mankind, who are wholly employed in the ill-natured office of gathering up a collection of ſtories that leſſen the reputation of others, and ſpreading them abroad with a certain air of ſatisfaction. Perhaps, indeed, an innocent and unmeaning curioſity, a deſire of being informed concerning thoſe we live with, or a willingneſs to proſit by reflection upon the actions of others, may ſometimes afford an excuſe, or ſometimes a defence, for inquiſitiveneſs; but certainly it is beyond all excuſe, a tranſgreſſion againſt humanity, to carry the matter further, to tear off the dreſſings, as I may ſay, from the wounds of a friend, and expoſe them to the air in cruel fits of diverſion; and yet we have ſomething more to bemoan, an outrage of an higher nature, which mankind is guilty of when they are not content to ſpread the ſtories of folly, frailty and vice, but even enlarge them, or invent new ones, and blacken characters that we may appear ridiculous, [Page 132] or hateful to one another. From ſuch practices as theſe it happens, that ſome feel a ſorrow, and others are agitated with a ſpirit of revenge; that ſcandals or lies are told, becauſe another has told ſuch before; that reſentments and quarrels ariſe, and injuries are given, received, and multiplied, in a ſcene of vengeance.

All this I have often obſerved with abundance of concern; and having a perfect deſire to further the happineſs of mankind, I lately ſet myſelf to conſider the cauſes from whence ſuch evils ariſe, and the remedies which may be applied. Whereupon I ſhut my eyes to prevent diſtraction from outward objects, and a while after ſhot away, upon an impulſe of thought, into the WORLD OF IDEAS, where abſtracted qualities became viſible in ſuch appearances as wer agreeable to each of their natures.

That part of the country, where I happened to light, was the moſt noiſy that I had ever known. The winds whiſtled, the leaves ruſtled, the brooks rumbled, the birds chatter'd, the tongues of men were heard, and the echo mingled ſomething of every ſound in its repetition, ſo that there was a ſtrange confuſion and uproar of ſounds about me. At length, as the noiſe ſtill encreaſed, I could diſcern a man habited like a herald (and as I afterwards underſtood) called NOVELTY, that came forward proclaiming a ſolemn day to be kept at the houſe of COMMON FAME. Immediately behind him [Page 133] advanced three nymphs, who had moſtrous appearances. The firſt of theſe was CURIOSITY, habited like a virgin, and having an hundred ears upon her head to ſerve in her inquiries. The ſecond of theſe was TALKATIVENESS, a little better grown, ſhe ſeemed to be like a young wife, and had an hundred tongues to ſpread her ſtories. The third was CENSORIOUSNESS, habited like a widow, and ſurrounded with an hundred ſquinting eyes of a malignant influence, which ſo obliquely darted on all around, that it was impoſſible to ſay which of them had brought in the informations ſhe boaſted of. Theſe, as I was informed, had been very inſtrumental in preſerving and rearing COMMON FAME, when upon her birth-day ſhe was ſhuffled into a crowd, to eſcape the ſearch which TRUTH might have made after her and her parents. CURIOSITY found here there, TALKATIVENESS convey'd her away, and CENSORIOUSNESS ſo nurſed her up, that in a ſhort time ſhe grew to a prodigious ſize, and obtained an empire over the univerſe; wherefore the POWER, in gratitude for theſe ſervices, has ſince advanced them to her higheſt employments. The next who came forward in this proceſſion was a light damſel, called CREDULITY, who carried behind them the lamp, the ſilver veſſel with a ſpout, and other inſtruments proper for this ſolemn occaſion. She had formerly ſeen theſe three together, and conjecturing from the number of their ears, tongues and eyes, that they might be the [Page 134] proper Genii of ATTENTION, FAMILIAR CONVERSE, and OCULAR DEMONSTRATION, ſhe from that time gave herſelf up to attend them. The laſt who followed were ſome who had cloſely muffled themſelves in upper garments, ſo that I could not diſcern who they were; but juſt as the ſoremoſt of them was come up, I am glad, ſays ſhe, calling me by my name, to meet you at this time, ſtay cloſe by me, and take a ſtrict obſervation of all that paſſes. Her voice was ſweet and commanding, I thought I had ſomewhere heard it; and from her, as I went along, I learned the meaning of every thing which offered.

We now marched forward thro' the ROOKERY OF RUMOURS, which flew thick and with a terrible din all around us. At length we arrived at the houſe of COMMON FAME, where a hecatomb of REPUTATIONS was that day to fall for her pleaſure. The houſe ſtood upon an eminence, having a thouſand paſſages to it, and a thouſand whiſpering holes for the conveyance of found. The hall we entered was formed with the art of a muſic chamber for the improvement of noiſes. REST and SILENCE are baniſhed the place. STORIES of different natures wander in light flocks all about, ſometimes truths and lies, or ſometimes lies themſelves claſhing againſt one another. In the middle ſtood a table painted after the manner of the remoteſt Aſiatic countries, upon which the lamp, the ſilver veſſel, and cups of a white earth, were planted in order. Then [Page 135] dried herbs were brought, collected for the ſolemnity in moon-ſhine, and water being put to them, there was a greeniſh liquor made, to which they added the flower of milk, and an extraction from the canes of America, for performing a libation to the infernal POWERS OF MISCHIEF. After this, CURIOSITY, retiring to a withdrawing-room, brought forth the VICTIMS, being to appearance a ſett of ſmall waxen images, which ſhe laid upon the table one after another. Immediately TALKATIVENESS gave each of them the name of ſome one, whom for the time they were to repreſent; and CENSORIOUSNESS ſtuck them all about with black pins, ſtill pronouncing at every one ſhe ſtuck, ſomething to the prejudice of the perſons repreſented. No ſooner were theſe rites performed, and incantations uttered, but the ſound of a ſpeaking trumpet was heard in the air, by which they knew the Deity of the place was propitiated and aſſiſting. Upon this the ſky grew darker, a ſtorm aroſe, and murmurs, ſighs, groans, cries, and the words of grief or reſentment were heard within it. Thus the three Sorcereſſes diſcovered, that they, whoſe names they had given to the images, were already affected with what was done to them in eſſigy. The knowledge of this was received with the loudeſt laughter, and in many congratulatory words they applauded one another's wit and power.

As matters were at this high point of diſorder, the [Page 136] muffled lady, whom I attended on, being no longer able to endure ſuch barbarous proceedings, threw off her upper garment of RESERVE, and appeared to be TRUTH. As ſoon as ſhe had confeſſed herſelf preſent, the ſpeaking trumpet ceas'd to ſound, the ſky cleared up, the ſtorm abated, the noiſes which were heard in it ended, the laughter of the company was over, and a ſerene light, till then unknown to the place, was diffuſed around it. At this the detected Sorcereſſes endeavoured to eſcape in a cloud which I ſaw began to thicken about them, but it was ſoon diſperſed, their charms being controuled and prevailed over by the ſuperior Divinity. For my part I was exceedingly glad to ſee it ſo, and began to conſider what puniſhments ſhe would inflict upon them. I fancied it would be proper to cut off CURIOSITY'S ears, and ſix them to the eaves of the houſes, to nail the tongue of TALKATIVENESS to Indian tables, and to put out the eyes of CENSORIOUSNESS with a flaſh of her light. In reſpect of CREDULITY I had indeed ſome little pity, and had I been judge, ſhe might, perhaps, have eſcaped with a hearty reproof.

But I ſoon found that the diſcerning Judge had other deſigns, ſhe knew, them for ſuch as will not be deſtroyed entirely while mankind is in being, and yet ought to have a brand and puniſhment affixed to them that they may be avoided. Wherefore ſhe took a ſeat for judgment, and had the Criminals brought forward [Page 137] by SHAME ever bluſhing, and TROUBLE with a whip of many laſhes, two phantoms who had dogged the Proceſſion in diſguiſe, and waited till they had an authority from TRUTH to lay hands upon them. Immediately then ſhe ordered CURIOSITY and TALKATIVENEES to be fettered together, that the one ſhould never ſuffer the other to reſt, nor the other ever let her remain undiſcovered. Light CREDULITY ſhe linkt to SHAME at the tormenter's own requeſt, who was pleaſed to be thus ſecure that her priſoner ſhould not eſcape; and this was done partly for her puniſhment, and partly for her amendment. CENSORIOUSNESS was alſo in like manner begged by TROUBLE, and had her aſſign'd for an eternal companion. After they were thus chain'd with one another, by the judge's order, ſhe drove them from the preſence to wander for ever thro' the world, with NOVELTY ſtalking before them.

The cauſe being now over, ſhe retreated from ſight within the ſplendor of her own glory, which leaving the houſe it had brightned, the ſounds that were proper to the place began to be as loud and conſuſed as when we entered, and there being no longer a clear diſtinguiſhed appearance of any objects repreſented to me, I returned from the excurſion I had made in fancy.

2.1.5. VISION V.

[Page 138]

WHATEVER induſtry and eagerneſs the modern diſcoverers have ſhewn for the knowledge of new countries, there yet remains an ample field in the creation to which they are utter ſtrangers, and which all the methods of travelling hitherto invented, will never bring them acquainted with. Of this I can give a very particular inſtance in an accident which lately happened to me.

As I was on the 6th of this inſtant, being February 1715, walking with my eyes caſt upward, I fell into a reflection on the vaſt tracts of air which appear'd before me as uninhabited. And wherefore, ſaid I to myſelf, ſhou'd all this ſpace be created? can it only be for an odd bird to fly through, as now and then a man may paſs a deſart? Or are there alſo kingdoms with their particular polities and people of a ſpecies which we know nothing of, ordain'd to live in it?

It was in this manner I continued my thought, when my feet forſook the level, and I was inſenſibly mounted in the air, till I arriv'd at a footing as firm [Page 139] and level as what I had left. But with what ſurprize did I find myſelf among creatures diſtinct from us in ſhape and cuſtoms?

The inhabitants are of a ſmall ſtature, below thoſe which hiſtory deſcribes for Pigmies. The talleſt of them exceed not fourteen or fifteen inches, and the leaſt are hardly three. This difference proceeds only from their growth before they are brought to light; for after we never obſerve them to grow, unleſs it pleaſe their parents, who have this uncommon method of enabling them: they recall them to the womb, where having been for ſome time, they receive an addition to their bulk, then go back to their houſes, and continue at a ſtand as they did before. The experiment has been often try'd with ſucceſs, but ſome have ſuffered extremely by undergoing it.

Their ſkins are like the ancient Britain, all drawn over with a variety of figures. The colour made uſe of for this end, is generally black. I have indeed obſerved in ſome of the religious, and lawyers of the country, red here and there intermingled, tho' not ſo commonly of late. They tell me too, they often us'd to paint with all colours; and I viſited two or three of the old inhabitants, who were adorn'd in that faſhion: but this is now diſuſed, ſince the new inventions, by which the uſe of a black fountain that belongs to that country, is render'd more uſeful and ſerviceable.

The Cloaths in which they go clad, are the ſkins [Page 140] of beaſts; worn by ſome plain, by others with figure: wrought upon them. Gold is alſo made uſe of by ſome, to beautify their apparel; but very ſeldom ſilver, unleſs, as buckles are by us, for faſtening the garment before. I have ſeen ſome of them go like ſeamen in thin blue ſhirts, others like Indians in a party-colour'd looſe kind of apparel, and others who they told me were the Politicians of the country, go about ſtark naked.

The manner of dreſſing them is this: at firſt when they come into the world, they have a ſuit given them, which if it do not fit exactly, is not, as with us, fitted up again, but the children are in a cruel manner cut and ſqueez'd to bring them to its proportion. Yet this they ſeem not much to regard, provided their principal parts are not affected. When the dreſs is thus ſettled on them, they are clad for life, it being ſeldom their cuſtom to alter it, or put it off: in ſhort, they live in it night and day, and wear it to rags rather than part with it, being ſure of the ſame torture, and a greater danger if they ſhould be dreſs'd a ſecond time. I have further taken notice, that they delight to go open breaſted, moſt of them ſhewing their boſoms ſpeckled. Some Lawyers indeed wear them quite white, perhaps for diſtinction ſake, or to be known at a diſtance. But the fineſt ſhew is among the beaux and ladies, who mightily affect ſomething of gold, both before and behind them.

Food I never ſaw them eat; they being a people, [Page 141] who, as I obſerved, live in air: their houſes are all ſingle and high, having no back rooms, but frequently ſeven or eight ſtories, which are all ſeparate houſes above one another. They have one gate to their city, and generally no doors to their houſes; tho' I have ſometimes ſeen them have particular doors, and even made of glaſs, where the inhabitants have been obſerv'd to ſtand many days, that their fine apparel may be ſeen thro' them. If at any time they lie down, which they do when they come from their habitations (as if coming abroad were their greateſt fatigue) they will lie together in heaps without receiving hurt: though the ſoundeſt ſleep they get, is when they can have duſt enough to cover them over.

The females amongſt them are but few, nothing being there produced by a marriage of ſexes. The males are of a different ſtrength or endowment of parts, ſome having knowledge in an extream degree, and others none at all; yet at the ſame time, they are mighty pretenders to inſtruct others. Their Names, (for as many as wou'd diſcover them to me) I obſerv'd to be the very ſame as ours are upon earth; I met a few who made theirs a myſtery, but why, I am yet to learn. They are ſo communicative, that they will tell all the knowledge they boaſt, if a ſtranger apply himſelf to their converſation: and this may be worth his while, if he conſiders that all languages, arts, and ſciences, are profeſt amongſt them. I think I may ſay it without [Page 142] vanity, that I knew a certain Taliſman, with proper figures and characters inſcrib'd, whereby their greateſt people may be charm'd, brought to reſide with a man, and ſerve him like a familiar in the conduct of life.

There is no ſuch thing as fighting amongſt them, but their controverſies are determin'd by words, wherein they ſeldom own themſelves conquer'd, yet proceed no further than two or three replies: perhaps indeed two others take up their neighbour's quarrel, but then they deſiſt too after the ſame manner; ſometimes however, blows have enſu'd upon their account, though not amongſt them: in ſuch a caſe they have deſcended to inſpire mankind with their ſentiments, and choſen champions from among us, in order to decide it.

The time of their life is very different, ſome die as ſoon as born, and others in their youth; ſome get a new leaſe of life by their entring into the womb again, and if any weather it out to a hundred years, they generally live on to an extreme age. After which it is remarkable, that inſtead of growing weaker as we do, by time, they increaſe in ſtrength, and become at laſt ſo confirm'd in health, that it is the opinion of their country, they never can periſh while the world remains.

The ſickneſſes which may take them of, beſides what happens from their natural weakneſs of body, are of different ſorts. One is over-moiſture, which affecting their manſions; makes them loſe their complexions, [Page 143] become deform'd, and rot away inſenſibly: this is often obviated by their not keeping too much within doors. Another is the Worms, which prey upon their bowels: if they be maimed by accidents, they become like us, ſo far uſeleſs; and that maim will ſome time or other be the occaſion of their ruin. However, they periſh by theſe means only in appearance, and like ſpirits, who vaniſh in one place, to be ſeen in another. But as men die of paſſions, ſo Diſeſteem is what the moſt nearly touches them; then they withdraw into holes and corners, and conſume away in darkneſs. Or if they are kept alive a few days by the force of Spices, it is but a ſhort reprieve from their periſhing to eternity; without any honour, but that inſtead of a burial, a ſmall pyre of Paſt ſhould be erected over them, while they, like the antient Romans, are reduc'd to aſhes.1



2.2.1. PREFACE.


HAVING ſome time ago heard, that the Tranſlation of HOMER'S ILIAD would be attempted, I reſolv'd to confer with the gentleman who undertook it. I found him of a tall preſence, and thoughtful countenance, with his hands folded, his eyes fix'd, and his beard untrimm'd. This I took to be a good omen, becauſe he thus reſembled the Conſtantinopolitan ſtatue of Homer which Cedrenus deſcribes; and ſurely nothing cou'd have been liker, had he but arriv'd at the character of age and blindneſs. As my buſineſs was to be my introduction, I told him how much I was acquainted with the ſecret hiſtory of Homer; that no one better knows his own horſe, than I do the camel of Bactria, in which his ſoul reſided at the time of the Trojan wars; that my acquaintance continued with him, as he appear'd in the perſon of the Grecian poet; that I knew him in his next tranſmigration into a peacock; was pleas'd with his return to manhood, under the name of Ennius at Rome; and more pleas'd to hear he wou'd ſoon revive under another name, with all his full luſtre, in England. This particular knowledge, added I, which ſprung from the love I bear him, has made me fond of a converſation with you, in order to the ſucceſs of your tranſlation.

The civil manner in which he received my propoſal encouraging me to proceed, I told him, there were arts of ſucceſs, as well as merits to obtain it; and that he, who now dealt in Greek, ſhould not only ſatisfy himſelf with being a good Grecian, but alſo contrive to haſten into the repute of it. He might therefore write in the title-page, TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL GREEK, and ſelect a motto for his purpoſe out of the ſame language. He might obtain a copy of verſes written in it to prefix to the work; and not call the titles of each book, the firſt, and ſecond, but ILIAD ALPHA, and BETA. He might retain ſome names which the world is leaſt acquainted with, as his old tranſlator Chapman uſes Ephaiſtus [Page 148] inſtead of Vulcan, Baratrum for Hell; and if the notes were filled with Greek verſes, it wou'd more increaſe the wonder of many readers. Thus I went on; when he told me ſmiling, I had ſhewn him indeed a ſet of arts very different from merit, for which reaſon, he thought, he ought not to depend upon them. A ſucceſs, ſays he, founded on the ignorance of others, may bring a temporary advantage, but neither a conſcious ſatisfaction, nor future fame to the author. Men of ſenſe deſpiſe the affectation which they eaſily ſee through, and even they who were dazzled with it at firſt, are no ſooner inform'd of its being an affectation, but they imagine it alſo a veil to cover imperfection.

The next point I ventur'd to ſpeak on, was the ſort of poetry he intended to uſe; how ſome may fancy, a poet of the greateſt fire would be imitated better in the freedom of blank verſe, and the deſcription of war ſounds more pompous out of rhime. But, will the tranſlation, ſaid he, be thus remov'd enough from proſe, without greater inconveniences? what tranſpoſitions is Milton forc'd to, as an equivalent for want of rhime, in the poetry of a language which depends upon a natural order of words? And even this would not have done his buſineſs, had he not given the fulleſt ſcope to his genius, by chuſing a ſubject upon which there could be no hyperboles. We ſee (however he be deſervedly ſucceſsful) that the ridicule of his manner ſucceeds better than the imitation of it; becauſe tranſpoſitions, which are unnatural to a language, are to be fairly derided, if they ruin it by being frequently introduced; and becauſe hyperboles, which outrage every leſſer ſubject where they are ſeriouſly us'd, are often beautiful in ridicule. Let the French, whoſe language is not copious, tranſlate in proſe; but ours, which exceeds it in copiouſneſs of words, may have a more frequent likeneſs of ſounds, to make the uniſon or rhime eaſier; a grace of muſic, that atones for the harſhneſs our conſonants and monoſyllables occaſion.

After this, I demanded what air he would appear with? whether antiquated, like Chapman's Verſion, or modern, like [Page 149] La Motte's Contraction. To which he anſwer'd, by deſiring me to obſerve what a painter does who would always have his pieces in faſhion. He neither chuſes to draw a beauty in a ruff, or a French-head; but with its neck uncover'd, and in its natural ornament of hair curl'd up, or ſpread becomingly ſo may a writer chuſe a natural manner of expreſſing himſelf which will always be in faſhion, without affecting to borrow an odd ſolemnity and unintelligible pomp from the paſt times, or humouring the preſent by falling into its affectations, and thoſe phraſes which are born to die with it.

I aſk'd him, laſtly, whether he would be ſtrictly literal, or expatiate with further licences? I would not be literal, replies he, or ty'd up to line for line in ſuch a manner wherein it is impoſſible to expreſs in one language what has been deliver'd in another. Neither wou'd I ſo expatiate, as to alter my Author's ſentiments, or add others of my own. Theſe errors are to be avoided on either hand, by adhering not only to the word, but the ſpirit and genius of an author; by conſidering what he means, with what beautiful manner he has expreſs'd his meaning in his own tongue, and how he wou'd have expreſs'd himſelf, had it been in ours. Thus we ought to ſeek for Homer in a verſion of Homer: other attempts are but transformations of him; ſuch as Ovid tells us, where the name is retain'd, and the thing alter'd: this will be really what you mention'd in the compliment you began with, a tranſmigration of the Poet from one country into another.

Here ended the ſerious part of our conference. All I remember further was, that having aſk'd him, what he deſign'd with all thoſe editions and comments I obſerv'd in his room he made anſwer, that if any one, who had a mind to find fault with his performance, wou'd but ſtay 'till it was entirely finiſh'd, he ſhou'd have a very cheap bargain of them.

Since this diſcourſe, I have often reſolv'd to try what it was to tranſlate in the ſpirit of a writer, and at laſt, choſe THE BATTLE OF THE FROGS AND MICE, which is aſcrib'd to Homer; and bears a nearer reſemblance, to his Iliad, than [Page 150] the Culex does to the Acneid of Virgil. Statius and others think it a work of youth, written as a prelude to his greater poems. Chapman thinks it the work of his age, after he found men ungrateful; to ſhew he cou'd give ſtrength, lineage and fame as he pleas'd, and praiſe a Mouſe as well as a Man. Thus, ſays he, the Poet profeſſedly flung up the world, and apply'd himſelf at laſt to hymns. Now, tho' this reaſon of his may be nothing more than a ſcheme form'd out of the order in which Homer's works are printed, yet does the conjecture that this poem was written after the Iliad, appear probable, becauſe of its frequent alluſions to that poem; and particularly that there is not a Frog or a Mouſe kill'd, which has not its parallel inſtance there, in the death of ſome warrior or other.

The poem itſelf is of the Epic kind; the time of its action the duration of two days; the ſubject (however its nature frivolous, or ridiculous) rais'd, by having the moſt ſhining words and deeds of Gods and Heroes accommodated to it: and while other poems often compare the illuſtrious exploits of great men to thoſe of brutes, this always heightens the ſubject by compariſons drawn from things above it. We have a great character given it with reſpect to the fable in Gaddius de Script non Eccleſ. It appears, ſays he, nearer perfection than the Iliad, or Odyſſes, and excels both in judgment, wit, and exquiſite texture, ſince it is a poem perfect in its own kind. Nor does Cruſius ſpeak leſs to its honour, with reſpect to the moral, when he cries out in an apoſtrophe to the reader; ‘Whoever you are, mind not the names of theſe little animals, but look into the things they mean; call them men, call them kings, or counſellors, or human polity itſelf, you have here doctrines of every ſort.’ And indeed, when I hear the Frog talk concerning the Mouſe's family, I learn, equality ſhou'd be obſerv'd in making friendſhips; when I hear the Mouſe anſwer the Frog, I remember, that a ſimilitude of manners ſhou'd be regarded in them; when I ſee their councils aſſembling, I think of the buſtles of human prudence: [Page 151] and when I ſee the battle grow warm and glorious, our ſtruggles for honour and empire appear before me.

This piece had many imitations of it in antiquity, as the ſight of the Cats, the Cranes, the Starlings, the Spiders, &c. That of the Cats is in the Bodleian library, but I was not ſo lucky as to find it. I have taken the liberty to divide my tranſlation into books (tho' it be otherwiſe in the original) according as the fable allow'd proper reſting-places, by varying its ſcene, or nature of action: this I did, after the example of Ariſtarchus and Zenodotus in the Iliad. I then thought of carrying the grammarians example further, and placing arguments at the head of each, which I fram'd as follows, in imitation of the ſhort ancient Greek inſcriptions to the Iliad,
  • BOOK I. In ALPHA, the ground Of the quarrel is found.
  • BOOK II. In BETA, we The council ſee.
  • BOOK III. Dire GAMMA relates The work of the fates.

But as I am averſe from all information which leſſens our ſurprize, I only mention theſe for a handle to quarrel with the cuſtom of long arguments before a poem. It may be neceſſary in books of controverſy or abſtruſe learning, to write an epitome before each part; but it is not kind to foreſtal us in the work of fancy, and make our attention remiſs, by a previous account of the end of it.

The next thing which employ'd my thoughts was the heroes names. It might perhaps take off ſomewhat from the majeſty of the poem, had I caſt away ſuch noble ſounds as, Phyſignathus, Lycopinax, and Crambophagus, to ſubſtitute Bluffcheek, Lickdiſh and Cabbage-eater in their places. It is for this reaſon I have retain'd them untranſlated: however, I place them in Engliſh before the poem, and ſometimes give [Page 152] a ſfort character extracted out of their names; as in Polyphonus, Pternophagus, &c. that the reader may not want ſome light of their humour in the original.

But what gave me a greater difficulty was, to know how I ſhou'd follow the poet, when he inſerted pieces of lines from his Iliad, and ſtruck out a ſprightlineſs by their new application. To ſupply this in my tranſlation, I have added one or two of Homer's particularities; and us'd two or three alluſions to ſome of our Engliſh poets who moſt reſemble him, to keep up ſome image of this ſpirit of the original with an equivalent beauty. To uſe more, might make my performance ſeem a cento rather than a tranſlation, to thoſe who know not the neceſſity I lay under.

I am not ignorant, after all my care, how the world receives the beſt compoſitions of this nature. A man need only go to a painter's, and apply what he hears ſaid of a picture to a tranſlation, to find how he ſhall be us'd upon his own, or his author's account. There one ſpectator tells you, a piece is extremely fine, but he ſets no value on what is not like the face it was drawn for; while a ſecond informs you, ſuch another is extremely like, but he cares not for a piece of deformity, tho' its likeneſs be never ſo exact.

Yet notwithſtanding all which happens to the beſt, when I tranſlate, I have a deſire to be reckon'd amongſt them; and I ſhall obtain this, if the world will be ſo good-natur'd as to believe writers that give their own characters: upon which preſumption, I anſwer to all objections beforehand, as follows:

When I am literal, I regard my author's words; when I am not, I tranſlate in his ſpirit. If I am low, I chuſe the narrative ſtyle; if high, the ſubject requir'd it. When I am enervate, I give an inſtance of ancient ſimplicity; when affected, I ſhow a point of modern delicacy. As for beauties, there never can be one found in me which was not really intended; and for any faults, they proceeded from too unbounded fancy, or too nice judgment, but by no means from any defect in either of thoſe faculties.


[Page 153]
‘Pendentem volo Zoilum videre.’ MARTIAL.

THEY who have diſcours'd concerning the nature and extent of criticiſm, take notice, that editions of authors, the interpretations of them, and the judgment which is paſs'd upon each, are the three branches into which the art divides itſelf. But the laſt of theſe, that directs in the choice of books, and takes care to prepare us for reading them, is by the learned Bacon call'd the Chair of the Critics. In this chair (to carry on the figure) have ſate Ariſtotle, Demetrius Phaleraeus, Dionyſius Halicarnaſſenſis, Cicero, Horace, Quintilian, and Longinus; all great names of antiquity, the cenſors of thoſe ages which went before, and the directors of thoſe that come after them, with reſpect to the natural and perſpicuous manners of thought and a expreſſion, by which a correct and [Page 154] judicious genius may be able to write for the pleaſure and profit of mankind.

But whatever has been advanc'd by men really great in themſelves, has been alſo attempted by others of capacities either unequal to the undertaking, or which have been corrupted by their paſſions, and drawn away into partial violences: ſo that we have ſometimes ſeen the province of Criticiſm uſurp'd, by ſuch who judge with an obſcure diligence, and a certain dryneſs of underſtanding, incapable of comprehending a figurative ſtile, or being mov'd by the beauties of imagination; and at other times by ſuch, whoſe natural moroſeneſs in general, or particular deſigns of envy, has render'd them indefatigable againſt the reputation of others.

In this laſt manner is ZOILUS repreſented to us by antiquity, and with a character ſo abandon'd, that his name has been ſince made uſe of to brand all ſucceeding critics of his complexion. He has a load of infamy thrown upon him, great, in proportion to the fame of HOMER, againſt whom he oppos'd himſelf: if the one was eſteem'd as the very reſidence of wit, the other is deſcrib'd as a profligate, who wou'd deſtroy the temple of Apollo and the Muſes, in order to have his memory preſerv'd by the envious action. I imagine it maybe no ungrateful undertaking to write ſome account of this celebrated perſon, from whom ſo many derive their character; and I think the life of a Critic [Page 155] is not unſeaſonably put before the works of his Poet, eſpecially when his cenſures accompany him. If what he advances be juſt, he ſtands here as a cenſor; if otherwiſe, he appears as an addition to the poet's fame, and is placed before him with the juſtice of antiquity in its ſacrifices, when, becauſe ſuch a beaſt had offended ſuch a deity, he was brought annually to his altar to be ſlain upon it.

ZOILUS us was born at Amphipolis a city of Thrace, during the time in which the Macedonian empire flouriſh'd. Who his parents were, is not certainly known; but if the appellation of Thracian Slave, which the world apply'd to him, be not merely an expreſſion of contempt, it proves him of mean extraction. He was a diſciple of one Polycrates a ſophiſt, who had diſtinguiſh'd himſelf by writing againſt the great names of the ages before him; and who, when he is mention'd as his maſter, is ſaid to be particularly famous for a bitter accuſation or invective againſt the memory of Socrates. In this manner is ZOILUS ſet out to poſterity, like a plant naturally baneful, and having its poiſon render'd more acute and ſubtle by a preparation.

In his perſon he was tall and meagre, his complexion was pale, and all the motions of his face were ſharp. He is repreſented by Aelian, with a beard nouriſh'd to a prodigious length, and his head kept cloſe ſhav'd, to give him a magiſterial appearance: his coat hung over his knees in a ſlovenly faſhion; his manners [Page 156] were form'd upon an averſion to the cuſtoms of the world. He was fond of ſpeaking ill, diligent to ſow diſſenſion, and from the conſtant bent of his thought, had obtain'd that ſort of readineſs for ſlander or reproach, which is eſteem'd wit by the light opinion of ſome, who take the remarks of ill-nature, for an underſtanding of mankind, and the abrupt laſhes of rudeneſs for the ſpirit of expreſſion. This, at laſt, grew to ſuch a height in him, that he became careleſs of concealing it; he threw off all reſerves and managements in reſpect of others, and the paſſion ſo far took the turn of a frenzy, that being one day ask'd, why he ſpoke ill of every one? ‘It is (ſays he) becauſe I am not able to do them ill, tho' I have ſo great a mind to it.’ Such extravagant declarations of his general enmity made men deal with him as with the creature he affected to be; they no more ſpoke of him as belonging to the ſpecies he hated; and from henceforth his learned ſpeeches or fine remarks cou'd obtain no other title for him, but that of THE RHETORICAL DOG.

While he was in Macedon he employ'd his time in writing, and reciting what he had written in the ſchools of ſophiſts. His oratory (ſays Dionyſius Halicarnaſſenſis) was always of the demonſtrative kind, which concerns itſelf about praiſe or diſpraiſe. His ſubjects were the moſt approv'd authors, whom he choſe to abuſe upon the account of their reputation; and to [Page 157] whom, without going round the matter in faint praiſes or artificial inſinuations, he us'd to deny their own characteriſtics. With this gallantry of oppoſition did he cenſure Xenophon for affectation, Plato for vulgar notions, and Iſocrates for incorrectneſs. Demoſthenes, in his opinion, wanted fire, Ariſtotle ſubtilty, and Ariſtophanes humour. But, as to have reputation was with him a ſufficient cauſe of enmity, ſo to have that reputation univerſal, was what wrought his frenzy to its wildeſt degree; for which reaſon it was HOMER with whom he was moſt implacably angry. And certainly, if envy chooſe its object for the power to give torment, it ſhou'd here (if ever) have the glory of fully anſwering its intentions; for the Poet was ſo worſhip'd by the whole age, that his Critic had not the common alleviation of the opinion of one other man, to concur in his condemnation.

ZOILUS however went on with indefatigable induſtry in a voluminous work, which he intitled, THE [...], or CENSURE OF HOMER: 'till having at laſt finiſh'd it, he prepares to ſend it into the world with a pompous title at the head, invented for himſelf by way of excellency, and thus inſerted after the manner of the ancients.

‘ZOILUS, the ſcourge of HOMER, writ this againſt that lover of fables.’
Thus did he value himſelf upon a work, which the world has not thought worth tranſmitting to us, and [Page 158] but juſt left a ſpecimen in five or ſix quotations, which happen to be preſerv'd by the commentators of that Poet againſt whom he writ it. If any one be fond to form a judgment upon him from theſe inſtances, they are as follows:
  • IL. 1. He ſays, HOMER is very ridiculous (a word he was noted to apply to him) when he makes ſuch a God as APOLLO employ himſelf in killing dogs and mules.
  • IL. 5. HOMER is very ridiculous in deſcribing DIOMEDES' helmet and armour, as ſparkling, and in a blaze of fire about him; for then why was he not burn'd by it?
  • IL. 5. When IDAEUS quitted his fine chariot, which was entangl'd in the fight, and for which he might have been ſlain, the Poet was a fool for making him leave his chariot, he had better have run away in it.
  • IL. 24. When ACHILLES makes PRIAM lie out of his tent, leſt the Greeks ſhou'd hear of his being there, the Poet had no breeding, to turn a king out in that manner.
  • OD. 9. The Poet ſays, ULYSSES loſt an equal number out of each ſhip. The Critic ſays, that's impoſſible.
  • OD. 10. He derides the men who were turn'd into ſwine, and calls them HOMER'S poor little blubbering pigs. The firſt five of theſe remarks are found in DIDYMUS, the laſt in LONGINUS.

[Page 159] Such as theſe are the cold jeſts and trifling quarrels, which have been regiſtred from a compoſition, that (according to the repreſentation handed down to us) was born in envy, liv'd a ſhort life in contempt, and lies for ever bury'd with infamy.

But, as his deſign was judg'd by himſelf wonderfully well accompliſh'd, Macedon began to be eſteem'd a ſtage too narrow for his glory; and Egypt, which had then taken learning into its patronage, the proper place where it ought to diffuſe its beams, to the ſurprize of all whom he wou'd perſuade to reckon themſelves hitherto in the dark, and under the prejudices of a falſe admiration. However, as he had prepar'd himſelf for the journey, he was ſuddenly diverted for a while by the rumour of the Olympic games, which were at that time to be celebrated. Thither he ſteer'd his courſe, full of the memory of Herodotus, and others who had ſucceſsfully recited in that large aſſembly; and pleas'd to imagine he ſhou'd alter all Greece in their notions of wit before he left it.

Upon his arrival, he found the field in its preparation for diverſion. The chariots ſtood for the race, carv'd and gilded, the horſes were led in coſtly trappings, ſome practis'd to wreſtle, ſome to dart the ſpear, (or whatever they deſign'd to engage at) in a kind of flouriſh beforehand: others were looking on, to amuſe themſelves; and all gaily dreſs'd, according to the cuſtom of thoſe places. Through theſe did ZOITUS move [Page 160] forward, bald-headed, bearded to the middle, its a long ſad-colour'd veſtment, and inflexibly ſtretching forth his hands fill'd with volumes roll'd up to a vaſt thickneſs: a figure moſt venerably ſlovenly! able to demand attention upon account of its oddneſs. And indeed, he had no ſooner fix'd himſelf upon an eminence, but a crowd flock'd about him to know what he intended. Then the Critic caſting his eyes on the ring, open'd his volume ſlowly, as conſidering with what part be might moſt properly entertain his audience. It happen'd, that the games at Patroclus' obſequies came firſt into his thought; whether it was that he judg'd it ſuitable to the place, or knew that he had fall'n as well upon the games themſelves, as upon HOMER for celebrating them, and cou'd not reſiſt his natural diſpoſition to give mankind offence. Every one was now intently faſten'd upon him, while he undertook to prove, that thoſe games ſignify'd nothing to the taking of Troy, and therefore only furniſh'd an impertinent Epiſode: that the fall of the leſſer Ajax in cow-dung, the ſquabble of the chariot-race, and other accidents which attend ſuch ſports, are mean or trifling: and a world of other remarks, for which he ſtill affirm'd HOMER to be a fool, and which they that heard him took for ſtudy'd invectives againſt thoſe exerciſes they were then employ'd in. Men who frequent ſports, as they are of a chearful diſpoſtion, ſo are they lovers of poetry: this, together with the opinion they were affronted, [Page 161] wrought them up to impatience and further licences: there was particularly a young Athenian gentleman, who was to run three chariots in thoſe games, who being an admirer of HOMER, could no longer contain himſelf, but cry'd out, ‘What in the name of CASTOR have we here, ZOILUS from Thrace?’ and as he ſaid it, ſtruck him with a chariot-whip. Immediately then a hundred whips were ſeen curling round his head; ſo that his face, naturally deform'd, and heighten'd by pain to its utmoſt Caricatura, appear'd in the midſt of them, as we may fancy the viſage of Envy, if at any time her ſnakes riſe in rebellion to laſh their miſtreſs. Nor was this all the puniſhment they decreed him, when once they imagin'd he was ZOILUS: the Scyronian rocks were near 'em, and thither they hurried him with a general cry, to that ſpeedy juſtice which is practis'd at places of diverſion.

It is here, that, according to SUIDAS, the critic expir'd. But we following the more numerous teſtimonies of other authors, conclude he eſcap'd either by the lowneſs of thoſe rocks whence he was thruſt, or by buſhes which might break his fall; and ſoon after following the courſes of his firſt intention, he ſet ſail for Egypt.

Egypt was at this time govern'd by Ptolemy Philadelphus, a prince paſſionately fond of learning, and learned men; particularly an admirer of HOMER, to [Page 162] adoration. He had built the fineſt library in the world, and made the choiceſt, as well as moſt numerous collection of books. No encouragements were wanting from him to allure men of the brighteſt genius to his court, and no time thought too much which he ſpent in their company. From hence it is that we hear of ERATOSTHENES and ARISTOPHANES, thoſe univerſal ſcholars, and candid judges of other mens performances: CALLIMACHUS, a poet of the moſt eaſy, courteous delicacy, famous for a poem on the cutting of Berenice's hair, and whom OVID ſo much admired as to ſay, ‘It was reaſon enough for him to love a woman, if ſhe would but tell him he exceeded CALLIMACHUS;’ THEOCRITUS, the moſt famous in the paſtoral way of writing; and among the young men, ARISTARCHUS and APOLLONIUS RHODIUS, the one of whom prov'd a moſt judicious critic, the other a poet of no mean character.

Theſe and many more fill'd the court of that munificent prince, whoſe liberal diſpenſations of wealth and favour became encouragements to every one to exert their parts to the utmoſt; like ſtreams which flow through different ſorts of ſoils, and improve each in that for which it was adapted by nature.

Such was the court when ZOILUS arriv'd; but before he enter'd Alexandria, he ſpent a night in the temple of Iſis, to enquire of the ſucceſs of his undertaking; not that he doubted the worth of his works, [Page 163] but his late misfortune had inſtructed him, that others might be ignorant of it. Having therefore perform'd the accuſtom'd ſacrifice, and compos'd himſelf to reſt upon the hide, he had a viſion which foretold of his future fame.

He found himſelf ſitting under the ſhade of a dark yew, which was cover'd with hellebore and hemlock, and near the mouth of a cave, where ſat a monſter, pale, waſted, ſurrounded with ſnakes, foſt'ring a cockatrice in her boſom; and curſing the ſun, for making the work of the deities appear in its beauty. The ſight of this bred fear in him; when ſhe ſubddenly turning her ſunk eyes, put on a hideous kind of a loving grin, in which he diſcover'd a reſemblance to ſome of his own features. Then turning up her ſnakes, and interlacing them in the form of a turbant, to give him leſs diſguſt, thus ſhe addreſs'd herſelf: ‘Go on, my ſon, in whom I am renew'd, and proſper in thy brave undertakings on mankind: aſſert their wit to be dulneſs; prove their ſenſe to be folly; know truth only when it is on thy own ſide; and acknowledge learning at no other time to be uſeful. Spare not an author of any rank or ſize; let not thy tongue or pen know pity; make the living feel thy accuſations; make the ghoſts of the dead groan in their tombs for their violated fame. But why do I ſpend time in needleſs advice, which may be better uſed in encouragement? Let thy eyes delight themſelves with [Page 164] the future recompence which I have reſerv'd for thy merit.’ Thus ſpoke the monſter, and ſhriek'd the name of ZOILUS: the ſhades, who were to bear the ſame name after him, became obedient; and the mouth of the cave was fill'd with ſtrange ſupercilious countenances, which all crowded to make their appearance. Theſe began to march before him with an imitation of his mien and manners: ſome crowned with wild ſorrel, others having leaves of dead bays mingled amongſt it; whilſt the monſter ſtill deſcrib'd them as he paſs'd, and touch'd each with a livid track of malignant light, that ſhot from her eye, to point where ſhe meant the deſcription. ‘They (ſays ſhe) in the chaplets of wild ſorrel, are my writers of proſe, who erect ſcandal into criticiſm: they who wear the wither'd bay with it, are ſuch who write poems, which are profeſſedly to anſwer all rules, and be left for patterns to men of genius. Theſe that follow ſhall attack others, becauſe they are excell'd by them. The next rank ſhall make an author's being read, a ſufficient ground of oppoſition. Here march my grammarians, ſkill'd to torture words; there my ſons of ſophiſtry, ever ready to wreſt a meaning. Obſerve how faint the foremoſt of the proceſſion appear; and how they are now loſt in yonder miſts, which roll about the cave of oblivion! this ſhews, it is not for themſelves that they are to be known; the world will conſider them only as managing a part of thy endowments, [Page 165] and ſo know them by thy name while they live, that their own ſhall be loſt for ever. But ſee how my cave ſtill ſwarms! how every age produces men, upon whom the preſervation of thy memory devolves. My darling, the fates have decreed it! thou art ZOILUS, and ZOILUS ſhall be eternal. Come, my ſerpents, applaud him with your hiſſes, that is all which now can be done; in modern times, my ſons ſhall invent louder inſtruments, and artificial imitations; noiſes which drown the voice of merit, ſhall furniſh a concert to delight them.’ Here ſhe aroſe to claſp him in her arms, a ſtrange noiſe was heard, the critic ſtarted at it, and his viſion forſook him.

It was with ſome confuſion, that he lay muſing a while upon what he had ſeen; but reflecting, that the Goddeſs had given him no anſwer concerning his ſucceſs in Egypt, he ſtrengthen'd his heart in his ancient ſelf-love and enmity to others, and took all for an idle dream born of the fumes of indigeſtion, or produc'd by the dizzy motion of his voyage. In this opinion, he told it at his departure to the prieſt, who admiring the extraordinary relation, regiſtred it in hieroglyphics at Canopus.

The day when he came to Alexandria was one on which the king had appointed games to APOLLO and the MUSES, and honours and rewards for ſuch writers as ſhou'd appear in them. This he took for a happy [Page 166] omen at his entrance, and, not to loſe an opportunity of ſhewing himſelf, repair'd immediately to the public theatre; where, as if every thing was to favour him, the very firſt accident gave his ſpleen a diverſion, which we find at large in the proem of the ſeventh book of VITRUVIUS. It happen'd that when the poets had recited, ſix of the judges decreed the prizes with a full approbation of all the audience. From this, Ariſtophanes alone diſſented, and demanded the firſt prize for a perſon whoſe baſhful and interrupted manner of ſpeaking made him appear the moſt diſguſtful: for he (ſays the judge) is alone a poet, and all the reſt reciters; and they who are judges, ſhou'd not approve thefts, but writings. To maintain his aſſertion, thoſe volumes were produc'd from whence they had been ſtoll'n: upon which, the king order'd them to be formally try'd for theft, and diſmiſs'd with infamy; but placed Ariſtophanes over his library, as one, who had given a proof of his knowledge in books. This paſſage ZOILUS often afterwards repeated with pleaſure, for the number of diſgraces which happen'd in it to the pretenders in poetry; tho' his envy made him ſtill careful not to name Ariſtophanes, but a judge in general.

However, criticiſm had only a ſhort triumph over poetry, when he made the next turn his own, by ſtepping forward into the place of reciting. Here he immediately rais'd the curioſity, and drew the attention [Page 167] of both king and people: but, as it happen'd, neither the one nor the other laſted; for the firſt ſentence where he had regiſtred his own name, ſatisfied their curioſity; and the next, where he offer'd to prove to a court ſo devoted to HOMER, that he was ridiculous in every thing; went near to finiſh his audience. He was nevertheleſs heard quietly for ſome time, till the king ſeeing no end of his abuſing the prince of philological learning, (as Vitruvius words it) departed in diſdain. The judges follow'd, deriding his attempt as an extravagance which cou'd not demand their gravity; and the people taking a licence from the precedent, hooted him away with obloquy and indignation. Thus ZOILUS fail'd at his firſt appearance, and was forc'd to retire, ſtung with a moſt impatient ſenſe of public contempt.

Yet notwithſtanding all this, he did not omit his attendance at court on the day following, with a petition that he might be put upon the eſtabliſhment of learning, and allow'd a penſion. This the king read, but return'd no anſwer: ſo great was the ſcorn he conceiv'd againſt him. But ZOILUS ſtill undauntedly renew'd his petitions, 'till PTOLEMY, being weary of his perſecution, gave him a flat denial. HOMER, (ſays the prince) who has been dead theſe thouſand years, has maintain'd thouſands of people; and ZOILUS, who boaſts he has more wit than he, ought not only to maintain himſelf, but many others alſo.

[Page 168] His petitions being thrown careleſly about, were fall'n into the hands of men of wit, whom, according to his cuſtom, he had provok'd, and whom it is unſafe to provoke if you wou'd live unexpos'd. I can compare them to nothing more properly, than to the Bee, a creature wing'd and lively, fond to rove through the choiceſt flowers of nature, and bleſt at home among the ſweets of its own compoſition: not ill-natur'd, yet quick to revenge an injury; not wearing its ſting out of the ſheath; yet able to wound more ſorely than its appearance would threaten. Now theſe being made perſonal enemies by his malicious expreſſions, the court rung with petitions of ZOILUS tranſvers'd; new petitions drawn up for him; catalogues of his merits, ſuppos'd to be collected by himſelf; his complaints of man's injuſtice ſet to a harp out of tune, and a hundred other ſports of fancy, with which their epigrams play'd upon him. Theſe were the ways of writing which ZOILUS hated, becauſe they were not only read, but retain'd eaſily, by reaſon of their ſpirit, humour, and brevity; and becauſe they not only make the man a jeſt upon whom they are written, but a farther jeſt, if he attempt to anſwer them gravely. However, he did what he cou'd in revenge, he endeavour'd to ſet thoſe whom he envy'd at variance among themſelves, and invented lyes to promote his deſign. He told Eratoſthenes, that Callimachus ſaid, his extent of learning conſiſted but in a ſuperficial knowledge of the ſciences; [Page 169] and whiſper'd Callimachus, that Eratoſthenes only allow'd him to have an artful habitual knack of verſifying. He would have made Ariſtophanes believe, that Theocritus rally'd his knowledge in editions, as a curious kind of trifling; and Theocritus, that Ariſtophanes derided the ruſtical ſimplicity of his ſhepherds. Tho' of all his ſtories, that which be moſt valu'd himſelf for, was his conſtant report, that every one whom he hated was a friend to ANTIOCHUS king of Syria, the enemy of PTOLEMY.

But malice is unſucceſsful when the character of its agent is known: they grew more friends to one another, by imagining, that even what had been ſaid, as well as what had not, was all of ZOILUS'S invention; and as he grew more and more the common jeſt, their deriſion of him became a kind of life and cement to their converſation.

Contempt, poverty, and other misfortunes had now ſo aſſaulted him, that even they who abhorr'd his temper, contributed ſomething to his ſupport, in common humanity. Yet ſtill his envy, like a vitiated ſtomach, converted every kindneſs to the nouriſhment of his diſeaſe; and 'twas the whole buſineſs of his life to revile HOMER, and thoſe by whom he himſelf ſubſiſted. In this humour he had days, which were ſo given up to impatient ill-nature, that he could neither write any thing, nor converſe with anyone. Theſe he ſometimes employ'd in throwing ſtones at children; which was [Page 170] once ſo unhappily return'd upon him, that he was taken up for dead: and this occaſion'd the report in ſome authors, of his being ſtoned to death in Egypt. Or, ſometimes he convey'd himſelf into the library, where he blotted the name of HOMER wherever he could meet it, and tore the beſt editions of ſeveral volumes; for which the librarians debarr'd him the privilege of that place. Theſe and other miſchiefs made him univerſally ſhunn'd; nay, to ſuch an extravagance was his character of envy carry'd, that the more ſuperſtitious Egyptians imagin'd they were faſcinated by him, if the day were darker, or themſelves a little heavier than ordinary; ſome wore ſprigs of rue, by way of prevention; and others, rings made of the hoof of a wild aſs for amulets, leſt they ſhould ſuffer, by his fixing an eye upon them.

It was now near the time, when that ſplendid temple which PTOLEMY built in honour of HOMER, was to be open'd with a ſolemn magnificence: for this the men of genius were employ'd in finding a proper pageant. At laſt, they agreed by one conſent, to have ZOILUS, the utter enemy of HOMER, hang'd in effigy; and the day being come, it was on this manner they form'd the proceſſion. Twelve beautiful boys, lightly habited in white, with purple wings repreſenting the HOURS, went on the foremoſt: after theſe, came a chariot exceeding high and ſtately, where ſat one repreſenting APOLLO; with another at his feet, who in thig pomp [Page 171] ſuſtain'd the perſon of HOMER: Apollo's laurel had little gilded points, like the appearance of rays between its leaves; HOMER's was bound with a blue ſillet, like that which is worn by the prieſts of the Deity: Apollo was diſtinguiſh'd by the golden harp he bore; Homer, by a volume, richly beautify'd with horns of inlaid ivory, and taſſels of ſilver depending from them. Behind theſe came three chariots, in which rode nine damſels, each of them with that inſtrument which is proper to each of the Muſes; among whom, CALLIOPE, to give her the honour of the day, ſate in the middle of the ſecond chariot, known by her richer veſtments. After theſe march'd a ſolemn train aptly habited, like thoſe ſciences which acknowledge their riſe or improvement from this Poet. Then the men of learning who attended the court, with wreaths, and rods or ſcepters of laurel, as taking upon themſelves the repreſentation of Rhapſodiſts, to do honour, for the time, to HOMER. In the rear of all was ſlowly drawn along an odd carriage, rather than a chariot, which had its ſides artfully turn'd, and carv'd ſo as to bear a reſemblance to the heads of ſnarling maſtiffs. In this was borne, as led in triumph, a tall image of deformity, whoſe head was bald, and wound about with nettles for a chaplet. The tongue lay lolling out, to ſhew a contempt of mankind, and was fork'd at the end, to confeſs its love to detraction. The hands were manacled behind, and the fingers arm'd with long nails, to cut deep through [Page 172] the margins of authors. Its veſture was of the paper of Nilus, bearing inſcrib'd upon its breaſt in capital letters, ZOILUS THE HOMERO-MASTIX; and all the reſt of it was ſcrawl'd with various monſters of that river, as emblems of thoſe productions with which that critic us'd to fill his papers. When they had reach'd the temple, where the king and his court were already plac'd to behold them from its galleries, the image of ZOILUS was hung upon a gibbet, there erected for it, with ſuch loud acclamations as witneſs'd the people's ſatisfaction. This being finiſh'd, the HOURS knock'd at the gates; which flew open, and diſcover'd the ſtatue of HOMER magnificently ſeated, with the pictures of thoſe cities which contended for his birth, rang'd in order around him. Then they who repreſented the Deities in the proceſſion, laying aſide their enſigns of divinity, uſher'd in the men of learning with a ſound of voices, and their various inſtruments, to aſſiſt at a ſacrifice in honour of APOLLO and his favourite HOMER.

It may be eaſily believ'd, that ZOILUS concluded his affairs were at the utmoſt point of deſperation in Egypt; wherefore, fill'd with pride, ſcorn, anger, vexation, envy, (and whatever cou'd torment him) except the knowledge of his unworthineſs) he flung himſelf aboard the firſt ſhip which left that country. As it happen'd, the veſſel he ſail'd in was bound for Aſia Minor, and this landing him at a port the neareſt to Smyrna, he was à little pleas'd amidſt his miſery to think of decrying [Page 173] HOMER in another place where he was ador'd, and which chiefly pretended to his birth. So incorrigible was his diſpoſition; that no experience taught him anything which might contribute to his eaſe and ſafety.

And as his experience wrought nothing on him, ſo neither did the accidents, which the opinion of thoſe times took for ominous warnings: for, he is reported to have ſeen, the night he came to Smyrna, a venerable perſon, ſuch as HOMER is deſcribed by antiquity, threatning him in a dream; and in the morning he found a part of his works gnaw'd by Mice, which, ſays Aelian, are of all beaſts the moſt prophetic; inſomuch. that they know when to leave a houſe, even before its fall is ſuſpected. Envy, which has no relaxation, ſtill hurry'd him forward; for it is certainly true that a man has not firmer reſolution from reaſon, to ſtand by a good principle, than obſtinacy from perverted nature, to adhere to a bad one.

In the morning as he walk'd the ſtreet, he obſerv'd in ſome plates inſcriptions concerning HOMER, which inform'd him where he liv'd, where he had taught ſchool, and ſeveral other particularities which the Smyrneans glory to have recorded of him; all which awaken'd and irritated the paſſions of ZOILUS. But hit temper was quite overthrown, by the venerable appearance which he ſaw, upon entring the Homereum: which is a building compos'd of a library, porch, and temple erected to HOMER. Here a phrenzy ſeited him [Page 174] which knew no bounds; he rav'd violently againſt the Poet, and all his admirers; he trampled on his works, he ſpurn'd about his commentators, he tore down his buſts from the niches, threw the medals that were caſt of him out of the windows, and paſſing from one place to another, beat the aged prieſts, and broke down the altar. The cries which were occaſioned by this means brought in many upon him; who obſerv'd with horror how the moſt ſacred honours of their city were prophan'd by the frantic impiety of a ſtranger; and immediately dragg'd him to puniſhment before their magiſtrates, who were then ſitting. He was no ſooner there, but known for ZOILUS by ſome in court, a name a long time moſt hateful to Smyrna; which, as it valu'd itſelf upon the birth of HOMER, ſo bore more impatiently than other places, the abuſes offer'd him. This made them eager to propitiate his ſhade, and claim to themſelves a ſecond merit by the death of ZOILUS; wherefore they ſentenc'd him to ſuller by fire, as the due reward of his deſecrations; and order'd, that their city ſhou'd be purify'd by a luſtration, for having entertain'd ſo impious a gueſt. In purſuance to this ſentence, he was led away with his compoſitions born before him by the public executioner: then was he faſten'd to the ſtake, propheſying all the while how many ſhou'd ariſe to revenge his quarrel; particularly, that when Greek ſhou'd be no more a language, there ſhall be a Nation which will both tranſlate [Page 175] HOMER into Proſe, and contract him in Verſe. At laſt, his compoſitions were lighted to ſet the pile on fire, and he expir'd ſighing for the loſs of them, more than for the pain he ſuffer'd: and perhaps too, becauſe he might foreſee in his prophetic rapture, that there ſhou'd ariſe a poet in another nation, able to do HOMER juſtice, and make him known amongſt his people to future ages.

Thus dy'd this noted critic, of whom we may obſerve from the courſe of the hiſtory, that as ſeveral cities contended for the honour of the birth of HOMER, ſo ſeveral have contended for the honour of the death of ZOILUS. With him likewiſe periſh'd his great work on the ILIAD, and the ODYSSE; concerning which we obſerve alſo, that as the known worth of HOMER'S poetry makes him ſurvive himſelf with glory; ſo the bare memory of ZOILUS'S criticiſm makes him ſurvive himſelf with infamy. Theſe are deſervedly the conſequences of that Ill-nature which made him fond of detraction; that Envy, which made him chooſe ſo excellent a character for its object; and thoſe partial Methods of Injuſtice, with which he treated the object he had choſen.

Yet how many commence critics after him, upon the ſame unhappy principles? How many labour to deſtroy the monuments of the dead, and ſummon up the great from their graves to anſwer for trifles before them? how many, by miſrepreſentations, both hinder the world [Page 176] from favouring men of genius, and diſcourage them in themſelves; like boughs of a baneful and barren nature, that ſhoot a-croſs a fruit-tree; at once to ſcreen the ſun from it, and hinder it by their droppings from producing any thing of value? but if theſe who thus follow ZOILUS, meet not the ſame ſeverities of fate, becauſe they come ſhort of his indefatigableneſs, or their object is not ſo univerſally the concern of mankind; they ſhall nevertheleſs meet a proportion of it in the inward trouble they give themſelves, and the outward contempt others fling upon them: a puniſhment which every one has hitherto felt, who has really deſerv'd to be call'd a ZOILUS; and which will always be the natural reward of ſuch mens actions, as long as ZOILUS is the proper name of Envy.


[Page 177]
Ingenium magni livor detrectat amici,
Quiſquis et ex illo, Zoile, nomen habes.

I MUST do my Reader the juſtice, before I enter upon theſe NOTES of ZOILUS, to inform him, that I have not in any author met this work aſcrib'd to him by its title, which has made me not mention it in the LIFE. But thus much in general appears, that he wrote ſeveral things beſides his cenſure on the ILIAD, which, as it gives ground for this opinion, encourages me to offer an account of the Treatiſe.

Being acquainted with a grave gentleman who ſearches after Editions, purchaſes Manuſcripts, and collects Copies, I apply'd to him for ſome Editions of this Poem, which he readily oblig'd me with. But, added he, taking down a paper, I doubt I ſhall diſcourage you from your tranſlation, when I ſhow this work, which is written upon the original, by ZOILUS, the famous adverſary of HOMER. ZOILUS! ſaid I with [Page 178] ſurprize; I thought his works had long ſince periſh'd. They have ſo, anſwer'd he, all, except this little Piece, which has a PREFACE annex'd to it accounting for its preſervation. It ſeems, when he parted from Macedon, he left this behind him where he lodg'd, and where no one enter'd for a long time, in deteſtation of the odiouſneſs of his character, 'till Maevius arriving there in his travels, and being deſirous to lie in the ſame room, luckily found it, and brought it away with him. This the author of the PREFACE imagines the reaſon of Horace's wiſhing Maevius, in the 10th EPODE, ſuch a ſhipwreck as HOMER deſcribes; as it were with an eye to his having done ſomething diſadvantageous to that Poet. From Maevius, the piece came into the hand of Carbilius Pictor, (who, when he wrote againſt Virgil, call'd his book, with a reſpectful imitation of ZOILUS, the AENEIDOMASTIX) and from him into the hands of others who are unknown, becauſe the world apply'd to them no other name than that of ZOILUS, in order to ſink their own in oblivion. Thus it ever found ſome learned philologiſt or critic, to keep it ſecret from the rage of HOMER's admirers; yet not ſo ſecret, but that it has ſtill been communicated among the LITERATI. I am of opinion, that our great SCALIGER borrow'd it, to work him up when he writ ſo ſharply againſt Cardan; and perhaps Le Clerc too, when he prov'd Q. Curtius ignorant of every particular branch of learning.

[Page 179] This formal account made me give attention to what the book contain'd; and I muſt acknowledge, that whether it be his, or the work of ſome grammarian, it appears to be writ in his ſpirit. The open profeſſion of enmity to great genius's, and the fear of nothing ſo much as that he may not be able to find faults enough, are ſuch reſemblances of his ſtrongeſt features, that any one might take it for his own production. To give the world a notion of this, I have made a collection of ſome REMARKS, which moſt ſtruck me, during that ſhort time in which I was allow'd to peruſe the Manuſcript. THE REMARKS OF ZOILUS UPON HOMER'S BATTLE OF THE FROGS AND MICE.
[Page 180]

Pag. 43. Ver, 1.

TO FILL MY RISING SONG.] ‘As Protagoras the ſophiſt found fault with the beginning of the ILIAD, for its ſpeaking to the Muſe rather with an abrupt command, than a ſolemn invocation; ſo I, ſays ZOILUs, doon the other hand find fault with him for uſing any invocation at all before this poem, or any ſuch trifles as he is the author of If he muſt uſe one, Protagoras is in the right; if not, I am: this I hold for true criticiſm, notwithſtanding the opinion of Ariſtotle againſt us. Nor let any one lay [Page 181] a ſtreſs on Ariſtotle in this point; he alas ! knows nothing of Poetry but what he has read in HOMER; his rules are all extracted from him, or founded in him. In ſhort, HOMER'S works are the examples of Ariſtotle's precepts; and Ariſtotle's precepts the methods HOMER wrought by.’ From hence it is to be concluded as the opinion of this Critic, that whoever wou'd entirely deſtroy the reputation of HOMER, muſt renounce the authority of Ariſtotle before-hand. The rules of building may be of ſervice to us, if we deſign to judge of an edifice, and diſcover what may be amiſs in it for the advantage of future artificers; but they are of no uſe to thoſe who only intend to overthrow it utterly.

After the word [SONG,] in the firſt line the original adds, [WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN IN MY TABLETS.] Theſe words, which are dropp'd in the tranſlation as of no conſequence, the great ZOILUS has thought fit to expunge; aſſerting for a reaſon, without backing it with farther proof, ‘That tablets were it not of fo early invention.’ Now, it muſt be granted, this manner of proving by affirmation is of an extraordinary nature; but however it has its end with a ſet of readers for whom it is adapted. One part of the world knows not with what aſſurance another part can expreſs itſelf. They imagine a reaſonable creature will not have the face to ſay any thing which has not ſome ſhadow of reaſon to ſupport it; and run implicitly [Page 182] into the ſnare which is laid for good-nature, by theſe daring authors of definitive ſentences upon bare aſſertion.

Pag. 43. Ver. 15. WHOM CATS PURSU'D.] The Greek word here expreſly ſignifies a Cat: ZOILUS, whom Perizonius follows, affirms, ‘It was Weezels which the Mouſe fled from;’ and then objects againſt its probability. But it is common with one ſort of Critics, to ſhew an author means differently from what he really did; and then to prove, that the meaning which they find out for him is good for nothing.

Pag. 44. Ver. 7. IF WORTHY FRIENDSHIP.] In this propoſal begins the moral of the whole piece, which is, that haſty, ill-founded, or unnatural friendſhips and leagues, will naturally end in war and diſcord. But ZOILUS, who is here mightily concern'd to take off from HOMER all the honour of having deſign'd a moral, aſſerts on the other hand, ‘That the Poet's whole intent was to make a Fable; that a Fable he has made, and one very idle and trifling; that many things are aſcrib'd to HOMER, which poor HOMER never dream'd of; and he who finds them out, rather ſhews his own parts than diſcovers his author's beauties.’ In this opinion has he been follow'd by ſeveral of thoſe Critics, who only dip into authors when they have occaſion to write againſt them: and yet even theſe ſhall ſpeak differently concerning the writers, if the queſtion be of their own performances; [Page 183] for to their own works they write Prefaces, to diſplay the grandneſs of the moral, regularity of the ſcheme, number and brightneſs of the figures, and a thouſand other excellencies, which if they did not tell, no one wou'd ever imagine. For others, they write Remarks, which tend to contract their excellencies within the narrow compaſs of their partial appreheſion. It were well if they cou'd allow ſuch to be as wiſe as themſelves, whom the world allows to be much wiſer; but their being naturally friends to themſelves, and profeſſedly adverſaries to ſome greater genius, eaſily accounts for theſe different manners of ſpeaking. I will not leave this note, without giving you an inſtance of its practice in the great JULIUS SCALIGER: he has been free enough with HOMER in the Remarks he makes upon him; but when he ſpeaks of himſelf, I deſire my reader wou'd take notice of his modeſty; I give his own words, Lib. 3. Poet. Cap. 112. ‘In Deum Patrem Hymnum cum ſcriberemus, tanquam rerum omnium conditorem, ab orbis ipſius creatione ad nos noſtraque uſque duximus. —In quo abduximus animum noſtrum a corporis carcere ad liberos campos contemplationis, quae me in illum transformaret. Tum autem ſanctiſſimi Spiritus ineffabilis vigor ille canto ardore celebratus eſt, ut cum leniſſimis numeris eſſet inchoatus Hymnus, repentino divini Ignis impetu conſlagravit.’

[Page 184] Pag. 45. Ver. 7. THE CIRCLED LOAVES.] ‘ZOILUS here finds fault with the mention of loaves, tripes, bacon and cheeſe, as words below the dignity of the EPIC, as much (ſays he) as it wou'd be to have opprobrious names given in it.’ By which expreſſion we eaſily ſee, he hints at the firſt book of the ILIAD. Now, we muſt conſider in anſwer, that it is a Mouſe which is ſpoken of, that eating is the moſt appearing chatacteriſtic of that creature, that theſe foods are ſuch as pleaſe it moſt; and to have deſcrib'd particular pleaſures for it in any other way, wou'd have been as incongruous, as to have deſcrib'd a haughty loud anger without thoſe names which it throws out in its fierceneſs, and which raiſe it to its pitch of phrenzy. In the one inſtance you ſtill ſee a Mouſe before you, however the Poet raiſes it to a man; in the other, you ſhall ſee a man before you; however, the Poet raiſes him to a Demi-God. But ſome call that LOW, which others call NATURAL. Every thing has two handles, and the critic who ſets himſelf to cenſure all he meets, is under an obligation ſtill to lay hold on the worſt of them.

Pag. 46. Ver. 1. BUT ME, NOR STALKS.] In this place ZOILUS ‘laughs at the ridiculouſneſs of the Poet, who (according to his repreſentation) makes a prince refuſe an invitation in heroics, becauſe he did not like the meat he was invited to.’ And, that the ridicule may appear in as ſtrong a light to others [Page 185] as to himſelf, he puts as much of the ſpeech as concerns it into burleſque airs, and expreſſions. This is indeed a common trick with Remarkers, which they either practiſe by precedent from their maſter ZOILUS, or are beholden for it to the ſame turn of temper. We acknowledge it a fine piece of ſatire, when there is folly in a paſſage, to lay it open in the way by which it naturally requires to be expos'd: do this handſomely, and the author is deſervedly a jeſt [...], on the contrary, you dreſs a paſſage which was not originally fooliſh, in the higheſt humour of ridicule, you only frame ſomething which the author himſelf might laugh at, without being more nearly concerned than another render.

Pag. 47. Ver. 1. SO PASS'D EUROPA] This ſimile makes ZOILUS, who ſets up for a profeſs'd enemy of Fables, to exclaim violently. ‘We had, ſays he, a Frog and a Mouſe hitherto, and now we get a Bull and a Princeſs to illuſtrate their actions: when will there be an end of this Fabling-folly and Poetry, which I value myſelf for being unacquainted with? O great POLYCRATES, how happily haſt thou obſerv?d in thy accuſation againſt SOCRATES, That whatever he was before, he deſerv'd his poiſon when he began to make verſes!’ Now, if the queſtion be concerning HOMER'S good or bad Poetry, this is an unqualifying ſpeech, which affords his friends juſt grounds of exception againſt the Critic. Wherefore [Page 186] be it known to all preſent and future Cenfors, who haver, or ſhall preſume to glory, in an ignorance of Poetry, and at the ſame time take upon them to judge of Poets, that they are in all their degrees for evere excluded the poſt they would uſurp. In the firſt place, they who know neither the uſe, nor practice of the art; in the ſecond, they who know, it but by halves, Who have hearts inſenſible of the beauties of Poetry, and are however able to find fault by rules; and thirdly, they who, when they are capable of perceiving beauties and pointing out defects, are ſtill ſo ignorant in the nature of their buſineſs, as to imagine the province of Criticiſm extends itſelf only on the ſide of diſpraiſe and reprehenſion. How cou'd any one at this rate be ſeen with his proper balance of perfection and error? or what were the beſt performances in this indulgence of ill-nature, but as apartments hung with the deformities of humanity, done by ſome great hand, which are the more to be abhorr'd, becauſe the praiſe and honour they receive, reſults from the degree of uneaſineſs, to which they put every temper of common goodneſs?

Pag. 47. Ver. 28. YE MICE, YE MICE.] The ancients believ'd that heroes were turn'd into Demi-Gods at their death; and in general, that departing fouls have ſomething of a ſight into futurity. It is either this notion, or a care which the Gods may take to abate the pride of inſulting adverſaries, which a [Page 187] Poet goes upon, when he makes his leaders die foretelling the end of thoſe by whom they are ſlain. ZOILUS however is againſt this paſſage. He ſays, ‘That every character ought to be ſtrictly kept; that a general ought not to invade the character of a prophet, nor a prophet of a general.’ He is poſitive, ‘that nothing ſhou'd be done by any one, without having been hinted at in ſome previous account of him.’ And this he aſſerts, without any allowance made either for a change of ſtates, or the deſign of the Gods. To confirm this obſervation, he ſtrengthens it with a quotation out of his larger work on the ILIAD, where he has theſe words upon the death of HECTOR: ‘How fooliſh is it in HOMER to make HECTOR (who thro' the whole courſe of the ILIAD had made uſe of HELENUS, to learn the will of the Gods) becomes prophet juſt at his death? Let every one be what he ought, without falling into thoſe parts which others are to ſuſtain in a poem.’ This he has ſaid, not diſtinguiſhing rightly between our natural diſpoſtions and accidental offices. And this he has ſaid again, not minding, that tho' it be taken from another book, it is ſtill from the ſame author. However, vanity loves to gratify itſelf by the repetition of what it eſteems, to be written with ſpirit, and even when we repeat it ourſelves, provided another hears us. Hence has he been follow'd by a magiſterial ſet of men who quote themſelves, and ſwell their new perfomances with what [Page 188] they admire in their former Treatiſes. This is a moſt extraordinary knack of arguing, whereby a man can never want a proof, if he be allow'd to become an authority for his own opinion.

Pag. 48. Ver. 16. AND NO KIND BILLOW.] ‘How impertinent is this caſe of pity, ſays ZOILUS, to bemoan, that the prince was not toſs'd towards land: It is enough he loſt his life, and there is an end of his ſuffering where there is an end of his feeling. To carry the matter farther, is juſt the ſame fooliſh management as HOMER has ſhewn in his ILIADS, which he ſpins out into forty trifles beyond the death of HECTOR.’ But the Critic muſt allow me to put the renders in mind, that death was not the laſt diſtreſs the Ancients believ'd was to be met upon earth. The laſt was the remaining unbury'd, which had this miſery annex'd, that while the body was without its funeral-rites in this world, the ſoul was ſuppos'd to be without reſt in the next. which was the caſe of the Mouſe before us. And accordingly the AJAX of SOPHOCLES continues after the death of its hero more than an act, upon the conteſt concerning his burial. All this ZOILUS knew very well: but ZOILUS is not the only one, who diſputes for victory rather than truth. Theſe fooliſh, to ſhew how much they can write againſt an author. They act unfairly, that they may be ſure to be ſharp enough; and trifle with the reader, in order [Page 189] to be voluminous. It is needleſs to wiſh them the return they deſerve: their diſregard to candour is no ſooner diſcover'd, but they are for ever baniſh'd from the eyes of men of ſenſe, and condemn'd to wander from ſtall to ſtall, for a temporary refuge from that oblivion which they can't eſcape.

Pag. 49. Ver. 1. OUR ELDEST PERISH'D.] ZOILUS had here taken ‘the recapitulation of thoſe miſfortunes which happen'd to the Royal Family, as an impertinence that expatiates from the ſubject;’ tho' indeed there ſeems nothing more proper to raiſe that ſort of compaſſion, which was to inſlame his audience to war. But what appears extremely pleaſant is, that at the ſame time he condemns the paſſage, he ſhou'd make uſe of it as an opportunity, to fall into ‘an ample digreſſion on the various kinds of Mouſetraps,’ and diſplay that minute learning which every Critic of his ſort is fond to ſhew himſelf maſter of. This they imagine is tracing of knowledge thro' its hidden veins, and bringing diſcoveries to daylight, which time had cover'd over. Indefatigable and uſeleſs mortals! who value themſelves for knowledge of no conſequence, and think of gaining applauſe by what the reader is careful to paſs over unread. What did the diſquiſition ſignify formerly, whether Ulyſſes's Son, or his Dog, was the elder? or how can the account of a Veſture, or a Player's Maſque, deſerve that any ſhou'd write the bulk of a treatiſe, or others read [Page 190] it when it is written? A vanity, thus poorly ſupported, which neither affords pleaſure nor profit, is the unſubſtantial amuſement of a dream to ourſelves, and a provoking occaſion of our deriſion to others.

Pag. 49. Ver. 15, 16. QUILLS APTLY BOUND—FAC'D WITH THE PLUNDER OF A CAT THEY FLAY'D.] This paſſage is ſomething difficult in the original, which gave ZOILUS the opportunity of inventing an expreſſion, which his followers conceitedly uſe when any thing appears dark to them. ‘This, ſay they, let Phoebus explain;’ as if what exceeds their capacity muſt of neceſſity demand oracular interpretations, and an interpoſal of the God of Wit and Learning. The baſis of ſuch arrogance is the opinion they have of that knowledge they aſcribe to themſelves. They take Criticiſm to be beyond every other part of learning, becauſe it gives judgment upon books written in every other part. They think in conſequence, that every Critic muſt be a greater Genius than any Author whom he cenſures; and therefore if they eſteem themſelves Critics, they ſet enthron'd Infancy at the head of Literature. Criticiſm indeed deſerves a noble Elogy, when it is enlarg'd by ſuch a comprehenſive learning as Ariſtotle and Cicero were maſters of; when it adorns its precepts with the conſummate exactneſs of Quintilian, or is exalted into the ſublime ſentiments of Longinus. But let not ſuch men tell us they participate in the glory of theſe great men, and place themſelves [Page 191] next to PHOEBUS, who, like ZOILUS, entangle an author in the wrangles of grammarians, or try him with a poſitive air and barren imagination, by the ſet of rules they have collected out of others.

Pag. 50. Ver. 1. YE FROGS! THE MICE.] At this ſpeech of the Herald's, which recites the cauſe of the war, ZOILUS is angry with the Author, ‘for not finding out a cauſe entirely juſt; for, ſays he, it appears not from his own Fable, that Phyſignathus invited the prince with any malicious intention to make him away.’ To this we anſwer, 1ſt, That it is not neceſſary in relating facts to make every war have a juſt beginning. 2dly, This doubtful cauſe agrees better with the moral, by ſhewing that ill-founded leagues have accidents to deſtroy them, even without the intention of parties. 3dly, There was all appearance imaginable againſt the frogs; and if we may be allow'd to retort on our adverſary the practice of his poſterity, there is more humanity in an hoſtility proclaim'd upon the appearance of injuſtice done us, than in their cuſtom of attacking the works of others as ſoon as they come out, purely becauſe they are eſteem'd to be good. Their performances, which cou'd derive no merit from their own names, are then ſold upon the merit of their antagoniſt: and if they are ſo ſenſible of fame, or even of envy, they have the mortification to remember, how much by this means they become indebted to thoſe they injure.

[Page 192] Pag. 50. Ver. 21. WHERE HIGH THE BANKS.] This project is not put in practice during the following battle, by reaſon of the fury of the combatants: yet the mention of it is not impertinent in this place, foraſmuch as the probable face of ſucceſs which it carties with it tended to animate the Frogs. ZOILUS however cannot be ſo ſatisfied; ‘It were better, ſays he, to cut it intirely out; nor won'd HOMER be the worſe if half of him were ſerv'd in the ſame manner; ſo, continues he, they will find it, whoever in any country, ſhall hereafter undertake ſo odd a taſk, as that of tranſlating him.’ Thus Envy finds words to put in the mouth of Ignorance; and the time will come, when Ignorance ſhall repeat what Envy has pronounced ſo raſhly.

Pag. 51. Ver. 13. AND TAP'RING SEA-REEDS.] If we here take the reed for that of our own growth, it is no ſpear to match the long ſort of needles with which the Mice had arm'd themſelves; but the cane, which is rather intended, has its ſplinters ſtiff and ſharp, to anſwer all the uſes of a ſpear in battle. Nor is it here to be lightly paſt over, ſince ZOILUS moves a queſtion upon it, that the Poet cou'd not chooſe a more proper weapon for the Frogs, than that which they chooſe for themſelves in a defenſive war they maintain with the ſerpents of Nile. ‘They have this ſtratagem, ſays Aelian, to protect themſelves; they ſwim with pieces of cane acroſs their mouths, of too great a length [Page 193] for the breadth of the ſerpents throats; by which means they are preſerv'd from being ſwallow'd by them.’ This is a quotation ſo much to the point, that I ought to have uſher'd in my Author with more pomp to dazzle the reader. ZOILUS and his followers, who ſeldom praiſe any man, are however careful to do it for their own ſakes, if at any time they get an author of their opinion: tho' indeed it muſt be allow'd, they ſtill have a draw-back in their manner of praiſe, and rather chooſe to drop the name of their man, or darkly hint him in a periphraſis, than to have it appear that they have directly aſſiſted the perpetuating of any one's memory. Thus, if a Dutch Critic were to introduce for example MARTIAL, he would, inſtead of naming him, ſay, INGENIOSUS ILLE EPIGRAMMATICUS BILBILICUS. Or, if one of our own were to quote from among ourſelves, he wou'd tell us how it has been remark'd ‘in the works of a learned Writer, to whom the world is obliged for many excellent productions,’ etc. All which proceeding is like boaſting of our great friends, when it is to do ourſelves an honour, or the ſhift of dreſſing up one who might otherwiſe be diſregarded, to make him paſs upon the world for a reſponſible voucher to our own aſſertions.

Pag. 51. Ver. 17. BUT NOW WHERE JOVE'S.] At this fine Epiſode, in which the Gods are introduced, ZOILUS has no patience left him to remark; but runs ſome lines with a long ſtring of ſuch expreſſions, as [Page 194] "Trifler, Fabler, Lyar, fooliſh, impious," all which he laviſhly heaps upon the Poet. From this knack of calling names, join'd with the ſeveral arts of finding fault, it is to be ſuſpected, that our ZOILUS'S might make very able libellers, and dangerous men to the government, if they did not rather turn themſelves to be ridiculous cenſors: for which reaſon I cannot but reckon the ſtate oblig'd to men of wit; and under a kind of debt in gratitude, when they take off ſo much ſpleen, turbulency, and ill-nature, as might otherwiſe ſpend itſelf to the detriment of the public.

Pag. 52. Ver. 5. IF MY DAUGHTER'S MIND.] This ſpeech, which Jupiter ſpeaks to Pallas with a pleaſant kind of air, ZOILUS takes gravely to pieces; and affirms, ‘It is below Jupiter's wiſdom, and only agreeable with HOMER'S folly, that he ſhou'd borrow a reaſon for her aſſiſting the Mice from their attendance in the temple, when they waited to prey upon thoſe things which were ſacred to her.’ But the air of the ſpeech rendering a grave anſwer unneceſſary; I ſhall only offer ZOILUS an obſervation in return for his. There are upon the ſtone which is carv'd for the apotheoſis of HOMER, figures of Mice by his footſtool, which, according to Cuperus, its interpreter, ſome have taken to ſignify this Poem; and others thoſe Critics, who tear or vilify the works of great men. Now if ſuch can be compar'd to Mice, let the words of ZOILUS be brought home to himſelf and his followers [Page 195] for their mortification. ‘That no one ought to think of meriting in the ſtate of learning only by debaſing the beſt performances, and as it were preying upon thoſe things which ſhou'd be ſacred in it.’

Pag. 52. Ver. 13. IN VAIN MY FATHER.] The ſpeech of Pallas is diſlik'd by ZOILUS, ‘becauſe it makes the Goddeſs carry a reſentment againſt ſuch inconſiderable creatures;’ tho' he ought to eſteem them otherwiſe when they repreſent the perſons and actions of men, and teach us how the Gods, diſregard thoſe in their adverſities who provoke them in proſperity. But, if we conſider Pallas as the patroneſs of learning, we may by an allegorical application of the Mice and Frogs, find in this ſpeech two ſorts of enemies to learning; they who are maliciouſly miſchievous, as the Mice; and they who are turbulent through oſtentation, as the Frogs. The firſt are enemies to excellency upon principle; the ſecond accidentally by the error of ſelf-love, which does not quarrel with the excellence itſelf, but only with thoſe people who get more praiſe than themſelves by it. Thus, tho' they have not the ſame perverſeneſs with the others, they are however drawn into the ſame practices, while they ruin reputations, leſt they ſhou'd not ſeem to be learn'd; as ſome women turn proſtitutes, leſt they ſhou'd not be thought handſome enough to have admirers.

Pag. 54. Ver. 5. THEIR DREADFUL TRUMPETS.] Upon the reading of this, ZOILUS becomes full of diſcoveries. [Page 196] He recollects, ‘that Homer makes his Greeks come to battle with ſilence, and his Trojans with ſhouts;’ from whence he diſcovers, ‘that he knew nothing of trumpets.’ Again, he ſees, ‘that the hornet is made a trumpeter to the battle;’ and hence he diſcovers, ‘that the line muſt not be HOMER'S.’ Now had he drawn his conſequences fairly, he cou'd only have found by the one, that trumpets were not in uſe at the taking of Troy; and by the other, that the battle of Frogs and Mice was laid by the Poet for a later ſcene of action than that of the ILIAD. But the boaſt of diſcoveries accompanies the affectation of knowledge; and the affectation of knowledge is taken up with a deſign to gain a command over the opinions of others. It is too heavy a taſk for ſome Critics to ſway our rational judgments by rational inferences; a pompous pretence muſt occaſion admiration, the eyes of mankind muſt be obſcur'd by a glare of pedantry, that they may conſent to be led blindfold, and permit that an opinion ſhou'd be dictated to them without demanding that they may be reaſon'd into it.

Pag. 54. Ver. 24. BIG SEUTLAEUS TUMBLING.] ZOILUS has happen'd to bruſh the duſt of ſome old manuſcript, in which the line that kills SEUTLAEUS is wanting. And for this cauſe he fixes a general concluſion, ‘that there is no dependance upon any thing which is handed down for HOMER'S, ſo as to allow it [Page 197] praiſe; ſince the different copies vary amongſt themſelves.’ But is it fair in ZOILUS, or any of his followers, to oppoſe one copy to a thouſand? and are they impartial who wou'd paſs this upon us for an honeſt balance of evidence? When there is ſuch an inequality on each ſide, is it not more than probable that the number carry the author's ſenſe in them, and the ſingle one its tranſcriber's errors? It is folly or madneſs of paſſion to be thus given over to partiality and prejudices. Men may flouriſh as much as they pleaſe concerning the value of a new-found edition, in order to byaſs the world to particular parts of it; but in a matter eaſily decided by common ſenſe, it will ſtill continue of its own opinion.

Pag. 56. Ver. 17. WITH BORBOCAETES FIGHTS] Through the grammatical part of ZOILUS'S work he frequently rails at HOMER for his dialects. "Theſe," ſays he in one place, ‘the Poet made uſe of becauſe he could not write pure Greek;’ and in another, ‘they ſtrangely contributed to his fame, by making ſeveral cities who obſerv'd ſomething of their own in his mix'd language, contend for his being one of their natives.’ Now ſince I have here practis'd a licence in imitation of his, by ſhortning the word BORBOCAETES a whole ſyllable, it ſeems a good opportunity to ſpeak for him where I defend myſelf. Remember then, that any great genius, who introduces Poetry into a language, has a power to poliſh it, and of all the [Page 198] manners of ſpeaking then in uſe, to ſettle that for Poetical which he judges moſt adapted to the art. Take notice too, that HOMER has not only done this for neceſſity, but for ornament, ſince he uſes various dialects to humour his ſenſe with ſounds which are expreſſive of it. Thus much in behalf of my Author to anſwer ZOILUS: as for myſelf, who deal with his followers, I muſt argue from neceſſity, that the word was ſtubborn and wou'd not ply to the quantities of an Engliſh Verſe, and therefore I alter'd it by the Dialect we call Poetical, which makes my line ſo much ſmoother, that I am ready to cry with their brother LIPSIUS, when he turn'd an O into an I, ‘Vel ego me amo, vel me amavit Phoebus quando hoc correxi.’ To this let me add a recrimination upon ſome of them: As 1ſt, ſuch as chooſe words written after the manner of thoſe who preceded the pureſt age of a language, without the neceſſity I have pleaded, as ‘regundi for regendi, perduit for perdidit,’ which reſtoration of obſolete words deſerves to be call'd a Critical Licence or Dialect. 2dly, Thoſe who pretending to verſe without an ear, uſe the Poetical Dialect of Abbreviation, ſo that the lines ſhall run the rougher for it. And 3dly, thoſe who preſume by their Critical Licences to alter the ſpellings of words; an affectation which deſtroys the etymology of a language, and being carry'd on by private hands for fancy or faſhion, wou'd be a thing we ſhou'd never have an end.

[Page 199] Pag. 59. Ver. 13. NOR PALLAS, JOVE!] ‘I cannot, ſays ZOILUS, reflect upon this ſpeech of Mars, is where a Mouſe is oppos'd to the God of War, the Goddeſs of Valour, the thunder of Jupiter, and all the Gods at once, but I rejoice to think that PYTHAGORAS ſaw HOMER'S ſoul in hell, hanging on a tree, and ſurrounded with ſerpents, for what he ſaid of the Gods.’ Thus he who hates Fables anſwers one with another, and can rejoice in them when they flatter his envy. He appears at the head of his ſquadron of Critics, in the full ſpirit of one utterly devoted to a party; with whom truth is a lye, or as bad as a lye, when it makes againſt him; and falſe quotations, paſs for truth, or as good as truth, when they are neceſſary to a cauſe.

Pag. 61. Ver. 11. AND A WHOLE WAR.] ‘Here, ſays ZOILUS, is an end of a very fooliſh Poem, of which by this time I have effectually convinc'd the world, and ſilenc'd all ſuch for the future, who, like HOMER, write Fables to which others find Morals, characters whoſe juſtneſs is queſtion'd, unneceſſary digreſſions, and impious epiſodes.’ But what aſſurance can ſuch a ZOILUS have, that the world will ever be convinc'd againſt an eſtabliſh'd reputation, by ſuch people whoſe faults in writing are ſo very notorious? who judge againſt rules, affirm without reaſons, and cenſure without manners? who quote themſelves for a ſupport of their opinions, found their pride upon [Page 200] a learning in trifles, and their ſuperiority upon the claims they magiſterially make? who write of beauties in a harſh ſtyle, judge of excellency with a lowneſs of ſpirit, and purſue their deſire to decry it with every artifice of envy? There is no diſgrace in being cenſur'd, where there is no credit to be favour'd. But, on the contrary, Envy gives a teſtimony of ſome perfection in another; and one who is attack'd by many, is like a hero whom his enemies acknowledge for ſuch, when they point all the ſpears of a battle againſt him. In ſhort, an author who writes for every age, may even erect himſelf a monument of thoſe ſtones which Envy throws at him: while the Critic who writes againſt him can have no fame becauſe he had no ſucceſs; or if he fancies he may ſucceed, he ſhou'd remember, that by the nature of his undertaking he wou'd but undermine his own foundation; for he is to ſink of courſe, when the book which he writes againſt, and for which alone he is read, is loſt in diſrepute or oblivion.




The following VARIATIONS are taken from a MS. communicated by a Gentleman of Taſte in Ireland; and are publiſhed as a Specimen of Mr. POPE'S Alterations of the Verſes of his Friend, ſuch as he has himſelf given of his own Verſes, in the lateſt Editions of his Works.

[Page 203]



Pag. 2. Ver. 26.

P. Where mingled whiteneſs glow'd with ſofter red.
M. Where lovely whiteneſs glow'd with mingling red.

Pag. 4. After Ver. 14. the MS. reads thus:

Whatever ſhining gemms the Nymphs by land,
What orient pearl the Nymphs by ſea command.

—After Ver. 20. reads thus:

Fine links in golden chains for bracelets hung,
Gay buckles ſparkling round about the tongue,
And brazen pins, a num'rous aid on earth,
From whence new turns of faſhion find a birth;
But chief the mirrour—

Pag. 5. After Ver. 2. the MS. reads thus:

On which diſſembl'd Nature ſeem'd to yield
Her painted gardens in a ſilken field,)

—Ver. 24.

P. Women have time to ſacrifice to pride.
M. Not born to labour Women live to pride.

In the manuſcript, at the end of every ſix lines thro' the whole Song of the Fates, the two firſt lines of it come in as a burthen.

[Page 204] Pag. 7. After Ver. 10. the MS. reads thus:

For Women pain'd to conquer when they yield,
But keep from empire while they keep the field:

—Ver. 16.

P. The fatal gift, her tempting ſelf unknown!
M. The faithleſs gift, her faithleſs ſelf unknown!

—After Ver. 22. reads thus:

What rocks, what ſhelves within her boſom hide,
Ah! where the wrecks are frequent leave to ride.

Pag. 8. Ver. 13.

P. The days of whining, and of wild intrigues,
M. The days of whining court, the wild intrigues,

—After Ver. 18. reads thus:

Expence on faſhions tho' the wealth decay,
Tho' ſtill we ſee the danger, fret, and pay;
The curſe of jealouſy; the curſe of ſtrife;

—After Ver. 2 [...]. reads thus:

As men who ſailing touch on Libyan land,
See brinded Panthers ſcour the deſart ſand,
Fierce Wolves and Tigers wand'ring ſwains engage,
And ſcaly Dragons fill the realm with rage;
If ſtill the diſtant breaks are heard to roar,
Much what they view they dread, and fear for more.

Pag. 10. Ver. 8.

P. And thus inſcribes the moral on the ſand.
M. And thus the point reverſing graves the ſand.


[Page 205]

Pag. 12. The MS. reads thus:

THYRSIS, a young and am'rous ſwain,
Saw two, the beauties of the plain,
And both their charms prepar'd a chain,
And both his heart ſubdue;
Gay Caelia's eyes appear'd ſo fair,
They dazzl'd, while ſhe pull'd the ſnare;
Sabina's eaſy ſhape and air
With ſofter magic drew.
He haunts the ſtream, he haunts the grove,
Where-e'er the friendly rivals rove,
Lives in a fond romance of love,
And ſeems for each to dye;
'Till each a little ſpiteful grown,
They make their faults to Thyrſis known,
Sabina Caelia's ſhape run down,
And ſhe Sabina's eye.
Their envy made the ſhepherd find
Thoſe eyes which love cou'd only blind,
Thus both the chains of both unbind,
And ſet the lover free:
No more he haunts the grove or ſtream,
The flow'ry walk of either dame,
Or with a true-love knot and name,
Engraves a wounded tree, &c.



Pag. 78. After Ver. 28. the MS. reads thus:

The monſter iſſues from the wood
That boaſts the gallant Niſus' blood;
From leaf, &c.

—After Ver. 24. reads thus:

Around my temples laurel bind,
But leave that azure ſilk behind,
I'll have my fillet flame with red,
To ſuit a ſacrificer's head.
Bring Homer, Virgil, Taſſo near,
To pile a ſacred altar here;
Now Spencer, Milton, Dryden lift,
Row, Steel, Pope, Addiſon and Swift,
Hold boy, thy hand out-runs thy wit,
You reach'd the plays that Dennis writ:
You reach'd me Phillip's, &c.

Pag. 79. After Ver. 28. the MS. reads thus:

Come bind the victim, but forbear
To turn his throat to upper air,
That poſture ſuits the Gods above,
This earth the Muſes often love,
And now I think they are not gone,
They live with Pope and Addiſon.
So—as I would the ſavage lies, &c.

[Page 207] Pag. 80. After Ver. 6. the MS. reads thus:

It foams with wine, upon the beaſt
I pour a drop, and drink the reſt, &c.

—After Ver. 10. reads thus:

Here's fame to Pope, and wealth to Steel,
And all to Addiſon he will,
May Garth have practice, Congreve ſight,
May Row get many a full third night;
Be gentle Gay's and Tickel's lot
At leaſt as good as Budgell got;
But if their riches, &c.

—After Ver. 14, reads thus:

Devoted wretch! thy miſchief paſt
Has made this point of time thy laſt,

—After Ver. 16. reads thus:

Beneath the native mail I run,
He bleeds, he bleeds, the work is done;

—After Ver. 18. reads thus:

M. Go reach thy ſounding harp my boy,
And Io Paean! ſing for joy.
How like, &c.


[Page 208]

Pag. 90. Ver. 11, 12.

P. Time was, like thee they life poſſeſt,
And time ſhall be, that thou ſhalt reſt.
M. Time was, like thee they life poſſeſt,
And thou like them ſhalt ſink to reſt.

Pag. 92. After Ver. 6. the MS. reads thus:

Nor count we death a cauſe to grieve,
But dying when to vice we live.

—Ver. 13.

P. On earth, and in the body plac'd,
A few, and evil years they waſte.
M. Confin'd to fleſh, and plac'd beneath,
A few, and evil years they breathe.


[Page 209]

Pag. 96. Ver. 5.

M. His goods a glaſs to meaſure human breath,
The books of wiſdom, and the ſpade of death.

Pag. 98. Ver. 17, 18.

P. Freſh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep,
And ſhake the neighb'ring wood to baniſh ſleep.
M. With freſh'ning airs o'er gay parterres they creep,
And ſhake the ruſtling groves to baniſh ſleep.

Pag. 101. Ver. 1.

P. Now night's dim ſhades again involve the ſky.
M. When duſky twilight bid the night prepare,
To light with radiant drops the dark'ning air;

Pag. 102. Ver. 1.


—Ver. 25, 26.

P. The form etherial burſts upon the ſight,
And moves in all the majeſty of light.
M. So when the ſun his dazzling ſplendour ſhrowds,
Yet juſt begins to break the veiling clouds;
A bright effulgence at the firſt is ſeen,
But ſhorn of beams, and with a miſt between,
Soon the full glory burſts upon the ſight,
And moves in all the majeſty of light.

[Page 210] Pag. 103. Ver 3.

M. So loud thro' rocks the tumbling waters ſtray,
Then glide beneath the fall unheard away.

—Ver. 13, 14, 15.

P. The Maker juſtly claims that world he made.
In this the right of Providence is laid;
Its ſacred Majeſty, &c.
M. Eternal God the world's foundations laid,
He made what is, and governs what he made,
His ſacred Majeſty, &c.




AS Bacchus ranging at his leiſure,
(lo Bacchus! king of pleaſure)
Charm'd the wide world with drink and dances,
And all his thouſand airy fancies;
Alas! he quite forgot the while
His fav'rite vines in Leſbos iſle.
The God returning ere they died,
Ah! ſee my jolly Fawns, he cried,
The leaves but hardly born are red,
And the bare arms for pity ſpread;
The beaſts afford a rich manure,
Fly, my boys, and bring the lure,
Up the mountains, down the vales;
Thro' the woods, and o'er the dales;
For this, if full the cluſters grow,
Your bowls ſhall doubly overflow.
So chear'd, with more officious haſte
They bring the dung of ev'ry beaſt,
[Page 212] The loads they wheel, the roots they bare,
They lay the rich manure with care,
While oft he calls to labour hard,
And names as oft the red reward.
The plants revive, new leaves appear,
The thick'ning cluſters load the year;
The ſeaſon ſwiftly purple grew,
The grapes hung dangling deep with blue.
A vineyard ripe a day ſerene
Now calls them all to work again;
The Fawns thro' ev'ry furrow ſhoot
To load their flaſkets with the fruit;
And now the vintage early trod,
The wines invite the jovial God.
Strow the roſes, raiſe the ſong,
See the maſter comes along!
Luſty Revel join'd with Laughter,
Whim and Frolic follow after.
The Fawns beſide the vatts remain
To ſhew the work, and reap the gain.
All around, and all around
They ſit to riot on the ground,
A veſſel ſtands amidſt the ring,
And here they laugh, and there they ſing;
Or riſe a jolly jolly band,
And dance about it hand in hand;
Dance about, and ſhout amain,
Then ſit to laugh and ſing again.
[Page 213]
But, as an antient author ſung,
The vine manur'd with ev'ry dung,
From ev'ry creature ſtrangely drew,
A tang of brutal nature too;
'Twas hence in drinking on the lawns
New turns of humour ſeiz'd the Fawns.
Here one was crying out, by Jove!
Another, fight me in the grove;
This wounds a friend, and that the trees;
The Lion's temper reign'd in theſe.
Another grins and leaps about,
And keeps a merry world of rout,
And talks impertinently free;
And twenty talk the ſame as he:
Chatt'ring, airy, idle, kind:
Theſe take the Monkey-turn of mind.
Here one who ſaw the nymphs that ſtood
To peep upon them from the wood,
Steals off, to try if any maid
Be lagging late beneath the ſhade;
While looſe diſcourſe another raiſes
In naked Nature's plaineſt phraſes;
And ev'ry glaſs he drinks enjoys
With change of nonſenſe, luſt and noiſe;
Mad and careleſs, hot and vain,
Such as theſe the Goat retain.
Another drinks and caſts it up,
And drinks and wants another cup,
[Page 214] Solemn, ſilent, and ſedate,
Ever long and ever late,
Full of meats and full of wine;
This takes his temper from the ſwine.
Here ſome who hardly ſeem to breathe,
Drink and hang the jaw beneath,
Gaping, tender, apt to weep;
Their natures alter'd by the ſheep.
'Twas thus one autumn all the crew
(If what the Poets ſing be true)
While Bacchus made the merry feaſt
Inclin'd to one or other beaſt;
And ſince 'tis ſaid for many a mile
He ſpread the vines of Leſbos iſle.


IN airy fields, the fields of bliſs below,
Where woods of myrtle ſet by Maro grow;
Where graſs beneath, and ſhade diffus'd above,
Refreſh the fever of diſtracted love:
There at a ſolemn tide, the beauties ſlain
By tender paſſion, act their fates again:
Thro' gloomy light that juſt betrays the grove,
In Orgyes all diſconſolately rove;
They range the reeds, and o'er the poppies ſweep,
That nodding bend beneath their load of ſleep;
By lakes ſubſiding with a gentle face,
And rivers gliding with a ſilent pace,
Where kings and ſwains, by antient authors ſung,
Now chang'd to flow'rets, o'er the margin hung:
The ſelf-admirer, white Narciſſus, ſo
Fades at the brink, his picture fades below;
In bells of azure, Hyacinth aroſe,
In crimſon painted young Adonis glows;
The fragrant Crocus ſhone with golden flame,
And leaves inſcrib'd with Ajax' haughty name.
A ſad remembrance brings their lives to view,
And with their paſſion makes their tears renew;
Unwinds the years, and lays the former ſcene,
Where after death, they live for deaths again.
[Page 216]
Loſt by the glories of her lover's ſtate,
Deluded Semele bewails her fate,
And runs, and ſeems to burn, the flames ariſe,
And fan with idle furies as the flies.
The lovely Caenis, whoſe transforming ſhape
Secur'd her honour from a ſecond rape,
Now moans the firſt, with ruffl'd dreſs appears,
Feels her whole ſex return, and bathes with tears.
The jealous Procris wipes a ſeeming wound,
Whoſe trickling crimſon dyes the buſhy ground,
Knows the ſad ſhaft, and calls before ſhe go,
To kiſs the fav'rite hand that gave the blow.
O'er a feign'd Ocean's rage the Seſtian Fair
Holds a dim taper from a tow'r of air;
A noiſeleſs wind aſſaults the wav'ring light,
The beauty tumbling, mingles with the night.
Where curling ſhades for rough Leucate roſe,
With love diſtracted tuneful Sappho goes;
Sings to mock-cliffs a melancholy lay,
And with a Lover's leap affrights the ſea.
The ſad Eriphyle retreats to moan
What wrought her huſband's death, and caus'd her own;
Surveys the glitt'ring veil, the bribe of fate,
And tears the ſhadow, but ſhe tears too late.
In thin deſign and airy picture fleet
The tales that ſtain the Royal Houſe of Crete:
To court a lovely bull Paſiphae flies,
The ſnowy phantom feeds before her eyes;
[Page 217] Loſt Ariadne raves, the thread ſhe bore
Trails on unwinding as ſhe walks the ſhore;
And deſp'rate Phaedra ſeeks the lonely groves
To read her guilty letter while ſhe roves;
Red ſhame confounds the firſt, the ſecond wears
A ſtarry crown, the third a halter bears.
Fair Laodamia mourns her nuptial night
Of love defrauded by the thirſt of fight;
Yet for another as deluſive cries,
And dauntleſs ſees her hero's ghoſt ariſe.
Here Thiſbe, Canace, and Dido ſtand
All arm'd with ſwords, a fair but angry band;
This ſword a lover own'd, a father gave
The next, the laſt a ſtranger chanced to leave.
And there ev'n ſhe, the Goddeſs of the grove,
Join'd with the phantom Fairs, affects to rove,
As once for Latmos ſhe forſook the plain,
To ſteal the kiſſes of a ſlumb'ring ſwain;
Around her head a ſtarry fillet twines,
And at the front a ſilver creſcent ſhines.
Theſe, and a thouſand, and a thouſand more,
With ſacred rage recal the pangs they bore,
Strike the deep dart afreſh, and aſk relief,
Or ſooth the wound with ſoft'ning words of grief.
At ſuch a tide unheedful Love invades
The dark receſſes of the madding ſhades,
Thro' long deſcent he fans the fogs around,
His purple feathers as he flies reſound,
[Page 218]
The nimble Beauties crouding all to gaze,
Confeſs the common troubler of their eaſe;
Tho' dulling miſts and dubious day deſtroy
The fine appearance of the flutt'ring boy,
Tho' all the pomp that glitters at his ſide,
The golden belt, the claſp and quiver hid,
And tho' the torch appear a gleam of white
That faintly ſpots and moves thro' haizy night;
Yet ſtill they know the God, the gen'ral foe,
And threat'ning lift their airy hands below.
As mindleſs of their rage he ſlowly ſails
On pinions cumber'd in the miſty vales;
(Ah! fool to light) the nymphs no more obey,
Nor was this region ever his to ſway;
Caſt in a deepen'd ring they cloſe the plain,
And ſeize the God reluctant all in vain.
From hence they lead him where a myrtle ſtood,
The ſaddeſt myrtle in the mournful wood,
Devote to vex the God, 'twas here before
Hell's awful empreſs ſoft Adonis bore,
When the young hunter ſcorn'd her graver air,
And only Venus warm'd his ſhadow there.
Fix'd to the trunk the tender boy they bind,
They cord his feet beneath, his hands behind;
He mourns, but vainly mourns his angry fate,
For Beauty ſtill relentleſs acts in hate;
Tho' no offence be done, no judge be nigh,
Love muſt be guilty by the common cry;
[Page 219] For all are pleas'd, by partial paſſion led,
To ſhift their follies on another's head.
Now ſharp Reproaches ring their ſhrill alarms,
And all the Heroines brandiſh all their arms,
And ev'ry Heroine makes it her decree,
That Cupid ſuffer juſt the ſame as ſhe;
To fix the deſp'rate halter one eſſay'd;
One ſeeks to wound him with an empty blade;
Some headlong hang the nodding rocks of air,
They fall in fancy, and he feels deſpair;
Some toſs the hollow ſeas around his head,
(The ſeas that want a wave afford a dread)
Or ſhake the torch, the ſparkling fury flies,
And flames that never burn'd, afflict his eyes.
The groaning Myrrha burſts her rinded womb,
And drowns his viſage in the moiſt perfume;
While others, ſeeming mild, adviſe to wound
With hum'rous pains, by ſly deriſion found;
That prickling bodkins teach the blood to flow,
From whence the roſes firſt begin to glow;
Or in the flames to ſinge the boy prepare,
That all ſhou'd chuſe by wanton fancy where.
The lovely Venus, with a bleeding breaſt,
She too ſecurely thro' the circle preſt,
Forgot the parent, urg'd his haſty fate,
And ſpurr'd the female rage beyond debate;
O'er all her ſcenes of frailty ſwiftly runs,
Abſolves herſelf, and makes the crime her ſon's;
[Page 220] That claſp'd in chains with Mars ſhe chanc'd to lye,
A noted fable of the laughing ſky;
That from her Love's intemp'rate heat began
Sicanian Eryx, born a ſavage man;
The looſe Priapus, and the monſter-wight
In whom the ſexes ſhamefully unite.
Nor words ſuffice the Goddeſs of the Fair,
She ſnaps the roſy-wreath that binds her hair,
Then on the God who fear'd a fiercer woe,
Her hands unpitying dealt the frequent blow;
From all his tender ſkin, a purple dew
The dreadful ſcourges of the chaplet drew;
From whence the roſe by Cupid ting'd before,
Now doubly tinged, flames with luſtre more.
Here ends their wrath; the parent ſeems ſevere,
The ſtrokes unfit for little Love to bear;
To ſave their foe the melting beauties fly,
"And cruel mother! ſpare thy child, they cry;
To Love's account they plac'd their deaths of late,
And now transfer the ſad account to fate;
The mother pleas'd beheld the ſtorm aſſuage,
Thank'd the calm mourners, and diſmiſs'd her rage.
Thus Fancy once in duſky ſhade expreſt,
With empty terrors work'd the time of reſt,
Where wretched Love endur'd a world of woe,
For all a Winter's length of night below;
Then ſoar'd, as ſleep diſſolv'd, unchain'd away,
And thro' the port of Iv'ry reach'd the Day.


URg'd by the warmth of ſacred friendſhip's flame,
But more by all the wonders of thy fame,
By all thoſe offsprings of thy learned mind,
In judgment ſolid, as in wit refin'd;
Reſolv'd I ſing, tho' lab'ring up the way
To reach my theme—O Swift! accept my lay.
Rapt by the force of thought, and rais'd above,
Thro' Contemplation's airy fields I rove,
Where pow'rful Fancy purifies my eye,
And lights the beauties of a brighter ſky,
Freſh paints the meadows, bids green ſhades aſcend,
Clear rivers wind, and op'ning plains extend;
Then fills its landſkip thro' the varied parts
With Virtues, Graces, Sciences and Arts,
Superior forms, of more than mortal air,
More large than mortals, more ſerenely fair:
And there two chiefs, the guardians of thy name,
Contend to raiſe thee to the point of fame.
Ye future times!—I heard the ſilver ſound,
I ſaw the Graces form a circle round;
Each where ſhe fix'd attentive ſeem'd to root,
And all but Eloquence herſelf was mute.
High o'er the throng I ſaw the Goddeſs riſe,
Free to the breeze her upper garment flies;
[Page 222] By turns within her eye the paſſions burn,
The ſofter paſſions languiſh in their turn;
Upon her lips convincing Proof reſides,
Thro' all her ſpeech Perſuaſion melting glides;
A golden crown confeſs'd her high command,
And waving Action gently grac'd her hand.
Out of her boſom, where the treaſure lay,
She drew thy labours to the blaze of day,
Then gaz'd, and read the charms ſhe could inſpire,
And taught the liſt'ning audience to admire.
How ſtrong thy flight! how large thy graſp of thought!
How juſt thy ſchemes! how regularly wrought!
How ſure you wound when ironies deride!
Which muſt be ſeen, yet feign to turn aſide;
How far uncommon, with an air of eaſe,
How nicely taking are thy turns of praiſe!
Fame wants no words to make the Patriot ſhine,
But yet, to chuſe the beſt, muſt borrow thine:
What public ſpirit in thy works appears!
What rolling language fills the raviſh'd ears!
Where Nature all her force of writing ſhows,
Where Art concealing Art with Nature goes.
She ceas'd. Applauſe attended on the cloſe;
Then Poetry her ſiſter art aroſe,
Her fairer ſiſter, born in deepeſt eaſe,
Not made ſo much for bus'neſs as to pleaſe;
Upon her cheeks ſits beauty ever young,
The ſoul of muſic warbles on her tongue,
[Page 223] Bright in her eyes a pleaſing ardour glows,
And from her heart the ſweeteſt temper flows;
A laurel-wreath adorns her curling hair,
And binds their order to the dancing air;
She ſhakes the colours of her radiant wing,
While from the ſpheres ſhe takes her pitch to ſing.
Thrice happy Genius his! whoſe works have hit
The lucky point of bus'neſs and of wit;
They ſeem like ſhow'rs which April months prepare
To call the flow'ry glories up to air;
The drops deſcending make the varied bow,
And while they fall for profit, dreſs for ſhow.
To me retiring oft he finds relief
From ſlow conſuming care, and pining grief;
From me retreating oft he gives to view
What eaſes care, and grief in others too.
Ye fondly grave! be wiſe enough to know,
Life ne'er unbent is but a life of woe.
I'll gently ſteal you from your toils away,
Where balmy winds, and ſcents ambroſial play,
Where on the banks, as chryſtal rivers flow,
They teach immortal Amaranths to grow;
Then from the wild indulgence of the ſcene,
Reſtore your tempers ſtrong for toils again.
She ceas'd. Soft Muſic trembl'd in the wind,
And ſweet Delight diffus'd, thro' ev'ry mind:
The little Smiles which ſtill the Goddeſs grace,
Sportive aroſe, and run from face to face.
[Page 224] But chief—
A gentle band their eager joys expreſs:
Here Friendſhip aſks, and Love of Merit longs
To hear the Goddeſſes renew their ſongs;
There great Benevolence to Men is pleas'd;
Theſe own their SWIFT, and grateful hear him prais'd.
You gentle band! you well may bear your part,
You reign Superior Graces in his heart.
O SWIFT! if Friendſhip's warm yet laſting flame,
If Love of Merit have to praiſe a claim;
If juſt eſteem from ev'ry temper flows
To crown a tender ſenſe of human woes;
Theſe fair returns are thine: nor cou'dſt thou lye
Unknown alive, nor wilt unlovely dye.
Or if high fame be life, (and well we know,
That Bards and Heroes have eſteem'd it ſo)
Thou can'ſt not all expire; thy Works will ſhine
To future times, and Life in Fame be thine.


'TWAS when the night in ſilent ſable fled,
When chearful morning ſprung with riſing red,
When dreams and vapours leave to crowd the brain,
And beſt the Viſion draws its heav'nly ſcene;
'Twas then, as ſlumb'ring on my couch I lay,
A ſudden ſplendor ſeem'd to kindle day,
A breeze came breathing in a ſweet perfume,
Blown from eternal gardens, fill'd the room;
And in a void of blue, that clouds inveſt,
Appear'd a daughter of the realms of reſt;
Her head a ring of golden glory wore,
Her honour'd hand the ſacred volume bore,
Her rayment glitt'ring ſeem'd a ſilver white,
And all her ſweet companions ſons of light.
Strait as I gaz'd my fear and wonder grew,
Fear barr'd my voice, and wonder [...]ix'd my view,
When lo! a cherub of the ſhining crowd
That ſail'd as guardians in her azure cloud,
Fann'd the ſoft air and downward ſeem'd to glide,
And to my lips a living coal applied;
[Page 226] Then while the warmth on all my pulſes ran,
Diffuſing comfort, thus the maid began.
'Where glorious manſions are prepar'd above,
'The ſeats of Muſic, and the ſeats of Love,
'Thence I deſcend, and PIETY my name,
'To warm thy boſom with celeſtial flame,
'To teach thee praiſes mix'd with humble pray'rs,
'And tune thy ſoul to ſing ſeraphic airs;
'Be thou my bard.' A vial here ſhe caught,
(An angel's hand the chryſtal vial brought)
And as with awful ſound the word was ſaid,
She pour'd a ſacred unction on my head,
Then thus proceeded. 'Be thy muſe thy zeal,
'Dare to be good, and all my joys reveal;
'While other pencils flatt'ring forms create,
'And paint the gawdy plumes that deck the great;
'While other pens exalt the vain delight,
'Whoſe waſteful revel wakes the depth of night;
'Or others ſoftly ſing in idle lines,
'How Damon courts, or Amaryllis ſhines;
'More wiſely thou ſelect a theme divine;
''Tis Fame's their recompence, 'tis Heav'n is thine.
'Deſpiſe the fervours of unhallow'd fire,
'Where wine, or paſſion, or applauſe inſpire,
'Low reſtleſs life, and ravings born of earth,
'Whoſe meaner ſubjects ſpeak their humble birth;
'Like working ſeas, that when loud Winters blow,
'Not made for riſing, only rage below:
[Page 227] 'Mine is a great, and yet a laſting heat,
'More laſting ſtill, as more intenſely great,
'Produc'd where pray'r, and praiſe, and pleaſure breathe,
'And ever mounting whence it ſhot beneath.
'Unpaint the Love that hov'ring over beds,
'From glitt'ring pinions guilty pleaſure ſheds,
'Reſtore the colour to the golden mines
'With which behind the feather'd idol ſhines;
'To flow'ring greens give back their native care,
'The roſe and lily never his to wear;
'To ſweet Arabia ſend the balmy breath,
'Strip the fair fleſh, and call the phantom Death;
'His bow be ſabled o'er, his ſhafts the ſame,
'And fork and point them with eternal flame.
'But urge thy pow'rs, thine utmoſt voice advance,
'Make the loud ſtrings againſt thy fingers dance,
''Tis Love that angels praiſe, and men adore,
''Tis Love Divine that aſks it all and more:
'Fling back the gates of ever-blazing day,
'Pour floods of liquid light to gild the way,
'And all in glory wrapt, thro' paths untrod,
'Purſue the great unſeen deſcent of GOD!
'Hail the meek VIRGIN, bid the CHILD appear,
'The CHILD is GOD! and call him JESUS here;
'He comes; but where to reſt? a manger's nigh,
'Make the GREAT BEING in a manger lye;
'Fill the wide ſkies with angels on the wing,
'Make thouſands gaze, and make ten thouſands ſing:
[Page 228] 'Let men afflict him, men he came to ſave,
'And ſtill afflict him, 'till he reach the grave;
'Make him reſign'd, his loads of ſorrow meet,
'And me, like Mary, weep beneath his feet;
'I'll bathe my treſſes there, my pray'rs rehoarſe,
'And glide in flames of love along thy verſe.
'Hah! while I ſpeak, I feel my boſom ſwell,
'My raptures ſmother what I long to tell!
''Tis GOD! a preſent GOD! thro' cleaving air
'I ſee the throne! I ſee the JESUS there!
'Plac'd on the right; he ſhows the wounds he bore!
'(My fervours oft have won him thus before)
'How pleas'd he looks! my words have reach'd his ear,
'He bids the gates unbar, and calls me near.'
She ceas'd. The cloud on which ſhe ſeem'd to tread,
Its curls unſolded, and around her ſpread;
Bright angels waft their wings to raiſe the cloud,
And ſweep their iv'ry lutes, and ſing aloud;
The ſcene moves off, while all its ambient ſky
Is tun'd to wond'rous muſic, as they fly;
And ſoft the ſwelling ſounds of muſic grow,
And faint their ſoftneſs, till they fail below.
My dow [...]y ſleep the warmth of Phoebus broke,
And while my thoughts were ſettling, thus I ſpoke;
Thou beauteous Viſion on the ſoul impreſt,
When moſt my reaſon wou'd appear [...]o reſt!
'Twas ſure with pencils dipt in various lights
Some curious angel limn'd thy ſacred ſights;
[Page 229] From blazing ſuns his radiant gold he drew,
White moons the ſilver gave, and air the blue.
I'll mount the roving wind's expanded wing,
And ſeek the ſacred hill, and light to ſing;
('Tis known in Jewry well) I'll make my lays,
Obedient to thy ſummons, ſound with praiſe.
But ſtill I fear, unwarm'd with holy flame,
I take for truth the flatt'ries of a dream;
And barely wiſh the wond'rous gift I boaſt,
And faintly practiſe what deſerves it moſt.
"Indulgent LORD! whoſe gracious love diſplays
Joys in the light, and fills the dark with eaſe;
Be this, to bleſs my days, no dream of bliſs,
Or be, to bleſs my nights, my dreams like this.


THE fleeting joys, which all affords below,
Work the fond heart with unavailing ſhow.
The wiſh that makes our happier life compleat,
Nor graſps the wealth, nor honours of the great,
Nor looſely ſails on Pleaſure's eaſy ſtream,
Nor gathers wreaths from all the groves of Fame.
Weak man! who charms to theſe alone confine,
Attend my pray'r, and learn to make it thine.
"From thy rich throne, where circling trains of
Make day that's endleſs infinitely bright,
[Page 230] Thence, Heavenly Father! thence with mercy dart
One beam of brightneſs to my longing heart,
Dawn through the mind, drive Error's clouds away,
And ſtill the rage in Paſſion's troubled ſea;
That the poor baniſh'd ſoul, ſerene and free,
May riſe from earth to viſit heav'n and thee.
Come Peace Divine, ſhed gently from above,
Inſpire my willing boſom, wond'rous Love!
Thy purpl'd pinions to my ſhoulders tye,
And point the paſſage where I want to fly.
But whither, whither now! what pow'rful fire
With this bleſs'd influence equals my deſire?
I riſe, or Love the kind deluder reigns,
And acts in fancy ſuch inchanted ſcenes,
Earth leſs'ning flies, the parting ſkies retreat,
The fleecy clouds my waving feathers beat;
And now the ſun and now the ſtars are gone;
Yet ſtill methinks the ſpirit bears me on,
Where tracts of aether purer blue diſplay,
And edge the golden realm of native day.
O ſtrange enjoyment of a bliſs unſeen!
O raviſhment! O ſacred rage within!
Tumultuous pleaſure, rais'd on peace of mind,
Sincere, exceſſive, from the world refin'd!
I ſee the light that veils the throne on high,
A light unpierc'd by man's impurer eye;
I hear the words that iſſuing thence proclaim,
"Let God's attendants praiſe his awful name;"
[Page 231] Then heads unnumber'd bend before the ſhrine,
Myſterious ſeat of Majeſty Divine!
And hands unnumber'd ſtrike the ſilver ſtring,
And tongues unnumber'd Hallelujah ſing.
See, where the ſhining ſeraphim appear,
And ſink their decent eyes with holy fear;
See flights of angels all their feathers raiſe,
And range the orbs, and as they range they praiſe;
Behold the great Apoſtles joyful met,
And high on pearls of azure aether ſet;
Behold the Prophets full of heav'nly fire
With wand'ring fingers wake the trembling lyre;
And hear the Martyrs tune; and all around
The church triumphant makes the region ſound;
With harps of gold, with boughs of ever-green,
With robes of white, the pious throngs are ſeen;
Exalted anthems all their hours employ,
And all is muſic, and exceſs of joy.
Charm'd with the ſight I long to bear a part,
The pleaſure flutters at my raviſh'd heart.
Sweet ſaints and angels of the heav'nly quire!
If Love has warm'd me with celeſtial fire,
Aſſiſt my words, and as they move along,
With Hallelujah crown the burthen'd ſong.
Father of all above and all below!
O great beyond expreſſion!—
No bounds thy knowledge, none thy pow'r confine,
For pow'r and knowledge in their ſource are thine:
[Page 232] Around thee glory ſpreads her golden wing.
Sing, glitt'ring angels, Hallelujah ſing.
Son of the Father! firſt begotten Son,
Ere the ſhort meas'ring line of time begun!
The world has ſeen thy works, and joy'd to ſee
His bright effulgence manifeſt in thee.
The world muſt own thee Love's unfathom'd ſpring.
Sing, glitt'ring angels, Hallelujah ſing.
Proceeding Spirit! equally divine,
In whom the Godhead's full perfections ſhine;
With various graces, comforts unexpreſt,
With holy tranſports you refine the breaſt,
And earth is heav'nly where your gifts you bring.
Sing, glitt'ring angels, Hallelujah ſing.
But where's my rapture? where my wond'rous heat?
What interruption makes my bliſs retreat?
This world's got in, the thought of t'other's croſt,
And the gay picture's in my fancy loſt.
With what an eager zeal the conſcious ſoul
Would claim its ſeat, and ſoaring paſs the pole?
But our attempts theſe chains of earth reſtrain,
Deride our toil, and drag us down again.
So from the ground aſpiring meteors go,
And rank'd with planets, light the would below;
But their own bodies ſink them in the ſky,
When the warmth's gone that taught them how to fly.
N. B. This Viſion is to be underſtood of a Library of Books.