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"She ne'er before in all her life
"Once difobey'd him, maid nor wife.
"One argument the fumm'd up all in,
The thing was done, and pafl recalling;
"And therefore hop'd the fhould recover
"His favour, when his paffion's over.
"She valued not what others thought her,
"And was his moft obedient daughter."
Fair maidens, all attend the Mufe,
Who now the wandering pair purfues:
Away they rode in homely fort,
Their journey long, their money fhort;
The loving couple well bemir'd':
The horfe and both the riders tir'd:
Their victuals bad, their lodging worfe;
Phyl cry'd, and John began to curfe:
Phyl with'd that the had ftrain'd a limb,
When first the ventur'd out with him;
John wifh'd that he had broke a leg,
When first for her he quitted Peg.
But what adventures more befei them,
The Mafe hath now no time to tell them,
How Johnny wheeddled, threaten'd, fawn'd,
Till Phyllis all her trinkets pawn'd:
How oft' the broke her marriage vows
In kindrefs to maintain her fpoufe,
Till fwains unwhole fome fpofl'd the trade;
For now the furgeons must be paid,
To whom thofe perquifites are gone,
In Chriftian justice due to John.
When food and raiment now grew fcarce, Fate put a period to the farce, And with exact poetic juftice; For John was landlord, Phylis hoftefs; They kept, at Staines, the Old Blue Boar, Are cat and dog, and rogue and whore.
AD AMICUM ERUDITUM
THOMAM SHERIDAN, 1717.
DELICIA Sheridan Mufarum, dulcis amice, Si tibi propitius Permeifi ad flumen Apollo Occurrat, feu te mimum convivia rident, Aquivocofque fales fpargis, feu ludere verfu Males; dic, Sheridan, quifnam fuit ille deorum, Que melior natura orto tibi tradidit artem Ravandi genium puerorum, atque ima cerebri Scrutandi? Tibi nafcenti ad cunabula Pallas Aftitit; & dixit, mentis præfaga futuræ, Heu, puer infelix! noftro fub fidere natus; Nam tu pectus eris fine corpore, corporis umbra ; Sed levitate umbram fuperabis, voce cicadam: Mufca femur, palmas tibi mus dedit, ardea crura. Corpore fed tenui tibi quod natura negavit, Hoc animi dotes fupplebunt; teque docente, Nec longum tempus, furget tibi docta juventus Artibus egregiis animas inftructa novellas. Grex hine Paonius venit, ecce, falutifer orbi. Aft, ili caufas orant; his infula vifa eft Divinam capiti nodo conftringere mitram.
Nata is te horæ non fallunt figna, fed ufque Confcius, expedias puero feu latus Apollo Nafcenti arrifit; five illum frigidus horror Saturni premit, aut feptem inflavere triones. Quin tu a te penitufque latentia femina cernis, Quaque diu obtundendo olim fub luminis auras
VIRTUE Conceal'd within our breaft, Is inactivity at best:
But never fhall the mufe endure
To let your virtues lie obfcure,
Or fuffer Envy to conceal
Your labours for the public weal.
Within your breast all wisdom lies,
Either to govern or advise;
Your fteady foul preferves her frame
In good and evil times the fame.
Pale Avarice and lurking Fraud
Stand in your facred prefence aw'd; '
Your hand alone from gold abstains,
Which drags the flavish world in chains.
Him for a happy man I own,
Whofe fortune is not overgrown;
And happy he, who wifely knows
To ufe the gifts that Heaven bestows;
Or, if it pleafe the Powers Divine,
Can fuffer want, and not repine.
The man who, infamy to fhun,
Into the arms of death would run,
That man is ready to defend
With life his country, or his friend.
TO MR. DELANY, Nov. 10. 1718.
To you, whefe virtues, I must own With fhame, I have too lately known; To you, by art and nature taught To be the man I long have fought, Had not ill fate, perverfe and blind, Plac'd you in life too far behind; Or, what I fhould repine at more, Plac'd me in life too far before: To you the mufe this verfe beftows, Which might as well have been in profe; No thought, no fancy, no fublime, But fimple topics told in rhyme. Talents for converfation fit,
Are humour, breeding, fenfe, and wit,
The laft, as boundlefs as the wind,
Is well conceiv'd, though not defin'd:
For, fure, by wit is chiefly meant
Applying well what we invent.
What humour is, not all the tribe
Of logic-mongers can defc: ibe;
Here nature only acts her part,
Unhelp'd by practice, books, or art:
For wit and humour differ quite;
That gives furprife, and this delight.
Humour is odd, grotefque, and wild,
Only by affectation spoil'd:
'Tis never by invention got, Men have it when they know it not.
Our converfation to refine, Humour and wit muft both combine: From both we learn to railly well, Wherein fometimes the French excel. Voiture, in various lights, difplays That irony which turns to praise : His genius first found out the rule For an obliging ridicule : He flatters with peculiar air The brave, the witty, and the fair: And fools would fancy he intends A fatire, where he most commends.
But, as a poor pretending beau,
Because he fain would make a show,
Nor can arrive at filver lace,
Takes up with copper in the place:
So the pert dunces of mankind,
Whene'er they would be thought refin'd,
As if the difference lay abftrufe
"Twixt raillery and grofs abuse;
To fhow their parts, will fcold and rail,
Like porters o'er a pot of ale.
Such is that clan of boisterous bears,
Always together by the ears;
Shrewd fellows and arch wags, a tribe
That meet for nothing but a gibe;
Who first run one another down,
And then fall foul on all the town;
Skill'd in the horse-laugh and dry rub,
And call'd by excellence The Club.
I mean your Butler, Dawfon, Car,
All special friends, and always jar.
The mettled and the vicious fteed
Differ as little in their breed;
Nay, Voiture is as like Tom Leigh
As rudeness is to repartee.
If what you faid I with unfpoke,
"Twill not fuffice it was a joke:
Reproach not, though in jeft, a friend
For thofe defects he cannot mend;
His lineage, calling, fhape, or fenfe,
If nam'd with fcorn, gives juft offence.
What ufe in life to make men fret, Part in worfe humour than they met? Thus all fociety is loft, Men laugh at one another's coft; And half the company is teaz'd, That came together to be pleas'd: For all buffoons have moft in view To please themselves by vexing you. You wonder now to fee me write So gravely on a fubject light: Some part of what I here defign, Regards a friend of yours and mine; Who, neither void of fenfe nor wit, Yet feldom judges what is fit, But fallies oft' beyond his bounds, And takes unmeafurable rounds.
When jefts are carried on too far, And the loud laugh begins the war, You keep your countenance for shame, Yet ftill you think your friend to blame : For, though men cry they love a jest, "Tis but when others ftand the teft;
• Dr. Sheridan.
A LEFT-HANDED LETTER TO DR. SHE RIDAN. 1718.
DELANY reports it, and he has a fhrewd tongue,
That we both act the part of the clown and cow-
We lie cramming ourselves, and are ready to
Yet ftill are no wifer than we were at first.
Pudet bac opprobria, I freely must tell ye,
Et dici potuiffe, et non potuiffe refelli.
Though Delany advis'd you to plague me no longer,
You reply and rejoin like Hoadly of Bangor.
I must now, at one fitting, pay off my old fcore;
How many to anfwer? One, two, three, four.
But, because the three former are long ago paft,
I fhall, for method fake, begin with the laft.
You treat me like a boy that knocks down his foe,
Who, 'ere t'other gets up, demands the rifing blow.
Yet I know a young rogue, that, thrown flat ou
Would, as he lay under, cry out, Sirrah! yield.
So the French, when our Generals foundly did
Went triumphant to church, and fang ftoutly Te
So the famous Tom Leigh, when quite run aground,
Comes off by out-laughing the company round.
In every vile pamphlet you'll read the fame fancies,
Having thus overthrown all our further advances.
My offers of peace you ill underfood: [good?
Friend Sheridan, when will you know your own
"Twas to teach you in modefter language your
For, were you a dog, I could not be rude t'ye;
As a good quiet foul, who no mifchief intends,
To a quarrelfome fellow, cries, Let us be friends.
But we like Antæus and Hercules fight;
The oftener you fall, the oftener you write:
And I'll ufe you as he did that overgrown clown,
I'll first take you up, and then take you down:
And, 'tis your own cafe, for you never can wound
The worst dunce in your fchool, till he's heav'd
from the ground.
* Which was afterwards the fubject of feveral poems by Dr. Srift and others.
The bumour of this poem is partly loft, by the im poffibility of printing it left-banded as it was written.
So little is thy form declin'd:
Made up fo largely in thy mind.
I beg your pardon for ufing my left hand, but I
was in great hafte, and the other hand was employ-
ed at the fame time in writing fome letters of bufi-
nefs.-I will fend you the reft when I have lei-
fure: but pray come to dinner with the company
you met here laft.
Oh, would it please the gods to split
Thy beauty, fize, and years, and wit!
No age could furnish out a pair
Of nymphs fo graceful, wife, and fair;
With half the luftre of your eyes,
A MOTTO FOR MR. JASON HASARD,
WOOLEN-DRAPER IN DUBLIN,
Whofe Sign was the GOLDEN FLEECE.
JASON, the valiant prince of Greece,
From Colchos brought the Golden Fleece:
We comb the wool, refine the stuff,
For modern Jafon, that's enough.
Oh! could we tame yon watchful Dragon,
Old Jafon would have less to brag on.
TO DR. SHERIDAN. 1718.
WHATE'ER your predeceffors taught us,
I have a great efteem for Plautus;
And think your boys may gather there-hence
More wit and humour than from Terence.
DR. SHERIDAN TO DR. SWIFT. 1719.
DEAR Dean, fince in cruxes and puns you and I
Pray why is a woman a fieve and a riddle?
"Tis a thought that came into my noddle this
In bed as I lay, Sir, a-toffing and turning.
You'll find, you read but a few of your hiftories,
All women as Eve, all women are myfteries.
To find out this riddle I know you'll be eager,
And make every one of the fex a Belphegor.
But that will not do, for I mean to commend them;
I fwear without jeft, I an honour intend them.
But as to comic Aristophanes,
The rogue too vicious and too prophane is.
I went in vain to look for Eupolis
Down in the Strandt, juft where the New Pole is; In a fieve, Sir, their ancient extraction I quite tell,
For I can tell you one thing, that I can
(You will not find it in the Vatican).
He and Cratinus us'd, as Horace fays,
To take his greatest grandees for affes.
Poets, in thofe days, us'd to venture high;
But thefe are loft full many a century.
you may fee dear friend, ex pede hence,
My judgment of the old comedians.
In a riddle I give you their power and their title.
This I told you before: do you know what I
"Not I, by my troth, Sir."-Then read it again,
Proceed to tragics: first, Euripides
(An author where I fometimes dip a-days)
Is rightly cenfured by the Stagirite,
Who fays his numbers do not fadge aright.
A friend of mine that author defpifes
So much, he fwears the very beft piece is,
For aught he knows, as bad as Thefpis's;
And that a woman, in thefe tragedies,
Commonly fpeaking, but a fad jade is.
At leaft, I'm well affur'd, that no folk lays
The weight on him they do on Sophocles.
But, above all, I prefer Æfchylus,
Whofe moving touches, when they please, kill us.
And now I find my mufe but ill able,
To hold out longer in triffylable.
I chofe thofe rhymes out for their difficulty;
Will you return as hard ones if I call t'ye?
MARCH 13. 1718-19.
STELLA this day is thirty-four,
(We fha'n't difpute a year or more):
However, Stella, be not troubled,
Although thy fize and years are doubled,
Since firft I faw thee at fixteen,
The brightest virgin on the green:
With half your wit, your years, and size.
And then, before it grew too late,
How should I beg of gentle Fate
(That either nymph might have her fwain)
To split my worship too in twain !
+ The fact may be true; but the rhyme cost me fome
The reafon I fend you thefe lines of rhymes double,
Is purely through pity, to fave you the trouble
Of thinking two hours for a rhyme as you did laft
When your Pegafus canter'd it triple, and rid fast.
As for my little nag, which I keep at Parnaffus,
With Phoebus's leave, to run with his affes,
He goes flow and fure, and he never is jaded,
While your fiery fteed is whipp'd, fpurr'd, balti-
THE DEAN's ANSWER.
IN reading your letter alone in my hackney,
Your damnable riddle my poor brains did rack
And when with much labour the matter I crackt,
I found you mistaken in matter of fact.
A woman's no fieve (for with that you begin),
Because the lets out more than e'er fhe takes in.
And that he's a riddle, can never be right,
For a riddle is dark, but a woman is light.
But, grant her a fieve, I can fay fomething archer,
Pray what is a man? he's a fine linen fearcher.
Now tell me a thing that wants interpretation,
What name for a maid, was the first man's dam-
If your worship will pleafe to explain me this rebus,
I fwear from henceforward you fhall be my Phœbus.
From my backney-coach, Sept. 11. }
STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY, 1720.
ALL travellers at firft incline
Where-e'er they fee the faireft fign;
And, if they find the chambers neat,
And like the liquor and the meat,
Will call again, and recommend
The Angel-inn to every friend.
What though the painting grows decay'd,
The house will never lofe its trade:
Nay, though the treacherous tapfter Thomas
Hangs a new Angel two doors from us,
As fine as daubers' hands can make it,.
In hopes that ftrangers may mistake it,
We think it both a fhame and fin
To quit the true old Angel-inn.
Now this is Stella's cafe in fact,
An angel's face a little crack'd
(Could poets or could painters fix
How angels look at thirty-fix):
This drew us in at first to find
In fuch a form an angel's mind;
And every virtue now fupplies
The fainting rays of Stella's
See at her levee crowding fwains,
Whom Stella freely entertains
With breeding, humour, wit, and fense;
And puts them but to fmall expence ;
Their mind fo plentifully fills,
And makes fuch reasonable bills,
So little gets for what the gives,
We really wonder how the lives!
And, had her stock been lefs, no doubt
She must have long ago run out.
Then who can think we'll quit the place
When Doll hangs out a newer face?
Or ftop and light at Cloe's head,
With fcraps and leavings to be fed?
Then, Cloe, ftill go on to prate Of thirty-fix and thirty-eight; Purfue your trade of fcandal-picking, Your hints that Stella is no chicken Your innuendos, when you tell us, That Stella loves to talk with fellows: ' And let me warn you to believe A truth, for which your foul fhould grieve; That, fhould you live to fee the day When Stella's locks must all be gray, When age must print a furrow'd trace: On every feature of her face;
Though you, and all your fenfelefs tribe, Could art, or time, or nature bribe, To make you look like Beauty's Queen, And hold for ever at fifteen; No bloom of youth can ever blind The cracks and wrinkles of your mind All men of fenfe will pafs your door, And crowd to Stella's at fourfcore.
Who collected and transcribed bis Poems. 1720.
As, when a lofty pile is rais'd, We never hear the workmen prais'd, Who bring the lime, or place the stones; But all admire Inigo Jones;
So, if this pile of fcattered rhymes
Should be approv'd in after times;
If it both pleafes and endures,
The merit and the praise are yours.
Thou, Stella, wert no longer young,
When first for thee my harp was ftrung
Without one word of Cupid's darts,
Of killing eyes, or bleeding hearts?
With Friendship and Efteem poffest,
I ne'er admitted Love a gueft.
In all the habitudes of life,
The friend, the mistress, and the wife,
Variety we ftill purfue,
In pleasure feek for fomething new;
Or elfe, comparing with the reft,
Take comfort, that our own is beft;
The beft we value by the worst,
(As tradesmen fhow their trafh at first):
But his purfuits were at an end
Whom Stella chooses for a fri
A poet ftarving in a garret, Conning all topics like a parrot, Invokes his mistress and his muse, And stays at home for want of shoes: Should but his mufe defcending drop A flice of bread and mutton-chop; Or kindly, when his credit's out, Surprife him with a pint of ftout; Or patch his broken ftocking-foals, Or fend him in a peck of coals; Exalted in his mighty mind, He flies, and leaves the ftars behind; Counts all his labours amply paid, Adores her for the timely aid.
Or, should a porter make inquiries
For Chloe, Sylvia, Phyllis, Iris;
Be told the lodging, lane, and fign,
The bowers that hold thofe nymphs divine,
Fair Chloe would perhaps be found
With footmen tippling under ground;
The charming Sylvia beating Bax,
Her fhoulders mark'd with bloody tracks;
Bright Phyllis mending ragged fmocks,
And radiant Iris in the pox.
Thefe are the goddefles enroll'd
In Curll's collection, new and old,
Whofe fcoundrel fathers would not know 'em,
If they should meet them in a poem,
True poets can deprefs and raise,
Are Lords of infamy and praise;
They are not fcurrilous in fatire,
Nor will in panegyric flatter.
Unjustly poets we afperfe;
Truth fhines the brighter clad in verfe;
And all the fictions they pursue,
Do but infinuate what is true.
Now, fhould my praises owe their truth To beauty, drefs, or paint, or youth, What Stoics call without our power,, They could not be infur'd an hour: "Twere grafting on an annual ftock, That muft our expectation mock, And, making one luxuriant fhoot, Die the next year for want of root: Before I could my verfes bring, Perhaps you're quite another thing.
So Mævius, when he drain'd his skull To celebrate fome fuburb trull,
His fimilies in order fet,
And every crambo he could get, Had
gone through all the common-places Worn out by wits, who rhyme on faces: Before he could his poem clofe, The lovely nymph had loft her nofe, Your virtues fafely I commend ; They on no accidents depend: Let malice look with all her eyes, She dares not fay the poet lies.
Stella, when you thefe lines tranfcribe, Let you should take them for a bribe, Refolv'd to mortify your pride,
I here expofe your weaker fide.
Your fpirits kindle to a flame,
Mov'd with the lightest touch of blame;
And, when a friend in kindnefs tries
To fhow you where your error lies,
Conviction does but more incenfe;
Perverfenefs is your whole defence;
Truth, judgment, wit, give place to fpight,
Regardless both of wrong and right;
Your virtues all fufpended wait
Till time hath open'd reafon's gate;
And, what is worse, your paflion bends
Its force against your nea eft friends,
Which manners, decency, and pride,
Have taught you from the world to hide :
In vain; for, fee, your friend hath brought
To public light your only fault;
And yet a fault we often find
Mix'd in a noble generous mind;
And may compare to Atna's fire,
Which, though with trembling, all admire ;
The heat, that makes the fummit glow,
Etriching all the vales below,
Those who in warmer climes complain
From Phœbus' rays they suffer pain,
Must own that pain is largely paid
By generous wines beneath a thade.
Yet, when I find your paffions rife,
And anger fparkling in your eyes,
1 grieve thofe fpirits fhould be spent,
For nobler ends by nature meant.
One pallion with a different turn
Makes wit inflame, or anger burn:
So the fun's heat with different powers
Ripens the grape, the liquor fours:
Thus Ajax, when with rage poffeft
By Pallas breath'd into his breast,
His valour would no more employ,
Which might alone have conquer'd Troy;
But, blinded by refentment, feeks
For vengeance on his friends the Greeks.
You think this turbulence of flood
From ftagnating preferves the blood,
Which thus fermenting by degrees
Exalts the fpirits, finks the lees.
Stella, for once you réafon wrong;
For, fhould this ferment last too long,
By time fubfiding, you may find
Nothing but acid left behind;
From palion you may then be freed,
When peevishness and fpleen fucceed.
Say, Stella, when you copy next,
W you keep ftrictly to the text?
Dare you let thefe reproaches ftand,
Or, if these lines your anger fire,
Shall they in bafer flames expire ?
Whene'er they burn, if burn they must,
They'll prove my accusation just.
Vifiting me in my Sickness, 1720.
PALLAS, obferving Stella's wit Was more than for her fex was fit, And that her beauty, foon or late, Might breed confufion in the ftate, In high concern for human kind, Fix'd bonour in her infant mind.
But (not in wranglings to engage
With fuch a ftupid vicious age)
If honour I would here define,
It anfwers faith in things divine.
As natural life the body warms,
And, fcholars teach, the foul informs;
So honour animates the whole,
And is the fpirit of the foul.
Thofe numerous virtues which the tribe
Of tedious moralifts defcribe,
And by fuch various titles call,
True honour comprehends them all.
Let melancholy rule fupreme,
Choler prefide, or blood, or phlegm,
It makes no difference in the cafe,
Nor is complexion honour's place.
But, left we fhould for honour take The drunken quarrels of a rake; Or think it feated in a fear, Or on a proud triumphal car, Or in the payment of a debt We lofe with fharpers at picquet; Or when a whore in her vocation Keeps punctual to her allignation; Or that on which his Lordship fwcars, When vulgar knaves would lofe their ears Let Stella's fair example preach A leffon fhe alone can teach.
In points of honour to be try'd, All paflions must be laid afide: Afk no advice, but think alone; Suppofe the queftion not your own. How fhall I act? is not the cafe; But how would Brutus in my place? In fuch a cafe would Cato bleed? And how would Socrates proceed?
Drive all objections from your mind, Elfe you relapfe to human kind : Ambition, avarice, and luft, And factious rage, and breach of truft, And flattery tipt with nauseous fleer, And guilty fhame, and fervile fear, Envy, and cruelty, and pride, Will in your tainted heart prefide.
Heroes and heroines of old By honour only were inroll'd Among their brethren in the skies, To which (though late) fhall Stella rife Ten thousand oaths upon record Are not fo facred as her word: The world fhall in its atoms end,