Miscellany Poems, By Mr. DENNIS: WITH Select Translations OF HORACE. IUVENAL, Mons. BOILEAU's Epistles, Satyrs, &c. And AESOP's FABLES, in Burlesque Verse.

To which is added, The PASSION of BYBLIS: WITH SOME Critical Reflections on Mr. OLDHAM, and his Writings.


The Second Edition with large Additions.

LONDON, Printed for Sam. Briscoe in Covent-Garden, M DC XC VII.

TO THE Right Honourable, &c.

My Lord,

I Presume to Dedicate the fol­lowing Trifles to you; which, if you were one, who judg'd by the Volume, would yet have more the appearance of Trifles. Let them be what they will, they are the most valuable things that I have to offer: and the Obligations which I have to your Lordship are so extraordinary, that to endeavour to make no return, would be down right Ingratitude. Your Lordship will be inclin'd to think me bold to excess, when you hear me [Page] boasting of Favours receiv'd from you, tho perhaps you have never so much as heard of me. Yet, I desire leave to repeat it, the Obligations which I have to you are altogether Extraordinary. For it is owing to your Lordship that I have pass'd some moments of a melancholy Life with inexpressible pleasure. For as read­ing has always been my chief di­version, your Lordship's admirable Writings have been able to give me joy in spight of ill Fate. Your happy and commanding Genius never fail'd to controule my evil weaker one, and seem'd still to cry out to it, Whilst I am by, he must not be unhappy.

Nor have I only the obligation to your Lordship of your own incomparable Wri­tings, but of most of the productions of the best Writers of our Age. 'Tis from your Generous Approbation, that [Page] they have deriv'd that spirit which renders their Works Immortal. For when ever a Man who is so true­ly great as your Lordship, shall vouch­safe to look with a favourable aspect on Poetry, it will not fail to flou­rish, tho all the Stars look malignant­ly. Ev'n I, My Lord, who am no Poet, have notwithstanding found that the desire of pleasing so accomplish'd a Iudge, has more than once inspir'd me with that noble warmth, which Hea­ven and Nature deny'd me. When Heaven sent Mecoenas into the World to be first Minister to the Common­wealth of Rome and of Learning, then arose Virgil and Horace, and the rest of those extraordinary Men, whose very single Names are grown to be entire and glorious Panegyricks. When several Ages after him, Cardinal Richlieu was establish'd in France in his double Capacity, the Muses were in­vited [Page] to pass the Mountains, and breath the sweetness of the Gallick Air. Af­ter Mecoenas and Cardinal Richlieu, your Lordship will stand eternally re­corded by Fame, as the last in succes­sion of that Illustrious Triumvirate, and it will always stand recorded to­gether by the same everlasting Regi­ster, That in your Lordship's time England had more good Poets, than it could boast from the Conquest to You before. By animating and exci­ting the very best of which, you will for ever oblige all those who are to receive Delight and Instruction, from them. Thus is your goodness grown so diffusive, that its influence extends to thousands whom you never heard of. Ti­tus was the Delight and Ioy of man­kind, but your Lordship is, and for ever will be so. You have found out a better way than either Mecoenas or Richlieu, to oblige not only the present Age, but [Page] ev'n remotest Posterity. For if we cherish Mecoenas his Memory, tho we know that he endeavour'd at the same time to polish and enslave the World; if the Memory of Richlieu be dear to us, tho at the same time that he treated the Muses magnificently, he laid the cursed design of Europe's Cap­tivity: with what blessings must not we mention your Lordship, when we con­sider that we owe at once our Delight and our Safety to you? For at the very time that you are the De­light and Ioy of your Age, and Or­nament of your Country, at the ve­ry time that you exalt the Honour of England by your own admirable Writings, and the Labours of those Excellent Men, whom your authentick applause inspires; at the same time by giving wholesome Counsels to our Au­gust Monarch, you become instrumen­tal in the defence of our Liberties, [Page] and the general security of the Christian World. Mecoenas and Richlieu pro­tected the Muses, but their Protecti­on was partly at least political, and necessary for the gaining or softning some unruly Spirits, who would have been else too turbulent for the New Yoak. But your Lordship's Patronage proceeds from no sinister end, no un­just design on our Liberties; but pure­ly from the greatness of your noble Mind, and a Godlike principle of inbred Beneficence.

Thus, My Lord, have I been guil­ty of a fault which is common to all the most supportable Dedications. For I have hitherto told the Publick no­thing concerning you, but what I learnt from the Publick before. There is no Man but knows that of all the Nobility your Lordship has been always the most true and most can­did [Page] Friend to the Muses. Whilst o­thers are imploy'd in finding their faults, it is your prerogative to par­don them, and approve their Beauties. This is what is known to every one. But every one does not know that to find faults requires but com­mon Sense; but to discern rare Beau­ties, requires a rare Genius. Thus if your Lordship will pardon so poeti­cal a Similitude, when one of the glo­ries of the fairer Sex, one who was fram'd and design'd by Providence to bless some Man who is greatly good, and give an earnest of Heaven below to him; when such a one is at any time seen amongst us, the vulgar Spe­ctators, those Criticks in Beauty, are busie in censuring some Mole or some Blemish, or some inconsiderable Irre­gularity, which Nature industriously perhaps contriv'd with intention to set off her great Masterpiece. But when [Page] a Man who has a Soul that in crea­ting was form'd to be mov'd by Beau­ty, that is, a beautiful Soul, when he contemplates her, he gazes, admires, and loves in a Moment; then follow transporting impatient wishes to return that happiness he receives from the lovely Object. Your Lord­ship could never be the Muses best Friend, if you were not the Man who understood them best. If you had not heighth of Genius, and largeness of Soul to comprehend all their Excellencies: If you did not sensibly feel their ele­vation of thought with all its warmth, its force and its delicacy; which you could never fully discern, if you did not throughly understand their Tongues, if you had not skill to judge of its finest Grace, its Vigour, its Purity, its judicious Boldness, its comprehensive Energy, and all its glorious attractive ornaments. Your Lordship could ne­ver [Page] be compleatly skill'd in those or­naments, if you had not a piercing and a delicate Eye; an Eye that can readi­ly judge betwixt tawdry Trimming and proper, that can discern betwixt gay and curious Colours, and can distinguish vain gawdy Pageantry, from pompous richness and true Magnificence. You could never converse with the Muses so freely as to understand them fully, if you did not perfectly speak that language of the Gods, in all its Sweetness, all its A­bundance, in all the power of its various Numbers, and in all its harmonious Maje­sty. No, My Lord, you could never be pleas'd to a height with the Writings of others, if in writing, your self you had not felt those happy Enthusiasms, those violent Emotions, those supernatural transports which exalt a mortal above mortality, give delight and admiration to all the World, but shake and ravish a Poet's Soul with insupportable pleasure.

[Page] But it is high time to take leave of a Subject which throws me into a heat, which is very inconsistent with the respect that is due to your Lord­ship's Character.

Otherwise it would be no hard mat­ter to prove from the same affection which you bear to the Muses, that your Lordship's Virtue shines as bright as your Genius.

Carmen amat quisquis Carmine digna gerit.

But there is small need of proving that Virtue which all men discover by its own light. Your Lordship's Genius shines but to a few, to none but those happy few, who have some parti­cles in their breasts of the same eter­nal Fire. For inspiation alone can capacitate a Mortal to behold Celestial [Page] Beauties. The Vulgar discern it as they do a fix'd Star, they see that it is, they see that it shines: but the Rays that it casts at that infinite distance, can but just reach their benighted Souls thro the horrid gloom that surrounds them; and it is with pleasing wonder that they hear the Sons of Art pro­claiming its prodigious Grandeur, its amazing Glory. But all men have a clear Idea of Virtue, tho few have a just notion of Genius. Your Virtue, My Lord, like the Sun, is nearer to them, tho that too is at a mighty di­stance, yet not so remote but that at the time that it cherishes them, it casts more light upon them, than their Souls can directly bear.

Who does not admire your Goodness, your Charity, your generous Condescen­sion, your greatness of Mind, your no­blest Friendship; and to crown all, your [Page] Passionate Concern for your Countries welfare? These are the qualities which have caus'd your Lordship to be belov'd universally, nay, and be­lov'd too with as much warmth as if you were neither much esteem'd nor respected, yet at the same time so profoundly esteem'd, and in that aw­full manner respected, as if you were not belov'd. The news of your late Promotion was receiv'd with the universal acknowledgement, That your Lordship was an honour to that most noble Order, which is an honour to Kings; and we all cryed out una­nimously with your own Horace,

Mecoenas equitum decus!

But I must be forc'd to stop short in this full career, lest proceeding I should please all Readers but you, whom of all Readers I would least dis­please. [Page] Before I conclude, I think fit to acquaint your Lordship, that I omitted the prefixing your name to this bold Epistle for several reasons: the chief of which is that. I might not be liable to the accusation which one of our greatest Wits has some time since brought against dedicating Authors; which is, that they paint so grosly, that it were impossible to know for whom the Dawbers design'd their Pictures, if they did not; to inform us, set their names on the Top. I appeal to all those who shall happen to read this, if before they found you nam'd, they did not conclude that what has been said all along could be addrest to no man, and justly applyed to no man; but my Lord Dorset alone. I am,

My Lord,
Your Lordships most Humble, Most Obedient, and most faithful Servant, JOHN DENNIS.


THE Verses composing this little Volume, were Writ on such various Subjects, that many of them requir'd quite different Spirits, and quite oppose Characters. Some of them demanded the Enthusiastick Spirit; and all that others were capa­pable of was a little good Sense, and an air of Gaity. The first were the most difficult to handle by much; which yet, if they should chance to be manag'd aright, would make me an ample a mends for my toil. For tho [Page] mear Enthusiasm is but Madness, no­thing can be more noble than that which is rightly regulated; and no­thing can come nearer that which I fancy to be a true description of Wit; which is a just mixture of Reason and Extravagance, that is such a mixture as reason may always be sure to predominate, and make its mortal Enemy subservient to its grand design of discovering and illu­strating sacred Truth. When I writ the Pindarick Ode, the high Idea that I had of the Subject and of the way of writing, made me resolve to spare for no Pains before I set Pen to Paper, that I might form a design which might have something great and Pindarical. For the skilful Reader will easily discern, that the disorder in that Ode is studied, and that the Transitions which appear so wild and so foreign, tend directly to shew what I design'd to prove, viz. That [Page] the happiness of England, and the Success of the Confederacy depended on the King's Person. How I have succeeded I must leave to the Readers to judge; yet not to every Reader. For the Pindarick why, if you'l give cre­dit to a great Master, is dangerous both to Writer and Reader. The first must have some qualities at the time of writing, which are rare­ly to be found together, as Precipi­tation and Address, Boldness and De­cency, Sublimeness and Clearness, Fu­ry and Sense; the last must have Fan­cy to see his flights, and Skill to judge of their Art He who mounts the Pin­darick Pegasus may be compar'd to a man a Hawking, who rides at all up­on a headlong Hunter, with his Eye still fix'd on a towring Game, so that he must not only have something of Art, but of Happiness besides, to escape a Fall. Let my Fortune be what it will, my comfort is this, That Eng­land, [Page] since Mr. Cowle ys time, has not seen many Pindarick Odes, whose Authors have reason to boast of their kind reception.

I should now say something of the Verses upon the Sea-Fight, and one or two Copies more. But tho they have something in them that seems bold to presumption; yet they have already met with such kind entertain­ment in the World, that the consi­deration of that in some measure as­sures me.

But since almost a third of this little Book consists of Burlesque Com­posures, and since Burlesque, at present, lies under the disadvantage of ha­ving two great Authorities against it; viz. Boileau's, and Mr. Dryden's: I think my self oblig'd not only upon that account, but upon considerati­on too of that wonderful pleasure which I have so often receiv'd from Butler, to vindicate Burlesque from [Page] the scandal that is brought upon it, by the Censures of two such extraor­dinary Men.

The charge of Boileau is in his Art of Poetry, Chant pre in these Lines.

Quoyque vous ecriviez, evitez la bassesse
Le style, le moins noble, a pourtant sa no­blesse,
Au mepris du bon sens le Burlesque ef­fronté.
Trompa les yeux d' abord, pleut parsa noveaute,
On ne vid plus en vers que pointes tri­viales;
Le Parnasse parla le language des Hales.

Which in English paraphrastick Prose, is thus: Whatever you write, let a Gentleman's manner appear in it; The lowest stile of the man, who knows how to write, will still have a noble Air with it. But rightly to observe this rule, you must be sure to decline Burlesque, which not long since in­solently [Page] appear'd in contempt of Reason, and pleas'd at the expence of good Sense: it pleas'd indeed a while, but pleas'd only as it was a fantastick novelty: It debas'd the dignity of Verse by its tri­vial Points, and taught Parnassus a Billingsgate Dialect.

This indeed is a violent charge, and may hold very good against Sca­ron, and the French Burlesque; but there is not one Article of it but what will fall to the Ground, if it comes to be apply'd to Butler. Sca­ron's Burlesque has nothing of a Gentleman in it, little of good Sense, and consequently little of true Wit. For tho there may be good Sense found without Wit, there can be no true Wit, where there is no good Sense. For a Thought that is really witty, must necessarily be true, and have something in it that's Solid; So that Quibbles and all Equivocals can have little or nothing of true Wit in them. Wit is a just mixture of Reason and Ex­travagance, [Page] and the Extravagance must be there, only in order to give the Reason the more lustre. Now that there is little of Reason and good Sense in Scaron's Burlesque, all who are accquainted with him, very well know; Instead of it there are equi­vocals and trivial points in abundance. His language is so very mean that it may well be call'd le language des Hales. Scaron therefore pleas'd but a while (by his Burlesque, I mean, for his Novels will certainly please eternally) and I do not remember that he has been imitated by any one of the fa­mous French Wits. It is no wonder if his manner with all these ill qualities, has been rejected by the French Court, and condemn'd by this judicious Poet and Critick.

But the contrary of whatever has been said of Scaron, is certainly true of Butler: There is seen much of a Gentleman in his Burlesque; There [Page] is so much Wit and Goodsense to be found in him, and so much true ob­servation on mankind, that I do not believe there is more, take Volume for Volume in any one Author we have, the Plain-Dealer only excepted; Besides, there is a vivacity and purity in his Lan­guage, whereever it was fit it should be pure, that could proceed from nothing but from a generous Educati­on, and from a happy Nature. And further Butler's Burlesque was certain­ly writ with a just design, which was to expose Hypocrisie. Scaron's Burlesque, was writ either with no de­sign, or but with a very scurvy one. For the only design that can be ima­gin'd of his Virgil Travesty, was to ridicule Heroick Poetry, which is the noblest invention of human Wit. Since then, Butler excell'd in so ma­ny things in which Seakon is defective, we may very well conclude, That Boi­lean's accusation reaches not our Eng­lish [Page] Poet. Which Sir William Soames saw very well, when he translated this Art of Poetry, for he was so far from declaring against Burlesque, that he ventur'd, tho it was foreign from his Author, to propound Butler as a model to those who had a mind to write it. The late Lord Rochester, who was very well acquainted with Boileau, and who defer'd very much to his Judgment, did not at all be­lieve that the censure of Boileau ex­tended to Butler: For if he had, he would never have follow'd his fashion in several of his masterly Copies. Nor would a noble Wit, who is a living Honour to his Country, and the English Court, have condescen­ded to write Burlesque, if he had not discern'd that there was in Butler's manner something extreamly fine, as well as something extreamly sensible in very many of his Thoughts.

[Page] I now come to examine Mr. Dry­den's objections to Butler, which I shall do with all the submission and deference that is due to the judgment of that extraordinary Man. And therefore I have reason to hope that I shall give no offence to him nor to any Man, by undertaking my own defence. For to plead the Cause of Butler is at present to maintain my own. For if he who is so admira­ble an Original, is rightly reprehen­ded for writing in Burlesque: I who am but his follower, and can never pretend to come near his excellence, ought much more severely to be censur'd. I must confess that in Mr. Dryden's accusation of Burlesque, there are no such murdering Articles, as there are in that of Boilean against Scaron; For Mr. Dryden allows But­ler to have shewn a great deal of good Sense in that way of writing; so that we have here gain'd one conside­rable [Page] Point, which Boileau seem'd not to allow us, which is that good Sense is consistent with Burlesque. Mr. Dryden's quarrel is to the num­bers of Butler: he says that he might have chosen a better sort, affirming that he would equally have excell'd in all.

Whether he would have practised all sorts of Numbers with equal fe­licity, is what I have not now time to examine. But granting that, it is more than probable that he chose aright. For I would fain ask any man one question; Whether he thinks Nature had given Butler a Talent to treat of the adventures of Hudibras? For if any one grants that she had given him such a Talent, I will not stick to affirm that it could not fail to suggest to him the proper­est means for the carrying on his design.

[Page] Mr. Dryden's objections to the Numbers of Butler are two, the first is to the Measure, the second to the Rhymes. The Verse of eight Syllables he says is too scanty, and there is not room enough for the Thought to turn it self with ease in it. But how vain a thing is it to argue against ex­perience? For Butler has not only as many and as beautiful thoughts as most Authors, but he is as clear a Writer. Besides, Mr. Dryden may be pleas'd to remember that the most sensible Copy of Verses in all Waller, is in the measure of eight Syllables, which is that which begins,

Anger in hasty words or blows.

Mr. Dryden himself in his Preface to the second part of the Sylvae, ad­vises all who attempt the Pindarick way, to consine themselves chiefly to Lyrical Numbers: and Numbers [Page] which are truly Lyrical are seldom to be extended beyond the eight syllable. His practice too is very a­greable to his precept in his incom­parble Translation of Tyrrhena Regum Progenies. Now it is plain that in the Pindarick way the Thoughts rise, and the Soul swells more, if I may have leave to use that expression, than in any other sort of writing. Whereas in Satyr the thoughts ought to be more simple, and the expressions less mag­nificent. It follows from what has been said, that if the measure of eight syllables is agreeable in Pinda­rick Verse; it is much more agreea­ble to Burlesque, which is a kind of Satyr. Besides it is apparent that in Burlesque, the measure is often ex­tended to the ninth and sometimes to the tenth syllable.

But it is high time to say some­thing of the Rhymes. Mr. Dryden complains that they return too thick [Page] upon us: but then the thoughts have the quicker turns, and I never can be persuaded that succinctness can be a fault in writing, unless it be destructive of perspicuity. It is ob­jected that double and treble Rhymes are effeminate, and debase the digni­ty of Veise below manly Satyr. But this objection will be in force too against Tassone, whose manner Mr. Dryden seems to approve of: For he has writ his Satyr in double and treble Rhymes too, but with this difference from Butler, that Butler makes use of them but sometimes, and Tassone does it perpetually. Nay the great Tasso has written his Heroick Poem in them. I shall find another time to speak at large of the Gierusalemme: but this I can say at present, which is re­markably to the purpose, That some parts of that Poem are so far from being effeminate, that they have in­comparably more gravity than any [Page] long winded Poem which has been writ by the Moderns, if you only except some passages of the Paradise lost of Milton.

Mr. Dryden himself in his own Satyrs has sometimes made use of double and treble Rhymes, ev'n in Heroick Verse. And in the Character of Zimri, which Mr. Dryden prefers to any part of Absalom and Achitophel, there are two couplets in the space of eight Lines, which are writ in double Rhymes, and those two coup­lets are two of the very best in all that admirable Character.

There is more than one considera­ble advantage that we have by our Burlesque Rhymes. For first, they show the power and plenty of the English Tongue. For neither Italian nor French have a sort of Rhymes for their Burlesque, which is different from those which they have for their other kinds of Verse. Nor [Page] have they in either of those Tongues any of those odd Rhymes, to the making up of which two or three words conspire. These Rhymes thus constituted (which is another advan­tage of our English Burlesque) seem to me to be as peculiarly becoming of a Jest, as a roguish Leer, or a co­mical tone of a Voice; and that it may plainly appear that this is no Whimsie, let the best Versifier in England turn these two Lines of Butler.

And Pulpet drum Ecclesiastick
Was beat with Fist instead of a Stick;

Let any one I say turn these two Lines into other Rhymes and other Measures, and I dare engage that the Jest shall loose considerably.

Before I take my leave of Burlesque & Butler, I think fit to say something of the latter, which has not so direct a refe­rence [Page] to his way of writing (tho that too is indirectly commended by it) as to the incomparable genius of the Man. It is this that if any one would set the Common places of Tassone and Boi­leau's Lutrin against those of Butler, it would appear for the Honour of England, that neither the French man nor Italian could stand before us. The most diverting thing in all the Lutrin is the Battle at Barbin's Shop. Chant. 5. Yet that, if it is compar'd with the Battle in the second Canto of the first part of Hudibras, tho it is so di­verting when we read it alone, will appear to be perfectly insipid.

Before I conclude I have two things to say farther. The one is, that the Verses to Flavia were writ by a Friend of mine and only Corrected by me, and it is by my friends leave that they are here inserted. The other thing is this, that tho I may expect to have this little Book se­verely [Page] examined, because I have attack'd several great men, who are all of them many degrees above me, yet I shall not at all repent of any thing I have writ by way of Criti­cism, if I do but in any measure ob­tain what I design'd by it, which was nothing but to advance Polite Learning amongst us. Not that I be­lieve my self capable of performing it, but I thought that the conside­ration of my impotency might ex­cite some generous spirits whom Na­ture and Education have capacitated for so noble a work. There is no man should be more glad to see it carried on than my self. I love my Country very well, and therefore should be ravished to see that we out did the French in Arts, at the same time that we contend for Empire with them. For Arts and Empire in Civi­liz'd Nations have generally flourish'd together.


THE Impartial Critick, or some Observations on Mr. Rymer's late Book Entituled A Short View of Tragedy, by Mr. Dennis.


PAGE 46. In this Verse, like wine delicious, poyson they dis­perse, the comma is to be omitted after delicious: and like­wise after fumes in the next verse. p. 61. for within me, r. with in me. p. 63. for grated r. granted. p. 65. for them abundant. r. their abundant. p 76. for the Dog. r. a Dog. p. 70. for Renard Iaws r. Renards Iaws. p. 71. for may please. r. may't please. p. 98. r. the couplet that begins provok'd and thus,

Provok'd and push'd to't by an itching lust,
To show how sensible we are and just.

p. 116. for these r. those. p. 130. for there appear'd something r. there appears something.

In the Dedication and Preface.

PAge 8. l. 18. for Tongues r. Tongue. p. 10. l. 19. for shines but to a few r. shines in its full light but to a few. Preface, p. 3. l. 6. for oppose r. opposite. p. 5. l. 19. for Hunter r. Steed.


From Ovid Metam. Lib. 9.

With some Critical Reflections on Mr. Oldham, by Mr. Dennis.

The Second Edition.


Printed for Sam. Briscoe, in Covent-Garden, M DC XC VII.


THE Passion of Byblis seems to be, in the Original, not only of Ovid's most ma­sterly pieces, but a Passion in some places the most happily touch'd of a­ny that I have seen amongst the An­cients or Moderns. The Sentiments are so tender and yet so delicate, the Expressions so fit and withal so easie, with that facility which is proper to express Love, and peculiar to this charming Poet; the turns of Passion are so surprizing and yet so natural, [Page] and there seems to be something in the very sound of the Verse so soft and so pathetick, that a man who reads the Original, must have no sense of these Matters if he is not transported with it.

When I was desired to make it English, I read over the Original to some men of sense, to see whether they would be touch'd with the same pas­sages with which I had been mov'd so much. And when I saw that I was not mistaken, I resolv'd to imitate them in our native Tongue, with as much address as I could.

Not that I am of the opinion that I have done justice to the ad­mirable Original; but then you must give me leave to do some to my self; [Page] and as I would not have my faults imputed to Ovid, so, since I have so many of my own to account for, I do not desire to stand charg'd with his, which as his Translator I was oblig'd to copy.

I will chiefly take notice of two, the one general, and the other parti­cular. The general one is the Incon­sistency that appears in the Character of Byblis. For she, who in some places of her Passion appears so re­luctant, seems too abandon'd in others; which are two or three Passages of her Letter (for from the beginning of the Story to the Letter, every thing seems to me to be just enough) in which she says some things that are by no means consistent with that Mode­sty, [Page] which she ought to have, as a La­dy, a Virgin, and a Woman of Ho­nour. I know very well that a Woman of Honour, when once she is seiz'd by a great Passion, has more violent de­sires than the most abandon'd Wo­man can have. For abandon'd Women are consequently weak, and it is a true Observation, that weak People, tho they are subject to Passions at e­very turn, yet are they never through­ly agitated by them. But this is most certain, that a Woman of Honour can never break out into immodest Ex­pressions, let her Passion be never so violent. For Immodesty in Expres­sion must show her profligate to the very last degree, and must be utterly inconsistent with any measure of Ho­nour. [Page] Now Byblis, who shows in some places so much of Honour, by such sharp remorse, and such furious relu­ctancy, ought certainly to have con­tented her self with a bare Confes­sion of her Passion; and not to have behav'd her self as if she thought her Brother so very young, that he was to be instructed how to proceed in the Cure of it.

It may be said perhaps that the relation of the Dream, which precedes the Letter is the most immodest thing in the Story. I will easily grant it, and that that relation is in the ori­ginal the most alluring description that can be imagin'd, and almost e­qually transporting with what it de­scribes. But it must then be consider'd [Page] that what Byblis says there, she on­ly speaks to herself, which amounts to no more than if she but barely thought it. And there is nothing certainly in that Reflection on her Dream, but what is extremely natural.

The second Fault in this Passion of Byblis, is in the passage that im­mediately follows the return of the Messenger. For that which ought to be the most moving, is the coldest part of the Story. I speak of the first thir­teen Lines of the Latin (for all that follows seems to be sufficiently warm) where Byblis, who can scarce speak for the Violence of her Grief, is yet for speaking in Allegory; which is no­thing but an imperfect kind of Simi­litude.

[Page] Now Simile in this place could not be moving, because it could not be na­tural; it being by no means the Lan­guage of great grief. For to be in a ca­pacity to make a good similitude, the mind must have several qualifications, and two more particularly; which are utterly inconsistent with that Passion. First, The soul must be susceptible of a great many Idea's, and the I­magination capacious of a great many Images. For the Fancy must run thro', and compare a great many Objects, before it can start a hint from them, which may carry with it that appearance of likeness, which may after­ward by the Iudgment be improved to an exact resemblance (not but that [Page] I know very well, that the Soul on those occasions acts with that prodi­gious Celerity, that it is its self insen­sible of the degrees of its own motion.) Now it is the Nature of Grief to confine the Soul, and straiten the Ima­gination, and extremely to lessen the number of tqeir Objects. And indeed if the Passion is very violent, a man is incessantly thinking of the cause of it. For example, the unfortunate Lo­ver has eternally before his Eyes the Image of his Cruel Fair-one. He thinks Day and Night of her alone, he contemplates nothing but her; and if he complains of her, 'tis only after that simple unaffected way, by which Nature teaches man to discharge his Soul of sorrow. And it is for this ve­ry [Page] reason that the greater part of Mr. Cowley's amorous Verses, are universally exploded by men of sence, at the same time that they confess, that several of his Miscellaneous Writings, his Pindaric Odes, and his Divine Hymn to Light, will justly deserve the Admiration of our latest Posterity. For in most of those amo­rous Verses, there appears thro' the disguise of an affected Passion, a gai­ety of Heart, a wantonness of Wit, and a Soul that's at liberty to roam about the Universe, and return home laden with rich, but far fetch'd Con­ceits. As merry in this respect as the Madrigals of our amorous Rake­hells; who languish in Simile, whilst they thrive in Carkass; and who eat­ing [Page] their Half-Crowns every day thrice, decay and dye by Metaphor. In short, no sort of imagery ever can be the Language of Grief. If a Man complains in Simile, I either laugh or sleep. For this is plain, that if a man's affliction will suffer him to di­vert his mind by one Simile, he may as well do it by twenty, and so on to the end of the Chapter. If such a man therefore is miserable, it is be­cause he is resolved he will be so. Now a man must have an extraordinary stock of good Nature, who can pity a Blockhead, who is a wretch by choice.

But secondly, For the mind to be capable of making Similitudes, it is necessary it should be serene (unless it be transported with that noble Enthu­siasm, [Page] which delights, illuminates, and exalts the soul, at the very same time it disturbs it.) For without serenity a man can never have penetration e­nough to discern the Nature of things, which penetration is absolutely neces­sary for the making a just Simili­tude: and it is upon this very account that Aristotle says in his Rheto­rick, that to be happy in making si­militudes, it is absolutely necessary to be a man of good sense.

Some of my Friends, to whom I have recited in Conversation, the sub­stance of what I have here repeated in Writing, have advised me to leave out this unseasonable similitude, especially since I have made so bold with Ovid; as to insert here and [Page] there a Thought of my own. For it is my Lord Roscommon's opinion, that it is much safer to leave out than add. Tho' no man pays more de­ference to his Iudgment than I do, I cannot be of his mind in this. For tho' I am not ignorant that a scurvy present, is but a more civil Affront; I cannot but believe it to be less in­jurious than a Robbery. And if any man should be caught, ipso facto, stripping another upon the Road, it would be but an impudent excuse in him, to alledge that the Cloaths but ill became their Owner. All that I could do here, was by giving this pas­sage another turn, to make that ap­pear in the Copy to be spoken in a short, but downright Fury, whose fault [Page] it was in the Original to seem to be spoken with too much Conside­rateness, and too much Coolness of Temper.

The Author of the Satyrs upon the Iesuits, who has translated this Passion of Byblis, has not meddled with the Catastrophe. Now the Catastrophe was absolutely ne­cessary, that the Story at ending might make a deeper impression: I have therefore contracted it in the last five Lines, but at the same time I have alter'd it. For to make it moving it was necessary to make it credible.

[Page] The Transformation of Byblis might do very well in the time of Augustus Caesar. For at that time those Transformations were a part of the Roman Religion, and the Poets may be said to be the secular Priests, who transmitted its Mysteries to the People. But those transubstantiating Doctrines, which were taught in those times by that Harmonious Clergy of the credulous Church of Old Rome, would look as absurdly to us as the Chimerical Metamorphosis, which is pretended to be acted at the ve­ry time it is sung in our modern Roman Churches.

[Page] I must beg Pardon for the Li­berty which I have taken in the numbers, which is so great that it may well be entitled License. But then the Reader will have the greater Variety, and if those Numbers are not harmonious, it is not for want of care about them: I have particularly taken care to be exact in the Rhimes, in which the former Translators of this passage have been very defective. I am not so miserably mistaken, as to think rhiming essential to our English Poetry. I am far bet­ter acquainted with Milton, than that comes to. Who without the assistance of Rhime, is one of the most sublime of our English Po­ets. [Page] Nay, there is something so transcendently sublime in his first, second, and sixth Books, that were the Language as pure as the Images are vast and daring, I do not believe it could be e­quall'd, no, not in all Antiquity. But tho' I know that Rhiming is not absolutely necessary to our Ver­sification, yet I am for having a Man do throughly what he has once pretended to do. Writing in blank Verse looks like a contempt of Rhime, and a generous dis­dain of a barbarous Custom; but Writing in such Rhimes as a Boy may laugh at, at Crambo, looks [Page] at the best like a fruitless Attempt, and an impotent Affectation.

My Lord Roscommon who writ in blank Verse with so much Success, yet was nicely exact in Rhiming, whenever he pretended to rhime. And in the very Essay upon translated Verse in which he ex­claims against Rhime, I defie any Man to show me half a dozen coup­lets which do not rhime exactly.

In short, if rhiming is ever neces­sary in so strong and masculine a Language as ours, it must be on these tender occasions. For tho' I have heard several maintain, that a thing may be expressed as nobly [Page] and vigorously in blank Verse, as in Rhime; I never yet heard a­ny one pretend that it might be ex­pressed as softly. But granting it could, it is yet very certain, that a thing must be much more ten­der in perfect Rhimes, than im­perfect. For where the Reader ex­pects a Rhime, there jarring sounds must render that harsh, which a­greeing sounds would render easie. But then it is necessary that the Rhimes should be unconstrained, and no word us'd upon their account in the place where it is not pro­per.

[Page] But since I have mention'd Mr. Oldham's performance, in this Transiation, I think fit to add farther, that I have been told by some, that a great many will never forgive me the attempting it after him. I desire them to con­sider, that the same Mr. Oldham undertook Horace's Art of Poe­try after my Lord Roscommon. Now my Lord Roscommon was Politeness it self. Never man thought more clearly, more truly, more justly than he did; never man express'd himself more fitly and more becomingly. In every thing that he writ, his Language [Page] was as perfect as his Conceptions were often sublime. On every thing that came from him, he has stamp'd the Character not only of an exalted Wit, but of a Man of a high Condition, and of a court­ly Mind.

If I should affirm that Mr. Old­ham had by no means all the good Qualities which are conspi­cuous in my Lord Roscommon, who is there that must not assent to it? If then I am guilty of presumption in attempting what Mr. Oldham undertook before me, I hope I may be excused by his [Page] own Example. But if some Peo­ple yet can resolve to be angry, I must beg them to consider for what. Is is because I have a desire to please them? That methinks is un­natural. Tho' I should own, I have an Ambition to give them more Delight than the fore-mentioned Gentleman has done before me, I cannot see any thing in such a Con­fession which can reasonably disob­lige them. Such an acknowledgment ought rather to gain me their Favor, or at least to conquer their preju­dice, especially since 'tis the Interest of every Reader to be as candid as the Case will let him be. 'Tis [Page] true, a man of sence can never be satisfy'd with a silly thing. But a peevish, unreasonable Cavil­ler, will never be satisfy'd with any thing. Little considering that by a false delicacy he makes him­self pass those moments scurvily, which another, perhaps, has done his part to make him pass agree­ably.

Besides, if I should succeed here, even beyond my wish, I should be very far upon that score, from arrogating Preheminence o­ver any man. The following Tran­slation is a Trifle, and can ne­ver [Page] be conclusive of any such thing. To succeed in it, required neither Force nor Genius, but only a Ten­derness of Soul (which Mr. Old­ham's Masculine Temper dis­dain'd) and an extraordinary pro­pensity to that Humane Frailty, Compassion; and a certain Feli­city which usually accompanies the Dictates of the softer Passions. To conclude, I leave it to any one to consider whether a Satyrist, as Mr. Oldham was, at the very time that, inspir'd by a ge­nerous Rage, he had assum'd a re­solution of exposing the Follies, and lashing the Vices of the Age, [Page] could be fitly dispos'd to excite Com­passion; by setting before our Eyes an unfortunate Lady, whose Love was at once her Folly and her Crime.

THE Passion of BYBLIS.

BRight Nymphs, the Objects of Mankind's Desires,
From Byblis learn t' avoid incestuous Fires:
She Caunus lov'd, with tenderness above
The cold endearments of a Sister's Love.
At first she knew it not, unhappy Maid!
To impious Flames by Piety betraid.
She frequently would kiss the beauteous Boy,
And thought her Duty what she found her Joy.
Her Love for Duty she mistook with ease,
Yet was surpriz'd that Duty thus should please.
Her twining Arms his lovely Neck would clasp,
Fierce was each Kiss, and furious ev'ry Grasp,
Insensibly her Passion gathers force,
And has to Female Stratagems recourse.
About to visit Caunus, ere She goes,
Her skilful Maids her wanton Dress compose;
And all the Ornaments of Art prepare
To set forth all that Heav'n has giv'n the Fair,
Ten thousand Cupids in her Eyes, and Graces in her Air.
Then in her Glass sh'explores what pow'r there lyes,
In a Majestic easie Meen, and lovely glancing Eyes;
Practices Smiles, such by which Souls are caught,
Great, God-like Spirits to dependance brought,
The Magic by the great Enchantress Nature taught.
[Page] She envies ev'ry Face that's form'd to please,
And wonders why, not knowing her Disease.
So Men in Hecticks, wasting for their Urn,
Hourly consume, yet feel not that they burn.
Pent in her inmost Breast the raging Fire,
Had not as yet flam'd up to high desire;
Her Brother, now her Lord, her Dear she names,
And Kindred, Love thus tenderly disclaims,
Her Passion now she doubts, yet does controul,
No guilty thought yet stain'd her waking Soul,
On it, with Night, the black pollution stole.
A pleasing Dream t'her side her Brother brings,
With panting Breasts she murmuring to him clings.
Strait in her Face offended Nature flies,
And Blushes dawn around her darkned Eyes,
She wakes, but hush'd and rapt in fearful wonder lies.
Her Dream at once can charm her and torment,
The aery Omen boads some dire Event.
A long time mute she all her Soul surveys,
And then its grief in these wild words displays.
What means the Vision of the guilty Night?
Ah Wretch! What Horror! mix'd with what delight!
Why did that lovely shape break in upon thy sight?
'Tis true, ev'n Envy no defect can find,
Or in the Beauties of his Face, or Graces of his mind
Ev'n Envy can contented on him gaze,
By liking sullenly it self amaze,
And learn to speak a foreign Lauguage, Praise.
The Gods have made him fit to be desir'd,
Have made him by themselves to be admir'd.
But oh! a Brother's once endearing name
Is now the Foe that's fatal to my Flame.
Yet whilst awake I can continue chaste,
May ev'ry golden Dream be like the last.
For what vain Fop the sport of such a Bed
Can idly blab? or what dull Libel spread?
[Page 1] Honour's secure, whilst Pleasure I pursue,
And this false bliss is surely worth the true.
Bright Queen of Love, and wing'd delicious Boy,
Soft, sweet, and swift, as was my flitting Joy;
Into what Heav'n of Rapture was I caught!
Too powerful joys for words, too vast for thought!
By dying Sighs, and broken Murmurs, best
When absent mourn'd, and when enjoy'd exprest.
The Vision did such quick delight dispense,
I sometimes doubt if fancy were not sense.
I felt, perfectly felt, what I adore,
The God-like touch gave bliss unknown before.
Th' immortal Pleasure ran thro' all my Frame,
Tho' all my Bones, and inmost Marrow came,
That melted and ran pouring down before th' im­petuous Flame.
For ever shall the charming Memory last
Of Transports, which, alas! too quickly past!
For the Malignant Goddess of the Night,
Envying my Bliss, urg'd on her Head-long Flight.
O! could we but dissolve great Nature's tye,
How well we link'd in stricter Bonds might lye?
Who could be fitlier pair'd than thou and I?
As thou no Maid can'st e'er transport like me,
Who such high Happiness can give to thee?
Ah Caunus! that we ev'ry Night like this
Might lye entranc'd in vast exstacic Bliss!
Curs'd be the time when my great Father did
The Deed for me, which I'm with thee forbid;
Would I had been (deriv'd from some poor Swain)
But the most lovesome she upon the Plain:
What Nature must deny me now, the God might then obtain.
Ah! who must ravish'd in thy Embraces be?
Exalted above Goddesses is she,
Fairest of Men! who must b'embrac'd by thee.
[Page 2] I never can that full content enjoy,
Thou, Brother! Thou! too dear, too charming Boy!
By being thus far mine, dost all my Hopes destroy.
But what import, or what are then my Dreams,
The fond Results of Hypochondriack Streams?
Or do they as divinely inspir'd presage?
The Gods forbid! The Gods repel this Rage!
The Gods this Fever of my Soul assuage!
Yet Saturn of his Sister made his Bride,
And in incestuous Fires the Thunderer fry'd.
But Gods have high Prerogatives, and they
Who rule the World with Arbitrary Sway
Are unconfin'd by Laws which we obey.
Laws by those happy Beings are disdain'd,
Who would b'imperfect if like us restrain'd.
Then from thy Breast expel these impious Fires,
Tho', with thy Love's, Life's genial Flame expires.
Yes: If all other Methods fail, I'll dye,
Caunus will kiss me as I panting lye,
To his sweet Lips, as to its Heav'n, my parting Soul will fly.
Yet say thou should'st indulge thy wild Desire,
T' accomplish it does his Consent require.
What you thus wish, and your chief good esteem,
To him may black and execrable seem.
Yet formerly, to quench a Sisters Flame,
Macareus Conscience did contemn, and Fame.
Ah Wretch! hast thou resolv'd upon the Deed!
Whence can these Thoughts? these curs'd Remarks proceed?
Oh, whither am I driv'n! O whither tost!
How in tempestuous Thought my Reason's lost?
Hence ye obscene Flames, ye Furies hence, go dwell
In your own native Soil, profoundest Hell.
Love the sweet Youth, but love without a Fault,
And love him as the kindest Sister ought.
[Page 3] But yet did he thus rave for Byblis, I
Could ne'er resolve to see my Caunus dye.
I should Compassion have of him; I sure
Should him, by humouring his Frenzy, cure.
Well! if thou should'st that easie Creature be,
Can'st thou abandon'd be to that degree,
As to speak first? Can'st thou for Favour sue?
Thou art a Virgin, great, and modest too.
Ah! we are modest, but because we're frail,
O'er whom does not Almighty Love prevail?
But yet th'expedient which I mean to try,
Shall both with Bashfulness and Love comply.
A Letter shall my troubled thoughts convey,
And by its black Contents my secret Fires betray.
This Resolution fix'd her doubtful Mind,
Then, on her Arm, her lovely Head reclin'd.
Yes, he shall know what torturing pains I feel,
I can no more my desperate case conceal,
Such Frenzy soon would its own cause reveal.
O what infernal flame! What fury's this!
Gods! from what height I plange, to what abyss!
Eternally farewell, O Honour, Vertue, Bliss!
Then with sad Looks and trembling Hand sh' indites,
Begins and doubts, nay damns what scarce she writes.
Yet to what now she blames, she strait returns;
With Rapture now sh'invents, what now she burns.
Then what this moment to the Flames she dooms,
The next she with a whirl of thought resumes.
Incessantly she turns her fev'rish mind,
Too discompos'd ev'n her own will to find.
Your Sister, (Caunus!) thus at first she wrote,
Ah no! his Lover! Sister thus I blot.
[Page 4] Your Lover sends that health she wants, for I
Unless you give me health, must surely dye.
As for my Name, O let it not be told,
Till promis'd happiness makes Byblis bold!
'Tis she who for you hourly wastes away,
Heeding you might have seen this ev'ry day.
Love ev'ry day still languish'd in my look,
Which colour, health, and sprightly joy forsook.
How often, when no cause of Grief was known,
Have I some inward, deep disturbance shown?
How oft did Tears steal from my mournful Eyes,
And in my Breasts convulsive heaving rise?
Then on a sudden sadness turn'd to rage,
And my wild arms did your soft limbs engage.
As the luxuriant tendrils of the Vine
Around the Elm with wanton windings twine,
My springing arms flew round and lock'd in thine.
And when thy Lips to mine they fiercely brought,
My burning Lips at thine for moisture sought.
No Sisters faint salute! no tasteless Kiss!
But piercing like a Dove's, and murmuring at its bliss.
But yet tho' deep, ah deep! the flaming Dart,
Piercing my burning breast, transsix'd my heart,
Alarm'd, like wretches by nocturnal Fire,
And trembling at the terrible desire,
Long time I strove its fury to asswage,
And long time struggling Vertue stopt its rage.
This Truth, O all ye chaster Powers attest!
Ye saw the fearful conflict in my Breast,
When Honour, Piety, Remorse and Shame,
My very Vitals tore t' expel my flame.
In misery grown obstinate, I bore
What never tender Virgin did before.
When what I suffer'd other Maids but hear,
'Twill wound their gentle hearts, and force a tear.
Retreating, long I fought th' unequal field,
But now I turn to conquering Love, and yield.
[Page 5] I here my self his Slave and yours confess,
And cry for Mercy in extream distress;
But you alone can my sad state redress.
Her Life who loves you hangs upon your breath,
And upon that, alas! depends her Death.
I love to that degree, that neither Gods nor Fate,
If you pronounce my Doom, have pow'r t'extend my date.
My Life or Death determine by your Voice,
Can you deliberate in such a choice?
Can you be proof against such Words as these!
These from the person whom you hate might please.
Me Nature has begun to make your Friend,
What Nature has begun a God must end.
Unsatisfy'd, unblest by Nature's tye,
All Night I languish, and all Day I dye,
Till riveted by Love to your dear Breast I lye.
Let Dotards Slaves to musty Morals be,
Austerities and Impotence agree.
But in us two hot Youth and fierce Desire
To sublime Raptures furiously aspire,
And into right and wrong want leisure to enquire.
Thus young we yet may Innocence pretend,
Or grant we know we Nature's bounds transcend
By great Examples of our Gods we gloriously offend.
All Letts t' Enjoyment are remov'd by Fate,
Unless it be (forbid it Heav'n!) thy Hate.
No rigorous Parents interpose to break
The Assignations we may hourly make:
Our frequent Meetings need no scandal fear,
For intimacy's honourable here.
What Spy can our delicious Thefts detect?
Who can disclose what none can e'er suspect?
Should some bold Censurer our Conduct blame,
A Brother's and a Sister's awful name,
Would answ'ring stop the sawcy mouths of Fame.
[Page 6] We in publick kiss, embrace, and whisp'ring walk,
And hand in hand soft melting things we talk.
When two like us in close embraces kiss,
Does there not something use to follow this?
Upon that something (ah how very small!)
Depends my Happiness, my Life, my All.
Pity a wretch, who thus much dares express,
Who wrack'd by mortal pangs, dares Love confess:
Which, whilst they all my nobler powers controul,
Tear forth the secret of my tortur'd Soul.
If Nature's Law seems broke whilst this you read,
Think that for Happiness, for life I plead,
Here Nature's self her Law must supersede.
You surely kill me if unkind you prove,
O barbarous return of boundless Love!
Think how upon my Sepulchre 'twill sound,
How ev'ry Heart thro' ev'ry Ear 'twill wound;
Here Byblis lyes, a tender, wretched Maid,
By Caunus for her Love with Death repaid.
Thus all on fire her working Mind indites,
Till ev'ry Page and Margents full, she writes:
Then she her Crime folds up, and shrowds from Sight,
And sealing, shuts the monstrous Birth from Light.
Now she an old Domestic calls by Name,
With accents more than half supprest by Shame.
Thou art my very faithful Servant still,
With secresie and speed perform my Will.
Of this important Letter, here, take care,
On it my Life and Fame depend, go bear—
Here grief and conscious shame her accents smother,
Then after a long sad pause—
Go, bear it to, said she, Ah Gods!—my Brother.
Now as she from the fatal Writing parts,
It falls; she trembling at the Omen, starts:
Yet fondly to destruction on she goes.
Her trusty Slave a fit conjuncture chose;
To Caunus his Apartment he repairs,
And to the noble Youth the dreadful Secret bears.
Rage, horror, wonder, seiz'd him at the view,
From him the Letter furiously he threw.
Storming, his Hand upon his Sword he lays,
And to the trembling Messenger he says:
Flagitious Pander to incestuous Fires!
Slave! thou should'st dye, as thy bold crime requires,
Did not the honour of my house and name
Tell me, thy blood, if spilt, would spread our shame.
But quickly from my just resentment fly,
Or that shall yet prevail, and thou shalt dye.
This to the Slave, with a stern brow he said;
He pale at instant death, and shudd'ring, fled,
And with the mortal News struck dying Byblis dead.
An Icy damp, cold as the dart of Death,
Thrill'd thro' her throbbing breast and stopp'd her breath.
Life's flames o'er-pow'r'd in ev'ry other part,
But still Love's fire maintains it at her heart.
As soon as her returning Spirits gave
Just strength to mourn, and sence enough to rave,
With hollow voice the trembling Air she wounds,
And softly sighs out these afflicting sounds.
Repell'd! disdain'd! nay, loath'd! could worse befal?
Thy Conduct and thy Crime deserve it all.
For why hast thou, O wretch, to madness bold!
Thus rashly thy prodigious Secret told?
[Page 8] What Fool would Happiness, Life, Fame commit
To a fond Letter in confusion writ?
Thou should'st in doubtful terms have first addrest,
Th' uncertain depth have sounded of his Breast.
Fool! thus presumptuously to leave the Shore,
And not the Winds, nor the new Seas explore.
Those Winds now roar, and the mad Seas run high,
And all things round look hideous to my Eye,
A raging Main, and black tempestuous Sky!
To Death I thro' surrounding Horrors go,
Now, now the Billows on the Rocks the bounding Vessel throw!
And yet by Omens certain and divine,
Thou wer't forbid to urge thy dire design.
In the pronouncing how the Message hung,
Foreboding Ruine on thy fault'ring Tongue!
Thy Genius whisper'd thee within, beware!
And from without some God cry'd out, forbear!
Thy Letter by immortal impulse fell,
As thou deliverd'st it (thou saw'st it well)
The Paper, mov'd by some eternal mind,
Th' accursed Errant by its flight declin'd:
O had thy Hope together fled! but Fate thy Doom design'd.
Thy purpose else, by Portents thus deterr'd,
Thou hadst giv [...]n oe'r: giv'n o'er? ah no! deferr'd.
Who knows? upon some happier day perhaps thou hadst been heard.
Why would'st thou this uncertain Method take,
When Life, and Soul, and All thus lay at stake?
He from thy Lines not half thy sense could know,
Thy Eyes thy Love in all its Fury show.
H'had seen them with such piercing glances rowl,
As might have shaken a Barbarian's Soul.
[Page 9] H'had heard the tender'st things, and in a tone,
That's fit t'express a dying Lovers moan.
Round his reluctant Neck my Arms I'd flung,
And to his Breast with strange Convulsions clung.
Then prostrate at his Feet h'had seen me lying,
There groaning, trembling, fainting, swooning, dying.
If one of these to move his Heart has fail'd,
His barbarous Heart, they all had sure prevail'd.
Perhaps thy Servant caus'd thy ill success,
By hasty management without address.
He might absurdly chuse some busie hour,
Too rude and harsh for Love's soft tender pow'r.
Therefore he fail'd the noble Youth to move,
Can one who has those Eyes inexorable prove?
His Breasts of no impenetrable mold,
No Adamantine Bars his Heart infold.
He did not from a Tygress spring, no he
Sprung from the same soft yielding Nymph with me.
Come, he must yet be mine, I'll try once more,
Once more? a thousand times, I'll ne'er give o'er.
True, I could wish, if Actions once begun,
By empty wishes were to be undone.
Then could I wish, I never had indulg'd
This luckless Love, at least had ne'er divulg'd.
But since what's past ev'n Fate can ne'er recall,
I now must through, whate'r Extreams befall.
He'll think if I thus lightly could disclaim,
I lightly entertain'd th' incestuous Flame,
Perhaps he may suspect some close design,
His Int'rest with his Fame to undermine.
That specious baits were for his Virtue laid,
To be to public Infamy betray'd.
He'll fancy this some common, base desire,
Whereas the God, the God, these Ravings does inspire.
[Page 10] His wrathful breath incenses thus my Blood,
Drives on the liquid Fire, and rowls the stormy Flood.
Shouldst thou desist? the horrid Crime's conceiv'd,
And Innocence can never, never be retriev'd,
Thy Guilt has reach'd a very dreadful height,
What? so much Guilt? and for it no Delight?
Advancing, little can thy Guilt inhaunce,
And to the vast Delight of Gods it Byblis may advance.
Thus as some ease upon her Bed she sought,
Her lab'ring Fancy to Distraction wrought,
Tossing, she fluctuates in tempestuous thought.
Her sickly Mind oppos'd Designs revolves,
What it repents of to repeat resolves.
Her Brother obstinately she pursues,
Often repuls'd, she oft th' Assault renews.
Her Flame, that found these stops, more fiercely burn'd,
But at the last to meer Distraction turn'd.
Poor, hapless Beauty! once thy conqu'ring Eyes
Could boast the noblest Carian Hearts their Prize,
Mow mad she lies in solitude, on Caunus raves and dyes.

Reflections and Annotations on Mr. Old­ham.

P. 5. VVOuld I had been (deriv'd from some poor Swain,) &c.

The Latin is, Tu me vellem generosior esses.

Mr. Oldham render it thus.

Would thou wert noble, I more meanly born,

He makes her give this Reason for her Wish, vid.

Then guiltless I'd despair'd, and suffer'd Scorn.

Whereas the reason that I make her give is just opposite to it, vid. Then I might guiltless have enjoyed my Cau­nus. Ovid expresses no reason, but implies one; for there is something Pindarical in the sense of this passage, and the Connexion is left to be made by the Reader, as we shall find anon. In the mean while let us see, whither Mr. Old­ham's reason or mine is that of Ovid. To discover which let us consider, which is most agreeable to good sense, and the nature of her Passion, and most suitable to the Design of the Poet. It does not seem to me to be consistent with good sense, to make Byblis, who so vehemently desir'd to enjoy her Brother, and who at the same time saw the im­possibility of it, and felt the Plague of Despair, wish that she had been of a more obscure Descent, rather than that of her Brother's illustrious Stock; only that with the same vehe­ment desire she might have the same Despair. Nor does this seem to be consistent with the Nature of Love. For they who are throughly seiz'd with that Passion, place all their Felicity in the beloved Object, and even in Despair most ardently desire Possession. And such can no more wish to be in a Condition of Life, that might render them incapable of enjoying what they love, than any Man or Wo­man can truly wish to be miserable. It had been therefore [Page 12] more consonant to good sense, and the Nature of her Pas­sion, to make her speak thus. Had my Birth been more lowly; and I had been tormented with the same desire, though there had been an improbability of satisfying; yet considering what a Leveller Love is, there had not been then, as there is now, an ab­solute impossibility of innocently enjoying my Caunus. To discover if this be not Ovid's sense, I think fit with this passage to cite what immediately precedes and follows.

O ego, si liceat mutato nomine jungi,
Quam bene, Caune, tuo poteram nurus esse Parenti!
Quam bene, Caune, meo poteras gener esse Parenti!
Omnia Dii facerent essent communia nobis
Praeter avos, tu me vellem generosier esses,
Nescio quam facies igitur pulcherrime matrem!

That is to say, Could we but dissolve the bonds of Nature, how well we might be join'd in stricter! I wish that having every thing else in common, we had at least a different Lineage; would I had been inferior to Caunus, rather than thus have been equal to him. But alas! this is but a vain wish, and therefore another must be the happy she who must possess all that I lan­guish for. I believe this will be allow'd to be a just expli­cation of Ovid's sense. For the last verse by the word igi­tur must necessarily be an inference, from something ex­pressed or implied in the last but one. Now that which is implied can be nothing but this. If you had been of a different Parentage, thô you had been more nobly de­scended, yet there had then been a possibility (such is the force of Love) of my being blest in innocently pos­sessing you; which possibility now is destroyed by Re­lation. Therefore another, &c. Besides, if we do but consider, that every thing that precedes and follows Byblis's wish, that her Brother had been more nobly descended, ap­pears [Page 13] plainly to be spoke out of a furious desire of enjoying him; we need make no doubt but that very wish too proceeds from the same desire.

P. 7. To his sweet Lips as to its Heaven, &c.

This is not the Thought of Ovid. Mr. Sands has touch'd upon it, but very faintly. Mr. Oldham has kept wide of it. But because no thought that can ever be sub­stituted, can make amends for that of the Original, I think my self obliged to do Ovid that Iustice as to insert it here. The Latin is thus then.

Aut nostro vetitus de corde fugabitur ardor,
Aut hoc si nequeo, peream precor ipsa toro (que)
Mortua componar; positae (que) det oscula frater.

That is to say, Either I will expel this incestuous Love from my Breast, or dye in the Attempt, and be laid out on the mournful Herse. One would have thought that there had been an end of her and her Passion, when by an admirable and surprizing return of it, she immediately adds, positae (que) det oscula Frater. Let my Brother embrace me as I lie sensless there. So that here she seems to make provision for her Passion, against a time when it can be no more, to anticipate the satisfaction of her Brothers embracing her in the moment in which she cannot be sensible of it, and, by imagination in the same sentence, to extend her Love beyond that death by which she propounds to end it. This is indeed lively to paint the extreme dis­order of a violent and irregular Passion. But what Hand must give us a Copy of so divine an Original? Who must not despair of imitating successfully the wonderful celerity of this incomparable turn?

P. 12. All Lets t' enjoyment, &c.

The Latin is,

Nec nos aut durus Pater aut reverentia famae
Aut Timor impediet.

Mr. Oldham has render'd it thus.

[Page 14]
Let neither Awe of Fathers Frowns, nor Shame
For ought that can be told by blabbing Fame,
Nor any ghastlier Fantom Fear can frame
Frighten or stop us in the way to Bliss.

So that he makes Byblis start several difficulties enough to frighten her Brother, if he were inclin'd to compilance; and then exhorts him to go on in spight of them. Whereas the design of Ovid, is to make her answer such Objections as may probably be made by Caunus. The things that can chiefly be objected in such a case are two; viz, The Rigour of Parents, and Apprehension of Infamy. Now neither of these have reason to frighten us. For, says she, Dulcia fraterno sub nomine furta tegemus. That is, we shall conceal our incestuous Love under the disguise of fraternal Affection; and tho we appear never so fond to our Parents, and the rest of the World, they will be rather apt to extol our Piety, than to arraign our Incest. But this Verse, Dulcia, &c. which Byblis speaks as a reason for what preceded it, looks in Mr. Oldham like the Introduction of a new Propo­sition.

P. 19. Come he must yet be mine, &c.

The Latin is:

Vincetur: repetendus erit, nec taedia coepti
Ulla mei capiam, dum spiritus iste manebit.

Mr. Oldham has render'd it thus:

Alive I'll pray, till Breath in Prayers be lost,
And after come a kind beseeching Ghost.

Where he pushes Ovid's Thought a little too far, and in­deed beyond the bounds of good sense. 'Tis true, I have met with some Gentlemen, who admire this passage very much, as something forsooth very soft; But like will to like, says the Proverb. For indeed those Gentlemen may be said to be soft with a Vengeance. I would fain ask them one question: For what should this poor Ghost come a beg­ging? [Page 15] For the Charity of the Flesh? That would be very pleasant. And yet the Charity of the Flesh is certainly the business in question.

P. 20. He'll think if thus, &c.

The Latin is:

Vel quia desierim, leviter voluisse videbor.

Which Mr. Oldham renders thus:

Should I desist, 'twill be believ'd that I,
By slightly asking, taught him to deny.

I wonder that a Man of Mr. Oldham's Sense and Learning should mistake leviter voluisse for slightly ask­ing. By which mistake he has run himself upon two absur­dities. For first he puts a sentiment into the mouth of Byblis, that is altogether base, and unworthy of a Woman of Honour, as if she were afraid of not being thought im­pudent enough, or of not being thought in good earnest. —Secondly, He makes her bring that as an argument for per­sisting in her design, which is directly conclusive of the con­trary. For what she says, in Prose, and in plain English, is this: If I should now conquer this Passion, and grow once more the vertuous Byblis, I am afraid the World, who may come to know what a civil Request I made to my Brother, and afterwards took the very first Denial, I am afraid this ill-natur'd World will believe that I was but in jest. Truly a very pleasant and very reasonable Fear. But what does she call slightly ask­ing? The sending such a Letter as hers? For my part I know but one way she had to put the business more home to him. This cannot be the sense of Ovid. For tho Ovid is not the justest Man in the World in his thinking, (for just­ness is not his Talent) yet he seldom thinks so preposse­rously. nor could Mr. Oldham have done it, if he had not [Page 16] writ this in a hurry. By leviter voluisse then is meant not slightly to have asked, but lightly to have inclin'd my Will; and then the meaning has not only something very sensible in it, but very extraordinary and very noble. For thus Byblis is made to assert her Honour, by her very per­sisting in a most execrable Crime; for now the sense runs thus. If I should now upon this first Repulse give over, then Men will reasonably conclude, that since it was in my power so soon to desist, it was in my power not to have given way to this Passion at first; and that she who could so easily stop its progress, might much more easily have prevented its very beginning; and consequently the advances which I have made to my Brother, will be imputed rather to my natural incli­nation to such horrible Wickedness, or some strange and base infirmity in me, than the force of a Passion inflicted by an offended God. But if after having shown so much Remorse, and so much Reluctancy, I still persist, notwithstanding that Remorse, notwith­standing that Reluctancy, nay notwithstanding De­spair; why then, my Brother, and all the World, must acknowledge that Byblis is not to blame; but that since she does what doing she disapproves, and solicites a Vice, the very thought of which strikes her with Horror, it is demonstrably evident that her Passion is supernatural; and is not actuated by her own Will, but some more sublime, some eternal Prin­ciple which Mortals in vain resist.

Miscellany Poems, &c.

A Pindaric Ode on the KING, written Aug. 2. 1691.

NOw at great Iove's supream command,
Fortune, his Slave, with threatning hand,
Furiously whirls about her wheel,
Which turning like a vast machine,
Changes the Worlds great stage, unseen,
Whilst with the motion giddy Nations reel.
Alecto has been rows'd from Hell,
To punish a flagitious age,
[Page 2] In human Breasts her Serpents dwell,
And sting the guilty world to rage.
The Fury stalks about and raves,
Germany trembles at her horrid yell,
She rates the backward French, goads on th' aban­don'd Slaves,
To execute the black contrivances of Hell.
On to prodigious villanies they go,
Till they want sense their monstrous crimes to know
Thro the Palatinate she with them flies,
And whilst the native by his murderer dies,
She her infernal Torch to ev'ry house applies.
A Town she burns for each vast Fun'ral Pile,
And, (grinning horribly a ghastly smile)
Upon the flames, as terribly they blaze,
Th' abominable fiend with dismal Joy doth gaze.
As Deluges whole Kingdoms sweep,
Urg'd by fierce Tempests and the Deep,
Wars dreadful inundation swells,
Rais'd both by wrath Divine, and Hells.
Nor Art nor Nature has the force
To stop its noisie course;
Nor Alps, nor Pyreneans keep it out,
Nor fortify'd Redoubt.
In vain the Irish, Straw-built Hutts forsake,
And to their Bogs in vain they make,
There soon does Fate her fugitives o'retake.
And as with horror and with fear,
Her grim attendants, she draws near,
The bogs and men with one Convulsion shake.
In vain to the AEtherial Skies,
Climbing his Alps, th' amaz'd Savoyard flies,
The Bloody French the wretch persue,
Who pants with toil and terror too;
And near to Heaven (deaf to his piercing cries)
By impious hands he dies.
In Belgian Plains whilst th' English Lyon ramps,
Terror's diffus'd thro Gallick Forts and Camps.
See how his deadly listed paw
Keeps couchant Luxemburgh in awe!
At William's mighty name,
All France, with its exalted Idol shakes;
William's bright sounding same,
Like Lightning, when from Heav'n it breaks,
Troubles the great Offender's sight,
And does his conscious Instruments affright;
[Page 5] And by its brightness and its noise,
Confounds them e're his Arm, war's Thunder-bolt' destroys.
Glittering in glorious Arms he shines from far,
Like the fifth Heav'ns ascendant Star,
Whose very aspect gives success in War:
Whose influential pow'r decides,
And over fatal fields presides,
Just like the Moon's o're-raging Tydes:
Till by conjunction deadlier grown,
By its confederate force some mighty State's o're-thrown.
To William's Vertue stiff Rebellion yields
In Aghrim's purple Fields.
William, when at the Boyne he fought,
The Shannon and the Suc to pass his fierce Battalions taught
[Page 6] His bravery kindled in their breasts the fire,
Which does to glory by great acts aspire,
And on to Aghrim hurried them, unknowing to retire.
Should fear in wretched man prevail,
Who could condemn it in a thing so frail?
The Universe has not a creature
Which the condition of its nature,
Subjects to more internal accidents,
Or outward casual events.
The least of which has often pow'r
To antedate his fatal hour.
William not only subject is to those,
High pow'r, vast worth, him ev'ry hour expose
To the perfidiousness & strength of all his Gallic foes▪
Domestic Villains who surround him too,
In his Destruction wish the World t'undo:
Yet see him in this dangerous state
Dauntless as Gods secur'd by Fate.
The numerous Squadrons of his soes,
Th' accursed troublers of the Worlds repose,
He with heroic rage desies;
Surveying them, his sparkling eyes
With Godlike transports rowl;
And his brave Warriers second his great Soul.
And (tho retrench'd old wary Bouteville lyes)
Each for the onset cryes.
He, wise in fury, keeps them back,
Conduct profound desers the wish'd attack.
Thus often when some desperate offence
Does Heav'ns almighty pow'r incense,
Its vengeance it delays, expecting fatal times,
By high fore-knowledge pre-ordain'd to punish migh­ty crimes.
When, William, the predestin'd hour
T' o'rethrow that formidable pow'r,
[Page 8] Struck by the dire alarum comes,
Struck by loud Cannon and tempestuous Drums:
When Gods the bus'ness of the World forego,
To be spectators of the fierce debate,
Pleas'd to behold the Sanguinary show,
The tragic play of Fortune and of Fate:
In that great hour, that wondrous hour, controul thy noble fire,
Which does to bright eternal Fame too suriously aspire.
Ah! let not the transporting Rage,
The Christian World's sole hope too dangerously engage!
On thee depend thy Country and thy Friends,
On thee the dreadsul day and vast event depends.
Think on the Boyne, on that great action think,
Where can that man who thinks not on't be found?
That action thro both Indies does resound,
And as the golden Ganges, makes the wretched Boyne renown'd.
[Page 9] Think how expos'd thou mad'st its banks the brink
Of ruine, into which we all were like to sink.
Its banks, more famous for the threatned blow,
Than for the signal overthrow.
Canst thou one cursed moment there forget?
Europe remembers it with horrour yet.
Tho on those banks victorious Troops you led,
And half the Rebels were already fled:
Yet when the fatal shot approach'd thy sacred head,
(But Schomberg destiny atton'd)
Fair Liberty shriek'd out aloud, aloud Religion groan'd.
How did they on their Champions danger look!
Ev'n England's genius was with terror struck,
And of the whole Consederate pow'r the guardian Angel shook.
Manage thy Royal Life, by Heav'n design'd
T' ensure Great Britain and Mankind:
Thy safety for their own all necessary find.
[Page 10] Had Heav'n thy death made necessary too,
Does not thy former conduct shew,
That thou woud'st, ravish'd with thy glorious doom
Do for the World what Curtius did for Rome?
Ye Brittish Muses celebrate his fame,
Where can you find a nobler theme
T' illustrate yours or Britain's name?
In valour soveraign, and in sense supream.
He's over all his Subjects found,
His Subjects thro the World renown'd,
For lofty Spirit, and for Thought profound.
To him your Britain owes,
That nothing but the sound of War she knows.
Ev'ry where else death and destruction reign,
Our happy Isle does Peace within retain,
Defended by a double guard, its Monarch & the Main.

Upon our Victory at Sea.

I Sing the Naval Fight, whose Triumph, Fame
More loudly than our Cannon, shall proclaim.
Which with Heroick Force burst Europe's Chain,
And made fair Britain Empress of the Main.
O Britain's mighty Genius, who wer't by,
Who with new Warmth didst thy brave Sons supply,
And drive the Gallic Doemon trembling thro' the Sky!
My Breast with that immortal Fury fire,
Which did thy Godlike Combatants inspire.
Bold as their Fight, and happy be my Song,
As fierce, as great, as sounding, and as strong.
Then might my Verse be heard on ev'ry Shoar,
And in its sound Express the thundring Cannons roar.
Now whilst their Line th' impatient English form,
On comes proud Tourvile, ratling like a Storm
[Page 12] Sent by some Devil, to dissolve (in vain)
The two vast Empires of the Land and Main.
Whose transitory Rage the Globe annoys,
And to disturb Mankind, it self destroys.
With deafning Shouts the English rend the Skies,
Whilst Victory hov'ring o're their Pendants flies.
The Lust of Empire, and the Lust of Praise,
Does vulgar Men to God-like Courage raise:
All bravely bent the last Extreams to try,
And Conquer, or magnanimously Dye.
Now the Fleets joyn, and with their horrid shocks
Make England's Shores resound, and Gallia's Rocks,
Ship against Ship with dire Encounter knocks.
The more Resistance the brave English meet,
They their Broadsides more furiously repeat.
As th' Elm, which of its Arms the Ax bereaves,
New strength and vigor from its Wounds receives;
Their Rage, by loss of Blood, is kindled more,
And with their Guns, like Hurricanes they roar:
[Page 13] Like Hurricanes the knotted Oak they tear,
Scourge the vext Ocean, and torment the Air.
Whilst Earth, Air, Sea, in wild Confusion hurl'd,
With universal Wreck, and Chaos threat the World.
Such would the Noise be, should this mighty All
Crush'd and confounded into Atoms fall.
Bullets amain, unseen by mortal Eye,
Fly in whole Legions thro' the darkned Sky,
And kill and wound, like Parthians, as they fly.
Here a Granada falls, and blazing burns,
Whilst pale as Death th' amaz'd Spectator turns.
And now it bursts, and with a mortal sound
Deals horrible Destruction all around.
There a red Bullet from our Cannon blown,
Into a First-Rate's Powder-Room is thrown.
Tost by a Whirlwind of tempestuous Fire,
A thousand Wretches in the Air expire,
[Page 14] Howling, an impious Colony they go
At once transported to the World below.
There a Chain'd Shot with whirling Rage deprives
More than one Ship of Entrails, Limbs and Lives.
Death, who set out with it, does lagging stay,
Or limps behind it, panting in its way.
And now from the Britannia, in a Crowd,
Huge Bolts with Fury rend their nitrous Cloud,
Not mighty Iove's could pass more fierce or loud,
When brandish'd by the God, in dust they laid
Those Sons of Earth who durst his Heav'n invade.
Enceladus on Ossa Pelion casts,
When lo! all Three th' avenging Thunder blasts.
And the Britannia like Destruction hurl'd
On the Invaders of its floating World.
By her they with their moving Mountains sell,
Like vast Typhoeus flaming sent to Hell.
Great Russel does their Admirals assail
With Thunder, Lightning, and with Iron Hail.
[Page 15] That desperate fight t'have seen, one would have sworn
Vulcanian Islands from their Seats were torn:
That Strombolo afloat did thundring rush,
And the inferiour Isles—
With inextinguishable Fury crush.
O would that Fury animate my Verse,
That God-like Rage, which is both wise and fierce;
That Rage which in the Fight inspir'd thy Breast!
Then might thy Praise be gloriously exprest;
Thy Noble Acts in equal Numbers shown,
Which thou mightst then, Triumphant Russel! own:
But who could e're command celestial Fire?
The God does whom and when he lists inspire:
Now down he rushes, and my Breast he shakes,
And now to Heav'n his towring Flight he takes.
Then e're he leaves me, and my Blood grows cold,
The Battels vast Event in haste be told.—
The French, at last, of treacherous Aid deceiv'd,
By loudest Storms would gladly be reliev'd.
[Page 16] Their Ships, which in magnificent Array
But just before did their proud Flags display,
And seem'd with War and Destiny to play;
Now from our Rage, despoil'd of Rigging, Tow,
Or Burn, or up into the Air they blow.
Thus a large Row of Oaks does long remain
The Ornament and Shelter of the Plain:
With their aspiring Heads they reach the Sky,
Their huge extended Arms the Winds defy,
The Tempest fees their strength, & sighs, & passes by.
When Iove, concern'd that they so high aspire,
Amongst them sends his own revenging Fire,
Which does with dismal Havock on them fall,
Burns some, and tears up some, but rends them all:
From their dead Trunks their mangled Arms are torn,
And from their Heads their scatter'd Glories born;
Upon the Heath they blassed stand and bare,
And those whom once they shelter'd, now they scare.

Wish for the Kings Safety, in the Summers Expedition of 1692.

YE Pow'rs who watch o're sublunary Things,
Ye guardian Pow'rs of Empires and of Kings,
Angels and Genii of Empyreal kind,
Who Christendom so near destruction find,
Each trembling for the Crown to his high charge assign'd;
Now leave your Posts, to WILLIAM all repair,
Him guard alone, guard him with all your Care,
Whilst He by your Protection stands secure,
His Conduct and His Brav'ry will the Christian
World ensure.

To Flavia who fear'd she was too kind.

AH! Flavia, still be gentle, let not fear,
That makes all others mild, make thee severe.
[Page 18] How canst thou be too kind, who dost but use
That Freedom, which I die if you refuse.
There are, who think by Frowns Mankind to fire,
As if Deformity could Love inspire.
There are, who by their Coldness think t' enflame,
Or, Parthian-like, by flying hope to tame.
Others affect intolerable State,
And think that Pomp becomes a Conqueror's Fate.
But they who conquer in Love's beauteous Field,
Must, if they would pursue their Victory, yield.
Minds, from each others motions take their bent,
In Love, Joy, Rage, and even in Hate consent.
The Angry urge us, and the Fearful fright,
The Sad disturb us, and the Gay delight;
The Proud and Scornful, our Aversion prove,
As all the Tender our Affections move.
Tis true indeed some monstrous Fops are sound,
Whom God did sure of the worst Dirt compound;
Who Homage pay to Pride and fierce Disdain,
The wretched Subjects of a Tyrant's Reign.
[Page 19] Just as enervate Eastern Climes obey
Th' imperious Dictates of Despotic Sway.
Let arbitrary Power mean Souls enslave,
The Sov'reign must be good who rules the Brave.
The Monarch of my Heart can't prove too kind;
None e're too much oblig'd a gen'rous Mind.
Too kind thou canst not be on the blest Night,
When Heav'n it self procures for our Delight.
When wanton on the Wings of Love I flee,
To roul and revel in full Joys, and Thee.
When o're thy panting Breasts dissolv'd I lie,
And burn, and bleed, and sigh, and groan, and die:
And by that Death at Happiness arrive,
At perfect Bliss which none enjoys alive.
Ev'n by that Bliss which thus transports my Mind,
Then, when thuo grant'st me all, thou canst not prove too kind.
For full Fruition will but raise Desire,
As Heav'n possest exalts the Zealots fire.
[Page 20] And ev'ry Rapture but improve my Love,
As earthly Charity's refin'd above.
There mighty Love, amidst ambrosial Plains,
With uncontroul'd, and boundless Empire reigns.
AEtherial Minds eternally enjoy,
Still plunge themselves in Bliss, and never cloy,
Their mental Eyes upon each other fix;
Then greedily they rush, and totally they mix:
Then by delightful turns flie off and gaze,
Then lose themselves again in Love's mysterious maze:
Unite their Sustances, confound their Pow'rs,
And ev'ry Virtue knit as we must ours.
Like theirs, my Flavia! shall our Joys endure,
Like generous Wines, the older the more pure,
Or Nectar from devouring time secure.
They through eternal Life, eternal Day,
Mingling their Souls, pursue their am'rous Play,
VVhen we our bodies mingle for Delight,
Were we both doom'd to an eternal Night.
[Page 21] Through that with thee I hourly could expire,
Nor light the joy of Life, nor Life would I desire.

The Tenth Ode of the Second Book of Horace.

IF you thro Lise's uncertain Tyde,
Your self, dear Friend, would safely guide,
Do not the boundless Main explore,
Where Boreas rages unconsin'd:
Nor to get underneath the Wind,
Venture the Rocks too near the Shore.
The man stands equally exempt
From dangerous envy and contempt,
Who loves the middle golden state:
He neither sordidly doth lye
[Page 22] In dust, nor stands exalted nigh
Some ghastly precipice of Fate.
Tempests the lofty Cedar rend,
And on the ground its trunk extend,
Whilst safe the humbler Plants are found.
The Tow'r which insolently shrowds
Its stately head amongst the Clouds,
Its fall does into Atoms pound.
At Heads of Gyant Hills which rise
With horrid Brows t' affront the Skies,
Iove the impetuous Thunder whirls;
The hillocks it flies grumbling o're,
But raving mad, with hideous roar,
Confusion on the Alps it hurls.
He hopes when Fortune proves adverse,
He, when she's kind, fears a reverse;
Whom sacred wisdom doth direct;
Since Iove so oft makes Tempests rise,
Whose Fury shakes his native Skies,
Can man a settled state expect?
But if the gods prove angry now,
They'll one day with unclouded brow
Dart joys into thy Soul again:
Those gods as wretched were as we,
If they should always angry be,
And always hear their Slaves complain.
By bearing bravely the worst state,
Shew thou deserv'st a better sate:
[Page 24] But if the wind comes fair about,
Why then suspect the flattering gale;
When it seems merriest, reef your Sail,
And for the Sands look sharply out.

FABLE in Burlesque. The Pig, the Goat, and the Sheep.

A Goat, a Fat Pig and a Wether,
To Fair in Tumbril jogg'd together:
They were not thus to Smithfield jumbled,
To see how Iacob danc'd or tumbled.
No, story tells us that the Carter
Went with design all three to barter.
The Pig scream'd out, as he were just
By Talgol going to be trus'd,
Tore all their Ears and his own Throat;
Mean while the Wether and the Goat,
[Page 25] Two very quiet harmless wretches,
Astonish'd at Don Porker's screiches;
Wonder'd from whence should come his fear,
For they perceiv'd no danger near.
Then says the Carter, what a Murrain
Ails thee? what makes thre keep this stir in
Such civil company as thou'rt in?
Do thy two Comrades make this din?
What a meek person is that Wether!
And how demure the Goat! has either
Open'd his mouth once? no I warrant
They are both wiser. They are errant
Dolts, says the Pig, both stark stone blind;
Could they but see, like me, the Wind,
Sheeps-head would set up such a larum,
As would, were twenty Wolves here, scare 'um:
And that grave Booby with the Beard,
Would further than my self be heard.
For Talgol's wheeson scraping whittle
Will soon convert them both to victual:
[Page 26] They're lean, you'll say, and I'm mistaken:
But how shall I man save my Bacon?
Whom Wastcoateer has made a Fat Pig,
For some Cits ravenous Spouse, with Brat big.
'Tis for her maw I'm grown this Squab bit;
May the Jade choak with the first gobbet.
Thus did the Pig his point maintain
With subtile argument, but vain:
Nor griefs, nor fears, change fates decrees,
Then he's most wise who least foresees.
IN vain by foresight we would mischiefs shun,
What Fate has once determin'd must be done.
The present with a dauntless mind enjoy:
What wretched Fool would his own bliss destroy!
Who lives in apprehension urges Fate;
Too soon 'twill come, and he'll repent too late.
[Page 27] Better to hope for what we most desire,
Than vainly into future ills inquire.
Yet Man perhaps unjustly we accuse,
Who ne're inquires but when he can't refuse.
For as when Fate would undiscover'd lye,
What it designs no Mortal can descry;
So when it pleases to be understood,
Mankind cannot be ignorant if it wou'd.
Urg'd on by Destiny we headlong go,
Forc'd to seek that which most we fear to know.
But ah! how curst is he whom that decree,
Which makes his doom obliges to foresee.

The Second Epistle of the first Book of Horace. To a Friend.

WHilst Philosophic studies you persue,
My acquaintance here with Homer I renew;
[Page 28] Who rules of moral Life to man prescribes,
Beyond the Stoic or Platonic Tribes.
Why this is my opinion, hear—
That part which the protracted war relates,
Between the Grecian and Barbarian States,
Instructively of the commotions sings,
Of empty crowds, and their resembling Kings.
By voting to restore the beauteous Prize,
Peace to restore at once Antenor tries,
Paris to be compell'd to happiness denies.
Nestor makes haste the difference to compose,
Which in the General, and Achilles rose.
Whose injur'd Love in both strange fury breeds,
Whilst for the madness of their Kings the Grecian Ar­my bleeds.
Sedition, Malice, Lust and Rage destroy,
The Grecian Camp, and Garrison of Troy.
But how far Wisdom joyn'd with Virtue goes,
That pattern of them both Ulysses shows.
[Page 29] He, thro strange Climes with different customs, tost,
After h' had taken Troy himself had almost lost.
Suff'ring, he sail'd the boundless Ocean o're,
And up against all Storms of Fate he bore,
Whilst for himself and Friends he did a safe return explore.
Why should I here Circoean Cups rehearse?
Or Syrens singing in harmonious Verse?
Those Cups if with his greedy Friends h' had drunk,
Down to a Brute transform'd with them h'had sunk.
Young Fops who sleep till noon, then dress till night,
And make that Life their vanity and delight;
These are Penelope's Suitors, Raskals born
Only to plague the Fair, and consume Corn.
Cyphers, who stand for nought alone, design'd
But to compleat the number of Mankind.
Villains to cut mens Throats their Beds forsake,
And wilt not thou to save thy self awake?
'Tis better now to try preventive arts,
E're noxious Humors seize the nobler parts;
[Page 30] Then stay till their contagious influence force,
The wretched Patient on too late a course.
Now rouse by Night, watch o're th'instructive Page▪
For Love, or Envy, Discontent or Rage;
Unless this useful gentler way you take,
The rest you 'indulge will soon by Tortures break
Why? when malignant Rheums thy sight obscure
Art thou impatient to dispatch the Cure;
Yet like a stupid Wretch delayst to find
A cure for cares that overcast thy mind?
Dare to tread Wisdoms paths, set forth apace:
He who sets forth has finish'd half the race.
Who till the letts of Lise are past, defers
That happy minute, like the Peasant errs,
Who stands expecting by the Rivers side
Till running waters leave the Channel dry'd,
Which from an unexhausted source eternally's sup­plyd
Vainly thou spend'st too great a part of Life
In getting an Estate, or a fine Wife.
[Page 31] With greedy toil thou ploughst vast Forests o're,
Let him who has enough expect no more.
When the Great man lyes languishing in State,
Not all his Pomp and Plenty can abate,
That Feavor, which perhaps they might create.
Nor Gold, nor Jewels, anxious cares expel,
T' enjoy all these the Owner must be well.
He whom Ambition fires, or Dangers fright,
In Fortunes favors takes no more delight,
Than men grown impotent, in Women's find;
So Lutes the Deaf, so Beauty charms the Blind.
Th' infected Vessel taints th' infusion too,
Contemn all joys, which greater griefs persue.
The Miser wants the more, the more h' acquires,
Hear this, and bounds prefix to your desires.
Not witty Cruelty by Revenge refin'd,
In old Sicilian Tyrants e're design'd
Tortures that vex'd the Limbs, as Envy wracks the Mind.
[Page 32] Temperate rising Fury whilst y' have pow'r,
Who give't a loose, oft curse that Fatal hour.
'Tis a short madness: your desire restrain,
That, that betimes confine, betimes enchain,
Which must b' a Slave, or absolutely reign.
Th' unmanag'd Colt, the skilful Rider tames,
And forms him to the course or to the battle frames
Since first they flesh'd and enter'd the young Hound,
His ratling tongue makes Hills and Dales resound.
Now, now, these wholsome precepts of the Muse
Into your young untainted breast infuse.
Th' unseason'd Cask will long retain the scent,
Of the rich Wines which in it first ferment.
Thus my sweet Friend, in whom I most delight;
To keep my pace in Vertues ways I'invite.
But if you' outrun or lag I give you o're,
I'le neither wait for those behind, nor urge on those before.

FABLE. Of the Aunt and the Grashopper.

THe Grashopper, the merriest Creature
That ever was produc'd by Nature:
Whilst Summer lasted ev'ry day,
Did nought but eat and sing and play.
When Winter came, and Heav'n look'd lowring,
And Boreas thro the World ran fcowring.
Grashopper saw her pleasure past,
Her banquet's gone, and she must fast.
Nature, wh' had serv'd, had ta'n away,
She now can neither sing nor play.
Nothing that's edible is at home,
No not a Fly, a Mite, an Atome.
Then she to neighbour Aunt does trudge,
A little sneaking Country drudge.
[Page 34] Gossip, I come t' implore thy' assistance,
And borrow something for subsistence:
Lend me at most but twenty grain,
I'll pay thee punctually again,
In August, Gossip, if not sooner,
As I an Insect am of honour.
Lend! that's a case requires arguing;
Two words, good Gossip, to a bargain.
What! come to borrow of a Miser!
Gossip! I thought thou hadst been wiser.
Pray what might'st thou do all the Summer?
Do, Gossip? why to ev'ry comer▪
I day and night sung oh be joyful!
And hadst not thou a fine employ fool?
But hark ye me, the Proverb cries,
Neighbour be merry and be wise.
He who is forc'd to go a borrowing,
Neighbour, is forc'd to go a sorrowing,
Why, as you could till Winter sing,
I'saith you may go dance till Spring.
WHo riots out Life's Summer and its Spring,
He feels in Age of want and scorn the Sting.
Not that from pleasure we the young would fright,
For a young Stoic is a monstrous fight.
That wretch runs counter to what Heav'n designs;
To pleasure Heav'n and Nature Youth inclines.
Youth is from Age distinguish'd but by Ioy;
Which Youth still gives, and Age must still destroy.
Yet let short Ioys with moderate Cares be mix'd.
Ioy will like Mercury die, if once 'tis fix'd.
Oft let it to returning Care give place,
Oft from thy Breast that Care let Pleasure chase.
So shall thy care nor anxious be nor long,
Whilst thy delight is lasting found and strong.
And thus deliciously you'l pass your Spring,
And yet provide for ills which Age must bring:
[Page 36] Who in his Youth is a perpetual Drudge,
That sordid Sot does his own Genius grudge.
He must provide for Fourscore Years he crys,
Then e're he has arriv'd to Fifty dyes;
His Gold bequeathing to the Ass, his Son,
That he may be more splendidly undone.
Do not the Grashopper for pattern take,
Nor▪ yet the Pismire thy example make;
Whose▪ foolish Drudgery, so unjustly fam'd,
Is like the Sot's, whom just before I blam'd.
She day and night does up for Winter lay,
Then e're the Fall, takes wings and sties away.

FABLE The Fox and the Grapes.

A Fox in Forraging did spy
Grapes on a Treille some six foot high:
[Page 37] Th' artractive and the golden sight,
The Thief did to repast invite;
He ogles ev'ry goodly cluster,
Judges its liquor by its lustre,
Which sympathetick liquor draws
Into his ravenous distant Jaws.
But when he saw he should lose time,
Unless he by his craft could climb:
Why gaze I here, he slav'ring cries,
On paultry stuff I should despise?
Is such sowre geer for Renard's maw?
Dost take thy self for a Jack Daw?
Or for a chatt'ring greedy Pye?
Foh! leave them for the Mob, say I.
WHen men to what they wish, aspire in vain,
To be reveng'd in rage contempt they feign;
[Page 38] But true Contempt to Rage is ne're ally'd,
By Rage Esteem is constantly imply'd,
And therefore Rage is oft conceal'd by Pride.
Fantastic Pride! ev'n base whilst it aspires,
Which falsly scorns whate're it most admires.
The Stoic writing in contempt of Fame,
To his vain-glorious Book, prefix'd his Name.
That lofty Sect does Glory most deride,
And yet is grounded on dogmatic Pride.
Declaims against that Vice without whose power,
Its feeble Virtue could not stand an hour.
Whilst Heroes in the Field their Love proclaim,
That rail's t' acquire the common Mistress Fame;
Thus Sparks when other means are try'd, lampoon the Dame.

The Fourth Satyr of Boileau.

WHence does it come, dear Friend, that they alone,
Think they engross all Wisdom, who have none;
[Page 39] That one Fop lolls his Tongue out at another,
And shakes his empty Noddle at his Brother.
A Pedant who has stuff'd his brain with reading,
So full, that there's no room for Wit or Breeding;
Bristling with Greek, bloated with Pride and Bluff,
And by long poring, surly grown and gruff.
Who has by rote a Thousand Authors got,
And of them all made one prodigious Sot.
He on his dusty Volumes only dotes,
Which he in talk, impertinently quotes.
With him, if Aristotle says the word,
Reason's ridiculous, and Sense absurd.
But the old Beau, and ev'ry modish Ass,
Who half the Morning constantly does pass,
Ogling his ugly Carkass in his Glass:
(Which frightfully t' adorn three hours are spent,
As if, like ancient Picts, 'twere his intent,
[Page 40] To native Ugliness acquir'd t'impart,
And hideous grow, by Ornament and Art:)
Who to the Park or Play rides jingling, where
By his loud nauseous Chat, and graceless Air,
He plagues the Sensible, and frights the Fair;
Whilst all the little Loves that hover nigh,
Our English Beauties from the Scare-crow fly;
The Lumber of our Boxes and our Pits,
And Beauties curst Incumbrance too, and Wits:
This Chariot load of Blockhead hates all Science,
And bids to all the learned World Defiance.
Damns, as by Priviledge, whatever's writ,
And makes his Ignorance his Claim to Wit.
Proud Bigots who would all their faults conceal,
And cheat ev'n God by their affected Zeal;
With seeming Sanctity, and spiritual Spight,
Damn all the rest of men with all their Might.
But th'Athiest who tow'rds Hell in Darkness strays,
Whom want of Sense to want of Faith betrays,
And whom no Law, but brutal Impulse sways;
[Page 41] Contemns Gods Wrath, and everlasting Fire,
By which (he swears the State, and the Church Liar.
Grey reverend Rogues, to awe bold Fools conspire.
For his part, who to reason makes pretence,
He laughs at Shams, which shock all common Sense.
But he that would this boundless Theme exhaust,
And not in Crowds of various Fools be lost;
He I'le maintain as soon might number all
Whom in a Spring, or Pestilential Fall,
Feavers, or more malignant Doctors, mawl.
Or sum up all our Cuckolds on Record,
From sneaking Cit to the gay strutting Lord.
But that this matter may t' a point be brought,
And in two words to sum up my whole thought;
By leave of those sev'n Fools, so much renown'd
By Greece for VVisdom, take the Globe around,
On it no perfect VVisdom e're was found.
All Men are Fools, and spight of all their pains,
Their difference only in their rate remains.
[Page 42] As in a Wood which numerous paths divide,
VVaysaring men are lost without a Guide;
One on the right, one on the left hand strays,
Both by one error rambling different ways:
So we thro Life's grand journey blund'ring run,
Stumbling at Scandals which we wish'd to shun,
By one same error sev'ral ways all bubbled and un­done.
Yet some grave Fops for wondrous wise would pass,
But the grave Ass is an original Ass.
Yet here let Satyr publish what it will,
To Wisdom each exalts his Folly still:
Does of his frailties as perfections boast,
As doating Sires love weakly Children most.
This to the man then who himself would know,
He is most wise, who thinks he is least so.
Who others viewing with indulgent thoughts,
Does cynically censure his own faults:
With rigour prosecutes them ev'ry one,
And upon all sees strictest Justice done.
[Page 43] But here let Satyr what it will divulge,
His darling vice who is not apt t' indulge?
A Fool who doats on, nay adores his Gold,
Amidst his Heaps enduring Want and Cold,
His Folly does for a rare Prudence hold.
His Pleasure, and his Pride's to heap up store,
Which since 'twas his is guarded from him more,
And less is in his power than 'twas before.
But tell me mercenary, fordid Sot,
Hast thou the plague of Tantalus forgot?
Who to the very Chin in water set,
Ne'r with one drop his burning Lips could wet.
D' you laugh? how ignorant of your self are you,
Who your own Image thus with scorn can view?
The plague of Tantalus does thee destroy;
Possessing wealth, which thou canst ne're enjoy.
Numberless Sums your crowded Coffers burst,
Yet after Gold eternally you thirst.
Swimming in plenty still thy drought remains,
And in thy Soul the Raging Feaver reigns.
[Page 44] Nor Fraud nor Sacriledge you shun for gain,
Yet from what's yours religiously abstain,
Thus Avarice but digs the Mine t' enter the Gold again.
Why faith, the Miser in plain terms is mad,
Cry's one whose Frenzy's diff'rent, but as bad.
Who Gold, all day as up and down he wanders,
On Rooks, cast Captains, Plotters, Parasites, squan­ders,
Whores, Horses, Taylors, Hawks, Pimps, Dogs, and Panders.
Who counter after Happiness does run,
And to be rectifi'd must be undone.
From place to place he roams with restless mind,
In search of Quiet, which he ne're could find:
By Fortune's favours render'd discontented;
So when the Mistriss is too fond, the Gallant is tor­mented
For which of these d'you most despair of cure?
Why their conditions both are dangerous sure.
[Page 45] An ancient Lord at the Groom Porter's cries,
With a grave shrug and plaguy politick eyes,
At the same time the bold adventurer knocks
At all the Stakes with just Pandora's box.
Whence the disasters flew that caus'd his ruine,
And where his hope lay after his undoing.
For Lands and Tenements being sold, he's fain,
His Lacqueys and his Strumpets to maintain,
By a Rent charge, upon the merry Main.
Should Fortune her inconstant malice show,
And turn the Dice with one unhappy throw,
You might behold him strait with bristling Hair,
Turn up his Eyes to Heav'n, and wildly stare;
And swear like Devils, from some Wretches Breast
By croney Priest unkindly dispossest.
Bind him, or by his furious upcast Eyes,
This modern Monster will invade the Skies:
Which ev'n already loudly he defies.
Yet leave him to the storm which tears his Breast,
For his own Fury will chastise him best.
[Page 46] Errors there are, which do more pleasing harm,
Whilst the weak Reason to debauch they charm.
Like Wine delicious, Poison they dispense,
And send up Fumes, intoxicating sense.
Aristus Rhimes, and there his Folly lies,
But tho those Rhimes ev'n Busby's Boys despise;
Himself h' applauds, and in his vain account,
Takes place of Virgil on th' Aonian Mount.
But oh! should some bold man, severely kind,
Dispel the mist, which thus obscures his mind;
And all the bungling strokes h' admires display,
In the full light of Reason's glittering ray;
How would he curse that hour, and how be griev'd
Of his sweet Error to be undeceiv'd.
Once an Enthusiast whom the Spleen did cheat,
Into an odd and singular conceit:
(The man concerning ev'ry thing beside,
Discours'd like one whom Sense and Reason guide.)
[Page 47] Fancied that Angels hovering o're him hung,
That Cherub plaid to him, and Seraph sung,
Whilst in his ravish'd breast immortal Pleasures sprung.
A Doctor undertook him with success,
And cur'd him by his Art, or else by Guess.
But when he did at last his Fees require:
pay you, crys the Enthusiast all on fire,
You, whose damn'd Art, in opening thus my Eyes,
Has lost me Paradise, to make me wise.
His Rage was just; for man is not so curst,
But Reason's yet of all his Plagues the worst:
'Tis she who fierce in midst of Joys remains,
And with Remorse our gay Desires restrains:
Our furious Passions she can never curb,
And checking all the sprightlier does disturb.
Her Rule's as troublesome, as 'tis severe,
The Pedant's always bawling at our Ear.
[Page 48] Our thoughts she reprimands, our actions blames,
To make us mad sh' eternally declaims,
Till Patience turns to Rage and flings away;
Then that her barbarous Lectures we may shun,
Like Husbands forc'd by Shrews to go astray,
To Wine, or kinder Mistrisses we run.
In vain, some writers would with soveraign sway,
Make her command, and every sense obey;
Set up a God dess with presumpteous pride,
Who might on Earth and in themselves reside.
She they affirm can lasting joys bestow,
Such as are her Votaries can only know,
Who lead the lives of Demi-gods below.
Why faith these things in Books are finely said,
But hast not thou my Friend, who men hast read,
Hast not thou found, after a strict survey,
That your unthinking noisy Rogues are they,
Who can be always satisfi'd, who can be always gay?

The Fifth Epistle of Monsieur Boi­leau, to Monsieur Guillerague Secretary of the Kings Cabinet.

O Thou whose gallant and sagacious mind,
The Power which form'd it for a Court design'd!
Great Master in the art of pleasing! Who
Know'st how to Speak, and to be silent too!
What course would'st thou advise thy Friend to take,
Say, had I best be silent now or speak?
Shall I still signalize my self by Satyr,
Fruitful in jolly Malice, gay ill Nature?
And in the Field where I'have so often fought,
Make Fopps still shake at ev'ry pointed thought?
A Field that once with tumult gain'd me Fame,
When my rash Youth transported with its flame,
To wisdom and to ease preferr'd a noisie name.
[Page 50] But now since time has ripen'd my desires,
* Since Toys my thoughtful Soul no more admires,
But at its fortieth rolling Year to wiser joys aspires.
I bid adieu to the diverting Broil,
And choose repose before the illustrious Toil.
Then let a thousand of my scribling Foes
Vainly Conspire to shake this firm repose.
I whom each breath blew once into a flame,
Am an old Lyon Tractable and Tame:
I will no more my blu [...]ed Talons arm,
No more my Roar the Forest shall alarm.
For as my sprightly rampant days are ore,
So my provoking chagrin is no more,
Nor the sharp Gall which stung me into rage before.
Again let all the scribling Herd appear,
I leave them now a full and free Carrear.
Errour I only hate, and Good esteem,
Studying my self my own perpetual Theme.
[Page 51] Let those who list thro' Tubes the Heavens explore;
But me such vain inquiries touch no more.
As vainly let Rohaut grow pale, t' inquire,
If motion can with plenitu de conspire.
Moisture and Drought, let Bernier too compound,
Of bodies wandring thro the Void, of bodies hook'd and round,
I who my reasons dreadful Shipwrack fear,
Whilst on a Sea, thus infamous I steer,
I to provide the Skiff, use all my care
To sit its Rudder and its Oars prepare.
Thus to prevent the storm, and reach the Shore,
Whilst yet prevention may be us'd, before
The Winds run mad, and for their prey the Waves begin to roar.
What do we aim at all but rest of mind?
But we, within, that golden rest must find.
A Blockhead full of faults, pursued by grief,
To whom nor Town nor Country brings relief,
[Page 52] In vain takes Horse, with thought t'out-ride his trouble,
That mounts behind, and with him gallops double.
What think you Alexander then design'd,
When, hurried by a vast and boundless mind,
He laid all Asia waste, and plunder'd half mankind?
What made him Graecia's gentle Clime forsake?
What made him War on unknown Monarchs make?
In Tumult, Horrour, and in Blood what pleasure could he take?
Why' attack'd by trouble, which he could not tame,
And which this Conquerour of the world o're came,
Himself his deadliest Foe he sought to shun,
And from reflecting solitude to run;
Conquering, he fled before superiour Grief:
This, this transported the Triumphant Thief
T' Aurora's native regions, those gay shores
O're which her purple flood of light she pours,
Where the burnt Persian the bright Star which scorches him adores.
[Page 53] Self-Authors of the Plagues by which we groan,
Far from our selves we're ev'ry moment thrown.
Why all this hazard, all this mighty toil,
T' exhaust the Gold of the Peruvian Soil?
Why are we thro such various Climates hurl'd,
To ransak both the new and antient World?
Fatigu'd by Journies, or by Tempest tost?
Murder'd on Land, or on the Ocean lost?
Surely for happiness we need not roam,
'Tis easiest had with little and at home.
He, whom the Gods best gift Content does bless,
Possessing nothing, does the World possess.

A Letter sent with the following Speech.


I Have here sent you inclos'd, what I pro­mis'd you by the last Post, and I think my self oblig'd to give you some account of it. In the late Appendix to the new Ob­servator, I find the Author reasonably com­plaining of the corruption of History by the French, and giving a very reasonable guess, how false the History of this Age (as far as it is writ by them) is like to come out in the next. And particularly what Mounsieur Pelisson's History of the present King of France is like to be, which he is now writing by that King's own or­der. Monsieur Boileau, who writ the en­clos'd, has at least as great a share in that History as Monsieur Pelisson: And there­fore you have in the enclos'd, in the which he has very artfully inserted a Panegyrick [Page 55] of his Prince, a pattern of what his part of the History will be. For having flat­ter'd his Master in this small Panegyrick, we have all the reason in the world to believe That he will flatter him too in his History. And that he has flatter'd him here, you will plainly find; not only by exaggerati­ons, which are in some measure to be al­low'd to an Orator; but in affirming things which are directly contrary to the truth. Such are those two remarkable passages of the French King's offering Peace to the [...]e Confederacy, for the general good of Chri­stendom, (which not so much as a French­man who has common Sense, believes) and of his Bombarding Genoa, only to be re­veng'd of its Insolency and of its Perfidious­ness, which every man who has heard the Story of Mr. Valdryon, must laugh at. Now since it is to be presum'd, that Mon­sieur Boileau will flatter him in his History, because it is plain that he has flatter'd him in his Panegyrick; What are we to expect from Monsieur Pelisson, whose sincerity is by no means so much talk'd of as the other's? [Page 56] I thought to have concluded here: but it comes into my mind to make two reflecti­ons upon the Panegyrical part of the enclos'd. The first is this, that since Monsieur Boileau, who is in the main a man of sincerity, and a lover of truth; could not but flatter Lewis the Fourteenth when he commended him: we may conclude that it is impossible to give him a general commendation with­out flattery. For, where a Satyrick Poet paints what other man must not daub? The second Reflection is this, that since this Panegyrick is scarce to be supported, not­withstanding the most admirable genius of the Author, which shines throughout it; and an art to which nothing can be added (remember that I speak of the Original) and beyond which nothing can be desir'd; you may easily conclude how extreamly fulsome the rest of the Panegyricks upon Lewis the Fourteenth must needs be, whose Authors fall infinitely short of Boileau's, ei­ther Genius, or Art, or Virtue.

The Speech of Monsieur Boileau, up­on his admission into the French Academy.


THE Honour this day conferr'd upon me is some thing so great, so extraordina­ry, so little expected; and so many several sorts of reasons ought to have for ever excluded me from it, that at this very moment in which I return my acknowledgements, I am doubtful if I ought to believe it. Is it then possible, can it be true, Gentlemen, that you have in effect judg'd me worthy to be admitted into this illustrious Society; whose famous Establishment does no less honour to the memory of Cardinal Rich­lieu, than all the rest of the numerous wonders of his matchless Ministry? And what must be the thoughts of that great man? What must be the thoughts of that wise Chancellour, who after him enjoy'd [Page 58] the Dignity of your Protectorship; and after whom it was your opinion, that none but your King had right to be your Protector? What must be their thoughts, Gentlemen, if they should behold me this day, becoming a part of this Glorious Body, the object of their eternal care and esteem; and into which by the Laws, which they have establish'd; by the Maxims which they have maintain'd, no one ought to be receiv'd, who is not of a spotless Merit, an extraordinary Wit, and comparable even to you? But farther, whom do I succeed in the place which you are pleas'd to afford me here? Monsieur de Besons Is it not a Man who is equally▪ renown'd for his great Employments, and his profound Capacity? Is it not a Magistrate who fill'd one of the foremost Seats in the Council; and who in so many important Occasions has been Ho­noured by his Prince, with his strictest Con­fidence: A Magistrate, no less Wise than Experienc'd, watchful, laborious; and with whom the more I compare my self, the less Proportion I find.

[Page 59] I know very well, Gentlemen (and who can be ignorant of it,) that in the choice which you make of men who are proper to supply the vacancies of your learned Assem­bly, you have no regard either to Place or to Dignity: That Politeness, Learning, and an acquaintance with all the more gentle Arts, have always usher'd in naked Merit to you, and that you do not believe it to be unbecoming of you, to substitute in the room of the highest Magistrate, of the most exalted Minister, some famous Poet, or some Writer, whom his Works have ren­dred Illustrious; and who has very often no other. Dignity, than that which his de­sert has given him upon Parnassus, But if you barely consider me as a man of Learn­ing, what can I offer you that may be worthy of the favour, with which you have been pleas'd to honour me? Is it a wretch­ed Collection of Poetry, successful rather by a happy temerity and a dexterous imi­tation of the Ancients, than by the beau­ty of its thoughts, or the richness of its expressions? Is it a translation that falls so [Page 60] far short of the great Master-pieces with which you every day supply us; and in the which you so gloriously revive; Thu­cydidis, Xonophon, Taoitus, and all the rest of the renown'd Heroes of the most learn'd Antiquity? No, Gentlemen, you are too well acquainted with the just value of things, to recompence at a rate so high, such low Productions as mine, and to offer me voluntarily upon so slight a foundation, an Honour, which the knowledge of my want of Merit, has discouragid me still from de­manding.

What can be the reason then, which in my behalf has so happily influenc'd you upon this occasion? I begin to make some discovery of it, and I dare engage that I shall not make you blush in exposing it. The goodness which the greatest Prince in the World has shown in employing me, together with one of the first of your illu­strious Writers, to make one Collection of the infinite number of his Immortal Actions; the permission which he has given me to do this, has supply'd all my defects with you.

[Page 61] Yes, Gentlemen, what ever just reasons ought to have excluded me for ever from your Academy; you believed that you could not with justice suffer, that a man who is destin'd to speak of such mighty things, should be depriv'd of the utility of your Lessons, or instructed in any other School than in yours. And by this, you have clearly shown, that when it is to serve your August Protector; whatever consideration might otherwise restrain you, your Zeal will not suffer you to cast your eyes upon any thing but the interest of your Master's Glory.

Yet suffer me, Gentlemen, to undeceive you, if you believe that that great Prince, at the time when he granted that favour to me, believ'd that he should meet within me a Writer, who was able to sustain in the least, by the Beauty of Style, or by the magnificent Pomp of Expression, the Grandeur of his Exploits. No, Gentlemen, it belongs to you, and to Pens like yours, to shew the World such Master-pieces; and he never conceiv'd so advantageous a [Page 62] thought of me. But as every thing that he has done in his Reign is Wonderful, is Prodigious, he did not think it would be amiss that in the midst of so many re­nown'd Writers, who with emulation de­scribe his Actions in all their Splendour, and with all the Ornaments of the subli­mest Eloquence; a man without artifice, and accus'd rather of too much sincerity than of flattery, should contribute by his labour and by his advice, to set to show in a proper light, and in all the simpli­city of the most natural Style; the truth of those Actions, which being of them­selves so little probable, have rather need to be faithfully related, than to be strong­ly exaggerated.

And indeed, Gentlemen, when Poets and Orators, and Historians who are some­times as daring as Poets or Orators, shall come to display upon so happy a Subject, all the bold strokes of their Art, all their force of Expression; when they shall say of Lewis the Great, more justly than was said of a famous Captain of old, that he [Page 63] alone has atchiev'd more Exploit sthan other Princes have read; that he alone has taken more Towns, than other Monarchs have wish'd to take: When they shall assure us, that there is no Potentate upon the face of the Earth, no not the most Ambitious, who in the secret prayers that he puts up to Heaven, dares presume to Petition for so much Glory, for so much Prosperity as Heaven has freely grated this Prince: When they shall write that his Conduct is Mi­stress of Events; That Fortune dares not contradict his designs: When they shall paint him at the Head of his Armies, marching with Gigantick Strides, over great Rivers and highest Mountains; thun­d'ring down Ramparts, rending hard Rocks, and tearing into ten thousand pieces every thing that resists his impetuous Shock: These expressions will doubtless appear great, rich, noble, adapted to the lofty Sub­ject; but at the same time that the World shall wonder at them, it will not think it self oblig'd to believe them, and the Truth may be easily disown'd or mistaken, [Page 64] under the disguise of it pompous orna­ments.

But, when Writers without artifice, and who are contented faithfully to re­late things; and with all the simplicity of Witnesses who depose, rather than of Hi­storians, who make a Narration, shall rightly set forth, all that has pass'd in France, ever since the famous Peace of the Pyrences; all that the King has done in his Domi­nions, to re-establish Order, Discipline, Law: when they shall reckon up all the Provinces which he has added to his Kingdoms in succeeding Wars, all the Ad­vantages, all the Victories which he has gain'd of his Enemies; Holland, Germany, Spain; all Europe too feeble all against him alone, a War that has been always fruitful in prosperity, and a more glorious Peace. When Pens that are sincere, I say, and a great deal more careful to write the Truth, than to make others admire them, shall rightly articulate all these Actions, dis­pos'd in their order of time, and attended with their real circumstances; who is it [Page 65] that can then dissent from them, I do not say of our Neighbours, I do not say of our Allies; I say of our mortal Enemies? And tho' they shou'd be unwilling to acknowledge the truth of them, will not their dimi­nish'd Forces, their States confin'd within stricter Bounds, their complaints, their jea­lousies, their furies, their very invectives in spight of themselves convince them? Can they deny that in the very year in which I am speaking, this Prince being resolv'd to constrain them all to accept of a Peace which he had offer'd them for the good of Christendom; did all at once, and that at a time, when they had pub­lish'd that he was intirely exhausted of Men and Money: that he did then, I say, all at once in the Low Countries, cause to start up as twere out of the ground two mighty Armies, each of them consisting of Forty Thousand Men; and that he pro­vided for them abundant subsistance there, notwithstanding the scarcity of Forrage, and the excessive drought of the Season? Can they deny that whilst with one of [Page 66] these Armies, he caus'd his Lieutenants to Besiege Luxembourgh, himself with the o­ther, keeping as it were block'd all the Towns of Brabant and Hainault; That he did by this most admirable Conduct, or rather by a kind of Enchantment, like that of the Head so renown'd in the an­tient Fables, whose aspect transform'd the beholders to Stones; render the Spaniards unmov'd spectators of the taking of that important place, in the which they had re­pos'd their utmost refuge. That by a no less admirable effect of the same prodigi­ous Enchantment, that obstinate Enemy to his Glory, that industrious contriver of Wars and Confederacies, who had la­bour'd so long to stir up all Europe against him, found himself, if I may use the ex­pression, disabled and impotent, tyed up on every side, and reduc'd to the wretch­ed vengeance of dispersing Libels; of sending forth Cries and Reproaches. Our very Ene­mies, give me leave to repeat it, can they de­ny all this? Must not they confess that at the time when these wonders were execu­ing [Page 67] in the Low Countries, our Fleet up­on the Mediteranean, after having forc'd Algiers to be a Suppliant for Peace; Caus'd Genoa to feel, by an example that will be eternally dreadful, the just chastisement of its Insolence and of its Persidiousness; bu­rying under the ruines of Palaces and state­ly Houses that proud City, more easie to be Destroy'd than be Humbled? No, without doubt, our Enemies dare not give the lye to such known truths, especi­ally when they shall see them writ with that simple and natural Air, & with that character of sincerity and probability, with which whate're my defects are, I do not absolutely despair to be able at least in part to supply the History.

But since this very simplicity, all enemy as it is to Ostentation and Pageantry, has yet its Art, its Method, its Beauties; from whence can I better derive that Art, and those Beauties, than from the source of all delicacies, this fam'd Academy, which has kept possession, for so many years, of all the Treasures, of all the Riches, of [Page 67] our Tongue? These, Gentlemen, are the things which I am in hopes to find among you, this is what I come to study with you; this is what I come to learn of you. Hap­py, if by my assiduity in frequenting you, by my address in bringing you to speak of these matters, I can engage you to con­ceal nothing of all your most secret skill, from me. Your skill to render Nature decent and chast at the very time when she is most Alluring; and to make the Colours and Paint of Art, appear to be the genuine Beauties of Nature. Thrice hap­py! if by my respects and by my sincere submissions, I can perfectly convince you of the extream acknowledgement, which I shall make all my life time for the unexpe­cted Honour you have done me.

FABLE. The Fox and the Crow.

THE Crow sat perch'd upon a Tree,
With Cheese in's Beak, and who but He?
Renard the wind of him had got,
And after he had smelt the Sot;
Thus he accosts him, Noble Sir,
You do, or may I never stir,
Excell each two and four Legg'd Creature,
Both in Complexion and in Feature;
And sure to such a Shape as thine,
The Gods have giv'n a voice Divine.
Oh! could I hear that charming voice,
How should I, Noble Sir, Rejoyce.
Thus like the Dog, that's sly and pickled,
Renard the Crow cajol'd and tickled.
Behold the issue, whilst the Crow,
That he his Charming Voice might show,
[Page 70] Gave two or three obstreperous Caws,
His Cheese dropt into Renard Jaws.
Sir Crow, says Renard, ev'ry Flatterer
Uses his Cully for his Caterer.
This lessen, or I'm much deceiv'd
Deserves the Cheese; then be not griev'd.
The Crow, tho late, with shame and trouble,
Swore he'd no more be found a Bubble.
GRoss Flattery only can by Fools be born:
For it implies at once Design and Scorn.
Now tho self-love as vain by praise is won,
Self-love contempt and injury must shun.
Well manag'd praise may still expect success;
Praise shows esteem, when er'e it shows address.
But only Fools gross flattery can brook,
They love the bait, and can't suspect the Hook.
Renard knew whom he prais'd, when he made choice,
Of that egregious Topick of his Voice.
To ape the Fox our Parasites think fit,
To blind their fools, still more they praise their Wit.

FABLE. The Wolf and the Horse.

ISgrim had all the Winter far'd
So very ill, his looks Men scar'd.
He had (poor Dog!) got an evil habit,
Of going to Bed with the Devil a bit;
So that he had contracted a meen,
Which truly represented Famine.
A filthy Figure, rude and gruff,
As hungry Bullies who lye rough.
Whilst free from Pinching and from Danger,
The Cattle lay at Rack and Manger.
When Winter quarters they forsook,
And to Encamp, the Field they took;
Hight Isgrim spy'd a sleek plump Steed,
Who with that appetite did feed,
One would have sworn, that his fresh Sallad
Was not distastful to his Palate.
[Page 71] At sight of Steed that's one huge bit of Fat,
Hight Isgrim's heart for joy went pit a pat.
Ah Rogue! have I found thee? how happy
Would Isgrim be, if he could but nab thee?
But I had rather now by half,
Thou wert a Mutton or a Calf.
Then could I truss thee▪ up as readily,
As I could after eat thee greedily.
But thou art such a damn'd great Beast,
That I must plot before I feast.
Come let us plot then, pray why not?
Sure duller Dogs than I can plot.
Then Isgrim puts on Phyz of Gravity,
Phyz, that agrees with deeds of pravity;
As does with Satan Phyz of Hag.
Then Isgrim thus accosts the Nag:
Your Servant, Sir, may, please your Worship,
To let me inform you, that my Curship
[Page 74] Is, tho I say't, a Beast of Parts,
And right well skill'd in medicinal arts.
A Doctor who was ne'r yet gravell'd,
Who, for experience long has travel'd.
Who has had the luck to have confuted,
All those with whom he e're disputed.
I've had the honour to prescribe,
Long to your Worships noble tribe.
And several worthy generous Horses,
Are now by my advice in Courses.
Of which each honourable Palfrey
Is from his ailings more than half free.
I speak to your Worship in this fashion,
Because I've of your Case compassion.
For says our Art, to see a Steed,
Thus foully like your Worship feed,
Betokens great indisposition,
And calls for a severe Physician.
[Page 75] Now if you will but only please
To open to me your Disease;
I Doctor Isgrim without failing,
Will gratis cure your Worship's ailing.
Palfrey gave Isgrim such a cross leer,
As Horse at's Oats does roguish Ostler.
Doctor, I have, as you will find;
An Ulcer in my Foot behind.
And offer here the part affected,
To be by your Doctorship inspected.
Then Palfrey, with his lifted Foot,
Whilst Isgrim was approaching to't,
With roguish treacherous intention,
Wisely thought fit to use prevention:
And had at's ugly Face a fling,
Which Teeth from Jobbernoul did ding,
Made his Eyes stare, and his Ears sing.
Then to the bloody mangled Elf,
Phyz, says the Horse, go cure thy self.
[Page 74] Introth, says Isgrim, wondrous sad,
What thou hast e'en deserv'd thou hast had.
You must go act the Doctor, Booby!
Yes you! incorrigible Looby!
You must go set up for a Leech!
Tho by thy actions and thy speech,
The veriest Sots may see with scorn,
That thou art Butcher bred and born.
TO force thy Genius is a thing,
Will scorn and mischif on thee bring.
For affectation, Ape of Nature,
Is soon found out, and then all hate her.
Wh'as soon as seen no more escapes
Being laugh'd at, than your true Apes.
Who to surrounding Mob rehearse,
By looks and gestures a dumb Farce.
Of all affected Fools, the Grave
A long preheminence must have.
No folly ere can theirs surpass,
For since gravity in an Ass,
In whom 'tis natural's so ridiculous?
How must the affected grave beast tickle us?
[Page 79] The place for which thou art unfit,
Thou wilt decline if thou hast wit.
To which if it should threaten danger,
Take still more care to prove a Stranger.
For if in such you'l needs be doing,
Twill prove your Plague, if not your Ruine.
You can't keep long in such a Station,
Without the help of affectation;
Andaffectation in this case,
Has something worse than its Grimace;
Betrays your blind side to your Foes,
And lays you open to their Blows.
As in a Stream if you plunge him,
Who paddles and but half can Swim,
He strait must in it or be lost, or
With many an unnat'ral posture,
With many a slounce and many a strain,
Himself on th' adverse Flood sustain:
And if he's there attack'd by Foe,
At last must to the bottom go.
[Page 78] (For no Expedient can he try,
Being neither free to fight nor fly).
So one in place to which his Talent,
Compar'd is not found equivalent;
T'uphold himself in a wrong station,
Must use eternal affectation.
Must be by all Spectators seen,
With a false Face and a forc'd Meen.
By violence done to himself so harrass'd,
So plagu'd, so pester'd, so embarrass'd;
His puzled mind ne'r finds Vacation,
To look before for Preservation;
Too clogg'd for dextrous quick evasion,
On any suddain nice occasion.
Can such a one himself defend
From deadliest Enemy, false Friend;
The Villain with a smiling Face,
Who stabs and damns with an Embrace?
No, as the Body, so the Mind
Can't on its guard be when consin'd
[Page 78] Isgrim might have been quick enouff,
To have escap'd the Steed's Rebuff:
If the grave Doctor had not been
Too careful to maintain his meen;
And too much taken up to heed
The motion or design of Steed.
For all who with dissembled meen,
Fain what they are, not would be seen;
Possessing but the Forms alone,
And not the Powers of Gifts they own;
Have for that reason Forms affected;
The more, to pass the less suspcted.
(And therefore Hypocritick Wight
Seems more devout than the Upright).
And when their thick and gross disguise
Has serv'd to hoodwink their own Eyes:
Like Children when themselves they blind,
They' have thought no others could them find.
Tho their proceeding works effect
Contrary oft to what they expect:
[Page 81] As is apparent by our Fable:
For Isgrim neither Learn'd nor able,
Imagin'd he might fine for Sense,
Out of his stock of Impudence,
And positive grave Impertinence.
And thought t'enjoy a Bliss that's double,
The priviledge on't, without the trouble.
But he o'reacted so his part,
That he got nothing by't, but smart.
Which shew'd him a confounded Sott,
When he imagin'd he could Plot;
Because he could a Mutton fegue:
They're Brains, not Teeth that serve t'intregue.
And there's requir'd much more skill in,
A speculative than practick Villain.
Beware by him, and meddle not,
If thou'rt no Statesman, with a Plot.
[Page 82] Plots, which are dangerous edge Tools,
Have always Fatal been to Fools;
Who after all the Snares they have laid,
Have only found themselves betray'd.
And most inextricably hamper'd,
Unless they've seasonably scamper'd.
As you perhaps have seen a Thrush,
Fluttering tangled in a Bush,
To which it has been glew'd and clung,
By birdlime made of its own Dung.
So Treason ill-contriv'd and dull,
The very Excrement of Skull,
Lays by the Heels its plotting Gull.
The Devil ow'd Tegue, without all question,
A spight when Tegue by Devil's suggestion,
Set up for Souldiering and Plotting,
Whose only Talent was Bog-trotting.
[Page 83] What was th' event? at every Battle,
We took whole thousands meer white Cattle,
And more were mawl'd in one year i'th' Field,
Than other Beasts, in three in Smithfield.
One who was only drub'd ith' Fray,
Like Isgrim howling ran a way,
And as he ran was heard to say;
Dear Ioy, thou hast both Killing scap'd and Hanging,
And by my shoul, Ioy, thou'st deserv'd thy Banging.

To Mr. E H Physician and Poet.

H—the delight of Phoebus, who imparts
To thee his Darling, both his sacred Arts,
His healing Virtue, and his Heavenly flame,
His power to give long Life, and endless Fame
To a frail Body and an empty name:
With constancy thy course of Glory run,
Follow the leading God, as thou'st begun:
Rise by vast Science and judicious rage,
Like him t' enlighten and to warm our Age.
At once his Favorite and his Rival be,
'Tis he his Daphne comes to share with thee,
Till all his powers on thee conferr'd w'admire,
His vital influence and eternal Fire;
That Fire tho fierce, impetuous, never strays,
But circling in sublime refulgent ways,
By its just course spreads o're the World its Rays.

To a Young Gentleman, who was blam'd for marrying. Young.

CEnsur'd for being Happy made too Young!
'Tis by a foolish or an envious Tongue.
'Tis to be happy to be early joyn'd
To a lov'd Nymph as charming as she's kind.
Can Heaven it self bestow a greater Blessing,
Than early mutual love, and long possessing?
Tell those who blame thee that till Thirty they
The noon of Life, for Love's chief meal may stay.
So plagu'd by pinching hungery formal fools
Stay for a Clock, and are enslav'd to Rules.
Most to fall to that usual season wait;
The Beasts, when half life's journey's over, bait.
But tyr'd by the bad way, and ill at ease,
What they in misery taste, but half can please.
He who at once is fresh, sharp set and gay,
With perfect pleasure does about him lay.

Upon the same Subject, in imitation of Anacreon's Manner.

AS young Sylvander did one day
Wantonly with Celia play;
The Boy, call'd Love, a third to make,
Did his Bow and Quiver take.
His Bow with golden Wire he strings,
And with Feathers from his Wings;
Imping a never failing Dart,
Strikes at once, with wondrous art,
Celia's and Sylvander's heart.
The Dart in both their Breasts remain'd,
Down they fell together Chain'd.
Love clap'd his purple Wings for joy,
Tis by Styx, like me a Boy!
Joyn'd to a Nymph Young, Lovely, Kind;
Look how by my Dart they're joyn'd!
[Page 87] The golden bearded Dart, to wrest
Out from either Lovers breast,
Both Gods and Men shall strive in vain;
They shall ne'r be two again.
For see how riveted they lye!
How they Bleed, and how they Dye!
As my Psyche does and I.
I, tho a God, with her expire,
And reviving Death desire.
Again I dye, by death more blest,
Than by Heaven before possess'd.
I would not be immortal I,
But for ever thus to dye.

Advice to Women, against Female Pride.

THE Gods because they're good, we' invoke
With their own gifts their Altars smoak;
'Tis not the pain and smart we feel
Which makes their suppliant Creatures kneel;
'Tis not their Arbitrary sway
Makes us implore what we obey.
For were I sure that what I want,
They would not hear, or would not grant,
No not to them I would not pray.
Much less to you, whom to beguile,
We Goddesses or Angels style;
Whom to Debauch Divine we call,
And make you proud, to make you fall.
Titles which we on you bestow,
Oar own Despotick power may show.
[Page 89] The very names that make you vain,
Prove your subjection and our reign;
For 'tis from Kings that Honours flow.
Your glory upon us depends,
Begun by us, by us it ends.
Woman by nature's law's a slave,
Man may resume what e're he gave.
Your power, to which our wills give date,
We can confound who could create.
Hear this, and laugh at your own Pride,
Which all but easie Fops deride;
Be humble, if you would be Great.

Upon a Ladys Picture.

AFter each skilful touch, and ev'ry Grace,
The genuine form excells the painted Face.
What wondrous Artist e're could draw so well,
As charming Nature, where she strives t' excell?
Heaven's work, before the Painter's we prefer,
Since it design'd its Master-piece in her.
God, whose resemblance in each Face we view,
Ne'er his own Picture more exactly drew.

To a Painter Drawing a Lady's Picture.

HE who Great Ioves Artillery ap'd so well,
By real Thunder and true Lightning fell.
How then dar'st thou with equal danger try,
To Counterfeit the lightning of her Eye?
Painter, desist, or soon the event may prove,
That Love's as jealous of his Arms as Iove.

FABLE. The Lyon and the Ass a Hunting.

THE Lyon would a Hunting go,
His Game Wild Bore, Stag, Buck and Doe
For his Assistant he made choice
Of th' Ass, who had a Stentor's voice.
Oft silliest Creatures make most noise.
Hid under boughs, he made him lye,
And then commanded him to cry.
The Ass thus bid, began to Thunder,
And struck the Beasts with fear and Wonder.
The Tempest of his Voice to shun,
Upon the Lyon's Toils they run.
After that Prey enough was taken,
Says the Ass, his Ambuscade forsaking,
[Page 93] What feats have I perform'd to day?
Have not I here done Wonders pray?
I marry didst thou bravely bray.
Had I not known thy Self and Kindred,
Ev'n I my self should have been in dread.
This to the Ass was no way pleasing;
Altho' he rallied was with Reason.
For what a Dev'l! an Ass turn Bully!
That is not fair, tho, frequent truly.
NE're boast thy self, of thy own Merit,
For those who hear thee cannot bear it;
Besides, it shows a little spirit.
To Praise to which you may aspire,
If you deserve it, you are nigher,
The less you show your fond desire.
But if a Man deserves it not,
The Fame that is by vanity got,
Is that of a vain-glorious Sot.
Then we your known defects of mind,
Which t'excuse before we inclin'd,
Expose and new ones strive to find.
Thus whilst with vanity you take aim,
Recoiling, it to flight puts fame,
You hurt your self, and miss your Game.

Some Moral Reflections concerning Vanity, Written upon the occasion of Burlesquing the Fable of the Ass and the Lyon.

THO vanity in all we do not see,
Yet a Vice 'tis from which no mortal's free.
For Heaven with soveraign Wisdom did ordain,
The thing it made so wretched, should be vain.
The happiest has of misery such a share,
As without Vanity he could not bear.
But that into content our minds can cheat,
Pleas'd to be wretched, whilst they dream they're great.
Virtue to that, and Learning too we owe,
For from our Pride our goodliest actions flow,
And all that curious searching minds can know.
For when we watch the live-long night to pore,
And tedious Volumes are content t' explore:
[Page 97] Tis not to know our duty and do well,
Tis with aspiring thoughts and hope to excell.
By Vanity we know our selves; who'd dare
To look within, if Vanity were not there?
For all the rest so gloomy is and sad,
The ghastly fight would make the wisest mad.
But Vanity makes gay the ghastly sight,
(As Cynthia guilds the dusky face of Night,)
By its false light, a man his faults o'resees,
Or it such Colours gives them that they please.
Since we're oblig'd to't then, and to't ally'd,
Why do we hate it still, and still deride?
Indeed we hate it, when 'tis seen abroad;
At home 'tis constantly caress'd and claw'd,
The Vanity which is by others shown,
We therefore hate, because it shocks our own,
We would be upper-most, which they who boast
Seem not t' allow; themselves esteeming most.
[Page 98] To Sift them then, we're angrily inclin'd
To weigh their Virtues, and their faults to find:
Whilst all our Pride grows furious in our mind,
Which till their faults are shown, is ne're appeas'd;
But fancying we're above them then, we're eas'd.
Therefore the Wise, who would their Faults conceal,
Never themselves their Merit will reveal.
Praise, tho their due, they never care to claim,
But by their Modesty advance their Fame.
Praise claim'd our vanity will not pay, they know,
Which of it self profusely 'twill bestow.
For when we celebrate anothers praise,
'Tis not his Glory, but our own to raise,
Provok'd and push'd t't by an itching lust,
To show how Sensible and Just.
Great Wits extreamly vain are sometimes found;
They with fermenting Choler much abound:
Thransported by whose rage they can't controul
Th'impetuous saillies of th'aspiring Soul.
[Page 99] For they must own, who most admire great Wits,
Tho still ingenious, they're but wise by fits.
Ev'n them when vain, as Fools, we must despise;
As we count Fools, as far as modest, wise.
But Fools nere modest are but by Complexion,
They're vain and noisie Rogues still by Election;
For modesty by choice implies profound reflection.
Nature, who acts by admirable rules;
Wisdom with vanity supplies in Fools.
As she the Wise, (who mad with pride would grow,
Could they know others and themselves not know.)
By self-reflection humble keeps and low.
So she those Fools who nothing know, and Bliss
Owe only to their ignorance of this.
Those Fools, who if they could their inside spy,
At the sad view, would strait despair and dye;
Those she to make them drag dull Life can cheat,
By monstrous vanity into self-conceit.
[Page 100] As empty Bodies most are puff'd with wind;
So vanity most swells an empty Mind.
From a Fools inside breaks with filthy sound,
And does their Senses who are near him wound.
Vain Rogues are pleas'd with vile noise they make
As Brutal Sots brag of the wind they break.
Fools like the Ass, first frightfully are loud,
Then of that very noise the Beasts are proud.
He sat at Council boasts himself most able,
Who loudest blasts discharges at the Table.

FABLE. The Wolf and the Crane.

A Wolf once eating at a Club,
To eat his Brethren out did sup
Something too greedily on Mutton,
(Wols's soon convertible to Glutton);
Yet tho he made enormous hast,
He was resolv'd to make no wast,
A Bone which in his Throat did stray,
Took up its lodging by the way.
The Crane's arrival was opportune,
Order'd for Isgrim's good by fortune.
Who is a friend to Fools, and so
To Rogues she can't be term'd a foe.
Isgrim, no better was than such,
Or Chronicle has wrong'd him much.
[Page 102] And now he to the Crane makes signs,
And to assist him she inclines.
Now th' Operatrix falls to work,
And pulls the Bone out with a Jerk.
When Isgrim saw the Feat was done,
Neighbour, says he, I must begon.
Sir, says the Crane, before we're parted,
I'd for my labour be rewarded.
Rewarded, sayst thou, for thy labour?
Hey day! why sure you mock me, Neighbour.
When in my Jaws I had thy slim Gullet,
By special grace thou out didst pull it.
And yet forsooth, before we're parted,
You'd for your labour be rewarded.
Go, Gossip, you're impertinent;
And, let me tell you, impudent.
Go, I hate such ungrateful wretches,
'Slife! come no more within my Clutches.
HE who takes care t'oblige th'ungrateful, when
After much time and pains he's sound a Bubble;
Bilk'd in his hopes, mistaken in his men,
Will be to shame abandon'd and to trouble.
For we from Pride, or Love, or Interest see,
That bounteous actions generally spring.
And disappointment to either of these three,
Rage, Discontent, or red hot Shame must bring.
The brave mans bounties almost always flow,
From generous pride of doing good to Merit.
Such a one's highly then concern'd to know
The worthy from the base ungrateful spirit.
For moderate benefits, this Rule may serve,
If one's oblig'd, whose Sense and Iudgment's good;
From Graitude he'l ne're be seen to swerve:
Gratitude's Interest, rightly understood.
But if you would oblige to that degree,
That the oblig'd must make his fortune by't.
For something in him besides Iudgment see,
Since t'will not be his interest to requite.
He will not probably ungrateful be,
Whose actions still have Faithful been and Iust.
Who never unprovok'd did injury,
And never tho provok'd betray'd his Trust.
Favours receiv'd are debts, and bounteous acts,
Tho Bumble-case no Bond or Iudgment draws;
Oblige us more to pay when time exacts,
By frankly leaving us to Honour's Laws.
Then twice th' ungrateful in one act offends,
His falshood and Injustice toodisplays:
Kind Benefactors basely wrongs and Friends,
And the most free and generous Trust betrays.

Upon the Fleet then fitting out. Writ­ten in 1682.

NOW floating Tow'rs the Royal Docks prepare,
To scowre the Main, as Tempests purge the Air.
Not Winds drive Seas with more impetuous rage,
Nor Seas beat Shores, than they their Foes engage
Those bold bad men they by their Thunder scare,
Who Heav'ns dire Thunderbolts blaspheming dare.
For Heav'n (they cry) at Land or in the Deep,
Does good and bad without distinction sweep.
Iove for diversion Bolts at random throws,
Or else his rage misguides his erring blows:
And his own sacred Oak that Thunder rends,
Which to transfix some impious breast, he sends.
[Page 107] His gods the Syracusian Tyrant spoil'd,
Yet sailing safe their impotence revil'd.
AEneas in the same Sicilian Seas,
(His piety the rigid'st pow'rs might please)
Saw his Ships lost, and his brave men expire;
Sunk by those Gods they sav'd from Grecian Fire.
But in Great Britains formidable Fleet,
Justice and Rage, those contradictions, meet.
Tempests oft sweep the Just, the Just that always spares,
And always scourges us, whom angry Heaven for, bears.

The Prosopoeia of Ostend.

SEE the small Stage of a great War,
On which fam'd Generals fight;
Whilst wondring Nations from a far
Oa'ze on the Tragick sight.
Like Hydras Heads my Bastions rise,
Their fall augments their State:
Their re-ascending Tow'rs despise
The Impotence of Fate.
The Winters most inclement Sky,
On the bleak beach I bear,
Whilst jarring Winds the War supply,
In their. vast Field the Air.
Phoebus returning warms my Shore,
And with the Plague annoys:
That God of Physick poysons more,
Than murdring War destroys.
War, Famine, Plague, together go,
To slay one wretch conspire,
Just as the fatal three below,
Each others help require.
Here in a heap come all the ills,
That shorten human breath.
And 'tis an envied fate that kills
But by a single Death.
Nor are my Sons consum'd alone:
Ev'ry killing trouble,
With which the Enemy makes him groan,
He himself feels double.
Th' impartial Plague sweeps either side,
One Monument I'm grown;
Then destiny, if thou canst, decide,
Who shall call it his own.
Expiring men for Victory strain,
And like Bellona rave:
When all the Conqueror can gain,
Is but the vainer Grave.

FABLE. Of the Cock and the Fox.

A Cock stood Sentry on a Tree,
A shrowd experienc'd creature He,
A damn'd arch Bird, as one shall see.
Him Renard in his rounds espy'd,
And near he drew, and thus he cry'd,
Why how now, Coz! do'st hear the News?
There's now an universal Truce;
Which must be follow'd by a Peace,
War amongst Animals must cease.
Come down, and let me hug theè, Dear Rogue.
Thought Chanticleer, thou art a meer Rogue,
A damn'd false Dog as e're told lye,
Ile shew thee a Dog trick by and by.
Friend Renard, this is glorious News,
Who could have hop'd for such a Truce.
[Page 112] And yet I doubt not but it's true,
For look you hitherwards, come two
Tall hide-bound Curs, who doubtless bring
Expresses to confirm the thing.
The first with meager mien and Phys-grim,
Is he who in single fight slew Isgrim:
The other's he with whom thy Sire
Did in a close embrace expire.
Full stretch along the plain they scower,
And in a minute of an hour,
Will tell us how th' affair has pass'd.
Ah! Plague and Pox upon their hast;
Cryes Renard, who ran scampering thence,
So scar'd h▪ has ne're left stinking since.
Thus was the wily Beast defeated:
'Tis just the Cheater should be cheated.
THere's no Man more obnoxious to deceit,
Than an experienc'd, and successful Cheat;
For he presuming on his own address,
Draws deep Security from long Success.
He's oft too vain, another to suspect,
Now Caution of suspicion is th' Effect,
And only Caution can from Fraud protect.
Those Sharpers who by cheating throve so fast,
They thought t'have topp'd upon the World at last;
Did on the sudden one Tarpawlin meet,
Who gull'd them of their Gold and of their Fleet.

FABLE. Of the Dunghill Cock.

A Cock by scraping in a Dungle,
Rak'd up by chance a huge Carbuncle.
To the next Jeweller he met,
Take it says he, thou canst it set:
The Stone they say is true and fine,
Yet for two Barly Corns 'tis thine;
For to what end should it be mine?
A learned Manuscript was once,
By Testament bequeath'd t'a Dunce;
Who to convert it as was fitting,
Strait trudg'd with it to Little-Britain.
Says he t'a Bookseller, pray look,
I've brought to sell thee here a Book.
They say 'tis Learned, very Learned;
But how a plague am I concerned?
Friend, I am one of those damn'd Blockheads,
Who had rather see the Cole in's Pockets.
THis Cock we may imagine to be,
Some scraping or some sensual Booby.
Moiling to satisfie in vain,
His Gut, or his desire of gain.
By th' precious Stone may be meant Wit,
Which often is compar'd to it.
For what comparison can be sitter?
They're solid both, and they both glitter:
And when they both are true and sine,
Eternally they last and shine.
They're both of mighty value too,
Altho their worth be known to few.
And they who know them not, contemn
Both equally the Wit and Gem.
And when they find them strait forsake 'um,
For something that's more apt to take 'um.
When I have been at a new Play,
Well worth attention the first day;
[Page 116] Some Fopps with loud insipid raillery,
Have talk'd to Drabs in the first Gallery.
These Fopps now seem'd to me to say,
Why should we Blockheads mind the Play,
Our Talents lye another way?
May not these Beasts now be averr'd
To be more awkward than the Bird,
That its discovery did contemn,
Yet gave a Ieweller the Gem.
But those Brutes acted by the Play,
Iust as the Dog did by the Hay.

FABLE. Of the Wolf and the Fox.

A Fox in a deep Well, one Night
Spy'd the full Moon, the goodly Sight
Whey-colour'd, large and round, did appear,
A swinging Cheese, which made him caper;
He had a longing wild Distemper,
Frequent to persons of his Temper.
By th' learn'd in medicinal Lore call'd Canine
Appetite, by the Mob call'd Famine.
The two large Buckets which were there,
Like Pollux and like Castor were.
How so pray? For 'tis devilish odd,
To liken a Bucket to a God;
When one came up from towards the Center,
That in our upper world strait went there.
These drew by turns the liquid Element;
Into one got Renard, and towards Hell he went,
[Page 118] To taste of Tantalus his Feast:
Which finely Bob'd its gaping Guest.
Arriv'd he soon was undeceiv'd,
But frighted terribly and griev'd.
Bilk'd of the bait he thought was his'n,
And for his life he fear'd in prison.
Since Renard Fate in Dungeon cast,
She sentence on him seem'd t'have past.
He had no way to be repreiv'd,
Unless by a like Sot reliev'd,
Who hoping on his Cheese to feed,
Might in his place and pain succeed.
Two days and nights h'had been in Dungeon,
Water his Breakfast, Dinner, Nuncheon.
Now in this space old Time did knaw
From Renard's Cheese with Iron Jaw,
A pritty handsome lusty Sliver.
When Sharper Isgrim does arrive there,
Who makes a shift with his small Sense,
To live at Country Squires expence.
[Page 119] Now him as soon as Renard spies,
What, Bully Isgrim there he cryes!
In faith, dear Rogue, I'm glad to see thee:
How hast thou far'd this long time, prethee?
Poorly? but set thy heart at rest,
To night, thou e'en shalt be my Guest.
Dost see this Cheese, which I've been munching,
Of which I've gobbled down this Lunching.
Odd! 'tis a rare one, a neat Jade,
Who ever was the Dairy-maid.
I have on purpose set thee a Tub,
In which thou mayst come down and Sup;
Here's special Food and special Bub.
And thus for want of Sense, was Bully
Isgrim harangu'd to Renard's Cully.
Down he goes swinging in the Bucket,
Which hoisting Renard's, up does pluck it.
He towards the top with merry Glee,
Mounting Sung, Hey Boys up goe we.

Juvenals Eighth Satyre, Frag.

HOW vain a thing's discent! How poor the Fame
Of a deriv'd hereditary Name!
Or Rooms of State by proud Patricians hung,
With mighty Conqu'rors from whose Loins they sprung?
Where with the Pageantry of painted Pride,
Th' AEmilians in triumphant Chariots ride.
That such prodigious Coxcombs should be found,
As to be proud of Shadow and of Sound!
Deform'd, half, Headless Heroes to expose
In Statues rotten, and consum'd as those:
For what Advantage can at last be thine,
Tho' the wide Arms of thy extended Line
Renown'd old Roman Magistrates embrace,
If thy vile Life brands thy whole glorious Race?
If in thy brave Forefathers awful sight,
Their Off-spring drinks all Day, and plays all Night;
[Page 121] Then at the Dawn lies down, at which they Arm'd,
To the dire Field by Glories Trump alarm'd.
Can Fabius value himself with any Face
On Gallic Trophies, and th' Herculean Race,
Fabius Rome's Scandal, and his Line's Disgrace.
The vainest, lewdest Fop about the Town,
Heavy and soft as Slumbers on the Down,
Who by the Pumice-stone's preposterous Use,
His pathick Loins adapting for Abuse,
Doe's all his rusty Ancestors traduce.
Till at the last his poys'ning Practice known,
Defiles their Statues and destroys his own,
By the just Laws for his high Crimes o'rethrown.
Tho' your entail'd swol'n Titles Volumes fill,
If you want Virtue you're but Rabble still.
Paulus and Cossus Names set high by Fate,
May bring some noisie Pomp, some empty State,
But their rare Virtues make you truly Great.
Consul, or private Man, let those be shown,
Let those before your very Rods be known.
[Page 122] If Noble to be thought by me y' aspire,
Know 'tis a Noble Mind that I require.
If you're in Life unblam'd, in Practice just,
True to your Friend, and faithful to your Trust,
To your high Birth immediately I vail,
Silan us or Getulicus all Hail!
Or from whatever Stem thou com'st beside,
It's Glory and thy exulting Countries Pride,
With Rapture, I have found thee, strait I cry,
Like the Egyptians when their God they spy.
Who calls him Great, whose Life his Race belyes,
And want of worth adulterate Blood descryes;
Who calls him Noble does it by Abuse,
For wicked Ironies are much in use.
This let Rubellius Plancus ponder well,
Whom the brave Drusi's lofty Line do's swell.
As if such Virtues did in Plancus shine,
That (could he yet be got) those Pow'rs Divine,
Might claim to be incorporate in Rome's imperial Line:
[Page 123] As if such Things could not in haste be made
By some lewd Rogue, and some Suburbian Jade:
Had but his sporting Mother known that Thing
Would from the pleasure which she toyl'd for spring,
That very thought had damp'd her active Flame,
And of approaching Bliss had bilk'd the panting Dame.
Yet with disdain this haughty block head eyes
Those of a lower Rank, and thus he cryes:
"Base Scoundrels, you of Rome the Lees and Scum,
"To whom your Fathers Countries are unknown,
"As were your wretched Fathers to their own,
"Whilst from Crown'd Heads and Demy-gods I come.
Long may your Honour live, and, whilst you live,
With joy t' your self your topping Titles give.
Yet know amongst these Scoundrels some have Sense
Adorn'd with Wit and Manly Eloquence.
[Page 124] And if you with litigious Foes contend,
Amongst this Scum a Lord may want a Friend,
Who can your Sots of Quality defend.
Ev'n from the Lees of Rome brave Spirits rise,
Who, searching Glory, Death and Wounds despise;
Some to the Rhine, and tam'd Bavarians run,
Some to Euphrates, and the rising Sun:
Whilst thou contented with a borrow'd Fame,
Stick'st to thy Father's Statues, like the same,
A cold dull Mass, and a high sounding Name:
True; Freakish Action Life in Plancus proves,
Yet their rare shapes, tho' fix'd as stone behoves,
Express more Soul than thine, whose sensless Figure moves.

I Do not question but that you have for this month expected a Letter from me, and that perhaps with a little impatience: Since this is a time which may afford va­riety of News, of which who must not be now desirous? But all the time I was at Paris, I had so much Sickness, that that might well supersede any obligation I lay under. For let a promise be never so bind­ing, and never so much a Debt; who could take care of paying so trifling a one, when a most severe and importunate Cre­ditor, Nature, was calling for hers. Nor now when at length that excuse is want­ing to me, are you like to receive such a Let­ter, as perhaps might be most welcome to you in this Conjuncture. For if I should send you the truth in disguise, perhaps you might not discover her. And is this a time to expose her naked to the World: [Page 126] When her nakedness which is only the ef­fect of her Innocence, by many would be mistaken for Lewdness, and by more for Barbarity. I will then say nothing of the Affairs of Europe nor ours, tho I could find much to say of them both. For I now converse with a People who are as full of Talk as they are Inquisitive. But since I am taking my leave of that People, I will confine my Discourse to them. But be­fore I begin, I will use plain dealing with you, (a thing which they never did yet with any one) and tell you that I mortal­ly hate them. Yet neither shall my Na­tive nor acquir'd Antipathy suborn me to say any thing false of them. I will do like a Painter, who will draw the true resem­blance of the Face that is most provoking. But then I must give you this Caution, that what I have to say, tho it be true in some measure of all of them; yet it is chiefly to be consin'd to the middle sort of the Nation. For besides that I have most con­vers'd with them, as a Stranger must of necessity be suppos'd to do, the Genius [Page 127] of a Nation most plainly appears in the middle sort of its People. For great Education, which attends high Birth, or high Fortune, very often improves or corrupts or sophisticates Nature, whilst in those of the middle State she remains unmixed and unalter'd. These then I have found in the first place excessively vain. Every Man is here a Narcissus, and in the flattering glass of his own false imagination is eternally gazing up­on himself, or at least upon what he takes for himself. For in this their er­rours are different, for as that melan­choly Boy took himself for another, these merry Fools take something else for themselves. For nothing in Nature is more unlike than the Picture which a Frenchman draws of himself. It would be needless to insist longer on this. For they have so long made sport for their neighbouring Nations, by extra­vagant and absurd commendations of their own, that to endeavour to bring proofs of their Vanity, would be some­thing [Page 130] more ridiculous than that. Now this is certain, that he who abounds in Vanity can want no affectation. For affectation is nothing but a fruitless at­tempt to counterfeit and falsisie Nature, when a Man impotently endeavours to appear what he really is not, or what he is incapable of being. Nature grows impatient, and struggles to be freed from the constraint that is put upon her, and in the strife there appear'd something so odious that all who are lovers of her, can­not but hate that person who endeavours so rudely to force her. Now Nature in man is various. She is Gay in one, and Froward in another: She is Delicate in a third, in a fourth she is Gross; and there is not a Man in a Million whom Heaven made fit for all things: yet how many are there, alas! who by senseless Self-love intoxicated, believe themselves fit for all things, and will be offering at all things. Now such have been al­ways, and will be always affected. And such are the people with whom I have [Page 129] lately convers'd; and I have more par­ticularly remark'd in some of their Pro­vincial Gentlemen, that in their endea­vours to shew their admiration mingled with a gentle Passion, they are guilty of affectations so monstrous, that an Eng­lish Fop is not capable of them. Ano­ther necessary effect of their vanity is their assurance, or in our Language, their Im­pudence. For modesty is nothing but the fear of displeasing, when a man believes or at least, suspects that he is defective; and it naturally includes in it a mistrust of our selves, and an esteem of others; which is the reason that renders it love­ly to all, when ever it is joyn'd with good qualities. For it flatters and sooths our Self-love, of which no Man can wholly divest himself; by assuring us that we are esteem'd and preferr'd. Now how can any one have this fear of displeasing, who imagines himself all Perfection, and who swell'd with the [Page 130] venom of Pride, like the Toad in the Fable, believes himself greater than those with whose greatness he holds not the least proportion. The French then are affected and impudent, which are but the necessary effects of that Na­tional Vice, their Vanity. But then have they one very good quality, which pro­ceeds from the same vanity. And that is their extraordinary civility to Stran­gers. For they are civil to us, not for our satisfaction, but their own; not as they imagine it a duty, but an accom­plishment. 'Tis to please himself that a Frenchman is officious to me, and 'tis to honour himself that he bows to others. I am pretty confident that I am not de­ceiy'd here. For I have found by some observation, and some thinking, That there is little good Nature amongst them, For they will deceive or betray you at the very same time they oblige you. Thus have I giv'n you an imper­fect account of such of their qualities, [Page 131] as are most conspicuous in them. There are some which lye more hidden. But I have said enough to tire my Self and You.

I am, &c.

I Have here sent you a Journal of my Journey from Lyons hither, in which you will find that account of the Alpes, which you so earnestly desired of me, before I came out of England. I have taken no notice of the Towns in Savoy; nor so much as the Rock of Montmelian, but have confin'd my self to a Subject which you seem'd to affect so much.

On the nineteenth of October, we set out from Lyons, and came that night to Venpellier, thro a fair Plain, which was sometimes Arable, and sometimes Pa­sture, and bounded with Rows of Hills at that just distance, as gave tho not a large, an agreeable Prospect.

Octob. 20. We came by Noon thro the same Plain, which grew to be some­times a Marsh to a Bourg, call'd Tour Du Pin. From thence, after Dinner, we continued our way, thro whole [Page 133] Groves of Walnut and Chestnut. Trees to Pont Beauvoisin, being the Bridge that separates France and Savoy.

Octob. 21. We entred into Savoy in the Morning, and past over Mount Ai­guebellette. The ascent was the more easie, because it wound about the Mountain. But as soon as we had conquer'd one half of it, the unusual heighth in which we found our selves, the impending Rock that hung over us, the dreadful Depth of the Precipice, and the Tor­rent that roar'd at the bottom, gave us such a view as was altogether new and amazing. On the other side of that Torrent, was a Mountain that equall'd ours, about the distance of thirty Yards from us. Its craggy Clifts, which we half discern'd, thro the misty gloom of the Clouds that surrounded them, sometimes gave us a horrid Prospect. And sometimes its face appear'd Smooth and Beautiful as the most even and fruitful Vallies. So different from themselves were the dif­ferent parts of it: In the very same place [Page 134] Nature was seen Severe and Wanton. In the mean time we walk'd upon the very brink, in a litteral sense, of Destruction; one Stumble, and both Life and Carcass had been at once destroy'd. The sense of all this produc'd different motions in me, viz. a delightful Horrour, a terrible Joy, and at the same time, that I was infinitely, pleas'd I trembled.

From thence we went thro a pleasant Valley bounded with Mountains, whose high but yet verdant Tops seem'd at once to forbid and invite Men. After we had march'd for a League thro the Plain, we ar­riv'd at the place which they call La Cave; where the late Duke of Savoy in the Year Seventy, struck out a Passage thro a rocky Mountain that had always before been im­passible: Performing that by the force of Gun-powder, which Thunder-bolts or Earthquakes could scarce have effected. This Passage is a quarter of an English Mile, made with incredible labour, and the ex­pence of four Millions of Livers. At the Entrance into it is the following pompous Inscription. [Page 135] Carolus Emanuel Secundus, Subaudiae Dux, Pedemontani princeps, Cypri Rex, publicâ felicitate partâ, singulorum commodis in­tentus, breviorem, securioremque hanc viam regiam, a naturâ occlusam, Roma­nis intentatam, caeteris desperatam, eversis Scopulorum repagulis, aequatâ Montium in­iquitate, quae cervicibus impendebant prae­cipitia pedibus substernens, eternis popu­lorum Commerciis patefecit.

At Chambery we din'd, the Capital Town of Savoy. In our way from thence to Mont­melian, Nature seem'd quite to have changd her Face. There craggy Rocks look'd hor­rid to the Eye, and Hills appeard on every side of so stupendous an heighth, that the Company was divided at a distance, whe­ther they should believe them to be sunny Clouds, or the Snowy tops of Mountains. Here appear'd a Hill with its top quite hid in black Clouds, and beyond that Hill, & a­bove those Clouds some higher Mountain show'd its hoary Head. With this strange entertainment by the way, we came that Night to Montmelian.

[Page 136] On the 22. we set forward in the morn­ing. The Mountains appear'd to grow still more Lofty. We din'd that day at Aigue­belle. In the Afternoon we proceeded on our way, sometimes thro the Plain, and sometimes on the side of the Alps; with which we were hemm'd in on all sides. We then began that day to have the additional diversion, of a Torrent that ran sometimes with fury beneath us, and of the noise of the Cas­cades, or the down fall of Waters, which sometimes came tumbling a main from the Precipices. We lay that night at La Chambre.

On the 23. The morning was very cold, which made us have dismal apprehensions of Mount Cenis, since we felt its influence so severely at so great a distance. We arriv'd by Noon at St. Michel. In the Afternoon we continued our Journey mostly upon the sides of the Mountains, which were some­times all cover'd with Pines, and sometimes cultivated, ev'n in places where one would swear the thing were impossible, for they were only not perpendicular. We lay that Night at Modanen.

[Page 137] Oct. 24. Modane is within a dozen Miles of Mount Cenis, and therefore the next morning we felt the Cold more severely. We went to Dinner at Laneburgh, situate at the foot of Mount Cenis.

As soon as we had din'd, we sent our Horses about, and getting up upon Mules began to ascend the Mountain. I could not forbear looking back now and then to contemplate the Town and the Vale be­neath me. When I was arriv'd within a hundred Yards of the Top, I could still discern Laneburgh at the Bottom, distant Three tedious Miles from me. What an amazing distance? Think what an impres­sion a place must make upon you, which you should see as far under you as 'tis from your House to Hampstead. And here I wish I had force to do right to this re­nown'd Passage of the Alpes. 'Tis an easie thing to describe Rome or Naples to you, because you have seen something your self that holds at least some resemblance with them; but impossible to set a Mountain before your eyes, that is inaccessible al­most [Page 138] to the slght, and wearies the very Eye to Climb it. For when I tell you that we were arriv'd within a hundred yards of the Top: I mean only the Plain, thro which we afterwards pass'd, but there is another vast Mountain still upon that. If these Hills were first made with the World, as has been a long time thought, and Nature design'd them only as a Mound to inclose her Garden Italy: Then we may well say of her what some affirm of great Wits, that her, careless irregular and boldest Strokes are most admirable. For the Alpes are works which she seems to have design'd, and executed too in Fury. Yet she moves us less, where she studies to please us more. I am delighted, 'tis true at the prospect of Hills and Valleys, of flowry Meads, and murmuring Streams, yet it is a delight that is consistent with Reason, a delight that creates or im­proves Meditation. But transporting Pleasures follow'd the sight of the Alpes, and what unusual transports think you were those, that were mingled with horrours, [Page 139] and sometimes almost with despair? But if these Mountains were not a Creation, but form'd by universal Destruction, when the Arch with a mighty flaw dissolv'd and fell into the vast Abyss (which surely is the best opinion) then are these Ruines of the old World the greatest wonders of the New. For they are not only vast, but horrid, hideous, ghastly Ruins. After we had gallop'd a League over the Plain, and came at last to descend, to descend thro the very Bowels as it were of the Mountain, for we seem'd to be enclos'd on all sides: What an astonishing Pros­pect was there? Ruins upon Ruins in mon­strous Heaps, and Heaven and Earth con­founded. The uncouth Rocks that were above us, Rocks that were void of all form, but what they had receiv'd from Ruine; the frightful view of the Preci­pices, and the foaming Waters that threw themselves headlong down them, made all such a Consort up for the Eye, as that sort of Musick does for the Ear, in which Horrour can be joyn'd with Har­mony. [Page 140] I am afraid you will think that I have said too much. Yet if you had but seen what I have done, you would surely think that I have said too little. However Hyperboles might easily here be forgiven. The Alpes appear to be Nature's extra­vagancies, and who should blush to be guilty of Extravagancies, in words that make mention of her's. But 'tis time to proceed. We descended in Chairs, the descent was four English Miles. We past thro Novalese, situate at the Foot of Mount Cenis on the side of Italy, and lay that Night at Suse. We din'd the next day at Villane, and thro a pleasant Valley came that Night to this place.

I am, &c.

TO perform the promise which I made you in my last, I venture to say something of the Ancient and Modern Italians, tho you do not con­sider that when you made that request to me, you put me upon a necessity of disobliging my Friend by a refusal, or exposing my self by treating of a Subject for which I am wholly unqualified. It is true, when I was at Lyons in compliance with your desire, I ventur'd to say something of the French. But besides that I had been longer in France than I have in Italy, the French lye so open, that a Man who will observe them, may as well venture to give their Character in a Months time, as he may in several years. For they who are ex­cessivly vain, take as much pains to show them­selves, as a Stroler at a Fair does a Monster. 'Tis the constant business of their Lives to paint out their Virtues to you; nay, and their Defects which their Vanity mistakes for their Virtues. But the Italians are as reserv'd to Strangers as the French are open: and one would wonder how they who show much Flegm before they are very well ac­quainted, should be able afterwards, in so strange a manner, to animate Conversation. But to come to my business, 'tis wonderful you say, that the Modern Italians should appear so different from the Ancient, since they breath the same Air, and are nourish'd by the same Soil. For since the affinity [Page 142] is so near betwixt the Soul and the Body, and they work so strongly upon each other, you say it is but reasonable to believe that the Climate which helps to give the Body its Complexion, should help to give the Mind its Temper. Now since you have reason, you say, to suppose that the Climate of Italy is very near the same at this day, that it was two Thousand Years agoe, you cannot but wonder that the Modern Italians should appear so different from the Ancient. The French are the very same now that Caesar described them formerly, excepting that they are grown a more polish'd sort of Barbarians. The Carthaginians were fam'd for their Cruelty & their Perfidiousness; and those two Vices are at present, inseparable from the Inhabitants of the Coasts of Barbary. But the Italians, you say, are at present renown'd for several extraordinary Vices, which were utterly unknown to the Ancient Romans, to whose Virtues the Modern are utterly Strangers.

In answer to this, give me leave to tell you that you are mistaken in part of your Assertion. For the Vices which are to be found at this day in Italy, were the Vices of the Ancient Romans. Their Empire ow'd its Rise to the same Crimes which dissolv'd it, and there were proportionably as many Villains in the Rome of Romulus, as there are in that of Innocent the Eleventh. Consider the Factions of Marius and Sylla, and the two Triumvi­rats following, and you will find infinitely more ex­amples of black Revenge than you can amongst Modern Italians. What can be more bloody than [Page 143] those times? Or more treacherous and base than those of Tiberius? 'Tis true from the time of the first Consuls, to the end of the Punick War, there flourish'd a continual Race of Heroes, with whom if you compare the Modern Italians, they seem to be Men of quite different frames, and Inhabitants of a different part of the World. A capacity to practise those glittering Virtues which the World so much admires, depends very much upon force of mind, which depends in some sort on the Com­plexion, as that does in some sort on the Climate. But then is it certain that there is the very same force of mind requir'd to be prodigiously wicked, that is required to be heroically Virtuous. Weak people are but wicked by halves, but whenever we hear of high and enormous Crimes, we may conclude, that they proceed from a power of Soul and a reach of Thought, which are altogether extraordinary. So that the Modern Italians, who by your own confession are skill'd in all the ways of exquisite wickedness, come into the World with as much natural capacity to exert he­roick Virtue, as ever the Ancient Romans did.

Force of Mind makes a Man capable of great Vir­tues, or of great Vices; but it determines him to neither. Education, Discipline and Accidents of Life constitute him either a great Philosopher, or an illustrious Libertine.

As strongest bodies cannot be secure from Infe­ction in pestilential Seasons, so Minds that have most force are apt to be tainted by the Contagion of Epidemick Vices.

[Page 144] The two most glittering Virtues that shin'd a­mongst the ancient Romans, were greatness of Mind and heroick Fortitude: 'Twas that greatness of Mind that made one of their Generals reject with disdain, the offer that was made him to poy­son the most formidable Enemy to their State: whereas the modern Italians have at every turn recourse to Stilletto and Poyson, which are almost their only offensive Weapons.

Do but compare the happy and flourishing state of the old Commonwealth, with the wretched con­dition of the modern Italians, and you will soon find the reason why the Romans were Brave and Honourable Enemies; and why the Italians at pre­sent are base ones. For this is most certain, That no Man can basely offer violence to another without doing some to himself. From whence it follows that no Man will do it, unless in some measure he believes it necessary. No Man then will take a base revenge of another who believes that he can take an honourable one. No Man will ever have recourse to Treachery who is confident of prevailing by open force. Now great success most commonly in­fuses great Thoughts, and inspires a noble Presump­tion, which renders Men Brave and Magnanimous: whereas we frequently see that Men with their Fortunes and Liberties lose their very Spirits and Souls, according to the observation of the Comick Poet. Ut res nostrae sint, ita nos magni atque humi­les sumus.


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