AN HEROIC ANSWER, FROM RICHARD TWISS, Esq F.R.S.

AN HEROIC ANSWER, FROM RICHARD TWISS, Esq F.R.S. AT ROTTERDAM, TO DONNA TERESA PINNA Ÿ RUIZ, OF MURCIA.

Urbem, quam dicunt Romam, Meliboee, putavi
Stultus ego huic nostrae similem.
VIRGIL.

DUBLIN: Printed for W. WILSON, No. 6, at Homer's-head, in Dame-street. M, DCC, LXXVI.

AN HEROIC ANSWER, FROM RICHARD TWISS, Esq F.R.S.

FROM various perils of the land and main,
By Venus wafted to Batavia's plain,
Where kindly [...]ens, and genial fogs surround,
His Pinna's lines her anxious lover found.
Not dearer tumults to my kindling heart
A fungus, toad, or tadpole could impart:
Not with more joy some virtuoso spies
The first embraces of two foreign [...]lies,
Whose deeds of love his eager fancy feed
With smiling omens of a lasting breed.10
Scarce to thy Twiss more transport could it give
To lodge in cellars, or with pigs to live.
Thy melting strains both pain and pleasure move,
Pain for thine absence, pleasure for thy love.
I trac'd thy hand ev'n at a single view,
Thy soul still better in the purport knew.
Thy gentle lines I drank with eager haste,
My lips pursu'd thee where thy fingers past;
My tears bedew'd the lines my kisses dry'd—
I sung—I danc'd—I fiddle'd—and I sigh'd— 20
Gods! can it be? — too full, too perfect bliss!
Does then my Pinna still remember Twiss?
Is Richard's image to her fancy dear?
And Richard's name still soothing to her ear?
Now, spend your malice, curst Hibernian kind!
For Richard lives within Teresa's mind.
Rail, write, and rage; I prize the sordid cry
Less than the hummings of the smallest fly. 1
Yet let me own, appall'd I trod the ground,
Where dangers lour'd, and shames lay scatter'd round.30
A thousand tongues from stage to stage pursu'd,
And fresh disgrace th' unwearied gibe renew'd:
Thus down the chimney some poor sparrow strays,
And roams the parlour with a wild amaze;
Dogs, cats, and children, a malignant crew,
The hapless stranger round the room pursue.
Some demon sure attends the youth, who roves
To bogs and horse-ponds from the maid he loves.
Oh! I have much to tell, and thou to hear;
A tale of sorrows, that will rend thine ear.40
Thy gentle spirit feels no vengeful flame;
Thou little know'st the curst Hibernian dame;
What thirst of vengeance fires an Irish maid,
What ready arts that thirst of vengeance aid.
Heav'n arms its creatures for their proper state
With various weapons of defence, or hate.
[Page 8]To serpents, teeth; to scorpions gave a tail;
To me, my printer, and my leaden flail;
Hibernian dames are train'd to cuff and kick,49
And nature arm'd them,—for their legs are thick.
The thirst of vengeance ev'ry breast inspires,
And bowls of whiskey feed their cruel fires.
Lyaeus thus the Theban dames possest,
And goads and stings inflam'd the madding breast.
"Revenge! Revenge!" the dire Agave cry'd—
"Revenge! Revenge!" the vocal hills reply'd.
Citheron's summits heard the frantic shout,
And Pentheus trembled at the revel rout.
He scour'd, he fled before th' inhuman train,
In vain—his limbs bestrew'd th' impurpled plain.60 2
From forging franks, each pert Hibernian Miss
Converts the quill, and has her fling at Twiss.
The desp'rate inkhorn arms uncounted throngs
With puns and posies, anecdote and songs.
Revenge inspires them in Apollo's spite;
A Twiss provokes; and well, or ill, they write.
How shall the muse to thee, my fair! explain
The studied vengeance of the savage train?
What terms of art the secret shall declare!
Inform thy mind, and yet thy blushes spare!70
Hast thou not seen a vase of antique mold,
Of Parian marble, or Barbaric gold,
Doom'd to enshrine some lovers cold remains,
Or pour libations at some mystic fanes?
Such are those utensils, ordain'd by fate,
The shameful engines of barbarian hate,
(Save that one handle, more for use than pride,
Shoots disproportion'd from the vessel's side) 3
[Page 10]For off'rings hallow'd, which my charmer made
With purer zeal amid the citron shade; 80
They grace the closet, by the couch they stand,
And, night and morning, load the fairest hand.
Without, a foliage crowns the polish'd frames,
And burnish'd gold on flowers of purple flames;
Within, the potter plants thy Richard's face,
And bids him stare, in horrible grimace.
Thro' lakes of amber as the face appears,
The face repentant seems bedew'd with tears.
The list'ning figure (by the painter's skill)
Attunes its fiddle to the purling rill.90
Sure had I trod the dire Conatian wild,
The blood of Twiss had savage hands defil'd: 4
[Page 11]But heav'n in vision touch'd my trembling car,
Some God inspir'd me with a prudent fear.
A form, methought, half beast, half human, stood,
And cry'd, "My son, I warn thee for thy good."
(A mighty stink-pot in his hand appear'd,
And ass's ears were on his temples rear'd)
"Once, like thyself, I travel'd, lied, and wrote,
"An author then, tho' now a mountain goat.100
"But soon, the victim of ill-manners, fell;
"A youth of Galway hurl'd me down to hell:
"Chang'd to a goat, to travel mountains sent,
"What was my pastime, is my punishment.
"If life is sweet, the wilds of Connaught spare;
"Beware of all; of Galway most beware.
"Yet thirst of railing, greater than thy fear,
"Will speak, tho' vengeance threats the votive ear;
"Untir'd, intrepid, as the taylor's wife,
"Will deal invectives, tho' they cost thy life.110
[Page 12]"The furious taylor plung'd her in the tide,
"Her fingers rail'd, when accents were denied,
"In death unconquer'd, shew'd the darling vice,
"And seem'd to crack imaginary lice."
Not vainly was the warning fantom sent;
My backward course with timely fear I bent.
Yet still in dreams th' ideal terrours rise,
Stain all my cloaths, and seal my blacken'd eyes;
And oaken cudgels whistle in the wind,
And sharp-toed shoes assail me from behind.120
Now Pinna seems to clasp me to her breast,
Now pats my cheeks, and whispers me to rest,
With sticking plaister heals her Richard's scars,
Disgraceful tokens of unequal wars,
Or seems the lenient flannel to prepare,
For love disdains not such a menial care,
Foments my head, still soft from weary blows,
And regions livid from eternal toes.
But say, what springs this persecution move?
The hate of woman, for neglected love.130
[Page 13]Here droning pipes the tortur'd organs wound,
And yells funereal thro' the vales resound,
No lemon groves with harp and viol ring,
No maids and striplings tonadillas sing;
Their voice, their touch disgrace the soft guitar,
My catches mangle, my cantatas mar.
Let not thy bosom harbour jealous flames;
My steady scorn repuls'd th' Iernian dames.
My love of thee, the love of music aids;
I spurn th' addresses of untuneful maids.140
A thousand sonnets spoke the tender fear;
But, out of tune, no sonnet reach'd my ear.
Me more it charm'd with beggar-wench to stray,
In wanton dalliance, all a summer's day,
Thro' darksome lanes, that vie with Tempe's vales,
Where frequent dram-shop balmy cloud exhales,
And steaming whiskey trulls and butcher's boys regales;
Whiskey, that mantles in the sparkling glass,
And, blest Nepenthe, chears the northern lass.
[Page 14]I tun'd my fiddle with Amphion's arts,150
To melt and harmonize barbarian hearts.
I would have taught the savage maids to move
In graceful dance, that paints the joys of love;
I would have taught them the guitar to string,
To troll the tonadil, the catch to sing;
But screams of discord all my senses wound,
And, rule disdaining, sharps and flats confound.
This guilty cause inflam'd the wives of Thrace
'Gainst thee, musician of celestial race!160
To teach them catches hapless Orpheus strove;
They scorn'd his fiddle, but they sought his love.
A song he gave them, but a kiss deny'd;
So bard and fiddle down the Hebrus glide.
Each moment bade some indecorum rise,
Some beastly custom shock'd my tortur'd eyes.
Heav'ns! how I tremble, chill'd with panic fear,
When water-glasses at the board appear! 5
[Page 15]How shall the hapless traveller scape undrown'd,
When direful females spout the table round!
Yes, Pinna, yes; conceive the soul disgrace; 170
A mouthful oft was spurted in my face.
Thus, when a storm has plough'd the watery way,
And whales, in fulness of their bellies, play;
A thousand nostrils seem to threat the sky,
And lab'ring barks the spouting deluge fly.
Too well, my love, thou know'st the guilty shore,
And "perils such as never errant bore."
And say, what prize repay'd the toil and pains?
What joy seduc'd me to the fatal plains?
No speaking picture crowns the lordly dome,180
No breathing marble of old Greece or Rome;
[Page 16]No spreading towns the traveller's eye delight,
No stately villas burst upon his sight;
Along the road, nor lord nor esquire waits,
To tempt the traveller to his open gates;
Fled the last honour of the savage kind,
Their only boast, the hospitable mind.
Some, once invited, never ask'd me more;
And some against me shut the niggard door; 190
Some whisper'd while I play'd my fav'rite airs;
And some, more civil, shew'd me down their stairs.
But never will I mourn my toil and pains,
My weary wanderings on Hibernian plains,
Tho' drag'd thro' lakes, or into rivers hurl'd,
Since there I saw the wonder of the world.
A wond'rous trout exalts one favour'd lake;
And months and years I'd journey for its sake. 6
[Page 17]Of fish they talk'd with gizzard like a bird:
I went, by doubtful, faint emotions, stir'd.
Heavens! have I caught it! rapture fires my mind!200
Gods! Gods! the gizzard of the winged kind!
Here smack your horse-whips, let your cudgels fall,
Hibernian Squires! for this I'd scorn them all.
I gain'd the trout, the precious trophy bore,
Preserv'd in whiskey, from the magic shore.
Haste, haste, ye sages! ye whom nature fires!
Gaze on my fish, and satiate your desires!
In vain his brethren seek, a curious train,
The darling treasure from thy Twiss to gain;
For when, my Pinna, Murcia's bowers I see,210
Both trout and gizzard shall be fry'd for thee.
Well might an artist travel from afar,
To view the structure of a low-back'd car.
A downy mattress on the car is laid,
The rev'rend father mounts, and tender maid.
Some back to back, some side by side are plac'd,
The ravish'd maid by panting youth embrac'd.
By dozens thus, full many a Sunday morn,
With dangling legs the jovial croud is borne;
Clontarf they seek, or Howth's aspiring brow,220
Or Leixlip, smiling on the stream below. 7
[Page 19]When ease and cheapness would thy Twiss en­gage,
Cars he prefer'd to noddies or to stage.
Oft on a car Buvindus saw me ride
From Tredagh's towers along his verdant side.
Wonders like these, of nature and of art,
Midst all his suff'rings chear'd thy Richard's heart;
And social comforts lent their genial rays,
When some kind Bufo gave his port and praise.
But why, my Pinna, kill me with thy tears,230
Thy causeless sorrows, and thy idle fears?
Wrong not, my fair, thy lover and thy self! —
What!—Twiss desert the Murcian maid for pelf!
Yet say, that gold could win thy Richard's charms,
Or grandeur lure him from thy constant arms:
Fear not a rival on th' Hibernian plain;
I scorn its damsels, a penurious train.
Scarce by their portions are their gowns supply'd,
And all their little wealth is dress and pride.
No Cupid there his arrows tips with gold,240
Nor Plutus knits the bands that lovers hold. 8
[Page 21]No wary souls in bonds of Ind are caught,
No little loves arithmetic are taught;
But home-bred virtue lurks with idle stealth,
And boasts in honour what it wants in wealth.
Cease, fond upbraider! cease the melting sigh;
For, big with joy, the teeming moments fly:
Not long shall fate disjoin our plighted hands,
Or hold thy Twiss from love's delicious bands.
One only wandering for the youth remains:250
Then Venus wafts him to th' Iberian plains.
Now fair occasion courts his swelling sails,
To fish on Greenland's happy shore for whales;
To strike th' harpoon, uncoil the kindling line,
To boil the blubber, and the fat refine; 9
[Page 22]To roam with bears on drifted ice that live,
'Till gentle converse full refinement give;
'Till meet associates happy nature aid,
And make him perfect for the Murcian maid.260
FINIS.

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