« EelmineJätka »
But rebel Wit deferts thee oft' in vain; Loft in the maze of words he turns again, And feeks a furer ftate, and courts thy gentle reign.
Afflicted Sense thou kindly doft fet free,
And routed Reafon finds a fafe retreat in thee.
With thee in private modest Dulness lies, And in thy bofom lurks in Thought's disguise; Thou varnisher of Fools, and cheat of all the Wife!
Yet thy indulgence is by both confest;
Folly by thee lies fleeping in the breast,
And 'tis in thee at laft that Wisdom feeks for reft.
Silence the knave's repute, the whore's good name, The only honour of the wifhing dame;
The very want of tongue makes thee a kind of Fame.
But could't thou feize fome tongues that now are
How Church and State fhou'd be oblig'd to thee? At Senate, and at Bar, how welcome would'st thou be?
Yet speech ev'n there, fubmiffively withdraws, From rights of fubjects, and the poor man's caufe:
Then pompous Silence reigns, and ftills the noisy Laws.
Past services of friends, good deeds of foes, What Fav'rites gain, and what the Nation owes, Fly the forgetful world, and in thy arms repose.
The country wit, religion of the town,
The courtier's learning, policy o' th' gown, Are best by thee exprefs'd; and fhine in thee alone.
The parfon's cant, the lawyer's fophiftry, Lord's quibble, critic's jeft; all end in thee, All reft in peace at laft, and fleep eternally.
E. OF DORSET.
"IF one turns to the authors of the last age for the character of this Lord, one meets with nothing but encomiums on his wit and good-nature. He was the finest gentleman in the voluptuous court of Charles the Second, and in the gloomy one of King William. He had as much wit as his firft mafter, or his cotemporaries, Luckingham and Rochefter; without the royal want of feeling, the Duke's want of principles, or the Earl's want of thought. The latter said, with astonishment, "That he did not know how it was, but Lord Dorfet might do any thing, and yet was never to blame!" It was not that he was free from the failings of humanity, but he had the tenderness of it too, which made every body excuse whom every body loved; for even the afperity of his verfes feems to have been forgiven to
"The best-good man, with the worst-natured muse."
"This line is not more familiar than Lord Dorfet's own poems to all who have a tafte for the beauties of natural and eafy verse, or than his Lordship's own bon-mots, of which I cannot help repeating one of fingular humour: Lord Craven was a proverb for officious whispers to men in power. On Lord Dorfet's promotion, King Charles having feen Lord Craven pay his usual tribute to him, asked the former what the latter had been saying? The Earl replied gravely, "Sir, my Lord Craven did me the honour to whisper, but I did not think it good manners to liften." When he was dying, Congreve, who had been to vifit him, being afked how he had left him, replied, "Faith, he flabbers more wit than other people have in their best health.”
"His Lordship and Waller are faid to have affifted Mrs. Catherine Philips in her tranflation of Corneille's Pompey." Walpole, vol. ii. p. 95.
E. OF DORSET.
THO' Artemifia talks, by fits,
Of councils, claffics, fathers, wits;
Haughty and huge as High-Dutch bride,
Are oddly join'd by fate:
On her large fquab you find her spread,
Like a fat corpfe upon a bed,
That lies and ftinks in ftate.
VER. 1. Tho' Artemifia] By Artemifia, Pope has been thought to have meant Queen Caroline. It certainly bears in many points a refemblance, but coloured by fpleen. She became corpulent; and Mr. Coxe obferves, "Her levees were a strange picture of the motley character and manners of a Queen and learned woman. She received company while at her toilette-learned men and divines were intermixed with courtiers and ladies of the household. The converfation turned upon metaphysical subje&s, blended with the tittle-tattle of the drawing-room." Coxe's Memoirs.
It ought not to be omitted, that notwithstanding Pope's general farcasms, she was a moft exemplary, fenfible, prudent, and amiable woman, as is clearly proved by Mr. Coxe.
She wears no colours (fign of grace)
On any part except her face;
All white and black befide:
Dauntless her look, her gefture proud,
And masculine her stride.
So have I seen, in black and white
A stately, worthless animal,
That plies the tongue, and wags the tail,