Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

But now, alas ! we're quite neglected,

But there, in quest of daily game, And a pert sparrow's more respected.”

Each able courtier acts the same; A sparrow who was lodg'd beside,

Wolves, lions, lynxes, while in place, O'erhears them footh each other's pride;

Their friends and fellows are their chafo. And thus he nimbly vents his heat :

They play the bear's and foxe's part, “ Who meets a fool must find conceit.

Now rob by force, now steal with art. I grant you were at Athens grac'd;

They sometimes in the senate bray, And on Minerva's helm were plac'd;

Or, chang'd again to beasts of prey, But every bird that wings the sky,

Down from the lion to the ape, Except an owl, can tell you why :

Pra&tise the frauds of every shape." From hence they caught their schools to know So said: upon the god he flies, How false we judge by outward show;

In cords the struggling captive ties. That we should never looks eleem,

“ Now, Proteus ! now (to truth compell'd) Since fools as wise as you might seem.

Speak, and confess thy art excell'd. Would ye contempt and scorn avoid,

Use strength, surprise, or what you will, Let your vain-glory be destroy'd;

The courtier finds evasions still; Hunible your arrogance of thought,

Not to be bound by any ties,
Pursue the ways by nature taught :

And never forc'd to leave his lies."
So mall you fi' d delicious sare,
And grateful farmers praise your care;

PABLE XXXIV.
So fall flcek mice your chase reward,
And no keen cat find more regard."

The Mafir

FABLE XXXIII.

The Courtier and Proteus,

Whenever a courtier's out of place,
The country shelters his disgrace;
Where, doom'd to exercise and health,
His house and gardens own his wealth.
He buildnew schemes, in hope to gain
The plunder of another reign;
Like Philip's ton, would fain be doing,
And sighs for other realms to ruin.

As one of these (without his wand)
Pensive along the winding strand
Employ'd che solitary hour,
Ju projects to regain his powrr,
'The waves in spreading circles ran,
Proteus arose, and thus began :

“ Came you from court? for in your mien A felt-important air is seen."

He frankly own'd his friends had trick'd him,
And how he fell his party's victim.

“ Know, says the god, by matchless skill
I change to every shape at will;
But yet, i'ah told, at court you see
Those who presume to rival me

Thus said : a snake, with hideous trail,
Proteus exterids his scaly mail

" Know, says the man, though proud in place,
All courtiers are of reptile rare
Like you, they take that dreadful form,
Bisk in the fun, and fly the storm;
With malice hiss, with envy glote,
And for convenience change their coat;
With new-got lustre rear their head,
Though on a dunghill born and bred."

Sudden the god a lion stands;
He shakes his mane, he spurns the sands.
Now a fierce lynx, with fiery glare;
A woli, an afs, a fox, a bear.

“ Had I ne'er liv'd at court, he cries, Suntran.formations might furprise ;

Tuose who in quarrels interpose,
Must often wipe a bloody nofe.
A mastiff, of true English blood,
Lov'd fighting better than his food.
When dogs were snarling for a bone,
He long'd to make the war his own,
And often found (when two contend)
To interpose obtain'd his end.
He glory'd in his limping pace;
The scars of honour seam'd his face ;
In every limb a gal appears,
And frequent fights retrench'd his ears.

As on a time he heard from far
Two dogs engag'd in noisy war,
Away he scours, and lays about him,
Resolv'd no fray should be without him.
Forth from his yard a tanner flies,
And to the band intruder cries :

“ A cudgel shall correct your manners :
Whence fprung this cursed hate to tanners!
While on my dog you vent your spite,
Sirrah: 'tis me you dare not bite."

To see the battle thus perplex'd,
With equal rage a butcher, vex'd,
Hoarse-icreaming from the circled crowd,
To the curs'd maftiff cries aloud:

Both Hockleyhole and Marybone
The combats of my dog have knowo :
He ne'er, like bullies, coward hearted,
Attacks in public, to be parted.
Think not, rash fool, to Mare his fame;
Be his the honour, or the shame."

Thus said, they (wore, and rav'd like thunder,
Then dragg’d their fasten'd dogs afunder i
While clubs and kicks from every side
Rebounding from the mastiff's hide.

All reeking now with sweat and blood,
A while the paried warriors stood;
Then pour'd upon the meddling foe,
Who, worried howlid and sprawld below.
He rose; and limping from the fray,
By both aides mangled, fucak'd away.

Seem only to regard your friends,

Does it not lovers' hearts explain, But use them for your private ends.

And drudge to raise the merchant's gain? Stint not to truth the flow of wit ;

What now rewards this general use? Be prompt to lie whene'er 'tis fit.

He takes the quills, and eats the goose. Pend all your force to spatter merit;

Man then avoid, deteft his ways, Scandal is conversacion's fpirit,

So safety shall prolong your days. Boldly to every thing pretend,

When services are thus acquitted, And men your talents shall commend.

Be sure we pheasants must be spitted.”,
I knew the great. Observe me right;

FABLE XIV.
So fhall you grow, like man, polite.
He spoke, and bow'd. With muttering jawa

The Pin and the Needle.
The wondering circle grinn'd applause.

A Pin who long had serv'd a beauty, Now, warni'd with malice, envy, spite,

Proficient in the toilette's duty, Their most obliging friends they bite;

Had form'd her sleeve, confin'd her hair, And, fopd to copy human ways,

Or given her knot a smarter air, Pradise'new mischiefs all their days.

Now nearelt to her heart was plac'd, Thus the dull lad, too call for school,

Now in her mantua's tail disgrac'd: With travel finishes the fool;

But could se partial fortune blame, Studious of every coxcomb's airs,

Who saw her lovers serv'd the same? He drinks, games, dresses, whores, and swears;

At length from all her honours cast, O'erlooks with scorn all virtuous arts,

Through various turns of life she pal; For vice is fitted to his parts.

Now glitter'd on a taylor's arm,

Now kept a beggar's infant warm;
FABLE XV.

Now, rang'd within a miser's coat,

Contributes to his yearly groat;
The Philosopher and the Pheasants,

Now, rais'd again from low approach,

She visits in the doctor's coach :
Tue fage, awak'd at early day,
Through the deep forest took his way;

Here, there, by various fortune tost,

At last in Gresham hall was loft.
Drawn by the music of the groves,

Charm'd with the wonders of the show,
Along the winding gloom he roves :
From tree to tree the warbling throats

On every side, above, below,

She now of this or thac inquires,
Prolong the sweet alternate nutes :

What least was understood admires.
But, where he paft, he terror threw,
The long broke short, the warblers flew;

'l'is plain, each thing so struck her mind, The'thrushes chatter'd with affright,

Her head's of virtuoso kind. And nightingales abhorr'd his light:

“ And pray what's this, and this, dear Sir!" All animals before him ran,

“ A needle," says th' interpreter. To fhun the hateful light of man.

She knew the name; and thus the fool Whence is this dread of every creature?

Address'd ker as a tailor's tool.

“ A needle with that filthy stone, Fly they our figure, or our nature ! As thus he walk'd in nzufing thought,

Quite idle, all with ruft o'ergrown; His ear imperfe& accents caught;

You better night employ your parts, With cautious (tep he nearer drew,

And aid the feniplusels in her arts;

But tell me how the friendship grew
By the thick shade conceal'd from view.
High on the branch a pheasant food,

Between that paltry flint and you."
Around her all her listening brood;

“ Friend, says the needle, cease to blame; Proud of the bleslings of her neft,

I follow real worth and fame. She thus a mother's care express’d.

Know's thou the loadstone's power and art, “ No dangers here shall circumvent,

That virtue virtues can impart? Within the woods enjoy contcat.

Of all his talents I partake : Sooner the hawk or vulture trust

Who then can such a friend fotfake? Than man, of animals the worst.

'Tis 1 direct the pilot's hand

To thun the rocks and treacherous sand :
In him ingratitude you find,
A vice peculiar to the kind.

By me the diftant world is known,

And either India is our own.
The sheep whofe annual fleece is dy'd

Had I with milliners been bred,
To guard his health, and ferve his pride,
Forc'd from his fold and native plain,

What had I been ? the guide of thread,
Is in the cruel Mambles flain.

And drudg'd as vulgar needles do,
The swarms who with industrious skill,

Of no more consequence than you."
His hives with wax and honey fill,
In vain whole fummer-days employ'd,

FABLE XVII.
Their stores are sold, the race destroy'd.

The Sbepherd's Dog and tbe Wolf. What tribate from the goose is paid

A wole, with hunger fierce and bold, Does not her wing all science aid?

Ravag'd chc plains, and thinn'd the fold;

Deep in the wood secure he lay,

He plac'd in view; refolu'd to pleares The thefts of night regal'd the day.

Whoever fat he drew from these, In vain the shepherd's wakeful care

From these corrected every feature, Had spread the toils, and watch'd the snare; And spirited cach aukward creature. In vain the dog pursued his pace,

All things were set; the hour was come, The flecter robber mock'd the chase.

His pallet ready o'er his thumb. As Lightfoot rang?d the forest round,

My lord appear'd; and feated right, By chance his foe's retreat, he found.

In proper attitude and light, Let us a while the war suspend,

The painter look’d, he ketch'd the piece, And reason as from friend to friend.

Then dipt his pencil, talk'd of Greece, “ A truce ?" replies the wolf. 'Tis done. Of Titian's tints, of Guido's air ; The dog the parley thus begun.

Those eyes, my lord, the fpirit there “ How can that strong intrepid mind

Mighe well a Raphael's hand require, Attack a weak defenceless kind?

To give them all the native fire; Those jaws should prey on nobler food,

The features, fraught with sense and wity And drink the boar and lion's blood,

You'll grant, are very hard to hit; Great souls with generous pity melt,

But yet with patience you thall view Which coward tyrants never felt.

As much as paint and art can do." How harmless is our fleecy care !

Observe the work. My Lord replied, Be brave, and let thy mercy spare."

“ Till now I thought my mouth was wides “ Friend, says the wolf, the matter weigh; Besides, my nose is fomewhat long : Nature design'd us beasts of prey ;

Dear Sir, for me, 'cis far too young," As such, when hunger finds a treat,

“ Oh! pardon me, the artist cry'd; "Tis necessary wolves should eat.

In this we painters must decide. If, mindful of the bleating weal,

The piece ev'n common eyes must frike, Thy bosom burn with real zeal,

I warrant it extremely like." Hence, and thy tyrant lord beseech ;

My Lord examin'd it anew ; To him repeat the moving speech :

No looking-glass seem'd half so true. A wolf eats sheep but now and then,

A lady came with borrow'd grace Ten thousands are devour'd by men.

He from his Venus form'd her face. An open' foe may prove a curse,

Her lover prais'd the painter's art ; But a pretended friend is worse."

So like the picture in his heart !

To every age some charm he lent;
FABLE XVII.

Ev'n beauties were almost content.
The Painter who pleafed nobody and every body.

Through all the town his art they prais'd;

His custom grew, his price was rais'd. Lest men suspect your talc untrue,

Had he the real likeness shown, Keep probability in view.

Would any man the picture own? The travoller leaping o'er those bounds,

But, when thus happily he wrought, The credit of his book confounds.

Each found the likeness in his thought. Who with his tongue hach armies routed,

FABLE XIX.
Makes even his real courage doubted.
But flattery never seems absurd;

The Lion and the Cub.
The flatter'd always take your word ;
Impossibilities seem just;

How fond are men of rule and place,
They take the strongest praise on truita

Who court it from the mean and basc ! Hyperboles, though ne'er so great,

These cannot bear an equal nigh, Will still come short of self-conceit.

But from superior merit fly. So very like a painter drew,

They love the cellar's vulgar joke, That every eye the picture knew,

And lose their hours in ale and smokc. He hit complexion, feature, air,

There o'er some petty club preside; So just, the life itself was there.

So poor, so paltry, is their pride! No flattery with his colours laid,

Nay, ev'n with fools whole nights will sty To bloom restor'd the faded maid;

In hopes to be fupreme in wit. He gave each muscle all its (trength;

If these can read, to these I write, The mouth, the chin, the nose's length;

To set their worth in truest light. His honest pencil touch'd with truth,

A lion cub, of fordid mind, And mark'd the date of age and youth.

Avoided all the lion kind; He loft his friends, his practice fail'd;

Fond of applause he fought the fcalta Truth should not always be reveald :

Of vulgar and ignoble beasts; In dusty piles his pidures lay,

With asses all his time he spent, For no one sent the second pay.

Their clubs perpetual president. Two buttos, fraught with every grace,

He caught their nanners, looks, and airs; A Venus' and Apollo's face,

An als in every thing but cass!

The tumbler whirls the flip-flap round,

Indulge thy spleen : know men and fowl With fomersets he makes the ground;

Regard thee, as thou art, an owl. The cord beneath the dancer springs;

Besides, proud' blockhead! be not vain Alose in air the vaulter swings;

Of what thou call'it thy slaves and train: Distorted now, now prone depends,

Few follow wisdom or her rules; Now through his twisted arm ascends;

Fools in derision follow fools."
The crowd, in wonder and delight,

FABLE XLII.
With clapping hands applaud the sight.
With smiles, quoth pug," If pranks like these

The yoglers.
The giant apes of reason please,

A JUGGLER long through all the town How would they wonder at our arts !

Had rais'd his fortune and renown; They must adore us for our parts.

You'd think (so far his art transcends) High on the twig I've seen you cling,

The devil at his fingers ends. Play, twist, and turn in airy ring;

Vice heard his fame, the read his bill; How can those clumsy things, like me,

Convinc'd of his inferior skill, Fly with a bound from tree to tree?

She fought his booth, and frown the crowd But yet, by this applause, we find

Defy'd the man of art aloud. These emulators of our kind

“ Is this then he so famid for sleight? Discern our worth, our parts regard,

Can this now bungler cheat your sight? Who our mean mimics thus reward."

Dares he with me dispute the prize? " Brother, the grinning mate replies,

I leave it to impartial eyes.” In this I grant that man is wise :

Provok'd, the Juggler cry'd, “ 'Tís done; While good example they pursue,

In science I fubmit to none. We must allow fome praise is due;

Thus faid, the cups and balls he play'd ; But, when they strain beyond theis guide,

By turns this here, that there, convey'd. I laugh to scorn the mimic pride;

The cards, obedient to his words, For how fantastic is the fight,

Are by a Gillip turn'd to birds. To meet men always bolt upright,

His little boxes change the grain : Because we sometimes walk on two!

Trick after trick deludes the train.
I hate the imitating crew."

He shakes his bag, he shows all fair ;
FABLE XLI.

His fingers spread, and nothing there;

Then bids it rain with showers of gold;
The Owl and the Farmer.

And now his ivory eggs are cold;
An owl of grave deport and mien,

But, when from thence the hen he draws, Who (like the Turk) was seldom seen,

Amaz'd spectators hum applause. Within a barn had chose his station,

Vice now stept forth, and took the place, As fit for prey and contemplation :

With all the forms of his grimace. Upon a beam aloft he fits,

“ This magic looking gl ss, she cries, And nods, and seems to think by fits.

(There, hand it round) will charm your eyes.". So have I seen a man of news

Each eager eye the fight defir'd, Or poft-boy or gazette peruse,

And every man himicif admir'd. Smoke, nod, and talk with voice profound,

Next, t. a senator addresling, And fix the fate of Europe round.

“ See this bank-note; observe the blessing, Sheaves pil'd on fheaves hid all the floor : Breathe on the bill. Heigh, pass ! 'Tis gone." At dawn of morn to view his store

Upon his lips a padiock thone. The Farmer came. The hooting guest

A second puff the magic broke; His self-importance thus exprest:

The padlock vanifh'd, and he spoke. “Reason in man is mere pretence :

Twelve bottles rang'd upon ihe board How weak, how shallow, is his fense!

All full, with heady liquor ttor'd, To tread with scorn the bird of night,

By clean conveyance disappear, Declares his folly or his spite.

And now (wo bloody swords are there. Then, too, how partial is his praise!

A purse she to a thief expos'd; The lark's, the linnet's, chirping lays

At once his ready fingers clos'd. To his ill-judging ears are fine ;

He opes his filt, the treasure's fled; And nightingaies are all divine :

He sees a halter in its stead. But the more knowing feather'd race

She bids ambition hold a wand; See wisdom samp'd upon my face.

He gralps a ha chet in his hand. Whene'er to visit light I deign,

A box of charity she shows, What flocks of fowl compoie my

train!

" Bluw here;" 2nd a church-warden blows. Like slaves, they crowd my flight behind,

'Tis vanilh'd with onveyance neat, And own me of superior kind.”

And on the tablc smokes a treat. The Farmer laugh’d, and thus reply'd :

She thakes the dice, the board the knocks, Thou dull important lump of pride,

And from all pockets fills her box. Dar'st thou with that harsh grating tongue

She next a meagre rake addrest. Depreciate birds of warbling long?

" This pidure see; her shape, her breast!

FABLE XXII.

The matron, who conducts abroad
The Goat without a Beard.

A willing nymph, is thought a bawd; "Tis certain thac the modith passions

And, if a modest girl is seen

With one who cures a lover's fpleen,
Descend among the crowd like fashions.
Excuse me, then, if pride, conceit,

We guess her, not extremely nice, (The manners of the fair and great)

And only with to koow her price.

'Tis chus that on the choice of friends I give to monkies, asses, dogs,

Our good or evil name depends.
Fleas, owls, goats, butterflies, and hogs,
I say that these are proud : what then?

A wrinkled hag, of wicked fame,
I never said they equal men.

Beside a little smoky flame A Goat (as vain as goat can be)

Sat hovering, pinch'd with age and frost ;

Her shrivell d hands, with veins enabofs’d,
Affected singularity :

Upon her knces her weight luftains,
Whene'er a thymy bank he found,
He rolld upon the fragrant ground,

While pally shook her crazy brains :

She mumbles forth her backward prayers, And then with fond attention stood,

An untam'd scold of fourscore years. Fix'd o'er his image in the fiood.

About her swarm'd a numerous brood “ I hate my frowzy beard, he cries,

Of cats, who, lank with hunger, mew'd, My youth is lost in this disguise.

Teaz'd with their cries, her choler grew, Did not the females know my vigour,

And thus she sputter'd. “ Hence, ye crew : Well might they lothe this reverend figure.".

Fool that I was, to entertain
Resolu'd to smooth his shaggy face,
He fought the barber of the place.

Such imps, fuch fiends, a hellish train !

Had ye been never hous'd and nurs'd,
A lippant monkey, spruce and smart,
Hard by, profess'd the dapper art:

I for a witch had ne'er been curs'd.
His pole with pewter-balons hung,

To you I owe that crowds of boys Black rotten teeth in order ftrung,

Worry me with eternal noise ;

Straws laid across my pace retard, Rang'd cups, that in the window stood,

The horse shoe's bail'd (each threshold's guard); Lin'd with red rags to look like blood; Did well his threefold trade explain,

The stunted broom the wenches hide,

For fear that I should up and ride;
Who shav'd, drew teeth, and breath'd a vein.
The Goat he welcomes with an air,

They stick with pins my bleeding seat,

And hid me fhow my secret reat.
And seats him in his wooden chair :
Mouth, nose, and cheek, the lather hides ;

“ To hear you prate, would vex a faint ; Light, smooth, and swift, the razor glides.

Who hath most reason of complaint ?" “ I hope your custom, Sir, says Pug,

Replies a Cat. “ Let's come to proof.

Had we ne'er starv'd beneath your roof,
Sure never face was half so snug!”
The Goat, impatient for applause,

We had, like others of our race,

In credit liv'd as beasts of chafe. Swift to the neighbouring hill withdraws.

'Tis infamy to serve a hag; The fhaggy people grinn d and star'd.

Cats are thought imps, her broom a nag :
Heigh-day! what's here? without a beard!
Say, Brother, whence the dire disgrace?

And boys against our lives combine,
What erivious hand bath robb'd your face?"

Because 'tis said your cats have nine." When thus the fop, with smiles of scorn,

FABLE XXIV. " Are beards by civil nations worn? Ev’n Museovites have inow'd their chins.

The Butterfly and tbe Snail. Shall we, like formal Capuchins,

All upstarts, insolent in place, Stubborn in pride, retain the mode,

Remind us of their vulgar race. And bear about the hairy load ?

As in the sunshine of the more Whene'er we through the village stray,

A butterfly (but newly born) Are we not mock'd along the way,

Sat proudly perking on a rose, Insulted with loud fhouts of scorn,

With pert conceit his bosom glows; By boys our beards disgrac'd and torn ?"

His wings (all glorious to behold) “ Were you no more with goats to dwell, Bedrope with azure, jet, and gold, Brother, 'grant you reason well,"

Wide he displays; the fpangled dew Replies a bearded chief. “ Beside,

Reflects his eyes and various hue. If boys can mortify thy pride,

His now-forgotten friend, a snail, How wilc thou stand the ridicule

Beneath his house, with flimy trail, Of our whole flock! Affected fool!"

Crawls o'er the grass; whom when he spies, Coxcombs, distinguish'd from the rest,

In wrath he to the gardocr cries : To all but coxcombs are a jelt.

" What means yon peasant's daily coil, FABLE XXIII.

From choking weeds to rid che foil?

Why wake you to the morning's care?
Tbe Old Woman and ber Cats.

Why with new arts corre& the year? Who friendship with a knave hath made, Why grows the peach with crimson hue? Ravag'd a pariner in the trade.

And why the plumb's inviting blue?

« AnteriorContinuar »