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The thief, Eurybates,* ne'er strain'd
His wit to so complete a job;
Who first his jailor's pity gain'd,
Then show'd him how he used to rob.
The brazen pens they wrote withal
Sharper than needles did he grind :
Then stuck them in the prison wall,
And fled—but left their wives behind.
Soon as the villany was heard,
Which robb’d my bosom of its rest,
It first incredible appear'd,
And then came the public jest.
-The publid, jest-ah! that wounds deep-
That I-who live by bolts and chains,
In my own prison could not keep
The honour of my wife from stains.
EPISTLE XXI.T CRUEL COMPASSION.
ARISTOMENES TO MYRONIDES.
The god of the love-darting-bow,
Whose bliss is man's heart to destroy,
Oft contrives to embitter our woe
By a specious resemblance of joy.-
Long-long had Architeles sigh'd
The fair Telesippe to gain :
She coolly his passion denied,
Yet seem'd somewhat moved at his pain.
At length she consented to hear ;
But 'twas done with a view to beguile :
For her terms were most harsh and severe,
And a frown was as good as her smile.
“You may freely," says she, "touch my breast,
And kiss, while a kiss has its charms;
And (provided I am not undrest)
Encircle me round in your arms.
Eurybates.) A famous robber of Attica, who escaped once fromprison by means of some brazen pens, by which he descended the walls.
† Epistle XXI.] A whimsical account of a lover and his mistress, who admitted him to every favour but the last.
“In short, any favour you please,
But expect not, nor think of the last : Lest enraged I revoke my decrees,
And your sentence of exile be cast.”“ Be it so," cried the youth, with delight,
" Thy pleasure, my fair one, is mine: Since I'm blest as a prince at your sight,
Sure to touch thee, will make me divine. “But why keep one favour alone,
And grant such a number beside ?"“ Because the men value the boon
But only so long as denied. “ They seek it with labour and pain;
When gain'd, throw it quickly away: For youth is unsettled and vain,
And its choice scarce persists for a day." -Thus pines the poor victim away,
Forced to nibble and starve on a kiss; Served worse than e'en eunuchs—for they
Can never feel torture like this.
LONG Glycera had loved, and still
Charisius loves; but brooking ill
Those supercilious airs of his,
(For pride, you know, his foible is,)
Determined, if she could, at once
Her hopeless passion to renounce.
A wish to love him, caused her hate :
Hatred too strong did love create.
Howe'er to Doris she applied,
Her maid, her oracle, her guide:
To her all circumstances stated;
And long together they debated :
At length their consultation done,
The confidant went out alone.
Epistle XXII.) The address of a sanning maid-servante
She'd walk'd through half a street and better
When at a turn Charisius met her :
Ask'd how she fared, and how she sped.-
So, so,” she cried, and shook her head.
“Is aught the matter ?” said the youth ;
“For God's sake, Doris, tell me truth.
Forcing a tear from either eye,
The crafty jade thus answer'd sly :
“My mistress madly dotes upon
That dolt, that idiot, Polemon.
What's worse, and you'll esteem it such,
She hates your company as much.”.
“Is't true?” th' astonish'd lover cries.
“ Alas! too true,” the maid replies:
“I'm sure she beats me black and blue,
If once I dare but mention you.”-
'Twas now Charisius plainly proved
He loved her more than he was loved.
(For oft when men neglect the fair,
Whose favours they might freely share,
A rival cleverly thrown in,
Their assiduities may win.)
His haughtiness was now no more ;
He begg'd, protested, wept, and swore.
(For beyond bounds is pride dejected,
If once it find itself neglected.)
“Wherein,” he cried, “wherein have I
Affronted her unknowingly?
For never, purposely, I swear,
Offended I in aught the fair.-
But I'll go deprecate her ire,
In person my offence inquire. -
Then let my charmer bring her action;
I'll make her any satisfaction.
Though I have err’d, will no repentance
Induce her to revoke my sentence ?"
But Doris hesitated yet,
To make the triumph more complete.
“If on my knees I try to move her,"
Exclaim'd the miserable lover,
Still must I meet a harsh denial ?" —
“Far be 't from me t' oppose the trial,"
Said Doris-"go-entreat her pity;
And still, perhaps, she may admit ye."-
Charisius now, with hope inspired,
(That beauteous youth, so long admired !)
A kind reception flew to meet,
And fell at his beloved's feet.
But Glycera in raptures gazed,
And from his knees the suppliant raised;
Then slyly turn'd about to kiss
The hand which had been touch'd by his.
And soon was his forgiveness past,
For Love forbade her rage to last.
The crafty maid stood smiling by
The while, and archly wink'd her eye,
To show, that she alone had wit
To make the haughty swain submit.
EPISTLE XXIII.*. THE DOUBLE MISFORTUNE.
MONOCHORUS TO PHILOCUBUS. How hard is my lot, and my fate how perverse ! Whom two dread misfortunes join forces to curse: When one is sufficient to plague one's life through, 'Tis the devil indeed to be saddled with two : And that each is an evil, will scarce be denied, Though which the severest, is hard to decide. First, a profligate jilt throws my money awayThen my happier rivals all beat me at play : For as soon as the dice and the tables are set, Love pops in my head-spoils each cast and each bet. Thus all my antagonists win what they will, Though much my inferiors in practice and skill: For disturbid, I forget how the chances have gone, And place to their side what I've gain'd on my own.
Then leaving my play for my mistress, I meet A rebuff more severe than my former defeat: For my rivals outbid me, enrich'd at my cost, And give, what the moment before I have lost. Scorn'd and slighted am I, the while they are carest, And I lend them the weapon to stab. my own breast.Thus misfortunes, together when join'd, become worse, And gain from each other additional force.
Epistle XXIII.] From a man unfortunate both in play and love.
EPISTLE XXIV.* CONSTANCY.
MUSARIUM TO HER DEAREST LYSIAS,
My lovers, a detested set,
Last night at my apartments met.-
Long did they sit, and stare, while each
Seem'd to have lost the powers of speech;
Expecting when his neighbour's jaws
in the common cause.
At length the boldest of the gang
Arose, and made a fine harangue.
In which the wordy youth profest
Only t advise me for the best :
But really meant (I guess'd his theme)
“No girl," said he, “who treads the stage,
Like you can all our hearts engage ;
And since your charms surpass them all,
Why should your profits be so small ?
Whereas we gladly would supply you,
But are repulsed and slighted by you
For Lysias; who, to say the truth,
Is but a very awkward youth.
Did he remarkably excel us,
We had no reason to be jealous :
And you might feasibly maintain
That beauty pleased you more than gain.
But now you've not a single plea
For praising him to this degree.
yet you still remain the same,
And stun us with his odious name;
So oft repeated, that we seem
To hear it even when we dream.
Can it be passion thus to dote?
No—'t must some phrensy sure denote.
But all we now desire to hear, is
A faithful answer to our queries.
Can Lysias only touch your breast?
Resolve you to dismiss the rest ?—
Speak but the word—and we desist;
But let us know your mind at least." Epistle XXIV.] From a girl to her favoured lover, for whose sake she had dismissed her other admirers.