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Thus the whole evening did they preach
In many a long and fruitless speech.
But 'twould require a day and more
To copy half their nonsense o'er-
Suffice it, all their idle chat
Went in at this ear, out at that.
This, and this only, I replied,
“ 'Tis Cupid that my choice did guide:
He bade my heart its feelings own;
For Lysias live-for him alone.”
Who," cried they, “would that wretch admire,
That antidote to all desire ?
What heart for such a clown can pine ?”—
“Mine," answer'd I with rapture,“ mine.".
Then rising, “Fare ye well,” I cried,
“But cease my lover to deride.
Your proffer'd treasures I despise,
In Lysias all my transport lies.”-
Haste then, loved youth, oh hither haste;
The precious moments do not waste :
Oh bring me but one tender kiss ;
With int’rest I'll repay the bliss.
Oh! grant me, Venus, this request,
And send the idol of my breast. —
Come, Lysias, come, and soothe my pangs,
On thee my very being hangs.
E'en while I write time slips away :
Then why this torturing delay ?-
Ne'er shall those brutes avail with me
They're satyrs, when compared with thee.
EPISTLE XXV.* THE SISTERS.
PHILANIS TO PETALA.
As yesterday I went to dine
With Pamphilus, a swain of mine,
I took my sister, little heeding
The net í for myself was spreading ;
Though many circumstances led
To prove she'd mischief in her head.
For first her dress in every part
Was studied with the nicest art : Epistle XXV.] From a girl, accusing her sister of seducing her lover's aflections.
Deck'd out with necklaces and rings,
And twenty other foolish things;
And she had curl'd and bound her hair
With more than ordinary care :
And then, to show her youth the more,
A light, transparent robe she wore
From head to heel she seem'd † admire
In raptures all her fine attire :
And often turn'd aside to view
If others gazed with raptures too. -
At dinner, grown more bold and free,
She parted Pamphilus and me;
For veering round unheard, unseen,
She slyly drew her chair between.
Then with alluring, am'rous smiles,
And nods, and other wanton wiles,
The unsuspecting youth ensnared,
And rivali'd me in his regard.—
Next she affectedly would sip
The liquor that had touch'd his lip.
He, whose whole thoughts to love incline,
And heated with th' enliv'ning wine,
With interest repaid her glances,
And answered all her kind advances.
Thus sip they from the goblet's brink
Fach other's kisses while they drink ;
Which with the sparkling wine combined,
Quick passage to the heart did find.
Then Pamphilus an apple broke,
And at her bosom aim'd the stroke;
While she the fragment kiss'd and press'd,
And hid it wanton in her breast.
But I, be sure, was in amaze,
To see my sister's artful ways ;
“ These are returns," I said, “ quite fit
To me, who nursed you when a chit.
For shame, lay by this envious art;
Is this to act a sister's part ?"
But vain were words, entreaties vain,
The crafty witch secured my swain.-
By heavens, my sister does me wrong
But oh! she shall not triumph long ;
Well Venus knows I'm not in fault-
'Tv:as she who gave the first assault:
And since our peace her treachery broke,
Let me return her stroke for stroke.
She'll quickly feel, and to her cost,
Not all their fire my eyes have lost-
And soon with grief shall she resign
Six of her swains for one of mine.
EPISTLE XXVI.* THE PANTOMIME ACTRESS.
SPEUSIPPUS TO PANARETE.
LONG had Fame thy praises sung,
Sweetest theme of every tongue :
Long mine ears those graces knew,
Which till now ne'er blest my view.
Now thy charms my bosom fire,
More and more I now admire e ;
Finding them so far excel
All that Fame had words to tell.
On thy gestures who could gaze,
Nor be lost in wild amaze?
Who unhurt, with bosom cold,
Could thy beauteous form behold ? -
'Mong th' immortal race divine,
Venus and Polymnia t shine.
They presided at thy birth,
And ordain'd, that thou on earth,
Like th' expressive muse shouldst move,
And inspire, like Venus, love.
Art thou orator or painter ?
Which allusion is the quainter?
Words thou canst with skill express ;
Things in native colours dress;
While thy animated arm,
Limbs with elocution warm ;
Motions just, and nicely true,
Are thy tongue and pencil too.
Thou, thus eloquently mute,
Canst each part, like Proteus, suit:
As the strains, or light or slow,
Bid successive passions flow. * Epistle XXVI.] A panegyrical Epistle to a pantomime actress ( PXÉSTPIAA). The celebrated Casaubon, who wrote some critiques upon this work, points out a peculiar elegance in this Epistle; but it is to be feared much of it depended on the expressions of the original. --However, it throws some light on the art of the ancient times.
† Polymnic particularly presided over gesture.
Now with loud-applauding hand
See the rapt spectators stand :
Now you hear th' astonish'd throng
Joining in alternate song:
Now they shake their robes in praise :
Now in speechless wonder gaze:
While in whispers each explains
What thy mimic silence means ;
And to show his approbation,
Labours at thy imitation.
Thou with gestures nice, exact,
Dost like Caramallus act:
Him thy all-expressive grace
Doth with true resemblance trace.
Pleased may e'en the wise, the old,
Thy dumb eloquence behold :
Such amusements to attend,
Gravity may well unbend.-
I, on public business bound,
Many cities have gone round;
Either Rome I've travell’d through,
Both the ancient and the new;
Yet in neither did I see
Aught that might be matched with thee.-
Such thy charms, and such thy art;
Blest is he who wins thy heart !
EPISTLE XXVII. THE COXCOMB.
CLEARCHUS TO AMYNANDER.
As just beneath a lady's eye,
A youth officiously pass'd by,
Another lady, standing near,
Jogg'd her, and whisper'd in her ear,
“ Yon swain, by Beauty's queen 'tis true,
Walk'd by to be observed by you;
And really, on examination,
His figure merits observation.
His dress is very neatly laced,
And fashion'd with a pretty taste. Now they shake their robes, &c.] This was a sign of the highest approbation among the ancients.
+ Epistle XXVII.] From a lady ridiculing the addresses of a self-suffi. cient lover.
And then observe, his jetty hair
Is buckled with the nicest care
(For Cupid can transform, you know,
The greatest sloven to a beau)."
“That man," said t'other, “I detest,
However shaped, however dress'd,
Who flatters his own charms too much,
And thinks we can't resist the touch.
This made him choose, and this alone,
The name of Philo for his own :
gave the self-sufficient airs
Which in his haughty brow he bears.
I hate the lover who can dare
To be a rival to the fair :
Who, if she deign to bless his arms,
Thinks he repays her charms for charms.
The man who courts a lady so,
Courts only that the world may know
But hear me vex my stately swain,
It cannot fail to entertain :-
'A youth there is who frequent tries
With love my bosom to surprise ;
In vain my court he daily haunts,
In vain his idle ditties chaunts ;-
Yet fears not to repeat his song,
Both every day, and all day long :
While I tormented hide my face,
And blush myself for his disgrace.'”
Thus with insulting words the fair
Mock'd her desponding lover's care :
And then, to fasten his devotion,
Contrived, with easy, careless motion,
A leg of most enchanting shape
Should from beneath her robe escape.
The poor Adonis heard, and view'd
Just as the lady wish'd he should :
And, “Oh ! insulting maid,” he cried,
“Continue still my flame to chide :
Not me thy bitter taunts approach,
The god of Love alone they touch :
• That man, &c.] This is a very lively description of an intriguing coxcomb; and perhaps not inapplicable to some modern characters.