« AnteriorContinuar »
“ Ah! ha! your Lordship! is it you?
As thus the spruce M.P. runs on, Some quiet dame, who dotes upon His speeches, buckles, and grimace, Grows very eloquent in praise. “ How can they say Sir Paul is proud ? I'm sure, in all the evening's crowd, There's not a man that bows so low; His words come out so soft and slow; And, when he begg'd me keep my seat," He look'd so civil and so sweet.”— “ Ma'am,” says her spouse, in härsher tone, .. “ He only wants to keep his own.” Her Ladyship is in a huff, And Miss, enrag'd át Ma's rebuff, Rings the alarm in t'other ear : “ Lord ! now, Papa, you're too severe; Where in the county will you see Manners so taking and so free?" “ His manners free? I only know Our votes have made his letters so !” “ And then he talks with so much easem. And then he gives such promises !" “ Gives promises ? and well he may! You know they're all he gives away!"
“ How folks misrepresent Sir Paul !”
Sir Paul is skill'd in all the tricks
Methinks amid the crowded room I see one countenance of gloom;
Whence is young Edmund's pain or pique ?
I pity all whom Fate unites To vulgar Belles on Gala Nights; But chiefly him who haply sees The day-star of his destiniesThe Beauty of his fondest dreaming Sitting in solitude, and seeming To lift her dark capricious eye Beneath its fringe reproachingly. Alas! my luckless friend is tied To the fair Hoyden by his side, Who opens, without law or rule, The treasures of the Boarding-school : And she is prating learnedly Of logic and of chemistry, Describing chart and definition With geographical precision, Culling her words, as bid by chance, From England, Italy, or France, Until, like many a clever dunce, She murders all the three at once. Sometimes she mixes by the ounce Discussions deep on frill and Aounce, Points out the stains, that stick, like burrs, To ladies' gowns,-or characters ;. Talks of the fiddles, and the weather, Of Laura's wreath, and Fannia's feather;
All which obedient Edmund hears . With passive look, and open ears,
And understands about as much
Ellen,—the lady of his love, Is doom'd the like distress to prove, Chain’d to a Captain of the wars, Like Venus by the side of Mars, Hark! Valour talks of conquer’d towns, See! silent Beauty frets and frowns ; The man of fights is wondering now, That Girls won't speak when Dandies bow; And Ellen finds, with much surprise, That Beaux will speak when Belles despise. “ Ma'am,” says the Captain, “ I protest I come to ye a stranger guest, Fresh from the dismal dangerous land, Where men are blinded by the sand, Where undiscover'd things are hid In owl-frequented pyramid, And mummies with their silent looks Appear like memorandum-books, Giving a hint of death, for fear We men should be too happy here, But if upon my native land Fair ones, as still as mummies stand, By Jove I had as lieve be there!"(The Lady looks~" I wish you were.'). “ I fear I'm very dull to-night” (The Lady looks, "you're very right.”) “ But if one smile, one cheering ray”(The Lady looks another way.) “ Alas! from some more happy man ", (The Lady stoops and bites her fan,) “ Flattery perhaps is not a crime,”. (The Lady dances out of time,) “ Perhaps e'en now, within your heart, Cruel ! you wish us leagues apart, And banish me from Beauty's presence!”. The Lady bows in acquiescence,
# " Dido-non magis-sermone movetur
Quam si dura silex, aut stet Marpesia cautes,"-Virg.
With steady brow, and studied face,
Unawed by scandal or by sneer Is Reuben Nott the Blunderer here? What! is he willing to expose His erring brain to friends and foes? And doth he venturously dare, 'Midst grinning fop, and spiteful fair, In spite of all their ancient slips, To open those unhappy lips ? .
Poor Reuben! o'er his infant head Her choicest bounties Nature shed; She gave him talent, humour, sense, A decent face, and competence, And then to mar the beauteous plan, She bade him be an absent man. Ever offending, ever fretting, Ever explaining, and forgetting, He blunders on from day to day, And drives his nearest friends away. Do Farces meet with flat damnation? He's ready with “ congratulation.” Are friends in office not quite pure ? He owns “ he hates a sinecure.” Was Majora in foreign strife Not over prodigal of life? He talks about “ the coward's grave :" And " who so base as be a slave ?” Is some fair cousin made a wife In the full autumn of her life?He's sure to shock the youthful bride With “ forty years, come Whitsuntide.”
He wanders round! I'll act the spy. Upon his fatal courtesy, Which always gives the greatest pain, Where most it strives to entertain. “ Edward ! my boy! an age has past Methinks, since Reuben saw you last; How fares the Abbey ? and the Rooks? Your tenants ? and your sister's looks?