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What then remains, but, waving each extreme, Ere canvass yet was strain'd, before the grace The tides of ignorance and pride to stem?
Of blended colours found their use and place, Veither so rich a treasure to forego;
Or cypress tablets first receiv'd a face. Nor proudly seek beyond our power to know : By slow degrees the godlike art advanc'd ; Faith is not built on disquisitions vain;
As man grew polish'd, picture was enhanc'd : The things we must believe are few and plain : Greece added posture, shade, and perspective ; But, since men will believe more than they need, And then the mimic piece began to live. And every man will make himself a creed,
Yet perspective was lame, no distance true, In doubtful questions 'tis the safest way
But all came forward in one common view; To learn what unsuspected ancients say :
No point light was known, no bounds of art; For 'tis not likely we should higher soar
When light was there, it knew not to depart, In search of Heaven, than all the church before : But glaring on remoter objects play'd; Nor can we be deceiv'd, unless we see
Not languish'd, and insensibly decay'd. | The Scripture and the fathers disagree.
Rome rais'd not art, but barely kept alive, If after all they stand suspected still,
And with old Greece unequally did strive : For no man's faith depends upon his will ;
Till Goths and Vandals, a rude northern race, 'Tis some relief, that points not clearly known Did all the matchless monuments deface. Without much hazard may be let alone ·
Then all the Muses in one ruin lie, And, after hearing what our church can say, And rhyme began t'enervate poetry If still our reason runs another way,
Thus, in a stupid military state,
The pen and pencil find an equal fate.
Unrais'd, unrounded, were the rude delight
At length, in Raphael's age, at once they rise, For while from sacred truth I do not swerve, Stretch all their limbs, and open all their eyes. Tom Sternhold's or Tom Shadwell's rhymes will | Thence rose the Roman, and the Lombard line :
One colour'd best, and one did best design.
Thy genius gives thee both; where true design,
Postures unforc'd, and lively colours join. TO SIR GODFREY KNELLER, Likeness is ever there ; but still the best,
Like proper thoughts in lofty language drest;
Where light, to shades descending, plays, not strives, Once I beheld the fairest of her kind,
Dies by degrees, and by degrees revives. And still the sweet idea charms my mind :
Of various parts a perfect whole is wrought : True, she was dumb; for Nature gaz'l so long, Thy pictures think, and we divine their thought. Pleas'd with her work, that she forgot her tongue; Shakspeare, thy gift, I place before my siglit: But, smiling, said, “ She still shall gain the prize; With awe, I ask his blessing ere I write; I only have transferr'd it to her eyes.'
With reverence look on his majestic face ; Such are thy pictures, Kneller : such thy skill, Proud to be less, but of his godlike race, That Nature seems obedient to thy will;
His soul inspires me, while thy praise I write, Comes out, and meets thy pencil in the draught; And I, like Teucer, under Ajax fight. [breast Lives there, and wants but words to speak her Bids thee, through me, be bold; with dauntless thought.
Contemn the bad, and emulate the best.
When most they rail, know then, they envy most. We think 'tis somewhat more than just to see. In vain they snarl aloof; a noisy crowd,
Shadows are but privations of the light; Like women's anger, impotent and loud. Yet, when we walk, they shoot before the sight; While they their barren industry deplore With us approach, retire, arise, and fall;
Pass on secure, and mind the goal before. Nothing themselves, and yet expressing all. Old as she is, my Muse shall march behind Such are thy pieces, imitating life
Bear off the blast, and intercept the wind. So near, they almost conquer in the strife ;
Our arts are sisters, though not twins in birth : And from their animated canvass came,
For hymns were sung in Eden's happy earth : Demanding souls, and loosen'd from the frame. But oh, the painter Muse, though last in place,
Prometheus, were he here, would cast away Has seiz'd the blessing first, like Jacob's race. His Adam, and refuse a soul to clay ;
Apelles' art an Alexander found; And either would thy noble work inspire,
And Raphael did with Leo's gold abound; Or think it warm enough without his fire.
But Homer was with barren laurel crown'd. But vulgar hands may vulgar likeness raise ; Thou hadst thy Charles a while, and so bad I; This is the least attendant on thy praise :
But pass we that unpleasing image by. From hence the rudiments of art began;
Rich in thyself, and of thyself divine; A coal, or chalk, first imitated man :
All pilgrims come and offer at thy shrine. Perhaps the shadow, taken on a wall,
A graceful truth thy pencil can command ; Gave outlines to the rude original ;
The fair themselves go mended from thy hand
PRINCIPAL PAINTER TO HIS MAJESTY.
Likeness appears in every lineament ;
THE COCK AND THE FOX:
OR THE TALE OF THE NUN'S PRIEST. So warm thy work, so glows the generous frame, There liv'd, as authors tell, in days of yore, Flesh looks less living in the lovely dame.
A widow, somewhat old, and very poor : Thou paint'st as we describe, improving still, Decp in her cell her cottage lonely stood, When on wild Nature we ingraft our skill ; Well thatch'd, and under covert of a wood. But not creating beauties at our will.
This dowager, on whom my tale I found, But poets are confin'd in narrower space, Since last she laid her husband in the ground, To speak the language of their native place : A simple sober life, in patience, led, The painter widely stretches his command ; And had but just enough to buy her bread : Thy pencil speaks the tongue of every land. But huswifing the little Heaven had lent, From hence, my friend, all climates are your own, She duly paid a groat for quarter rent; Nor can you forfeit, for you hold of none. And pinch'd her belly, with her daughters two, All nations all immunities will give
To bring the year about with much ado. To make you theirs, where'er you please to live ; The cattle in her homestead were three sows And not seven cities, but the world would strive. An ewe call'd Mallie, and three brinded cows.
Sure some propitious planet then did smile, Her parlour-window stuck with herbs around, When first you were conducted to this isle : Of savoury smell ; and rushes strew'd the ground Our genius brought you here, t’ enlarge our fame; A maple-dresser in her hall she had, For your good stars are every where the same. On which full many a slender meal she made; Thy matchless hand, of every region free,
For no delicious morsel pass'd her throat; Adopts our climate, not our climate thee.
According to her cloth she cut her coat : Great Roine and Venice early did impart No poignant sauce she knew, nor costly treat, To thee th' exainples of their wondrous art. Her hunger gave a relish to her meat : Those masters then, but seen, not understood, A sparing diet did her health assure; With generous emulation fir’d thy blood :
Or, sick, a pepper posset was her cure. For what in Nature's dawn the child admir'd, Before the day was done, her work she sped, The youth endeavour'd, and the man acquir'd. And never went by candle-light to bed : If yet thou hast not reach'd their high degree,
With exercise she sweat ill humours out, 'Tis only wanting to this age, not thee.
Her dancing was not hinder'd by the gout. Thy genius, bounded by the times, like mine, Her poverty was glad; her heart content ; Drudges on petty draughts, nor dare design Nor knew she what the spleen or vapours meant. A more exalted work, and more divine.
Of wine she never tasted through the year, For what a song, or senseless opera,
But white and black was all her homely cheer: Is to the living labour of a play ;
Brown bread, and milk, (but first she skimm'd ba Or what a play to Virgil's work would be,
bowls) Such is a single piece to history.
And rashers of sing'd bacon on the coals. But we, who life bestow, ourselves must live: On holy days an egg, or two at most; Kings cannot reign, unless their subjects give : But her ambition never reach'd to roast. And they, who pay the taxes, bear the rule:
A yard she had with pales enclos'd about, Thus, thou, sometimes, art forc'd to draw a fool : Some high, some low and a dry ditch without. But so his follies in thy posture sink,
Within this homestead, liv'd, without a peer, The senseless ideot seems at last to think. (vain, For crowing loud, the noble Chanticleer;
Good Heaven ! that sots and knaves should be so So hight her cock, whose singing did surpass To wish their vile resemblance may remain ! The merry notes of organs at the mass. And stand recorded, at their own request
More certain was the crowing of the cock To future days, a libel or a jest !
To number hours, than is an abbey-clock; Else should we see your noble pencil trace
And sooner than the matin-bell was rung, Our unities of action, time, and place :
He clapp'd his winys upon his roost, and sung: A whole compos'd of parts, and those the best, For when degrees fifteen ascended right, With every various character exprest;
By sure instinct he knew 'twas one at night. Heroes at large, and at a nearer view :
High was his comb, and coral-red withal, Less, and at distance, an ignobler crew.
In dents embattled like a castle wall; While all the figures in one action join,
His bill was raven-black, and shone like jet; As tending to complete the main design.
Blue were his legs, and orient were his feet : More cannot be by mortal art exprest ;
White were his nails, like silver to behold, But venerable age shall add the rest,
His body glittering like the burnish'd gold. For Time shall with his ready pencil stand ; This gentle cock, for solace of his life, Retouch your figures with his ripening hand; Six misses had, besides his lawful wife; Mellow your colours, and imbrown the teint ; Scandal, that spares no king, though ne'er so good, Add every grace, which Time alone can grant; Says, they were all of his own flesh and blood, To future ages shall your fame convey,
His sisters both by sire and mother's side ;
But make the worst, the monarch did no more,
But passing this, as from our tale apart, | How dar'st thou tell thy dame thou art af ear'd? Dame Partlet was the sovereign of his heart : Hast thou no manly heart, and hast a beard ? Ardent in love, outrageous in his play,
“ If aught from fearful dreams may be divin'd, He feather'd her a hundred times a day:
They signify a cock of dunghill kind. And she, that was not only passing fair,
All dreams, as in old Galen I have read, But was withal discreet, and debonair,
Are from repletion and complexion bred; Resolv'd the passive doctrine to fulfil,
From rising fumes of indigested food, Though loth; and let him work his wicked will: And noxious humours that infect the blood : At board and bed was affable and kind,
And sure, my lord, if I can read aright, According as their marriage vow did bind, These foolish fancies you have had to-night And as the church's precept had enjoin'd :
Are certain syınptoms (in the canting style) Ev’n since she was a se'nnight old, they say,
Of boiling choler, and abounding bile; Was chaste and humble to her dying day,
This yellow gall, that in your stomach floats,
Engenders all these visionary thoughts.
Red dragons, and red beasts in sleep we view,
From hence we dream of wars and warlike things, The tribute in his bill to her was borne.
And wasps and hornets with their double wings. But, oh! what joy it was to hear him sing
Choler adust congeals our blood with fear, In summer, when the day began to spring,
Then black bulls toss us, and black devils tear. Stretching his neck, and warbling in his throat, In sanguine airy dreams aloft we bound, “ Solus cum sola," then was all his note.
With rheums oppress'd we sink, in rivers drown'd. For in the days of yore, the birds of parts (arts. “ More I could say, but thus conclude my theme, Were bred to speak, and sing, and learn the liberal The dominating humour makes the dream.
It happ'd, that, perching on the parlour-beam Cato was in his time accounted wise, Amidst his wives, he had a deadly dream,
And he condemns them all for empty lies. Just at the dawn; and sigh’d, and groan'd so fast, Take my advice, and when we fly to ground, As every breath he drew would be his last. With laxatives preserve your body sound, Dame Partlet, ever nearest to his side,
And purge the peccant humours that abound. Heard all his piteous moan, and how he cry'd
I should be loth to lay you on a bier ; For help from gods and men : and sore aghast And though there lives no 'pothecary near, She peck'd and pull'd, and waken'd him at last. I dare for once prescribe for your disease, “Dear heart," said she, “ for love of Heaven, declare And save long bills, and a damn'd doctor's fees. Your pain, and make me partner of your care. “ Two sovereign herbs, which I by practice You groan, sir, ever since the morning-light,
know, As something had disturb'd your noble spright." And both at hand (for in our yard they grow);
“ And, madam, well I might,” said Chanticleer, On peril of my soul shall rid you wholly “ Never was shrovetide cock in such a fear; Of yellow choler, and of melancholy: Ev'n still I run all over in a sweat,
You must both purge and vomit; but obey, My princely senses not recover'd yet.
And for the love of Heaven make no delay. For such a dream I had of dire portent,
Since hot and dry in your complexion join,
Beware the Sun when in a vernal sign;
If then he finds your body in a flame,
A tertian ague is at least your lot. That on my body would have made arrest.
Perhaps a fever (which the gods forefend) With waking eyes I ne'er beheld his fellow; May bring your youth to some untimely end : His colour was betwixt a red and yellow :
And therefore, sir, as you desire to live,
These digestives prepare you for your purge;
And of ground-ivy add a leaf or two,
Eat these, and be, my lord, of better cheer; “ Now'fy for shame,” quoth she, “ by Heaven Your father's son was never born to fear.” above,
“ Madam,” quoth he, grammercy for your care, Thou hast for ever lost thy lady's love ;
But Cato, whoin you quoted, you may spare : No woman can endure a recreant knight,
'Tis true, a wise and worthy man he seems, He must be bold by day, and free by night : And (as you say) gave no belief to dreams : Our sex desires a husband or a friend,
But other men of more authority, Who can our honour and his own defend;
And, by th' immortal powers, as wise as he, Wise, hardy, secret, liberal of his purse :
Maintain, with sounder sense, that drcains forebode ; A tool is nauseous, but a coward worse :
For Homer plainly says they come from God. No bragging coxcomb, yet no baffled knight, Nor Cato said it : but some modern fool How dar'st thou talk of love, and dar’st not tight? | Impos'd in Cato's name on boys at school.
"* Believe me, madam, morning dreams foreshow | Ye magistrates, who sacred laws dispense, Th' event of things, and future weal or woe : On you I call, to punish this offence.' Some truths are not by reason to be try'd,
“ The word thus given, within a little space, But we have sure experience for our guide. The mob came roaring out, and throng'd the place. An ancient author, equal with the best,
All in a trice they cast the cart to the ground, Relates this tale of dreams among the rest.
And in the dung the murder'd body found; “ Two friends or brothers, with devout intent, Though breathless, warm, and reeking from the On some far pilgrimage together went.
wound. It happen'd so, that, when the Sun was down, Good Heaven, whose darling attribute we find They just arriv'd by twilight at a town:
Is boundless grace, and mercy to mankind, That day had been the baiting of a bull,
| Abhors the cruel; and the deeds of night 'Twas at a feast, and every inn so full,
By wondrous ways reveals in open light : That no void room in chamber, or on ground, Murder may pass unpunish'd for a time, And but one sorry bed was to be found :
But tardy Justice will o'ertake the crime. And that so little it would hold but one,
And oft a speedier pain the guilty feels : Though till this hour they never lay alone.
The hue and cry of Heaven pursues him at the heels: “ So were they forc'd to part; one stay'd behind, Fresh from the fact, as in the present case, His fellow sought what lodging he could find : The criminals are seiz'd upon the place : At last he found a stall where oxen stood,
Carter and host confronted face to face. And that he rather chose than lie abroad.
Stiff in denial, as the law appoints, 'Twas in a farther yard without a door ;
On engines they distend their tortur'd joints: But, for his ease, well litter'd was the floor. So was confession forc'd, th' offence was known,
“ His fellow, who the narrow bed had kept, And public justice on th' offenders done. Was weary, and without a rocker slept :
“ Here may you see that visions are to dread; Supine he snor'd; but in the dead of night, And in the page that follows this, I read He dreamt his friend appear'd before his sight, Of two young merchants, whom the hope of gain Who, with a ghastly look and doleful cry,
Induc'd in partnership to cross the main, Said, “ Help me, brother, or this night I die: Waiting till willing winds their sails supply'd, Arise, and help, before all help be vain,
Within a trading town they long abide, Or in an cx's stall I shall be slain.'
Full fairly situate on a haven's side ; “ Rous'd from his rest, he waken'd in a start, One evening it befell, that looking out, Shivering with horrour, and with aching heart, The wind they long had wish'd was come abcut: At length to cure himself by reason tries ;
Well pleas'd they went to rest ; and if the gale 'Tis but a dream, and what are dreams but lies? Till morn continued, both resolv'd to sail. So thinking, chang'd his side, and clos'd his eyes. But as together in a bed they lay, His dream returns; his friend appears again : The younger had a dream at break of day. • The murderers come, now help, or I am slain :' A man he thought stood frowning at his side : 'Twas but a vision still, and visions are but vain. Who warn’d him for his safety to provide, He dreamt the third : but now his friend appear'd Nor put to sea, but safe on shore abide. Pale, naked, pierc'd with wounds, with blood be- • I come, thy genius, to command thy stay ; smear'd:
Trust not the winds, for fatal is the day, Thrice warn'd, · Awake,' said he ; relief is late, And Death unhop'd attends the watery way.' The deed is done ; but thou revenge my fate:
“ The vision said : and vanish'd from his sigus Tardy of aid, unseal thy heavy eyes,
The dreamer waken'd in a mortal fright : Awake, and with the dawning day arise :
Then pull'd his drowsy neighbour, and declar'd Take to the western gate thy ready way,
What in his slumber he had seen and heard. For by that passage they my corpse convey : His friend smil'd scornful, and with proud contenipt My corpse is in a tumbril laid, among
Rejects as idle what his fellow dreamt. The filth and ordure, and enclos'd with dung : Stay, who will stay: for me no fears restrain, That cart arrest, and raise a common cry;
Who follow Mercury the god of gain ; For sacred hunger of my gold, I die :
Let each man do as to his fancy seems, Then show'd his grisly wound : and last he drew I wait not, I, till you have better dreams. A piteous sigh, and took a long adieu.'
Dreams are but interludes which Fancy makes « The frighted friend arose by break of day, When monarch Reason sleeps, this mimic wakes, And found the stall where late his fellow lay. Compounds a medley of disjointed things, Then of his impious host inquiring more,
A mob of coblers, and a court of kings: Was answer'd that his guest was gone before : Light fumes are merry, grosser fumes are sad . • Muttering, he went,' said he, .by morning light, Both are the reasonable soul run mad : And much complain'd of his ill rest by night.' And many monstrous forms in sleep we see, This rais'd suspicion in the pilgrim's mind; That neither were, nor are, nor e'er can be. Because all hosts are of an evil kind,
Sometimes forgotten things long cast behind And oft to share the spoils with robbers join'd. Rush forward in the brain, and come to mind. “ His dream confirm'd his thought : with troubled The nurse's legends are for truths receiv'd, look
And the man dreams but what the boy believ'd. Straight to the western gate his way he took ; Sometimes we but rehearse a former play, There, as his dream foretold, a cart he found, The night restores our actions done by day; That carry'd compost forth to dung the ground. As hounds in sleep will open for their prey. This when the pilgrim saw, he stretch'd his throat, In short, the farce of dreams is of a piece, And cry'd out murder with a yelling note. Chimeras all; and more absurd, or less : My murder'd fellow in this cart lies dead,
You, who believe in tales, abide alone ; Vengeance and justice on the villain's head
“ Thus while he spoke, he heard the shouting crew | While thou art constant to thy own true knight, That callid aboard, and took his last adieu.
While thou art mine, and I am thy delight, The vessel went before a merry gale,
All sorrows at thy presence take their flight. And for quick passage put on every sail :
For true it is, as in principio, But when least fear'd, and ev'n in open day, Mulier est hominis confusio. The mischief overtook her in the way :
Madam, the meaning of this Latin is, Whether she sprung a leak, I cannot find,
That woman is to man his sovereign bliss. Or whether she was overset with wind,
For when by night I feel your tender side,
Though for the narrow perch I cannot ride,
“ By this example you are taught again, He said, and downward flew from off the beam. That dreams and visions are not always vain : For day-light now began apace to spring, But if, dear Partlet, you are still in doubt,
The thrush to whistle, and the lark to sing. Another tale shall make the former out.
Then crowing clapp'd his wings, th' appointed call, “ Kenelm the son of Kenulph, Mercia's king, To chuck his wives together in the hall. Whose holy life the legends loudly sing,
By this the widow had unbarr'd the door, Warn'd in a dream, his murder did foretell
And Chanticleer went strutting out before, From point to point as after it befell;
With royal courage, and with heart so light, All circumstances to his nurse he told
As show'd he scorn'd the visions of the night. (A wonder from a child of seven years old): Now roaming in the yard he spurn’d the ground, The dream with horrour heard, the good old wife And gave to Partlet the first grain he found. From treason counseld him to guard his life ;
Then often feather'd her with wanton play, But close to keep the secret in his mind,
And trod her twenty times ere prime of day : For a boy's vision small belief would find.
And took by turns and gave so much delight, The pious child, by promise bound, obey'd,
Her sisters pin'd with envy at the sight. Nor was the fatal murder long delay'd :
He chuck'd again, when other corns he found, By Quenda slain, he fell before his time,
And scarcely deign’d to set a foot to ground; Made a young martyr by his sister's crime. But swagger'd like a lord about his hall, The tale is told by venerable Bede,
And his seven wives came running at his call. Which at your better leisure you may read.
'Twas now the month in which the world began “ Macrobius too relates the vision sent
(If March beheld the first created man): To the great Scipio, with the fam'd event : And since the vernal equinox, the Sun, Objections makes, but after makes replies,
In Aries, twelve degrees, or more, had run; And adds, that dreams are often prophesies. When casting up his eyes against the light,
“ Of Daniel you may read in holy writ, Both month, and day, and hour, he measur'd right, Who, when the king his vision did forget,
And told more truly than th’ Ephemeris : Could word for word the wondrous dream repeat. For Art may err, but Nature cannot miss. Not less of patriarch Joseph understand,
Thus numbering times and seasons in his breast, Who by a dream enslav'd th' Egyptian land, His second crowing the third hour confess'd. The years of plenty and of dearth foretold, Then turning, said to Partlet, “ See, my dear, When, for their bread, their liberty they sold.
How lavish Nature has adorn’d the year; Nor must th' exalted butler be forgot,
How the pale primrose and blue violet spring, Nor he whose dream presag'd his hanging lot. And birds essay their throats, disus'd to sing :
“ And did not Cræsus the same death foresee, All these are ours; and I with pleasure see Rais'd in his vision on a lofty tree?
Man strutting on two legs, and aping me: The wife of Hector, in his utmost pride,
An unfledg'd creature, of a lumpish frame, Dreamt of his death the night before he dy'd;
Endow'd with fewer particles of flame : Well was he warn’d from battle to refrain,
Our dames sit scouring o'er a kitchen fire, But men to death decreed are warn'd in vain : I draw fresh air, and Nature's works admire : He dar'd the dream, and by his fatal foe was slain. And ev’n this day in more delight abound,
“ Much more I know, which I forbear to speak, Than, since I was an egg, I ever found.” For see the ruddy day begins to break;
The time shall come when Chanticleer shall wish Let this suffice, that plainly I foresee
His words unsaid, and hate his boasted bliss : My dream was bad, and bodes adversity :
The crested bird shall by experience know,
Jove made not him his master-piece below ;
The vessel of his bliss to dregs is run,
Ye wise, draw near, and hearken to my tale, And ne'er did any but the doctors good :
Which proves that oft the proud by flattery fall : Their tribe, trade, trinkets, I defy them all, The legend is as true, I undertake, With every work of 'pothecary's hall.
As Tristran is, and Launcelot of the lake:
Which all our ladies in such reverence hold,
A fox, full-fraught with seeming sanctity,
Who look'd like Lent, and had the holy leer, The scarlet red about thy partridge eye,
And durst not sin before he said his prayer;