« 上一頁繼續 »
Nov. Where, if it be so, for our comfort, we cannot fail of meeting with fellow-sufferers enough. For, as Freeman said of another, she stands in the drawing-room, like the glass, ready for all comers, to set their gallantry by her; and, like the glass, too, lets no man go from her unsatisfied with himself.-" The Plain Dealer."
Character of Zimri (the Duke of Buckingham)
Some of their chiefs were princes of the land:
In the first rank of these did Zimri stand,
A man so various, that he seemed to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome:
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
Was everything by starts, and nothing long,
But, in the course of one revolving moon,
Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon,
Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking,
Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking.
Blest madman, who could every hour employ
With something new to wish or to enjoy,
Railing, and praising, were his usual themes;
And both, to show his judgment, in extremes:
So over-violent, or over-civil,
That every man with him was god or devil.
In squandering wealth was his peculiar art;
Nothing went unrewarded but desert.
Beggared by fools, whom still he found too late,
He had his jest and they had his estate.
He laughed himself from court, then sought relief
By forming parties, but could ne'er be chief;
For spite of him, the weight of business fell
On Absalom and wise Achitophel.
Thus, wicked but in will, of means bereft,
He left not faction, but of that was left.
_" Absalom and Achitophel."
All human things are subject to decay,
And, when Fate summons, monarchs must obey.
This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young
Was call'd to empire and had govern'd long,
In prose and verse was owned without dispute
Through all the realms of Nonsense absolute.
This aged prince, now flourishing in peace,
And blest with issue of a large increase,
Worn out with business, did at length debate
To settle the succession of the state;
And pond'ring which of all his sons was fit
To reign and wage immortal war with wit,
Cried: "'Tis resolved, for Nature pleads that he
Should only rule who most resembles me.
Shadwell alone my perfect image bears,
Mature in dulness from his tender years;
Shadwell alone of all my sons is he
Who stands confirm'd in full stupidity.
The rest to some faint meaning make pretence,
But Shadwell never deviates into sense.
Some beams of wit on other souls may fall,
Strike through and make a lucid interval;
But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray,
His rising fogs prevail upon the day.
Besides, his goodly fabric fills the eye
And seems designed for thoughtless majesty,
Thoughtless as monarch oakes that shade the plain,
And, spread in solemn state, supinely reign.
Heywood and Shirley were but types of thee,
Thou last great prophet of tautology.
Even I, a dunce of more renown than they,
Was sent before but to prepare thy way,
And coarsely clad in Norwich drugget came
To teach the nations in thy greater name.
My warbling late, the lute I whilom strung
When to King John of Portugal I sung,
Was but the prelude to that glorious day,
When thou on silver Thames didst cut thy way,
With well-tim'd oars before the royal barge,
Swell'd with the pride of thy celestial charge,
And, big with hymn, commander of an host;
The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets tost.
Methinks I see the new Arion sail,
The lute still trembling underneath thy nail.
At thy well-sharpened thumb from shore to shore
The treble squeaks for fear, the basses roar;
About thy boat the little fishes throng,
As at the morning toast that floats along.
Sometimes, as prince of thy harmonious band,
Thou wieldst thy papers in thy threshing hand.
St. André's feet ne'er kept more equal time,
Not ev'n the feet of thy own ‘Psyche's' rhyme,
Though they in number as in sense excel;
So just, so like tautology, they fell
That, pale with envy, Singleton forswore
The lute and sword which he in triumph bore,
And vowed he ne'er would act Vilerius more."
Here stopped the good old sire, and wept for joy,
In silent raptures of the hopeful boy. .
All arguments, but most his plays persuade
That for anointed dulness he was made.
Close to the walls which fair Augusta bind
(The fair Augusta much to fears inclin'd),
An ancient fabric rais'd to inform the sight
There stood of yore, and Barbican it hight;
A watch-tower once, but now, so fate ordains,
Of all the pile an empty name remains.
Near it a Nursery erects its head,
Where queens are formed and future heroes bred,
Where unfledged actors learn to laugh and cry,
And little Maximins the gods defy.
Great Fletcher never treads in buskins here,
Nor greater Jonson dares in socks appear;
But gentle Simkin just reception finds
Amidst this monument of vanished minds;
Pure clinches the suburbian muse affords,
And Panton waging harmless war with words.
Here Flecknoe, as a place to fame well known,
Ambitiously designed his Shadwell's throne.
For ancient Dekker prophesied long since
That in this pile should reign a mighty prince,
Born for a scourge of wit and flay of sense,
To whom true dulness should some “ Psyches ” owe,
But worlds of “Misers" from his pen should flow;
“Humourists” and Hypocrites it should produce,
Whole Raymond families and tribes of Bruce.
Now empress Fame had published the renown
Of Shadwell's coronation through the town.
Roused by report of fame, the nations meet
From near Bunhill and distant Watling-street.