It is the design of this Epistle to illustrate the virtue of True Taste; and to shew how little she requires to secure, not only the comforts, but even the elegancies of life. True Taste is an excellent Economist. She confines her choice to few objects, and delights in producing great effects by small means: while False Taste is for ever sighing after the new and the rare; and reminds us, in her works, of the Scholar of Apelles, who, not being able to paint his Helen beautiful, determined to make her fine.
An Invitation, v. 1. The approach to a Villa described, v. 5. Its situation, v. 17. Its few apartments, v. 57. Furnished with casts from the Antique, &c. v. 63. The dining-room, v. 83. The library, v. 89. A cold-bath, v. 101. A winter-walk, v. 151. A summer-walk, v. l63. The invitation renewed, v. 197. Conclusion, v. 205.
When, with a REAUMUR’S skill, thy curious mind
Has class’d the insect-tribes of human-kind,
Each with its busy hum, or gilded wing,
Its subtle, web-work, or its venom’d sting;
Let me, to claim a few unvalued hours,
Point the green lane that leads thro’ fern and flowers;
The shelter’d gate that opens to my field,
And the white front thro’ mingling elms reveal’d.
In vain, alas, a village-friend invites
To simple comforts, and domestic rites,
When the gay months of Carnival resume
Their annual round of glitter and perfume;
When London hails thee to its splendid mart,
Its hives of sweets, and cabinets of art;
And, lo, majestic as thy manly song,
Flows the full tide of human life along.
Still must my partial pencil love to dwell
On the home-prospects of my hermit cell;
The mossy pales that skirt the orchard-green,
Here hid by shrub-wood, there by glimpses seen;
And the brown pathway, that, with careless flow,
Sinks, and is lost among the trees below.
Still must it trace (the flattering tints forgive)
Each fleeting charm that bids the landscape live.
Oft o’er the mead, at pleasing distance, pass [a]
Browsing the hedge by fits the pannier’d ass;
The idling shepherd-boy, with rude delight,
Whistling his dog to mark the pebble’s flight;
And in her kerchief blue the cottage-maid,
With brimming pitcher from the shadowy glade.
Far to the south a mountain-vale retires,
Rich in its groves, and glens, and village-spires;
Its upland lawns, and cliffs with foliage hung,
Its wizard-stream, nor nameless nor unsung:
And thro’ the various year, the various day, [b]
What scenes of glory burst, and melt away!
When April-verdure springs in Grosvenor-square,
And the furr’d Beauty comes to winter there,
She bids old Nature mar the plan no more;
Yet still the seasons circle as before.
Ah, still as soon the young Aurora plays,
Tho’ moons and flambeaux trail their broadest