One her coarse sense by metaphors expounds,
And one in literalities abounds;
In mood and figure these keep up the din:
Words multiply, and every word tells in.
Her hundred throats here bawling Slander strains;
And unclothed Venus to her tongue gives reins
In terms, which Demosthenic force outgo,
And baldest jests of foul-mouth’d Cicero.
Right in the midst great Ate keeps her stand,
And from her sovereign station taints the land.
Hence Pulpits rail; grave Senates learn to jar;
Quacks scold; and Billingsgate infects the Bar.
[Footnote 1: Bilinguis in the Latin.]
* * * * *
PINDARIC ODE TO THE TREAD-MILL.
Inspire my spirit, Spirit of De Foe,
That sang the Pillory,
In loftier strains to show
A more sublime Machine
Than that, where thou wert seen,
With neck outstretcht and shoulders ill awry,
Courting coarse plaudits from vile crowds below—
A most unseemly show!
In such a place
Who could expose thy face,
Historiographer of deathless Crusoe!
That paint’st the strife
And all the naked ills of savage life,
Far above Rousseau?
Rather myself had stood
In that ignoble wood,
Bare to the mob, on holiday or high-day.
If nought else could atone
For waggish libel,
I swear on bible,
I would have spared him for thy sake alone,
Our ancestors’ were sour days,
Great Master of Romance!
A milder doom had fallen to thy chance
In our days:
Thy sole assignment
Some solitary confinement,
(Not worth thy care a carrot,)
Where in world-hidden cell
Thou thy own Crusoe might have acted well,
Only without the parrot;
By sure experience taught to know,
Whether the qualms thou mak’st him feel were truly such or no.
But stay! methinks in statelier measure—
A more companionable pleasure—
I see thy steps the mighty Tread-Mill trace,
(The subject of my song,
Delay’d however long,)
And some of thine own race,
To keep thee company, thou bring’st with thee along.
There with thee go,
Link’d in like sentence,
With regulated pace and footing slow,
Each old acquaintance,
Rogue—harlot—thief—that live to future ages;
Through many a labor’d tome,
Rankly embalm’d in thy too natural pages.
Faith, friend De Foe, thou art quite at home!
Not one of thy great offspring thou dost lack,
From pirate Singleton to pilfering Jack.
Here Flandrian Moll her brazen incest brags;
Vice-stript Roxana, penitent in rags,
There points to Amy, treading equal chimes,
The faithful handmaid to her faithless crimes.