Imagens das páginas


So far was well,—but Clelia thought not fit
(In all the Griffin needed) to submit:
Gaily to dress and in the bar preside,
Soothed the poor spirit of degraded pride;
But cooking, waiting, welcoming a crew
Of noisy guests, were arts she never knew :
Hence daily wars, with temporary truce,

His vulgar insult, and her keen abuse;

And as their spirits wasted in the strife,
Both took the Griffin's ready aid of life;
But she with greater prudence-Harry tried
More powerful aid, and in the trial died;
Yet drew down vengeance: in no distant time,
Th' insolvent Griffin struck his wings sublime ;-
Forth from her palace walk'd th' ejected queen,
And show'd to frowning fate a look serene;
Gay spite of time, though poor, yet well attired,
Kind without love, and vain if not admired.

Another term is past; ten other


In various trials, troubles, views, and fears:

Of these some pass'd in small attempts at trade;
Houses she kept for widowers lately made;

For now she said, "They'll miss th' endearing friend, "And I'll be there the soften'd heart to bend :"

And true a part was done as Clelia plann’d—
The heart was soften'd, but she miss'd the hand.



She wrote a novel, and Sir Denys said,

The dedication was the best he read;

But Edgeworths, Smiths, and Radcliffes so engross'd The public ear, that all her pains were lost.

To keep a toy-shop was attempt the last,

There too she fail'd, and schemes and hopes were past.
Now friendless, sick and old, and wanting bread,
The first-born tears of fallen pride were shed---
True, bitter tears; and yet that wounded pride,
Among the poor, for poor distinctions sigh'd.
Though now her tales were to her audience fit;
Though loud her tones, and vulgar grown her wit;
Though now her dress—(but let me not explain
The piteous patch-work of the needy-vain,
The flirtish form to coarse materials lent,

And one poor robe through fifty fashions sent);
Though all within was sad, without was mean,—
Still 'twas her wish, her comfort to be seen:
She would to plays on lowest terms resort,
Where once her box was to the beaux a court;
And, strange delight! to that same house, where she
Join'd in the dance, all gaiety and glee,

Now with the menials crowding to the wall,
She'd see, not share, the pleasures of the ball,

And with degraded vanity unfold,

How she too triumph'd in the years of old.

To her poor friends 'tis now her pride to tell
On what a height she stood before she fell;

At church she points to one tall seat, and “There
"We sat," she cries, " when my papa was mayor."
Not quite correct in what she now relates,
She alters persons, and she forges dates;
And finding memory's weaker help decay'd,
She boldly calls invention to her aid.

Touch'd by the pity he had felt before,
For her Sir Denys op'd the alms-house door :
“With all her faults," he said, "the woman knew
"How to distinguish-had a manner too;

"And, as they say, she is allied to some
"In decent station-let the creature come."

Here she and Blaney meet, and take their view
Of all the pleasures they would still pursue :
Hour after hour they sit, and nothing hide
Of vices past; their follies are their pride;
What to the sober and the cool are crimes,
They boast-exulting in those happy times;
The darkest deeds no indignation raise,

The purest virtue never wins their praise ;
But still they on their ancient joys dilate,

Still with regret departed glories state,

And mourn their grievous fall, and curse their rigorous






Thou art the Knight of the Burning Lamp-if thou wast any way given to virtue, I would swear by thy face; my oath should be by this fire. Oh! thou 'rt a perpetual triumph, thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and torches, walking in a night betwixt tavern and



Ebrietas tibi fida comes, tibi Luxus, et atris

Circa te semper volitans Infamia pennis.

Silius Italicus.

« AnteriorContinuar »