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No~ I my juster pity spare
To the night lab’rer's keener care ;
And, pleas’d, to gentler scenes retreat,
Where Conversation holds her seat.
Small were that art which would ensure
The Circle's boasted quadrature!
See Vesey's * plastic genius make
A Circle every figure take;
Nay, shapes and forms, which would defy
All science of Geometry;
Isoceles, and Parallel,
Names, hard to speak, and hard to spell !
Th'enchantress wav'd her wand, and spoke !
Her potent wand the Circle broke:
The social Spirits hover round,
And bless the liberated ground.
Ask you what charms this gift dispense?
'Tis the strong spell of Common Sense.
Away dull Ceremony flew,
And with her bore Detraction too.
Nor only Geometric Art,
Does this presiding power impart;
But Chemists too, who want the essence,
Which makes or mars all coalescence,
Of her the secret rare might get,
How different kinds amalgamate :
And he, who wilder studies chose,
Find here a new metempsychose ;
• This amiable Lady was remarkable for her talent in breaking the formality of a circle, by inviting her parties to form themselves into little separate groupes.
How forms can other forms assume,
Within her Pythagoric room ;
Or be, and stranger is th' event,
The very things which nature meant;
Nor strive, by art and affectation,
To cross their genuine destination.
Here sober Duchesses are seen,
Chaste Wits, and Critics void of spleen;
Physicians, fraught with real science,
And Whigs and Tories in alliance ;
Poets, fulfilling Christian duties,
Just Lawyers, reasonable Beauties;
Bishops who preach, and Peers who pay,
And Countesses who seldom play;
Learn’d Antiquaries, who, from college,
Reject the rust, and bring the knowledge;
And, hear it, age, believe it, youth, —
Polemics, really seeking truth;
And Travellers of that rare tribe,
Who've seen the countries they describe ;
Who study'd there, so strange their plan,
Not plants, nor herbs alone, but man;
While Travellers, of other notions,
Scale mountain-tops, and traverse oceans;
As if, so much these themes engross,
The study of mankind — was Moss.
Ladies who point, nor think me partial,
An Epigram as well as MARTIAL;
Yet in all female worth succeed,
As well as those who cannot read.
Right pleasant were the task, I ween,
To name the groupes which fill the scene;
But Rhyme's of such fastidious nature,
She proudly scorns all Nomenclature,
Nor grace our Northern dames her lips,
Like Homer's Catalogue of Ships.
Once — faithful Memory! heave a sigh,
Here Roscics gladden'd every eye.
Why comes pot MARO? Far from town,
He rears the Crn to Taste, and Browy;
Plants Cypress round the Tomb of Gray,
Or decks his English Garden gay;
Whose mingled sweets exhale perfume,
And promise a perennial bloom.
Here, rigid CATO *, awful Sage!
Bold Censor of a thoughtless age,
Once dealt his pointed moral round,
And, not unheeded, fell the sound;
The Muse his honour'd memory weeps,
For Cato now with Roscius sleeps!
Here once HORTENSIUS + lov'd to sit,
Apostate now from social Wit:
Ah! why in wrangling senates waste
The noblest parts, the happiest taste ?
Why Democratic Thunders wield,
And quit the Muse's calmer field ?
Taste thou the gentler joys they give,
With Horace J, and with Lelius ý live.
Hail, CONVERSATION, soothing Power,
Sweet Goddess of the social hour !
# Dr. Jou NSON,
+ This was written in the year 1787, when Mr. Edmund BURKE had joined the then oppos.tion. | HORACE WALPOLE.
Sir William WELLER PEPys.
Not with more heart-felt warmth, at least,
Does LELius bend, thy true High Priest;
Than I the lowest of thy train,
These field-flowers bring to deck thy fane ;
Who to thy shrine like him can haste,
With warmer zeal, or purer taste?
O may thy worship long prevail,
And thy true votaries never fail !
Long may thy polish'd altars blaze
With wax-lights' undiminish'd rays !
Still be thy nightly offerings paid,
Libations large of Lemonade.
On silver vases, loaded, rise
The biscuits' ample sacrifice.
Nor be the milk-white streams forgot
Of thirst-assuaging, cool orgeats
Rise, incense pure from fragrant Tea,
Delicious incense, worthy Thee !
Hail, Conversation, heav'nly fair,
Thou bliss of life, and balm of care,
Still may thy gentle reign extend,
And taste with wit and science blend !
Soft polisher of rugged man,
Refiner of the social plan;
For thee, best solace of his toil,
The sage consumes his midnight oil;
And keeps late vigils, to produce
Materials for thy future use;
Calls forth the else neglected knowledge,
Of school, of travel, and of college.
If none behold, ah! wherefore fair ?
Ah! wherefore wise, if none must hear ?
Our intellectual ore must shine,
Not slumber idly in the mine.
Let education's moral mint
The noblest images imprint ;
Let taste her curious touchstone hold,
To try if standard be the gold ;
But 'tis thy commerce, Conversation,
Must give it use by circulation;
That noblest commerce of mankind,
. Whose precious merchandize is Mind!
What stoic traveller would try A sterile soil, and parching sky, Or dare th' intemperate Northern zone, If what he saw must ne'er be known ? For this he bids his home farewell ; The joy of seeing is to tell. Trust me, he never would have stirr'd, Were he forbid to speak a word ; And Curiosity would sleep, If her own secrets she must keep : The bliss of telling what is past Becomes her rich reward at last. Who'd mock at death, at danger smile, To steal one peep at Father Nile ; Who, at Palmira, risk his neck, Or search the ruins of Balbec : If these must hide old Nilus' fount, Nor Lybian tales at home recount; If those must sink their learned labour, Nor with their ruins treat a neighbour ? Range — study — think — do all we can, Colloquial pleasures are for man.