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Yet, though disciple of cold Art,
FLORIo soon found he had a heart:
He saw; and but that Admiration
Had been too active, too like passion,
Or had he been to Ton less true,
Cupid had shot him through and through;
But vainly speeds the surest dart,
Where Fashion's mail defends the heart.
The shaft her cold repulsion found,
And fell, without the pow'r to wound:
For Fashion, with a mother's joy,
Dipp'd in her lake the darling boy;
That lake, whose chilling waves impart
The gift to freeze the warmest heart;
Yet guarded as he was with phlegm,
With such delight he eyed the dame,
Found his cold heart so melt before her,
And felt so ready to adore her,
That Fashion fear'd ber son would yield,
And flew to snatch him from the field;
O’er his touch'd heart her Ægis threw,
The Goddess Mother strait he knew :
Her pow'r he own'd; she saw and smild,
And claim'd the triumph of her child.
Celia a table still supplied, -
Which modish luxury might deride:
A modest feast the hope conveys,
The Master eats on other days ;
While gorgeous banquets oft bespeak
A hungry household all the week.
And decent Elegance was there,
And Plenty with her liberal air, .
But vulgar Plenty gave offence,
And shock'd poor Florio's nicer sense.
Patient he yielded to his fate,
When good Sir GILBERT piled his plate;
He bow'd submissive, made no question,
But that 'twas sovereign for digestion ;
But, such was his unlucky whim,
Plain meats would ne'er agree with him;
Yet feign’d to praise the Gothic treat,
And, if he ate not, seem'd to eat.
In sleep sad FLORIO hop'd to find,
The pleasures he had left behind.
He dreamt, and lo! to charm his eyes,
The form of WELTJE * seem'd to rise;
The gracious vision ward his wand,
And banquets sprung to Florio's hand;
Th' imaginary savours rose
In tempting odours to his nose.
A bell, not Fancy's false creation,
Gives joyful “ note of preparation;”
Ile starts, he wakes, the bell he hears;
Alas! it rings for morning pray’rs.
But how to spend next tedious morning Was past his possible discerning; Unable to amuse himself, He tumbled every well-rang’d shelf: This book was dull, and that was wise, And this was monstrous as to size. With eager joy he gobbled down Whate'er related to the town;
• A celebrated Cook and Confectioner.
Whate'er look'd small, whate'er look'd new,
Half-bound, or stitch'd in pink or blue;
Old play-bills, Astley's last year's feats,
And Opera disputes in sheets. *
As these dear records meet his eyes,
Ghosts of departed pleasures rise;
He lays the book upon the shelf,
And leaves the day to spend itself.
To cheat the tedious hours, whene'er
He sallied forth to take the air,
His sympathetic ponies knew
Which way their lord's affections drew;
And, every time he went abroad,
Sought of themselves the London road:
He ask'd each mile of every clown,
How far they reckon'd it to town?
And still his nimble spirits rise,
Whilst thither he directs his eyes;
But when his coursers back he guides,
The sinking Mercury quick subsides.
A week he had resolv’d to stay,
But found a week in every day;
Yet if the gentle maid was by,
Faint pleasure glisten’d in his eye;
Whene'er she spoke, attention hung
On the mild accents of her tongue ;
But when no more the room she grac’d,
The slight impression was effac’d.
Whene'er Sir GilBERT's sporting guests
Retail'd old news, or older jests,
* This winter a number of Pamphlets were published by the
contending Managers of the Opera.
Florio, quite calm, and debonair,
Still humm'd a new Italian air:
He did not even feign to hear 'em,
But plainly show'd he could not bear 'em.
Celia perceiv'd his secret thoughts,
But lik’d the youth with all his faults;
Yet 'twas unlike, she softly said,
The tales of love which she had read,
Where heroes vow'd, and sigh’d, and knelt;
Nay, 'twas unlike the love she felt;
Though when her Sire the youth would blame,
She clear'd his but suspected fame,
Ventur'd to hope, with falt'ring tongue,
“ He would reform — he was but young;
Confess'd his manners wrong in part,
“ But then — he had so good a heart !”
She sunk each fault, each virtue rais'd,
And still, where truth permitted, prais’d;
His interest farther to secure,
She prais’d his bounty to the poor;
For, votary as he was of art,
He had a kind and melting heart;
Though, with a smile, he us’d to own
He had not time to feel in town;
Not that he blush'd to show compassion, -
It chanc'd that year to be the fashion; **
And equally the modish tribe,
To Clubs or Hospitals, subscribe.
At length, to wake ambition's flame, A letter from BELLARIO came; Announcing the supreme delight, Preparing for a certain night,
By Flavia fair, return’d from France,
Who took him captive at a glance:
The invitations all were given !
Five hundred cards ! - a little heaven! -
A dinner first — he would present him,
And nothing, nothing must prevent him.
Whoever wish'd a noble air,
Must gain it by an entrée there;
Of all the glories of the town,
'Twas the first passport to renown.
Then ridiculd his rural schemes,
His pastoral shades and purling streams;
Sneer'd at his present brilliant life,
His polish'd Sire, and high-bred Wife!
Thus, doubly to inflame, he tried
His curiosity, and pride.
The youth, with agitated heart,
Prepar'd directly to depart;
But, bound in honour to obey
His father, at no distant day,
He promis'd soon to hasten down,
Though business call’d him now to town;
Then faintly hints a cold proposal —
But leaves it to the Knight's disposal —
Stammer'd half words of love and duty,
And mutter'd much of — 6 worth and beauty :”
Some ping of “ passion” then he dropt,
66 And hop'd his ardour.” – Here he stopt ;
For some remains of native truth
Flush'd in his face, and check'd the youth ;
Yet still th’ ambiguous suffusion,
Might pass for artless love's confusion.