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Good-humour only teaches charms to last,
Still makes new conquefts, and maintains the past;
Thus Voiture's early care still fhone the fame,
Amid thofe Lovers, joys his gentle Ghost:
VER. 69. Thus Voiture's] Mademoiselle Paulet. VER. 76. And finds a fairer] Our author's attachment to this lady ended but with his life. Her affectation and ill-temper gave him, however, many hours of uncafinefs and difquiet. When she vifited him in his very laft illness, and her company feemed to give him fresh spirits, the antiquated prude could not be prevailed on to stay and pass the night at Twickenham, because of her reputation. She occafioned an unhappy breach betwixt him and his old friend Allen, because he would not lend his coach to carry her to a masshoufe at Bath during his mayoralty.
The characteristical difference betwixt Voiture and Balfac is well expreffed by Boileau, in two letters written under their names, from the Elyfian Fields to the Duc de Vivonne, in p. 155. of vol. iii. of his works. And Boileau, fpeaking often of abfurd readers and critics, loved to relate, that one of his relations, to whom he had prefented his works, faid to him, "Pray, Coufin,
The brighteft eyes of France infpir'd his Muse;
how came you to infert any other person's writings among your own? I find in your works two letters, one from Balfac, and the other from Voiture." Defcartes, who, as well as Leibnitz, was an elegant scholar, wrote a judicious cenfure of Balfac, in admirable Latin. Balfac was, however, fuperior to Voiture. But he was affectedly turgid, pompous, and bloated, on all fubjects and on all occafions alike. Yet was he the first that gave form and harmony to the French profe, which was ftill improved by the provincial letters of Pascal.
VER. 80. Befide.] This laft word is a blemish to the piece, otherwife fo correct.
TO THE SAME,
ON HER LEAVING THE TOWN AFTER THE CORONATION.
s fome fond Virgin, whom her mother's care
Drags from the Town to wholesome Country air, Just when she learns to roll a melting eye, And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh; From the dear man unwilling she must sever, Yet takes one kifs before she parts for ever: Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew, Saw others happy, and with fighs withdrew; Not that their pleasures caus'd her discontent, She figh'd not that they stay'd, but that she went. She went, to plain-work, and to purling brooks, Old-fashion'd halls, dull Aunts, and croaking rooks; She went from Op'ra, Park, Affembly, Play,
To morning-walks, and pray'rs three hours a day;
Coronation] Of King George the first, 1715.
VER. 1. As fome fond Virgin,] There is fo much likeness (to ufe Johnson's words on another poem) in the initial comparison, that there is no illuftration. As one lady lamented the going out of London, fo did another.
To part her time 'twixt reading and bohea,
Or o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon,
Count the flow clock, and dine exact at noon:
Hum half a tune, tell ftories to the fquire;
There starve and pray, for that's the way to heav'n.
In fome fair ev'ning, on your elbow laid,
Before you pass th' imaginary fights
Of Lords, and Earls, and Dukes, and garter'd Knights, While the spread fan o'erfhades your closing eyes; Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies.
VER. 23. Squire,] No country Squire has ever been painted with fuch true and natural features and colours as Addifon's Tory Foxhunter, in the Freeholder, except perhaps Western, in that capital picture of life, the Hiftory of Tom Jones.
Thus vanish fceptres, coronets, and balls,
So when your Slave, at fome dear idle time, (Not plagu❜d with head-achs, or the want of rhyme) Stands in the streets, abftracted from the crew,
And while he seems to ftudy, thinks of
Or fees the blush of soft Parthenia rise,
Gay pats my fhoulder, and you vanish quite,
Streets, Chairs, and Coxcombs rush upon my fight; Vex'd to be still in town, I knit my brow,
Look four, and hum a Tune, as you may now.
VER. 46. Of foft Parthenia rife,] It does not feem perfectly gallant to introduce the name of another lady.