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And his refulgent Queen with powers combined,
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, And wins (oh shameful chance !) the Queen of
Hearts. At this, the blood the virgin's cheek forsook, A livid paleness spreads o’er all her look ; She sees, and trembles at th' approaching ill, Just in the jaws of ruin, and codille. And now (as oft in some distemper'd state) On one nice trick depends the general fate, An Ace of Hearts steps forth : the King unseen Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn’d his captive Queen: He springs to vengeance with an eager pace, And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace. The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky ; The walls, the woods, and long canals reply.
FROM THE EPISTLE OF ELOISA TO
In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat ?
Dear fatal name ! rest ever unreveal'd,
tains Repentant sighs, and voluntary pains : Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn ; Ye grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid thorn ; Shrines ! where their vigils pale-eyed virgins
keep; And pitying saints, whose statues learn to weep ! Though cold like you, unmoved and silent grown, I have not yet forgot myself to stone. All is not Heaven's while Abelard has part ; Still rebel nature holds out half my heart ; Nor prayers nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain, Nor tears for ages taught to flow in vain.
Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose, That well-known name awakens all my woes. Oh, name for ever sad ! for ever dear! Still breathed in sighs, still usher'd with a tear. I tremble too, where'er my own I find, Some dire misfortune follows close behind. Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow, Led through a sad variety of wo:
Now warm in love, now withering in my bloom,
Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join
EXTRACT FROM THE EPILOGUE TO THE
SATIRES. VIRTUE may choose the high or low degree, 'Tis just alike to virtue and to me ; Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king, She's still the same beloved, contented thing. Vice is undone if she forgets her birth, And stoops from angels to the dregs of earth. But 'tis the Fall degrades her to a whore : Let Greatness own her, and she's mean no more. Her birth, her beauty, crowds and courts confess, Chaste matrons praise her, and grave bishops bless ; In golden chains the willing world she draws, And hers the gospel is, and hers the laws ; Mounts the tribunal, lifts her scarlet head, And sees pale Virtue carted in her stead. Lo! at the wheels of her triumphal car, Old England's Genius, rough with many a scar, Dragg'd in the dust ! his arms hang idly round, His flag inverted trails along the ground !
Our youth, all livery'd o'er with foreign gold,
BORN 1688DIED 1732.
GAY was descended of a respectable family of Devonshire,
and educated at Barnstaple. While very young he was put apprentice to a silk-mercer in London ; but found a more congenial employment in the suite of the Duchess of Monmouth, to whom he became secretary. In this situation he found leisure to cultivate his poetical ta. lents; and a poem, entitled RURAL SPORTS, dedicated to Pope, obtained the patronage and personal friendship of the rising poet, by whom he was introduced to that bril.
liant circle of wits, of which he was the centre. Of this illustrious association Gay ever continued the favourite, though he probably owed his exemption from the jealousy and littleness by which it was degraded as much to his genuine simplicity of character, and sweetness and facility of temper, as to respect for his talents. Gay, after he became known and popular in the literary world, long indulged hopes of court preferment, and was even for a short while secretary to the ambassador at Hanover; but his chief means of support were his own writings, which
were numerous and successful. Gay's well-known fables are the finest in the language: his
pastorals have all the beauty inseparable from truth and reality; so that his Cloddipoles and Bowzybeuses please far more than the swainish Damons and Strephons of the modern Arcadian muse. His Fan is a lively and even elegant piece of fancy; and Trivia only inferior to the Beggar's Opera. By this last performance Gay is now best known. It has been more admired and more abused than any other light dramatic piece on the English stage. Its original success was enough to have turned the head of any writer. Disappointed of court patronage, Gay, fortunately, obtained the friendship of the Duke and Duchess of Queensberry, who treated him during the period he lived with them with the steady and consistent kindness which does not always attend alliances between patronizing rank and lettered indigence. He died under their roof after a short and violent illness, and was deeply and sincerely regretted by his literary friends. “ He
says Pope, “ a natural man, without design, who spoke just what he thought, and as he thought it.” There appears a considerable similarity in many points of character between Goldsmith and Gay. Both were distinguished by a simplicity amounting to apparent idiocy. In this constitutional bon hommie Gay fell far short of his celebrated contemporary, the French fabu