תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

"Wise Nature likewise, they suppose,
Has drawn two conduits down our nose:
Could Alma else with judgment tell
When cabbage stinks, or roses smell?
Or who would ask for her opinion
Between an oyster and an onion?
For from most bodies, Dick, you know,
Some little bits ask leave to flow,
And as through these canals they roll,
Bring up a sample of the whole ;
Like footmen running before coaches,
To tell the inn what lord approaches.

By nerves about our palate plac'd,
She likewise judges of the taste;
Else (dismal thought!) our warlike men
Might drink thick Port for fine Champagne,
And our ill-judging wives and daughters
Mistake small-beer for citron-waters.

• Hence, too, that she might better hear,
She sets a drum at either ear,
And loud or gentle, harsh or sweet,
Are but the alarums which they beat.

"Last, to enjoy her sense of feeling,
(A thing she much delights to deal in)
A thousand little nerves she sends
Quite to our toes' and fingers' ends,
And these, in gratitude, again
Return their spirits to the brain :
In which their figure being printed
(As just before, I think, I hinted)
Alma inform'd can try the case,
As she had been upon the place.

“Thus while the judge gives different journies To country counsel and attornies,

He on the bench in quiet sits
Deciding, as they bring the writs.
The Pope thus prays and sleeps at Rome,
And very seldom stirs from home,
Yet sending forth his holy spies,
And having heard what they advise,
He rules the church's bless'd dominions,
And sets men's faith by his opinions.

“The scholars of the Stagyrite,
Who for the old opinion fight,
Would make their modern friends confess
The difference but from more to less :
The Mind, say they, while you sustain
To hold her station in the brain,
You grant, at least she is extended,
Ergo, the whole dispute is ended:
For till to-morrow should you plead
From form and structure of the head,
The Mind as visibly is seen
Extended through the whole machine.
Why should all honour then be ta’en
From lower parts to load the brain,
When other limbs we plainly see
Each in his way as brisk as he?
For music, grant the head receives it,
It is the artist's hand that gives it?
And though the skull may wear the laurel,
The soldier's arm sustains the quarrel.
Besides, the nostrils, ears, and eyes,
Are not his parts, but his allies :
Ev’n what you hear the tongue proclaim,
Comes ab origine from them.
What could the head perform alone,
If all their friendly aids were gone

A foolish figure he must make,
Do nothing else but sleep and ache.

Nor matters it that you can show
How to the head the spirits go;
Those spirits started from some goal,
Before they through the veins could roll;
Now we should hold them much to blame,
If they went back before they came.

• If, therefore, as we must suppose, They came from fingers and from toes; Or toes or fingers, in this case, Of numskull's self should take the place; Disputing fair you grant thus much, That all sensation is but touch. Dip but your toes into cold water, Their correspondent teeth will chatter, And strike the bottom of your feet, You set your head into a heat. The bully beat, and happy lover, Confess that feeling lies all over.

Note here, Lucretius dares to teach
(As all our youth may learn from Creech)
That eyes were made but could not view,
Nor hands embrace, nor feet pursue,
But heedless Nature did produce
The members first, and then the use:
What each must act was yet unknown,
Till all is mov'd by Chance alone.

"A man first builds a country-seat,
Then finds the walls not good to eat.
Another plants, and wondering sees
Nor books nor medals on his trees.
Yet poet and philosopher
Was he who durst such whims aver.

Bless'd, for his sake, be human reason,
That came at all, though late in season.

‘But no man sure e'er left his house, And saddled Ball, with thoughts so wild

To bring a midwife to his spouse, Before he knew she was with child :

And no man ever reap'd his corn, Or from the oven drew his bread,

Ere hinds and bakers yet were born,
That taught them both to sow and knead.
Before they're ask'd can maids refuse?
Can'_ Pray, (says Dick) hold in your Muse;
While you Pindaric truths rehearse,
She hobbles in alternate verse.'
"Verse! (Mat replied) is that my care ?'
sGo on, (quoth Richard) soft and fair.'

“This looks, friend Dick, as Nature had
But exercis'd the salesman's trade;
As if she haply had sat down
And cut out clothes for all the Town,.
Then sent them out to Monmouth-street,
To try what persons they would fit;
But every free and licens'd tailor
Would in this thesis find a failure.
Should whims like these his head perplex,
How could he work for either sex?
His clothes as atoms might prevail,
Might fit a pismire or a whale.
No, no: he views with studious pleasure
Your shape before he takes your measure :
For real Kate he made the bodice,
And not for an ideal goddess.
No error near his shopboard lurk’d;
He knew the folks for whom he work'd :

Still to their size he aim'd his skill,
Else, prythee, who would pay his bill?

'Next, Dick, if Chance herself should vary,
Observe how matters would miscarry:
Across your eyes, friend, place your shoes,
Your spectacles upon your toes,
Then you and Memmius shall agree
How nicely men would walk or see.

But wisdom, peevish and cross-grain'd,
Must be oppos'd to be sustain'd;
And still your knowledge will increase,
As you make other people's less.
In arms and science 'tis the same;
Our rivals' hurts create our fame.
At Faubert's,* if disputes arise
Among the champions for the prize,
To prove who gave the fairer butt,
John shows the chalk on Robert's coat.
So for the honour of your book,
It tells where other folks mistook,
And as their notions you confound,
Those you invent get farther ground,

"The commentators on old Ari.
Stotle ('tis urg'd) in judgment vary :
They to their own conceits have brought
The image of his general thought,
Just as the melancholic eye
Sees fleets and armies in the sky,
And to the poor apprentice' eariin
The bells sound Whittington Lord May’r.:
The conjurer thus explains his scheme;
Thus spirits walk, and prophets dream;

*The feneing and riding master.

Vol. XV.

« הקודםהמשך »