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When fair Rebecca set me free,
But soon those pleasures fled;
And Judith reigned in her stead. One month, three days, and balf an hour, Judith held the sovereign power :
Wondrous beautiful her face,
And so Susannah took her place.
By the artillery of her eye,
She beat out Susan, by the bye.
To whom ensued a vacancy. Thousand worse passions then possessed The interregnum of my breast,
Bless me from such an anarchy!
Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria,
And then a long et cetera.
The powder, patches, and the pins,
That make up all their magazines ; If I should tell the politic arts To take and keep men's hearts,
The letters, embassies, and spies, The frowns, the smiles, and flatteries, The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,
Numberless, nameless mysteries !
I more voluminous should grow,
Than Holinshed or Stowe.
But I will briefer with them be,
An higher and a nobler strain
Whom God grant long to reign ! I add a few original stanzas, which show Cowley's characteristic merits and defects ;-very few, since I must find room for some of those translations from Anacreon, which for grace, spirit, and delicacy will never be surpassed.
Hail, old patrician trees, so great and good !
Where the poetic birds rejoice,
Pay with their grateful voice.
Here let me careless and unthoughtful lying,
With all their wanton boughs dispute,
Nor be myself, too, mute.
On whose enamelled bank I'll walk,
And hear how prettily they talk.
He'll feel the weight of it many a day,
To help to bear it away.
All that summer hours produce,
Virtue now nor noble blood,
Gold, alas ! does love beget.
My acquaintance with “ The Pleader's Guide" commenced some five-and-forty years ago, after the following fashion.
It had happened to me to make one of a large Christmas party in a large country mansion, the ladies whereof were assembled one morning dolefully enough in an elegant drawing-room. It was what sportsmen are pleased to call “ open day;" which, being interpreted according to the feminine version, means every variety of bad weather of which our climate is capable, excepting frost. Dirt, intolerable dirt, it always means, and rain pretty often. On the morning in question, it did not absolutely rain, it only “mizzled ;” but the clouds hung over our heads in a leaden canopy,
threatening a down pour: and all the signs of the earth testified to the foregone deluge that had already confined us to the house until our patience was worn to a thread. Heavy drops fell from the eaves, the trees in the park were dripping from every bough, the fallen leaves under the trees dank with moisture, the grass as wet as if it grew in a ford, the gravelwalks soft and plashy, the carriage-drives no better than mud. In short, it was the very dismalest weather that ever answered to the name of “a fine open day ;” and our sportsmen accordingly had all sallied forth to enjoy it, some to join Sir John's hounds, some to a great coursing meeting at Streatley.
As we stood at the windows bemoaning our imprisonment, we saw that the drizzle was fast settling into steady rain, and that there was no more chance of a ride on horseback, or a drive in an open carriage, than of the exhilarating walk which is the proper exercise of Christmas. All the pets about the park sympathised in our afflictions. The deer dropped off to their closest covert; the pied peacock, usually so stately and so dignified as he trailed his spotted train after him, when he came to the terrace to tap at the window for his dole of cake, actually sneaked away when suinmoned, in pure shame at his draggled tail; the swans looked wet through. The whole party seemed chilled and disınal, and I was secretly meditating a retreat to my mother's dressing-room, to enjoy in quiet a certain volume of “ Causes Célèbres,” which I had abstracted from the library for my own private solace, when everybody was startled by a proposal of the only gentleman left at home; a young barrister, who had had sufficient courage to confess his indifference to field sports, and who now, observing on the ennui that seemed to have seized upon the party, offered to use his best efforts to enliven us by reading aloud-by reading a law-book. Fancy the exclamations at a medicine so singularly ill-adapted to the disease! For my own part, I was not so much astonished. I suspected that the young gentleman had got hold of another volume of my dearly beloved “ Causes Célèbres,” and was about to minister to our discontent by reading a French trial. But the rest of the party laughed and exclaimed, and were already so much aroused by the proposal, that the cure might be said to be more than half accomplished, before our learned teacher opened the pages of the “ Pleader's Guide."
I wish I could communicate to my extracts the zest that his selections derived from his admirable reading, and from the humorous manner in which he expounded the mystery of