An EPISTLE to Mr. ECKARDT the PAINTER.
1 DEsponding artist, talk no more
2 Of Beauties of the days of yore,
3 Of Goddesses renown'd in Greece,
4 And ZEUXIS' composition-piece,
5 Where every nymph that could at most
6 Some single grace or feature boast,
7 Contributed her favourite charm
8 To perfect the ideal form.
9 'Twas CYNTHIA'S brow, 'twas LESBIA'S eye,
10 'Twas CLOE'S cheeks' vermilion dye;
11 ROXANA lent the noble air,
12 Dishevell'd flow'd ASPASIA'S hair,
13 And CUPID much too fondly press'd
14 His mimick mother THAIS' breast.
15 Antiquity, how poor thy use!
16 A single Venus to produce!
17 Friend Eckardt, ancient story quit,
18 Nor mind whatever Pliny writ;
19 Felibien and Fresnoy declaim,
20 Who talk of Raphael's matchless fame,[Page 91]
21 Of Titian's tints, Corregio's grace,
22 And Carlo's each Madonna face,
23 As if no Beauties now were made,
24 But Nature had forgot her trade.
25 'Twas Beauty guided Raphael's line
26 From heavenly Women, styl'd divine;
27 They warm'd old Titian's fancy too,
28 And what he could not taste he drew:
29 Think you Devotion warm'd his breast
30 When Carlo with such looks express'd
31 His virgins, that her vot'ries feel
32 Emotions — not, I'm sure, of zeal?
33 In Britian's isle observe the Fair,
34 And curious chuse your models there;
35 Such patterns as shall raise your name
36 To rival sweet Corregio's fame:
37 Each single piece shall be a test,
38 And Zeuxis' patchwork be a jest;
39 Who ransack'd Greece, and cull'd the age
40 To bring one Goddess on the stage:
41 On your each convass we'll admire
42 The charms of the whole heav'nly choir.
43 Majestick Juno shall be seen
a Miss Harvey, now Mrs. Phipps.HARVEY'S glorious aweful mien.
b Lady Caroline Fitzroy.FITZROY moves, resplendent Fair;
46 So warm her bloom, sublime her air;[Page 92]
47 Her ebon tresses, form'd to grace,
48 And heighten while they shade her face:
49 Such troops of martial youth around,
50 Who court the hand that gives the wound;
51 'Tis Pallas, Pallas stands confess'd,
c Lord Petersham,STANHOPE'S more than Paris bless'd.
d The Duchess of Cleveland like Pallas, among the beauties at Windsor.CLEVELAND shown in warlike pride,
54 By Lilly's pencil defy'd:
e The Duchess of Grafton, among the beauties of Hampton Court.GRAFTON, matchless dame, commands
56 The fairest work of Kneller's hands:
57 The blood that warm'd each amorous court,
58 In veins as rich still loves to sport:
59 And George's age beholds restor'd,
60 What William boasted, Charles ador'd.
61 For Venuses the Trojan ne'er
62 Was half so puzzled to declare:
63 Ten Queens of Beauty, sure I see!
64 Yet sure the true isf
f Lady Emily Lenox, now Countess of KildareEMILY:
65 Such majesty of youth and air,
66 Yet modest as the village fair:
67 Attracting all, indulging none,
68 Her beauty like the glorious Sun[Page 93]
69 Thron'd eminently bright above,
70 Impartial warms the world to love.
71 In smilingg
g Lady Mary Capel.CAPEL'S beauteous look
72 Rich Autumn's Goddess is mistook,
73 With poppies and with spiky corn,
74 Eckardt, her nut-brown curls adorn;
75 And by her side, in decent line,
76 Place charmingh
h Countess of Berkley.BERKLEY, Proserpine.
77 Mild as a summer sea, serene,
78 In dimpled beauty next be seen,
i Countess of Aylesbury.AYLESBURY like hoary Neptune's Queen.
80 With her the light-dispensing Fair,
81 Whose beauty gilds the morning air,
82 And bright as her attendant sun,
83 The new Aurora,k
k Mrs Lyttleton.LYTTLETON.
l Guido's Aurora in the Respigliori Palace at Rome.Guido's pencil beauty-tip'd,
85 And in ethereal colours dip'd.
86 In measur'd dance to tuneful song
87 Drew the sweet Goddess, as along
88 Heaven's azure 'neath their light feet spread,
89 The buxom Hours she fairest led.
90 The crescent on her brow display'd,
91 In curls of loveliest brown inlaid,
92 With every charm to rule the night,
93 Like Dian,m[Page 94]
m Countess of Strafford.STRAFFORD woos the sight;
94 The easy shape, the piercing eye,
95 The snowy bosom's purity,
96 The unaffected gentle phrase
97 Of native wit in all she says;
98 Eckardt, for these thy art's too faint:
99 You may admire, but cannot paint.
100 How Hebe smil'd, what bloom divine
101 On the young Goddess lov'd to shine,
u Miss Carpenter.CARPENTER we guess, or see
o Miss Manners.MANNERS beam for thee.
104 How pretty Flora, wanton maid,
105 By Zephyr woo'd in noon-tide shade,
106 With rosy hand coquetly throwing
107 Pansies, beneath her sweet touch blowing;
108 How blithe she look'd letp
p Miss Fanny Maccartney.FANNY tell;
109 Let Zephyr own if half so well.
q Pomona.Goddess of the year,
111 Fair Queen of Summer, see, appear;
112 Her auburn locks with fruitage crown'd,
113 Her panting bosom loosely bound,
114 Ethereal beauty in her face,
115 Rather the beauties of her race,
116 Whence ev'ry Goddess, envy smit,
117 Most own each Stonehouse meets inr
r Miss Atkins, now Mrs. Pitt.PITT,
118 Exhausted all the heav'nly train,
119 How many Mortals yet remain,
120 Whose eyes shall try your pencil's art,
121 And in my numbers claim a part!
122 Our sister Muses must describe
s M. Chudleigh.CHUDLEIGH, or name her of the tribe;
t L. Juliana Farmor.JULIANA with the Nine
125 Shall aid the melancholy line,
126 To weep her dearu
u L. Sophia Farmor, Countess of Granville.Resemblance gone,
127 Where all these beauties met in One.
128 Sad fate of beauty! more I see,
129 Afflicted, lovely family!
130 Two beauteous Nymphs, here, Painter, place,
131 Lamenting o'er theirw
w Miss Mary Evelyn,sister Grace;
x Mrs. Boone.One, matron-like, with sober grief,
133 Scarce gives her pious sighs relief;
y Mrs. Elizabeth Evelyn.other lovely Maid appears
135 In all the melting pow'r of tears;
136 The softest form, the gentlest grace,
137 The sweetest harmony of face;
138 Her snowy limbs, and artless move
139 Contending with the Queen of Love,
140 While bashful Beauty shuns the prize,
141 Which EMILY might yield to EVELYN'S eyes.
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About this text
Title (in Source Edition): The BEAUTIES. An EPISTLE to Mr. ECKARDT the PAINTER.
Author: Horace Walpole
Themes: art; painting; beauty; high society; the court
References: DMI 22490
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