GENIUS, VIRTUE, and REPUTATION.
A FABLE. From Mons. DE LA MOTTE, Book v. Fable 6.
1 AS GENIUS, VIRTUE, REPUTATION,
2 Three worthy friends, o'er all the nation
3 Agreed to roam; then pass the seas,
4 And visit Italy and Greece:
5 By travel to improve their parts,
6 And learn the languages and arts;
7 Not like our modern fops and beaus,
8 T' improve the pattern of their cloaths:
9 Thus GENIUS said; — "Companions dear,
10 "To what I speak, incline an ear.
11 "Some chance, perhaps, may us divide:
12 "Let us against the worst provide,
13 "And give some sign by which to find
14 "A friend thus lost, or left behind.[Page 203]
15 "For me, if cruel fate should ever
16 "Me and my dear companions sever,
17 "Go, seek me 'midst the walls of Rome,
18 "At Angelo's or Raphael's tomb;
19 "Or else at Virgil's sacred shrine,
20 "Lamenting with the mournful Nine. "
21 Next VIRTUE, pausing; — (for she knew
22 The places were but very few,
23 Where she could fairly hope to stay
24 Till her companions came that way;)
25 "Pass by (she cry'd) the court, the ball,
26 "The masquerade and carnival,
27 "Where all in false disguise appear,
28 "But Vice, whose face is ever bare;
29 "'Tis ten to one, I am not there.
30 "CAELIA, the loveliest maid on earth!
31 "I've been her friend, e'er since her birth;
32 "Perfection in her person charms,
33 "And virtue all her bosom warms;
34 "A matchless pattern for the fair:
35 "Her dwelling seek, you'll find me there."
36 Cry'd REPUTATION, "I, like you,
37 "Had once a soft companion too:
38 "As fair her person, and her fame,
39 "And COQUETTISSA was her name.
40 "Ten thousand lovers swell'd her train;
41 "Ten thousand lovers sigh'd in vain:[Page 204]
42 "Where-e'er she went, the danglers came;
43 "Yet still I was her favourite flame,
44 "Till once, — ('twas at the public show)
45 "The play being done, we rose to go;
46 "A thing, who long had cy'd the fair,
47 "His neck stiff yok'd in solitaire,
48 "With clean white gloves first made approach,
49 "Then begg'd to lead her to her coach:
50 "She smil'd, and gave her lilly hand;
51 "Away they trip it to the Strand:
52 "A hackney-coach receive the pair,
53 "They went to — but, I won't tell where.
54 "Then lost she Reputation quite,
55 "Friends take example from that night,
56 "And never leave me from your sight.
57 "For oh! if cruel fate intends
58 "Ever to part me from my friends,
59 "Think that I'm dead; my death deplore,
60 "But never hope to see me more!
61 "In vain you'll search the world around;
62 "Lost Reputation's never to be found."
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): GENIUS, VIRTUE, and REPUTATION. A FABLE. From Mons. DE LA MOTTE, Book v. Fable 6.
Author: Hon. Nicholas Herbert
Themes: virtue; vice; fame
Genres: fable; imitation; translation; paraphrase
References: DMI 22499
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