Rome, January 15th, 1793.

SING eulogiums to him who divinely presides,
Who to Manna celestial the Catholic guides ;
And in this vale of tears, often puzzles his head,
To provide his good people with flesh-meat and bread.
His prefect adopts a benignant device,
To oblige all the farmers to sell at his price ;
If they will not comply, they must home with their grain,
So he lords o'er the harvest, and ruins the swain.
Yet the poor squalid peasants seem ill at their ease,
Since they cannot dispose of their crops as they please ;
In dirt, and in rags, they are constantly seen,
And in hovels repine, wretched, filthy and mean ;
Where they starve, tho' they pray with their children and wife,
And hope for a change, when they're rid of this life ;
As amidst the vine's shade, they taste nothing but woe,
And for them, neither grapes, nor the oranges grow ;
The Pope here deprives them of comfort and rest,
That they may have a chance to be finally blest.

Thro' the Campo Vaccinio, the President roves,
Where lambs, pigs, and oxen, are crouched in droves ;
With bullocks, and calves, and their owners to mix,
And the price of each article graciously fix ;
If they grumble at this, he commands as their Lord,
To drive off their cattle, and give them the cord !*
This Magistrate's also, the chief of the soil,
And presides o'er the olives, and squeezes the oil ;
Then in cisterns its stor'd, till he properly thinks
That it's fit to be sold, when it's rank, and it stinks ;
And if the Proprietor's froward and cross,
He's imprison'd and fin'd, and abides by the loss ;
And hence to escape from the hazard of jail,
He profanely thanks God when the olive crops fail.

But if Epicures wish for a delicate bit,
The Palazza Nuova their palate will hit ;
There the Chamberlain's Auditor stands in the crowd,
The prices of chickens proclaiming aloud ;
And for nine or ten Bajocs the penitent wins,
A remission in full for his manifold sins ;
Thus here and hereafter are balanc'd and even,
And we're taught how to purchase eggs, pullets, or heav'n !

But Mercy and Justice, in union divine,
Temper Criminal Law, while they awfully shine.
Since existence must perish, it plainly appears,
That murder can only cut off a few years ;
Then how trifling the crime just to hasten the pang,
And two lives are lost, when the cut-throat we hang.
But robbing or stealing well merits the rack,
As your horse or your purse you can seldom get back ;
And pickpockets, therefore, must row for their life,
But the convict's releas'd, tho' he murder'd his wife !
The Pontiff of Rome** did this maxim refine,
Who died Anno Domini, Sixty and Nine ;
That murders ten thousand distinguished his reign,
All Europe he distanc'd, and justly grew vain.

No longer let sceptics religion disgrace,
Heaven still is propitious to Abraham's race ;
All Rome will attest that my story is true,
As the miracle's prov'd both by Christian and Jew :
The zealots assembled their daggers to drench
In the Israelites' blood as allies of the French ;
But firstly they proceeded the virgin to bear
From the Jews' sacred quarter, with hymns and with pray'r††
Yet, wond'rous to tell, let them do what they will,
No force could remove her ;—Madonna stood still.
The priests all acknowledg'd the signal divine,
When they saw her determin'd to stay in her shrine ;
The Pope and the Cardinals publish'd the case,
How the Virgin celestial extended her grace,
To the Hebrews devoted to part with their lives,
And commanded the People to give up their knives ;
At the altar they drop'd them, and pil'd them by dozens,
When they saw the good Virgin still favour'd her cousins.
I know it's reported, but scoffs I detest,
When acts great and sacred are turn'd to a jest,
That the Priests had receiv'd from the Israelite tribe,
For this specious device, a munificent bribe ;
And had slily contriv'd every effort should fail,
Since they fasten'd the image by hook, and by nail ;
Can such unbelievers for mercy e'er hope,
Who profanely can doubt an infallible Pope !
If their faith they with-hold both from Christian and Jew,
CALONNE, CAGLIOSTRO will swear, it is true ;
And the holy Tribunal, whose zeal I admire,
Will clear up all doubtings, by faggot and fire ;
This mode is persuasive, and surely the best,
It convinces the soul, when so ardently prest ;
The truth of the miracle's branded within,
As a tree never fades, when tattoo'd on the skin ;
If this illustration appear somewhat new,
Sir JOHN will prove it demonstrably true.

May the Catholic Church still with splendour arise,
By this ladder of Jacob, we mount to the skies ;
The sides are of faith, the rungs are of hope,
And it's call'd Lignum Vitæ, and bless'd by the Pope :
Ev'n Jove, and his courtiers, he kindly baptizes,
And as Saints, and as Martyrs, their Godships he prizes ;
DIANA the Huntress, new worshippers wins,
Who call her St. AGNES, confessing their sins ;
To the God ESCULAPIUS, incurables pray,
Since the Doctor is christianis'd, St. Bart'lomé.
Tho' the Goddess of Antipertussis we scoff,
As Madonna dell' Toffa, she opiates a cough ;
And hence by our sage Cicerones we're told,
That the Antients were sometimes confin'd by a cold ;
And I think the assertion we scarcely can blame,
As the malady must have preceded its name ;
If their knowledge is question'd, they answer with scorn,
Would you christen a child, e're its previously born ?—

At Trajan's fam'd pillar with wonder I stare,
But rejoice that his ashes no longer are there ;
Wise Sextus devoutly consider'd the case,
And gave to St. Peter that dignify'd place ;
At the glories of Rome, from its summit to peep,
And see with delight how the Pope trim'd his sheep.

How justly Old Rome, art thou punish'd for pride,
No more on their pillars, thy Emperors stride ;
No more in their temples, thy Deities nod,
A Saint, or a Martyr, succeeds to a God !
And joyful, the names of thy heroes I trace,
Thy Scipios, thy Cæsars, divinity's race ;
To Negroes and dogs, who such epithets gain ;
—How vain then is grandeur, and glory how vain ?
Let us seriously pause, and consider these things,
For man's not immortal, and mortal are Kings !
Thro' life's magic lantern, since man's mystic birth,
Strange things are display'd on this stage of the Earth !
We come up like a flower, like a weed pass away,
And move in succession ;—each dog has his day.
—Let Children and Parents remember this truth,
It's the comfort of age, and a warning to youth ;
That we all may with chearfulness march to the tomb,
As one generation for 'tother makes room ;
Thus a carriage rolls off, from an Opera, or Play,
And a second draws up, as the first drives away.

Here the Cardinal's Vicar presides over morals,
Both to stifle domestic profaneness and quarrels ;
His Sanctify'd Spies are the Censors of life,
And often chastise both the Husband and Wife ;
To a house of correction they're justly consign'd,
Where they're disciplin'd often, and closely confin'd.
And, lest they should pass in despondence their time,
They ne'er know their accusers, nor what is their crime !
The number of Curates is Eighty and two,
They're the Vicars Inquisitors, active and true ;
And often the Fair, tho' a blush may arise,
Must her virtue resign, as a bribe to the spies ;
For as reputation is wisely her aim,
She preserves it the best, who preserves a good name :
Tho' her Virtue's consum'd—on her lustre we gaze,
As like a young Phœnix, fame springs from the blaze.

But Charity's blessings this Capital grace,
And sins multitudinous, sweetly efface ;
Here Charity reigns, I may fairly presume,
From the legions of Mendicants swarming at Rome ;
As Heliogabalus truly display'd,
The City's vast size, from the cobwebs he weigh'd.
They croud in the Churches, and press in the Square,
When in ruins we dive, the poor beggars are there ;
Still they eat, and they drink, without labour or toil,
And from them is deriv'd, the haut gout of the soil ;
As each Palace superb, most perceptibly bears,
The nauseous pollution, that covers the stairs ;
And hence of the Ladies, some travellers tell,
How their sensitive organs are spoil'd by this smell ;
Since imbibing the breath of the lily they faint,
And call for the aid of some favourite Saint.
Alas ! who the physical cause can assign,
Why all the dear creatures, so beauteous and fine,
Are endu'd with so very fastidious a nose,
That they can't bear the smell of Carnation or Rose ;
By Lavender Water, they faint and expire,
And from Beaux that are scented with horror retire.
Are sensations too keen, thus converted to pain,
When the nervous perceptions so tickle the brain ;
That the soul can no more her great faculties ply,
As a fiddle string cracks, when it's wound up too high !

How vain my attempt Metaphysics to pierce,
Then I'll give you a pretty idea in verse ;
By the Marquis del Brescia, a youth of fine parts,
Who may boast of his triumphs o'er fair Ladies hearts ;
Yet I think his Concetto, not perfectly right,
As a simile's bad, if it is not polite ;
And in Chivalry's reign—! but no more it survives,
Then Women were Angels, as Maidens or Wives.

SEE yonder brilliant Rocket rise,
    Ambitiously aspire,
To mingle with its kindred skies,
    And blend congenial fire.

But soon its vivid lustre's gone,
    Its dazzling glories fade,
The path is lost, through which it shone,
    The stick in dust is laid.

So love bestows the grace and air,
    And our dear delusive charms,
That sweetly deck the maiden fair,
    —But vanish in our arms.

'Tis Fancy throws her magic round,
    Marriage displays the trick ;
The Angel and the Rocket's found,
    But Woman and a stick !

As I wander around, still new objects surprise,
Here like Eden, Cavallo's sweet garden's arise ;
Old Mulciber's works are in water display'd,
And his hammers descend in a foaming cascade ;
Hence Madam Piozzi, expresses her wonder,
That a Pope (tho' not Irish) should deal in a blunder ;
Yet his Sanctity's taste, I can justly admire,
Who makes even water to represent fire ;
The idea is new, even KNIGHT will admit,
And ideas discordant are sources of wit ;
—But I hate philosophical points to explain,
—From Naples, I'll write—in a Classical Strain.

To Letter 7


N O T E S.

* A peculiar species of mild Ecclesiastical punishment ; the culprit is hoisted up by a cord and pulley, and suddenly let down; by which his joints are dislocated, and he is often disabled for life.

A bajock is a Roman coin, near the value of a halfpenny.

** Pope Razzonico.—The reader is referred to a most curious and authentic account of the Temporal Government of the Pope's State, published by Johnson, 1788.

†† An Extraordinary Gazette, with an account of this miracle, properly vouched, was published by the Pope's authority, and distributed gratis among the People.

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