Naples, April 16th, 1793.

O HOW I love Naples, so frolic, and gay,
Its skies are so bright, so delightful its bay ;
The folk as they chatter impatiently prance,
And seem as if seiz'd with St. Vitus's dance.
E'en the poor Lazzaroni are courtly and nice,
As they quaff a cool cup of their snow flavour'd ice :
They bask in the sun, love their ease, and their jokes,
And tho' they pickpockets are good sort of folks.
Like Venus, the Ladies so charmingly smile,
Or as Eve, when she meant Caro Spo' to beguile ;
How voluptuous the motions, bewitching the air,
Of the sweet Neopolitan languishing fair ;
The breezes sulphureous, they panting inspire,
Like matches of brimstone, each spark gives them fire ;
While a currency dear, they add to their charms,
By shifting each night to a new lover's arms.
* E Molti Averne, they tenderly say,
Choose one out of many, for amorous play ;
But this rigid maxim, discreetly they soften,
By Cangiar Spesso, that's change very often :
Hence Cupid, they say, is still painted with wings,
And Constancy's no where, as METESTAS' sings.

A lover's faith in fancy blooms,
   Tho' Phœnix like I ween ;
We hear of his refulgent plumes,
   But who the bird has seen !

Here tribes of wise Lawyers in robes most decorus,
Snap, wrange, and scold, and bawl in full chorus ;
The client is beggar'd, the knave his cash gathers,
So the fox eats the goose, leaves the farmer the feathers.
'Tis said how a Pope, mov'd by pity divine,
In a famine at Rome, sent to Naples for swine ;
Thirty thousand at least, Marquis Carpio in hope
To save such a herd, yet not anger the Pope,
Devoutly reply'd—-Blessed Father I swear,
In Lawyers I'll pay you, the pigs I can't spare.

Thro' streets tomb'd in ashes, delighted we tread,
Where PLINY was kill'd by a stroke on his head ;
By Jove, cries his Nephew, Avunculus drops,
Nor is sav'd by the pillow, I tied round his chops ;
But I'll pen a fine letter, his praises I'll tell,
And comfort his soul in elysium, or hell !

But we're all born to die, both the weak and the strong !
Unless our existence sage Godwin prolong ;
He'll teach us by reason, Death's portals to batter,
"When the mind grows omnipotent over dead matter ;"
Then the soul will eternise her mansion as easy,
As eggs are preserv'd by still keeping them greasy ;
She'll charcoal our bodies, they'll feel no decay,
But scorn the dry rot, thro' Eternity's day.

O Lord how the flame of Vesuvio amazes,
What a brilliant coup d'œil, when in fury it blazes ;
It flings up the rocks and creates such a riot,
That we wish from our souls, it may never be quiet.
O see from yon Crater the hot lava bubble,
And menace the City with ruin and trouble ;
Man and horse, vines and corn, and houses and hogs,
It sweeps to the sea, and gives all to the dogs.
Hark the Crater's hoarse grumble, like under ground thunder !
** Let BUFFON explain—there's an end of the wonder ;
"As a Comet tremendous, thro' Æther set sail,
It brush'd the Sun's disk by its fiery long tail ;
And a slice of his Phiz thro' expansion it hurl'd,
Which attraction caught hold of, and made out this World !"
Hence, still as the Earth was created by fire,
"She boasts a Volcano in right of her Sire !"
— I know some philosophers yet hold aloof,
And allege this fine system is broach'd without proof ;
As a Comet could never do this, as it flys,
It's a Will-a-Wisp found in Astronomers eyes,
†† As HERSCHEL will prove, who whate'er may betide us,
§ Has Britain enlarg'd, by his Brunsvicum Sidus !
Then if graceless Republicans here play their tune,
Let RICHMOND and CHATHAM provide their balloons ;
The alarmists may mount, and their terrors will cease,
They'll be nigher to Heaven to pray for a peace.
— If BUFFON's grand system be marked with disgrace,
Let me offer a rational one in its place ;
§§ As millions of Suns did from Chaos arise,
When Jove from a whim first illumin'd the skies ;
O come said the Gods, while their courses they run,
Let new planets start from the guts of the Sun ;
Jove graciously smil'd, as the Deities spoke,
As he thought this Creation would be a good joke ;
Then a fiery Volcano he mix'd in some wine,
The Sun drank it up, and felt twitches divine ;
Thus Phœbus was grip'd for the Deities mirth,
And to give himself ease, straight ejected the earth :
Then Mercury next, with sweet Venus so bland,
Who visit our Globe, and are seen hand in hand ;
But as Sons from their Grand-sires inherit the gout,
So the Earth was diseas'd from her Parent no doubt ;
And torn by the choice, she beg'd as a boon,
To retire for a moment;—so threw out the Moon.
The Gods laugh'd aloud, and declar'd it fine fun,
When the Earth blushing, turn'd her dark side to the Sun ;
And this is the reason Astronomers say,
That the same modest feat, she performs ev'ry day.
If you think this new theory rather facetious,
Consult splendid DARWENT, our British Lucretius ;
Whose fancy sublime can the system maintain,
First brew'd in the ferment of ORFORD's warm brain :
Not the brilliant Otranto, who brilliantly sings,
Of HARRY's old slippers, and Queen BESS's rings ;
Who to love tunes his note with the fire of old age,
And chirps the trim lay, in a trim gothic cage ;
That patron of letters sprung out of a BEAU,
Who Chatteron fed, and protected Rousseau !
Could Rousseau's keen sensations to him be a jest,
When Genius and Want found a home in his breast ?
Who the Virtues of RICHARD can truly display,
And divert us by incest in scenes of a Play*** !
Whose talents can shine on points not worth a rush,
On Scribblers enobled, and Daubs of the brush.
—No, 'twas Orford so famed for each sweet social art,
Whose fancy tho' bright, was eclips'd by his heart.
With this pretty distinction my letter I end,
Adieu, my dear JEPH' ; —and pray write to your friend.

To Letter 8


N O T E S.

* Molti Averne, un governe, e cangiar spesso.

Let us here return to the sublime conjecture of Franklin, that "mind will one day become omnipotent over matter." — If over all other matter, why not over the matter of our own bodies? —— In a word, Why may not man be one day immortal ? Godwin's Political Justice, v. 2, p. 862.

** The Origin of the Earth, according to Buffon.

†† Herschel says, (and there cannot be better authority) "if a Comet has any Nucleus, it must be very small ; as there is no instance of a fixed Star having been occulted by a Comet, although transits have been observed, where the Star was nearly in a line with the centre of the Comet."

§ Brunsvicum, has been adopted instead of Georgium, to reconcile the Hanoverian astronomers to the appellation.

§§ This new and eccentric Theory of Creation, was first stated by the late Earl of Orford ; and nobly elucidated by Dr. Darwent, (in his Œconomy of Vegetation,) the most sublime, and philosophical Poet of this, or any other age.

*** The Mysterious Mother !

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