1735 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Jane Brereton

Fidelia, "Fidelia to Mr. Urban" Gentleman's Magazine 5 (September 1735) 556.



SIR, several petitioners beg you'd procure
Of the British Melissa true pourtraiture,
For a sight of her face (she has talk'd so about it)
They'd rather give money than languish without it.
They hope the expence will not prove very great
However they'll freely subscribe for the plate;
But yet for their sakes who've their hearts in their keeping,
'Tis requested the nymph may be drawn when she's sleeping.
For they say, should her eyes be unveil'd in the piece,
She might do as much mischief as Helen of Greece.
Now 'tis not for myself that I make this request
(I think beauty a trifle, a toy at the best)
But for the petitioners, each my good friend,
Thy knowing my int'rest with you, made me send.
So if to get it you'll use your endeavour,
Fidelia'll acknowledge the favour for ever.

P. E.
Sir, pray let the artist you pitch on to do it,
Be warn'd of his danger ('tis fit he shou'd know it)
And question him whether his valour's so good,
To venture to see her in warm flesh and blood.
For tho' none upon earth would oblige their friends further,
I would not be guilty of any man's murther.
FIDELIA.

We can refer the artist to MERLIN'S CAVE for a view of one MELISSA crown'd with the laurel and styled the prophetess. We conclude there must be another, but how to recommend any to a sight of her, we are entirely at a loss; that favour must be left to her own condescension.