« AnteriorContinuar »
His father disapproved much of a conduct which had overturned his designs, and at home he found little cordiality; but the tenderness of his mother blinded her to his foibles, and through her exertions, in the following year he was sent to Sidney-college Cambridge, where poetry was his favourite pursuit. Few men came into company better qualified to please, or to instruct; but he bad neither foresight nor prudence, making that which should have been a mere amusement, his principal pursuit; and forsaking the rugged paths of study for the fascinations of elegant society, and the visions of a warm and voluptuous imagination. The latter disposition led him into some juvenile imprudencies, which exposed him to the censure of his tutor, whose temper, it is said, was ill qualified to reconcile him to the discipline of a college. Threatened too with expulsion, he hastened to quit the college. His friends expressed much concern at his departure, paved the way for his return, and his exhibition was kept in suspense some time; but fascinated with the gaities of London, car. ressed by some persons of distinction, and flattered as an author by others both of rank and abilities, he imbibed the scribendi mania. At length those very friends who caressed and applauded him, became so much wearied by a course of necessary acts of attention, that Pattison himself perceived strongly his own situation, and subsisted, for some time upon the casual profits of a subscription for printing his miscellaneous Poems; but the result is sufficiently detailed in the following letter, which he wrote to a friend. • If you were ever touched with a sense of humanity, consider my condition; what I am my proposals will inform you; what I have been, Sidney College, in Cambridge, can witness; what I shall be
some few hours hence, I tremble to think. Spare my blushes ! I have not enjoyed the common necessaries of life for these two days.” The effect of this letter which solicited no more than a subscription to his miscellany, is unknown, but a similar application to Southern was uuattended to. Pattison, however, found a temporary friend in H. Curll, bookseller in the Strand, who received him into his house, June 1727, where he remained about a month, chiefly employed in preparing his poems for the press, to answer his engagements with his subscribers. While distressed in circumstances and sinking in despondency, he was seized with the small-pox. Eusden engaged Dr. Pellet to attend him, who ordered him to be conveyed to the house of an experienced nurse. The symptoms strongly indicated a favourable result but his indiscretions had preyed exceedingly upon his mind. A sudden and unexpected turn of the desease put an end to his miserable life, July 11, 1727, in the 21st year of his age. During Pattison's irregularities his father had indignantly withdrawn his usual allowance, and under the mortification of disappointed expectations, he declined all reconciliation 10 him upon his death-bed, and did not attend the last offices to his remains. He was buried in the upper church-yard, belonging to St. Clement Danes in the Strand. Under these circumstances and events, the admonition of doctor Johnson, cannot be more emphatically applied. “Those who in confidence of superior capacities or attainments, disregard the common maxims of life, should remember, that nothing can atone for the want of prudence; that negligence and irregularity, long continued, will make knowledge useless, wit ridiculous, and genius contemtible.”
YARICO TO INKLE:
Dear, faithless man! if e'er that cruel breast love's pleasing toys, and soft delights, confest; distress like mine, may sure thy pity move, for tender pity is the cbild of love! but can compassion from thy bosom flow? source of my wrongs, and fountain of my woe! wilt thou repentant, soften at my grief, melt at my tears, and lend a late relief! what have I done? ah! þow deserv'd thy hate? or was this vengeance treasur'd up by fate? then will I mourn my fate's severe decree, nor charge a guilt so black, so base on thee; for O! I know, ah no! I knew, thy mind soft as the dove, and as the turtle kind; how have I seen thy gentle bosom move, and heave, contagious, to some tale of love ! how have I heard thee paint the faithfull'st pair, describe their bliss, and e'en their raptures share! then have thy lips, with sweet transition swore thy love more lasting, and thy passion more!
And what, is truth, if signs like these deceive! signs ! that might win the wariest to believe.
ROSAMOND TO HENRY:
Qualis populeå mærens Philomela sub umbra
Virg. Geog From these lone shades, and ever-gloomy bowers, once the dear shade of Henry's softer hours ! what tender strains of passion can impart the pangs
of absence to an amorous heart! Far, far too faint the powers of language prove, language that slow interpreter of love! souls pair'd like our's, like our's to union wrought, converse by silent syinpathy of thought; O then, by that mysterious art, divine the wild impatience of my breast, by thine! and to conceive what I would say to thee, conceive, my love, what thou would'st say to me!
As in the tenderness of soul I sigh, . methinks I hear thy tender soul reply; and as in thought, o'er heaps of heroes slain, I trace thy progress on the fatal plain, perhaps thy thought explores me through the grove, and, soft'ning, steals an interval of love. In the deep covert of a bow'ring shade describes my posture, languishingly laid! now, sadly solac'd with the murm’ring springs, now, melting into tears, the softest things! and how the feigo'd ideas all agree? so bowers the shade, so melt my tears for thee! here, as in Eden, once we blissful lay: how oft night stole, unheeded, on the day!
our soft-breath'd raptures charm'd the listening grove, and all was harmony, for all was love!
But hark! the trumpet sounds! see discords rise ! His honour calls; from me my Henry flies ! honour, to him, more bright than Rosamonda's eyes ! not thus niy honour with his passion strove, his sighs I pity, and indulg'd his love: he then cry'd, honour was an empty name, and love a sweeter recompence than same.
Oh! had I liv'd in some obscure retreat, securely fair, and innocently sweet; how had I bless'd some humble shepherd's arins ! how kept my fame as spotless as my charms ! then, hadst thou ne'er beheld these eyes of mine, nor they bewail'd the fatal power of thine! dear fatal power! to me for ever dear! fix'd in my tender breast, and rooted there! for ever in my tender breast remain, and be for ever a delightful pain!
With what surprise those glories first I view'd, that in one moment my whole heart subdu'd ! with such resistless beams, so fierce they shone, not such the dazzling radiance of thy crown! sent from thy crown I never felt a dart; the lover, not the monarch, won my heart: nor e'er the monarch with such charms appears, as when the lovers soften'd dress he wears : as when he, silent, deigns my breast to seek, and looks such language, as no tongue can speak.
Whene'er my crimes (if love a crime can be, if 't is a crime to live, and die for thee!) in bideous forms arise, and cloud my soul, one thought on Henry can that gloom controul: no more my breast alternate passions move,