Imagens das páginas

inory, and 'tis only when he states his facts, that you admire the flights of his imagination.

"A fat woman trundling into a room on castorsin sitting can only lean against her chair-rings on her fingers, and her fat arms strangled with bracelets, which belt them like corded brawn-rolling and heaving when she laughs with the rattles in her throat, and a most apoplectic ogle-you wish to draw her out, as you would an opera-glass.

“A long lean man with all his limbs rambling no way to reduce him to compass, unless you could double him like a pocket rule-with his arms spread, he'd lie on the bed of Ware like a cross on a Good Friday bunstanding still, he is a pilaster without a base—he appears rolled out or run up against a wall—so thin, that his front face is but the moiety of a profile -if he stands cross-legged, he looks like a caduceus, and put him in a fencing attitude, you will take him for a piece of chevaux-de-frise-to make any use of him, it must be as a spontoon or a fishing rod-when bis wife's by, he follows like a note of admiration-see them together, one's a mast, and the other all hulk-she's a dome and he's built like a glass-housewhen they part, you wonder to see the steeple separate from the chancel, and were they to embrace, he must hang round her neck like a skein of thread on a lace-maker's bolster-to sing her praise you should choose a rondeau, and to celebrate him you must write all Alexandrines.

“I wouldn't give a pin to make fine men in love with me-every coquette can do that, and the pain you give these creatures is very trifling. I love out-of-the-way conquests; and as I think my attractions are singular, I would draw singular objects.

“ The loadstone of true beauty draws the heaviest substances not like the fat dowager, who frets herself into warmth to get the notice of a few papier mâché fops, as you rub Dutch sealing-wax to draw paper.

“If I were inclined to flatter I would say that, as you are unlike other women, you ought not to be won as they are. Every woman can be gained by time, therefore you ought to be by a sudden impulse. Sighs, devotion, attention weigh with others; but they are so much your due that no one should claim merit from them...

“ You should not be swayed by common motives—how heroic to form a marriage for which no human being can guess the inducement—what a glorious unaccountableness ! All the world will wonder what the devil you could see in me; and, if you should doubt your singularity, I pledge myself to you that I never yet was endured by woman; so that I should owe every ding to the effect of your bounty, and not by my own superfluous deserts

The reader will find how much this thought was improved upon afterwards.

make it a debt, and so lessen both the obligation and my gratitude. In short, every other woman follows her inclination, but you, above all things, should take me, if you do not like me. You will, besides, have the satisfac. tion of knowing that we are decidedly the worst match in the kingdom match, too, that must be all your own work, in which fate could have no hand, and which no foresight could foresee.

“A lady who affects poetry.- I made regular approaches to her by sonnets and rebusses—a rondeau of circumvallation-her pride sapped by an elegy, and her reserve surprised by an impromptu-proceeding to storm with Pindarics, she, at last, saved the further effusion of ink by a capitulation.'

" Her prudish frowns and resentful looks are as ridiculous as 'twould be to see a board with notice of spring-guns set in a highway, or of steel.traps in a common-because they imply an insinuation that there is something worth plundering where one would not, in the least, suspect it.

"The expression of her face is at once a denial of all love-suit, and a confession that she never was asked the sourness of it arises not so much from her aversion to the passion, as from her never having had an oppor. tunity to show it.-Her features are so unfortunately formed that she could never dissemble or put on sweetness enough to induce any one to give her occasion to show her bitterness. I never saw a woman to whom you would more readily give credit for perfect chastity.

" Lady Clio. “What am I reading?'—have I drawn nothing lately? is the work-bag finished ?-how accomplished I am!-has the man been to untune the harpsichord?-does it look as if I had been playing on it?

"'Shall I be ill to-day?-_shall I be nervous ?'—*Your La’ship was nervous yesterday.'-'Was 1?-then I'll have a cold—I havn't had a cold this fortnight-a cold is becoming---no-I'll not have a cough; that's fatiguing—I'll be quite well.'—You become sickness—your La’ship always looks vastly well when you're ill.'

"Leave the book half read and the rose half finished-you know I love to be caught in the fact.'

“One who knows that no credit is ever given to his assertions has the more right to contradict his words.

" He goes the western circuit, to pick up small fees and impudencc.

"A new wooden leg for Sir Charles Easy.

"An ornament which proud peers wear all the year round-chimney. sweepers only on the first of May.

' In marriage if you possess any thing very good, it makes you eager to get every thing else good of the same sort.

" The critic when he gets out of his carriage should always recollect, that his footman behind is gone up to judge as well as himself.

“She might have escaped in her own clothes, but I suppose she thought it more romantic to put on her brother's regimentals."

The rough sketches and fragments of poems, which Mr. Sheridan left behind him, are numerous; but those among them that are sufficiently finished to be cited, bear the marks of having been written when he was very young, and would not much interest the reader-while of the rest it is difficult to find four consecutive lines, that have undergone enough of the toilette of composition to be presentable in print. It was his usual practice, when he undertook any subject in verse, to write down his thoughts first in a sort of poetical prose, with, here and there, a rhyme or a metrical line, as they might occur- and then, afterwards to reduce, with much labour, this anomalous compound to regular poetry. The birth of his prose being, as we have already seen, so difficult, it may be imagined how painful was the travail of his verse. Indeed, the number of tasks which he left unfinished are all so many proofs of that despair of perfection, which those best qualified to attain it are always most likely to feel.

There are some fragments of an Epilogue apparently intended to be spoken in the character of a woman of fashion, which give a lively notion of what the poem would have been, when complete. The high carriages, that had just then come into fashion, are thus adverted to :-

“ My carriage stared at !--none so high or fine

Palmer's mail-coach shall be a sledge to mine.
No longer now the youths beside us stand,
And talking lean, and leaning press the hand ;
But ogling upward, as aloft we sit,
Straining, poor things, their ancles and their wit,
And, much too short the inside to explore,
Hang like supporters, half way up the door."

The approach of a “veteran husband,” to disturb these flirtations and chase away the lovers, is then hinted at:

“ To persecuted virtue yield assistance,

And for one hour teach younger men their distance,
Make them, in very spite, appear discreet,
And mar the public mysteries of the street."

The affectation of appearing to make love, while talking on indifferent matters, is illustrated by the following simile :

“ So when dramatic statesmen talk apart,

With practis'd gesture and heroic start,
The plot's their theme, the gaping galleries guess,
While Hull and Fearon think of nothing less."

The following lines seem to belong to the same Epilogue :

The Campus Martius of St. James's Street,
Where the beau's cavalry pace to and fro,
Before they take the field in Rotten Row;
Where Brooks' Blues and Weltze's Light Dragoons
Dismount in files and ogle in platoons.”

He had also begun another Epilogue, directed against female gamesters, of which he himself repeated a couplet or two to Mr. Rogers a short time before his death, and of which there remain some few scattered traces among

his papers >

" A night of fretful passion may consume

All that thou hast of beauty's gentle bloom,
And one distemper'd hour of sordid fear
Print on thy brow the wrinkles of a year.t

Great figure loses, little figure wins.

Ungrateful blushes and disorder'd sighs,
Which love disclaims nor even shame supplies.


Gay smiles, which once belong'd to mirth alone,

And startling tears, which pity dares not own." | These four lines, as I have already remarked, are taken—with little change of the words, but a total alteration of the sentiment from the verses which he addressed to Mrs. Sheridan in the year 1773. See page 83.

'T'he following stray couplet would seem to have been intended for his description of Corilla :

“ A crayon Cupid, redu'ning into shape,

Betrays her talents to design and scrape.”

The Epilogue, which I am about to give, though apparently finished, has not, as far as I can learn, yet appeared in print, nor am I at all aware for what occasion it was intended.

“ In this gay month when, through the sultry hour,

The vernal sun denies the wonted shower,
When youthful Spring usurps maturer sway,
And pallid April steals the blush of May,
How joys the rustic tribe, to view display'd
The liberal blossom and the early shade!
But ah ! far other air our soil delights;
Here charming weather is the worst of blights.
No genial beams rejoice our rustic train,
Their harvest's still the better for the rain.
To summer suns our groves no tribute owe,
They thrive in frost, and flourish best in snow.
When other woods resound the feather'd throng,
Our groves, our woods, are destitute of song.
The thrush, the lark, all leave our mimic vale,
No more we boast our Christmas nightingale ;
Poor Rossignol—the wonder of his day,
Sung through the winter-but is mute in May.
Then bashful spring, that gilds fair nature's scene,
O’ercasts our lawns, and deadens every green ;
Obscures our sky, embrowns the wooden shade,
And dries the channel of each tin cascade!

Oh hapless we, whom such ill fate betides,
Hurt by the beam which cheers the world besides !
Who love the lingøring frost, nice, chilling showers,
While Nature's Benefit-is death to ours;
Who, witch-like, best in noxious mists perform,
Thrive in the tempest, and enjoy the storm.
O hapless we-unless your generous care
Bids us no more lament that Spring is fair,
But plenteous glean from the dramatic soil,
The vernal harvest of our winter's toil.
For, April suns to us no pleasure bring-
Your presence here is all we feel of Spring;
May's riper beauties here no bloom display,
Your fostering smile alone proclaims it May."

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