« AnteriorContinuar »
For sure such confusion was never yet known;'
Here a cap and a hat, there a cardinal blown :
While his lordship. embroidered and powdered all o'er,
Was bowing. and handing the ladies ashore:
How the Misses did huddle, and scuddle, and run;
One would think to be wet must be very good fun;
For by waggling their tails, they all seemed to take pains
To moisten their pinions like ducks when it rains ;
And 'twas pretty to see, how, like birds of a feather,
The people of qnality flocked all together;
All pressing, addressing, caressing, and fond,
Just the same as those animals are in a pond':
You've read all their names in the news, I suppose,
But, for fear you have not, take the list as it goes :
There was Lady Greasewrister,
And Madam Van-Twister,
Her ladyship's sister :
Lord Cram, and Lord Vulture,
Sir Brandish O'Culter,
With Marshal Carouzer,
And old Lady Touzer,
And the great Hanoverian Baron Panzmowzer;
Besides many others who all in the rain went,
On purpose to honour this great entertainment:
The company made a most brilliant appearance,
And ate bread and butter with great perseverance:
All the chocolate to, that my lord set before 'em,
The ladies despatched with the utmost decorum.
Soft musical numbers were heard all around,
The horns and the clarions echoing sound.
Sweet were the strains, as odorous gales that blow
O'er fragrant banks, where pinks and roses grow.
The peer was quite ravished, while close to his side
Sat Lady Bunbutter, in beautiful pride!
Oft turning his eyes, he with rapture surveyed
All the powerful charms she so nobly displayed :
As when at the feast of the great Alexander,
Timothens, the musical son of Thersander,
Breathed heavenly measures. : .
Oh, had I a voice that was stronger than steel
With twice fifty tongues to express what I feel,
And as many good mouths, yet I never could utter
All the speeches my lord made to Lady Bunbutter!
So polite all the time, that he ne'er touched a bit,
While she ate up his rolls and applauded his wit:
For they tell me that men of true taste, when they treat,
Should talk a great deal, but they never should eat:
And if that be the fashion, I never will give
Any grand entertainment as long as I live:
For I'm of opinion, 'tis proper to cheer
The stomach and bowels as well as the ear.
Nor me did the charming concerto of Abel
Regale like the breakfast I saw on the table :
I freely will own I the muffins preferred
To all the genteel conversation I heard.
E'en though I'd the honour of sitting between
My Lady Stuff-damask and Peggy Moreen,
Who doth flew to Bath in the nightly machine.
Cries Peggy: “This place is enchantingly pretty;
We never can see such a thing in the city.
You may spend all your lifetime in Cateaton Street,
And never so civil a gentleman meet;
You may talk what you please ; you may search London through ;
You may go to Carlisle's, and to Almack's too;
And I'll give you my head if you find such a host,
For coffee, tea, chocolate, butter, and toast :
How he welcomes at once all the world and his wife,
And how civil to folk he ne'er saw in his life!'
. These horns,' cries my lady, 'so tickle one's ear,
Lard! what would I give that Sir Simon was here !
To the next public breakfast Sir Simon shall go,
For I find here are folks one may venture to know:
Sir Siinon would gladly his lordship attend,
And my lord would be pleased with so cheerful a friend.'
So when we had wasted more bread at a breakfast
Than the poor of our parish have ate for this week past,
I saw, all at once, & prodigious great throng
Come bustling, and rustling, and jostling along;
For his lordship was pleased that the company now
To my Lady Bunbutter should curtsy and bow;
And iny lady was pleased too, and seemed vastly proud
At once to receive all the thanks of a crowd.
And when. like Chaldeans, we all had adored
This beautiful image set up by my lord,
Soine few insignificant folk went away:
Just to follow the employments and calls of the day;
But those who knew better their time how to spend,
The fiddling and daucing all chose to attend.
Miss Clunch and Sir Toby performed a cotillon,
Just the same as our Susun and Bob the postilion ;
All the while her mamma was expressing her joy,
That her daughter the morning so well could employ.
Now, why should the Muse, my dear mother relate
The inisfortunes that fall to the lot of the great ?
As homeward we came—'tis with sorrow you'll hear
What a dreadful disaster attended the peer;
For whether some envious god had decreed
That an Naiad should long to ennoble her breed;
Or whether his lordship was charmed to behold
His face in the stream, like Narcissus of old ;
In handing old Lady Comefidget and daughter,
This obsequious lord tumbled into the water;
But a nymph of the flood brought him safe to the boat,
And I left all the ladies a-cleaning his coat.
RICHARD JAGO. The Rev. RICHARD JAGO (1715-1781), vicar of Snitterfield, near Stratford-on-Avon, was anthor of 'Edgehill,' a Poem (1767); ‘Labour and Genius, or the Mill-Stream and the Cascade,'a Fable (1768); and other poetical pieces, all collected and published in one volume in 1781.
Absence. With leaden foot Time creeps along, Ah! envious power, reverse my doom, While Delia is away ;
Now double thy career ; With her, nor plaintive was the song, Strain every nerve, stretch every plume, Nor tedious was the day.
And rest them when she's here. CHRISTOPHER PITT-GILBERT WEST-MRS. CARTER. Two translators of this period have been admitted by Johnson into his gallery of English poets. The Rev. CHRISTOPHER PITT (1699– 1748) published in 1725 · Vida's Art of Poetry, translated into Eng
lish Verse ;' and in 1740 he gave a complete English 'Æneid.' He also imitated some of the satires and epistles of Horace. • Pitt pleases the critics, and Dryden the people; Pitt is quoted, and Dryden read.' Such is the criticism of Johnson; but even the merit of being quoted can scarcely now be accorded to the lesser bard.--GILBERT WEST (1700?–1756) translated the Odes of Pindar (1749), prefixing to the work—which is still our standard version of Pindar—a good dissertation on the Olympic games. New editions of West's Pindar were published in 1753 and 1766. He wrote several pieces of original poetry, included in Dodsley's collection. One of these, 'On the Abuse of Travelling,' a canto in imitation of Spenser (1739) is noticed by Gray in enthusiastic terms. West was also author of a prose work, 'Observations on the Resurrection, for which the university of Oxforii conferred on him the degree of LL.D.; and Lyttelton adiressed to him his treatise on St. Paul. Pope left West a sum o: £200, but payable only after the death of Martha Blount, and he did not live to receive it. By all his contemporaries, this accomplished and excellent man was warmly esteemed; and through the influence of Pitt, he enjoyed a competence in his latter days, having been appointed (1752) one of the clerks of the privy council, and under-treasurer of Chelsea Hospital.
In 1758 appeared ‘All the Works of Epictetus now Extant, translated from the Greek,' by ELIZABETH CARTER. This learned and pious lady, familiar to the readers of Boswell's Johnson, bad previously (1738) translated Crousaz's • Examen of Pope's Essay on Man,' and Algarotti's · Explanation of the Newtonian Philosophy.' She also published a small collection of poems written by her before her twentieth year, and was a frequent correspondent of the 'Gentleman's Magazine. Hence her early acquaintance with Johnson, who has commemorated the talents and virtues of his young friend in a Greek and a Latin epigram Mrs. Carter lived to read and admire Scott's ‘Lay of the Last Minstrel.' She died in 1806, in the eightyninth year of her age. Her nephew, the Rev. Montagu Pennington, published: Memoirs of Mrs. Carter' (1808), and A Series of Letters between Mrs. E. Carter and Miss Catharine Talbot (1808). The correspondence has added to the reputation of Mrs. Carter. Of her original poetry the best is an ‘Ode to Wisdom,' published by Richardson in his . Clarissa Harlowe.' It is in the stately Johnsonian style, and opens thus :
* One of these, on Miss Carter, gathering laurels in Pope's garden at Twickenham, t'; peculiarly happy:
Elysios Popi dum ludit læta per hortos,
En avida lau rog carpit Elisa manu,
Nil opus est surto. Lauros tibi. dulcis Elisa,
Si neget optatas Popus, Apollo dabit.
In Pope's Elysian scenes Eliza roves,
And spoils with greedy hands his laurel groves
A needless theft! A laurel wreath to thee,
Should Pope deny, Apollo would decree.
The solitary bird of night [flight, With joy I hear the solemn sound Through the thick shades now wings his Which midnight echoes waft around, And quits his time-shook tower,
And sighing gales repeat. Where, sheltered from the blaze of day, Favourite of Pallas ! I attend, In philosophic gloom he lay
And, faithful to thy summons, bend Beneath his ivy bower.
At wisdom's awful seat.
BY RICHARD WEST-the friend of Gray and Walpole. He was the only son of
the Right Hon. R. West, Chancellor of Ireland. The following piece was written in
West's twentieth year, and its amiable author died in his twenty-sixth year, 1742.
Yes, happy yonths, on Camus' sedgy side,
You feel cach joy that friendship can divide;
Each realm of science an'l of art explore,
And with the ancient blend the modern lore.
Studious alone to learn whate'er may tend
To raise the genius, or the heart to mend;
Now pleascd along the cloistered walk you rove,
And trace the verdant mazes of the grove,
Where social oft, and oft alone, ye choose,
To c: tch the zephyr, and to court the muse.
Meantime at me-while all devoid of art
These lines give back the image of my heart
At mc the power that comes or soon or late,
Or aims, or seems to aim, the dart of fate;
From you remote, methinks, alone I stand,
Like some sad exile in a desert land;
Around no friends their lenient care to join
In mutual warmth, and mix their heart with mine.
Or real pains, or those which fancy raise,
For ever blot the sunshine of my days;
To sickness still, and still to grief a prey,
Health turns from me her rosy fac. away.
Just Heaven! what sin ere life begins to bloom,
Devotes my head untimely to the tomb ?
Did e'er this haud against a brother's life
Drug the dire bowl, or point the murderous knife ?
Did e'er this tongue the slanderer's tale proclaim,
Or madly violate my Maker's name?
Did e'er this heart be:ray a friend or foe,
Or know a thought but all the world might know?
As yet just started from the lists of time,
My growing years have scarcely told their prime;
Useless, as yet, through life I've idly run,
No pleasures tasted, and few duties done.
Ah, who, e'er autumn's mellowing suns appear,
Would pluck the promise of the vernal year;
Or, ere ihe grapes their purple hue betray,
Tear the crudo cluster from the mourning spray?
Stern power of fate, whose ebon sceptre rules
The Siygian deserts and Cimmerian pools,
Forbear, nor rashly smite my youthful heart,
A victim yet unworthy of thy dart;
Ah, stay till age shall blast my withering face,
Shake in iny head, and falter in my pace;
Then aim the shaft, then meditate the blow,
And to the dead my willing shade shall go.
How weak is man to reason's judging eye!
Born in this moment, in the next we die;
Part mortal clay, and part etherial fire,
Too proud to creep, too humble to aspire.
In vain our plans of happiness we raise,
Pain is our lot, and patience is our praise ;
Wealth, lineage, honours, conquest, or a throne,
Are what tue wise would fear to call their own.
Health is at best a vain precarious thing,
And fair-faced youth is ever on the wing;
'Tis like the stream beside whose watery bed,
Some blooming plant exalts his flowery head;
Nursed by the wave the spreading branches rise,
Shade all the ground and flourish to the skies ;
The waves the while beneath in secret flow,
And undermine the hollow bank below;
Wide and more wide the waters urge their way,
Bare all the roots, and on their fibres prey.
Too late the plant bewails his foolish pride,
And sinks, unumely, in the whelming tide.
But why repine ? Does life deserve my sigh;
Few will lament my loss whene'er I die.
For those the wretches I despise or hate,
I neither envy nor regard their fate.
For me, whene'er all-conquering death shall spread
His wings around my unrepining head,
I care not; though this face be seen no more,
The world will p:iss as cheerful as before;
Bright as before the day-star will appear,
The fields as verdant, and the skies as clear;
Nor storms nor comets will my doom declare,
Nor signs on earth nor portents in the air ;
Unknown and silent will depart my breath,
Nor nature e'er take notice of my death.
Yet some there are-ere spent my vital days--
Within whose breasts my tomb I wish to raise.
Loved in my life, lamented in my end,
Their praise would crown me as their precepts mend :
To them may these fond lines my name endear,
Not from the Poet, but the Friend sincere.
Elegy. By JAMES HAMMOND (born 1710, died 1742). This seems to be almost the only tolerable specimen of the once admired and highly famed love-elegies of Hammoud. This poet, nephew to Sir Robert Walpole, and a man of fortune, bestowed his affections on a Miss Dashwood, whose agreeable qualities and inexorable rejection of his suit inspired the
poetry by which his name has been handed down to us. His verses are imitatioas of Tibullus-smooth, tame, and frigid, Miss Dashwood died unmarried in 1779. In the following elegy, Hammond imagines himself married to his mistress (Delia), and that, content with each other, they are retired to the cuantry.
Let others boast their heaps of shining gold,
And view their fields, with waving plenty crowned,
Whom neighbouring foes in constant terror hold,
And trumpets break their slumbers, never sound:
While calmly poor, I trifle life away.
Enjoy sweet leisure by my cheerful fire,
No wanton hope my quiet shall betray,
But, cheaply blest, I 'U scorn each vain desire.