« AnteriorContinuar »
Attentive truth and nature to descry,
What murder'd Wentworth, and what exil'd Hyde, And pierce each scene with philosophic eye, By kings protected, and to kings ally'd ? To thee were solemn toys, or empty show,
What but their wish indulg'd in courts to shine, The robes of pleasure, and the veils of woe : And pow'r too great to keep, or to resign. All aid the farce, and all thy mirth maintain,
When first the college rolls receive his name, Whose joys are causeless, or whose griefs are vain. The young enthusiast quits his ease for fame;
Such was the scorn that fill'd the sage's mind, Resistless burns the fever of renown, Renew'd at ev'ry glance on human kind;
Caught from the strong contagion of the gown : How just that scorn ere yet thy voice declare, O'er Bodley's dome his future labours spread, Search ev'ry state, and canvass ev'ry pray'r.
And Bacon's mansion * trembles o'er his head. Unnumber'd suppliants crowd Preferment's gate, Are these thy views ? Proceed, illustrious youth, Atbírst for wealth, and burning to be great ; And Virtue guard thee to the throne of Truth! Delusive Fortune hears th' incessant call,
Yet should thy soul indulge the gen'rous heat They mount, they shine, evaporate and fall. Till captive Science yields her last retreat ; On ev'ry stage the foes of peace attend,
Should reason guide thee with her brightest ray, Hate dogs their flight, and insult mocks their end. And pour on misty doubt resistless day; Love ends with hope, the sinking statesman's door Should no false kindness lure to loose delight, Pours in the morning worshipper no more; Nor praise relax, nor difficulty fright; For growing names the weekly scribbler lies, Should tempting Novelty thy cell refrain, To growing wealth the dedicator flies;
And Sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain ; From ev'ry room descends the painted face, Should Beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart, That hung the bright palladium of the place; Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart; And, smok'd in kitchens, or in auctions sold, Should no disease thy torpid veins invade, To better features yields the frame of gold; Nor Melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade ; For now no more we trace in ev'ry line
Yet hope not life from grief or danger free, Heroic worth, benevolence divine :
Nor think the doom of man revers'd for thee : The form distorted justifies the fall,
Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes, And detestation rids th' indignant wall.
And pause awhile from letters to be wise ; But will not Britain hear the last appeal,
There mark what ills the scholar's life assail, Sign her foes' doom, or guard her fav’rites' zeal ? Toil, enry, want, the patron, and the jail. Through Freedom's sons no more remonstrance See nations, slowly wise and meanly just, rings,
To buried merit raise the tardy bust. Degrading nobles and controlling kings;
If dreams yet flatter, once again attend, Our supple tribes repress their patriot throats, Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end. And ask no questions but the price of votes ;
Nor deem, when Learning her last prize bestows, With weekly libels and septennial ale,
The glittering eminence exempt from foes; Their wish is full to riot and to rail.
See, when the vulgar 'scapes, despis d or awd, In full-blown dignity, see Wolsey stand, Rebellion's vengeful talons scize on Laud. Law in his voice, and fortune in his hand :
From meaner minds, though smaller fines content To him the church, the realm, their pow'rs con- The plunder'd palace, or sequester'd rent: sign,
Mark'd out by dang’rous parts, he meets the shock, Through him the rays of regal bounty shine; And fatal Learning leads him to the block : Turn'd by his nod the stream of honour flows, Around his tomb let Art and Genius weep, His smile alone security bestows :
But hear his death, ye blockheads, hear and sleep. Still to new heights his restless wishes tow'r,
The festal blazes, the triumphal show, Claim leads to claim, and pow'r advances pow'r; The ravish'd standard, and the captive foe, Till conquest unresisted ceas'd to please,
The senate's thanks, the gazette's pompous tale, And rights submitted left him none to seize : With force resistless o'er the brave prevail. At length his sov'reign frowns - the train of state Such bribes the rapid Greek o'er Asia whirl'd, Mark the keen glance, and watch the sign to hate. For such the steady Roman shook the world ; Where'er he turns, he meets a stranger's eye, For such in distant lands the Britons shine, His suppliants scorn him, and his followers fly; And stain with blood the Danube or the Rhine; Now drops at once the pride of aweful state, This pow'r bas praise, that virtue scarce can warm The golden canopy, the glitt'ring plate,
Till fame supplies the universal charm. The regal palace, the luxurious board,
Yet Reason frowns on War's unequal game, The liv'ried army, and the menial lord.
Where wasted nations raise a single name; (gret, With age, with cares, with maladies oppressid, And mortgag'd states their grandsires' wreaths reHe seeks the refuge of monastic rest.
From age to age in everlasting debt ; Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings, Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right convey And his last sighs reproach the faith of kings. To rust on medals, or on stones decay.
Speak thou whose thoughts at humble peace repine, On what foundation stands the warrior's pride, Shall Wolsey's wealth with Wolsey's end be thine? How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide; Or liv'st thou now, with safer pride content, A frame of adamant, a soul of fire, The wisest justice on the banks of Trent?
No dangers fright him, and no labours tire, For, why did Wolsey, near the steeps of fate, On weak foundations raise th' enormous weight? There is a tradition, that the study of Friar Why but to siok beneath misfortune's blow, Bacon, built on an arch over the bridge, will fall With louder ruin to the gulphs below.
when a man greater than Bacon shall pass under it. What gave great Villiers to th' assassin's knife, To prevent so shocking an accident, it was pulled And fix'd disease on Harley's closing life? down many years since.
O’er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain, In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour,
With listless eyes the dotard views the store, War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field; He views, and wonders that they please no more ; Behold surrounding kings their pow'rs combine, Now pall the tasteless meats, and joyless wines, And one capitulate, and one resign; (vain; And Luxury with sighs her slave resigns. Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in Approach, ye minstrels, try the soothing strain, “ Think nothing gain’d,” he cries, “till nought Diffuse the tuneful lenitives of pain : remain,
No sounds, alas ! would touch th' impervious ear, On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly, Though dancing mountains witness'd Orpheus And all be mine beneath the polar sky.”
near; The march begins in military state,
Nor lute nor lyre his feeble pow'rs attend, And nations on his eye suspended wait;
Nor sweeter music of a virtuous friend ; Stern Famine guards the solitary coast,
But everlasting dictates crowd his tongue, And Winter barricades the realms of Frost; Perversely grave, or positively wrong. He comes, nor want nor cold bis course delay ; — The still returning tale, and ling’ring jest, Hide, blushing Glory, hide Pultowa's day: Perplex the fawning niece, and pamper'd guest, The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken bands, While growing hopes scarce awe the gath'ring sneer, And shows his miseries in distant lands;
And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear : Condemn'd a needy supplicant to wait,
The watchful guests still hint the last offence; While ladies interpose, and slaves debate.
The daughter's petulance, the son's expense, But did not Chance at length her errour mend ? Improve his heady rage with treach'rous skill, Did no subverted empire mark his end ?
And mould his passions till they make his will. Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound ?
Unnumber'd maladies his joints invade, Or hostile millions press him to the ground ? Lay siege to life, and press the dire blockade; His fall was destined to a barren strand,
But unextinguish'd av'rice still remains, A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;
And dreaded losses aggravate his pains ; He left the name, at which the world grew pale, He turns, with anxious heart and crippled hands, To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
His bonds of debt, and mortgages of lands; All times their scenes of pompous woes afford,
Or views his coffers with suspicious eyes, From Persia's tyrant to Bavaria's lord.
Unlocks his gold, and counts it till lie dies. In gay hostility and barb'rous pride,
But grant, the virtues of a temp'rate prime With half mankind embattled at his side,
Bless with an age exempt from scorn or crime; Great Xerxes comes to seize the certain prey, An age that melts with unperceiv'd decay, And starves exhausted regions in his way;
And glides in modest innocence away;
To press the weary minutes' flagging wings;
Now kindred Merit fills the sable bier,
Now lacerated Friendship claims a tear; A single skiff to speed his flight remains
Year chases year, decay pursues decay, Th’ encumber'd oar scarce leaves the dreaded coast Still drops some joy from with’ring life away; Through purple billows and a floating host. New forms arise, and diff'rent views engage, The bold Bavarian, in a luckless hour,
Superfluous lags the vet’ran on the stage, Tries the dread summits of Cæsarean pow'r, Till pitying Nature signs the last release, With unexpected legions bursts away,
And bids afflicted worth retire to peace. And sees defenceless realms receive his sway:
But few there are whom hours like these await, Short sway ! fair Austria spreads her mournful Who set unclouded in the gulphs of Fate. charms,
From Lydia's monarch should the search desænd, The queen, the beauty, sets the world in arms; By Solon caution'd to regard his end, From hill to hill the beacon's rousing blaze In life's last scene what prodigies surprize, Spreads wide the hope of plunder and of praise ; Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise ! The fierce Croatian, and the wild Hussar, From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of dotage fios, With all the sons of ravage crowd the war ; And Swift expires a driv'ler and a show, The baffled prince, in honour's flatt'ring bloom The teeming mother, anxious for her race, Of hasty greatness, finds the fatal doom;
Begs for each birth the fortune of a face;
" Enlarge my life with multitude of days !" Ye nymphs of rosy lips and radiant eyes,
By day the frolic, and the dance by night;
Who frown with vanity, who smile with art, And shuts up all the passages of joy:
And ask the latest fashion of the heart;
What care, what rules, your heedless charms shall | Vice always found a sympathetic friend;
They pleas'd their age, and did not aim to mend.
Their cause was gen'ral, their supports were strong, With distant voice neglected Virtue calls,
Their slaves were willing, and their reign was long :
But forc'd, at length, her ancient reign to quit,
And Pantomime and Song confirm'd her sway.
But who the coming changes can presage, Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise,
And mark the future periods of the stage ? No cries invoke the mercies of the skies?
Perhaps, if skill could distant times explore, Inquirer, cease ; petitions yet remain
New Behns, new Durfeys, yet remain in store ;
On Aying cars new sorcerers may ride:
Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet * may dance.
Hard is his lot that, here by Fortune plac'd,
Must watch the wild vicissitudes of taste ;
Ah! let not Censure term our fate our choice,
The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give, For love, which scarce collective man can fill; For we that live to please, must please to live. For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill;
Then prompt no more the follies you decry,
As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die ;
For useful mirth and salutary woe;
A PRACTISER IN PHYSIC.
DEATH OF MR. ROBERT LEVET,
CONDEMN'D to Hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day, Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
By sudden blasts, or slow decline,
Our social comforts drop away.
Well try'd through many a varying year,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.
Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny A mortal born, he met the gen'ral doom,
Thy praise to merit unrefin'd. But left, like Egypt's kings, a lasting tomb.
The wits of Charles found easier ways to fame, * Hunt, a famous boxer on the stage; MahoNor wish'd for Jonson's art, or Shakspeare's flame. met, a rope-dancer, who had exhibited at CoventThemselves they studied, as they felt they writ; Garden theatre the winter before, said to be a Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit.
Y y 2
. Its topics are judiciously chosen about 1709 at Castleton in Roxburghshire, where from all those which can add grace or beauty to a his father was the parish minister. He was brought difficult subject; and as he was naturally gifted up to the medical profession, which he studied at with a musical ear, his lines are scarcely ever harsh. the university of Edinburgh, where he took his de- In 1760 Dr. Armstrong had interest enough to gree.
He settled in London in the double capacity obtain the appointment of physician to the arıny in of physician and man of letters, and he rendered Germany, which he retained till its return. He himself known by writings in each. In 1744 his then resumed his practice in London ; but his habits capital work, the didactic poem, entitled “ The Art and manners opposed an insurmountable bar against of preserving Health,” made its appearance, and popular success. He possessed undoubted abilities, raised his literary reputation to a height which his but a morbid sensibility preyed on his temper, and subsequent publications scarcely sustained. It has his intellectual efforts were damped by a languid therefore been selected for this work; and it may listlessness. He died in September, 1779, leaving be affirmed, that of the class to which it belongs, considerable savings from a very moderate income. scarcely any English performance can claim su
They fly thy pure effulgence : they and all
And all the pale tribes halting in the train
Of Vice and heedless Pleasure: or if aught
The comet's glare amid the burning sky,
Mournful eclipse, or planets ill combin’d,
Portend disastrous to the vital world;
Thy salutary power averts their rage, The various race luxuriant Nature pours,
Averts the general bane: and but for thee And on th' immortal essences bestows
Nature would sicken, nature soon would die.
Without thy cheerful active energy
Come then with me, O goddess, heav'nly gay!
“ How best the fickle fabric to support
The best, and those of most extensive use ;
Through paths the Muses never trod before.
Nor should I wander doubtful of my way,
Which taught to check the pestilential fire,
O thou belov'd by all the graceful arts,
Indulge, 0 Mead! a well-design'd essay,
And with new graces dignify the theme.
Y y 3