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invitation seduced him from it. I have seen him there “s outwatching the bear” in his seventyeighth year; for as yet Nature had given no signal of decay in frame or faculty; but you saw him in a green and vigorous old age, tripping mirthfully along the downhill of existence, without languor, or gout, or any of the penalties exacted by time for the mournful privilege of living. I never knew any man less infected with the vanity of being thought younger than he is : and so far from wiping any thing from the score, I am convinced, that by an amiable fraud, our old bard now and then posts in his ledger a year or two more than he ought to do. His face is still resplendent with cheerfulness. “ Die when you will, Charles,” said Curran to him, “ you will die in your youth.”
Charles, under his well-known appellation of Captain Morris, is now, perhaps, the sole surviving veteran of those who figured in convivial life forty years ago ; and through life he has secured a degree of esteem which is rarely shared by the mere ministers of pleasure, who are for the most part forgot when the bowl is drained, and the roar of the carousal has ceased. More than one generation has he seen drop from his side, of whom he might say, in the words of one of his best
“ If I've shortened their days, I have lengthened their
A race of water-drinkers has succeeded, and the potations of those days (such is the more than Homeric degeneracy of our modern Bacchanals) cannot be comprehended by the owoł vuv avdpes.
. A rabbit that casts its litter in six weeks might as well strive at the gestation of an elephant, as the bon vivant of the present day to carry off what his ancestors of that period could hide beneath their girdles. In the frolic days of Carlton House, Charles was often admitted to its happy circles. Nor was he afterwards forgotten by his royal patron, who never forgot the friends that cheered his lighter hours. Yes, the same bounty (let calumny say what it will) which has often warmed into life those whom the world had left to die, giving them only, with its wonted libe
rality, the choice of the dunghill on which they rotted—that bounty was shed upon Charles Morris, at a season, too, when it was wanted : and for many years he has enjoyed from that princely hand a comfortable stipend. Our old bard appreciates it as he ought. It is a memorial which will never depart from him; the remembrance of it will sooth his latest moments.
It is equally due to the late Duke of Norfolk to remark, that our venerable minstrel was indebted to him for that snug Sabine retreat in which his old
age is now pillowed'; a charming spot near Dorking, embosomed amidst the gentle undulating elevations of Surrey. There, in a peaceful valley, whose sides are clothed with innumerous boughs, the little mansion of the bard peeps out coquettishly, as if too timid for display, yet unwilling to be concealed. There, in the calm evening of a various life, he may brood over its short and fallacious pleasures; there, a repentant proselyte to Nature, he may do her homage in her hallowed recesses- a meet penance for one, who, in the delirium of his heart, derided her worship, preferring, to her embowering shades and o’er.
arching groves, " the shady side of Pall Mall, and the grove of London chimneys.”* There he may feel at last how well he has exchanged the roar of the midnight song for the mild whispers of the breeze, and the madrigal of the running brooks. There he may sigh for having once renounced them, and hope to be forgiven !
Who has not admired the lyric effusions of Charles Morris? But to judge of their effect, you should have heard him sing them at the BeefSteaks. Voice, science, are of course out of the question ; for these you would have had soul, expression, manner. To say that those songs are deficient in the higher graces of poetry is hypercritical nonsense. To maintain that they have neither the terseness, nor the chaste simplicity of Anacreon, is pedantry, of which a school-boy would be ashamed. But where will you find such after-dinner songs? They have all a negligence, an ease (the classical reader will call it adesix) which befits the social hour. They breathe the soul of conviviality; they cure all sadness, but despair ; they make the poor man forget the lowliness of his fortunes, and the insolent contrast of upstart wealth to his own destitution ;-for to him who is corroded by the enduring pang, thé pang that never diesma few minutes of oblivion are an age of enjoyment. Do not, I pray you, forget the spirit and briskness of the little anacreontic
* See the Town and Country Life; one of his earliest songs,
When the fancy-stirring bowl
&c. &c. &c.
But do you remember his exquisite reasons for filling the glass again? That song tells you how much the logic of the table transcends the logic of the schools ; it shows you how demonstratively the senses reason, how eloquently they plead their own cause.
There reigns in the Beef-Steaks, as I have hinted already, a brotherhood, a sentiment of equality. How you would laugh to see the junior member emerging from the cellar, with half-adozen bottles in a basket! I have seen Brougham